A Quick Video for Easter


A Quick Video for Easter

Hey Restoration,

As we finalize our preparations for remote Easter, our staff would like to invite your participation.  Would you create a quick video (20-30 seconds) that answers this question:  ‘Why is the resurrection important to me?’  Our staff are going to stitch these video snippets together into a corporate montage that will be a part of our Easter celebration on Sunday.

We will dearly miss being present with each other on Easter day in our sanctuary.  We will see each other on Zoom and this video will be one more way for us to see and hear from each other.

Here’s what you do:
1.  How do I make the recording?  Use your phone, tablet, or computer to make the video.  Try to limit to 30 seconds or less.  Hit record, look right into the camera, and let ‘er rip.
2.  Can others be in my video?  Of course!  Have a friend stand 6 feet away.  Snuggle up to a family member.  Put your dog in your lap.  Show us your favorite coffee mug.  You are the director!
3.  Now what am I supposed to say, again?  Describe what the resurrection means to you?  How does Jesus rising from the dead give you hope?  Why is Easter important to you?  Christ is risen!  Alleluia!
4.  Ok, I have the video.  Now what?  Click here.  Choose the button that says ‘Select Photos’.  Choose your video.  You are all done!

We will take it from there.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to myself or Isaiah Brooms and we can walk you through it.  This is totally OPTIONAL.  If it sounds fun- yay!  If it sounds like a chore, delete this quickly and enjoy the video on Sunday!

Grateful for your stories.  Grateful for the resurrection.

Good Lord Deliver Us

Good Lord Deliver Us


I am reproducing the reflection I shared at the beginning of morning prayer last Sunday, March 29.  Many of you have asked about the prayer of deprecation.  Thank you for your interest!


29 March 2020

Good morning!  This week, a friend sent me a reflection from a university president who, like all of us, in this season of coronavirus, is trying to make sense of what is happening and what God is doing in the midst of it.

Interestingly he began by reflecting on a section of The 1662 Book of Common Prayer’s Great Litany. 

You may recall that in 1665, over a quarter of the population of London had died because of the Great Plague.  And in 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed a third of the city and left over 100,000 people homeless-  in just 5 days.  It was catastrophe upon catastophe.  In the midst of that kind of heartache, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s prayer- the litany- would have been so apropos.   

“From lightning and tempest; from plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder; and from sudden death…”

Good Lord, deliver us. 

Here is the reflection of Alexander Whitaker, president of King University in Bristol, TN

A deprecation, such as that above, is a prayer to be spared from disaster.  The Latin root means to repel or avoid physical calamity by prayer. We rarely hear the word deprecation in this 16th– and 17th-century sense anymore. 

We rarely pray words like these and if we did, they would probably land far from our most heart-felt concerns… especially before March 2020.

Whitaker goes on to say,

“Many of those things Archbishop Cranmer lists do not particularly frighten us or cause us to seek protection, from God or otherwise—at least not in any regular fashion. Many of the things that once were routine exposures to death, to mortality, are now militated against by experience, by medicine, by technology, or by engineering.

Indeed, the very notion of being “safe” has been so defined downward (at least on many university campuses) it often now for many has little to do with physical safety and preservation, and instead is used to describe protection from unfamiliar ideas, less-than-pleasant words, or trifling inconveniences.  As profoundly silly as that may be, we should probably be thankful that undergraduates have been fretting over pronouns instead of polio.  Such are the blessings of this age that rarely does one have to worry continually about one’s death or that of one’s family and friends. But eventually danger comes to us all, without exception—as does death.

And yet, there is hope.

If one believes in God’s providence there is revealed in these circumstances God’s calling us: to return to him apace, to trust him wholly, and to do his work resolutely.

Our uncertainty draws us to the certainty of our Sovereign and Holy God.

Our fears cause us to seek God’s peace and protection.

Our deep desire that we and others be spared pain rightly prompts our deprecation—one that God desires.

So that is what we gather today to do:  TOGETHER. 

To return to God, to trust Him wholly, and to do the work He has called us to do, resolutely. 

We gather together for the strength of community-  to see faces we love, to see the prayers of others, to know we are not alone. 

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…”  [Philippians 1:2]

Letter to the Congregation from David (4/3/20)


I decided to write you on a beautiful spring day.  Your presence is weighty in my thoughts as I think about you working from home, caring for kids, passing the time, and trusting the Lord.

God sees you.  He cares for you.

This is an update about opportunities to worship and serve as we live life “distanced together”.

Flower Boxes

On Ash Wednesday, our RestoArts team placed 10 long and shallow boxes in the 10 windows of our sanctuary on Quincy Street.  These were filled with dirt and the plan was to plant wheatgrass which would grow during Lent as a preparation for Easter (because Good Things Grow Here).  Sadly, our plans were never ‘planted’.  As we continue our practice of social distance and as our longing to again worship in our beautiful space increases, we have a project for 10 households.  Would you like to adopt one of these window boxes?  We would love for you to plant flowers and nurture them while we are apart from each other.  Then, when we return, would you bring the box, with flowers galore, to adorn our worship space?  Good Things Grow Here.  Contact Kathy if you are interested in adopting one of the 10 boxes.

Serving our Neighbors and Supporting our Community

Restoration is responding in 3 ways to the needs of our neighbors and our community.

  1. We have created a benevolence fund for those who attend Restoration.
  2. We are partnering with other churches in Arlington to provide rent assistance.
  3. We are partnering with the Glebe Elementary School community to provide food support for our neighbors.  As conditions and policies change in relation to the coronavirus, we may need to change how we are providing this food.  Please check this page for updates.

All of this information can be found in one central spot.  Please share this widely with those who in our community who may have needs or those who may want to give.

Additional Opportunities to Serve

As this season of uncertainty continues, there will be more opportunities to serve.  I will make you aware of them with the recognition and caveat that none of us can say yes to everything but some of you might want to respond to some of the things.

Housing for a young man finishing High School

Through a client of RILA, we were recently introduced to a young man who has been homeless since this past Saturday and is in urgent need of a place to live.  Ideally, it would be rent-free, but there are resources to pay his rent (aiming for less than $1000/month) either in your home or in an extended stay situation.

He is a 20-year-old legal US resident who immigrated from Bolivia in 2016 with his mother, who suffers from mental illness and abandoned him in 2018. Since that time he has been living with another couple in Gainesville, VA, but they recently moved and he was forced to leave.  He has been sleeping in his car since last Saturday.  He is a few months from completing his high school diploma and then plans to enlist in the Army.  He speaks English and Spanish, has his own car, doesn’t drink or smoke, until recently was gainfully employed, and is willing to work around the house to earn his rent.  We hope we can find him a place to live for a few months until he finishes his diploma and enlists in the army.  If you would like to host him or have other ideas, please contact Endel.

A used computer tablet for a local first grader

Arlington County provides tablets for public school students starting in 4th grade.  With all students working remotely, it is necessary for a household to have a tablet or computer that a student can use, even those younger than 4th grade.  We have been made aware of a student who needs a tablet to access on-line learning but lives in a household without access.  Do you have an old tablet that could be given to this household for their elementary student?  Please contact David.

Holy Week:  April 5-12

It’s my favorite week of the year and it is just around the corner!  All year long, I look forward to remembering and celebrating the passion, crucifixion, redemption, and resurrection of Jesus with you.  I can’t wait!
Our full Holy Week worship schedule, with log-in credentials and websites, will be here:  restorationarlington.org/remote-worship  Please click here to access each service.  We hope you don’t miss a thing.

For Easter in particular, we have 2 traditions that we will honor this year, even as we worship remotely:

  1. Beautiful Flowers:  We order 100s of gorgeous, live, flower pots which decorate our sanctuary.  After each service, we give them away to those in attendance.  This year, we have again ordered flowers.  However, we will decorate the outside of our building on Quincy Street-  the front terrace, the parking lot, the curving steps.  On Easter afternoon, we invite you to drive by the church and take a few flower pots to plant at home or to share with a neighbor.  They will be out there until they are gone!
  2. Easter Generosity:  We always give our Easter offering to an organization, outside of Restoration, that is doing significant Kingdom work.  This year the vestry has chosen to direct that gift to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund’s Cascading Ministries Initiative.  Because we will not be in church on Easter, the vestry will be exploring the best way to honor that tradition and choice. I’ll update you once we’ve worked that out.

We have been praying Psalm 78 during morning prayer this week.  I close this letter with the Psalm’s hopeful words: “With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”  We give thanks to God for His daily guidance, His clear direction, and His loving hand.

In Christ’s love,


Visio Divina: A Spiritual Practice for Lent (and COVID-19)

Visio divina is a spiritual practice that may help focus our distracted minds and engage in prayer with God. Like its cousin lectio divina, visio divina is a way of praying and being attentive to God.  A simple definition from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun’s book, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Practices that Transform Us is this: “Visio divina, holy seeing, is a way to pray with the eyes.”  (If you search for visio divina, I guarantee you will be directed to many flaky websites including some not grounded in our Christian faith.)  Like lectio divina, visio divina is a practice that requires time and attention to Scripture.

This past Sunday, Beth preached from John 11, and David is using this painting The Raising of Lazarus for morning prayer this week. The painting, by artist Leon Bonnat, dates from 1857 and is in the Musée Bonnat Helleu:


Henry Ossawa Tanner’s 1896 rendition of the The Resurrection of Lazarus, is from the Musée d’Orsay:


Bonnat’s rendering is truer to the Biblical passage in John 11, but I commend both to us for the practice of visio divina. Here are some simple steps that may help us in our practice both lectio and visio.

  • Read through John 11 and perhaps choose a verse, then be still. Settle into a posture to listen to God’s voice.
  • Meditate. In lectio, ponder the words. For visio, gaze, look, observe, ask questions and ask God to help you see what he wants you to see, what he wants you to notice. What stirs within you?
  • Pray. Pray through the text or what you notice in the image. Pray to God and ask for his help.
  • Contemplate. We live the text. A contemplative spiritual exercise is meant to lead us to gospel action in the world.

After a time of meditation and prayer in lectio, you might also consider using one or both images for visio divina. Spend a few minutes in observation and consider:

  • What caught your eye? What do you notice?
  • Reflect on the structure: color, lines, shadows, values, intensity.
  • What is the mood of the painting?
  • How do you react to it?  Do you sense an invitation from God?
  • Does anything else strike you?

Biblical meditation provokes questions. Will you allow this passage to transform you?

Rev. Mary Amendolia Gardner

Mary is a Spiritual Director with Coracle, DOMA clergy, and attends Restoration. 

Letter to the Congregation from David (3/27/20)

Hi Restoration,

We are coming to the end of week #2 of social distancing and significant disruptions to our corporate life together.  I am again writing to tell you of new things we are creating and ways you can join us in responding to this crisis.

Here is the executive summary:

  1. Remote Worship: Everything you need to know about remote worship during a season of social distancing is here.  Bookmark this page and please use it every time you access a remote gathering.  We occasionally change a particular Zoom portal to minimize our exposure to hackers.  This page will always have the correct log-in.
  2. Financial Giving: We invite you to express your worship of God, your trust in His provision, and your partnership in what He is doing through Restoration by giving your financial tithes and offerings through our online portal
  3. Serving our neighbors and supporting our community:  Read below for decisions our vestry has made to set aside benevolence funds for a) Restoration members in need;  b) for households in Arlington County who need rent support; and c) for giving food support to our neighbors on Tuesday and Thursday each week.

That’s the short version.  Please continue reading for more information.

Remote Worship This Sunday: 29 March

At 8:45am, we will again host four 15 minute Kids’ Small Groups. 

At 10am, we will have corporate worship via Zoom.  We apologize for the difficulty logging on last week.  We have increased our capacity for participants, and you should have no problem participating this week.

At 11am, we are trying two new things: 

  1. Streaming Musical Worship via YouTube.  Our music team will be in our sanctuary on Quincy Street and they will stream a 30 minute musical worship block for you to join in from your home.  We are currently testing the technology and, if all works out, will pilot it on Sunday to see how it looks, sounds, and feels.  We hope you will try it this week!
  2. ‘After Service Prayer’ on Zoom. We will have a link that takes you to a Zoom site where you can confidentially pray with 2 of our intercessors for anything that God is doing in your life.

We will post a link to each of these during our 10am worship service.  When that service ends, you will be able to click over to the YouTube Live worship session or After Service Prayer or both!

Remember:  Everything you need to know about remote worship during a season of social distancing is here.  Bookmark this page.  It gives you entry to every remote gathering we have.

An Invitation to Give through Church Community Builder

Our vestry met this week.  We regularly track key metrics like Sunday attendance, small group participation, and financial giving.  All of our numbers were strong in February and we started March in great shape.  Thank you!

Many of you give your financial tithes and offerings through our online portal, CCB. Thank you for locking in your regularity. In addition, many of you give regularly through the offering baskets we pass during our Sunday worship.  In fact, 30-35% of our income comes through those baskets.  With the disruption to our normal worship schedule, we would like to invite those of you who normally give in our Sunday offering baskets to transition to giving through our online portal.  If you have any questions about how to set that up, please reach out to Kat Downs (kat [at] restorationarlington [dot] org.  Thank you for giving to the work God is doing through Restoration.

Serving our neighbors and supporting our community

The vestry is mobilizing Restoration’s finances to respond in three ways to the novel coronavirus. 

  1. Benevolence Fund for Restoration members: We know the global response to the novel coronavirus has created a lot of vocational and income uncertainty.  Restoration wants to provide financial resources that could be used to bridge gaps for people who attend our church. To that end, the vestry intends to set aside part of our operating funds to serve as a benevolence fund for people who attend Restoration and are experiencing financial need.  Your regular giving to our operating fund will allow our Vestry to continue to set aside what is required for these benevolence needs.We want everyone who attends Restoration to be aware that this fund exists AND we have created a discrete and private way for people to request disbursements.  Next week, we will send a link to a simple online form that will be received by a small committee overseen by clergy and vestry members.  We have initially identified three categories of need:  lost wages, health care costs, and unexpected costs due to quarantine.  There will be a set amount that is given for each request.  If you or someone you know has a financial need, please make them aware that this help is coming.  Please don’t be hesitant to request assistance.  We are a church community that wants to help each other.
  2. Rent Assistance for our Arlington Neighbors:  We are working with Arlington County Public Schools social workers to connect households who need help with rent with households in Arlington churches who want to sponsor them.  Sponsorship would entail a rental supplement of $500 in April and in May.  Once you have signed up to sponsor a family, you will be given a family’s last name and the name/address of that family’s leasing agency for the purpose of sending your rent support.  We invite you to pray for the family you have sponsored throughout these two months for peace rather than fear, for health, and for their general well-being.We will be collecting names of Restoration households who want to be sponsors, here.  I am grateful for the hard work of Arlington County social workers who are identifying and vetting these families.  We will give more information as soon as it becomes available.
  3. Glebe Food Pantry: Beth Tipps is coordinating our twice-weekly food pantry.  Thank you for generously giving groceries and serving in person.  We are joining with other food assistance programs to bridge the gap between what our neighbors have and what they need.  Restoration is serving about 50 families in our community each Tuesday and Thursday.  If you would like to participate, please bring groceries to the church between 10 and 1 on Tuesday and Thursday.  All of the information you need is here.

Holy Week

Holy Week begins April 5 with Palm Sunday.  Here is our schedule for all services via Zoom:

Sunday, April 5:  Palm Sunday Worship Service at 10am

Monday, April 6: Morning and Evening Prayer at 9am and 5pm

Tuesday, April 7:  Morning and Evening Prayer at 9am and 5pm

Wednesday, April 8: Morning and Evening Prayer at 9am and 5pm

Maundy Thursday, April 9:  Morning Prayer at 9am, Maundy Thursday Worship Service at 7:30pm

Good Friday, April 10:  Morning Prayer at 9am, Stations of the Cross at 12pm, Reflections on the 7 Last Words of Christ at 7:30pm

Saturday, April 11:  The Great Vigil of Easter at 7:30pm

Sunday, April 12:  Easter Sunday!  (Times and services to be determined)

I am so grateful for our congregation.  It has been a joy to pray with you each day. 


Warden’s Report: March 2020

Vestry March 2020

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

The vestry gathered via Zoom for our March 24th meeting given the importance of social distancing while concerns about COVID-19 remain high. It was a different meeting than our typical routine of gathering for dinner and prayer prior to starting our official business; however, it was good to be “together” even when we are physically apart.

Brad Jones, our treasurer, presented an update on our finances and attendance. We are grateful to report that as of the end February, attendance is trending upward, our giving is on track, and our overall financial health is good. The finance team, under Brad’s leadership, is monitoring our financial situation in light of the changes to our life together on Quincy Street. We expect some downturn in giving as 30-35% of our giving comes through the baskets on Sundays and because of the financial uncertainty of this time. These possibilities are not surprising and they make us particularly grateful for our strong financial standing and the generosity of our members. If you do not already do so, we encourage you to consider giving through CCB. Contact Kat Downs if you have questions about how to do so.

After a discussion about how best to provide care for our members and the community during the COVID-19 outbreak, the vestry decided to create a fund to care for potential financial needs of our congregation caused by COVID-19. Details about this fund will be forthcoming in the next few days. We are also extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with Glebe Elementary School in serving our neighbors through food support each week and will continue to do so in the days and weeks to come. If you are interested in assisting in this endeavor, you can find more details about how to serve on our blog.

We discussed what Holy Week will look like this year as we maintain the social distancing recommendations of the CDC. Expect details to be forthcoming. In the meantime, we invite you to join us for Morning and Evening Prayer at 9am and 5pm for the remainder of Lent (and beyond). You can find the Zoom login in here.

We are currently planning to postpone starting Ven Oramos Alabemos, an occasional Spanish-worship opportunity we were hoping to pilot this Spring. We are still planning to add this opportunity in the future, but will wait until we can gather together on Quincy Street.

We closed our meeting with a time of prayer for our church, our community, and our world. Come Lord, Jesus.

As always, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your 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’

Johanna Montague and Kevin Marshall, Wardens

Remote After Service Prayer


Interested in receiving After Service Prayer after our Morning Prayer service on Sundays?

After Service Prayer begins right after the conclusion of the Morning Prayer service on Sunday (note: After Service Prayer is only offered after Morning Prayer on Sunday at this time). Look for a link to the After Service Prayer Zoom call at the end of the service in the chat bar on your Zoom screen, or join via this link.

Here is how to log into the meeting:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 635 469 359

Password: 400063

One tap mobile

+16465588656,,635469359# US

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