Announcements - Week of Sunday, January 17, 2021
New Worship Schedule
SUNDAY WORSHIP SCHEDULE until further notice:
Morning Prayer at 7:30 a.m. (Facebook Live, recorded & stored)
Sunday School for children & youth at 9:00 a.m. (Zoom, live only)
Recordings of church music available during the day (Facebook)
NO worship in person by diocesan order
Can We Talk
CAN WE TALK? During the pandemic, many of us are missing the chance to chat with fellow parishioners after worship and around our ministry group meetings in person—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 a chat over Zoom on this coming Sunday, Jan. 17, starting electronically at 9:00 a.m.—plenty of time after our Morning Prayer broadcast for you to stretch your legs, get some breakfast, and refill your coffee. Simply notify him of your interest (email@example.com), then he will send you the Zoom login instructions for this conversation. Or you can log onto Zoom.us yourself, with meeting ID 862 9172 5964 and passcode 504095. Afterwards, the next Aquia Church Chat will be Sunday, Jan. 31.
Attention Ministry Group Leaders
ATTENTION MINISTRY GROUP LEADERS: Each year we ask each ministry group to prepare a brief annual report—from a paragraph to a page in length—so that we can share the work and news of all our ministry groups with others, including visitors and newcomers (who might be interested in the good things happening here and might be seeking to become involved). These ministry group reports typically include such information as the normal activities and events for each group (including schedules and the kind of labor involved), special occasions and new developments from the past year, plans for future ministry and upcoming changes, and point-of-contact information for people with questions or with interest in joining. These reports will be especially important for 2021, partly so that prospective participants in our groups can become aware of our various ministries when more groups are able to reconvene in person for their typical activities and events, partly so that everyone can learn how many groups are able to conduct their ministries even amidst the coronavirus pandemic, and partly for the sake of the historical record. We hope that leaders of ministry groups will work now with fellow members on these annual reports and submit them by January 31 to the church office (preferably by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise in writing), so that we can begin compiling them and making plans for new opportunities in the new year.
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.
Forward Day by Day
FORWARD DAY BY DAY: The daily-devotional books for February through April are available for your pickup from the large black metal mailbox along the concrete walkway from the main parking lot to the Fleurries office building.
Pledge Campaign Update
PLEDGE CAMPAIGN UPDATE: As of Jan. 11, we have received 85 adult pledge cards for $401,691.92 towards God’s mission and ministry at Aquia Church in 2021, plus 5 pledge cards from youth and children. Among the adult pledge cards, at least 8 pledges are new for 2021, and at least 28 pledges include increases from the previous year. We are making remarkable progress, but there is more opportunity for adults, youth, and children to make this important spiritual commitment. (By comparison, for 2020 we had 97 adult pledge cards for over $415,000, plus 13 pledge cards from youth and children.) Blank pledge cards are available for pickup from the church office, and we can even mail you a blank pledge card; simply request one from Father Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-659-4007).
Special Notes on Finances
SPECIAL NOTES ON FINANCES: We are currently preparing to mail out 2020 year-end financial contribution statements and should have that process completed for everyone by the end of January. If you detect any discrepancy between your records and ours, or if you do not receive your statement, then please contact Sue Selz in the church office (email@example.com or 540-659-4007) or treasurer Chris Arey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Aquia Church relies on the generosity of church members and friends of this parish for its financial ability to conduct its mission and ministry effectively, especially now that the diocese has suspended in-person worship indefinitely. You can help ensure our success by sending your contributions via mail (PO Box 275, Stafford, VA 22555-0275) or electronically via Realm (see the announcement from the treasurer, below). Dropping off your contributions through the mail slot on the front door of the Fleurries office building remains an option, too.
Also, for in-kind donations made during 2020 but not yet submitted to Sue Selz in the church office for proper recording on your contribution statement, parishioners are asked to provide the receipts to the office as soon as feasible. If end-of-year statements get printed by the church office before you submit your receipts for in-kind donations, then the treasurer will provide a separate statement for them.
Historic Church Project
HISTORIC CHURCH PROJECT: If you have been on our main campus recently, you have probably noticed the recently completed work on covering the cross and the cupola roof atop our historic church building with copper, so as eventually to match the rest of the roof on that building. This project was completed just a couple of days before Christmas. Now we have added protection on our church roof for decades to come!
Ash Wednesday is February 17
ASH WEDNESDAY IS FEBRUARY 17: This year, the start of Lent falls on Feb. 17. Due to the pandemic’s current status, the Diocese of Virginia is prohibiting worship services in person on Ash Wednesday. As an alternative, Aquia Church will offer electronic broadcasts for Ash Wednesday over Facebook Live. Stay tuned for more details.
Wednesday Bible Studies
WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDIES: Father Morris recently began a new evening series on the Book of Psalms, with his broadcasts beginning at 7:00 p.m., and you are welcomed to join in. On Jan. 20, our attention will focus on psalms of praise and thanksgiving (such as Psalms 8, 33, 47, 96-100, 104, 145-150 for praise; Psalms 18, 30, 32, 40, 92, 116, 118, 120 for thanksgiving by an individual; Psalms 107, 124, 129 for thanksgiving by a community). Father Rickenbaker will launch a new morning series on First Corinthians in the New Testament on Jan. 20, with his broadcasts beginning 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 (email@example.com) or (firstname.lastname@example.org).
YOUTH GROUP: The youth group’s next afternoon meeting will take place over Zoom on Sunday, Jan. 24 (4:00 p.m. till 5:00 p.m.). The youth group meets electronically every other Sunday afternoon (so also Feb. 7 & 21, Mar. 7 & 21, etc.) until we can resume meeting in person.
Thank You from Outreach
THANK YOU FROM OUTREACH: Thanks to the generosity of our congregation, the Operation Christmas Child and Adopt-A-Family campaigns were a success. For Operation Christmas Child: forty shoe boxes were filled online through our goal page. If you took a shoe box to a drop-off location, please let Johanna Jones know (email@example.com). For the Adopt-A-Family campaign, Outreach had enough money to purchase many wish-list items recommended by the Stafford County Department of Social Services. The gift cards received as donations and others purchased by Outreach were from Walmart, Target, Five Below, CVS, Giant, and Aldi. We can make a difference in our community and around the world, even in a pandemic. The Outreach ministry is extremely grateful for your support.
Schedule for Aquia's Tabel and Aquia's Pantry
SCHEDULE FOR AQUIA’S TABLE AND AQUIA’S PANTRY: Aquia’s Table offers drive-through service for takeout meals on Wednesdays (6:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m.), with meal service limited out of necessity to the first 300 guests. Aquia’s Pantry offers drive-through delivery of groceries on Wednesdays (6:00—7:30 p.m.) while supplies last. In order to keep everyone properly informed and safe: Aquia’s Table and Aquia’s Pantry will automatically close whenever Stafford County Public Schools are closed due to snow/ice.
Aquia's Table and Aquia's Pantry
AQUIA’S TABLE AND AQUIA’S PANTRY: There are ways in which you might support these ministries, including volunteering as a dessert baker (do you have time to prepare some desserts such as brownies, cookies, crispy cereal treats, or cake at home on your own schedule and deliver them by Wednesday afternoon?), volunteering to serve and distribute meals on Wednesday evening, helping with kitchen cleanup, and donating funds to Aquia’s Table. Also, Aquia’s Pantry welcomes additional hands to help with picking up donated food from area vendors, bagging groceries on Wednesday afternoons, and distributing bags on Wednesday evenings, plus donations of diapers of any size, brown paper grocery bags, and egg cartons. All this is being handled with full safety precautions. If you want to assist with either of these remarkable ministries, then please contact Michael Golasz about Aquia’s Pantry (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dina Stanford about Aquia’s Table (email@example.com).
SUNDAY SCHOOL: Our virtual Sunday school for all students pre-K through 12th grade resumes on Jan. 3. Pre-K through 5th grade students have new Sunday school lessons via weekly, live electronic broadcasts starting at 9:00 a.m. and with materials available for their families. If you have a pre-K through 5th grade child/grandchild who might participate in virtual Sunday school, then please register him or her with our director of Christian education, Kristen Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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. (new time). Parents/grandparents of middle/high school students should contact Father Rickenbaker (email@example.com) in order to receive login instructions. Meanwhile, we encourage children and youth and their families to watch our worship broadcasts via Facebook Live, until we can reconvene for worship in person and hold Sunday school in our classrooms.
Note From the Treasurer
NOTE FROM THE TREASURER: 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. 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. 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 treasurer Chris Arey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 but no earlier than the first Sunday in March 2021. 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.
Email Distribution List
Email 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 (email@example.com or 540-659-4007).