August 21, 2020
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I want to catch everyone up on some of the latest news from APC. Even though we’ve been sidelined from gathering together by COVID, APC is far from standing still. We’re moving ahead to continue our mission of “Growing In Christ”. Here are a few highlights from this summer:
- We’ve purchased the equipment needed to live stream our services in real time from the sanctuary and will be moving to do that sometime this fall.
- We will be hosting our prerecorded services on a new platform beginning this Sunday that is more interactive. If you access the livestream service from this platform a host will greet you and you can share prayer requests and other information in a live chat. (If you watch on Facebook look out for the link that will posted that morning in order to interact with the worship hosts.) You can find this new platform at: https://myapc.online.church/
- We will resume celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism live in the sanctuary beginning this Sunday. The baptisms will be recorded and then shown during the online service the following week.
- The session decided that we will not have a fall kick off with in-person Sunday School or large in-person ministry gatherings this fall. The staff is proposing exciting alternatives that you will be hearing about soon.
- Our Food Pantry continues to feed hundreds of people every month and has received tremendous financial support from the church and community. Thanks to Sandy Carduner and Lisa Boss for their tireless efforts to keep this vital mission open to the hungry.
- Little Tree Preschool opens in September. We have a significantly reduced enrollment, but we feel it is important to provide the service of the school for the families who are counting on us. Thanks to Jill Kurzeja and her staff for working diligently to make the many modifications to satisfy the regulations in order for the school to operate.
- We’ve officially closed on the purchase of 81 S. Main, the Newell Property, next to the church that the congregation voted to buy back in February. We are actively looking into ways to use the property in the future.
- The session established a Working Group for Social Justice led by Marla Golden and Nikki Scott who are looking for ways to help our congregation respond to the challenge of racial injustice.
- We received the resignation of Karen Collins as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry and are exploring new staffing models to continue that vital ministry.
- The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee led by Marybeth Drew and Mike Foy took a brief hiatus at the beginning of the COVID crisis but is now actively interviewing several candidates.
- Financially the generosity of our congregation continues to encourage us. These are challenging financial times for many of us, including the Church. Giving is down about 10% lower than last year at this time, but we’ve been able to manage our expenditures so that they are significantly lower as well, allowing us to remain in healthy financial shape for now. We’re grateful that most families are keeping up with their pledged giving and we’ve had some new people supporting us through the online giving options. Thank you for your faithfulness! If you’ve fallen behind we encourage you to catch up so we can continue to provide the care and ministries we are called by God to do. If your situation has changed and you need to modify your pledge, please notify the financial secretary Jane Crain (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can adjust our plans accordingly.
I hope and pray you are encouraged as we move through this time together. Your church family is here to support and care for you in whatever way we can. Please contact me if there is any way I can come alongside of you as together we continue to “Grow In Christ”. Pastor Stephen