Life is a journey.  Advent is where you and your family come through good times and bad.  It’s more than just a place, it’s a community.  When we gather and sing hymns, we celebrate our faith and feel good!  You are loved and are an important part of this family.  


Last Sunday, Kim Hoeschel led an impressive “End of Life” seminar.  The core message was to start a dialog with your family.  While death is a part of life, it’s not the fun part.  Leaving your loved ones an organized binder of critical information is a tremendous gift.  Health care directives, a financial roadmap, funeral instructions and gifts to the church and community.  Order your binder today - $30! 


As Development Warden, I am working on laying the groundwork for a successful capital campaign.  Advent has conducted an evaluation of our capital needs for the next fifteen years and found that some $1.7 million will be need for everything from a new roof to parking lots.  It’s important to understand that we are not seeking a shiny temple on the hill – it is to better meet your needs.  We need more people to actively use our church. 


Growing the church is Advent’s core challenge.  We have to find more ways to get out into the community and Make Christ Visible!  This can be both through volunteerism and evangelism.   A couple of ideas have been floated: hosting a pancake breakfast on opening day of KAU Little League, walking in the Memorial Day parade and ending with an Advent parking lot picnic.  Fun is infectious! 


How can Advent better meet your needs?  How can we best help others?  What gifts do you have to share?  We are all on this journey together. 


Your obedient servant, 


Development Warden 






Lent: Ramp Up Instead of Give Up


Our wonderful Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper was March 5 and we enjoyed a fun (and high calorie) opportunity as one last fling before Lent began the next day (Ash Wednesday).  Many of us look for things to “give up” during Lent to remind us that being open to God’s word requires time and effort.  The longing for chocolate or that donut is not to make you self-righteous but to remind you to put aside your self-focus and to focus on God.  Perhaps this is the year to focus not on sacrificing our pleasures, but to adding time and energy for spiritual growth.   


One simple thing to try is to switch up your service attendance.  If you usually sleep in on Sunday and then hit the 10:15 service, try getting up early to experience the quiet, contemplative 7:45 service.  The words of Rite I may not be familiar, but hearing the service in different language can help you hear the truth in a new way.  If your family enjoys the fast pace of 8:45, consider coming to the 10:15 service for a change.  Encourage children to go to Children’s Chapel (they usually love it) and take the opportunity to hear all of that Sunday’s lectionary as well as the full sermon.  You may also enjoy having more music in the service.  Kids can sit through the longer form of the Great Thanksgiving, and we don’t mind if they color or squirm during communion. We are a family and our children are precious members.  Share them with the later congregation.  And if you are a 7:45 regular, try one of the other services.  The energy and enthusiasm, the music and the pomp, can all add to the worship experience.    


Other Lenten opportunities include the Lenten Suppers.  This year we will offer a choice of programs after our dinner.  Ellen Davies will lead a group in meditation and mindfulness.  The other program will be focusing on and learning about the Five Marks of Mission.  It is an opportunity to think about your own mission for God in our world.  And if evangelism makes you uncomfortable, come on March 17 at 9:15 to learn about St. Patrick and how he brought Christ’s story to the Irish without changing all aspects of their lively culture.  Also, on April 7, we will be talking about the Stations of the Cross and studying the wonderful pictures we have to help with our Holy Week experience of the terrible death Jesus suffered for us.  You can’t have Easter without Good Friday.   


Finally, plan to ramp up your experience of Lent and Holy Week by being present at as many of the special services as you can.  Walk with Jesus and his disciples as they go from spiritual growth to triumphal certainty to confusion and despair.  Then you will be ready for the great Easter cry of “Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed.  Alleluia.”    


Bryan Bente 

Securing and Growing Advent’s Endowment 


Over the past 10 years, prudent management of Advent’s endowment fund has enabled it to grow from $1.6 million in 2009 to $2.4 today.  The management of our church’s endowment is guided by policies that specify how the endowment fund is governed.  The rules cover investment policy, withdraws, spending of endowment proceeds and oversight.   These policies secure the gifts that generous parishioners have given to Advent’s endowment so that the endowment fund is able to support the work of our church now and in the future. 

Investment Policy: 

The investment goals for the endowment are to safeguard the principal while growing the funds and generating income.  These goals are detailed in the investment policy statement which ensures that the endowment fund committee members and the professional investment managers at Merrill Lynch share a clear understanding of these investment goals.   


For the General Endowment, the Peterson Leadership Endowment, the Memorial Garden Endowment, the Rector’s Discretionary Fund and the Music Concert Fund, a three year running average of the fund value as of September 30th is calculated.  The vestry can elect to take up to 5% of that average value on all funds except the Music Concert Fund which can be up to 10%.  The annual draw from the Sanford Fund is calculated by the investment manager at Merrill Lynch and can only come from accumulated interest and dividends.  


Proceeds from the endowment may only be spent on budgetary items that align with the particular fund.  For example, proceeds from the Sanford Fund are only spent on formation for children and youth.  Proceeds from the Memorial Garden Endowment are only spent on memorial garden expenses.  Proceeds from the General Endowment are not restricted and can be spent as the vestry sees fit.  Advent’s treasurer and finance warden ensure that endowment proceeds are properly spent.  Audits confirm correct expenditures of endowment proceeds.    

Management and Oversight: 

The endowment fund committee, established in 1996, has responsibility for the proper management of the endowment.  The vestry has oversight of the endowment fund committee through approval of the chair and members of the committee.  The rector and the development warden are also committee members.  The endowment fund committee works with the professional investment advisors at Merrill Lynch to review investments, requests withdraws subject to the policies outlined above, reviews audits to ensure that endowment proceeds are spent according to guidelines, and works to develop and grow the endowment.   


In Advent’s annual report, the chair of the endowment fund committee reports to the parish the fund value, withdraws, gifts, committee members and any other relevant endowment information.   

The governance structure of the endowment has successfully managed the endowment for the past 23 years.  Over these years, the endowment funds have grown through wise investment strategy and additional gifts while annual proceeds have contributed to Advent’s mission.  The strong governance structure will ensure continued careful management of the endowment now and into the future.   



 Kim Hoeschel for the Endowment Fund Committee: Pete Peterson, Ann Dome, Larry Bosley, Penn Yeatman and Stuart Davies; and Collis Townsend, Development Warden 


January 26, 2019 







It's All About Community

February can be for many a month where you look forward.  Forward to what?  How about community activities by Advent and Advent’s parishioners?  As shared at the end of 2018, Partnerships in Ministry shared your funds to help Advent grow and develop as a parish serving those in need in the community – making it a mission for all of us and making Advent more visible in our communities.  For 2019, we look forward to continuing this journey to help with needs at Advent and communities – local, diocesan, national, global. 


Look at the Partnerships in Mission bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall for descriptions: of what we achieved last year, of programs and news within our communities, and of ideas that have come to PIM.   Copies of the Ministry Project Application are also posted.  The Ministry Project Application, developed last year and slightly updated for this year, is as a way for you to describe a need and a proposal to help address. Even better join us to give your thoughts and hopefully become involved in whatever way you can.  Right now, we meet on the first Monday of each month at 6pm.  But, if more convenient we can see about changing the day and time.  Let me know.  Here’s some of the programs we are looking at,  


Chester County Youth Center 

Revitalizing our activities for children at the Chester County Youth Center.  Advent began helping the Chester County Youth Center in 2004. We’ve participated over the years in Youth Center programs in a range of activities.  Right now, the activities consist of Friday night movie snacks, Christmas stockings, holiday candy bags and gift bags.  We are asking for more parishioners to help and to think about added activities.   


Veterans’ Ministry Program at Episcopal Church of the Trinity, Coatesville, PA  

Helping with set-up, serve, and clean up at the veteran’s brunch for residents at the VA hospital.  We’ll have the opportunity to break bread with veterans who are in residence at the VA from out of town.  This is a time to give back to those who have given so generously to our freedom through service.  The brunch occurs on the last Sunday of each month from 11:45-2:30. Whether you are interested in coming for one or all of the brunches, we could use your help.   


Operation Grain Train 

Helping the mid-Atlantic branch of Operation Grain Train in their operation to package meals for shipping to those in need internationally in collaboration with Kids Against Hunger. It is like our meat and potatoes event but on a much bigger scale.  It will take a large group of volunteers on a Saturday or Sunday.  More to come.   


After the Bell 

Helping to celebrate the 20th anniversary of After-The-Bell.  We are planning on a celebration after the 10:15 service on February 24. Details to come.  


Community at Advent  

Bringing greater awareness, collaboration and sharing by and among Advent and other parishes in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.  There is so much we can do together. Revitalizing how we engage with groups in our communities through a more thoughtful use Advent’s facilities as a meeting place for community groups to meet that help us serve our mission of being more involved in the communities at all levels.  

More to come.   


Advent in Community 

Multiple opportunities: Encouraging our children and youth to participate in programs for the community. Supporting KACS with donations of food and funds. Ongoing work with KACS on programs they have set up to help families in need of financial support. Continuing to be a host church for Family Promise.  


Buildings And Grounds

Advent welcomes all visitors! We want to grow the congregation by providing the community with a viable and safe place to worship and share God’s gifts. The Vestry and Church volunteers work hard to keep the buildings and grounds as nice as possible so people will feel comfortable coming to our church and joining our church family.

We have a wonderful facility at Advent and we need to think of ways to use it to show it off to prospective new members. Our services speak for themselves, but it is the other events that help to foster a community family. Recent activities that show this were the Artisan Fair and the Lion King production. This brought people into Advent, some of whom are not parishioners, and showed these people what a warm and welcoming place Advent is, and in time will probably bring them back to Advent to share in our services as well. We need more of these types of activities where we can put our Advent Campus to good use to entice more people to join our congregation. We have a first class kitchen facility in the South Wing and Fellowship Hall that could be used for all sorts of events to bring new people into the Advent family. I invite you to contact me or any member of the Vestry if you have any ideas on how we utilize this space or any other in the Advent Campus to show non-members what a welcoming and vibrant Church Advent is.

However, the Advent Campus is getting older and beginning to experience system and building failures. In the last three months we have experienced problems with the roofs and subsequent leakage issues, plumbing issues which included the need to dig up the main sewer line and make repairs, continued problems with the HVAC system and back-up oil fired heating system to name a few. These have been dealt with on a maintenance basis and have been manageable, do point out the need for a long-term planning.

In my last Checking-In article (October), I mentioned that we had commissioned an engineering firm to review our campus and major systems. The Bustamante work has since been completed and their report accepted by the Vestry. In total, it is projected there will be $1.7 million of capital need over the next fifteen years. Our Development Warden, Collis Townsend, has begun exploring how best to raise these funds. The priority is to meet the most pressing needs, while also putting in place an endowment to meet future needs even beyond the fifteen year window. You will hear more about this in the months to come.

The other thing that we have been working on is the Emergency Preparedness Plan, upgrading our previous emergency plans for Advent and getting ready to implement training programs and practice drills to ensure we are prepared in the event of an emergency actually occurring. The team that is working on this is being led by Dawn Deivert and encompasses Len Bieberbach, Pete Peterson, Sandy Hess and in the earlier stages Liz Swain. They have developed a detailed and sound Emergency Plan and this will be rolled out over the next several weeks. Various groups such as the Clergy, Acolytes, Ushers and Greeters will get specific training on how to deal with emergency situations during services. Other groups using the Advent Campus during the week will get similar training as appropriate and will include the Staff and Pre-School Staff and Children.

It has been some time since we have had a fire drill during a service, with to my memory it occurring quite accidentally when we were sending up the Alleluias to heaven at the start of Lent, and tripped the smoke detector in the ceiling of the Sanctuary. The response was fairly good but it is now time for a refresher. These will be scheduled over the next several weeks and you will be alerted beforehand so that you can make sure to be at one of the services and be a part of the practice!

We are also having some security equipment installed in the form of Closed Circuit TV with four cameras covering the Upper and Lower Car Parks, Burglar Alarms on the doors and associated motion detectors in key areas of the Advent Campus, and Panic buttons to alert the police directly in the event of an unwanted intruder incidence.

Finally we will also be having First Aid lessons given by the EMT’s of the local fire department to ensure we have parishioner’s up to date on CPR procedures and the use of the Defibrillator’s that are located in the Advent Church entrance. These sessions will also cover the application of pressure bandages and other first aid applications for significant injuries that might occur.

God’s Blessings,

Dave Scott