Announcements - Week of Sunday, January 19, 2020
Diocesan Visioning Session
Diocesan Visioning Session: On this Thursday, Jan. 23 (starting at 7:00 p.m. and ending by 9:00 p.m.), Aquia Church will host a forum for learning more about the current vision for the Diocese of Virginia. Aquia Church members are invited and encouraged to attend, as are other Episcopalians around our diocese; but in order for everyone to prepare adequately (including refreshments), you need to go online and register for this occasion (or for a different visioning session on another date at another location, in case you cannot attend the session that Aquia Church is hosting). For more details and for registering, visit the diocesan Website (http://www.thediocese.net/news/diocesan-visioning-tour-2020).
Valentines Dinner--Buy Tickets Now!
Valentines Dinner—Buy Tickets Now! Our youth group will hold a Valentines Dinner fundraiser on the evening of Saturday, Feb. 8 (5:00—7:30 p.m.), with proceeds supporting our 2020 parish-wide mission trip led by the youth group. Tickets will be available for purchase by couples and groups of friends throughout January for $25/person (cash or check payable to Aquia Church, marked “Valentines Dinner”), so start organizing your table now for the delicious meal at this enjoyable occasion.
Year-End Statements and Offering Envelopes
Year-End Statements and Offering Envelopes: In the back of the church are 2019 year-end contribution statements and 2020 offering envelopes. Please help us reduce mailing costs by picking up yours. If you have any questions about your statements, please contact Sue Selz in the church office (540-659-4007 or email@example.com) or treasurer Chris Arey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
News from Aquia's Annual Meeting
News from Aquia's Annual Meeting: At our parish’s annual meeting on Jan. 5, the following parishioners were elected to the vestry: Charlie Bingay, Dickie Boes, Bob Brandon, and Carrol Frederick as adults (each for a three-year term), and Christopher ‘Kit’ Stoltz as the youth representative (whose one-year term begins on June 1). In his pastoral address at the annual meeting, Father Morris reported several important figures:
• $181,799.35 total contributed toward our matching challenge opportunity for the new building during the second half of 2019 -- far exceeding our $100,000.00 goal -- and $342,015.40 total contributed toward the new building throughout 2019. With the matching challenge grant fulfilled, we have already applied the full $200,000.00 toward reduction of principal on our construction loan.
• A record-high $407,319.92 pledged through 95 adult pledge cards toward Aquia Church’s 2020 operating budget for God’s mission and ministry, with an additional $1,424.00 pledged through 10 pledged cards from children and youth.
• Two is the number of one-year vestry positions that need to be filled by appointment, in order to bring the vestry to full strength, after some past vestry elections did not have enough candidates for electing a complete slate. [With the death of vestry member Larry Moxley on the day after the annual meeting, the number of vacancies on the vestry has risen to three.]
• Zero is the number of lay-led Bible studies currently underway at Aquia Church, yet we have opportunities for increasing that number as parishioners can offer to step up.
Altar Flowers Sign-Up Sheet
Altar Flowers Sign-Up Sheet: We have a wonderful flower guild whose members prepare the beautiful arrangements and church decorations throughout the year. At the back of the church is the new 2020 sign-up sheet for donating altar flowers, with many vacancies available. Please consider signing up for a Sunday; the cost is $50 per week, and all monies go toward the flowers purchased and toward the flower guild’s supplies.
Realm: We have a new software system (Realm) that soon will enable parishioners to make financial contributions to Aquia Church online, check their contribution records confidentially, update their contact information, receive e-mail updates, and stay in touch with ministry groups. Realm can be accessed through a personal computer, tablet, or smart phone: simply download the free app, then follow the directions that will be included when you receive an invitation to join Realm. Starting in February, you should receive two e-mails that say the same thing: one will arrive from our old system (MailChimp), and one will arrive from Realm. If you do not receive the one from Realm, then please notify the church office. If you have any questions about Realm, please contact Sue Selz in the church office (540-659-4007 or email@example.com).
Morning Call: Morning Call will continue on this Sunday with a new series on key themes in John’s Gospel. Morning Call is our Sunday morning forum for adult formation and discussion, held in the great hall 9:00—9:45 a.m.
Youth Group: Our youth group for teens in grades 6-12 will have its next evening meetings on Jan. 26 and Feb. 23 (4:00—5:30 p.m. in the youth room). In addition, our regular Sunday morning meetings take place 9:00--9:45 a.m. in the youth room nearly every Sunday of the school year.
Wednesday Bible Studies
Wednesday Bible Studies: On Wednesday mornings (10:30 a.m.—12:00 noon), Father Rickenbaker will continue his new series on the Pastoral Epistles in the New Testament (First and Second Timothy, plus Titus). On Wednesday evenings except for Feb. & 26 (7:00—8:30 p.m.), Father Morris will continue his new series on the Book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. Those attending the evening series may start the evening with a meal at Aquia’s Table, which begins serving at 6:00 p.m. Our Bible study gatherings take place in the downstairs conference room. Consider making involvement in Bible study part of your new year’s resolutions (but keep this one!).
Annual Reports from Ministry Groups
Annual Reports from Ministry Groups: Leaders of ministry groups at Aquia Church should submit a written report by January 31 describing their group’s ministry during calendar year 2019. Each report may be as brief as a paragraph or as long as a page or more. Each report might mention such things as: the group’s regular meeting schedule and location, names and e-mail addresses of points-of-contact for more information about the group, a general description of the group’s typical activities, highlights of special events or accomplishments during the previous year, group goals and special needs for this new year, and so forth. As we compile the annual reports from all our ministry groups, we can make the information available to visitors and newcomers, so that they can become aware of the variety of good things happening in our parish and have encouragement to become active in Aquia Church. These annual reports also contribute to the collective history of our parish. Please submit your report to the church office (preferably by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Snow/Ice Policy: If snow/ice forces the closure of Stafford County Public Schools, then Aquia Church activities and events for that day are cancelled as well, and our church office will be closed. If snow/ice causes a delay in the opening of Stafford County Public Schools, then Aquia Church activities and events for the time-period of the delay are cancelled as well, and our church office will open on a delayed basis. If snow/ice requires the cancellation of Sunday worship services, then we will advertise the closing through local TV and radio stations. If road conditions are unsafe for school buses and school children to travel, then road conditions are unsafe for church members and guests to travel as well. This policy is the most effective way for everyone to anticipate how inclement weather will affect plans for meetings and events at church.
Outreach: We received this thank you note from the Stafford County Department of Social Services in appreciation for the Adopt-A-Family donations. May kindness return to you in the same beautiful way it was given. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support of Stafford County's 2019 Holiday Program. This program continues to grow each year and because of the generous outreach of people like you in the Stafford community, we were able to provide gifts and food to a record number of families and senior citizens this year. Your support has meant so much to so many and WE COULD NOT DO IT WITHOUT YOU!
Thank You from Outreach
Thank You from Outreach: We are extremely thankful for your support during 2019. From the coins and cash donated during the Cash of Cows and Change for Chickens campaign we were able to purchase 5 goats, 2 flocks of chickens, and a pig from Episcopal Relief and Development The Jenkins Donelson Foundation was overwhelmed by the shoe donations, and the Department of Social Services was thankful for the donation of school supplies. The 50 Doves (mentally challenged adults) were delighted with their gifts, and 53 shoeboxes were delivered to Operation Christmas Child. From the Adopt-a-Family trees, gifts were provided to 5 seniors and 15 children. It should be noted that some of the seniors are guardians of their grandchildren, and in one instance, a niece. We were also able to provide food to Stafford Junction for their Brain Builders program which serves underprivileged children in Stafford County. We need new members to help us with our ministry. We are a busy group and we are always open to new ideas and projects. We meet the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM in the Great Hall and our next meeting is on February 4th. Each month, in addition to our regular meeting, we have a pot luck meal and pack tide-me-over bags for Stafford Junction. Please consider joining us in this rewarding ministry.
Matthew 25:35: For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
We go into 2020 with determination to continue to serve the needy in our community - that is locally, nationally, and internationally. We will be having some fundraisers to raise the $3,000 we need for this year. Stay tuned for what comes next!