Dinner at Rocklands this Sunday!

Escape the Sunday night blues and join us for dinner at Rocklands after the 5:00 p.m. service this Sunday, November 11. Enjoy barbecue and macaroni (that’s what I’ll be having!) or whatever you like. A great time of fellowship, nourishment and recharge for the week ahead!

Hope to see you there!


Rocklands Barbecue & Grilling
3471 Washington Blvd., Arlington


Wisdom and Technology Seminar


Seminar Speaker Line-up (November 2-3rd)

How does technology fit into our lives as Christ followers? In what ways can it bring us closer to God and into deeper community with others? And in what ways does it merit careful consideration and boundaried use? In our day to day lives, technology is all around us and so readily available; it is easy to engage it without much thought. We invite you to join us for an opportunity to pause and reflect on the intersection of faith and technology in your life with the helpful input of several leading thinkers in this field. We will explore these topics from a variety of perspectives over two days – Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3.

On Friday, November 2 from 7:00-9:00 pm, we will have a screening of the documentary Screenagers followed by a panel discussion and Q & A. All are welcome to attend the screening, whether you are a caretaker of teenagers or not! Middle and high school students are encouraged to attend as well!

Saturday morning, we will gather at Restoration from 8 am – 12 pm to listen to speaker and technology expert, John Dyer of Dallas Theological Seminary and then we will have an opportunity for participants to attend two breakout sessions on topics of their choosing. More information on John Dyer, the leaders of our breakout sessions, as well as the breakout session topics can be found on the registration form.

Please feel free to join for one, or both days! It’s sure to be a wonderful time to stop, reflect, and then re-engage in a more thoughtful and informed way!


John Dyer  (Main Speaker)

  • John Dyer is the Dean of Enrollment Services and Educational Technology and Adjunct Professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. John has been a technology creator for more than 20 years, building tools used by Facebook, Google, Apple, Anheuser-Busch, the Department of Defense, and the Digital Bible Society. His open source code is now used on more than 30% of websites. He has written on technology and faith for a number of publications including Gizmodo, Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, and in the book From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology. John and his wife, Amber, have two children, Benjamin and Rebecca.

Justin Whitmel Earley

  • Justin Whitmel Earley is the founder of The Common Rule and author of The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction. He will be sharing his wisdom surrounding the power of purposeful habits in helping us to stay engaged and present with those we love. He and his wife, Lauren, have three boys and live in Richmond, Virginia.


  • J.R. has spent the past twenty years working with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology in a variety of forms: the video game industry, transportation systems, academia, startups, and Silicon Valley industrial research labs.  He will be exploring how the human brain works and why we make the choices we do online. He will also offer some thoughts on how we can be better “Digital Citizens of Heaven.”

“Screenagers” Movie

  • “Screenagers” is an award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games and academics.  The film offers solutions on how we can help our teenagers navigate the digital world.APEX will also be hosting a panel discussion with technology specialist and Dallas Theological Seminary professor John Dyer, immediately following the screening.

Click the link below to REGISTER.



Explore God

You are here because you have questions.

Perhaps someone invited you to consider something new.  Perhaps you have wanted to settle what you think and feel about ‘God’.  Perhaps something has happened in your life that surprised you.  Perhaps a situation has emerged for which you aren’t prepared.

All of us have something that keeps us up at night or makes us wonder or makes us scared.

We’re all asking questions.

For 8 weeks, the folks at Restoration are wrestling through some of our biggest questions and we hope that you will join us in the conversation.  We know you have something to offer.  We would like to listen.

We would like to Explore God with you.

The questions

If you show up on a Sunday, one of our pastors will offer a 25 minute reflection on how peoples and cultures have engaged the particular question for that week.  As you listen, you might find that you agree or that what they are saying makes you mad or that you hadn’t considered that idea before.  That’s what humble exploration does.

Here are the questions we will be asking:

  1. Does life have a purpose?  (Easter, April 16)
  2. Is there a God?  (April 23)
  3. Why does God allow pain and suffering?  (April 30)
  4. Is Christianity too narrow?  (May 7)
  5. Is Jesus really God?  (May 14)
  6. Is the Bible reliable?  (May 21)
  7. Can I know God personally?  (May 28)
  8. How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit?  (June 4)

Did you miss what we talked about on Sunday?  Do you want to hear it again?  We post the audio of each message about 24 hours after it is given right here.  So feel free to catch up or listen again.  Some of these topics require a longer time to process and digest.

The Conversations

The people around you at Restoration are engaging in the question, too, and would love to hear how you might answer.  If you are interested, they would probably tell you their story too.

During the spring, we have chosen a half dozen public places around the Metro DC area to host a weekly gathering of people who are discussing that week’s question.  It’s a place where you can drop in to hear what others are saying and to offer your own take.  Imagine a comfortable space in a local restaurant or park with food and beverages and intentional opportunities to follow up on the questions we are asking.  We are hoping that the locations and times will fit naturally after work as you head home or in the evening or on a weekend.  Everybody likes a good meal and good conversation. 

The Locations

Sunday (1pm) – Rocklands BBQ, 3471 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA
Contact: Matt Hoppe – matt@restorationarlington.org
Monday  (7:30pm) – Lost Dog Cafe, 2920 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
Contact: Eva-Elizabeth Chisholm – eva.chisholm@gmail.com 
Tuesday (5:30pm) – LePain Quotidien, 800 17th St. NW, Washington D.C.
Contact: Brendan Sorem (703)927-1839

Tuesday (7:30pm) – Los Tios, 2615 Mt. Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA
Contact: Mike and Jen Dodson – mike.jen.dodson@gmail.com 
Wednesday (7:30pm) – Restoration Anglican Church, 1815 N. Quincy St, Arlington, VA
Contact: Isaiah Brooms – isaiah@restorationarlington.org

Going a bit deeper

As you can see from the video at the top of this page, lots of people are asking these questions.  If you want to do some exploring on your own, we highly recommend this library of readings and videos.  They are short (which is nice) and it is easy to search for a particular topic.  So feel free to poke around as you think about your own convictions and choices.

At Restoration, we are all asking questions.  If you want to ask one of us something in particular, feel free to shoot us a note.

Hope you have a great day and hope we get to meet you this spring as we explore God together.

David Hanke

Giving thanks

Saying “Yes!” makes such a difference.  That day in May — before our building was finished — when I asked Jesus how He wanted us to use our building, was the day I got the phone call from Operation Christmas Child:  “Operation Christmas Child has been praying for a church in Arlington to be a Relay Center during National Collection Week; a place where people from your area can drop off their filled shoebox gifts.  Would Restoration be interested?”
So, we said “Yes!” in faith.  Faith that our building would be done in time.  Faith that we could find the volunteers to help serve.  Faith that people would come.  Faith that we could manage all that we didn’t even know to expect.  Faith that our space would be another link in furthering the good news of the Gospel.  Here’s how our prayers were answered and our faith strengthened:  We received 2,420 shoeboxes.  Packed them into 134 cartons.  Filled 3/4 of a 26′ truck and drove it to Alexandria. All of this with the help of  51 Restoration folks volunteering around 110 hours.  There are numerous stories of people we met who are the whole reason we did all this in the first place.  Pray for those folks who got to experience giving in this way and those who may have stepped foot in a church for the first time in a long time and  those who are so young, yet seem to hear and know more than the grownups do.  Thank you, Restoration, for participating and serving; for modeling for your children and family and friends what it is like to be part of a community that desires to see broken people, restored by grace, living God’s story.

To be Told: April 17-18, 2015 at Restoration!

blad_dan_deck_close-295x300It was back in October 2008.  Our marriage was coming out of one of the rough spots you are pretty much guaranteed to hit if you are married for long enough.  We had heard about Dan Allender many times prior, but he happened to be visiting Vienna Presbyterian for his well known “To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future” conference. We knew he was a gifted speaker, but until we heard him speak, we had no idea how powerful his words were.

Dan is a psychologist and author who has revolutionized the field of Christian counseling, especially as it pertains to trauma, abuse, and the effects of pain on our current relationships. He tackles very tough topics with honesty and humor, sharing vivid stories from his own life.
During that 2008 conference, Dan talked about allowing Jesus into our pain – about engaging it and allowing it to become part of the story your life tells. He challenged us to embrace all parts of our story so that we become free to live as God has designed. The conference helped us individually to begin to name our wounds and fears, our pain and joy, and to understand how they influence who we are as individuals today.  And it opened up a dialogue for healing in which we could discuss our pain in a constructive, honest way in the larger context of our marriage.  As we embark on this new chapter in our church life, in a new building, we have a special opportunity to soak up Dan’s wisdom and unique perspective about learning to love our stories, not only as individuals but as members of this congregation we have been called to love and serve.
Dan’s premise is that: “Each of us has story that needs to be told – whether it is a story of hope, love, and faith or a story of betrayal, powerlessness, and harm. But often, we are unable to face these stories. We know there are core experiences of pain from our past that unwittingly impact the story of the present and the story of our future. Many of these stories have remained unnamed and hidden in the shadows of our hearts, allowing them to wield unrecognized power and create structures of shame and contempt in our lives. These are the stories that keep us bound to unhealthy ways of relating to ourselves, to others, and to God.”“The good news is that brokenness is not the end of the story. If you have ever found yourself feeling stuck personally or relationally, wondering things like “why does this keep happening to me?”, “why am I like this?”, or “will I ever heal?”, join us at To Be Told. Learn how your personal story shapes your faith, your understanding of yourself, your interactions with others, and your engagement with everyday life. Begin to taste the true goodness of relationships, delight, and love that God desires for you today.”

We invite you to this amazing conference “To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future”at Restoration Anglican Church on April17-18, 2015. The Friday session goes from 6:30-9pm, and the Saturday session is from 9am-4:30pm. The early bird fee is only $75.

Visit theallendercenter.org/conferences/to-be-told to register. Please note that Dan’s conferences fill up quickly, and we expect this to sell out in advance, so we highly encourage you to sign up now so you will not miss this amazing event.
Reade and Lisa Bush

2013: what’s your happiest memory?

1 APEX and friends packaging meals

1. APEX and friends packaging meals












2. january 2013 vestry retreat

2. January 2013 vestry retreat












3. quincy snacks Jan 2013

3. N Quincy ST snacks Jan 2013









4. Cherrydale spring park clearance

4. Cherrydale spring park clearance










5 women's retreat feb 2013

5 women’s retreat feb 2013










6 palm sunday 2013

6 Palm Sunday 2013










7. Easter 2013

7. Easter 2013









8. April at LFPC

8. April at LFPC












9. mens retreat april 2013

9. Mens retreat April 2013












10. Clay's ordination may 2013

10. Clay’s ordination May 2013









11 pre demo prayer summer 2013

11 pre demo prayer Summer 2013









12 summer ladies happy hour

12  ladies happy hour: Summer 








13 APEX - AFAC summer market

13 APEX – AFAC July Farmer’s market










14.  July WVA team

14. July 3-7, WVA team












15 demo aug 15

15 demo aug 15










16 burger bros summer 2013

16 Burger bros summer 2013









17 love Arlington at Courtney's House sept 2013

17 Love Arlington SG at Courtney’s House Sept 2013









18 Fall retreat

18 Fall retreat: October 









19. November: Operation Christmas Child

19. November: Operation Christmas Child









20 advent 2013

20 Advent 2013









21 Liz's ordination

21 Liz’s ordination









22. building 2nd floor

22. building 2nd floor at N Quincy Street












23  End of 2013

23 End of 2013












Worship is for Lovers: summertime at Restoration

Sign-up here now!

“Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

 (Psalm 1:1-2)

Thousands of years ago, the Psalmist recognized something that our modern era is only slowly learning to appreciate again: ritual. If there’s a word in our Christian vocabulary that’s gotten a bad rap in the last couple centuries, it’s “ritual.” Sometimes you hear it as shorthand for mindless acts of devotion that keep religious people busy, or for something quaint and sentimental, like when secular people put up Christmas trees in December.

Psalm 1 speaks of ritual practice, but it’s hardly mindless or sentimental. Granted, it doesn’t deal with “rituals” like religious festivals or fasting. But notice how the Psalm speaks of routine activities we perform with our bodies: walking, standing, sitting, meditating, and that day and night. That’s because the “law of the Lord” is a four-dimensional thing, something lived in space and time (though also contemplated in the mind). Israel’s book of worship opens with this hymn, suggesting that this is somehow what worship—indeed, life—is all about. We train our affections to delight in the law of the Lord.

I think the book of Psalms begins like this because rituals are routine practices that shape who we are at the most fundamental level of our lives. They give shape to our desires and fashion our loves. They are everywhere, and most of the time we aren’t even aware of it when we perform them. As Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith puts it, we are worshipping animals.

You know who really gets this? Starbucks. When I worked there as a barista, their mission was to become our clientele’s “third place,” after their home and work places. So we hoped to seduce coffee-lovers through what might be called a Starbucks liturgy. A smiling barista would greet you from behind the counter as soon as you enter the door, and (if possible) would welcome you by name. After reading the bulletin (our menu), admiring the icons (our quirky wall-art), and making an offering (at the register), you would partake of the elements in your favorite pew (a plush loveseat) with the rest of the congregants enjoying the aroma of the coffee-scented incense. Ideally for Starbucks, this simple routine would become embedded in your daily rhythm of life.

The Christian Church, of course, has its own liturgy or set of rituals, which are designed to channel our deepest desires to the Triune God, who is love. And this Church exists in a world of competing liturgies, like those of Starbucks (or nation states, neighborhood associations, fraternity and sorority houses, corporate structures, etc.), which are always trying to direct our loves toward other things. In this class I want to examine how Christian practices (ancient, everyday-things-people-got-martyred-for practices that we still do today) play this role of formation in our lives.

In our first four weeks, we’ll study in depth the practices of worship and devotion that the Holy Spirit has used over the centuries to shape the church into the Bride of Christ, who adores (imperfectly, in this life) her all-loving Husband. These include our Sunday liturgy (especially the Eucharist), scripture reading, daily prayer, the creeds, the church year, etc. I am an historian of the Bible and ancient church by training, so my hope is that you’ll gain a fresh appreciation for what we do in the present by digging into the past.

In the last four weeks, we’ll turn our attention to the situation in which we find ourselves in the postmodern world. This part of the class will be much more creative. What forces are at work in our culture, at the level of practice, competing for our loves in our corner of the world in 2013? How can we identify and respond to them in a way that is relevant yet rooted in our historic faith? I’m open to seeing what issues are of interest to the group; potential topics include the arts, internet and social media, the institutions in which we work, etc.

So please join me Wednesday nights in July and August to study (or, better, pursue) the Christian life as one of worship. It is something we do body and soul, “day and night.” It is a historic pattern of practices, and the goal to “delight in the Lord.” That is: worship is for lovers.

David Griffin

Time: Wednesdays at 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Dates: July 3- Aug. 21

Location: The Treehouse Room, Little Falls Presbyterian Church

My Ordination this Sunday


Hey Restoration,

On Sunday I’m going to be ordained as a priest (10am on N. Quincy St.).  My ordination will be a culmination of a roughly six-year process that I’ve been going through involving probably hundreds of conversations, a seminary degree, multiple internships and an extensive examination process by the church.  It will also be the final service in the building on N. Quincy St., which I think is pretty special.  In the days leading up to it, I’ve felt a range of emotions, from excitement and gratitude to an awareness of the gravity of the vows I’ll be taking.

So what does all this mean?  Well, ordination can be described in different ways, depending on your perspective, but at its most basic level, it’s the church commissioning someone to lead: in worship, teaching, discipleship and the direction of the church or a given ministry.

This is both a great honor and a great responsibility.  Not surprisingly, as I’ve grown into this role over the last several months, I’ve become acutely aware of some of areas where I need to grow.   At the same time, though, I’ve been surprised to discover some gifts that I didn’t realize I had.  All along, it’s been amazing to be part of a community where I’ve found both grace and affirmation, and I’ve seen growth in my relationship with and reliance upon God in ways that I had never experienced before.

One thing that has particularly struck me in preparing for ordination is that Christian leadership always takes the form of service.  It’s no accident that priests in our tradition are first ordained as deacons (the Greek word for servant), and  I won’t cease to be a deacon on Sunday.  I’ll be given greater authority, especially with regard to the sacraments, but service will continue to be the heart of my ministry as a priest.

  • This means that my job will be to serve you, which is a huge privilege.
  • It also means that, as I’m commissioned to lead, I will be leading you and partnering with you to do the same, to serve each other and the world around us.  I get really excited when I dream about what our story will look like as Christ’s sacrificial love continues to take shape in our lives!

So, as I get ready to take on this role, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone at Restoration.  Thank you for both your encouragement and challenging words as I continue to grow as a leader.  Thank you for the privilege of serving alongside of you.  And thank you for the way that you have welcomed Rachel and me into this community.  We truly feel that Restoration has become our home over the last nine months.  I ask you to keep us in your prayers, and I look forward to this next chapter of our lives together.


From Lies to Light – New ID Small Group

I like to think I can tell lies from truth, but it is surprisingly difficult at times. The hardest lies to decipher are often the one that swarm around inside of our heads, trapping us in dark places and keeping us away from the light of truth.

On April 24 I will start leading New ID, a six week course with teachings, testimonies, discussion groups and prayer for anyone struggling with disordered eating. As I prepare, old lies come to mind. I went through New ID at my church in Charlotte, NC in 2007 after an almost 10 year battle with disordered eating. I came SO close to not attending the course. “Surely you don’t struggle with food THAT much, Christie,” I told myself.  “You have been so much better this week! I bet that means you don’t need help after all.” Another lie.

These lies I told myself almost kept me from truth and freedom. Almost.

Instead, by God’s grace, I went through the course, fought the battle of recovery and have experienced freedom in Christ I never dreamt possible. I was brought out of captivity and am now called to help the many other men and women that struggle in those chains I wore for far too long.

Restoration is a place where broken people are being made whole. I love that our church is not afraid of getting our hands dirty, being honest with ourselves and each other and loving each other deeply throughout the process. Being involved in a small group keeps us out of isolation and in the light.

Please pray that those in our church body currently experiencing bondage to food and weight would step into the light of truth and find their true identity in Christ.

To learn more about New ID email me christine.dondero@gmail.com at  or read my blog.

And register for the small group  TODAY! It’s number 14 in the SG list .

In His Marvelous Light,




Praying at 4pm every Sunday. Why?

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14 (ESV)

The best explanation as to why we should pray can be found by listening to Bethany Hoang’s address from the IJM Global Prayer Gathering on Friday night (if you just want Bethany start listening at 1.32… but it’s all good stuff). She so clearly reminds us:

–       God loves us to come to him, to talk to him, be with him, to love him…

–       God loves to answer our cries and laments

–       God calls us to ‘station’ ourselves: to be intentional about waiting on him

–       God calls us to persevere

–       And God calls us to rejoice in all his good gifts – and as he speaks with us…

–       The Holy Spirit teaches, guides and leads us

Come and join us this and every Sunday at 4pm as we deliberately position ourselves in a posture of dependence on God before we come together as a community to worship at 5pm. In the Treehouse room at LFPC  – it’ll be relaxed: coming late is better than not coming J

However, if you are serving in any capacity on Sunday we do need you to be there! On our own we can put together a great service – but without the Holy Spirit it will be just that – a slick operation. We want to come humble and hopeful – and excited to hear from God!


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