Partnerships in Mission (Formerly Outreach

Partnerships in Mission is Advent’s way to reach out to the community locally and beyond to support worthy causes that make a difference to those who have less than we may have. Support can be monetary or through volunteer activities that make the world a better place.

Our congregation provides support to many organizations locally and beyond. I won’t list all the work we support. You can read about this on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall. I will however list a few projects recently approved by the committee:

1. Heart of Hope - The Caralynn Titter Foundation - The foundation supports families of children receiving transplants at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington.

2. Project Warm - Provides winter coats to needy children.

3. Kennett Area Community Services - Summer snack program for children attending summer school or the extended school year program in the Kennett School District.

4. Compass Rose Society - A worldwide project to assist with needs in developing nations.

Future projects may include committing Advent to participate in the “Orphan Grain Train”. The Orphan Grain Train is a project based in Jennersville to repackage bulk food items to serve those in need. The need may be due to a natural disaster such as flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes etc. This would be a big volunteer undertaking for Advent. Information on the Grain Train can be found on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall.

Are you interested in helping the PIM Committee identify and support worthy causes in the community? Please come to a meeting to see what it is all about. The Committee meets the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in the St. Jude room. No experience necessary. Just show up and join in this very important mission.

George James

A Vision for our Diocese

When Bishop Daniel Gutierrez was here to lead our Celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Reception on Sunday June 23, he issued a welcome from all the 134 parishes in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. That made me think it would be good to share a bit about the Diocese of Pennsylvania and invite you to get involved.   

 

Let me know what you think. 

 

Most of you likely know this, and if not let me say, the Diocese of Pennsylvania is part of The Episcopal Church which itself is part of The Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion covers 160 countries and 80 million people. The Episcopal Church covers 109 Diocese throughout the United States and territories. The Episcopal Church acts globally and locally, administers grants and scholarships and sets policy and liturgy. The Diocese of Pennsylvania covers 134 parishes in southeastern Pennsylvania. For more about the Diocese including a brief history of the Diocese here’s a link to the Diocese website.     

 

With Bishop Gutierrez leadership, the vision of the Diocese is to know Jesus and change the world.  Working together throughout the Diocese, the vision is being made a reality by:  

  • Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ  

  • Empowering our congregations  

  • Addressing the pain of the world  

 

To enable the Diocese to achieve its renewed vision the Diocese has taken significant steps to maintain a balanced budget while at the same time driving forward with our shared vision.  The Diocese is seeking to revolutionize the way we work together through seeing new life in churches that were once closed; new efforts to reach and serve the poor; and the results of working 'in the field' alongside churches. 

 

Recent items in the news reflect the renewed vision. Later this year, the Diocese is from moving the administrative offices from downtown Philadelphia adjacent to the cathedral in University City to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norristown, a church that was closed nearly four years ago. The Diocese will have a satellite office in St. Stephen’s in Philadelphia; also, a church closed and now reopened as a community-oriented mission — with no Sunday services. 

 

Within the Diocese, there are several ways we are seeking to make the vision a reality. Some include:  

  • An initiative to help congregations and individuals reimagine and engage our roles in proclaiming the Gospel; 

  • An initiative to provide reports on demographic trends and identify areas for growth and to support congregations in envisioning, transitions and development of new ministries;  

  • Wellness centers that provide free medical and social services to communities across the Diocese and a Health Committee to help parishes in promoting health.  

  • A Recovery Advocacy Network focused on supporting individuals in recovery and training those who want to be advocates from parishes across the Diocese. 

 

There are many opportunities for Advent’s parishioners to “get involved” and for Advent to become involved all to achieve a vision in all our communities – local, national and global.  

For more information on how you can become involved, please click on the link below:

The Vestry

I have now been on the Advent Vestry for a year with responsibility for the Buildings and Grounds. I have previously been on two other Vestry groups, with the most previous being on the Vestry of St. David’s Church in Delaware in the mid 1990’s. Reflecting on this certain things have changed and I find the running of the Vestry at Advent to be a little more complex and professional than my memory of my experience in the mid 1990’s. With this in mind I thought it might be useful to cover how the Advent Vestry operates and the various roles within it. Hopefully this will at least allow you to understand the time devoted and activities of the Vestry members in the appropriate running of the Church.

The Role of Vestry Members

As of April 2019 the Vestry comprises the following members of the congregation: Stuart Davies, Frank DeCamillo, Kevin Delaney, Kim Hoeschel, George James, Mary Nicholls, Chris Pepe, Cindy Reindl, Dave Scott, Tim Shelley, Liz Swain and Collis Townsend.

The vestry of the Episcopal Church has two primary tasks. The first is managerial: stewardship of the church’s assets and property. The second responsibility is to see that responsible members of the congregation fill leadership roles on the committees and ministries. Further, it is the vestry's responsibility to elect a Rector and to make sure that the bylaws concur with state law and National Church and Diocesan canons.

The vestry and the Rector create committees to take responsibility for managing specific functions of the parish. These are subject to review and change as the needs of the congregation evolve. Currently we ask vestry members to serve as members of specific committees to be a liaison between that committee and the vestry. Currently the main functions under management by the Vestry are as follows:

● Stewardship

o Stewardship Committee

§ Responsible for the annual canvass and for creating an awareness of stewardship as an everyday activity for Christians.

o Finance

§ Responsible for creating and managing the annual budget

o Endowment

§ Responsible for overseeing endowment funds and soliciting donations for same.

o Buildings and Grounds

§ Purpose: To maintain the property of the church so that it is available for use. To inform the vestry and congregation of need for major maintenance projects.

● Worship

o Weekly worship planning is the responsibility of the clergy and the music director.

o Worship support (ushers, acolytes, lectors, chalice bearers, etc.)

o Altar Guild

● Education

o Subcommittees

§ Children’s formation

§ Youth formation

§ Adult formation

● Evangelism

o Fellowship

o New Members

o Fund raisers

o Communication

o Greeters

● Pastoral Care

o Responsible for lay visitors, funeral receptions, casserole ministry, prayer circle

● Service: Partnerships in Mission

o Activities/committees

Although each committee has a separate responsibility, it is the goal of the community to work together to "make bodily growth and build itself up in love" (Eph. 4:16). The vestry has the responsibility to be sure that activities are coordinated and are directed at meeting the goals and mission of Advent.

Remembering the analogy that Saint Paul gave of the church as "one body with many members" it is the responsibility of the vestry to listen to the congregation and share their concerns and insights with the clergy. It is also the responsibility of the vestry to make clear to the congregation the stress and concerns of the clergy. In order to do this, vestry members should attend worship services regularly and participate in as many parish events as possible. This provides the opportunity to talk to parishioners and to learn of concerns and to appreciate successes.

Wardens

Within the Vestry of Advent, Wardens are appointed to oversee many of the functions noted above and to act as the Executive Committee of the Vestry in concert with the Rector.

For the 2019/20 year the Wardens are as follows:

George James - Rector’s Warden, Chris Pepe – Finance Warden, Collis Townsend – Development Warden and Dave Scott – Peoples Warden.

The Rector's Warden is appointed by the Rector and serves as a confidant and sounding board for the Rector. In consultation with the vestry, the Warden shall provide a formal review of the Rector’s performance each year. In the absence of a Rector, a Senior Warden is elected by the vestry. The Senior Warden (or his appointee from the vestry) represents the vestry at staff meetings, provides the management functions normally performed by the Rector, and represents the parish to the bishop and the diocese as necessary. The Senior Warden (in absence of a rector) presides at vestry meetings and serves as the President of the Corporation.

The other three Wardens are elected by the Vestry at the first meeting following the Annual Meeting.

The People's Warden represents the concerns of the parish to the vestry and the Rector and assists the Rector’s Warden as needed.

The Finance Warden chairs the finance committee and is responsible for the creation of the annual budget. He or she works with the Treasurer to provide monthly financial reports to the vestry and to manage the yearly budget.

The Development Warden oversees the annual giving (stewardship), the endowment program and any capital fund drive that might be agreed upon.

Vestry Liaison

Each committee shall have at least one vestry member serving as liaison between the committee and the vestry. The responsibilities of the liaisons are:

• Attend Monthly / Weekly / Periodic committee meetings. Take note of any “material” events or initiatives that could affect parish life and may require Vestry approval.

• Report back to the Vestry each month on the key initiatives, focus and material events or initiatives being planned by your committee, so the Vestry is aware and can discuss and support as needed. Identify opportunities for collaboration between committees.

• Provide insights and guidance from the Vestry / Executive Committee to the committees so they can operate in a focused and intentional manner and not be delayed or surprised by new direction or priorities defined by the Vestry, or the need for project approvals.

• Assist and encourage new ideas and Long-term planning for the committees, and also encourage development of new ministries within the scope of work and mission, as defined by / for the committee board.

• Report to the vestry any needs (human, space or financial resources) that the committee requests to maintain or grow established or new ministries.

• Assist / Advise committees with annual budget creation and strategic visioning that requires human, space or financial resources. • Encourage committees to generate communications on the AdventKS.org website, Advent Weekly emails, Annual Report, and Advent’s Facebook page so the parish and potential visitors are informed of the offerings and volunteer needs of the committee.

As you can see the role of the Vestry and its Wardens is very diverse and they give up a good amount of their time to ensure Advent is properly managed and the resources used to the greatest effect. As the Peoples Warden for 2019/20 please feel free to contact me if you have any comments, questions or concerns about the running of Advent and I will represent them to the

Vestry for consideration. Our goal is to ensure Advent is a viable entity long into the future and meets the spiritual needs of its congregation.

Respectfully, Dave Scott

Advent and Finance

Churches do not exist and continue without the power of faith.  That power of faith in the church needs to followed up with money because if the church doesn’t pay its employees, bills etc. the church will discontinue as an entity.

At Advent this means we need to always be cognizant of the fact that our church operations need to be efficient and that we are using our resources properly.  Said another way Proper Stewardship of our church financial resources will allow us to continue.  

For this reason over the last five years our focus has been to rightsize the church operations to match donations, maximizing economic use of our capital resources and for the future, investing in the future capital needs of the church in the form of a capital endowment.

In short, we are providing good stewardship of the financial resources and capital stock of the Church of the Advent and making sure our children can still worship here.  It is our job as a vestry and has been my goal as Finance warden.

What is a "Collect?"

A “Collect” is a prayer that is meant to gather, or collect the intentions of the faith community and/or the focus of worship into a succinct prayer. In this definition, the pronunciation emphasizes the first syllable, “CAH-llect,” somewhat different than the usual pronunciation of the word collect as in, “She will collect the rent.”

All Collects more or less fit into a pattern that was developed by Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop who compiled the first Book of Common Prayer, in 1549. The format has 4 basic parts:

1. An address to God and God’s actions in the world on our behalf.

2. A request or petition.

3. An invocation and doxology, offered through Jesus and affirming the Trinity.

4. Amen ~ an opportunity for the people to affirm the presider, meaning: “So be it” or “We agree.”

We open our service with the “Collect for Purity:”

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

This particular Collect serves as a compact confession of sin. It reminds us of the need for penitence, and also for the forgiveness that we find in Jesus. Interestingly, it doesn’t ask for the presence of God, it assumes God’s presence. It also serves as an acknowledgement by the community that it is God who cleanses the heart through the Holy Spirit, and God who turns us toward Godself as we worship. It grounds our human activity in worship on the previous action of God through the Holy Spirit, not through the efforts of the community itself. In other words, it is God who transforms us into worshippers, and our purpose in gathering is to worship God.

Each Sunday, we begin the Liturgy of the Word with a Collect of the Day. This is a special Collect that focuses on the theme of the readings. This Sunday our Collect for Pentecost will be:

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

470 years after the first Book of Common Prayer, we are still using many of Thomas Cranmer’s Collects. For more information, please refer to:

The Collects of Thomas Cranmer by: C. Fredrick Barbee and Paul F. M. Zahl, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1999.