Announcements - Week of Sunday, November 28, 2021
PLEDGE CARDS: We encourage members and friends of our parish to submit their pledge cards, making a financial commitment to God’s mission and ministry at Aquia Church during 2022, at any worship service soon or to the church office soon. Those who have not already received a pledge card or a pledge packet may pick up one from the basket on the tall table at the back of the church. As of November 22, we have received 73 adult pledge cards for $358,887.92 (with 4 pledges coming from households that did not pledge for 2021, and with 35 pledges increased from the current year’s pledge) and 5 child/youth pledge cards for $416.00; that is a rather encouraging start.
ADVENT BEGINS THIS COMING SUNDAY
ADVENT BEGINS THIS COMING SUNDAY: The four Sundays of Advent 2021 are November 28 and December 5, 12, & 19. On those Sundays, our worship services will convey something a bit different, even unusual: as we use the time of Advent to prepare for celebrating Christmas, we shall not be rushed or hurried in our worship. More broadly, our worship services during this season will be a place of refreshment, rather than business-as-usual. To that end, during this Advent there will be deliberate pauses and silence around the readings and around the prayers, in our Sunday worship and in our Advent Quiet Day (Sunday, December 5, 1:00—4:00 p.m., available in person and live-streamed) so that we can concentrate more fully on them, and some other deliberate pauses and silence between different phases of the worship services. At our 10:30 a.m. worship services and at our service of Advent Lessons and Carols (Sunday, December 5 at 4:00 p.m.), there will be music generally reserved for this season. Finally, the order of worship with the Holy Eucharist will deliberately allow for reflection and repentance that will culminate in rejoicing. Please be attuned to what marks the Advent season as different from Christmas.
E.C.W. ADVENT GIFT SHOP
E.C.W. ADVENT GIFT SHOP: Do you need a set of candles for your Advent wreath or a small Christmas gift? Would you like an Aquia Church ornament for your own tree? If so, please check out our ECW Advent Gift Shop in the great hall. There you will find a lovely assortment of handmade Christmas ornaments, wreaths and pillowcases, along with Aquia Church gold ornaments, note cards and cookbooks. We have sets of Advent wreath tapers, plus wax angels and star candles made from Aquia Church Altar candle stubs, and the cutest sock monkeys you ever saw. The shop will be open after the morning services on Sundays until Christmas. In fact, you are welcome to browse and shop any time you find the Christian Formation and Fellowship Building open. For further information, feel free to contact Mary Jane Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Briget Kane (email@example.com).
MORNING CALL: Morning Call is our Sunday morning forum for adult formation and discussion, held in the great hall (9:30—10:15 a.m.). On this coming Sunday, November 28, our attention returns to our series about the Sermon on the Mount, focusing on Matthew 7.
CEMETERY AND GROUNDS CLEAN-UP
CEMETERY AND GROUNDS CLEAN-UP: Please join with us as we gather to clean up the cemetery and grounds on next Saturday, December 4, starting at 8:00 a.m. Bring your yard rakes, leaf blowers, gloves, and related tools as we prepare outside for winter and our Christmas celebrations.
CHRISTMAS ADOPT-A-FAMILY: Our outreach ministry group plans to assist the Stafford County Department of Social Services (DSS) with their Adopt-A-Family program. We will be collecting gifts for 6 families and 5 seniors. This year the little trees are back; the gift tags on the little trees note the recipient number and the gift the recipient has requested. Please select a tag and print your name and phone number (or e-mail address) by the corresponding number on the notepad. Please return your unwrapped gift to the church by next Sunday, December 5. Please contact Johanna Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any question about this program.
ADVENT QUIET DAY
ADVENT QUIET DAY: On next Sunday, December 5 (1:00—4:00 p.m.), we will have an Advent Quiet Day. It will be offered as a hybrid with the talks being offered both in-person and over Facebook Live. Our series of talks will cover “the Comfortable Words” that are read right before the exchange of peace and the Holy Communion (Rite One). Those words of strength are important for us to remember in the midst of all that is going on in our lives today. Due to continuing concerns about COVID, lunch will NOT be served at this year’s Advent Quiet Day; but it will be held just before the service of Advent Lessons and Carols begins at 4:00 p.m., in the hopes that those attending the quiet day in person will be able to stay for the worship service. Come join us for some rest and refreshment.
ADVENT LESSONS AND CAROLS
ADVENT LESSONS AND CAROLS: Please join us for our annual service of Advent Lessons and Carols two Sundays from now on next Sunday, December 5 at 4:00 p.m. This musical service will be a wonderful occasion for inviting friends to join us!
VESTRY NUT/CANDY SALES
VESTRY NUT/CANDY SALES: The vestry has an array of freshly roasted nut products from Newsoms Peanut Shop here in Virginia that you can purchase, whether to enjoy at home or to share with others as holiday gifts. Options include chocolate covered peanut brittle, home-roasted peanuts, Cajun spice peanuts, habanero/jalapeño spice peanuts, chocolate amaretto pecans, chocolate covered almonds, cashews, trail mix, honey crisp pecans, and peanut squares. Bold yellow order forms are available from the back of the church and from the church office. When you submit your order form with payment (cash or check payable to Aquia Church, with “nut sales” in the memo line of your check or on your envelope), your purchase will be available for pickup at church on the following Sunday; pickup can also be arranged at the church office. You will also be able to choose in person from a range of products after each worship service next Sunday, December 5.
VESTRY NOMINATIONS: Our parish seeks nominations of at least four adults to serve a three-year term on the vestry, with elections being held at our annual meeting on the morning of Sunday, January 9, 2022. Light blue self-nomination forms are available at the back of the church and should be submitted to the church office by the end of Monday, December 20.
WORSHIP SCHEDULE FOR CHRISTMAS AND BEYOND
WORSHIP SCHEDULE FOR CHRISTMAS AND BEYOND
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24 (Christmas Eve)
Holy Eucharist at 4:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m. (NEW TIMES!)
with Christmas music beginning 30 minutes before each service
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25 (Christmas Day)
Holy Eucharist at 10:00 a.m.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26
Holy Eucharist at 7:30 a.m.
Christmas Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion at 10:30 a.m.
NO afternoon/evening worship service
SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 2022
Holy Eucharist at 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
NO afternoon/evening worship service
SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2022
Parish-Wide Annual Meeting and Holy Eucharist at 9:00 a.m. in the great hall
(in case of snow or ice, the annual meeting will be postponed one week to January 16)
Sunday school activities throughout the morning for students in pre-K through 12th grade
Choral Evensong at 4:00 p.m. in the historic church
COLLECTING NEWSPAPERS: The Daughters of the King ministry group at Aquia Church is collecting old newspapers (not magazines) to be taken to the animal shelter in Stafford. There is a black plastic cube in the back left pew (as you come into church) for collection. Your contribution is much appreciated.
PRAYER CARD MINISTRY
PRAYER CARD MINISTRY: Aquia Church has a prayer card ministry group that is getting off the ground, for sending uplifting notes and cards of encouragement to parishioners as needs arise. The church provides stationery, postage, mailing information, and return-address labels; or you may use your own. Members of this group express their concerns for others quietly yet lovingly. If you are interested in participating with this group or if you need more information about it, please contact Father Morris (email@example.com or 540-659-4007 at the church office).
CHRISTIAN PARENTING GROUP AVAILABLE
CHRISTIAN PARENTING GROUP AVAILABLE: Have you ever wrestled with how to raise children in a Christian way in this world? It can sometimes seem so difficult to balance the Christian life with what the world teaches. Now there’s a way for us to share in this journey together. Join the Christian Parenting Group on Sunday mornings during the Sunday School time (9:30—10:15 a.m.) for some fellowship and topic discussions geared for parents and caregivers of children of all ages; our first meeting was held only last week, so it’s certainly not too late to start attending. Bring your own coffee or grab some from the great hall, then join us in the downstairs conference room in the CFFB. Let Kristen Morgan or Rachel Rickenbaker know if you are interested or want to learn more!
YOUTH GROUP: The youth group for students in middle school and high school meets on Sunday mornings (9:30—10:15 a.m.) in the youth group room downstairs in the Christian Formation and Fellowship Building. Also, our afternoon/evening meetings follow an every-other-week rotation at the 5:00—6:00 p.m. timeframe unless we announce a different time or a switch to a Saturday meeting well in advance. Our next afternoon meeting will be held on this coming Sunday, November 28, for lunch and Christmas shopping: immediately after the 10:30 a.m. worship service ends, teenagers and their families will visit a nearby restaurant for lunch, then the youth with conduct their shopping in support of our Christmas Adopt-a-Family outreach. Our final afternoon meeting of this calendar year will be held on December 12; stay tuned for more details about that event.
SUNDAY SCHOOL: Our regular schedule for Sunday school (9:30—10:15 a.m.) is in effect now. Sunday school registration is available for students in pre-K through 12th grade on the church Website <www.aquiachurch.org>: scroll down to the Sunday school icon, then click on “Sunday School Registration.”
BUSY BAGS: Busy bags are available in the historic church for our youngest members. A child’s Bible, activity pages, drawing paper, and crayons are available in canvas bags when you enter the church. Please take one bag per family and return it after the service ends.
NURSERY AVAILABLE: Our nursery, located on the lower level of the Christian Formation and Fellowship Building (just across the hallway from the elevator), is available for the 10:30 a.m. worship service, with coverage provided by caring, trained, and experienced staff—plus lots of toys, diapers and wipes, a pack-and-play, and whatever else your child or grandchild might need.
WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDIES
WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDIES: Father Rickenbaker’s new morning series (which begins this coming Wednesday, December 1, starting electronically at 10:30 a.m., and runs through December 15) will focus on the Book of the prophet Joel in the Old Testament. Father Morris will continue his new series on the New Testament’s Epistle of James on Wednesdays through December 15, starting electronically at 7:00 p.m. During the pandemic, most of our Bible studies 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).
FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION RECORDS
FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION RECORDS: Monetary contributions intended for 2021 must be received by the church by 31 December 2021 or must be postmarked by 31 December 2021. Likewise, electronic contributions must be made by 31 December 2021 in order to count towards this year. All contributions received by the church after 31 December 2021 will be counted toward 2022 except for those postmarked by 31 December 2021. Contributions postmarked after 31 December 2021 (even checks with a 2021 date) will be counted towards 2022. For in-kind donations made during 2021, parishioners are asked to provide the receipts to the office as soon as feasible. In the event that end-of-year contribution statements have already produced by the church office before you provide your receipts, treasurer Chris Arey will provide a separate statement for these in-kind donations.
CHURCH OFFICE TRANSITION
CHURCH OFFICE TRANSITION: While our office staff is in transition, the church office in the Fleurries will be open 8:00 a.m.—4:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
MASK GUIDANCE: In keeping with the most recent CDC guidance, we encourage those attending our indoor worship services and other indoor activities to wear a mask while our area remains at substantial or greater risk for transmitting the COVID delta variant, even if you are already vaccinated. We also remind those attending our worship services that seating in the south transept (or ‘wing’) of the historic church building is reserved for those wearing masks.
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/now>, and there is a “GIVE” link on the church website <https://www.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you want to be added to our e-mail distribution list
If you want to be added to our e-mail distribution list for weekly announcements and special updates or for the monthly Cross Section newsletter, simply notify Sue Selz in the church office (email@example.com or 540-659-4007).