Rector’s Update: July 8, 2020

“…I will feed them in justice.”  Ezekiel 34: 16b

Dear Restoration,

Hope you are doing well!  I am writing to remind you of 2 special things that are happening this week.

A Zoom Discussion about Racial Injustice in the Church
It starts tonight at 7:30pm.  We will keep it to a firm hour- so log on a few minutes early to say hi and plan on being finished by 8:30.  This is a three week conversation that will build on prior weeks.   You are welcome to join any or all of them, but the content will be different each time.  You are also welcome to invite a friend.

We will break our time into thirds with lecture, moderated breakout discussions, and Q&A for all participants.  I have no idea how many people will join the call tonight and I ask for your flexibility if we need to adjust certain things.

We will be using the book, The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby.  It is organized chronologically.  Tonight we will discuss the years up to the Civil War (beginning of book to page 70).  Next week, we will look at the post Civil War period to Civil Rights legislation (pages 70-152).  The final week will examine the last 50 years of our history, (pages 152-216).   Each week we will be asking God to lead us as a church in how we should respond to these things. 

Here is the link to join the conversation which begins tonight at 7:30pm.  I look forward to talking with you!

Yard Worship on July 12
Last week, our wardens introduced Phase Alpha of our re-opening plan for corporate worship.  You can read their letter, here, which references the detailed plan that can be read, here, in its entirety.

We know that all of us are carefully watching what is happening in our community in relation to the coronavirus.  Each of us is making decisions about public gatherings that correspond with our medical and living situations.  I have been grateful for the opportunity to correspond and pray with many of you as you discern what is best for you and for your household.  Because of the diversity of our situations, we are continuing to offer our YouTube Livestream for Sunday worship as the safest and most remote way for us to worship together.  We are also beginning to offer some in-person opportunities for those who feel comfortable gathering with others.  Both options are great!

This Sunday, July 12, our YouTube Livestream will start at 10am.  I will be preaching the next installment of our Joseph story.  We are also offering 4 opportunities to gather for Yard Worship at Restoration and the homes of several Restoration members.  You can sign up, here and read all of the details for how it will work.  We warmly invite you to join us.

As always, I am grateful for the creativity of our staff and volunteers, grateful for the faithfulness of our congregation, and grateful to God as He leads us through these challenging times.

Sincerely,
David

Wardens’ Report: June 2020

The Wardens’ Report: highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, priorities, and progress in our strategic plan.

The Vestry met remotely on June 30. Brad Jones opened us in prayer, and we received a report from Isaiah Brooms, our Director of Youth Ministries. We are grateful for his flexibility and initiative in taking up Resto’s livestream and video presence. Please join us in praying for him as he prepares to be ordained as priest in the fall.

David reported that, in response to an appeal from the head of the Anglican Church in North America’s “Next Generation Leadership Initiative” (Rev. Dr. Esau McCauley), he used his authority to direct $2000 to support the Initiative.  

We formalized decisions made between meetings, approving a few further disbursements from the Benevolence Fund. Even with those disbursements, the Fund has used less than half of the amount the Vestry allocated. If you attend Restoration and have a financial need, please do ask. Further information is here. We also approved two motions to disburse money from our Building Fund for painting and to purchase items for reopening.
The two main questions of the evening were our budget for fiscal year 2021 (which begins September 1) and our reopening plan. On the budget, Brad Jones, our Treasurer, reported that giving and expenses remained good in May.

Thank you to those who continue to give generously, and to our staff for their wise care with expenses. Brad presented the Finance Team’s draft budget, with three options: contract 5% compared to this year; steady state; and expand 5%. We had a discussion, and will consider a final draft at our July meeting. Given how much remains uncertain for this year and next, it is unlikely that we will approve the “expand” option.
The Reopening Team provided us a superb proposal and, after extensive discussion and some tweaking, we approved it unanimously. You can find more in prior communications from us and from David, and can read the full plan.

As always, we welcome your questions and feedback. You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’
– Kevin Marshall and Johanna Montague, Wardens

Dreams that Brothers Hate and Fathers Remember

Dreams that Brothers Hate and Fathers Remember — Scott Buckhout — Psalm 145:3-9, Matthew 11:25-30, Genesis 37:1-11

An Update from our Wardens about Reopening

“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house.” (Ps. 5:7)

Dear Restoration,

We are delighted to announce that the Restoration Vestry has adopted, and our staff now is beginning to implement, a plan to bring us back together to worship, this summer.  Our Re-opening Team has been toiling since May, and the Vestry on Tuesday, after a lot of discussion and a few tweaks, unanimously approved its recommendation. David has details in his Rector’s Update video (here), and you can read the full plan here, but here are the basics:
 

We will begin “Phase Alpha” on July 12 with “Yard Worship” with clergy in four outdoor locations around Northern Virginia (one being Restoration’s parking lot). You can find more details and sign up here. We are excited for this opportunity to be together, and soon! That said, if you are not comfortable or unable to join those gatherings, that’s ok. We get it. These are unprecedented times and we each are evaluating risk differently.  We will also stream our service that day on our YouTube Channel at 10am with David preaching the next installment of the Joseph story. 
 

Then, on July 26, we will have our first service in the Sanctuary, starting with 50 adults.  Further services will be August 2 and, after a pause for staff to assess and adjust, August 23 and 30, September 6 (Labor Day weekend) and 13.  Look for a sign-up for these Phase Alpha services on July 15.  We will begin welcoming kids back in the Sanctuary gradually by age starting with kids 6th grade and older on August 23 and kids of any age on August 30th.  We will not be able to offer nursery or in-person Kids’ Small Groups or in-person APEX during Phase Alpha.  We anticipate that in this phase, some families will take turns:  sending one adult to worship in the sanctuary while one adult stays home.  We look forward to having entire households in our sanctuary by September.
 

We will continue to broadcast on YouTube Live for the foreseeable future. Restoration’s plan complies with all of the Governor’s requirements and recommendations from his Phase Two ‘Safer at Home’ plan, and Bishop Guernsey has advised us on it. So, although we must hold everything loosely these days, we are confident it is responsible and sustainable for us and for our neighbors on Quincy Street.

This won’t be our old “normal,” and much work remains to carry out the plan, but we are excited to begin returning. Please join us in prayers of gratitude, and in thanks particularly for the devoted and diligent work of the Re-opening Team:  Louise Brooks, Kat Downs, Adam Guzzo (vestry representative), David Hanke (rector), Kathy Kenyon, Dietrich Kuhlmann, and Jennifer Tibus. If you have questions or comments, please let us know:  johanna.montague@gmail.com or ckmarsha@hotmail.com

Sincerely,
Johanna Montague and Kevin Marshall 
Vestry Wardens

And she called his name Joseph…

“And she called his name Joseph…” — David Hanke — Psalm 89:1-8, Matthew 10:34-39, Genesis 30:22-26

This is our confidence.

“This is our confidence.” — David Hanke — Psalm 111, John 1:4-9, John 5:13-21

Overcoming the World

Overcoming the World — Beth Tipps — Psalm 100, John 16:25-33, 1 John 5:1-5

Rector’s Update: June 10, 2020

Dear Restoration,

It has been a full week.  I am grateful for the words we prayed in morning prayer today from Psalm 100:

‘Know that the Lord, he is God!  It is He who made us, and we are his;  we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.’  

I am so grateful to be HIS.

I have 4 things for you this week and I am sincerely asking that you would respond to each one.  I want you to know about our plans.  I want to hear how you are doing.  I want you to have opportunities to gather with friends.  I want you to listen and learn about the racial injustice moment in which we find ourselves.  Thanks.  You are a responsive church and there are several responses I am requesting from you this week.

1.  Watch the Parish Meeting:  Ou wardens, treasurer, and I hosted 2 parish meetings this week.  Well over 200 of you listened in-  which is record-breaking for a parish meeting by a long shot.  Thanks.  If you already heard the parish meeting, you can skip this one!  If you missed it, please take 45 minutes and listen as I recount the last 3 months and suggest how the next few months could look at Restoration.  This is information you want.

2.  Fill out the survey:  We want to know how you are doing now and how you are feeling about the possibility of re-opening our facility for public gatherings and worship in the future.  I would love for every person who gets this email to fill it out.  Thank you!

3.  Host a Summer Gathering:  As I explained at the parish meeting, we are seeking to offer a variety of small, outdoor opportunities for people in our congregation to connect to each other this summer.  Perhaps you would like to host a yard Eucharist, or popsicles in your driveway, or pizza on your patio, or ‘sitting in adirondack chairs with no kids around for quiet conversation’, or something we haven’t thought of yet…  Fill out this form with your awesome idea this week.  Then, next week, look for a sign-up genius with lots of summer gathering opportunities!

4.  Read this book.  Listen to this lecture.  Join this conversation.  In this time of unrest over racial injustice, I am going to lead a Zoom discussion on Jemar Tisby’s book, The Color of Compromise:  the truth about the American church’s complicity in racism.  You can get the book, here.  Not sure you want to read the book?  Please listen to this lecture that Jemar did last year on a ‘A Racial Reformation in the 21st Century’.  You will be challenged by the book and the lecture.  You will disagree with some of it.  You will learn stuff you didn’t know.  Let’s talk about it.  On July 8, 15, and 22 at 7pm, I will host a Zoom discussion on the book.  It is open to anyone who wants to participate from anywhere in the world.  Invite a friend.  

Thank you for reading and responding, Restoration!  Thank you for faithfully joining in to the significant work that God is doing in us and through our church.  I look forward to seeing more of you in person as the weeks go by!

So glad to be His.
-David 

Love Without Fear

“Love Without Fear” — David Hanke — Psalm 150, Matthew 28:16-20, 1 4:12-19

Rector’s Update: June 3, 2020

Hi Restoration,

So much is happening.  So many voices.  So many words. 

Thanks for taking the time to engage with what we are saying at Restoration.  Cling to the truth that our Lord reigns.  He is a very present help right now.

TONIGHT:  a prayer meeting 

If you’re like me, current events have left me drained, discouraged and at a loss. I long with you for a world made right; where righteousness and justice reign. We look forward to the heavenly reign of Christ and yet we need wisdom, courage and strength to live as kingdom citizens right now. To this end we must pray.

Tonight I am gathering with the leaders of other churches in Arlington and I invite you to join us.  It will begin at 6pm.  You can access it on YouTube, here or through Restoration’s FB page, here

I apologize for the late notice.  This event just came together today.

Parish Meeting Warm-Up Questions

We have a parish meeting on June 7 at 11:15am (right after the service) and June 9 at 8pm.  We will talk about re-opening, finances, and summer plans.  I would love to know what you want to hear.  If you have a question about life in our congregation, hit reply (today!) and let me know.  We want to be prepared with the information you most need.  

A conversation about racism, the church, grief, and hope

This is my rector’s update for this week.  I invite you to take time to listen to the whole thing.

  • In the update, I will read a letter from four of our Anglican bishop’s that articulates Restoration’s position about the killing of George Floyd.  You can read it, here.
  • We will also mention a Ted Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie called The Danger of a Single Story

When we come to God in prayer, we feel our grief and we are strengthened by His presence.  

“But for me it is good to be near God;  I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”  Psalm 73: 28

-David

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