Two nations, two challenges, two women, one gospel.


 This coming Tuesday November 20th….

….come and hear about God’s exciting work among students in the lands of Turkey and Armenia, from 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm at Restoration.

Lilit Avayan and Nayri O. will share about their lives and ministries in these lands. Lilit Avayan is the current country Director in Armenia for International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES)/Intervarsity and is in the states on a “speaking tour” visiting several cities. Nayri O. lives in the DC area and has lived in both Turkey and Armenia. She currently works for Barnabas Ministries and has previously served as the IFES country director for both Turkey and Armenia.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn about the hopes and difficulties in these historic lands.

 

 

 

Remember learning to speak English?

Do you remember learning to speak English?

For some, its a more recent accomplishment than for others. (And if you are studying for GREs its very much an ongoing process!) There are many of our neighbors here in north Arlington who could use some help in the ‘English department’ and that is where we come in! Restoration has started a English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) ministry and is partnering with a neighborhood church, Fe Y Alabanza on Quebec Street to provide Conversation Partners.

What is a Conversation Partner?

Restoration volunteers will be matched up with a member (or married couple) of Fe Y Alabanza to simply talk and get to know one another with improved Emglish as a by-product. And if you want to improve your Spanish, the learning would be two-way! Suggested structure and topics would be provided. The expectation is that partners will meet once a week in a public place (coffee shop, library) for about one hour at a time convenient for both. Our plan is to begin the program the first week of November and end just before Easter.

How can I learn more?

Join us Tuesday, October 23 at 7:30 at the home of Susie and Mitch Wallin (5910 N. 19th St) for information. Please come even if you are unsure about volunteering. If you can’t make the meeting, please let us know and we can provide info and training individually. RSVP: crhs_dc@hotmail.com

Discipling Kids

This Sunday marks the kick-off of small groups — kids’ small groups, that is!

Did you know that over 100 kids are discipled each week as they meet in their small groups on Sundays to do all that the “grown ups” do in their small groups?  They read the Scriptures, they ask the tough questions, they pray with and for one another, they grow in community and friendship with their peers, and, every now and then they do cool stuff like make a battery out of lemons or create an origami heart or play “Jonah, Jonah, Whale”.  And, they do all of this under the leadership of nearly 30 adults in our congregation who invest in “their kids” on a weekly basis, allowing kids’ small group leaders to witness lives that are transformed — the kids’ and their own.

Leading kids really is a win-win situation.  Our leaders get to do a slightly more in-depth study each week as they prepare to present the lesson.  They get to pray for their kids.  They get to see “ah-ha!” moments in the lives of kids.  They get to laugh and be challenged and sometimes be graced by the wisdom of kids who can distill the truths of the Bible in ways that blow my mind. As our leaders shepherd our kids, they, too, are cared for by me.  (It’s one of the highlights of my job!)

Is God calling you to disciple our kids?

At Restoration, we take seriously the privilege of  sharing with our kids God’s story of His amazing, never stopping, never giving up, always and forever rescuing love for each and every one of them.  We desire for our kids to know these things:

God knows them.  (Psalm 139:1-8)

He’s crazy about them.  (John 3:16)

He goes with them everywhere.  (Matthew 28:20)

Please pray for and encourage our kids’ small group leaders as they respond to God’s call to love and serve our kids.

-Louise-

Participating in God’s Generosity

A group of us gathered on Wednesday night to talk about what God has to say about immigration.  Unlike the debates we are hearing on TV and the Radio in the build up to the election, this was not a moment to talk about our different political views, but to have a discussion about what unites us by learning about God’s heart for the stranger among us.   And God gives a surprising amount of instruction about this!   

When I think about vulnerable people, those that need to be protected, I think of the poor, the widow and the orphan.   However when God talks about caring for the vulnerable in the Bible, there is a fourth category – the foreigner.  Throughout the Old Testament God reminds the Israelites “do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt” (Exodus 22:21).  If he mentions it so many times, it makes me think I should be paying a little more attention – is the immigrant more vulnerable than the average citizen?  Do they have the same access to justice, services and wealth?  There must be a reason why God says that he “watches over the alien” (Psalm 146:9), that he needs to be their protector.

Jesus was keenly aware of the needs of the immigrant, having himself lived as a foreigner in Egypt when a child. In Matthew 25 he makes clear that it is those who feed the hungry; clothe the naked and; invite the stranger in, that will inherit the kingdom of God.  But what does all this mean for us today?

It is not easy to respond to the needs of the people around us, not least because these aren’t necessarily people that we see everyday. For many of us these people are not our friends or neighbours.  But as we discussed on Wednesday, perhaps we need to be a little more intentional about reaching out.  This doesn’t have to mean moving into a different neighborhood (although for some people in our congregation that is exactly what they’ve decided to do) but may simply be making the effort with foreigners you do meet, whether in your workplace or in the supermarket.  Research from the Bllly Graham Center has found that less than 1 in ten immigrants will ever be welcomed.into the home of an American, to say nothing of a Christian.  Maybe this is an area where we could start to make a change.

As one of the people at Wednesday’s study so beautifully put it, this is a wonderful opportunity for us to participate in God’s generosity.  In Acts 17 it says, “From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” So it may be that God has brought people to live alongside us so they can reach out for Him and find Him. How wonderful if we could set aside our own fears and anxieties to join these people in this most divine journey.

Sarah Beaumont

Serving at AFAC

AFAC Farmers’ Market Runs are a great way to serve our community!

 

Sunday, July 1, Restoration volunteers collected $3,680 worth of fresh produce.

 

 

Sunday, July 8, Restoration volunteers collected $3,200 worth of fresh produce.

 

 

Sunday, July 15, Restoration volunteers collected $4,320 worth of fresh produce.

In three weeks of serving, we moved a total of 7,000 pounds of food worth $11,200.

There’s still time to join the fun! Sign up here.

Thank you!

Have you ever:

  • served greeted, served communion, ushed, read scripture, or run the sound board at a Sunday worship service?
  • volunteered at AFAC, A-SPAN, Casa Chirilagua, or the Sunrise assisted living center?
  • led a small group?
  • been part of the worship team at Sunday worship?
  • worked in the nursery?
  • gone to West Virginia or Moldova?
  • led a kids’s small group?
  • worked around the church?
  • planted a seedling for our Plant-a-Row-for-AFAC garden?
  • baked communion bread?
  • brought snacks for fellowship time?
  • come to a parish meeting?
  • prayed for Restoration?
  • served on a committee?
  • SHOWN UP FOR WORSHIP ON A SUNDAY????

If you’ve done ANY of those things — and that’s all of you — then we want to say THANK YOU! Restoration is a church full of amazing people. You offer so much of yourselves — your time, your presence, your prayers, your gifts — and our church wouldn’t be the amazing community it is without you.
So come on out to a picnic this Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. We’ll have BBQ and drinks, face painting and a moon bounce. You bring a side or dessert to share, a chair or a picnic blanket, but most of all– bring yourselves!

Please take just a second to RSVP here so we can be sure to have plenty of food for everyone!

See you Sunday — and thanks!

Swords or marshmallows?

It’s June … thunderstorms and showers and the temperature is ramping up. So much is happening it can be a bit overwhelming: help here, do this, write that, serve them, watch those…. What do we choose when there are so many voices? So many needs? How do we listen to the one voice we need to hear? What is it that we are called to ‘do’?

Living our lives as God-worshipping people in Arlington is sometimes very easy – we are unlikely to be martyred for our faith, nobody is going to burn our house down or stone us.  But somehow where there is no conflict or challenge our inclination towards comfort can make us a bit more like a marshmallow rather less like a sword, where we live quietly and without fuss in our cultural setting. How do we remember what we believe when we don’t talk about it?

It can feel really awkward talking about what you believe – dropping Jesus’ name into the conversation doesn’t always come easily; but the aphorism ‘Preach the gospel at all times, if all else fails use words’ can be a bit of a cop-out. Certainly our actions are important and can speak loudly of who we are and what we care about – like parking at W-L on a Sunday or cleaning up Oak Grove Park this afternoon (June 2nd, 2.30pm -5pm) but what about those words? Where have you seen Jesus this last week – and who can you tell all about it?
As we head into the weekend (God save the Queen!) how about using some words, as well as your actions as you reflect the image of Christ in our neighborhood.

We Need Your Input!

We need your help! We have created a survey to help us identify ways to improve our communications, and we need your input. This survey is the first step among many to help us better understand how to more effectively communicate as a church. Things like: Is our website working? Does anyone actually use the worship guides? Do visitors understand who we are the first time they visit? Do members understand who we are after the 500th visit? What works? What doesn’t? What suggestions do you have for improvement? If you’ve been dying to tell us how awesome we are, do it! If you’ve been dying to tell us how not-awesome we are, do it!

The survey is open for everyone ranging from members, to irregular attendees, to first time visitors. It should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete and comes with the chance at an Amazon gift card!

Take the survey here.

Tackling the Big Stuff

God’s beloved children, the orphans in our world, have been our outreach focus this month.

Psalm 10:14b …to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.

The expansive heart of the Lord is vast. It can be tough to emulate the depth and breadth of His care. Knowing that His heart is not strapped by the devastating needs of the world helps me not to be overwhelmed. But it does drive me to pray.

Prayer is the best way I know to tackle the big stuff. The enormous needs of so many are more than my mind and heart can grasp. I often feel powerless, but I don’t want to become numb to these needs.

It is in prayer that I can exercise the power of the Spirit—the very power of the resurrection— entrusted to me as a believer. I can ask the God of Heaven to work His will on earth.

The only way to mirror the Lord’s expansive heart—a heart that faces the hurts and heartaches in this world and is never overwhelmed—is to first invite the Spirit’s work in my own heart and in my own needs.

Then as people who are convinced of His great care for us, we are invited, compelled even, to join Him in that miraculous work of caring for others, most especially the least of these.

In my small group we’ve talked about the difficulty in spotting such folks in the insulated experience of our day to day routines. Sometimes it does take the intentional move on our part to step towards these people and their experiences. Sometimes we need to choose to submit ourselves to their stories, their heartaches, and their pain. We can take a step closer to their
experiences by hearing from friends who have seen and know how God is working among them. And this can show us how to pray and believe for more.

We have a chance to do just that this Tues., May 29 at 7:30 -8:45 pm. To make room for all the awesome folks who will be at the newcomer’s dinner, our weekly prayer meeting will be held at Liz & Simon’s house, 4318 39th st N, arlington VA 22207. More info liz@restorationarlington.org

  • Liz will share about God’s care for the orphans in Myanmar, and then
  • We’ll pray for the needs of orphans around the world and
  • Explore how our own hearts can expand in prayer and praise.

Hope you can join us!

Erica Chapman

Pastor Pearl and the orphans

The little girl standing next to Fiona in this picture was fascinated by her skin – she stood and stroked it for ages – eventually saying “your skin is so lovely, it is white like the mug” – Fiona had been hoping to acquire a tan whilst abroad so this didn’t come across as the huge compliment that was intended! Isn’t it funny how different our perspectives and dreams can be?

Pastor Pearl is ethnically half-Chinese and half-Burman, and we met her in a township just outside Yangon. Ethnicity is always one of the first things you are told about someone in Myanmar as both historically (the government recognizes over 135 distinct ethnic groups) and geographically (they are surrounded by 5 countries), ethnicity is a significant source of identity, but one thing became clear as we visited a number of different pastors, ethnicity was no barrier to adoption! I’m not too sure how many orphans Pearl cares for – or widows – but her house was FULL: she is a walking, living, breathing Prov 31:20 woman, She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Orphans is a term which is often used quite broadly – Pearl’s orphans could have lost one or both parents or be ‘economic’ orphans (abandoned permanently or temporarily because the family can’t afford to keep them) – but what is true about all of them is that they need care. Pearl welcomes them all – and feeds, clothes, loves them and teaches them about Jesus, whilst also pastoring a church and caring for a number of widows, and other poorer families. The development term often used for children like these is OVCs (orphans and vulnerable children) and in May OVCs are our focus at Restoration. The Weekly Good Ideas on the bulletin each week will run with the theme and we will spend time at the Tuesday prayer meetings interceding for children.

As a church community we try to support a few things well – Casa Chirilagua (and Dawnielle, the Hoppes and others) www.casachirilagua.org and World Orphans (and the Blaines) www.worldorphans.org are our two major connections in this area. Within the congregation many individuals are involved in other organizations: e.g. Cindy Darnell is an enthusiastic board member for David’s Hope http://www.davidshope.org , Jade and Melanie Totman advocate for Compassion (Simon and I also support five children through Compassion) http://www.compassion.com/ and I expect that friends in your circle of influence can recommend similar organizations. We also have a number of families in the congregation who have adopted children, or who are fostering. Look out for them, talk to them and ask them their stories! And, please tell me your story. How are you involved? How are you walking or would you like to walk with the poor, the widow and the orphan?

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27 ESV)

Next Thursday, May 10th, 7.30pm come to church and hear from the Blaines about their imminent departure for Cambodia. It will be a great opportunity to listen to their story, learn more about Cambodia, and what God is doing to reach orphans in a different land. Bring your friends – and expect to hear from God!

 

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