god with us

sunday teaching series

One of the most beautiful and earth shattering thoughts is that God willfully chose to dwell among us. When the gods of other religions came near people, it was to punish them and harm them. But here in this infant child, God is born into our world humbly and mildly not to curse and to harm but to heal and to save. Our circumstances often fight the belief that God is for us. When we doubt, when we're brokenhearted, when we feel lost or guilty, we often think it's because God is against us. 

Christmas changes that and we're excited to explore why this Christmas season. 

We invite you to join us at 10am each Sunday of Christmas as we explore the God who is with us.

  • Zechariah, Jesus' uncle, was a man of great faith...until he wasn't. He was exceptionally religious and pious but his faith was tested and initially his religious ways couldn't' make sense of what God was doing in the world. Doubt literally silenced him. And then God came near to open his mouth and also his heart. 

    Doubting God isn't a threat to God. In fact, God would much rather have our honest questions than our pious silence. He can handle it. And in that open honesty is where God has access to our hearts. 

  • So many of the characters of Christmas had expectations that were shattered with the arrival of Jesus. They all were painting pictures of what their life was going to be like and Jesus disrupted them all. How does God meet us when what we hoped for never arrives? How is God with us when what we thought would happen turns out to be drastically different?   

  • Being lost isn't often a problem in our day with GPS and maps available at our fingertips. Imagine having to follow the stars through unknown lands and dangerous landscapes. We're never told the wisemen lost their way in their search for the king of the Jews, but they were certainly "lost" people. They were on a mission to find a king but in reality, God was on a mission to find them. 

  • The shepherds were considered some of the most detestable people in their society. Everything about them was dirty and by default, for a lot of reasons, everyone assumed they were some of the more sinful people around. Yet it was to them that God announced his plan of salvation...and perhaps it is only people like them that can receive it.   

  • Be sure to join us Christmas Eve at 10am, 3pm or 11pm. Then enjoy Christmas Day with your family!

  • What better way to kick off the New Year than with a declaration of new life! Join us at 10am on 1.1. for our baptism service. Ready to be baptized? LET US KNOW!  Want to learn more? Join us for our 30 minute baptism class on December 8th at 7pm or after our service on December 18. LET US KNOW IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND.

christmas eve

We invite you to join us for one (or more) of our Christmas Eve services. 

10am | Interactive Family Service

This is a fun telling of the Christmas story including interactive elements, surprises and a grand "Happy Birthday Jesus!" ALL are welcome to join us! Gather your friends and family, come in your PJ's and if you're able, bring a non-perishable food item or a toiletry item for our needs-shelves. The kids will have an opportunity to place them in the manger!

3pm & 11pm | Candle Lighting Service

This is a beautiful service full of singing, learning and reflection. We'll close our time together by circling up and passing the Christ-light as we sing carols of God's faithfulness and goodness while holding our candles. 

congratulations jennifer erickson!! the candy cane has been found!

The Candy Cane was found entangled in the limbs of a fallen tree surrounded by what had become a swamp with the latest rain (not our intention). This patch of trees was near the Levittown library, the fire station and the government building. 

See below for an explanation of the clues. 

Golden candy cane: 

frequently asked questions

  • The entire community! The only person who knows its whereabouts is Pastor Ross and Emily so they are the only ones excluded from finding it (but their kids are not). 

  • The candy cane is 8 inches long. Originally it held M&Ms :) It's wrapped in gold duct tape. 

  • Cut it open and follow the instructions inside.

  • The hunting zone is roughly as follows: HWY 1 to the North, the Delaware River to the East and South, 295 to the West.

  • The hunt officially begins on November 27. Clues can be found below. The hunt will end when the candy cane is found.

  • We are a church IN our community, FOR our community. We love providing fun, family friendly activities to help our community thrive. We (obviously) believe in the work, the hope, the life and the community of Restoration Church so we want as many people to know who we are and what we're about. This is one way to introduce our community to Restoration in a fun way. 

  • Yes. Anyone can access it without trespassing.

  • Places that are publicly accessible :) 

  • As many as are needed. Previous hunts have seen anywhere between 6 and 15 clues be released. 

  • Every few days though we release more when people "play along" on social media by helping us share and interact with us. 

  • This year, the base prize is $100 but for each clue that is released, starting at clue #2, $50 will be added to the purse. The max prize is $500. Here's the chart of prize to clues:

    Clue 1 : $100

    Clue 2 : $150

    Clue 3 : $200

    Clue 4 : $250

    Clue 5 : $300

    Clue 6 : $350

    Clue 7 : $400

    Clue 8 : $450

    Clue 9 and following: $500. 

  • Pastor Ross regularly checks on the candy cane :) 

  • You can do whatever you want but he (and Emily) is sworn to secrecy. But he would love to get to know you so introduce yourself if you see him :) 

  • No. 

  • Well, it's a check. The check will take 7-10 days to process but it will be mailed to the winner :) 

  • Okay. Somewhere in our community there is a tape covered, plastic candy cane. Starting on November 27th, clues will start showing up below. Every few days another clue will appear. Each clue will describe the cane's location in a mysterious way that will demand your deciphering skills. Put the clues together and they'll lead you to the candy cane. If you find it, cut it open and follow the instructions inside to claim your prize!

clue #1 ($100)

This Silent Night’s description of the heavenly atmosphere can be only somewhat appreciated.

The description "all is bright" could only somewhat be seen because then candy cane would have to peer through the de-leafed trees overhead.

clue #2 ($150)

Confined but free. It was tangled in branches but visible.

Exposed but enshrouded. It was visible but covered by overhead branches.

Light but dark. There were no leaves to shade it but another time of year it wouldn't be touched by the sun.

High but low. It wasn't on the ground, or high in the air. It was 5 ft off the ground, a moderate height.

East but West. In the middle of the east and west.

North but South. In the middle of the north and south. In fact, if you looked at a map of the search boundaries, the Candy Cane was almost smack dab in the middle.

Simple but smart. It was near the library...a simple way to get smart.

Rules but rebellious. It was next to the court of appeals where those who are rebellious face then rules.

clue #3 ($200)

Have you heard the legend of the first golden candy cane?

As it was placed the stream was small.

As it was found the waters ran tall.

It wasn't our intention to place it in a high water-table area but when it was placed the ground was "sloshy" and we knew of the potential for it to rise and create a swamp.

clue #4 ($250)

If one stood on top of the Eiffel Tower's highest point, how many Ross Manders' (in his "preaching boots") would it take to grab the candy cane if it were dangling from the top of the spire on the Empire State Building (if in fact it were atop the Empire State Building, which it's not because that's outside our boundaries)? 

Now, if Ross slid down George Washington's nose, as depicted on Mt. Rushmore, while carrying a jar of olives (a favorite snack of his) and whistling a Christmas carol, how many birds would he disrupt, how many bears would he scare and how many tourists would capture it on film?

That long of a slide would be pretty fun, I bet. Hm. I wonder how many of those slides it would take to equal the number of Ross's bridging the tower gap? 

I bet that if a person that tall in feet ate 15 Hershey Kisses worth of height and stood on top of Switchfoot's Scrappy Little Christmas Tree, they'd be looking the Golden Candy Cane in the eye!

This clue was a bunch of nonsense that told you it was roughly 5ft off the ground. Basic math and research. Eating 15 Hershey kisses would decrease the height, not add to it.   

CLUE #5 ($300)

Combat urban heating?

Clean the air?

Improve the soil?

Reduce noise pollution?

Decrease stress and blood pressure?

Just a few of the reasons the Candy Cane nestled up here.

All these are benefits of trees, which the candy cane was gripped in.


clue #6 ($350)

There is a "55" among the Ss telling you it was in the 19055 zip code. 

clue #7 ($400)

Like the wisemen of old, let the star point you in the direction of the golden candy cane.

Stars, when drawn, typically have 5 points. Our region's "Star" is 5 points in Levittown and if you look on a map, it is distinctly pointing North-east up New Falls.

clue #8 ($450)

They say Socrates was a well-dressed man. 

I've heard that too, but his fashion languished as he got older.

Didn't he have a son named Doug? Yew are mistaken. You're thinking of Sophroniscus. 

What about his death? 

How did that happen? 

It's fascinating but less relevant. 

"Yew" is the key to this clue but it's a directive. A "well-dressed" man is "spruced up", "languished" fashion is "pining." "Doug" is a "fir" tree. All these could be found at the Fire Station #2 tree lot. Socrates died from Hemlock poisoning which is a type off coniferous tree but not one we typically buy as a Christmas tree.

clue #9 ($500)

If this were the day of Jesus' crucifixion, the saints of God might frighten me.

In Matthew 27, the Holy One's of God come out of their graves and walk around when Jesus dies. There is a cemetery acrosss the street directly behind Emily Methodist Church.

clue #10 (helper)

We're feeling generous. Here are helps for #2 & #8 (we won't bother with #4, it's honestly not worth the help, move on from it...let that be your help). Keep in mind that not everything in every clue is relevant. How could anyone possibly know how many birds Ross would disrupt?


These are all descriptions of its placement. It's trapped but not so much that you can't get it. It's visible but covered. The sun hits it now but it wouldn't other times of the year. It's not high off the ground but it's not on the ground. It's in the middle of the east and west, north and south. Etc. Etc.


This has nothing to do with Socrates except the means of his death is very (VERY!) loosely related. Read it slowly. Anything seem off? Why? What else in the clue could be related to that?  

clue #11

That baby's cry sure shines bright at night.

A baby's cry sounds like "Wawa" which is bright at night and just down the road.

clue #12 (helper)

As a general reminder of how these clues typically work: they start very broad and tend to narrow the search field, either by offering descriptions of what's around the item or cutting off corners of the map. For example, at the first clue, the map was the entire playing field but several of these clues are trimming the map down to a more specific area. We're zooming in on where the cane is...assuming you can figure out the clues :) 


It might help to pick up a bible :) 

What happened to the saints (or holy ones) of God at Jesus' crucifixion and why might that scare someone?

welcome christmas

a winter festival for the whole family!

Gather your friends and family and join us for a free, festive evening on December 11 from 5 - 7pm

Enjoy our extensive, nativity inspired petting zoo, hot chocolate bar, our light maze with a special clue to the golden candy cane, ornament making, fire pits and smores, carolers and more.

In addition, there are several great ways to connect to rejoice, learn, reflect, sip, eat and bless others with friends and family this Christmas season:

  • ladies christmas tea

    We invite all women to join us on December 2nd at 7 for a beautiful evening designed to help us focus our hearts and minds on Jesus this Christmas season as we sip some tea, enjoy scones & desserts, and fellowship with other ladies. The cost is $12pp.

    REGISTER here

  • the giving tree

    As part of our Christmas season, The Giving Tree is our opportunity to bless local families who need help providing a happy Christmas for their families.  It may mean helping to purchase presents, providing meals, clothing or other needs and unless the family you sponsor has only one child, or you take an entire family, you will be working together with others to bless your family. 

    To sponsor a child, or an entire family, check out our interactive christmas tree

  • shared meal holiday shop free market

    Our Shared Meal for our local homeless and those in need is renown within our community. During our December meal on the 9th, in addition to a wonderful hot meal we are also providing a Holiday Shop & Free Market: an opportunity for our local homeless and those in need to "shop" for what they may want or need. The donation list will keep expanding but for now we are looking to collect the following:

    Hot Hands
    Wet wipes
    Long underwear (med - XL mens & womens)
    Granola Bars
    Snack packs
    Portioned trail mixes
    Beef jerky
    Canned soup
    Sugar free cookies or snacks
    Fruit cups/pouches
    Canned fruit

    REGISTER to help  at this shared meal by either providing a portion of the meal, hosting our guests or helping them "Shop" for their items. . In the mean time, any and all donations can be dropped off in the "Shared Meal Holiday Shop" bin in the lobby. 

  • loving our teachers at walt disney elementary school

    Being an educator is hard work.  This has always been the case but the challenge has increased exponentially the last couple of years.  The average teachers spends $750 of their own money to support their classroom each year.  As part of our Be Rich season we are gifting the educators at Walt Disney with gifts for their classroom, their desk or simply for them as a tangible expression of our love and gratitude for all they do.

    Bless a teacher at Walt Disney by purchasing a Christmas gift from their list.