The Garden

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March 24, 2019 – David Hanke

Hebrews 5.7-14 : Psalm 19.7-14 : Luke 22.39-46

Listen to the songs here.

Restoration2025: report from congregational input #1

Congregational Input

We hope that you will join us for each congregational input session.  The next one is Sunday, March 31 @1pm.  We will provide food and childcare.  You can also submit ideas, questions, and things you are hearing in prayer to this email address or through this form.

Thanks for reading and praying along with us.  Here is a summary of what we heard on March 17:

Key Highlights

~25 members gathered to pray with us, in thanksgiving for what God has already done in and through Restoration for the past 9+ years, and in anticipation of hearing what He will do for the next 5.
Some things we heard about what we do well (and should probably continue doing!):
  • Kids small groups (Nursery through 5th grade)
  • Adult small groups (the model makes it easy for people to jump in)
  • Use of liturgy, music, and other arts to invite people to connect with God on more than an intellectual level
  • Open communication and sense of welcome from the leaders
There was excitement about possibilities with the following:
  • Youth and Young Adult Ministries (roughly defined as age 14 through 30)
  • Fostering spiritual development and growth of individual members
    • training and equipping folks to ‘invitationally’ talk about their relationship with Jesus.
    • providing resources for life’s hard stuff: parenting, death, transitions, etc.
    • more rigorous, in depth Bible Study / Scripture study
  • Increasing local outreach – thinking about how we integrate into the immediate community
    • using our facility/space creatively
    • more conferences/seminars on topics that concern those in our broader community
    • short term local missions trips
    • caring for the vulnerable
    • connecting w/ young professionals new to the area

There is a chance that this list doesn’t have the idea you want our church to pursue over the next five years!  So make sure that you bring it with you on March 31 @1pm so that we can hear it!

Moving towards Jesus

One of our stations on March 17 was for input about who we want to serve and invite into this story…
Broadly speaking, people fit into the following categories:
  • Jesus Who? — Never met Jesus
  • No Thanks Jesus — Don’t care to meet Jesus because they a) don’t care or b) simply not appealing
  • Yea, I Met Jesus Once — Met Jesus long ago and consider themselves “churched” or too busy
  • Jesus Betrayed Me — He didn’t come through on something they wanted, didn’t protect them from pain
  • What Now Jesus? — Newly met Jesus and looking for a home and a place to fit in and grow
  • Following Jesus — Looking for my calling, to grow deeper, to give with a purpose

Ultimately, our goal is for people to a) meet Jesus, and b) be discipled by Jesus together with others being discipled by Jesus.

We want to develop a plan that engages Restoration’s unique gifts to help people meet Jesus and be discipled by Jesus.  The people we want to befriend, serve, and love are:
  1. Unchurched – and either a) Never been exposed to Jesus, and/or b) Don’t see the point.  Our neighbors.  Our fellow professionals (Gen X, Y, Z) looking for a home and a place to belong.
  2. Under-resourced– our neighbors who are financially poor, undereducated, families in foster care
  3. Unseen-  our elders, our friends who experience depression, anxiety, loneliness

We are seeking God’s leading and His compassion.  We want to run with anticipation and excitement towards the things He is doing and inviting us to join.  Keep praying with us!  Keep listening!

We hope to see you on March 31 at 1pm.

Sunday Music – March 24, 2019


Songs of Praise:

Come Ye Sinners
You Alone Can Rescue


Abide With Me


O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

Eucharist Liturgical Music:

Sanctus Lent
Agnus Dei – Ortega


Take Courage
Psalm 130 Lent

Upcoming Weekend with Regent Professor Darrell Johnson (April 4-7)


We have an exciting opportunity that is coming in just a few weeks! Along with another local church (Church of the Ascension), we are hosting a weekend with Regent College (Vancouver) Professor Darrell Johnson. He will be here in Northern Virginia from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 7.

Here a few great opportunities for you to engage with him:

  1. Public Speaking Seminar – Thursday, April 4, 7-9 PM

People say they fear public speaking even more than death… we’d like to make it easier than that! Please join us on Thursday, April 4 from 7-9 PM at Restoration to improve this important skill. We hope to develop persuasive communication skills, master the art of presentation, & learn what makes a compelling narrative. This is a great opportunity to invite friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers!

  1. Sermon on the Mount Retreat – Fri PM, April 5 – Sat AM, April 6

Join us for two days of intensive teaching as Darrell Johnson leads us through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

When: Friday, April 5, 7pm- 9:30pm / Saturday, April 6, 9am- 12:30pm

Where: Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, VA (3901 Gallows Rd, Annandale, VA 22003)

Cost:A suggested donation of $10 to cover costs of the event including snacks and nursery can be paid at time of registration or on site at the event.

Interested in Registering? Here is the link

  1. Preaching at Restoration – Sunday, April 7 @ 9 & 11 AM

Finally, Darrell will be preaching during our morning services at Restoration on Sunday, April 7.

We hope you are able to join us for one of these events. Please email Nathan Dickerson at if you have any questions!


The Betrayers

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March 17, 2019 – David Hanke

1 Peter 5.6-11 : Psalm 27.1-6 : Luke 22.1-6,31-34

Listen to the songs here.

Restoration 2025: Congregational Input #1

Congregational Input

You are invited.

Restoration, I invite you bring the enthusiasm, energy, and ideas you’ve always shared with me to the first congregational input session on March 17th.  We will not have childcare.  But we will have snacks!

There are 2 more congregational input sessions on March 31 @1 (at Restoration with childcare) and April 10 @7:30 (at the Weimer Home).  If you can attend all 3 input sessions, GREAT!  I imagine that they will build on each other and you will enjoy the sense of momentum.  If you can only attend 1 or 2, GREAT!  We want to hear what you have to say and you will have an opportunity at each session.

As things occur to you, this form is a place you can share more ideas, concerns, and things you hear in prayer.

To make the best use of our sessions together, I want to summarize some of the feedback we have already received, share the questions with which our vestry and church leaders are wrestling, and give you an idea of where we would like to focus our time together in the coming weeks.  

What we have heard so far.

On September 6, 2018, we hosted our first vision night (this is the link to the audio summary) with over 100 of you participating.  We had stations setup around the building and welcomed the chance to hear your thoughts about our strengths and weaknesses across a variety of topics including evangelism, discipleship, how to celebrate our 10th anniversary, the church mortgage, church planting, kids and youth, etc..  It was a great session and we received a ton of valuable input.

Out of Vision Night, we prioritized 6 important areas for the vestry and staff to consider for Restoration2025:

  1. Church Planting  We believe there are communities that would benefit from the kind of church that Restoration could plant.  Is this the time to keep pursuing those opportunities?  What is the place?  Who is the person?
  2. Serving and partnering with the Spanish speaking population in Arlington.  We love how God provided an opportunity like RILA-  we identified a need (immigration legal aid) that Restoration people could meet with great effectiveness.  Are there other opportunities to serve and partner with our Spanish speaking neighbors? 
  1. People aged 14-26 who live around us.  We want to build on the vibrant growth in Kids’ Small Groups and APEX.  We want to build up and equip those just starting out in their careers. What programs would disciple them?  What needs can we meet?  How can we offer vibrant community for them as well?  Programmatically, we have seen that a Fellows Program (like TFCA) or a mentorship program (like the CS Lewis Institute) has been effective.  Should Restoration pursue a similar programmatic initiative? 
  1. Disciples are connected, available, moving, healthy, and thankful.  They are living God’s Story and they know their place in it.  How do we help people grow deeper and closer to Jesus?  Our small group system has been very effective for a number of years.  Anything we need to add, edit, or delete in relation to this core structure of Restoration?
  2. We want to be a church where people choose to follow Jesus  where they move from curious to convinced.  We want to invite the tens of thousands of people around us to follow Jesus.  How do we do that more effectively?  What could we create to foster relationships that move people closer to Jesus?
  3. 2025 feels far away and it will be here sooner than we think.  What should we be doing now to be ready for what comes after 2025?  Specifically, our mortgage will be due in 2023.  The vestry has commissioned a capital campaign team.  Should we orient ourselves to be in a place to pay it off by 2023?  What other areas should we be working on now so that we are ready for 2025 and beyond?  A rector succession plan?  A pipeline of young(er) staff who are coming up to fill staff gaps that will emerge in the next 7 years?  

The vestry and staff have been praying about and discussing these questions.

We invite your input on Sunday, March 17.

  1. In our Restoration community, who do we serve well?  Who could we serve better?
  2. What are programs or events that we do really well?
    What are the programmatic gaps that require concentrated effort to develop?
    What are things that we are currently doing that we should consider not doing in the future (for the sake of something else)?
  3. Which communities in and around Arlington do we want to pursue?  (could be categories of geography, ethnicity, vocation, avocation, or other demographic descriptors)
  4. What does growth look like in the next 5 years?  (more attendees, more churches, more sites, more fruit, more disciples, etc)

On Sunday, show up ready to dive right in with ideas and prayers.

Our time will feel tight.  We want to use every moment of our 70 minutes together.  That means you need to arrive ready to listen, pray, and share.  (Little known fact:  the highest number of goals in soccer are scored in the last 2 minutes of each half.  After 45 minutes, the play takes on a sense of urgency and things happen.)  We invite you to come in with a sense of urgency and quickly share what is on your mind.  Don’t take 45 minutes to get warmed up.  We want to hear from every person who has something to say.

And if you can’t come this Sunday, we invite you to provide input on this form. and to join us on March 31 and April 7.



About 8 years ago I did a sermon about Judas.  In writing the sermon, my imagination was captured by the story-  why he did it, what motivated him, what was he hoping would happen, how he may have felt after-  I decided to give the sermon as Judas.  It made a deep impact on me.

During Lent 2019, we are lingering in the final 36 hours of Jesus’ life- as told by Luke in chapters 22-23.  This Sunday, we will again consider Judas.  And I will most likely give the sermon as Judas…  again.  

I have enjoyed seeing how the story impacts me-  8 years later.  And this Sunday I will pull in Peter’s betrayal as well.  These guys ‘leave’ Jesus and betray him- one right after the other.  They respond to their betrayal choices very differently.

For me, there is so much in these men that feels familiar and so much that I hope I would do differently if put in the same situation.  And yet…

So again, thank you Jesus for the cross:  for knowing what you knew- about Judas, about Peter, about me- and choosing it anyway.

Amazing Love!  How can it be that Thou,  My God(!)  shouldst die for me?

See ya on Sunday.


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