Announcements: Week of Sunday, December 17th 2017
ECW Christmas Reception and Children's Christmas Pageant
On this Sunday, Dec. 17, immediately following the 9am service the ECW will host our Annual Meeting and Reception in the Great Hall. You are invited to join and share as we honor the 2017 ECW Life Recipients: Dawna Spaulding, Zofia Dubicka, and Marion Stein. We honor them for their continued long and tireless work for the good of the church. In thanksgiving we add these women to the “Book of Life” record, a permanent record held at the Diocese of Virginia. We invite you to bring some sweet food or savory food to share. Then remain in the great hall for the 11:15am worship service, which will feature the children's Christmas pageant. Immediately following the pageant, there will be a potluck lunch for pageant families and friends.
Vestry Nomination Forms
Those who want to offer to stand for election to the Vestry will find the blue self-nomination forms available at the tall table at the back of the historic church. Completed forms are due on or by Sunday, Dec. 17, at 7:00pm in the Fleurries office building. Elections will be held in at the parish’s annual meeting on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. The blue form includes information about eligibility for election and the expectations of Vestry members; for more information, please see the Rector’s column in the October issue of the Cross Section newsletter.
Annual Pledge Update
As of 10 December, we have received 88 adult pledges for $336,490 (and 8 pledges from children and youth for $561) in support of God’s mission and ministry at Aquia Church in 2018. Have you submitted your pledge card yet? Pledge cards are available from the tall table at the back of the church and from the church office.
Youth Group Sunday, December 17: The youth group's final event of this calendar year will be our Christmas caroling trip, followed by dinner at Vinny's Pizza. Friends and siblings are welcomed to join us, and we would be glad to have some parents who can assist with driving. Please see Martin and Anne Lewis for details.
Morning Call: Our Sunday morning forum for adult education and discussion will resume with a new series on Jan. 14.
Wednesday Bible Studies: Our midweek Bible studies on Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening have concluded for 2017, with new programs beginning in early January. Stay tuned for more details.
Attention Ministry Group Leaders: The vestry has recently adopted a new, simple, but important policy governing the collection of cash, checks, and gift cards for ministry groups and for improved accountability about them. If your ministry group receives donations in the form of cash, checks, or gift cards, then please check with the church office for information about this new policy. Also, we ask that you please submit your written report on your group’s complete ministry during 2017 (a.k.a. “annual reports”) by this Wednesday, Dec. 20 to the church office (email@example.com). The annual reports from our ministry groups help not only preserve an important record of our history, but also to explain the work of our various ministry groups and can help attract new members to them.
Flower Guild: The Flower Guild requests donations of magnolia, evergreen, and holly (with red berries) branches, and a volunteer (or two) with a ladder to help wrap the pine roping around the four pillars under the balcony, and volunteers to place poinsettias in the windows before Christmas Eve. We will be happy to pick up greenery, if necessary! We will “green” the sanctuary on Saturday, December 23, at 10am.
Also needed: a volunteer to water the poinsettias and remove dead leaves or plants, a couple of times between Christmas and Epiphany. Please contact Sheryl Colliver, firstname.lastname@example.org or Betsy Husser, email@example.com if you can volunteer or have any questions!
Monetary Contributions for 2017: Must be received by the church by 31 December 2017, or be postmarked by 31 December 2017. Contributions, such as checks which are dated in 2017, but which are received after 31 December, or postmarked after 31 December will be counted towards 2018.
Cemetery News: Upon the recommendation of the cemetery committee, the vestry has recently voted to increase pricing for burial rights in our cemetery, effective 1 January 2018, in order to keep pace with the expenses of cemetery operations and perpetual care. The price for burial rights for each space in the memorial garden will increase from $350 to $750, and the price for burial rights for each space throughout the rest of the cemetery will increase from $1,000 to $1,500. This is the first price increase in nearly a decade. Please note that every eligible purchase of burial rights in our cemetery requires approval from the vestry.
Capital Campaign for New Building: Are you able to consider making a year-end gift that is fully tax-deductible to you and that will help us meet our goal? You can make such a gift regardless whether you have made a pledge for this campaign. At the moment, our successful “Generation to Generation” capital campaign has over $81,000 in dollars pledged but not yet paid. With this capital campaign ending in April 2018, there is indeed time to fulfill your existing pledge or even increase it, but you will want to plan accordingly for the remaining months. There is also opportunity for those who are enjoying our new building but have not yet pledged toward it to make a new pledge or a one-time contribution that will support our efforts to reduce the costs of our construction loan.
Virginia Episcopalian: Envelopes for contributions for the Virginia Episcopalian are available at the tall table in the back of the church. Please direct any questions to the Treasurer, Chris Arey.
Donating Bicycles: Moments of Hope Outreach is a certified non-profit 501(c)(3) that has a Bike Shop ministry within as a service that refurbishes bicycles to give away for those in need of transportation and to provide a weekly bicycle clinic for repairs and adjustments to keep bicycles operating as dependable transportation. In the last 17 months, the Bike Shop ministry has provided 45 bicycles to our friends in need, and Aquia Church members provided 5 of those adult bicycles to our homeless friends needing transportation for their job. Thank you for your past support. If you have a gently used adult bicycle that is no longer used but is taking up space in your garage, you could make a moment of hope for homeless and poverty-stricken individuals as a gift of transportation to get to a job and needed services: Please contact parishioner Bill League (firstname.lastname@example.org) in order to arrange the donation of your bicycle.
2018 Offering Envelopes Are Here: If you have a 5000 number your envelopes are at the back of the church. If you would like to have envelopes, contact Chris Arey or Sue Selz, 540-659-4007.
ECW Christmas Gift Table: Do you need a small, last minute gift or ornament? Look no further than the Great Hall! During this third Sunday of Advent, come and see our ECW gift table. There you will find a lovely variety of handmade Christmas ornaments and decorations along with Aquia Church stationary, cookbooks and the lovely ornaments of our historic church. We also have blessed wax angels and star candles made from Altar candle stubs, Snowman Soup mugs and much more.
Home Communion for the Sick and Shut-ins: If you know someone who is sick or shut-in and who would welcome a clergy visit for home communion at Christmas, please notify the church office and we will gladly make arrangements. This form of pastoral care is available throughout the year, of course, but might be especially meaningful at Christmas.
Confirmation: Bishop Susan Goff will visit Aquia Church on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 18, in order to assist with confirmation, reception into The Episcopal Church (for folks who were baptized as adults in another denomination or confirmed in another denomination), and the reaffirmation of baptismal vows. To that end, any teenagers (starting around 7th or 8th grade) or adults who wish to be confirmed, to be received, or to reaffirm their baptismal vows will engage with our clergy throughout January and February on Sunday mornings and on a couple of other occasions. If you have questions about these matters, or if you want to register your intention to participate, please notify Sue Selz in the church office (email@example.com) or speak with one of the clergy ASAP. This visit will likely be the only time that a bishop will be at Aquia Church for confirmation until fall 2019 at the earliest, but there will be additional opportunities for confirmation at other Episcopal churches during that timeframe.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS, DATES, AND TIMES
- Sunday, Dec. 17 (third Sunday of Advent), at 10:15 a.m.: ECW Christmas Reception in the great hall
- Sunday, Dec. 17 (third Sunday of Advent), at 11:15 a.m.: Children's Christmas Pageant with Holy Communion, followed by potluck luncheon, all in the great hall
- Sunday, Dec. 24 (fourth Sunday of Advent), at 10:00 a.m.: The Holy Eucharist (the only morning worship service on this day)
- Sunday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve), at 5:30 p.m., 8 p.m., and 11 p.m.: The Holy Eucharist, with seasonal music 30 minutes before each service
- Monday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day), at 10 a.m.: The Holy Eucharist
- Sunday, Dec. 31 (first Sunday after Christmas), at 8 a.m.: The Holy Eucharist
- Sunday, Dec. 31 (first Sunday after Christmas), at 10 a.m.: Christmas Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion
- Sunday, Dec. 31 (first Sunday after Christmas), at 6 p.m.: NO evening worship service
- Sunday, Jan. 7 (first Sunday in the new year), at 10 a.m. (the only morning service on this day): The Holy Eucharist, with Parish Annual Meeting and Election of Vestry Members, in the great hall
- Sunday, Jan. 14: Regular Sunday Schedule Resumes (The Holy Eucharist at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 6 p.m., with Sunday school at 10:15 a.m. and a new Morning Call series beginning at 10:20 a.m.)
The 6 p.m. Sunday evening worship service will continue as usual throughout this time, with some exceptions: Dec. 10 (when our 5 p.m. Advent Lessons and Carols Service will be held instead of the 6 p.m. Holy Eucharist), Dec. 24 (when our Christmas Eve worship schedule above will be followed), and Dec. 31 (when there will be NO evening worship service).