Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland, Inc.

    "Revived, Renewed, Restored Through Christ!"

Joel 2:25 King James Version (KJV)

25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

Lent, 2022...

Maundy Thursday Observance

On Thursday, April 14th, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., EST., via Zoom, Restoration Ministries will hold its annual Maundy Thursday Service. 

On this day, the Church remembers the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The term “Maundy” is derived from the Latin mandatum, or commandment, which is found as the first word in Latin of John 13:34, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another.” This verse is an antiphon from the ceremony of foot-washing done on this day in the imitation of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples just before the Last Supper (Information obtained from, Symbols of the Church Seasons & Days, by John Bradner).


During this service,  we will again present, “Were You There: A Dramatic Reading of Passion Week Bible Character Perspectives…” We invite you to join us as we journey back through time, back to the last days before Jesus was crucified. Listen to some of the inner thoughts of those who walked with Him, witnessed His ministry and experienced His last hours on the earth. We will also have special readings, music and a guest preacher, Pastor Lumar Vargas, Lead Pastor of Aviva Church of the Nazarene.  You will not want to miss this BEAUTIFUL observance of the Lord's last days with us before his death, burial and resurrection!


To come, see Zoom information below...

Join Zoom Meeting 4/14/2022, 7:00 p.m., EST.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85176277689...
Meeting ID: 851 7627 7689
Passcode: 629761

Maundy Thursday Guest Preacher, Pastor Lumar Vargas, Lead Pastor, Aviva Church of the Nazarene

Pastor Lumar Vargas received her call to preach in a Latino church on the west side of Cleveland at age 14. She has served as an Associate Pastor and traveling preacher (Iglesia del Salvador), Director of Small Groups (Grace CMA Church), and church planter (Grace Church Spanish Fellowship). Pastor Vargas has a specific call to shepherd the bicultural and bilingual Latino community of Cleveland with a vision to restore, transform, and empower a displaced second generation to Jesus and to the Church. She wants to leave a legacy of Latinos who are Biblically grounded, social-emotionally stable, financially secure, and academically successful. Pastor Vargas serves as Lead Pastor of Aviva Church of the Nazarene, a growing church plant in Old Brooklyn. She is completing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with a research focus on the transformational leadership of Latino/ church pastors. Pastor Vargas holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration and Principal License, a bachelor’s degree in Education, and a certificate in Theology. She is a locally licensed minister through the Church of the Nazarene North Central District.  Pastor Vargas is happily married to her childhood friend and ministry partner, Emanuel (Eman). 

Ash Wednesday Observance...

Beginning Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, Restoration Ministries will join with Christians from around the world to observe the Lenten Season. Originally, Lent was a time of preparation for Easter baptism. Those preparing to be baptized would fast and pray. The climax of the season came with an all-night vigil of Easter Even with baptism, confirmation and celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. Lent also was a time for all members of the church community to repent of and mourn for sin. The forty weekdays of Lent represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness during His Temptation. According to Matthew and Luke, He fasted for forty days. During Lent, the church of today continues to focus upon the themes of repentance, forgiveness and restoration. 

                 

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. The ashes are made from the burned palms from the previous Palm Sunday. In the Christian Tradition, the ashes are blessed and then the pastor, using the ashes, makes the sign of the cross upon the foreheads of the repentant. The ashes symbolize repentance. The idea comes from the Old Testament times when mourners clothed themselves in sackcloth and sprinkled their heads and faces with dust or ashes. Job said, “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:6). Jesus declared, “Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Siden, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Information obtained from, Symbols of Church Seasons & Days, by John Bradner)


While the ashes symbolize repentance, let us remember that outward symbols without inward transformation is unacceptable in the sight of God.


Lent 2022 Dates:                  

Wednesday, March 2nd thru Good Friday, April 15th, 2022.

During the Lenten Season, we invite the entire congregation and our friends to join with the Pastor, Associate Ministers and Deacons to fast (from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon each Wednesday) and pray for the following:

  • For the People of Ukraine and their leaders for help, healing and protection
  • For countries that boarder Ukraine to show compassion and give safe haven to ALL who seek refuge from the Russian invasion (including foreigners studying in Ukraine from other countries)
  • That God will convict the heart, mind and actions of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s leader
  • For our world leaders to increase in godly wisdom and actions
  • That we each will be revived, renewed and restored through Jesus Christ
  • For the men, women, boys and girls the Lord is sending to the Restoration Ministries
  • For all of those on our Intercessory Prayer lists
  • For stronger, faithful stewardship commitments from our members current and future within Restoration Ministries (time, talent and treasure)
  • For the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act
  • For the passage of strong gun control legislation
  • For a reformed and more just prison system in America
  • For deliverance from COVID
  • That Restoration Ministries will be used by God in the Greater Euclid, Cleveland Area and beyond, making a difference for God’s Kingdom
  • Our nation, our president, our economy, the Education and Healthcare Systems, our environment, our relationships throughout the world
  • Our service men and women

“Hear our prayer oh Lord, incline thine ear to us and grant us thy peace.”


Join us for our Lenten Services, 2022

On Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, at 7:00 p.m., EST., Restoration Ministries will begin Lent with the observance of Ash Wednesday. Both via Zoom and Facebook Live, we will gather to pray, sing, reflect, hear poetry and hear God's Word! Our evening preacher will be the Reverend Dr. Rena Baker, member, RMGRCLE. Our guest musician/soloist will be our dear friend, Sister Martha Swaffield, musician from the Vineyard, Wickliffe, Ohio. We will be blessed by a special poem, written by youth poetess, Sister Zipporah Williams. We will be led in music for the evening by our Minister of Music, Caleb. A. Smith. 


Join us via ZOOM:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 1398 7971
Passcode: 291403

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Or via Facebook Live, Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland.

We hope to see you there!!!

(SAVE THE DATE: More information to come regarding our Maundy Thursday Services, April 14th, 2022, 7:00 p.m., via Zoom and Facebook Live).

Restoration Ministries Welcomes Musician, Caleb Smith as the Newest Ministry Team Member!

In February 2022, Minister Caleb Smith joined the ministry team of Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland as the new church musician. A graduate of both Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.S. of Music, 2019) and New England Conservatory of Music, (M. A., Music, 2021), Minister Smith brings to us a wealth of experience both in the Christian and secular realms. A "son" of Restoration Ministries, Minister Smith has been emersed in the music of the Church since birth. His musical experiences include (but not limited to), participation at the "J@MS" (Jazz at the Music Settlement, Cleveland, Ohio) during high School, participation in "COYO," (Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra) 1st chair trombonist, two, Five-Week summer programs at Berkeley School of Music, Boston, MA,  internships at The Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program (2017) and Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music (2017). Minister Smith's musical talents have afforded him the opportunity to perform and provide instruction in the countries of Jordan and China.  Currently, Minister Smith works at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music as a Curatorial Assistant and as an instructor in the Tri-C (Cuyahoga Community College) youth Jazz program. WELCOME Minister Caleb Smith to the Music Ministry of Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland!

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) encourages support for the "Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling Endowment" for African American women pastors of struggling congregations. See information below and here

Pastor Christine A. Smith Elected to Become 
the National President of American Baptist Women's Ministries...

On Saturday July 17th, 2021 during the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Baptist Women's Ministries, Rev. Christine A. Smith, Senior Pastor of Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland, Inc., was elected to serve as National President! Pastor Smith expressed appreciation to the ABWM nationally and locally for the honor of being elected to serve. She assumes her duties as President on September 1st, 2021. 


Since 1993, Rev. Smith has been engaged locally with American Baptist Women’s Ministries of Greater Cleveland. She has served as workshop leader, keynote speaker, Bible study leader and host for AB Women annual days and retreats. Most recently, Rev. Smith served on the ABWM national nominating committee (2018) and as the Ohio facilitator for the AB Girls STEAM program, “Building Bridges and Gateways to Girls Future,” (2019).


American Baptist Women's Ministries is a diverse community of American Baptist women and girls serving in ministry in Christ's name. With local, area, region/state, and national levels of ministry, AB Women's Ministries creates a community of passionately faithful, mission-minded women and girls engaged in worship, service, and friendship. AB Women’s Ministries is part of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and is affiliated with the North American Baptist Women’s Union, the Women’s Department of the Baptist World Alliance, and Church Women United.

A Common Ground Conversation: "People, Place and Shared Power: Where Are We On the Journey?"

For the last five years, the Cleveland Foundation has supported a community wide initiative called, “Common Ground.” Common Ground is a platform for community members to come together to discuss ideas, issues, concerns, etc., to make our communities healthier, stronger, better.


On Tuesday, July 27th, 2021, Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland, Inc., and Faith in the City Euclid, Ohio, co-hosted the conversation, “People, Place and Shared Power: Where Are We On the Journey?” Our facilitator was Dr. Martina Moore, Ph.D., President and CEO of Moore Counseling. The basis of our conversation was the ground breaking book, White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo.


In preparation for our discussion, the board members of our group came together to read the book and discuss how the concepts, truths, and overall idea of the book impacted us as individuals. Our conversations were open, honest, transparent and raw. Sometimes we laughed, sometimes we cried, and sometimes we became angry. But our conversation remained respectful with truths shared in love. 


Dr. Moore asked that each of us share our experiences during the book discussion with our conversation participants. Our participant audience of 22 individuals was diverse in terms of age, race, ethnicity and religious beliefs. Following opening remarks from the facilitator and the experience sharing from the book study group, everyone was given an opportunity to respond and share. To read more about this powerful and engaging experience, click here... (blog date, July 28th, 2021). 

Watch our Common Ground Conversation by clicking here...

VACCINATED!!!

Restoration Ministries Leaders Leading by example...

During the months of March and April, the ministry leaders, members and youth of Restoration Ministries received the Covid 19 Vaccine. All expressed appreciation for the opportunity to get the vaccine through various sites, including Lee Road Baptist Church (Rev. Dr. James P. Quincy, Senior Pastor), MetroHealth Maple Heights, Ohio location, University Hospitals, the Cleveland Clinic and the Wolstein Center (Cleveland State University). Pastors and leaders from across the Greater Cleveland Area are working together to encourage EVERYONE to get vaccinated. United Pastors in Mission (President, Dr. Larry Macon), The Cleveland Clergy Coalition (Pastor Aaron Phillips, Esq., Facilitator) and many other groups are working hard to educate the public on the benefits and protections of the vaccine. "Many people have questions about the safety of the vaccine, especially since the concerns over the Johnson & Johnson vaccination pause. Some are fearful of short and long term side effects. However, national statistics show that the vast majority of individuals experience no or minimal side-effects that dissipate quickly. The benefits far out weigh the risks in terms of saving lives and minimizing the need for hospitalizations. As leaders, we can help allay fears when we lead by example and show ourselves getting the vaccine," Pastor Chris Smith, Senior Pastor, Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland, Inc.

Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling Endowment for African American Female Pastors...

In 2019, Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland, Inc., "seeded" an endowment of $70,000 with American Baptist Home Missions Societies. The "Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling Endowment," was established to offer grants to African American Female Senior pastors of small congregations (300 or less). Recently, ABHMS launched a dedicated donations page for the endowment... Below is a portion of the site's wording...


Support Beyond the Stained-glass Ceiling Endowment Fund

The Rev. Chris Smith had a vision of providing support to African-American women ministers who were leading small congregations, many struggling financially. Buoyed by this prophetic calling, Smith authored her groundbreaking book, “Beyond the Stained-glass Ceiling: Equipping and Encouraging Female Pastors” (Judson Press, 2013).

Restoration Ministries of Greater Cleveland Inc., the church pastored by Smith, has established a $70,000 endowed gift with American Baptist Home Mission Societies that will support at least two African-American female pastors yearly who serve congregations of 300 or fewer members as senior solo pastor...


To read more and to make a donation, click here...


In prayer, faith and wisdom, churches around the country are practicing "social distancing," by pausing "in-person" worship. Many are hosting online worship services, ZOOM sessions and Facebook live streaming. During this season, each Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m., Restoration Ministries will hold Worship Service via conference call. For more information about this service and or to participate, email us at rmgrcle@gmail.com