Announcements - Week of Sunday, April 18, 2021
Our Outdoor Worship Services
Our outdoor worship services take place in the cemetery’s paved parking lot on the north side of our historic church building on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., weather permitting in each case. As an alternative, you may listen to the outdoor worship services from the comfort of your own vehicle (in order to avoid the wind, the sun, or any exposure to any virus) by tuning into 91.7 FM on your vehicle’s radio once you are on our church property. We also continue to livestream worship services on Sundays at 7:30 a.m. and on weekdays at 8:00 a.m. over Facebook Live <www.facebook.org/AquiaEpiscopalChurch>.
New Thursday Evening Series
NEW THURSDAY EVENING SERIES: Father Morris is leading a new short-term series about the surprising spread of Christianity in the period after Jesus’ death and resurrection, especially when the early Christians faced pressure from leading Jewish and Roman authorities. This series recently began on Apr. 8 and will continue for a few Thursdays—usually at 7:00 p.m. but with earlier starting-times on Apr. 15 and 22, and always on Facebook Live. For information about the books and perspective under consideration in this series, please see the “Reading Room” column following the new April edition of the Cross Section newsletter, which is available to everyone on our church Website <https://aquiachurch.org/connect/e-newsletter/> and to those requesting delivery (whether sent electronically or mailed in printed form).
Confirmation for Adults and Teenagers
CONFIRMATION FOR ADULTS AND TEENAGERS: We are ready to begin preparing adults and teenagers for confirmation—that is, having their faith strengthened and deepened, then being presented to a bishop for public affirmation—and to assist non-Episcopalians becoming full-fledged members of Aquia Church and to assist those wanting to reaffirm or renew their faith. This process is available for adults and for youth currently in 8th grade or above. We now have a firm date for this occasion: Sunday, September 26. After that date, we are not likely to have a bishop coming to Aquia for confirmation for another 18-24 months. For those who are baptized Christians but have not yet made their own mature, public commitment to the Christian faith and life, confirmation is an expectation (see BCP 412). We shall offer one track for preparing teens and a separate track for preparing adults, as the nature of the conversations will vary according to age and life-experience, among other factors. Those seeking more information about the process and the expectations should notify Father Morris right away (email@example.com or see him at church).
Prayer Card Ministry?
PRAYER CARD MINISTRY? Some parishioners have asked whether we might organize a new ministry group to send greeting cards and other notes to those in need of an encouraging word, some support, or a friendly reminder of God’s love. Certainly we can do that, so we are gathering suggestions for successfully establishing such a group. For more ideas about what this group’s work might involve, please consult the article about a prayer card ministry on page 9 of the April 2021 issue of the Cross Section newsletter <https://aquiachurch.org/connect/e-newsletter/>. In order to express your interest, please contact parishioner Cookie Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Father Morris (email@example.com or see him at church).
Can We Talk?
CAN WE TALK? During the pandemic, many of us are missing the chance to chat with fellow parishioners—missing the chances to see familiar faces and to make new friends. If you are interested in having some electronic interaction with some good folks at Aquia Church, then join Father Morris for Aquia Church Chat over Zoom on Sunday, Apr. 25, starting electronically at 7:00 p.m.—at a point when many folks will have some time available without other conflicts. Simply notify Father Morris of your interest (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-659-4007), then he will send you the Zoom login instructions for this conversation. Or you can log onto Zoom.us yourself, with the usual meeting ID 862 9172 5964 and passcode 504095.
Cross Section Newsletter
CROSS SECTION NEWSLETTER: The April 2021 issue of our Cross Section newsletter is now available on our church’s Website <https://aquiachurch.org/connect/e-newsletter/>. This is a handy way to receive some spiritual guidance and to keep up with what is happening in our parish. If you want to be added to the e-mail distribution list for receiving the newsletter electronically, please notify Sue Selz in the church office (email@example.com); if you want to have a printed copy of the newsletter mailed to you, please notify Dennise LaBarre in the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-659-4007).
Sharing About Gratitude
SHARING ABOUT GRATITUDE: Would you please let Father Morris know some reasons for which you are thankful to God? Can you offer some testimony about your occasions for thankfulness that could be encouraging and inspiring to fellow parishioners? E-mail him (email@example.com) or leave a voice message at the church office (540-659-4007), and in the next issue of the Cross Section newsletter we’ll share (anonymously, of course) some reasons for gratitude within our church.
Can You Help With Ushering?
Can you help with ushering? Although worshiping while seated outdoors or within your vehicle is the current norm, at some point in the future we will be able to resume worshiping inside our historic church. When that happens, it will be necessary to ensure seating with appropriate distancing. The duties of our ushers—to assist parishioners and visitors in finding seats for worship, to tally attendance, to collect the offering, and to assist in moving the congregation up for communion—will then be more important than ever. Ushers typically serve about once every other month; individuals and couples may serve, and teenagers may assist as well. Please consider volunteering for this essential ministry by contacting our coordinator of ushers, Chris Arey (firstname.lastname@example.org), and contact him with any questions or concerns.
ELECTRONIC GIVING: The increased use of electronic giving is helpful, as it avoids the need for our office and counters to handle mail, which could be contaminated; but we still pick up the mail and your mail-in contribution will be counted. Where possible, when parishioners can absorb the nominal transaction cost, that is also 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/Give>, and there is a “GIVE” link on the church website <https://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 (email@example.com).
Wednesday Bible Studies
WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDIES: Father Morris regularly leads a Wednesday evening Bible study, with his broadcasts beginning at 7:00 p.m., and you are welcomed to attend virtually. On Apr. 14 Father Morris will launch a new series on the Good News of Jesus Christ as presented by the New Testament evangelists Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. Father Rickenbaker’s morning series on First Corinthians in the New Testament has broadcasts on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. During the pandemic, our Bible study discussions are available online at our church’s Facebook page <https://www.facebook.com/AquiaEpiscopalChurch>. Even if you do not have a Facebook account, you can still access the videos simply by clicking on the video for the given day. Also, you do not have to join in the Bible study live; the videos will be stored there for your viewing at any time convenient for you. If you want to be added to the e-mail list for updates about the Wednesday Bible studies, please contact the relevant member of the clergy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (email@example.com).
YOUTH GROUP: For our next afternoon meeting (Sunday, April 18, 5:00--6:00 p.m.), we hope to be outdoors for some recreation, weather permitting. We’ll meet at the green wooden benches near the swing set near the 1960 parish house, and we’ll have pizza and bottled beverages for the teens. Please bring your facemask for when we’re not eating. If your family wants to come to the outdoor Eucharist at 4:00 p.m. and have your teen stay on campus for the subsequent hour for the youth group meeting, then parents could enjoy a walk around the church grounds or run an errand and return at 6:00. In case of bad weather that day, we’ll meet over Zoom with a back-up plan e-mailed in advance. Afternoon meetings in May will be held on May 2, 16, & 30; we hope to be outdoors for at least some of these meetings.
Church Music Broadcasts
CHURCH MUSIC BROADCASTS: Our music ministry, led by director of music and organist Trystan Bennett, regularly offers broadcasts of church music for organ and voice on Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. through our Facebook page (www.facebook.org/AquiaEpiscopalChurch), and these broadcasts can be enjoyed anytime afterward. Most Sundays there is a selection of hymns appropriate for the occasion (including singing by choir member Caitlin Bennett) along with an organ solo. We hope that these broadcasts will be uplifting for you during the pandemic and a reminder of the beauty God has given us in the musical arts.
Updating Contact Information
UPDATING CONTACT INFORMATION: If you have made any changes in the last year to your address, phone number(s), or e-mail address, or to the people of your household, please notify Sue Selz (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-659-4007), so that she can keep our records up to date.
2021 Offering Envelopes
2021 OFFERING ENVELOPES: For those who requested them, 2021 offering envelopes have arrived, and we will be happy to deliver them to you; alternatively, you may arrange to pick them up from the church office at your convenience. In either case, please contact Father Morris (email@example.com or 540-659-4007) so that he can arrange for delivery to your door or so that he can make them available for your pickup from the large black metal mailbox along the concrete walkway from the main parking lot to the Fleurries office building.
SUNDAY SCHOOL: This important ministry will continue on most other Sundays of the school year. Pre-K through 5th grade students have new Sunday school lessons via weekly, live Zoom discussions starting at 9:00 a.m. and with materials available for their families. Middle/high school students meet with Father Rickenbaker and/or at least one of our leaders (Linda Burghart, David Morgan, and Dana Van Metre) through Zoom each Sunday morning, starting electronically at 9:00 a.m. Parents/grandparents of middle/high school students should contact Father Rickenbaker (firstname.lastname@example.org) in order to receive login instructions. For more information, please contact our director of Christian education, Kristen Morgan (email@example.com)
Annual Meeting Delayed
ANNUAL MEETING DELAYED:In light of the pandemic, the vestry has voted to delay our parish’s Annual Meeting (including the election of new vestry members) from the first Sunday in January 2021 to a date not yet determined. Vestry members currently serving in their final year will have their terms extended until the 2021 Annual Meeting is held, per our bylaws. Stay tuned for updates.
Special Diocesan Convention
SPECIAL DIOCESAN CONVENTION: The Diocese of Virginia will hold a special session of its annual diocesan convention on Saturday, Apr. 24, with the sole purpose of the meeting being to consider a new draft budget for the diocesan mission and ministry during the rest of 2021. In addition, on this coming Saturday, Apr. 17, there will be an open hearing about these budget matters. Both sessions will be conducted electronically. For this special convention, Aquia Church will be represented by lay delegates Chris Arey, Michael Golasz, and Mary Nixon; both of our clergy will participate as well, and Father Morris has been re-appointed by Bishop Goff to serve on the convention’s budget committee. For more information, please visit the special convention’s Website <http://www.thediocese.net/who-we-are/governance/annual-convention/special-convention-april-2021/>
E-Mail Distribution List
E-Mail Distribution List: If you want to be added to our e-mail distribution list for announcements and updates, simply notify Sue Selz in the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-659-4007).