Singing the Advent Collects

I am always glad to say that Anglicans are prayerful people. Our personal and corporate worship is shaped by the Book of Common Prayer, literally a collection of trusted prayers and readings from the Bible that we can all use together. And we have names for the specific types of prayers we use in worship. Read the full article →

What can I say about the Incarnation?

I recently acquired a children’s board book that teaches Christian doctrine. I bought it because it had bright, charming illustrations and I’m a sucker for anything that introduces my children to Jesus. Like learning a second language, I imagine that learning about Jesus as early as possible will set you up for success in the Read the full article →

The Magnificat for #metoo

It have watched the #metoo movement unfold this year in stunned awe. From the allegations of workplace sexual harassment earlier in the year to the avalanche of #metoo stories on social media in October to Time Magazine’s person of the year cover story featuring “The Silence Breakers” who inspired women and men around the world Read the full article →

A Return to Wonder

It is almost that time of year again. I say almost because although the advertisements and store displays would tell us we are smack dab in the middle of the season, Christmas has yet to arrive. I have a difficult time relating to the Christmas season, like most adults in our hyper-commercialized culture. It’s hard Read the full article →

Creating Advent Traditions

I’m sure you have beloved Christmas traditions that you can’t wait to keep with friends and family during this time of year. Almost everyone can recount in detail the exact order of events in their childhood home on Christmas Eve or morning. For me, I always half-listened to the nativity story from the book of 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 →

Restoration Recommends: The Season of the Nativity

When The Season of the Nativity: Confessions and Practices of an Advent, Christmas, & Epiphany Extremist by Sybil MacBeth arrived in the mail I was thrilled, 1) because it is a fabulous book full of lovely ideas for celebrating the season and 2) because I have been called an extremist (or Advent Grinch or Captain Read the full article →

Watch: It is always Advent

This week our sermon text and readings from the Advent for Everyone devotional have all been Jesus’ teachings about his second coming. These scripture passages may seem far from the familiar nativity narrative about angels and shepherds but they are a call for the Church to watch for the return of Jesus. This article about Read the full article →

A Tale of Two Christmases

Last year I had a passing conversation with one of my neighbors on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. She said, “Well, we’ve got to go do Christmas so I can take the tree down.” I continued on my way to prepare for Restoration’s Christmas Eve service later that evening but I was truly puzzled by Read the full article →

The Last Purple Candle

Last year, we bought our first ever advent wreath, complete with candles.  At dinner, we light the candles, say a prayer and spend a minute talking about Jesus’ birthday. My little boys aren’t quite ready for the subtle mix of excitement and longing that’s offered in this season.  I’ve been reading our daily office lectionary Read the full article →

Restoration Recommends: Children’s Advent & Christmas Books, Part 2

We asked several moms at Restoration which books they read to their children during the Advent and Christmas seasons. Last week we listed a few favorites to read to the young ones in your life. Here is part two as we approach Christmas. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever By Barbara Robinson, for grades 2-6, though I really think Read the full article →

Restoration Recommends: Children’s Advent & Christmas Books, Part 1

We asked several moms at Restoration which books they read to their children during the Advent and Christmas seasons. Here are a few books to consider for the young readers in your life. Check back next Friday for part two of our recommendations. A Meaningful Christmas: A 24 Day Family Devotional By Carrie Rogers and Brittney Poe, available from This simple but wonderful Read the full article →

It is Always Advent

Sometimes I feel as though we start playing make-believe in the Advent season. We ask ourselves to imagine what it would be like to live before the birth of Jesus as people waiting for a Messiah. We read the prophet Isaiah (9:6), “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given” Read the full article →

12.06.15 Sermon Bonus

The day is getting closer and closer… the day when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. To my kids it’s not only Jesus’ birthday but also the day that Santa brings gifts. I know… now before you pull the “holy” card on me this is just the tension my family is living Read the full article →

Jesus Is…Human

In our new Advent sermon series, “Jesus is…” we want to redirect our focus from an overly simplified or sentimental explanation of Jesus back to the mystery of the the Incarnation. We found our inspiration for “Jesus Is…” in some of the commonly-held misunderstandings about the identity and nature of Jesus that popped up in Read the full article →

Restoration Recommends: 5 Advent Devotional Books for Everyone

For Families – Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp This is a beautifully illustrated keepsake book for families with elementary-aged children to use to walk through the Jesse Tree tradition during the Advent season. The story guides you day by day through God’s plan of redemption from the Garden of Read the full article →

Thursday Share: Observing Advent as a Family

Advent can be mean more for your family than just a candy filled calendar. Ditch the “Elf on the Shelf” and consider incorporating some of these ideas from Elizabeth Peterson into your family’s traditions. Advent literally means “the coming.” This season is about preparation, not performance or perfection. We are preparing our hearts to welcome Christ Read the full article →

Advent Life: Slow Down Your Christmas

(This article appeared in the Restoration newsletter in a previous Advent season.) I don’t remember the exact date but it was sometime in early November when the Halloween candy was still on clearance—that was the day I noticed the Christmas music playing as I waited in the check-out line at the grocery store. I was Read the full article →

Thursday Share: The War on Advent

Too much has already been said about red Starbucks cups this week. And I’m sure that there will be more opportunities for people to take offense over Christmas related greetings and decorations over the next  six weeks before Christmas Day even arrives. But what about those of us who wait to celebrate Christmas until Christmas Day? Anglicans Read the full article →