It seems odd to be writing about celebration. I don’t need to state the obvious but our nation is hurting. We are in the midst of a global pandemic. There are very strong opinions about the upcoming presidential election which is polarizing this country. There is racial tension that will require careful reconciliation. There is a lack of trust of law enforcement. Our country is burning on one side and drowning on the other side. People are losing their jobs. Many things are a struggle these days so it’s hard to write about celebration. But maybe celebration is what we need. Everything seems negative so maybe bringing some light into this dark world and talking about what God is doing in the midst of this challenging time is just what we need.
It just happens that Restoration’s birthday is this weekend, October 18. We will be celebrating our 11th year as a church. And as I think of a decade plus one year, one word constantly surfaces from my heart: grateful. Yes, I am grateful despite the challenges we have faced. I am so grateful and blessed to see the hands of God at work in the lives of people at Restoration. God has done so much and there is so much for us to celebrate. I recognize there are times we just need to stop and praise God for what he has done, but this does not negate the fact that we live in a hurting world and people are in desperate need of help. It is too easy for us to focus on what we’ve done and not what needs to be done!
Even though this birthday article could be a great place to write a “state of the union address” describing where we’ve been and pat ourselves on the back it just doesn’t seem right. Not only that, it’s not our place to take any of the credit. All credit is the Lord’s! Secondly, it does not feel right to praise ourselves in light of so much brokenness in the lives of God’s people.
If I have noticed anything during this last year about our congregation, it is that we are a people with gracious and giving hearts who care deeply about the people in our community and world. I couldn’t be anymore excited to begin another year with people like you. When there is a need, you all are on it, giving of your time, treasure, and talent. I can only imagine what all we are going to see God do through you in the years to come. This is only the beginning. God’s heart for his people is vast and I’m so thankful to walk through life and ministry with a body of believers who understands what it means to truly care about your neighbor.
So, in an effort to celebrate our birthday while being mindful of the needs around us, I am asking each person/family to bring a new coat for and adult or a child to our socially distanced outdoor Eucharist and picnic at Heights Park in Richardson on October 18, 11:30pm.
Why… A Coat?
According to onewarmcoat.org approximately 200,000 people worldwide die each year from the cold. Now, think what one warm coat could provide to someone who is freezing. One Warm Coat talks about the unprecedented crisis created by the Covid-19 Pandemic is impacting the lives of millions of people. Families who were already struggling are now at severe risk, and many will be unable to pay their utility bills. The need for coats this fall and winter will be greater than ever before.
We sing a song in church which has the line “follow you into the homes of the broken. Follow you into the world… meet the needs the poor and the needy, God.”
I am making a commitment as we join God in the restoration of all things through; “Life, Church and City,” we will follow Christ into the homes the broken and meet the needs of the poor and needy. As we provide the warmth of a coat we are offering the warmth that Christ’s love to each new recipient and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate all that God is doing through Restoration in the past year.
Help make this birthday a warm moment as we show the Lord our gratitude by giving back!