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.   

Withdraws: 

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.  

Expenditures:   

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.   

Reporting: 

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.   

   

Faithfully, 

 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.  

Peace  

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

Prayer for Freedom

Prayer for Freedom

Today, Creator of the Universe, we ask you that you come to us and share with us a strong communication of love. We know that your real name is Love, that to have a communion with you means to share the same vibration, the same frequency that you are, because you are the only thing that exists in the universe.

Today, help us to be like you are, to love life, to be life, to be love. Help us to love the way you love, with no conditions, no expectations, no obligations, without any judgement. Help us to love and accept ourselves without any judgement, because when we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty and we need to be punished.

Help us to love everything you create unconditionally, especially other human beings, especially those who live around us-all our relatives and people whom we try so hard to love. Because when we reject them, we reject ourselves, and when we reject ourselves, we reject You.

Help us to love others just the way they are with no conditions. Help us to accept them the way they are, without judgement, because if we judge them, we find them guilty, we blame them, and we have the need to punish them.

Today, clean our hearts of any emotional poison that we have, free our minds from any judgement so that we can live in complete peace and complete love.

Today is a very special day. Today we open our hearts to love again so that we can tell each other “I love you”, without any fear, and really mean it. Today, we offer ourselves to you. Come to us, use our voices, use our eyes, use our hands, and use our hearts to share ourselves in a communion of love with everyone. Today, Creator, help us to be just like you are. Thank you for everything that we receive this day, especially for the freedom to be who we really are. Amen

A Christmas Sermon

A Christmas Sermon 

~ by St. Gregory of Nazianzus (AD 380) 

 

Christ is born, glorify Him. Christ from heaven, go out to meet Him. Christ on earth, be exalted. Sing to the Lord, all the whole earth; and that I may join both in one word, let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad, for Him who is of heaven and then of earth. Christ in the flesh, rejoice with trembling and with joy; with trembling because of your sins, with joy because of your hope. 

 

Again, the darkness is past; again, Light is made; again, Egypt is punished with darkness; again, Israel is enlightened by a pillar. The people who sat in the darkness of ignorance, let them see the great Light full of knowledge. Weeklyld things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. The letter gives way, the Spirit comes to the front. The shadows flee away, the truth comes in on them. Melchizedek is concluded. He who was without Mother becomes without Father (without mother of His former state, without father of His second). 

The laws of nature are upset; the world above must be filled. Christ commands it, let us not set ourselves against Him. O, clap your hands together, all you people, because unto us a Child is born, and a Son given unto us, whose government is upon His shoulder (for with the cross, it is raised up), and His name is called The Angel of the Great Counsel of the Father. 

 

Let John cry, prepare the way of the Lord; I, too, will cry the power of this Day. He who is not carnal is Incarnate; the Son of God becomes the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Let the Jews be offended, let the Greeks deride; let heretics talk until their tongues ache. Then shall they believe, when they see Him ascending into heaven; and if not then, yet when they see Him coming out of heaven and sitting as Judge. 

 

This is our present Festival; it is this which we are celebrating today, the Coming of God to Man, that we might go forth, or rather (for this is the more proper expression) that we might go back to God—that putting off of the old man, we might put on the new; and that as we died in Adam, so we might live in Christ, being born with Christ and crucified with Him and buried with Him and rising with Him. For I must undergo the beautiful conversion, and as the painful succeeded the more blissful, so must the more blissful come out of the painful. 

 

For where sin abounded, grace did much more abound; and if a taste condemned us, how much more does the passion of Christ justify us? Therefore, let us keep the Feast, not after the manner of a heathen festival, but after a godly sort; not after the way of the world, but in a fashion above the world; not as our own, but as belonging to Him who is ours, or rather as our master's; not as of weakness, but as of healing; not as of creation, but of re-creation.