An at-home Fall Retreat for Kids+Families

This weekend is the Fall Retreat, only it’s unlike any that I’ve been to at Restoration the past 11 years. I’m missing our time to scamper and explore and laugh and sing together. In case your kids are missing it, too, your family might want to use these ideas to have your own at-home Fall Retreat.

Read Psalm 104 (or even just a portion of it) then head outside to your backyard or the park or the woods. Potomac Overlook Park and Lubber Run are some great local areas to explore. 

While outside, go on a scavenger hunt to find all the different things the psalmist writes about. Move slowly. It’s not a race, but rather a chance to dwell IN and EXPERIENCE God’s word. 

I wonder what captures your attention:

In the Psalm?

In nature?

Zoom in to take a closer look at one word or phrase of the Psalm. Here is something that may help.

Zoom in to take a closer look at something in nature. Here are some suggestions about how to do that.

Zoom in to listen to a particular sound that you hear. What is it? 

As you reflect on Psalm 104, how do you see God — the creator of the universe and everything in it — taking care of you? Are there words in this psalm that you can pray back to him as you give thanks or ask for help?

Create a simple journal and write or draw some of the things you experienced today. 

What are you thankful for today?

What emotions are you feeling about today? 

Did you feel different things at different times? 

What was going on as you were feeling those things?

Is there one moment of the day that stands out? What might you say to God about it as you write or draw?

Where can you ask God for help and hope as you look forward to the rest of the day or to tomorrow?

Remember that the God of the universe knows you, is crazy about you, and goes with you EVERYWHERE!


Miss Louise

Fall Retreat 2020

We have four events for you during this special fall weekend. The deadline to register is Wednesday, October 7.

Praying Like Jesus by Praying the Psalms — Friday, October 9 at 7:30 pm

David Taylor, Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, will lead us through “Praying Like Jesus by Praying the Psalms.” In this seminar, we’ll learn how the psalms teach us to pray like Jesus prayed.

From David Taylor,

“In light of the duress that all of us have experienced over the past half-year and in view of the stresses that will only increase as we head to the end of the year, I think many of us are struggling in our prayer life, resorting to perfunctory habits or succumbing to despair or praying only survivalist prayers. The psalms can help.”

You can see a brief welcome from David Taylor on our YouTube channel.

We hope you’ll join us for this time of teaching, Q&A with David Taylor, and small group breakout sessions, from the comfort of your home. Registering for the seminar helps us plan how many small group leaders we need.

Bonfires around the DMV — Saturday, October 10 at 6:30/7:30/8:30pm

Craving a s’more? We thought so. We have over fifteen bonfire sites for you to choose from on Saturday evening. Kids are welcome at many of the sites so this can be a family affair! Each host has carefully thought about how many people they can have socially distanced in their yard; all those details can be found on our Sign Up Genius.

YouTube Live + Sunday Worship — Sunday, October 11 at 10 am

David Taylor will be with us again, preaching from Matthew, continuing our sermon series this fall. Sign up to attend in-person or log on to YouTube Live.

Picnic at Oak Grove Park — Sunday, October 11 at 12 pm

Bring your own everything and gather with your Restoration friends after the worship service for a socially distanced picnic lunch in the park.

Ready to register? We thought so. The deadline to register is Wednesday, October 7.

You can sign up for everything (except to attend Restoration on Sunday morning, which can be done here) using this Sign Up Genius.

Fall Retreat 2019 Talks



What a weekend! Thank you to everyone who helped make our 2019 Fall Retreat so special! What a joy it was to give thanks and praise for the innumerable ways God has blessed this church and to look forward to what lies ahead with reverent expectancy.

And one of our biggest thank you’s goes to Kristen Terry for leading us this weekend! Thank you to her for her wisdom, leadership, and her willingness to share those gifts with us. We’re grateful.

Here’s to next year’s Fall Retreat! Until then, enjoy the audio of Kristen’s teaching from the first two sessions.

Saturday at the Fall Retreat

Saturday Fun at the Fall Retreat!

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Get ready for Saturday afternoon at the 2019 Fall Retreat! This year we are packed to the brim with great ways to explore the surrounding Harrisonburg area – so bring your friends, family and that new person you met at small group.

Are the kids itching to get the wiggles out? Check out “Back Home on the Farm”! Or maybe your small group wants to continue their conversation and a glass of wine is in order. Whatever your interest may be, you’re bound to make some fun memories this year with your Resto friends and family.

For those who are simply having too much fun on site to leave – never fear! We have a full list of activities that will take place at Massanetta Springs as well. From boat making to Ultimate Frisbee, Saturday afternoon will be hard to beat! Check out the list below for on and off site activities.

BUT, don’t forget to get back on campus by 5:30 because if you thought Saturday afternoon sounds fun, just wait for Saturday night! A Lip Sync Battle followed by a bonfire with s’mores….can it get much better?!


Off-site Activities


Enjoy Fall Fun at “Back Home on the Farm”
The Farm offers all sorts of fall fun: Rubber Duck Races, Virginia Carousel, Wagon Ride to Pumpkin Patch, Slingshot, Underground Slide, Pig Races, Cornfield Maze, and farm equipment!

Sip Wine amidst lavender at Purple Wolf Vineyard and White Oak Farm
Purple Wolf Vineyard and White Oak Lavender Farm is a working lavender farm and winery with activities for both the young and old. Visitors are welcome to explore their lavender drying barns and distillery, quietly walk along their 60 foot walking labyrinth, play on a life-size checkerboard, enjoy lavender-flavored ice cream, or simply rest in their hammocks while listening to live music and sipping on lavender infused wine.

Apple Picking at Showalter’s Orchard
Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Showalter’s Apple Orchard has delicious apples and breath-taking views. Pick one (or several!) of their 26 varieties of apples, enjoy an apple cider donut, sip an apple cider slushie, and more!

Discover Local Breweries
Grab a new or old friend and check out the breweries in and around Harrisonburg. Visit any of the following local breweries: Pale Fire Brewing Company; Wolfe Street Brewing; Brothers Craft Brewing; Three Notch’d Brewing Company.


On-site Activities


Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee at the Field
Join in the fun with a low-key game of soccer at 3 p.m. followed by ultimate frisbee at 4 p.m. All ages are welcome.

Lawn Games
Toss a ball or join in a friendly game of corn hole, gaga ball, bocce, horseshoes or croquet.

Boat Making and Racing
Boat making on the creek is an annual Restoration tradition. Kids of all ages make boats out of household materials and sail them down the creek.

Fishing at the Pond
All weekend!
Catch and release. Bring your own poles.

RestoArts Project
All weekend!


We can’t wait for all the good times to be had in just a few short weeks. Sign up today!

Deadline to sign up is September 22. Reach out to Beth with any questions.

Resto LipSync Contest

Then give it all you’ve got!

Well, all the heart and soul and soundless voice you’ve got for 60-75 seconds!

That’s right, Restoration’s first ever LipSync Contest.

Saturday night of the Fall Retreat.

You know you want to enter.

Perhaps it’s as a soloist, perhaps a duet, maybe it’s your whole family or small group in perfect harmony, silently moving your lips to the words of your most favorite song accompanied by the cheers and applause of your wonderful Resto community.

Costumes and choreography welcome.

Do it.
Take the plunge.
Register for the LipSync contest today!


Note: No skill or natural talent is required for LipSyncing. Just heart.

Fall Retreat 2019!


Come Bless the Lord!

This fall Restoration will celebrate 10 years of life together! Can you believe it? And what better way to celebrate than by coming on the Restoration Fall Retreat!

Our theme this year is “Come Bless the Lord as we reflect on all He has done for us over the last decade. We will gather together at Massanetta Springs Camp & Conference Center near beautiful Harrisonburg, October 12-13, for worship, teaching and play. Our guest speaker (and former Resto member) Kristen Terry will lead us through the Psalms of Ascent as we reflect together upon the Lord’s faithfulness and provision.

We’ll enjoy meals together, frisbee, soccer, boat making, an art project, and maybe an afternoon nap (should that be of interest or necessity), and the sheer gift of time away. Saturday night we will hold the first ever Restoration LipSync contest followed by s’mores around the bonfire.

You’re looking for the sign-up link already aren’t you? 🙂

The retreat fills up every year, so SIGN-UP soon to secure your spot!

Want to enter the LipSync contest?

  • To enter the Restoration Saturday Night LipSync contest, select your song, fellow singers, costumes and fill out your entry form here. Friends, families, small groups, and soloists all welcome!

Wondering about your kids?

  • Our kids (nursery-5th grade) will be in their kids’ small groups during the adult sessions. APEX (grades 6-12) will also be meeting during the adult sessions.

Need financial aid?

  • Financial aid to cover all or a portion of the expenses is available upon request. Please contact a staff member for further details.

The Fall Retreat was excellent. And Jesus is relaxed.

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I was thinking of so many different words to describe the weekend-  glorious, off the hook, sick, awesome, fun, incredible, amazing.

But excellent works.  The planning team was excellent.  The small group leaders were excellent.  The youth program and the kids’ program:  excellent.

By way of update and reminder, I want to list our quotes from our speaker, Todd Hunter.  If you were there, it will remind you of the excellent things he said.  If you missed, perhaps it will inspire you to ask someone who was there more about it.

Do you think Jesus is smart?


Did He say anything that corresponds to the realities of your present, every-day life?


God wants to cooperate with your set of desires.  He’s a genius.  He’s stunningly brilliant.  He knows what He is doing.


You are what you love (quoting James K. A. Smith).  But you may not love what you think you do.  (which explains why you might do something and then say, ‘I have no idea why I did that…’  Perhaps you don’t love what you think you do.)


The Christian story begins with divine intention (not things being broken and busted, not even things being created) and moves to a good and peaceful Telos.


Whatever you think salvation is will determine your discipleship.  Do you see the Gospel as more than just a vision for a secure death that is rooted in mere cognition?  Do we have imagination for discipleship, followership, apprenticeship?  Do we believe that Jesus has something to say about our life, now, and not just our death?


When Jesus announced the Kingdom, he said…  ‘the reality of the Kingdom is here and it calls for choices.  Repent.  Re-think your life.’


Jesus is relaxed.  He has a confident relationship with His Father that funds everything.  He was ok about Judas, about James and John, about Peter, relaxed about the trials with made-up charges.


THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO CREATE A SELF!!  Think how peace you could be if you didn’t have to manage what others think of you.


The church is the instrument and the means of the Kingdom.  The only 2 verbs in the New Testament that are given in reference to the Kingdom are ‘receive’ and ‘enter’.  We are not called to build it or extend it.  We are invited to receive it and to enter it.  Through the church.

You can listen to all of Todd’s talks here.

What a great weekend.  I love the Fall Retreat!



Fall Retreat 2018

Twenty years ago this fall, I first learned the value of retreats. There is no place better than a retreat for quickly building strong relationships.

As a first-year student at UVA, I was trying to find connections to Christian community. I went a few times to a fellowship group called FCA.  Everyone was friendly enough, but each week, I would slip out of the large group meeting not knowing many people.

A few weeks into the school year, they started advertising the Fall Retreat. “Come to the retreat! You won’t regret it,” was the refrain from many upperclassmen.

No way, I thought. I barely know anyone. Why would I want to repeat the same uncomfortable experience over an entire weekend? I didn’t sign up.

On the Friday of the retreat weekend, I went out with friends and returned to my dorm room at 2 am to an enthusiastic voicemail from an older FCA student named Brad, who is one of my best friends to this day: “Daniel, you’re coming on this retreat! Tomorrow at 9, a girl named Katye is going to be outside your dorm to pick you up – get yourself up, you’re coming!”

Feeling no choice, I dragged myself out of bed the next morning and hopped a ride with Katye up to Camp Varsity in rural Virginia.

The retreat speaker was a former student named Brian Broadway.  I don’t remember much about what he taught that weekend.  What I do remember is playing hours of ultimate frisbee – getting into a ridiculously fun food fight – playing guitars around campfires – feeling close to God amidst the beauty of nature. Most of all, I remember good conversations with people I found myself really liking – many of whom remain friends to this day.

To my surprise, going on the retreat drew me into FCA. It became a home for the rest of my college experience and was pivotal in fostering my community and spiritual growth at UVA. Looking back, I’m so glad that Brad dragged me up there.

There is no place better than a retreat for quickly building strong relationships.

Fast forward to our first year at Restoration. Campbell and I were just trying to keep our heads above water with a super demanding job and more demanding young kids. Life felt really hard. I knew a few people at Restoration but wasn’t sure if it was worth it to give up a whole weekend for the fall retreat.

As soon as we got up to Massanetta Springs, I was reminded of how much I love retreats. I loved watching our girls dancing to Matt and Clay playing bluegrass music. I was able to take a breath and appreciate God’s goodness amidst the crazy. I struck up conversations with people who have become good friends – conversations that just aren’t possible when you only have a few minutes after church, trying to prevent a little one from running into Quincy Street! That retreat solidified our connection to Restoration.

You may find yourself on the fence about coming on this retreat. Perhaps you’re reticent to spend a whole weekend with people you may not know very well. Or maybe you’re unsure of whether it’s worth it to give up a whole weekend away when life is crazy busy.

I promise not to send someone to pick you up without your consent. But I do feel confident repeating the same truthful refrain that I first heard 20 years ago:

Come to the retreat!!  You won’t regret it.

– Dan Vogel

SIGN UP for the Fall Retreat!

Reflection on Multi-Ethnic Unity

15895181731_27781e34d0_bI woke up at 5am on Nov. 23, 2006 to the sounds of my dad’s footsteps and something being dragged into the kitchen. Rising from my bed, I opened my door, peered out, and saw the small television under his arm. It occurred to me that it was Thanksgiving! This day each year my dad got up early, set up the television in the kitchen and we would watch the parade while cutting apples and walnuts for stuffing, preparing the gravy, and stuffing the turkey in preparation for a family feast. Family would come from all over Sonoma County and Lake County to gorge themselves at 2 o’clock in the afternoon – a strange, yet wonderful tradition. It was the one time during the year in which each disparate part of the family united to share a meal and recount the memories of what had happened over the last year.

The 5am ritual happened one final time for me in 2006 because the next year I would move to Chicago and since then Thanksgiving has looked a little different every year. Ashley and I moved to Arlington in 2012, and having gotten to know a few of our neighbors, we threw our first “friends-giving” in our apartment in South Arlington. The best part of friends-giving was that each person contributed their absolute best recipe: the best pumpkin pie, the best turkey, the best stuffing, the best sweet potato casserole. And as we sat and ate, we shared stories of Thanksgivings from our family traditions growing up. Each local custom had its own beautiful particularities and yet each person’s custom would have felt foreign to recreate in its entirety for this current table (for example, we ate at 4pm rather than my 2pm tradition). This new table had a new family-like quality which provided a new way of relating to one another individually even after these friends would leave our table. The act of taking disparate families, united around food and thankfulness, displays in a small way the conversation which happened last weekend.


Last weekend, Restoration Anglican Church had its fall retreat at Massanetta Springs, where Joe Ho (National Director for Asian American Ministries for InterVarsity) spoke the Gospel’s message of reconciliation not only between God and humanity but between various groups of humanity. He demonstrated how God had scattered humanity in Genesis 11 because of their collective desire to join for the sake of their own pride-of-name and for their own security. He called us from Ephesians 2 to be reconciled with God and with one another. The implication is that we are good at proclaiming reconciliation with God, but that in many ways, the Church must repent of the ways in which she fails to be reconciled one to another. This weekend was a helpful link in the chain of conversation regarding reconciliation that Restoration has already begun. One of Joe’s major contributions to this ongoing discussion was to raise an important question for us to consider: What does it mean for us to pursue substantive multi-ethnic unity?

On Sunday we celebrated the Eucharist together and one line of the liturgy captivated my heart and imagination. We pray with angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven (a vertical relationship), but during the prayer of consecration, the priest prays, “…After he ascended to your right hand in glory, you sent your Holy Spirit, that we might become your holy people.” (a horizontal relationship). This is a reference to Acts 2, where the Holy Spirit being given is presented as an undoing of Babel. This act of giving thanks (which is what the word ‘eucharist’ means) and partaking of the body and blood of Christ is a physical, spiritual, and political act. According to 1 Pet. 2:9 God has constituted a new people, a new priesthood, a new nation (Gk. ethnos, where we get the word “ethnicity”) who belong to God and bring praises to Him who called them from darkness to light.

Questions to consider

Living Diversity: The Arlington Photographic Documentary Projectbook cover & interior

Living Diversity: The Arlington Photographic Documentary Project

People enter the one body of Christ with its one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, and yet their entry does not dissolve their personal distinctiveness. Restoration reflects part of the catholic tradition of the Church (through time and across ethno-linguistic boundaries) in several important ways: we have a liturgy that moves from repentance to praise, we have a Bishop, we are creedal, and we are sacramental. And yet there are many ways in which Restoration has a local culture: type of music, manner of preaching, food, technology, etc.

Joe’s talks bid us to be self-aware of our local custom. As Christians we should always embrace what is catholic (i.e. universal), and yet we should also love what is local (and appreciate it as being local). This is a commitment to prioritizing our new-ethnos as citizens of the kingdom over our ethnoi/nations on earth (however we want to define this). If a parish should take its local customs (which might be good and helpful) and mistakenly believe them to be catholic, the parish runs the risk of colonizing our brothers and sisters in Christ who have other good and helpful local customs. All of us who are in Christ are called to be agents of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:16-21), but maybe we don’t know what this looks like.

Above all, Joe’s talks encouraged me to adopt a posture of  listening with frequent repentance. Substantive multi-ethnic unity can happen only with repentance and the cultivation of self-awareness (which involves a listening posture). Diversity and unity have been a major part of the discussion surrounding Incarnation Anglican Church (the church plant in South Arlington) since the very beginning. Columbia Pike is so diverse that a book exists highlighting its diversity, and therefore we are asking the Holy Spirit what unity will look like in South Arlington. One of the podcasts I have found most helpful has been Truth’s Table (though let me know if you find others as well), which has stretched me in my own thinking and has given some solid, practical ways to build substantive unity–the unity to which I am called each week in the Eucharist.

Time with friends around the friends-giving table gave each person an opportunity to share snippets of his or her local custom, creating a new community around a table built of various different stories. Each contribution was good, helpful and fun! And each person’s contribution added to this new experience of being around the table. Powerful discussion happens when we meet together frequently, eat together, pray together, worship together, and most importantly, listen to one another. The Church, being fed on the body of Christ, participates each week in the very physical, spiritual, and political act where we remind ourselves frequently that we (the Church across time and ethno-linguist boundaries) are one new nation, a royal priesthood, created to praise Him who has called us from darkness to His glorious light.

-Fr. Morgan Reed, Church Planter for Incarnation Anglican Church

Fall Retreat: Line Dancing, Wine Tasting, Lawn Games and More

Spots are filling up fast for this year’s annual fall retreat, but there is still time to make memories with us. Taking place in beautiful Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center in Harrisonburg, VA (about a 2.5 hour ride from the Washington, D.C. area), the retreat is a terrific opportunity to escape the Beltway for a few days to worship, pray and fellowship with our church family.


Additionally, this year’s featured speaker will be Joe Ho of Focused Ministries who has prepared an important topic for us to discuss and think about titled: “The Problem of Race and The Power of The Cross.” Click here for more details.


And if that wasn’t enough, the Fall Retreat will also feature a number of fun-filled activities including:

  • Lavender Farm (includes wine tasting)
  • Yoga
  • Farm visit
  • Bonfire
  • Soccer
  • Lawn Games
  • Boat making
  • Fishing
  • RestoArts

And last but not least…. Line Dancing!

What are you waiting for? Sign up now to secure your spot to join in on the fun!

Financial aid to cover a portion of the expenses is available through the registration form. Our kids (nursery – 5thgrade) will be in their kids’ small groups during the adult sessions. APEX (grades 6-12) will also be meeting during the adult sessions.

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