Announcements – 8/9/2020

Announcements - Week of Sunday, August 9, 2020


CROSS AND CUPOLA ROOF PROJECT:  The Stafford County Architectural Review Board has unanimously approved our proposal to cover the cross atop the historic church building with new copper, and to replace the copper shingles on the roof of the cupola beneath the cross with new copper shingles, for the sake of enhancing the structural integrity of these features and protecting our building.  In due time, the copper across the entire top of the building will have a uniform appearance.  We offer our thanks to the ARB for their endorsement and to the vestry (especially to the buildings and grounds committee, led by junior warden Ron Korth) for its preparation on this project.  The construction team hopes to begin work within the next couple of weeks, depending largely on a week-long forecast of clear weather.   


CROSS SECTION NEWSLETTER:  The August issue of our Cross Section newsletter is now available on our church’s Website <>.  This is a handy way to receive some spiritual guidance and to keep up with what is happening in our parish.  If you would like to be added to the e-mail distribution list for receiving the newsletter, please notify Sue Selz in the church office (; if you would like to receive a printed copy of the newsletter, please notify Dennise LaBarre in the church office ( or 540-659-4007).


PROGRESS ON MATCHING CHALLENGE GRANT:  As of August 3, we have already received $16,437.00—over 16% of our goal—toward our current matching challenge.  Thanks to an anonymous pledge, we have a new opportunity to help retire the construction loan debt on our Christian Formation and Fellowship Building even sooner than planned, and for less money overall.  Every contribution that we receive for the new building between 21 April 2020 and 31 December 2020 (unless otherwise specified) will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $100,000.00, with all such contributions plus the matching amount being used to pay down the principal on the construction loan.  Your gift should have “New Building” marked on the check or on the envelope for your gift, and every gift will be welcomed.  For information about how to transfer investments in tax-advantageous ways for this purpose, please speak with treasurer Chris Arey <> or contact Sue Selz in the church office <>.


WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDIES:  Our midweek Bible studies have resumed.  Father Rickenbaker’s new morning series on Holy Baptism (starting electronically at 10:30 a.m.) will run through late August.  Father Morris will offer a special information session about Bible studies on August 5 (starting electronically at 7:00 p.m.), and then on August 12 (again at 7:00 p.m.) he will begin a new evening series that will survey the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, one of the most fascinating (if admittedly challenging) books of the Bible.  During the pandemic, our Bible study discussions are available online at our church’s Facebook page <>.  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:  <> or <>.


CAN YOU DONATE DIAPERS?  Some of our Aquia’s Pantry guests have needs for diapers, especially infant-size and size 4.  If you can donate any infant-size diapers or size 4 diapers, then please bring them to any Sunday worship service or bring them to Aquia’s Pantry at the new building on Wednesday afternoons anytime after 3:00 p.m.


BROWN PAPER GROCERY BAGS:  If you have any brown paper grocery bags that you can share with Aquia’s Pantry, please drop them off at the bin near the main entrance to the Christian Formation and Fellowship Building (the new building); Aquia’s Pantry will then fill your brown paper grocery bags with groceries as signs of God’s grace and deliver them to neighbors in need.  If you have any brown paper grocery bags but cannot drop them off, then please contact Michael Golasz ( and he will pick them up from you.


AQUIA’S PANTRY AND AQUIA’S TABLE:  Aquia’s Pantry offers curbside delivery of groceries on Wednesdays (6:00—7:30 p.m.).  In addition, Aquia’s Table offers curbside service for takeout meals on Wednesdays (6:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m.)—serving around 150 people each week!  We will continue to offer curbside service for takeout meals until we are able to resume table service in the great hall.  If you want to assist with either of these remarkable ministries, then please contact Michael Golasz about Aquia’s Pantry ( or Dina Stanford about Aquia’s Table (


DIOCESAN ANNUAL CONVENTION:The vestry has appointed Chris Arey, Michael Golasz, and Mary Nixon to serve as Aquia’s lay delegates to the 226th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Virginia, which will be held electronically on 14 November 2020.  Please keep our delegates and this convention in your prayers.


DAILY DEVOTIONAL READINGS:  New copies of the Forward Day by Day devotional books for August, September, and October have arrived; also available are current copies of Our Daily Bread devotional books.  You may pick up your copies from the large black plastic mailbox along the walkway up to the church office.  Please help yourself to these daily readings.


SEAFOOD FEAST CANCELLED:  In light of uncertainty and complications about the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided not to hold our annual seafood feast this August.


HOMECOMING IN SEPTEMBER:  In light of uncertainty and complications about the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided not to hold our usual celebration of Homecoming on the Sunday after Labor Day.  Stay tuned for updates about an alternative way to celebrate Homecoming this year.


FALL FEST 2020 CANCELLED:  The ECW and the vestry have made the difficult but logistically necessary decision that we shall not hold Fall Fest this October, in the interest of keeping parishioners and community guests safe amidst so much uncertainty and complications about the coronavirus pandemic.  Regrettably but understandably, this decision entails the loss of many opportunities for our parish to draw together in fellowship as we open our doors and our arms to visitors and new friends—not to mention a considerable loss of revenue for the mission and ministry of the ECW and the parish in general.  But we are surely looking forward to hosting the next Fall Fest on the first Saturday of October 2021.


OUTDOOR WORSHIP AVAILABLE NOW!  Aquia Church has received diocesan permission to conduct outdoor worship services, with several important parameters being observed as follows:  Anyone who is sick MUST stay home, maximum attendance limit is 50 people per service, everyone attending MUST wear a mask (unless under 2 years old), six-feet physical distancing is required at all times (except for a household group), and rain at the time will cancel a given service (because moving indoors is NOT an option right now).  We offer Morning Prayer outdoors on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. and Evening Prayer outdoors on Sundays at 5:00 p.m., weather permitting at each service, in the tree-sheltered area outside the upper level of the 1960 parish house (between the main parking lot and the playground), until we receive diocesan permission to reconvene in the historic church.  Stay tuned to e-mail updates and our church’s Website (  Our online broadcast of Morning Prayer through Facebook Live will definitely continue throughout phased-in re-gathering, starting each Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and weekdays at 8:00 a.m.


WORSHIP ONLINE:  For all who wish to participate in online worship—even while we also offer outdoor worship—please visit our Facebook page: <>.  Even if you do not have a Facebook account, you can still access the videos archived there for worship and for faith-formation simply by clicking on the video for the given day.  Also, you do not have to join in the worship live; the videos will be stored there for your viewing at any time convenient for you.  Morning Prayer with a sermon will be offered on Facebook Live each Sunday morning starting at 7:30 a.m., with occasional offerings from our music ministry added from time to time, and Morning Prayer will be offered on Facebook Live each weekday morning starting at 8:00 a.m.  You may submit your prayer requests via the Facebook comments section or via e-mail <>.  If you want to receive a copy of the worship brochure that will be used for Sunday worship online (best sent by e-mail, but snail-mail can be arranged), then please contact Father Morris ( or 540-659-4007).  You can make an uplifting difference in the lives of others by letting them know about our online broadcasts, so please share the news.


YOUTH GROUP:  We welcome hearing from our teens and their parents about what to offer for our youth group activities when we can reconvene later this year.  If you have any suggestions or questions about this, please contact the clergy:  <> and <>.


SUNDAY SCHOOL:  Our Sunday school ministry is taking its annual break for the summer.  We encourage children and their families to continue tuning in to our worship broadcasts via Facebook Live and to attend our outdoor worship services until we can reconvene in the historic church.


NOTE FROM THE TREASURER:  Stewardship and Church Finances:  We find ourselves in uncharted times, but many aspects of church life continue with little change.  Our monthly operations, including salaries and benefits for our employees, administration and utilities and maintenance, without our mortgage payment for the new building, exceeds $30,000—and this amount includes reduced costs for utilities and maintenance.   So, if you pledge or give without pledging, your continued support is truly needed.  The increased use of electronic giving is helpful, as it avoids the need for or 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, if parishioners can absorb the nominal transaction cost, that is also very 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 <>, and there is a “GIVE” link on the church website <>.  Also, you can give via text message:  text AQUIA to 73256.  Making a special trip to drop your contribution off at the office is the least desirable method, as that makes you leave the safety of your home.  It is gratifying to see the parish continue to fulfill pledges and make generous contributions to many causes—Thank you.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Treasurer <>.


If you want to be added to our e-mail distribution list for announcements and updates, simply notify Sue Selz in the church office ( or 540-659-4007).