Announcements: Week of Sunday, December 3rd 2017
Annual Pledge Update
As of 19 November, we have received 81 adult pledges for $301,970.00 (and 6 pledges from children and youth for $522.00) in support of God’s mission and ministry at Aquia Church in 2018. That is a good start, with room for improvement. Pledge cards are available from the tall table at the back of the church and from the church office.
Father Morris will continue our new Morning Call series on “Jesus and the Old Testament,"which will end next Sunday, Dec. 10. Morning Call is our Sunday morning forum for adult education and discussion, meeting in the new building’s great hall starting around 10:20am. Morning Call is always available for visitors, newcomers, and those who attend regularly; Morning Call is available for high school students as well.
ECW Christmas Reception and Children's Christmas Pageant: On Sunday Dec. 17, we have some special occasions to enjoy. Please join us in the great hall around 10:20am for the ECW Christmas Reception, an annual celebration of our women's ministry; 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.
ECW Advent Gift Table: Do you need a small, last minute Christmas gift or a set of tapers for your Advent wreath? During the first three Sundays of Advent, come and see our ECW gift table in the Great Hall. There you will find a lovely variety of handmade Christmas ornaments and decorations along with Aquia Church stationary, cookbooks and gold ornaments of our historic church. We also have sets of Advent candles, blessed wax angels and star candles made from Altar candle stubs, Snowman Soup mugs and much more.
Puerto Rico Relief Fundraiser Event: On December 9, in Great Hall, there will be a fundraiser event for hurricane relief for Puerto Rico. It is being sponsored and hosted by Miguel Santiago and his wife Martha Burgos, owners of the Linx Deli located north of the church on Rt. 1, and Mary Jane and Gene Cole. Miguel and Martha have collected and shipped over 20,000 pounds of water, clothing, diapers and food items through the organization “United for Puerto Rico”. The benefit will feature great food and music, Salsa dancing and more. Plan to stop by Great Hall between 5 and 10 PM on Saturday, December 9, 2017. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or at Linx Deli. Bring your dancing shoes! For further information, contact Mary Jane Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call Linx Deli.
Youth Group News: The youth group for teenagers in grades 6-12 will have its next evening meeting on Dec. 3 & 17 (with Dec. 17 being the date for Christmas caroling and Christmas party). Teenagers are expected to bring $40 each in order to cover their meals at most evening meetings for the school year, and parents are expected to provide meals at evening meetings once or twice during the school year (with reimbursement up to $80/meal available). Please contact Father Morris (email@example.com or 540-659-4007 at the church office) in order to schedule your family’s turns providing meals and in order to submit your teenager’s meal money. In addition to the evening meetings, the youth group meets on Sunday mornings during the time for Sunday school: the middle school group meets in the new building downstairs in the large room with upholstered chairs and sofas, while the high school group meets upstairs in the great hall as part of Morning Call.
Wednesday Morning Bible Study: – The Book of Daniel – we continue the Wednesday morning Bible study series on the Old Testament book of Daniel. This text constitutes an important foundation block for our understanding of the Revelation to John and, through that, to our conception of the Day of the Lord. The study will last for twelve weeks finishing up Wednesday, December 13th. Therefore, our study of the end of things will last throughout Advent, which is quite fitting. Elements of the Revelation to John will be brought in to give a holistic view of Christian eschatology (the theology of the end). We would love to have you join us!
Wednesday Evening Bible Study: This series will resume on Wednesday, Nov. 29 as we explore the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes, chapters 6 through 8. This short-term study will conclude on Dec. 13. This series will be led by Father Morris. Come join us as we seek to gain some wisdom with provocative perspective for the seasons of Advent and Christmas and for the new year.
Attention Leaf Rakers: The Fall Clean-up of our grounds will be held on Saturday 2 Dec from 8AM to 12 PM. Work will involve cleaning leaves from around the buildings and parking areas, trimming shrubs, and removing other debris. Please bring gloves, rakes, hand held gas leaf blowers, and trimmers. Coffee, pastries, and water provided. In the case of rain, we will re-schedule on Saturday 9 Dec.
Advent Lessons & Carols: Please join us for an evening service of Advent Lessons and Carols Sunday, Dec. 10, at the special time of 5:00pm (this will not be a communion service). Bring family, friends, and neighbors as we journey through the season of Advent together.
The Dove Project: The Doves are due back this coming Sunday, Dec 3.
Adopt-A-Family: The Adopt-A-Family project is an annual event that gives us the opportunity to assist needy Stafford County residents during the Christmas season. We will be providing Christmas gifts to families and seniors selected for us by the Stafford County Department of Social Services. The gift tags noting the age, sex, and gift requests will be on the little Christmas trees either on the picnic table in front of the church during services, or in case of windy or inclement weather, in the foyer of the Great Hall. Please select a tag, print your name and phone number or e-mail address on the sign-up sheet, and return the gift (unwrapped) by December 10.
Christmas Flowers: Help us decorate the church for Christmas. Forms can be found in the newsletter, office and in the bulletin; fill it out and return it to the church office by December 11th. The cost of the flowers this year is $20.
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.
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!
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.
Vestry News At its regular meeting on 21 November, the vestry elected teenager Ethan Shoen, an acolyte at the 9:00am worship service, to fill the open position of youth representative on the vestry. His term will expire on 31 May 2018, after which he is eligible to serve a full-year term. Congratulations, Ethan, and thank you for your willingness to undertake this ministry.
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 $83,007.00 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.
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 Wednesday, Dec. 20 to the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.
Virginia Episcopalian: Envelopes for contributions for the Virginia Episcopalian are available in the pews or 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 (email@example.com) 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.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS, DATES, AND TIMES
Sunday, Dec. 10 (second Sunday of Advent), at 5 p.m.: Advent Lessons and Carols (not a communion service)
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).