November Update from the Executive Pastor
As we kick-off our commitment campaign for 2017, it makes sense to update you on how we’re doing thus far in 2016.
In case you missed it, Aldersgate celebrated its Sixtieth Anniversary on Sunday, October 23, with a specially commissioned piece of music and guest preacher Dr. Stanley Hauerwas, who quipped that “Aldersgate is the sort of church whose vibrancy and authenticity makes me question the wisdom of my having transferred to the Episcopal Church.” We had nearly 800 in worship for the 60th and 500 for the Picnic Extravaganza that afternoon.
Aldersgate’s first ever Serve Sunday on October 30 was a tremendous success. Over 550 people attended the 10 a.m. worship service. Not only is that slightly more people than on an average Sunday, many of them were people who are not with us on an average Sunday. Just as many people then deployed throughout Aldersgate and at Stratford Landing Elementary School. Volunteers packaged 40,0000 meals with Stop Hunger Now, 500 meals for the food-insecure kids at Fort Hunt Elementary, and 150 meals with Sunday Suppers.
In October, the Kingstowne Communion kicked-off weekly worship at Island Creek Elementary School. During the Sundays of October, Kingstowne Communion saw 180 different people worship with them.
Across both campuses, we have baptized 6, 5 children and 1 adult, into the faith since the fall kick-off. We have 33 students in confirmation. We have welcomed 54 first-time visitors, received 6 new people into membership, and we buried 4 saints, including a young boy from the community for whose family Aldersgate raised over $20,000 in 24 hours to cover the costs of his burial.
Financially, Aldersgate continues to track with where we were at this point last year. As of October 1, we are under our projected revenue for the year by $184,000; however, we are also $200,000 underspent according to expense projections. While our budget still projects to end the year with a deficit, we’re $15,000 ahead of where we projected to be at this point in the year. We need to be $50,000 ahead of our projections by the end of the year. Assuming our November giving numbers are comparable to past Novembers, we will need to take in revenue of approximately $400,000 to $450,000 in December to finish the year in the black. By comparison, Aldersgate received $443,000 in December 2013, $462,000 in December 2014, and $423,000 in December 2015.
If everyone keeps giving as they have been giving this year and as they have given in the past, Aldersgate will end this year and enter the new one on a strong footing.
In the youth program, I’m pleased to announce that on November 6 Aldersgate will welcome Ms. Carrie Pritts to the staff as the Youth Ministry Coordinator. Back in the day, Carrie was my camper when I worked as a counselor at Westview on the James, a United Methodist Summer Camp in Goochland. Carrie is also a friend of Andrew DiAntonio and Teer Hardy, two of our former youth directors. Carrie will serve us on a part-time basis through May. She will serve as a resource for our youth ministry, coordinate small groups, and assist the work of the small group leaders. Carrie will support us as we assess the needs of our youth ministry program. She comes to us with a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Randolph-Macon College. She brings experience with youth ministry at the local church and District levels. Most recently, she has worked with the youth at Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church in Arlington.
You both do and empower much good work here at Aldersgate. You should be proud of–and, I hope, proud to give to–this church.
By now, you should have received the packets we mailed to you for the 2017 Commitment Campaign. I hope you will fill out both your volunteer and generosity commitment for the coming year and bring the card back to church on the weekend November 19 and 20.
We’ll celebrate Commitment Weekend with a special Bluegrass Mass at all four services with our guests, the Chuck Nation Band.