Announcements: Week of Sunday, December 2nd 2018
Members and friends of Aquia Church are invited to submit pledge cards as soon as possible, either during the collection of offerings on Sundays, or else mailed or brought to the church office. Adults use the white cards, with children and youth using the neon cards. Extras are available at the tall table at the back of the church or from the church office. Such pledges indicate your intended financial commitment to God’s mission and ministry here for 2019.
Blue forms for vestry nominations are available at the tall table at the back of the church or from the church office. Parishioners willing to serve on the vestry should submit their forms by the stated deadline of Sunday, Dec. 16. If you know of someone who would make a good servant-leader on the vestry, then please encourage that person to submit a nomination form, which also explains what is involved with service on the vestry.
Matching Challenge Opportunity
As the December 31 deadline for our matching challenge grant is approaching, can you make a gift that will help us reach or exceed our goal? Our opportunity is simple: for every dollar contributed toward the new building between the end of the second capital campaign (which concluded on 14 April 2018) and the end of the 2018 calendar year, our gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. This generous challenge from an anonymous source provides an excellent chance for us to begin the upcoming third capital campaign next year with a big boost. Gifts of any size will be welcomed and can be counted toward the match, with “New Building” marked on your envelope or on the memo line of your check. For information about transferring gifts of stock or mutual funds in the most tax-advantageous way (whether to avoid capital-gains taxes in cases of appreciated value or in order to sell for a loss), please speak with our treasurer, Chris Arey.
Youth Group: Upcoming events: Sunday, Dec. 2: shopping and wrapping presents for Christmas adopt-a-family at our usual time of 4pm--6pm (having a couple of parents to assist with driving will be helpful—please contact Father Morris if you are available). Sunday, Dec. 16: leading Christmas caroling with family & friends, followed by Christmas party (afternoon time TBA).
Morning Call: Our discussion for the final two Sundays in this series on the Creeds (Dec. 2 & 9) will address the Holy Spirit. This series is an excellent opportunity for you to grow deeper in the faith, whether you are a fairly new Christian or whether you have been attending church for years. Morning Call is our Sunday morning forum for adult formation and discussion, starting at 9:00 a.m. in the great hall of the new building. This series will conclude on Sunday, Dec. 9, with a new series beginning in mid-January.
Attention Visitors and Newcomers: There will be a newcomers luncheon and orientation on next Sunday, Dec. 9, immediately after the end of the 10:00 a.m. worship service. After a brief tour of the historic church, you are invited to join in a meal provided for you in the great hall of the new building, and you don't have to bring anything but a good appetite. It's an opportunity to meet some members of the church and ask questions that you have about life in our parish. Lunch for children and childcare are provided for those who need it. For more information, or in order to reserve your space, please contact Father Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-659-4007).
Wednesday Bible Studies: Father Rickenbaker’s survey of the Old Testament will meet on Dec. 5, 12, & 19 (10:30 a.m. till 12:00 noon) in the conference room downstairs in the new building, with his survey of the New Testament beginning on Jan. 2, 2019. Father Morris’s Wednesday evening series on the parables of Jesus will continue on Dec. 5 and conclude on Dec. 12 (7:00—8:30 p.m. in the conference room downstairs), with a new series beginning on Jan. 2, 2019.
Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols will form our evening worship on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 5:00 p.m. Please bring family, friends, and neighbors for this special occasion.
ECW: In lieu of Morning Call the ECW will host a breakfast/brunch on December 16, in the Great Hall at 9:00 am immediately following a short Annual Meeting. The ECW will honor four women of our Parish: Leslie Bourne, Holly Embrey, Christine Hammer, and Jennifer Stoltz. They will be introduced as Aquia’s 2018 inductees in the Book of Life of the ECW Diocese of Virginia. We hope you will plan to join and share this hour before the 10:00 am worship service.
Christmas Pageant: Our annual Christmas pageant, presented by children in our Sunday school classes, will take place on December 23rd at 10 am in the Great Hall. If your child is interested in participating in this year's pageant, please contact Kristen Morgan at email@example.com
Monetary contributions: for 2018 must be received by the church by 31 December 2018, or be postmarked by 31 December 2018. Contributions, such as checks which are dated in 2018, but which are received after 31 December, or postmarked after 31 December will be counted towards 2019.
After 31 December 2018, for in-kind donations made during 2018, which 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.
Attention Leaders of Ministry Groups: You should submit a report about your group's ministry during 2018 by Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. Reports from our various groups will be compiled and made available to visitors, newcomers, and others inquiring about Aquia Church. Your report could be as brief as a paragraph or as long as a page. Your report should explain the purpose, activities, and operations of your ministry group, and your report may also indicate some goals or plans for the coming year. Please e-mail your report to the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Shoe Box Update: Recently Outreach delivered 44 Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes to the drop-off location at Hull Memorial. This was the first stop for the shoe boxes on their journey to reach needy children around the world. Thank you for your support of this ministry.
Adopt-A-Family: The Adopt-A-Family project enables Aquia Church to assist needy Stafford County residents during the Christmas Season. We will be providing Christmas gifts and food to 10 families and 2 seniors selected for us by the Stafford County Department of Social Services. The gift tags noting the age, sex, and gift requests will be on the little Christmas trees on the picnic table in front of the church during services. In case of inclement weather the trees will be in the back pew or in the foyer of the Great Hall. Please select a tag, print your name and phone number or e-mail address on the sign-up sheet, and return the gift (unwrapped) by December 9, 2018.
Diocesan News: The December 2018/January 2019 issue of our Cross Section newsletter includes an important article by our Rector about “Where is the Diocese of Virginia Going?” This article explains some important developments in our diocese during recent months. Other articles in this edition explore the meaning of Advent and indicate some upcoming events. You may access the online version of our newsletter from our parish’s Website (www.AquiaChurch.org), or you may request a printed copy from the church office. You may also ask to receive the newsletter electronically and automatically as soon as it is published by simply contacting the church office (email@example.com or 540-659-4007).
“Greening” the Sanctuary: The Flower Guild requests donations of magnolia evergreen and holly (with red berries) branches and volunteers to place poinsettias in the windows before Christmas Eve. We will be happy to pick up greenery, if necessary! We will “green” the sanctuary on Friday, December 21st or Saturday, December 22nd at 10am.
Also needed, a volunteer to water the poinsettias and remove dead leaves or plants, a couple of times between Christmas Day (Dec 25) and the Epiphany (Jan 6).
Please contact Sheryl Colliver, firstname.lastname@example.org or Betsy Husser email@example.com if you can volunteer or have any questions.
ECW Advent Gift Table: Do you need a small, last minute Christmas gift or a set of tapers for your Advent wreath? During all four 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 stationary, cookbooks and gold ornaments of our historic church. We also have sets of Advent wreath candles, blessed wax angels and star candles made from Altar candle stubs, Snowman Soup mugs, the cutest sock monkeys and much more.
Aluminum Can Pull Tabs: December 31, 2018, will be the last day that we will be collecting pop tabs. Please leave your last donation of aluminum can pull tabs on the coat rack in the foyer of the Great Hall. The tabs will be delivered to the Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church in early January. For further information, feel free to contact Mary Jane Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Special Worship Schedule for December 2018/January 2019:
Dec. 23 7:30 a.m.: Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m.: Holy Eucharist with Children’s Christmas Pageant in the great hall
5:00 p.m.: NO 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. 30 7:30 a.m.: Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m.: Christmas Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion
5:00 p.m.: Holy Eucharist
Jan. 6 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
Christmas Flower Order Form: Enclosed is my donation for Christmas and Epiphany altar flowers, wreaths, and garland. I understand that I am giving my donation toward the overall preparation of the church for Christmas.
I would like my gift to the Christmas Altar to be:
In Thanksgiving for __________________________________________________
In Memory of _______________________________________________________
I would like to take a poinsettia home after December 25th. (Circle One) YES NO
Otherwise, I understand that the poinsettias will be taken to shut-ins or other people in pastoral need during the Christmas season.
Please enclose a check for $20.00 made out to:
Aquia Episcopal Church
and on the memo line: “Christmas Flowers”