Keep the Feast: I Belong to Jesus

From the very beginning the church has paired baptism with Easter, baptizing new Christians on Easter Day. But even if it has been years since your baptism, Easter is the perfect opportunity to explore what baptism means and why it is cause for celebration. Worship scholar Robert Webber wrote in his book Ancient-Future Time: Forming Read the full article →

Keep the Feast: 50 Days of Easter

In the Anglican church we speak of Easter as a season and not just a day. The Easter season, or Eastertide, lasts for 50 days and takes us from Jesus’ resurrection to his ascension to the right hand of the Father and then concludes with the sending of the Holy Spirit to the Church the Read the full article →

How We Remember

I’m sure there are a few important dates that remain on your calendar year after year. There are happy days like birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and reminders of major life changes. And there may be a few sad days as well, like the anniversary of the death of a loved one that likely is not marked Read the full article →

Anglican 101: What is Holy Week?

Holy Week is the name for the final week of Lent before Easter. It may also be called Passion (meaning suffering) Week, referring to Jesus’ betrayal, torture, and crucifixion. This year it begins on Palm Sunday, April 9 and ends on Holy Saturday, April 15. It is a significant part of the Church Year for Christians because Read the full article →

When Lent Becomes Boring

A few weeks ago I reflected on my personal blog about the realities of Lenten devotion. The inconvenience of sacrifice brought pain that spiritual endorphins pre-Lent had blinded me to.  I expected to feel holy, but I just felt frustrated. As it turns out, practicing Lent is more difficult than thinking about it before hand. Now, though, the pendulum has swung Read the full article →

Restoration Recommends: Silence

In Lent, we enter the wilderness with Jesus. There, we embrace our brokenness as Christ embraced his own suffering, emptying ourselves out so that as we encounter others, we might reflect Christ. Both in novel form (by Shusako Endo) and as a film adaptation (by Martin Scorsese), Silence is about entering the wilderness. It is Read the full article →

Sermon Bonus – Encountering Jesus:  Living Water in the Wilderness

    This week, we looked at Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. It’s interesting that this woman has acquired a reputation for immorality and promiscuity. It’s even more interesting how easy that narrative is to believe once you decide that’s her story. She’s been married five times, she’s Read the full article →

Restoration Recommends: The Good of Giving Up

In my sermon this week, I spoke about a new introduction to Lent, written by an Anglican Pastor in Chicago by the name of Aaron Damiani.  I found this book to be an extremely helpful resource for anyone who is new to the tradition of Lent and anyone who wishes to revitalize their thinking about Read the full article →

Sermon Bonus 3.5.17 – Encountering Jesus: Into the Wilderness

In Matthew 4, Jesus faces three temptations to rely on his own strength to elude suffering and to seize power for his own. It’s a temptation that we face every day. We make choices every day to ensure that we won’t have to feel weak or inferior; we’ve figured out ways to keep ourselves satisfied Read the full article →

What Kind of Fast Does the Lord Choose?

Today is the first day of Lent and the beginning of a 40 day season of preparation to restore and renew us for the joy of the resurrection when we reach Easter on April 16. Anglicans follow three disciplines during the Lenten season: prayer, fasting, and giving to those in need. These three practices are Read the full article →

Lent with Kids

It feels like we just wrapped up Christmas, but Ash Wednesday is only 2 weeks away! In addition to preparing children for Ash Wednesday, and explaining the purpose behind Lent, here are a few ideas for how to incorporate Lent into daily life at home and weekly parish life. Life at Home: Pray. If you don’t pray as a family, Read the full article →

Trial and error when writing a Rule of Life

I can’t say exactly when over the past several years I first heard about creating a rule of life but I was instantly attracted to the idea. I am by nature a rule follower:  I stick to the speed limit, I carefully weigh and measure my ingredients when cooking, and I read the directions before Read the full article →

Sermon Bonus: 2.12.17 – Becoming Present to His Presence

On Sunday, we talked about how we need to develop the holy habits of the church in our daily lives.  This is easy to picture when we talk about being devoted to the Bible or to fellowship, but it gets a little murkier when we talk about sacraments.  Communion and Baptism are sort of the Read the full article →

We Welcome Refugees

Restoration is deeply committed to welcoming refugees. We say this because we believe that God has always called his people to welcome refugees. All of scripture puts the radical hospitality of God on display, from his command to the Israelites that “the foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself” Read the full article →

The Ties that Bind

TIE groups are starting at Restoration.  Hopefully that isn’t news to you—we’ve tried not to be subtle.  If you haven’t heard, TIE stands for Three Is Enough, and it’s our version of small discipleship groups. I’ve known probably every type of small group; I’ve been a part of plenty over the years.  But this month Read the full article →

Four Things We Learned During Our Advent Family Devotional

This past Advent season our family committed to doing the “Advent Guide for Families” devotional book that was created by Trevecca Okholm. I really enjoyed the time we spent each evening as a family walking through the story of Jesus’s birth.  I will admit that it was a learning experience for us, especially when it Read the full article →

Advent is for Love

During each week of Advent, Restoration Church has been focusing on a specific theme. In the sermons preached and the Tom Wright devotional, Advent for Everyone, we have both heard and read about waiting, repentance and healing. This week we are looking at the theme concerning love. Love is a word that is loosely thrown around Read the full article →

Restoration Recommends: Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Christmas

This time of year can be difficult for those of us who want to live out the true meaning of what Advent and Christmas is all about. I love that Restoration is reading the book by Tom Wright, Advent for Everyone. This is a wonderful devotion and it is certainly keeping me focused on Jesus. I Read the full article →

Repent:  The Big Turn

During Advent, we are reading Tom Wright’s devotional, Advent For Everyone.  This week the readings emphasize not only the nature of repentance, but its significance in this time especially. If you’ve heard a sermon or two on repentance, then you’ve likely heard that the word means “to turn around.”  This of course easily applies to Read the full article →