Year End Giving Letter

November Stewardship Letter

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 continued opportunities for your year-end giving, in your regular tithing and 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 $2,683,549.92 in total toward our Destined For Joy campaign and, as part of that, $286,215.15 just in the past twelve months as Phase Two of this campaign. Thankfully, as part of these totals, we have raised $27,263 of the $25,000 we needed for the matching Kitchen grant, and are just a few dollars short of paying for the new chairs for our beautiful new sanctuary. Thanks be to God for His provision, and thank you for responding so generously!

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. After the success of Phase One of our Destined For Joy Campaign, we believe God is calling us to raise $600,000 by the end of 2020 to bring all of this to fruition. With the great start we’re experiencing this year (we’re nearly half way there!), 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 season of gratitude, 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

October Stewardship Letter

Stewardship 2019: The Joy of Giving (Up)

Dear Beloved in the Lord,

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

I am so very thankful for the trust and confidence that you have in God and his Word.

I have loved going deep into Paul’s teaching on stewardship and generosity. While written some 2000 years ago, Paul’s words of encouragement in his Second letter to the Church at Corinth come alive to us today. I know Bishop John enjoyed encouraging us this past week as we continued to press into what stewardship means for us. I was especially blessed and encouraged by his words that the tithe is more of a mile marker than a destination, a point we pass and surpass as we live into more of what Jesus has in store for us.

It’s been exciting to witness your continued response to our Lord which began long before I arrived on the scene and I’m confidant will continue for years to come. Last year on November 12, I challenged us, in a second phase of Destined for Joy, to raise an additional $600,000 by the end of 2020. I’m happy to report to you that we are on track, having already raised an additional $256,314.15 since then! That brings our total in funding Destined For Joy 1 & 2 to $2,653,648. I’m also pleased to report that we have surpassed the $25,000 fundraising goal for the matching $25,000 grant toward the new kitchen, raising $25,853 for a total of $50,853! Thank you and God bless you!

I understand Stewardship and generosity are very personal to most people. But as we have all prayed about it, read about it, and presented our lives to the Lord every week, I have found myself energized and greatly encouraged to continue to share this message of hope, and I hope you have too. While it is part of our personal growth toward the Lord Jesus, it is something we can share and discuss with others. I have made materials available for you to use in your family and small group settings. They will continue to be available this Sunday so I hope you will take advantage of these resources from The Evergreen Project.  

This weekend I hope to tie it all together in my wrap-up message on Stewardship. I really want you to be there and hear the words of the Apostle speaking directly to each of us. (Trust me, he is talking to me too!) I think this is an appropriate way to close our Church year, thanking God for all of His blessings. In this next season together with the community He’s placed us in, we look forward to knowing Him more fully, and more fully making Him known. 

I remain yours in Christ,

Joseph Acanfora+

Meet Deacon Ryan Bettwy!

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Lunch and Fairfax City Wydlife Kick-Off Event
Sunday, October 20, After Church, Meet at Pender Dr. Office and Community Center

Last Sunday we introduced Deacon Ryan Bettwy to the congregation. He will be spending the next season with us as a Deacon and youth ministry leader. 6th-12th grade students are invited to come to lunch and this special kick-off event. He wrote the following to share a little bit about himself and hopes to get to know you too!

"Jesus has redeemed both my sin, and the reality that growing up I was terrible at basketball but loved to play hard anyway! With my first job out of college, I led a youth group at a church in Southwest Virginia in the same rural town where I did outreach through Young Life, building relationships at Bible study over diner biscuits and playing basketball in dusty trailer parks with my students. A few years later, I taught ESOL in China while building relationships with college students, eating lunches with chopsticks and playing basketball on dusty, cracked blacktop. At my first Anglican church, I interned at an Anglican church plant in Blacksburg, VA, where I helped to lead a men's Bible study and the international outreach to Belize, where we built relationships by waking up tarantulas from their holes with sticks and playing basketball on cement slabs outside the middle school. In the decade since I have discerned and pursued an ordained calling, I have loved seeing the many ways God has spoken into my life and given me these chances to see ministry flow from my natural interests, especially in the lives of teenagers! My vision for ministry at Apostles is to speak-forth the kingdom of God from the church. I am so excited to get to see how God's Spirit leads the teenagers of this congregation to grow in fellowship with God's Spirit, depth of knowledge of His word, and enjoyment of one another in the most unique season of their lives! This weekend, I am excited to begin our journey together by inviting our teenagers to a great opportunity with Wyldlife, YoungLife's middle school outreach ministry. Students in grades 6-12, are invited to lunch after worship service in the Pender office. From there, we will go to Fairfax City's kick-off Wyldlife event to support our middle school community and enjoy the afternoon together!"

Questions? Contact Ryan below!

September Stewardship Letter

Beloved in Christ,

As you are receiving this, I am in the Colorado Rockies with my sons in the Arapahoe National Forest Wilderness. Despite our separation in miles, you are on my heart and in my prayers. I am very grateful for you, my Church family. You are loving, supportive and living into what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Paul’s words from his letter to the Philippians 1:3-6 comes to mind for me: 

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Together, we serve the Lord God who loves us in abundance, and who gives us everything we need for our life and salvation. We can do all things in him.

As I typically do in the fall, I am writing to you to introduce our Stewardship series which will begin in October, and also, appealing to you to help with some specific needs we have right now. 

In terms of our Stewardship Series, on October 13, 20 and 27, we’ll be exploring through God’s word why and how we are called to be good stewards of all that God blesses us with; it all comes from Him. In addition, the week before that begins, on October 6, we will gather for a Congregational Meeting to explain our transition into our new building facility which looks like it will happen in the month of November. For that to happen smoothly, there are some immediate needs we have which I’d like to outline here. My prayer is that you will prayerfully consider how you can participate in meeting those needs. Our most immediate needs are as follows:

  • Kitchen: Our builder is in the process of completing construction of our full kitchen which we would like to be able to utilize from day one in the building. In addition, we have carefully been able to outfit the kitchen through auction purchases at pennies on the dollar for appliances, prep tables, shelving, etc. And, by the grace of God, we’ve been awarded a $25,000 matching grant towards the kitchen. Yes, a matching grant, which on the terms of the donor needs $25,000 in matching funds before it can be paid out to us. To date, we’ve quietly raised just over just over $4,000 specifically for the kitchen. We need this grant to be able to finish up the kitchen. Every dollar donated specifically toward the kitchen will go to meet the match. I ask that you prayerfully consider a gift toward this. It’s a way to have your gift “doubled” with the match!

  • Sanctuary Chairs: We have a need for new, comfortable sanctuary chairs and have plans to purchase them but do not yet have funding in place. So, we are inviting you to “buy” chairs for yourself and your family, and, as God moves your heart, for new folks who will be coming to Apostles in the near future. The cushioned chairs we’ve picked out cost close to $40 each with shipping. Would you prayerfully consider participating by buying yourself a chair or two, perhaps one or more for a guest?

  • Prepping, Planting, Moving and cleaning help: As we get ready to move in, we’ll need to organize, move and do a final clean-up of the new space. We’ll also need to tidy-up the space we’re leaving at Pender Drive. Would you consider giving some of your time and talent to help the staff in this way? There also will be shrubs to plant so we’ll need some inside and outside help. Please contact the office and let us know how and when you can help, and we’ll publicize as the time gets near when and where your help can be applied.

My friends in Christ, know that I would not ask you to do anything I’m not willing to do myself. Beth and I have given generously to this project and are contributing with our time, talent, and treasure as well to do our part to see it all through. Will you partner with us? I am trusting in our Lord, the Great Provider, and have seen time and time again how He provides for his people, through His people. I pray you will experience His joy and peace as you respond to Him in obedience. If you’d like, I have resources for families and small groups to aid you in studying God’s word on stewardship that will be made available when I return the first week in October. In the meantime, I pray God’s blessings upon you, for His peace to be with you every day, and for His joy to fill your heart knowing you are loved dearly by Him.

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

Joe Acanfora+