Hi. My name is Shannon Reppard, and as you may know our church has the privilege, this summer, of sending our senior pastor, Erik Bonkovsky, and his family on sabbatical. I had the honor of participating on the sabbatical planning committee for Erik, and we are so grateful—as a church family—to have the opportunity to send the Bonkovskys on their first sabbatical in nine years. While they will step away from City Church and Richmond for some time away, our prayer is that Erik’s 13-week Sabbatical will also help him move toward Jesus and provide him with Gospel refreshment and renewal.
As Erik is studying these topics, we have the opportunity, as a church family, to parallel his study of rest and renewal. Just as we learned and studied about God’s gift of Sabbath Rest earlier this year, we will continue to pray and learn about Sabbath Rest as individuals and as a church community, together, while Erik is away. As the hustle and bustle of the spring draws to a close, there is no better time to lean into this opportunity for rest and a change of pace than the summer. Personally, for me, the idea of rest and the Sabbath has always been challenging. I always find such comfort in Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11:28 “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” This promise seems so counter-cultural to me, and I am looking forward to learning more about the promise and hope of this rest with you this June.
I would love to invite you to join me and our church leadership and staff for an event that we are calling City Church: A Family at Rest. This is something we truly want everyone to come to! We are thrilled to have Wade Bradshaw, the Director of Spiritual Formation at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville come and lead us during this time. Wade does a fabulous job of helping folks grow in spiritual disciplines--one of which is rest, and it will be such a treat to learn together from him.
Our “Family at Rest" event is a weekend event that will provide encouragement and teaching for the congregation, the church staff, and the City Church Session. So, save the date: Saturday, June 24th and Sunday, June 25th. We will kick off our time together with a gathering for our entire church family from 9am to 12pm at All Saints Reformed Presbyterian Church (childcare is free). Our discussions will continue in a casual setting over lunch, while the Session and our deacons meet with Wade to gain wisdom and encouragement on how rest relates to their specific roles. On Sunday morning our staff will share brunch with Wade, and our weekend will conclude with our 4pm worship service where Wade will preach on the disciplines of prayer, rest, and the blessing of the Sabbath on Sunday at church.
We would love for you to join us! Registration and childcare are free—did I mention that? You can register on the City Church website now. If you have any questions or if I can help you think through any details for this event, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is going to be a great time to grow together and learn about God’s blessing to us of rest in Him, and I hope to see you there!
A note from the planning team:
We have built time into our schedule on the 24th to allow time for attendees to go out to lunch afterwards and continue the morning's conversation. Several folks have volunteered to serve as "lunch captains" for these meet-ups at local restaurants. You're welcome to join them or organize a lunch of your own. (Locations are subject to change; we'll announce final locations at the event.)
- Sarah Johnson, The Daily (2934 W. Cary Street)
- Ian and Pat McIntosh, En Su Boca (1001 N. Boulevard)
- Liz Crim, Mellow Mushroom (3012 W. Cary Street)
- Caley Crawford, family-friendly, bring-your-own-lunch picnic on the lawn at the VMFA (200 N. Boulevard) — please note: All Saints has refrigerator space should you need it to store your family's lunch.