Destined For Joy II - January 2019 Update

Beloved in Christ,

Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ; God is with us in him.

Over the past two months I have written to inform you of our finances at Apostles and our continued opportunities for your year-end giving, especially toward our Destined For Joy campaign. Thanks be to God, you are responding generously. I am happy to report that as of today, we, the faithful people of God, have given $41,478.09 toward our Destined For JoyII campaign just since this appeal went out in mid-November 2018. This is over and above our regular giving and over and above the $1,900 we raised at our Christmas Craft Sale. Thank you for your faithful generosity! This puts us well on our way toward our goal of raising $600,000 over the next two years for Destined For Joy II.

In addition, you the faithful people of God by His grace, finished up 2018 extremely strong, enabling us to finish the year in the positive for the operations of Church of the Apostles. Although our accounting for the year has not been completely finalized, to date it shows our total income for 2018 was $617,525, and our total expenses were $561,532. That leaves us $55,993 in the positive just in our operations. That does not include the $283,097 we gave in designated gifts that went to specific missionaries or ministries. That means, in total our generosity for the year exceeded $940,000. Thanks be to God!

As I stated in my December letters to you, we are hoping and praying to be able to complete and furnish our new building with everything needed for mission, ministry and worship. I mentioned some of the things not budgeted for in the building that we are hoping to secure are: the complete full service kitchen, state of the art audio-visual equipment for the sanctuary, and furnishings for the interior and exterior. 

I pray that as we move forward you will continue to join me in prayer, because as we know, all things are possible in God, and we are totally dependent upon Him. I ask you not only to pray for the Lord’s total provision, but also inquire of Him how he is leading you to be part of that provision. Many of us have been partners with God in His provision for others, (God moves us to be the answer to someone’s prayer). And, most of us have had our prayers answered by God through the generosity of others. It is all our Lord’s doing. Our part is to be in tune with Him so we can get in on what He is doing. I know I always find that to be a joy, even when it requires some self-sacrifice. Though we may sacrifice, none of us can come near to the sacrifice Jesus gave for each of us. That being said, in the words of the apostle Paul: I appeal to you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)

Please join me in praying for the workers on our building site as well. The weather has provided very uncomfortable working conditions lately in the cold, wet and damp. While I know they are all grateful for the work and the pay the work provides, please continue to pray for their health and safety and for their families.

Please mark on your calendars for Sunday, March 24 for our Annual Meeting, when we as a congregation will come together to move forward in decisions and share a time of fellowship and information. Know in the meantime, you’ll be getting an update like this each month from me.

Thank you, and bless you, and please let me hear from you if you have any questions; God be with you.

Your brother in Christ,

Joseph Acanfora

Children and Youth Summer Line Up

Summertime for Apostles including multiple summer camp opportunities for children and youth.

I sit here relishing in the beauty of the snow but my thoughts and my heart are already turned to summer and to the longer stretches of time we have with our children both from the nuclear family’s perspective as well as the church family.  Summertime affords the greatest opportunity to fulfill the biblical expression of family discipleship so beautifully stated in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. 

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Apostles has a long history of offering Summer Camp opportunities that not only disciple children and youth but also provide ways in which the youth and adults can lead and disciple others. This approach clearly embraces the Apostles mission statement “ Disciples of Jesus, discipling in love”. 

It is my dream to create seamless multi-generational opportunities for the church community to be engaged.  Below are some of the steps toward realizing this dream.  We will start at the top and work our way down.


For all ages:

What:               Family Nights

Where:             Pender offices/Willow Spring Gym

When:              select Friday nights

Why:                To be family, in community, to share the fellowship of Christ with others. Romans 12:5, Hebrews 10:24-25

For Youth rising 7th grade-graduated seniors

What:               Camp Booyah

Where:             Watermarks Camp 1145 James River Rd, Scottsville, VA 24590

https://campbooyah.blogspot.com/2017/07/next-year-watermarks-camp.htmlhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=152&v=2MWh2-DbxBI

When:              June 16-21, 2019 

Why:                http://campbooyah.com/

Cost:                $429.00

Commitment deadline:  January 30, 2019, written and deposit of $50.00

For Elementary through middle school (rising 3rd-rising 8th)

What:               Camp Highroad

Where:             21164 Steptoe Hill Rd, Middleburg, VA 20117

When:              August 4-9 2019

Why:                God is faithful in bringing about His plan. Genesis 37-50

Cost:                $425.00

Commitment deadline:  April 22, 2019, written commitment and payment directly to Camp Highroad

For preschool and younger elementary

What:               Backyard Bible Club

Where:             TBD

When:              Tentatively July 8-12, 2019

Why:                To bring the gospel of Jesus to our neighborhoods, 

 

More detailed information will come out in 2 weeks.  Apostles is partnering with outside resources so it is imperative that we have firm deadline dates for commitments. As is our history, scholarships will be available for all programs that incur a cost.

I am so looking forward to this summer.  I have great expectations for what the Lord will do in and through all of us as we live out our mission.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at kcolligan@churchoftheapostles.orgor call the church office, 703-591-1974. 

Christmas Pastoral Letter

Beloved in Christ,

A blessed Christmas to you and your family. I hope and trust you are enjoying the realization, especially this season, that God is truly with us in the person of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. In times past, we referred to the counting of the years as AD 2018, from the Latin “Anno Domini,” “in the year of our Lord.” History turned when Jesus, King of Kings, took human form and was born on earth, and the world has never been the same. Amidst all the uncertainty we face in today’s day and age, we can be certain in knowing that despite all the turbulence, God is in charge and the reconciliation of all creation, accomplished through Jesus, is coming in its fullness. As His body on earth, the Church spreads this message of reconciliation through its words and actions. At the center of this is the heart of the Father, overflowing with His love for creation. We as His body are an important part of His means for dispensing that love. Especially in this season, please remember the awesome privilege and responsibility we have to be His means of grace, his continuing gift to the world, that the world will know his Son, and in knowing him, will experience his peace, hope, joy and love. May you and your family know this and live it.

Peace in Christ -

Joseph Acanfora

Year-End Giving Appeal - Part 3

Beloved in Christ,

Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ; God is with us in him.

Over the past month I have written to you informing you of our finances at Apostles and opening opportunities for your year-end giving, especially toward our Destined For Joy campaign, and thanks be to God, you are responding generously. I am happy to report that as of today, we, the faithful people of God have given $13,567 toward our Destined For Joy campaign since the appeal went out in mid-November. This is over and above our regular giving and in addition to the $1,830 we raised at our Christmas Craft Sale. Thank you for your faithful generosity!

If you have not made a pledge or gift, your offerings to this campaign are most welcome as they will be funding a “city on a hill” from which the light and joy of Jesus Christ will shine. As I stated in the first of these year-end appeal letters we will be in need of roughly $600,000 in additional funding to complete our audio-visual equipment and installation (~$120,000), completion of our full kitchen to serve those in need as well as for our own use (~$100,000), interior furnishings (~$130,000), and $250,000. in principle reduction for our final closing when construction is complete in 2019. After the success of Phase One of our Destined for Joy Campaign, we believe God is calling us to raise this $600,000 within the next two years to bring all of this to fruition. With the great start we’re experiencing only a month into this, I am confident we will get there and grateful for you who are joining in. As you prayerfully contemplate your year-end giving, please consider blessing Apostles with your generosity.

Most importantly, please join the Vestry, Staff and Beth and me in continuing to pray. While our financial need is real, it will continue to take the Hand of God to propel us forward. I know, as Paul tells us: “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” - (1Thes 5:24)

Let us take joy in knowing we serve our Lord who is faithful in all things. Let us remain rooted in Him, connected to Jesus as the branches of His vine, empowered forward by his Holy Spirit. In this upcoming Christmastide, as we experience the joy and peace of Emanuel, God’s greatest gift to each of us, I pray that “the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, that your whole spirit and soul and body will be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – (1 Thes. 5:23)And that you would take joy in knowing our heavenly Father finds you blameless by what our Savior Jesus has done for us. May all we do give him honor and glory, and be a blessing to the people he loves. 

Let me hear from you if you have any questions; God be with you.

Your brother in Christ,

Joseph Acanfora