year-end giving appeal 2017

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, 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 $655,488 this year, $73,384 of which has come in since the appeal went out on November 24. I had challenged us to bring in at least $80,000 by year’s end, and it looks as though we are on track to do that. I pray we will finish strong through this week and Sunday, 12/31/17, the last day of the year. 

In addition, many of us are rounding out our year-end giving by faithfully keeping the pledge we made to our Destined For Joy campaign, which is effectively funding our upcoming building project on Lee Highway. By the grace of God, we hope to break ground in the first quarter of 2018, and all things are lining up so we can do so. As of this week, we have given a total of $2,032,225.01 to this campaign, and we have $530,617.44 outstanding in pledges that we hope will all be in by June of 2018. Thank you for your faithfulness. Of the over $2 million received so far, $197,640.24 was not pledged.  Thank you for those who stepped up and have given generously! If you have not made a pledge, your gifts 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. To be on track, we should start the New Year with about $400,000. To do that, we need to take in about $130,000 before the end of 2017. Please pray if the Lord is asking you to make a gift toward this end. No amount is too big or too small. If you are one of those folks who has been sitting on the fence, or waiting to give until we actually break ground, I’d ask you to spend some prayerful time with the Lord in his Word.

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.” - (1 Thes 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 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 sanctif[ies] 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

Year-End Giving Appeal - Part 2

Beloved in Christ,

Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ this Advent Season, as we joyfully anticipate the coming of Emanuel.

Three weeks ago I wrote you with a year-end appeal, and thanks be to God, you are responding generously.  To date, of the $80,000.need we had by year’s end," should be: To date, of the needed $80,000 by year's end, we have faithfully given $53,383 towards the operation of Church of the Apostles, and I am deeply grateful.  We have the second half of December to bring in the balance needed, and I am prayerfully hopeful that our Lord will continue to provide through the generous and sacrificial giving of His people.

In addition, many of us are rounding out our year-end giving by faithfully keeping the pledge we made to our Destined For Joy campaign, which is effectively funding our upcoming building project on Lee Highway.  By the grace of God, we hope to break ground in the first quarter of 2018, and all things are lining up so we can do so.  As of this week, we have given a total of $1,996,043 to this campaign, and we have $559,357 outstanding in pledges that we hope will all be in by June of 2018.  Thank you for your faithfulness.  If you have not made a pledge, your gifts 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.  To be on track, it would be nice to start the New Year with about $400,000 outstanding.  To do that, we need to take in about $159,000 before the end of 2017.  Please pray if the Lord is asking you to make a gift toward this end.  No amount is too big or too small.  If you are one of those folks who has been sitting on the fence, or waiting to give until we actually break ground, I’d ask you to spend some prayerful time with the Lord in his Word. 

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.” - (1 Thes 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.  As we look ahead, prayerfully praying for the coming of Emanuel, 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

Year-End Giving Appeal - Part 1

Beloved in Christ,

I need your help!

I hope you would agree that Apostles is an amazing congregation. I have sensed the strength of God upon us for the past 5 years I’ve been here. It has been beyond any expectation. Even during this time of transition…as we pray for the Lord to bring us to a new home as we re-plant ourselves in this new community, I sense His presence and guiding light propelling us forward.

We have so much to be thankful for.  This especially comes to mind at Thanksgiving time. I am so thankful to God for all of you.  You are more than just my “church family”, you are my extended family I love deeply, and have come to appreciate for your personal commitment to Christ and to one another as His body, the Church.  Your example of perseverance, forbearance, and faith fortifies me daily.  And, your compassion for one another and the wider community inspires me and gives me so much hope.  I am deeply grateful for you and sense the gratitude you have for one-another.

I know the past year has not been easy with the transition we made to Willow Springs School and the turnover of some of our leadership. Despite the changes, don’t you feel that the worship and praise from week to week has been truly inspirational?  I am so blessed each Sunday as we come together as the Body of Christ to praise God, hear His Holy Word and be nurtured in His blessed sacrament.  We are experiencing true Three Streams, One River worship of God in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit!

But I need your help.

We have a significant year-end financial challenge. As of a few days ago, we needed to receive just over $80,000 by the end of the year to pay all expenses and end the year in the black. Apostles needs to be a strong church for the season ahead. We have lots to do in our community and among our membership; especially the children and students. Our focus and our mission remians unchanged: we are making disciples and teaching them to obey the commands of Christ.

But I need your help to keep this ministry moving from strength to strength.

So first, will you pray?  Seriously!  Let’s start there…with prayer. The financial need is great; it will take a spiritual move of God to touch people’s hearts.  The world is cynical about many things. The culture is confused about many things.  But I am praying that the Lord will strengthen this church to be a clear light and strong beacon for the days ahead.

I have written and spoken about this financial need for the last few weeks…but only God can touch people’s heart.  So pray…

Secondly, will you join with other leaders in our church and take this on personally? I do not mind asking our members to give generously. I never have. I have always seen God pour out blessings as people give. I do not mind asking you to do the same. Beth and I will look at our giving over the entire year…and we will give more this month as we meet this need together. Will you join us?  Some of you receiving this letter have moved on, are out of the area, or worshipping elsewhere.  I ask you as well to prayerfully consider being part of what God is doing by contributing to our year-end needs.

Finally, I have deep and sincere thanks to you for your commitment and loyalty to your parish church.  I echo the words of Paul to the Philippians: I thank God in all my remembrance of you. (Phil 1:3)

Let me hear from you if you have any questions…but I do hope you will respond to this important appeal.

With love in Christ,
Joseph Acanfora