SG #4 Desiree, Lisa and Dan (Allender)

Continuing our series of blogs about small groups options:  a few words from Desiree Fey leader of  SG #4:


When I recently went to the website to sign up for the Dan Allender Conference April 17-18 at Restoration, his book based around the content of the conference, To Be Told, God Invites You to Coauthor Your Future, caught my eye and fired my imagination.

I would love to coauthor my future with God!  And, I thought, how nice it would be to have a Small Group to do it with.  So, full of energy and in anticipation of his upcoming conference, I am happy to host and facilitate a Small Group focused on this book.

Order the book and come join me!   Sign up here for the small group and choose #4


Lisa Bush (our intrepid conference organiser) adds her 2c:

This small group offers the perfect way to fully delve into the subject matter and have the opportunity to bounce the ideas off of others as well in preparation for our larger community to host Dan.

Just a little teaser from the book: “God is the Potter, and we are the clay. Even the word human — derived from the Latin word humus, meaning “dirt” — shouts loudly about our origin. We are dirt. The name Adam (Hebrew ‘adama) means “red,” the color of clay. God shaped, molded, and formed us to reveal something about himself. He is a Being who loves to reveal and who invites us to join the process of revelation by calling to ask, seek and knock. God always intended for his children to join him in completing creation. We are no inanimate entities that merely reveal glory but living stories that are meant to create glory.”

I want my life to be a living, breathing story meant to give glory to my Creator.  So, full of energy and in anticipation of his upcoming conference, I am happy to promote a Small Group focused on this book.  I urge you to not only sign up for the Small Group but for the conference as soon as possible.  After this weekend, invitations to the conference in April will be extended to churches outside of Restoration and the ever dwindling number of spots we have left will become fewer and fewer.  We would love for Dan to speak to a group that is largely represented by our church so that we can continue the dialogue as a congregation about how to make our individual and collective stories ones that are inspired and fueled by God!  We expect to sell out, so please don’t put off signing up for it.  We want you there!

Sign up here for the small group AND sign up here for the conference.


SG #34 Bolivia… with Susie, Mitch and Endel


Did you know that the DC area has more Bolivians than any place in the world outside of Bolivia? Our small group (#34) hopes to bring together people with a heart for Latin America who are interested in exploring ways to minister to, build relationships with, and walk alongside Bolivians – both locally and in Bolivia.

Each Thursday night during Tri 1 2015, we will delve into the scriptures in conjunction with the sermon preached the Sunday before. In addition, we will devote time to praying and creating a vision about where God may be leading Restoration in the area of outreach to our Bolivian neighbors. Some exciting possibilities are a 2016 trip to Bolivia to work with the children’s ministry Niños con Valor ( and La Trinidad Anglican church or maybe even a Hispanic church plant at Restoration.

We’d love to have you join us in this exploratory journey. For questions and info, contact Endel Liias at

¡Que Dios te bendiga!

~Susie Wallin, Mitch Wallin, Endel Liias

Sign up for a small group here; this one is #34

SG #19 Leadership with Cindy (and Bill Hybels has something to say too)

The local church is the hope of the world.unnamed

Everybody wins when a leader gets better.

These two statements are the foundation on which Bill Hybels created the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, a 2-day conference held annually in early August. The summit is held in Chicago but broadcast live around the states and then later taken around the world. Each year the talks are published on a DVD and that’s what we’ll be using for this small group.

I have attended the summit a number of times over the years and it’s two of the most refreshing days of the year for me. I always come away pumped up and ready to tackle the world.
What can you expect? The videos will be anywhere from 20-45 minutes and we will debrief them and pray for one another. I have a few favorites picked out that have stuck with me over the years but I’m open to the group’s needs on picking the others. The few I have picked out:

  • Ever felt like this? The first video will discuss the source that helps us find our leadership vision – our “holy discontent” – the thing that we are passionate about to the point of acting upon it.
  • Do you ever have to help people get “there” – that point in the future where things will be better? The second video will talk about how to do that.
  • Do you ever feel like you’re running on empty in your leadership or just in your life? The third video will explore the dangers of this and ways to prevent it.

Hope you’ll consider this group so that we can get better together!

~Cindy Darnell

Register for your small group choice today!

SG #22 George and LOTR

God saw all that he made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31)

Nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so” Lord of the Rings, Council of Elrond


The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) is one of the most popular books of all time. Why is this? One reason that I (and many others) discern is that even in the treachery and violence and evil depicted in Middle Earth there is hope. Not the superficial kind of hope (I hope I win the lottery!), but in a deeper more profound and hidden hope which we all long for and that Paul wrote about” Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11: 1).

In one of his letters Tolkien wrote: “The LOTR is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work: unconsciously so at first and consciously in the revision” (Letters of JRR Tolkien p. 173)

We will explore God’s sovereign (hidden will), the power of friendship, the nature evil and the process of temptation. Even as we grieve at all the brokenness in this world we are reminded of the joy that possible now, as is written “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).At the end my goal is to share the fun of a really, really, really long story.

~George Patterson

Deciding which small group to join? Perhaps George’s one is for you! #22


Going deeper

confirmation picWe’ve just begun a new year, a time where we pause to take stock of our lives.  If you’ve been reflecting on where you are in your growth as a follower of Jesus, maybe you feel like there are some ways you could go deeper in your understanding of what our faith teaches.  Maybe you have questions like:

  • Does it really make sense to believe that there is one God but with three “persons”?
  • I keep hearing about the Book of Common Prayer, but I don’t really know why we use it and it seems intimidating.
  • Why do we baptize babies who have no idea what they believe?
  • What do I say when people ask me why I would be part of a church that was started by some king (Henry VIII) who really just wanted a divorce (I would offer you a slightly different interpretation of the history)?

If these kinds of questions have been on your mind, then I’d love to invite you to be part of the small group that I’ll be leading starting on January 22.   We’ll explore the basics of our faith like the trinity, scripture, prayer, the origin of our creeds, and the history of the Anglican Church.  Some of our time will involve learning new information, and we’ll also spend time praying for and supporting each other in understanding what these concepts mean for our lives.

This small group will also serve as preparation for confirmation.  If you’re wondering what that is, the simple answer is that it is a rite in which a baptized Christian makes a public declaration of his/her faith.  Whether you were baptized as a child or an adult, confirmation is an important step in the Christian life when you reaffirm that you intend to follow Christ in the context of our church community.  There is a time of preparation (my small group – did I mention you should join it?), after which the bishop comes and lays his hands on you to pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen you and to signify that you are part of a church that extends far beyond Restoration.

If you would like to be confirmed, you must be part of this small group.  But the small group is open to everyone, whether or not you’re interested in confirmation.  We’ll meet on Thursday nights, 7:30-9pm, at my house in Cherrydale.

You can sign up on the church website this Sunday, when registration for Tri1 small groups begins.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions (  I look forward to getting to know you and exploring the beauty of our faith together.





Providing for our Parents

tangled lines

I hope you have made it to a Restoration small group this week.  We are talking about 1 Timothy 5.  Paul is describing how relationships should work in the household of God.  Specifically, how we should honor and encourage each other?  How do we care for widows?  Who should be in leadership?  How do we honor people who lead?  How should single men treat single women?  How should we honor those who are older than us?  It’s immensely practical.

In my small group this morning, we went after this verse in particular.

8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8

What does it mean to ‘provide for your relatives…’  Our first guess is to say this is talking about money.  And it is!  We are obligated to provide food, clothing, and shelter for our children.  We become partners with our parents as they become older and need our help with food, clothing, and shelter.

But what else are we to provide for members of our household?

Our presence.  Our households need us to be around– paying attention, asking good questions, and serving.  Your roommates need you as a dinner companion and conversation partner.  Your children have questions about homework and social media and mean people and friends they think are cute.  Your spouse needs to know you are interested in their day and wants to hear what was significant in yours.  Our provision is much more than financial–  it is also our presence.

My small group REALLY got animated when we started talking about providing for our parents.  Yes, we will need to physically think about healthcare and housing.

But what does it mean to mean to be a part of our parents’ emotional provision?

Oh my.

There is all kinds of history and baggage and hurt and joy around that question.  And we had a really good discussion.  I offered 2 suggestions for what it means to emotionally provide for your parents:

  1. Forgive them:  Every person has a list of wrongs that have been done by their parents.  Holding on to that indictment is not serving you (or your parents).  Jesus uniquely offers a way for us to forgive whatever has been done or not done.  So do the hard work of forgiving your parents.  If you get stuck, talk to someone in your ‘household’–  a mentor, a pastor, a person in your small group.
  2. Talk to them:  At some point in our 20s and 30s we figure out what our parents want from us…  and we experience the thrill/sense of control/power that comes from NOT giving it to them.  Providing for your parents means allowing them some access to your life:  Call them and tell them about something that happened this week (or month).  Ask them a question about their life.  Ask them what they would do in a situation you are facing (you don’t have to do what they would do, but it’s nice to be asked).  You can provide for your parents by doing the intentional (and hard) work of talking to them.

The Bible never ceases to challenge me.  And never ceases to call me to be a better person.  I am grateful for my small group.  Hope you are in one that is wrestling through Scripture as well.


Our bodies matter

In our occasional blogs on small group options – here’s another very different one which starts this Thursday. Interested? Sign up here, or email Christie, for more info.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I often think back to a sermon that Erin Bair preached a few months into my time at Restoration in early 2011. I distinctly remember her sharing the poignant phrase, “Our bodies matter.” I was struck by the simple truth of those three words.

Our bodies do matter: How we treat them. What we put into them. What we do with them. What we believe about them. All of these things matter.

All too often, we treat our bodies like they aren’t a part of our spiritual self. We lament over the size of our post-baby bellies, stuff ourselves with ice cream to dull the pain of rejection, run an extra three miles to prove to ourselves we are worth something and restrict “bad” foods to feel in control. Forgetting that God allows us to birth new life, experience the highs and lows of deep relationships and enjoy food and physical activity for our health and pleasure. We are striving and stuffing and slowly cutting ourselves off from the bodies that God created for us.

God created us in His image with a mind, body and spirit. What we do to our body trickles into our spirit, and when our bodies become broken, so will our spirits.

All too often we forget that our bodies do indeed matter. They matter to us, and they matter to God.

Come explore the question of how we can return to a place of viewing and treating our bodies as God intended during Rock Recovery’s Body Image & Eating Education Series at Restoration, starting this Thursday.

More small group info can be found on the website!

A Small Group by Women for Women

Here’s another (awesome!) small group option..

I’ve been a member of the women’s Thursday morning small group since my family started attending Restoration in 2011. I can say with confidence that the spiritual growth I’ve experienced and the community I’ve gained have changed my life. We came to Restoration in large part because I was at the end of myself. I’d lost the ability to do life with my own strength. Little did I realize the great bounty that the Lord had in store for me. On our second Sunday at Restoration a woman who has become a great friend told me I should join the women’s small group that met on Thursday mornings. Something inside me nudged me to join. So, with a courage that I don’t typically experience in new situations, I signed up. We read scriptures and delved deeper into the Sunday sermons. And perhaps just as importantly, we prayed together. We shared. I grew. I’m no longer trying to do life on my own. I have a community that has grown and changed over the past three years but has always remained the safe place where we meet over coffee and snacks and try to figure out how to put our faith into action. So if you’re a woman, young or old, single or married, empty nester or new mom, please join our Thursday morning group. Come share coffee and snacks and faith and struggles. Oh, and bring your kids, too. We have screened, paid childcare providers. We’d love to have you.

-Erika Belen

More info?  Contact: Rachel Hoppe at

Meeting: Thursdays, 10 a.m., in the Fellowship Hall, 1815 N Quincy St


Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Small Group

Hey Restoration,

I’m excited about a small that Cathy Guiles and I will be leading this trimester.  Cathy has provided a description below, and I hope you’ll consider joining.  We’d love to have you!  – Clay


“It’s impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” – from “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” by Peter Scazzero

Do you agree or disagree with that statement? Are you wondering what it means to be spiritually and emotionally mature? Are you dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, loss, anger, conflict or disappointment? Are you interested in how Christian spiritual disciplines can relate to and shape your emotional health, and vice versa?

If any of these apply to you — or even if they don’t — I encourage you to sign up for the “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” small group this trimester. I was first introduced to Peter Scazzero’s book by a pastor at my former church when I was going through a difficult time, and it helped me a lot. Each week, we’ll be discussing chapters from the book as well as a Bible passage to address subjects such as how our families of origin affect us today and how to correct Christian misunderstandings about our emotional lives. We’ll be using the main book along with the accompanying workbook and prayer book, which together cost about $30 (the church has funds to cover these costs if that’s helpful, so don’t hesitate to ask!). 

My hope is that, unlike Cloud Cuckoo Land in “The Lego Movie,” where there’s “no negativity of any kind” and Princess Unikitty has to always put on a happy face, this group will be a safe place where you can open up about the negative stuff in your life, work through it, get tools to help you in the future and grow closer to God and other believers in the process.

So, come join us Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. in North Arlington. We look forward to seeing you!

– Cathy Guiles

a run down on what’s going down

Opening the Doors


Hey folks,

I know that we are all eagerly awaiting news about the building and our first Sunday back on Quincy Street.  So here is what we know as of Thursday morning, Sept 4.

Certificate of Occupancy–  not yet

We are waiting for 4 final inspections.  They could all happen in the next 24 hours.  As I promised on Sunday, I will send an email blast to everyone in CCB (our on-line directory) on Friday afternoon that details our CO status and plans for Sunday, Sept 7.  So watch your inbox,, or our facebook page  There will be the same important information on all of them and you need to read the latest before you head out on Sunday morning.  If we do not receive the certificate of occupancy, we will provide an alternative plan.

Volunteer Training is happening no matter what!!

On Saturday at 9:30 and 1:30, we will have identical training sessions for liturgical volunteers.  Matt, Kathy, and I have worked hard to figure out ‘how things will work’ in the new space and we are eager to teach you!  We are asking that ANYONE (regardless of previous training) who wants to read, serve communion, ush, greet, or set up for a service please attend one of these trainings.

Have you never been a liturgical volunteer?  Looking to get to know new people at Restoration?  Wondering what liturgical means?  This is an IDEAL time to jump in.  No need to rsvp.  Just come to one of the trainings on Saturday.  We can’t wait to help you get connected.

Do you know where you will park on Sunday?

Please remember that as a congregation, we are committed to not using any of the available street parking that is around the church.  We recognize that there are often spaces that are open on Quincy or a side street and they are closer than our shuttle lot, but as a way to serve our neighbors, we are committed to not using those parking spots.  Please help us to make life easier on Sundays for our neighbors by only parking in our 13 on-site spaces or in the shuttle parking lot over I-66.  Here are all the parking details that you need to know.  Feel free to share them when you invite your friends!

Small Groups are open!

For the next few weeks, all of our small groups are open.  Check out this map and find one that meets at a time and location that works for you.  We would love for everyone who worships with us on Sunday to be in a small group during the week–  praying for each other, wrestling with the Scripture, and making new friends.  They are filling fast!

Consecrating our space

On September 20 at 10:00am, Bishop John Guernsey will be with us to consecrate our new building and to launch us into a new season of ministry.  We will give thanks for the first five years of our church and ask God to strengthen and empower us for the things He is calling us to in the next five years!  This will be a deep, wonderful service of thanksgiving and blessing.  I hope you can join us.


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