Magnitude and Direction

Recently, among my usual grab bag of sermon illustrations, I mentioned Despicable Me, a movie adored by my boys (OK, fine, and me). The film’s villain is named Vector, because—as he explains with enthusiasm—he commits crimes with both direction and magnitude. Jesus asked his disciples a crucial question: who do you say that I am? 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Sermon Bonus 11.20.16 – “An Important Failure”

  In the sermon Sunday, I mentioned the poem by W.H. Auden called “Musee des Beaux Arts.”  In the poem, Auden talks about Pieter Bruegel’s painting, The Fall of Icarus.  In the painting, everyone is turning away from Icarus as he plunges into the sea.  To them, it simply wasn’t an “important failure.” When we 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 →

Do Not Fear

Many Americans are reporting that they feel considerable anxiety about the upcoming election. According to the American Psychological Association around 52 percent of people surveyed said the election “is a very or somewhat significant” source of stress. Never have two candidates for president been so disliked, even reviled, by the Americans they hope to convince Read the full article →

Birthday Surprise

Wow! I can’t believe I never saw it coming. What a wonderful surprise to celebrate both my own fortieth birthday and Restoration’s birthday this past Sunday. You all are pretty sneaky! I really had no idea that Sunday was going to be anything more than our annual church celebration. And what a celebration it was! Read the full article →

Sermon Bonus 9.18.16 – Amy on Good Stewardship

  On Sunday we completed our Stewardship Series by looking at the much maligned parable the Shrewd  Manager found in Luke 16:1-13. I relied heavily on the sermon of an 18th century Anglican priest John Wesley when I was preparing my message. His sermon on the Gospel passage is called “The Use of Money” and includes Read the full article →

Thrown into the World

Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, coined a term which happens to be one of my favorite German words: Geworfenheit. The literal translation of the word is “being thrown into the world.” This philosophy was one of Heidegger main interests: being present in-the-world. Not only do I think it’s fun to say but as a follower Read the full article →

New Season at Restoration

If you are anything like me, you sometimes realize that your life is stuck in a rut. Day after day of following the same routine, eating the same food, and thinking the same thoughts makes life boring. It also eventually will cause your life to become unbalanced. The same thing can happen in our common life Read the full article →