Announcements - Week of Sunday, December 15, 2019
Advent Continues This Sunday
Advent Continues This Sunday: As we prepare for Jesus’ return at his second coming, in our worship we should slow down, thus allowing for some stillness and calmness to enter our busy lives and helping with our reflection on the important themes of Advent. Throughout Advent there will be some deliberate pauses around the Scripture readings and the prayers. Do not let yourself be rushed during this holy season.
Vestry Elections at Annual Meeting
Vestry Elections at Annual Meeting: Our parish’s 2020 Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 5, within the context of the 10:00 a.m. worship service in the great hall (for the only morning worship service that day; the evening service will be held as usual). This Annual Meeting will certainly feature some important, exciting news for the parish; we shall also elect new members to the vestry. Light blue self-nomination forms are available for pick-up at the tall table in the back of the church or from the church office, and should be submitted by 6:00 p.m. on this Sunday, December 15, through the mail slot on the front door of the Fleurries.
Special Events on Next Sunday, Dec. 22
Special Events on Next Sunday, Dec. 22: Immediately following the 7:30 a.m. service, the ECW will host a fellowship breakfast (8:30—10:00 a.m.). We invite our parish families to share in the morning festivities beginning with breakfast in the great hall. An abbreviated version of the 2019 Annual Meeting of ECW will follow the fellowship time. We will also honor our 2019 Gift of Life Members. We will continue the fellowship breakfast through the meeting until 10:00, when we will have our children’s Christmas pageant and the Holy Eucharist.
ECW's Advent Gift Table
ECW’s Advent Gift Table: Do you need small, last-minute Christmas gifts? During the 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 stationery, cookbooks, and gold ornaments of our historic church. We also have sets of wax angels and star candles made from altar candle stubs, handsome gnomes, the cutest sock monkeys, and much more. For further information, feel free to contact Mary Jane Cole (email@example.com).
Pledge Cards Due
Pledge Cards Due: We encourage you to submit your pledge card as soon as possible. Your pledge indicates your intended financial commitment to God’s mission and ministry at Aquia Church during 2020, as a sign of gratitude for all the blessings the Lord has provided. Pledge cards for adults and youth are available at the tall table at the back of the church and from the church office. Pledge cards may be submitted in the offering plate, mailed to the church (PO Box 275, Stafford, VA 22555-0275), or dropped off at the church office. As of Dec. 9, we can report the following good news: so far we have received 88 adult pledge cards for $384,695.92, plus 7 youth pledge cards for $704.69. Among the 88 adult pledges are 17 new pledges (from folks who did not officially pledge for 2019) for nearly $41,000, and 71 pledges from folks who pledged from 2019 (with 34 of them actually increasing their pledges!), with an average pledge of $4,371.54.
Morning Call: For Morning Call on Dec. 15, our conversation will focus on themes for the Advent season. On Dec. 22 there will be no Morning Call because of the ECW’s Christmas breakfast reception. On Dec. 29 there will be some informal conversation during the usual time of Morning Call. On Jan. 5 there will be no Morning Call because of the parish’s Annual Meeting that morning. On Jan. 12 a new Morning Call series will begin. Morning Call is our Sunday morning forum for adult formation and discussion, held in the great hall 9:00—9:45 a.m.
Youth Group: Our youth group for teens in grades 6-12 will have its next evening meeting on this Sunday, Dec. 15, as an off-campus event. It will involve our Christmas caroling (meet at church at the new building parking lot at 3:00 p.m.) and Christmas party at Father Morris’s home (with parents picking up teens from there around 7:00 p.m.). For the Christmas caroling and party, teens are welcomed to bring parents, siblings, and friends—the more the merrier. Having some parents available to help drive our carolers around town would be very helpful. At the party, anyone who wants to participate in our gag gift exchange may bring a wrapped present ($5 maximum!). For more details, or in order to provide a headcount from your family for our party food, please contact Father Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, our regular Sunday morning meetings take place 9:00--9:45 a.m. in the youth room nearly every Sunday of the school year (except Dec. 29 and Jan. 5).
Wednesday Bible Studies
Wednesday Bible Studies: On this Wednesday, Dec. 18, Father Rickenbaker will conclude his series on “A Christian Reading of Genesis” (10:30 a.m.—12:00 noon), and Father Morris will conclude his evening series on John the Baptist (7:00—8:30 p.m.). Those attending the evening series may start the evening with the Christmas feast at Aquia's Table, which begins serving at 6:00 p.m. Both groups meet in the new building's downstairs conference room. There will be no Bible study meetings here on Christmas Day nor on New Year’s Day. On the morning of Jan. 8, Father Morris will meet with anyone who attends for some informal conversation about Bible study and adult formation for our faith. On the evening of Jan. 8, Father Morris will begin a new series on the Book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. On the morning of Jan. 15, Father Rickenbaker will begin a new series on the Pastoral Epistles in the New Testament (First and Second Timothy, plus Titus).
Aquia's Table Update
Aquia’s Table Update: On Nov. 20, Aquia’s Table served at least 186 people at our Thanksgiving feast with food, warmth, and love in the Name of Jesus Christ—and probably more than that, too. Countless volunteers helped make a difference in their lives, thanks in part to your generous support. Our Christmas feast is scheduled for this Wednesday, Dec. 18, with live Christmas music during the first hour; after that date, meals will resume on Jan. 8 (following breaks on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). Consider lending a hand to this life-giving ministry—you might enjoy it, and you will certainly be blessed by it.
Aquia's Pantry Report
Aquia’s Pantry Report: Since joining the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank six months ago, the pantry has distributed 12,143 lbs. of food to our local community. That’s over 6 tons! This number does not include food from other sources, such as The Table at St George’s, The Stafford Church of God Pantry, Panera Bread, Wawa, Long Family Farmers Market, miscellaneous donations, or grocery store purchases. Thanks to all the folks involved for your efforts in reaching this goal. If you’re interested in how you can help, by volunteering, or through donations, just ask Michael Golasz (email@example.com), director of Aquia’s Pantry.
Nursery News: Christine Hammer has asked to step down from being our nursery supervisor in order to focus on other ministries and opportunities. Our nursery coordinator Dawna Spaulding will be our new supervisor, and she looks forward to working with a team of adults who can assist in providing nursery care. We are open to having volunteers who enjoy nursery ministry, and we are open to having paid adult staff, whether or not they are members of Aquia Church. If you (or someone you know) would like to be considered for an adult position in our Noah's Ark nursery and are ready to commit to serving on some Sunday mornings and other occasional opportunities, then please contact the Rev. Jay Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would like to complete this process by the end of December.
From Our Treasurer
From Our Treasurer: Monetary contributions intended for 2019 must be received by the church by 31 December 2019 or be postmarked by 31 December 2019 in order to be credited accordingly. Contributions such as checks which are dated in 2019 but which are received after 31 December or postmarked after 31 December, will be counted towards 2020. The church office will be closed on 31 December; so if you have a contribution to be made in person that day, it will need to be put through the mail slot in the Fleurries.
After 31 December 2019, for in-kind donations made during 2019 that have not previously been identified, parishioners are asked to provide the receipts to the office as soon as feasible. In the event that end-of-year statements are already produced by the church office, the Treasurer will provide a separate statement for these in-kind donations. Year-end financial contribution statements for 2019 will be made available by the end of January 2020.
Beginning in 2020, parishioners will be able to have access to their own accounts via our use of Realm. Realm Connect is a Web-based tool that enables you to see your contribution status and to make electronic contributions. More information will be forthcoming during December.
Please correspond by email with Treasurer at this new e-mail address: <email@example.com>.
Offering Envelopes: 2020 adult pledge envelopes are at the back of the church for those who requested them. Some envelope numbers have changed, so please be aware of this when picking up your envelopes.
Special Worship Schedule for December/January
Special Worship Schedule for December/January
Dec. 22 7:30 a.m.: Holy Eucharist
8:30—10:00 a.m.: ECW Christmas Breakfast Reception in the great hall
10:00 a.m.: Holy Eucharist with Children’s Christmas Pageant in the great hall
5:00 p.m.: Holy Eucharist
Dec. 24 5:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.: Holy Eucharist for Christmas Eve,
with Christmas music offered 30 minutes before each service
Dec. 25 10:00 a.m.: Holy Eucharist for Christmas Day
Dec. 29 7:30 a.m.: Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m.: Holy Eucharist with Christmas Lessons and Carols
5:00 p.m.: NO Holy Eucharist
Jan. 5 7:30 a.m.: NO Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m.: Holy Eucharist with Parish’s Annual Meeting and Election of New Vestry Members in the great hall, with Sunday School for children immediately after the Eucharist
5:00 p.m.: Holy Eucharist
In case of snow/ice on Jan. 5, the above schedule for that day will be observed on the following Sunday, Jan. 12.
Matching Challenge Opportunity
Matching Challenge Opportunity
December 31 is the deadline for our matching challenge. Every dollar received for the new building between now and this year’s end will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $100,000.00, with the combined funds being applied (unless otherwise specified) toward reduction of the principal on the construction loan. Your contribution of any size will be counted toward the match, up to the limit, so that we can defray our total costs on the construction loan at a more rapid pace. Think about this: if we can meet this challenge, then we can reduce our principal repayment by the very significant amount of $200,000.00 AND reduce our interest repayment, too! Your tax-deductible donations can take the form of cash, check or investments like stock or mutual funds. For gifts of cash or check, simply make your contribution to Aquia Church, with “New Building” on your envelope or on the memo line of your check. For information on donating investments in tax-advantageous ways, please contact the church office or treasurer Chris Arey (firstname.lastname@example.org).