Announcements beginning
Sunday, March 26th

Capital Campaign Matching Challenge and Update Thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous source, for 2017 we have a matching challenge for our “Generation to Generation” capital campaign.  Any donation received between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2017 from those who have not yet made a pledge to this capital campaign will be matched up to $25,000.00 (in order to encourage new contributions); and any donation received between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2017 from those who have already made a pledge to this capital campaign will be matched up to $75,000.00 (in order to encourage the fulfillment of pledges).  The potential income from all sources for this matching challenge alone is two hundred thousand dollars!

In case you don’t know already, the “Generation to Generation” capital campaign raises funds to pay off the mortgage on our new building for Christian formation and fellowship through gifts above and beyond donations for the general operating budget supporting our everyday mission and ministry; this capital campaign was begun in April 2015.  As of 21 March 2017, we have received 65 pledges for $625,461.99; of that figure, $603,018.81 has already been paid toward or above those pledges made and $158,003.70 remains to be paid on those pledges.  In addition, 92 households and groups have made non-pledged gifts totaling $90,336.25.  For the entire duration of the campaign so far, this capital campaign has received $693,355.06 in pledged plus non-pledged gifts.  But now we have a remarkable opportunity to do even more.

Of course, all donations to this capital campaign are tax-deductible and should remain separate from contributions to our everyday mission and ministry.  If you have already made a pledge for the new building, then thank you for that commitment!  If you can make a new pledge or can make a special gift for this matching challenge, then you will help our church to pay off the mortgage more effectively.  Brochures about the capital campaign are available in the tract rack on the tall table at the back of the church or from the church office.  For more information, please contact the capital campaign co-chairs, John Sondermann and Mary Jane Cole.   

What Would Jesus Brew?

Come out to Vinny’s Italian Grill on 610 (Tuesday, March 28th at 7pm) for food, fellowship, and conversation with the young adult group, What Would Jesus Brew (open to people in their 20s and 30s). The night will be centered around the question, “Did God die on the cross?” We are looking forward to this gathering and hope that you can join us.

Easter Egg Hunt

Our annual Easter egg hunt will take place around the church at 10:15 am on Easter Sunday.  We need filled plastic eggs.  Some bagged empty eggs are available inside the entrance of the new building.  Please fill eggs with wrapped candy or treats (stickers, small toys etc...)  Eggs can be dropped off at the Christian Ed or church offices by Good Friday.  We also need volunteers to hide eggs on Easter morning.  If you are able to help with this, please email Kristen Morgan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Morning Call:  . A new Morning Call series for Lent on “The Seven Last Words of Christ” continues in the new building’s great hall, starting around 10:20am.  Led by the clergy, this series deals with not literally the seven final words Jesus ever spoke, but rather the seven final statements, affirmations, and prayers he offered from the cross.  This series will conclude on Apr. 2.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study: Father James Rickenbaker’s
Wednesday morning Bible study series on the biblical origins and theological significance of the Holy Eucharist continues to meet in the new building's conference room downstairs on Wednesday mornings (10:30am—12:00noon).

Wednesday Evening Bible Study:  The series on “The Christian Life according to Paul”
continues to meet in the new building’s conference room downstairs on Wednesday, Mar. 29 (when we shall discuss Second Corinthians 8—13).  The group will NOT meet on April 12.

Youth Group:  The youth group for teenagers in grades 6-12
will meet NEXT Sunday, Apr. 2, from 4pm till 6pm, in the great hall and with dinner served.  The next evening meeting will take place on Apr. 23 (the Sunday after Easter) with the same format.

Save The Date......Aquia Church is hosting a church fundraiser on
Saturday, April 8th from 11 am - 3 pm.  This event will have 10 Lularoe consultants and sales consultants from Scentsy, Mary Kay, Lipsense, Thirty-one, Rodan & Fields and more!  This is a great event to invite your friends and neighbors.

Heaven’s Gate Catering Annual Grand Tasting will be held in the Great Hall on Saturday, April 1st from 6 to 9 PM.  Heaven’s Gate Catering has rented our hall for this event which features a delicious meal, decorations by Memorable Moments & Party Elegance, wedding cake sampling and more.  They are also showcasing our facility for possible future rental events.  If you would like to attend, visit their website or Facebook page for further information.  Tickets are $25 on line and $30 at the door.  Come, taste and see what Heaven’s Gate Catering is cooking up for us.  

Attention: The “Aquia Wood Chucks” are back in the fire wood business.  Our woodsplitter is working fine and we would love to provide you a truck load of seasoned fire wood for $150.  Call your friends.  Please call the office and place your order.   Proceeds go to our new building fund.


Attention Golfers And Friends of Golfers:  The 8th Annual Bob Jones Memorial Golf Tournament supporting Aquia’s Table will be held on Friday, May 19, at Augustine Golf Club in Stafford.  This is the major fundraiser of the year for Aquia’s Table, so gather your golfing friends and get them registered to play!  On the tall table at the back of the church, there is a flyer with complete details and instructions about registration on one side, with information about sponsorship opportunities on the other side.  Can your household or group of friends or business become a sponsor of this important event for the ministry of Aquia’s Table and receive major recognition in turn?

Christian Seder Meal and Service:       
Palm Sunday, Sunday April 9th,                  5:00 pm---8:00 pm.  Join us on Palm Sunday, for the Christian Seder Meal. Not only will we have a wonderful feast, but will also share in the rich history and celebration of the Seder. Please watch outside of the church for a sign up sheet and hope that you can join us. For more information contact Jean and Michael Golas.

Challenging News, with a Challenge:  For several months now, through various venues, you have learned that our parish has been working earnestly to secure financial commitments from church members for God’s mission and ministry here in 2017, and you have likewise learned that those pledges have not quite attained a sufficient status for sustaining (much less expanding) our existing level of ministry.  Despite the generosity of many parishioners and some good work from the Vestry, there remains a gap between our expected income and our expected expenses for our ministry groups, property maintenance, mortgage payments for the new building, and appropriate compensation for our staff.

While it is good for a church to operate with a budget that is at least balanced, our bank agreements for the construction loan on the new building compel us to develop a balanced budget, and our monthly repayment of that loan must be paid even before the Rector’s salary may be paid.  Given our total income anticipated for 2017 and given some significant expenses coming ahead, the Vestry needed to do what any household, business, or government agency would have to do:  reduce the expenses allowed.

Accordingly, at its March meeting, your Vestry adopted a budget that imposes some challenging, difficult decisions on our parish, including the following effective April 1 or soon thereafter:

    •    Reduce the salaries for our parish administrator, executive assistant, and director of Christian education by 20% (though not their pensions or similar benefits).
•    Reduce our janitorial-service contract by 50%.
•    Contribute nothing more to the Diocese of Virginia this year.
•    Contribute nothing to the Region I Episcopal Churches this year.
•    Eliminate all maintenance expenses for the rectory.
•    Eliminate our trash-collection and recycling-collection contract.
•    Eliminate the purchase of bulletin inserts with Scripture lessons.
•    Eliminate the hiring of supply organists when our director of music is absent.

The finance committee did not recommend these changes thoughtlessly and without exploring alternatives, nor did the Vestry consider them carelessly or approve them without extensive discussion.  The only salary increase for any employee is for our assistant rector, who after being ordained as a priest in December 2016 will receive the diocesan-recommended bare-minimum salary for a priest effective June 2017.

The challenging news of these cuts will affect some of our everyday operations conspicuously and almost immediately:

    •    The working hours for Dennise LaBarre, Sue Selz, and Kristen Morgan will obviously change.
    •    We cannot and we will not expect these talented, dedicated staff members to perform all of their previous tasks after receiving a one-fifth reduction in salary.
    •    We will suddenly rely heavily on each other volunteering to mop, sweep, vacuum, and dust part or all of the historic church, the new building, the 1960 parish house, and the Fleurries office building, and to carry all of our trash and recyclables to the county dump or to our homes.
    •    Our financial share in the mission and ministry of our diocese and our region will suffer in part or in whole.

Let us emphasize that none of these cuts must be permanent: with additional income from pledges and other gifts, we can restore funding that has been reduced.  Let us also insist that while no further cuts are planned, some might become necessary if actual income does not meet current expectations.  We ask not only for your prayers about these matters, but also for you to rise to the occasion and address these challenges faithfully.

--Your Rector and Vestry




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