Moldova Night – Tomorrow!

A post from Moldova team leader Jesse Blaine:

Charged with seeking out “the broken people and places of the world to help with after-care initiative for marginalized communities”, Restoration’s outreach foci seem tailored for a struggling former Soviet Republic like Moldova.  So, on September 24th, eight folks from Restoration decided to come alongside our World Orphans transition home in Moldova. This home that we have supported provides a safe, nurturing, Christian home for teenage girls who have aged out of the state-run orphanages and are at risk for being trafficked.

We lucked out being there right after harvest, where we enjoyed the beautiful fall foliage and weren’t allowed to leave our tables without consuming at least 2500 calories.  The project is headed up by Pastor Vasile, a pastor, builder, church planter and champion wrestler (…don’t worry I tested his skills first hand), his beautiful wife Lucia and their three awesome daughters.  Along with their local church, these Moldovan Christians have worked to love the girls taken in from desperate situations.  The girls can’t help but be a product of their surroundings…in a place of love, safety, and a chance to meet Christ, they are being changed and are maturing into women who are ready to face the world.  Considering the backdrop of where they’ve come from, these girls are living trophies of the transformative power of God and His church.  This stuff really works — Praise God!

The Moldova team would love the opportunity to share their experiences in more detail with you tomorrow (Friday) evening at 7:00pm at Restoration.  God is doing a lot through this project, both in Moldova and within our own congregation.  Come hear about the trip, how it changed the team,  what’s next for Restoration as a congregation and how you can get involved!

Will the Fall Retreat Change Your Life?

A post from Connally Gilliam, an active member of Restoration:

Last year was Restoration’s first church-wide retreat, and I – one who often speaks at retreats but secretly never really likes going to them – well…I liked it!  It was, for lack of a more profound word:  good.  Seriously.   Fun, solid, real, good – showing up in basic stuff like this corn hole game at which I initially scoffed and which, honestly, turned out to be a corporate blast.  Or getting to play with some of the little kids who in turn became co-conspirators on many following Sundays, our turning blind eyes to one another’s extra doughnut holes snatched during refreshment times.  And then there were those three or four more-significant conversations I had with a three or four people I’d always thought seemed “nice” or “interesting” but with whom my path never meaningfully crossed on Sunday mornings.  Plus, since I like learning, talking, singing and communion, connecting more deeply with a group of people around corporate worship was a good thing.

So, was my life changed forever by that retreat?  Not exactly.  But I returned to DC woven a bit more deeply into the community that continues to emerge at Restoration. And the Jesus-centric corporate life, which so many others and I have been increasingly experiencing, has slowly but surely been showing itself to be life-changing.

Register Now! Only 34 spots left!

Missions in Moldova

A blog post from Restoration member and Global Outreach Committee member, Jesse Blaine:

Moldova is located between Romania and Ukraine, and is the poorest and only communist country in Europe.  With widespread corruption, growing poverty, and an outdated Soviet-era orphanage system, Moldova has become a key European hotbed for human trafficking activity. Some quick facts:

Population: 3.6M
Languages: Romanian, Russian
Per Capita: $4.10/day

Restoration currently sponsors a transition home designed to rescue and change the lives of girls coming out of the orphanage system. Our trip this fall will be designed to serve our Moldovan brothers and sisters, and strengthen the relationship between our communities as we support the work of anti-trafficking and rehabilitation.

Who is going?

Maybe you! Prayerfully consider being a part of this team. The trip is open to people from Restoration who have a heart for this work, and desire to be a part of this growing relationship. The cost of the entire trip is $2300 (+/- airfare changes) which includes airfare, food and accommodations in country.

Sign me up!

The first step is to fill out a trip application. From there, we will contact you regarding team meetings, conference calls, and other important information regarding your trip. Applications will be due by July 6, 2010.

What will we be doing?

In the mornings team will serve alongside girls from the transition home as we help with the anti-trafficking campaign within local government orphanages. Afternoons will be filled with visiting locals and “babushkas” (widows) with church members as we hope to catalyze the presence of the church within the local community. In the evenings the team will spend time in the transition home and conduct special events (depending on the skill sets of team members).

Apply now!

Questions? Contact Jesse Blaine.

Find out more about World Orphans and the work they’re doing around the globe.

Outreach at Restoration

A post from Restoration member Connally Gilliam:

Thinking about coming to the cookout on June 12th, 4:30-6:30, at the church (even if it’s after your World Cup party)?  I hope so.  Not just because there will be good food, awesome music by Matt and friends, a moonbounce for kids, and sign-ups for service opportunities… though all that’s true.  But I hope you’ll come because when you show up, your presence intrinsically helps shape “outreach” at Restoration.  How do you help?  Well, we need your brain, your muscles, and your heart.  We are in the process of figuring out this outreach thing, together, and it’s not always crystal clear.  Sometimes moving forward in 21st century outreach can feel like riding a track where the rails threaten to split off into two, train-wrecking directions (as they did back in the early 20th century).

You know the story: one rail of the church’s outreach is shaped by God’s call to “spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed” (Isaiah 58:6-10) even as we “look after orphans and widows” and live a life with some sacred boundaries (James 1:27).  But it can seem at odds with the other rail governed by commands to “make disciples of all nations,” baptizing people and teaching them to obey Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 28:18-20) because we are “Christ’s ambassadors,” called to implore others to be “reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:16-21).  And it’s so much easier to let the rails veer off into an either/or split than to hold them together.  But as history teaches us, that wrecks the kingdom’s advance.  So it’s up to each generation to figure out what holding these two together looks like and give it our best shot.

So, how does your showing up help? When you, your friends, and your family (if you have one in town) show up, and when–against the backdrop of kids playing, music happening, and David giving a few words–you start munching on a burger and begin randomly asking your neighbor, “So, what do you think about all this outreach stuff?  What is spending ourselves on behalf of the hungry?  What does it look like to implore others to be reconciled to God?  How do these things fit together?”, and when you make one small step forward as a result, you are actually helping Restoration shape its outreach vision and practice.  Outreach at Restoration isn’t just an ad hoc committee throwing cookouts and creating volunteer opportunities (though particular thanks to the hard workers like Dietrich Kuhlmann and Kristin Cummins for making it possible!).  Rather, any real outreach will be the sum total of all the people who show up, have a few honest conversations, and risk trying something new in their (in our) communities, on many levels.

Will local outreach emerge into something more than serving Arlington in concrete ways? Yep, it will (for some ideas, check out my latest blog entry to get an idea of the kind of thinking that some of us are trying out and beginning to grow in).  But, it also won’t be any less.  We really do want our church (that would be all of us) to intentionally join in the advance of God’s kingdom by moving with loving integrity along these two rails.  And honestly, it will be better, and we’ll go a far greater distance with a lot more joy, as we do it together.

To help with food, contact Kristin Cummins at kcummins@ramsburygroup.com.
For general questions, contact Connally Gilliam at connallygilliam@gmail.com.

Please RSVP for the cookout here.

West Virginia Mission Trip Meeting

UPDATE: Applications Due March 28th!  Click here to download an application. The required deposit is $50 per person (not $300 as the application states).

Last summer, a group of 45 people — adults and kids — from Restoration and The Falls Church spent 5 days in the town of Philippi, West Virginia.  It was an amazing time of getting to know some of the people of this impoverished Appalachian town and serving them by working alongside them to refurbish homes and a community center.  We worked hard, laughed a lot, and in the end found that we were the ones who felt most blessed by the experience!

The great news is that we’re going again this year! The trip will be July 7-11 and is open to everyone ages 7 and up.

There will be an informational meeting this Sunday, March 14th, in the sanctuary after the 10:00 service. Come hear from folks who went on last year’s trip and get all your questions answered!

Interested in the trip but can’t make it to the meeting?  Talk to Ian or Laura Hassell.

And to give you a taste of what you might experience on the trip, here are some excerpts from a letter that Laurel Hanke wrote to our team’s prayer supporters after the trip last year!

I think it is safe to say that the trip met and exceeded our expectations…. We had a great time together.  In addition to collaborating together and serving one another on the worksites, we had so much fun at our community times of meals, daily debriefs, and unstructured evening hang out time.

One overarching theme was repeated to us over and over by our World Servants leaders.  They wanted to be sure we understood that the people of Philippi and the surrounding areas were the most important part of our trip.  Taking time to listen, share stories, and build bridges of relationships was our first priority.  The actual work we did was important, they said, but not above the importance of building relationships.  As you can imagine, this approach changed how we viewed the work, re-oriented our focus from tasks to relationships, and in the end helped us all experience the blessing of getting to know one another and the folks we went to West Virginia to serve.

Some of the projects [we] completed were power-washing and staining the outdoor pavilion [at the Community Center], painting, and general groundskeeping…. Cleanup, painting, flooring, and roofing to stop some leaks and water damage [at a family’s home]…. The renovation of a local pastor’s home, finishing the roof, sealing the foundation of the house, laying insulation, hanging drywall, and putting up ceiling joists.

The World Servants motto on the t-shirts we took home says, “Serving Changes Everything.  Lead the Way.”  Please continue to pray for each of us in our sphere of relating at home.  Pray that we would apply the lessons of service we learned to our daily lives.  Please also pray for God to continue to bless and further the good work that World Servants is doing in Philippi, WV.

Our New Facebook Community – Plus Getting Involved

Looking to get more involved? Here is another new way! The Facebook. The. Facebook.

One of the things I hear most is, “How did you know that?”

Almost 100% of the time my answer is the same: “It’s on the website.” (Yes, this is a gentle reminder to check the website often).

But for that .000001% of the time, we now have a Facebook community. What’s it for? And what’s that Twitter thing for? And the website? And flickr? And for that matter, what’s the internet for?

I will address the former four.

Facebook

Basically, we’re using Facebook to enable us to connect with one another without needing to contact Restoration staff. There is no published email list, and that’s a good thing (security, maintenance, etc.). But we still want to be able to connect with one another. You can read blog posts, see tweets, view our calendar, and check out upcoming events — all from Facebook. Here are a few scenarios we had in mind when creating the Facebook community.

  • “Hey, wanna come to my _______?”
  • Did anyone else think the sermon was solid/worst ever? Let’s talk
  • There is a discussion form. Chat, argue, write poems
  • You can share photos, videos, links, or just leave a comment
  • Asking for favors (carpooling)
  • General Q&A (not of the staff)
  • Your photos aren’t on flickr, but they are on Facebook. Add them!
  • Logan Breed is how old?
  • There are a few photo albums up there I created – feel free to add to those (I think you can…if not, just add photos to walls!)
  • RSVP for the Fall Retreat event (unofficially, of course)

“But, I’m not on Facebook.” Well, now you have a great reason to be! This is an awesome way for newcomers to get plugged in right away, or convince them to check us out as they see us living life together.

Here’s our group – become a fan!

Twitter

David’s on Twitter, and so are a bunch of us. You should be too! Now, if you add the hashtag #restorationva to your tweets a few things will happen:

  1. Those of us who follow that tag will find you, and follower you
  2. Your tweet will appear on our web site (coming soon)
  3. Your tweet will appear on our Facebook community page

Website

If you’re not sure what’s happening in at Restoration do three things:

  1. Subscribe to the blog (via email, or RSS)
  2. Regularly check the Calendar
  3. Add the Google Calendar to your own Google Account
  4. Join the Facebook community

Basically, unless it’s an emergency or you’re part of a leadership team you will never get an email directly from Restoration staff. If you do the above four things, you’ll be in the loop.

Coming soon:

  • Right now the blog houses announcements as well as David’s thoughts. Sometime in the next few months, that will change. Announcements will be subscribe-able outside of the blog so you can keep them separate.

Flickr

Add your own photos to the site! A big thanks to everyone who continues to keep our photo pool updated. If you haven’t looked in awhile, check it out!

Learn more

Vimeo

  • More on this soon.

There’s a ton more in the works so stay tuned! And join the Facebook community!

Liturgical Servants Training

Dorky church trivia fact of the day: our word ‘liturgy’ comes from the Greek work ‘leitourgia,’ which means ‘the work of the people.’  And our Sunday morning worship is indeed the work of many people.  Sure, there’s David up front and the musicians and all of us in the pews… But there are a lot of others whom you might not really think about:

  • The greeters who meet you at the door…
  • The ushers who help you find a seat…
  • The scripture readers who help us hear God’s word…
  • The foks who lead us in the prayers of the people
  • The ones who serve communion

…and then there are the ones you may not even see, but whose work is still critical to making our worship happen.  The people who set the Lord’s table and stock the pews with nametags and welcome cards.  The folks who run the sound board and the powerpoint.  And everyone who pitches in to help clean up at the end.  It takes a lot of people to do this work!

But the thing is … all of this isn’t just work.  It’s also fun.  It helps you feel connected to the life of Restoration.  It lets you get to know people whose paths you might not otherwise cross. It deepens your experience of worship.  It is a blessing.  I wish I could come up with a fancy word for those people who receive the blessing of the people by serving on Sunday mornings — but I don’t know enough Greek for that.  So instead we just call them “liturgical servants.”

We’re having a training session on Tuesday, September 22 at 7:30 pm at the church for anyone who would like to get involved in Restoration’s worship life in this way.  There are lots of opportunities!  It’s fun, it’s easy, and there’s something for everyone.  So come on out tomorrow night and join us — the more, the merrier!

(The small print: The training is required of all new liturgical servants. If you’ve already been trained at Restoration, you’re welcome to attend but it’s not required. The training is offered about 4 times a year, so if you can’t make it this time, we’ll do it again in a few months!)

Getting Involved with Worship

There are three ways to get involved with the musical worship life of Restoration.  We are looking for people who would like to be trained to run our sound board, who would like to run our powerpoint slide shows, and who would like to use their musical gifts on our Sunday morning worship team.  Here is some more information about each and a form to contact us.  Thanks for serving Restoration in this way!

Sound Board

This is the ultimate, critical ‘behind the scenes’ opportunity.  We will train you to set levels and turn mics on and off for the right folks during our service.  You are the one who helps everyone else be heard!  We would love to have 7 or 8 people who would like to be trained to serve in this way.  You would be assigned once a month at one service.

Powerpoint

How hard can it be to transition slides during our musical worship?  This is an opportunity for someone who pays attention to details and loves making things happen from behind the scenes.  Our whole community is served by your attentive transitions!  We are looking for 7-8 high school or older volunteers who would serve at one service, once a month.

Musical Worship Team

Our Sunday musical worship is led by Matt Hoppe.  The first step to getting involved with the music at Restoration is to attend our monthly, open-to-anybody worship practice.  Bring your instrument/voice and join in a casual, laid back opportunity to worship, to learn the music, to hone your skills, to pray for each other, and to have fun.   These monthly 90 minute practices are open to anyone who is interested in serving on the musical worship team as well as those who simply want to come and worship.   If you are interested, fill out the form below and Matt will contact you about the next monthly practice.

Online Form – Get Involved – Worship Music

Getting Involved on Sunday

This is the third in a blog series on Getting Involved at Restoration.Check out part one and part two.

Serving our church

Think about the first time you came to Restoration.Hopefully, someone greeted you at the door with a smile and a handshake.Maybe an usher helped you find a seat.You heard the scriptures read aloud. Someone led the congregation in prayer.You received communion from two communion servers.You may have been prayed for by our prayer team.And before you got there, people were working to make sure everything was ready to welcome you… and stayed around to clean up after you left.

There are so many opportunities for you to use your gifts and service to make our worship life at Restoration possible.We’d love for you to become one of our Sunday volunteers—that’s everyone from greeters and communion servers to the set-up crew and scripture readers (and more) who serve God and the Restoration community at our Sunday worship services.There’s something for everyone.

  • Like to speak in front of others? Try being a scripture reader or leading prayers of the people.
  • Prefer to interact with people one-on-one? Then maybe being a greeter is for you.
  • Find it satisfying to create welcoming spaces for others? Join our set-up/clean-up team, and prepare our space for worship and for the Eucharist.And that’s just the beginning…

Talk to some of our current volunteers, and I think you’ll find that their service has helped them learn more about the worship life of our church and has even deepened their own worship experience.

If you’re interested in being a liturgical server, please fill out the form below so we can learn what your interests are and get you into our server schedule as soon as possible!

Online Form – Get Involved – Liturgical Server

Questions? Contact Matt Hoppe!

Getting Involved Serving Kids

This is the second in a blog series on Getting Involved at Restoration. Check out part 1

Loving our kids

Restoration has so many great kids. There is a significant exodus each week when they leave the service after our opening worship. I have loved watching our community (those with kids and those without) come around these small ones and listen to them, ask them questions, steer them in the right direction, pray for them, and generally delight in their curious chatter! We have a nursery for toddlers 2 and under. We have small groups for kids age 3 to 5th grade. If you would like your child to be a part of these great activities, register them here.

We run a complete Children’s Church at both our 9 and 11 services. This means we have opportunities for 2 teams of volunteers working in our nursery and leading our kid’s small groups. Would you be interested in serving this way? If you are new to Restoration: jump into a small group, serve as a liturgical helper (greeter, reader, parking lot servant). We want to serve YOU and give you a chance to get to know our community. If you have been a part of the Restoration community (or The Falls Church) for the last six months, then please fill out the form below and our Children’s Ministry Director, Louise Brooks will contact you.

Here’s another picture of this ministry from Louise:

Working with children in ministry is a little like never having to grow up.  You get to hang-out, laugh, play, read, munch on Cheerios, console, teach, and sing with friends who are, mostly, under five feet tall.

Serving in the nursery means the conversations you have with the babies and toddlers center around what books to read, games to play, or “More Cheerios, please!”  It is a blast to share God’s love in this way!

Serving as a pre-school or elementary-aged small group leader in Sunday School provides opportunities to search through the Bible in new ways, making deep theological issues concrete and real to a child.  It requires a heart for God and His (smaller) people, creativity, and joy.

If you feel God calling you to “train up a child in the way he should go,”  then we’d love to help you get plugged in.

Online Form – Get Involved – Children

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