Aquia Church Weekly Announcements
ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 3, 2023
WORSHIP SCHEDULE FOR DECEMBER AND BEYOND
WORSHIP SCHEDULE FOR DECEMBER AND BEYOND
Sunday, Dec. 3 (First Sunday of Advent)
7:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., & 4:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist
Sunday, Dec. 10 (Second Sunday of Advent)
7:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
4:00 p.m. Advent Lessons and Carols (not a communion service; 4:00 is the correct time)
Sunday, Dec. 17 (Third Sunday of Advent)
7:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:30 a.m. E.C.W. Christmas Reception in the great hall
10:30 a.m. Children’s Christmas Pageant with Holy Communion in the great hall
4:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist
Sunday, Dec. 24
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist (Fourth Sunday of Advent)
the only worship service that morning
4:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m., & 10:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist (Christmas Eve)
with Christmas music beginning 30 minutes before each service
Monday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day)
10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
Sunday, Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve)
7:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
10:30 a.m. Christmas Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion
no afternoon/evening worship service
Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024 (First Sunday of the New Year)
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist & Parish-Wide Annual Meeting in the great hall
(in case of snow or ice, the annual meeting will be postponed one week)
Sunday school activities throughout the morning for students in pre-K through 12th grade
4:00 Holy Eucharist
NUT/CANDY SALES: Our inventory of freshly prepared nuts and candy is disappearing quickly. While supplies last, you may reserve something from the list below by e-mailing Father Jay Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org), and he’ll have your items ready for pickup at church. These items are good for snacks and great for sharing with family and friends -- also great for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. The list below indicates the number of remaining containers:
1 lb Chocolate Covered Peanut Brittle (1 left) -- $16
12 oz Pistachios (4 left) -- $14
10 oz Praline Pecans (2 left) -- $12
1 lb Home Cooked Peanuts (4 left) -- $11
1 lb Cajun Spice Peanuts (4 left) -- $11
8 oz Chocolate Covered Almonds (2 left) -- $10
6 oz Honey Crisp Pecans (12 left) -- $9
8 oz Trail Mix (5 left) -- $9
ANNUAL PLEDGE CAMPAIGN
ANNUAL PLEDGE CAMPAIGN: Parishioners and friends of Aquia Church are encouraged to submit their pledge cards (indicating their financial commitment to God’s mission and ministry here in 2024) as soon as possible. Blank pledge cards and information about pledging are available from the church office and from the tall table at the back of the historic church. You may also submit your pledge card to the church office. As of Nov. 28, we have received 52 general pledges totaling $261,868 and 22 pledges toward our Heritage Endowment Fund totaling $86,200.
MORNING CALL: Morning Call is our Sunday morning forum for adult formation and discussion, held in the great hall (9:30—10:15 a.m.). On Dec. 3 & 10, Father Morris will continue a new series on puzzling passages of the Bible.
E.C.W. ADVENT GIFT SHOP
E.C.W. ADVENT GIFT SHOP: Have you had a chance to visit the ECW Advent Gift Shop at the far end of the great hall? We have sets of purple and pink tapers for your Advent wreath. There are also gold Aquia Church ornaments and notecards and handmade Christmas ornaments, wreaths, and darling sock monkeys. Have you seen our newest kitchen towels featuring chef Gary Perkins? We also have tea towels with Christmas themes, your favorite sports teams, coffee, fishing, golf, and lots more fun designs. There are only two beautiful hand-cut Advent wreaths left, made from the storm-felled hackberry tree that used to grace our cemetery. The shop will be open after the morning services on Sundays through the third Sunday in Advent, Dec. 17. In fact, you are welcome to browse and shop any time you find the Christian Formation and Fellowship Building open. For further information, feel free to contact Mary Jane Cole (email@example.com) or Briget Kane (firstname.lastname@example.org).
VESTRY NOMINATIONS: Blue self-nomination forms for those offering to serve on the vestry will be available for pickup from the tall table at the back of the church and from the church office, starting on this coming Sunday. The forms explain the requirements of eligibility (including regular, faithful attendance at worship, plus making and honoring a financial pledge during the year prior to election) and the expectations for those serving on the vestry. Completed forms for the four adult positions are due to the church office by the end of Monday, Dec. 18, with the election to be held at our parish’s annual meeting on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.
NEW MATCHING CHALLENGE OPPORTUNITY
NEW MATCHING CHALLENGE OPPORTUNITY: Aquia Church has received a commitment for a matching challenge to help us retire the debt on the construction loan for the CFFB. Every donation received for the new building this year will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000.00, so that we can continue to pay off the construction loan ahead of schedule, with reduced interest payments and reduced overall expense. As of Nov. 30, we have received $99,068.07 toward this matching challenge. We are so very close to reaching our goal. Can you help us with this important opportunity?
FELLOWSHIP BREAKFAST: Dec. 10 is our last Sunday in 2023 awaiting breakfast hosts. Please consider taking a turn in promoting fellowship within our parish through this weekly breakfast, which is available on Sundays 8:30—9:30 a.m. The breakfast can be as simple or elaborate as you wish to provide; the main idea is to offer some food for folks to enjoy over good conversation with fellow Christians.
ADVENT LESSONS & CAROLS
ADVENT LESSONS & CAROLS: Please join us for an evening service of Advent Lessons and Carols on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4:00 p.m. (at the usual time of our Sunday afternoon Eucharist, though this occasion will not be a communion service). Bring family, friends, and neighbors as we journey through the season of Advent together.
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT: Our Sunday school ministry is working to present a children’s Christmas pageant on Sunday, Dec. 17 at the 10:30 a.m. worship service in the great hall. If you want your child or grandchild to be involved, or if you can lend a hand supporting rehearsals and other preparations, then please contact our director of Christian education, Kimberly Bamber (email@example.com).
CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS: Help us decorate the historic church for Christmas with poinsettias. Please fill out the order form and return it to the church office by Tuesday, Dec. 19 in order to ensure listing in the Christmas bulletin. You may submit the order form or information about your donation via mail, e-mail, or the offering plate; payment ($20.00) should accompany your order.
YOUTH GROUP: Our youth group for teens in grades 6-12 will have their annual Christmas party on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 10; stay tuned for details about the time and location. Our evening meetings follow an every-other-Sunday schedule, with occasional exceptions announced in advance (such as NOT meeting on Dec. 24). The group also meets most Sunday mornings of the school year during the Sunday school period (9:30—10:15 a.m.) but will NOT meet on Dec. 24 or Dec. 31.
SUNDAY SCHOOL: Classes take place 9:30—10:15 a.m. downstairs in the Christian Formation and Fellowship Building (CFFB). Sunday school is open for students in grades pre-K through 5th grade, with youth group for 6th through 12th graders. Classes will NOT be held on Dec. 24 or Dec. 31, with Sunday school activities resuming on Jan. 7 during our parish-wide Annual Meeting.
WEEKDAY BIBLE STUDIES
WEEKDAY BIBLE STUDIES: Father Morris is leading a new Wednesday evening series on the much-neglected Book of Numbers in the Old Testament, starting electronically at 7:00 p.m. and continuing through December. Also, Father Rickenbaker’s Thursday morning group meets in the CFFB downstairs conference room, starting at 11:00 a.m., with a live broadcast offered simultaneously over Facebook Live, and with a new series on the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament beginning on Dec. 7. The broadcasts are available online at our church’s Facebook page <www.facebook.om/AquiaEpiscopalChurch>. Even if you do not have a Facebook account, you can still access the broadcasts simply by clicking on the given occasion. Also, you do not have to watch the event live; the videos are stored there for your viewing at any time.
FLOWER GUILD NEWS
FLOWER GUILD NEWS: Margaret Hedger has graciously accepted appointment as the new head of the flower guild. We are grateful to Margaret and other members of the flower guild for their faithful, joyful ministry. If you are interested in working with the talented folks who arrange the floral displays that adorn our sanctuary, or if you want more information about this ministry group, please contact Margaret Hedger.
HIGH NUMBERS OF GUESTS AT AQUIA’S TABLE AND AQUIA’S PANTRY
HIGH NUMBERS OF GUESTS AT AQUIA’S TABLE AND AQUIA’S PANTRY:
Oct. 4: Aquia’s Table served 408 meals, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 125 households.
Oct. 11: Aquia’s Table served 433 meals, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 122 households.
Oct. 18: Aquia’s Table served 425 meals, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 136 households.
Oct. 25: Aquia’s Table served 409 meals, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 126 households.
Nov. 1: Aquia’s Table served 396 meals, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 120 households.
Nov. 8: Aquia’s Table served 389 meals, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 122 households.
Nov. 15: Aquia’s Table served 496* meals, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 159* households (*both all-time high)
Nov. 22: Aquia’s Table was closed, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 108 households.
Nov. 29: Aquia’s Table served 435 meals, Aquia’s Pantry gave groceries to 144 households
EIGHT-WEEK AVERAGE (not counting Nov. 22): 424 meals served and groceries given to 132 households
The long lines of guests coming for food likely reflect the ongoing financial need among so many neighbors around us. This level of outreach is possible because of the generosity of support from faithful volunteers and donations from many different people and groups—from among our parishioners and beyond our church membership. If you can offer some support to these ministries (especially with your time on Tuesday mornings and during the day and early evening on Wednesdays or with financial contributions), your help will be deeply appreciated.
INVITATION FROM AQUIA’S TABLE
INVITATION FROM AQUIA’S TABLE: Aquia’s Table is recruiting volunteers to assist with baking or preparing desserts (either at home or at the church kitchen on Tuesdays: cookies, brownies, crispy rice treats, cakes, etc.) and to assist occasionally with preparing meals when others might be unable to serve. In recent weeks, we have been serving 400-450 guests, and some extra help with fixing desserts and meals from time to time would be welcomed. In order to offer your hands-on help, please contact Briget Kane (firstname.lastname@example.org).
AQUIA’S PANTRY MID-NOVEMBER UPDATES
AQUIA’S PANTRY MID-NOVEMBER UPDATES: On Wednesday, Nov. 15, we received 70 frozen turkeys and 60 spiral-cut hams from the Food Bank. Almost all of our 159 families that day received a turkey or a ham, and each guest received a gracious assortment of groceries and meat. For these and all the blessings that God has given us to provide food for our many patrons, we continue to be grateful. We are also thankful for the extra help God has sent our way every Wednesday.
The Pantry will continue to hand out bags of bread and desserts, produce, meats, and quarts of shelf-stable milk every Wednesday for the rest of 2023 (unless Stafford County is closed due to inclement weather). We will be open during the school holidays, including the Wednesdays of Christmas break.
We are now preparing for 130 to 140 families each week, up from 100 families at this time in 2022. This means that our need for brown paper bags from the grocery stores, empty egg cartons, boxes of both cereal and mac-and-cheese, and jars of peanut butter grows apace. Please consider adding an extra item or two to your grocery cart this week for the Pantry. Save your receipts to document these “in-kind” donations for your financial contribution statement.
Would you like to learn more about this ministry? We invite you to come by on a Tuesday morning or anytime on a Wednesday 8:00 a.m.—8:00 p.m. to see how it all comes together. For more information, contact Michael Golasz (email@example.com) or Mary Jane Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ALTAR FLOWERS: Those who want to donate flowers during 2024 in memory of someone or in thanksgiving for someone or something may contact Sue Selz in the church office (email@example.com or 540-659-4007) and select a particular Sunday; the signup sheet is also available on the short table at the back of the church. The cost is $50/week. Even if a given Sunday has already been claimed, you may add your name and dedication for that same Sunday.
BUSY BAGS: Busy bags are available in the historic church for our youngest members. A child’s Bible, activity pages, drawing paper, and crayons are available in canvas bags when you enter the church. Please take one bag per family and return it after the service ends.
NURSERY AVAILABLE: Our nursery, located on the lower level of the Christian Formation and Fellowship Building (just across the hallway from the elevator), is available for the 10:30 a.m. worship service, with coverage provided by caring, trained, and experienced staff—plus lots of toys, diapers and wipes, a pack-and-play, and whatever else your child or grandchild might need.
ELECTRONIC BROADCASTS: We continue to offer broadcasts of Sunday morning worship at 7:30 a.m., Morning Prayer on most weekdays at 8:00 a.m., and our midweek Bible studies on most Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and most Thursday mornings at 11:00 a.m. These broadcasts are particularly helpful for those who are unable to attend in person due to illness, travel, or work. The broadcasts are available online at our church’s Facebook page <www.facebook.com/AquiaEpiscopalChurch>. Even if you do not have a Facebook account, you can still access the broadcasts simply by clicking on the given occasion. Also, you do not have to watch the event live; the videos are stored there for your viewing at any time convenient for you.
ELECTRONIC GIVING: When making contributions through electronic giving, when you can absorb the nominal transaction cost, that is very helpful, so that the church will receive the full amount of your intended contribution. Please note to use the correct category of contribution: if you submitted a pledge card and make a donation online, then please use that category. If you did not submit a pledge card, then please use the non-pledged category—just as important and helpful. Be mindful that you can make an electronic contribution and apportion your gifts between multiple purposes, e.g., pledge, flowers, outreach, etc. You can give electronically through Realm—the link is <https://onrealm.org/AquiaEpiscopalC/-/form/give/now>, and there is a “GIVE” link on the church website <https://www.AquiaChurch.org>. Also, you can give via text-message: text AQUIA to 73256. If you have questions, please feel free to contact treasurer Chris Arey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you want to be added to our e-mail distribution list for weekly announcements and special updates or for the monthly Cross Section newsletter, simply notify Sue Selz in the church office (email@example.com or 540-659-4007).