Every month, the Ministry Within committee hosts a Koinonia event. Koinonia is Greek for community and these events are times when our church family gather to fellowship and enjoy God's presence in everyone. For our December Koinonia, we have a tradition of hosting a Christmas party. This party is a time to have fun with games, singing, and dressing in tacky Christmas sweaters.
Please join us on Sunday, December 24, at our 10:00 AM worship service to hear the choral cantata Invitation to a Miracle by Joseph M. Martin. Joyful sounds abound in the colorful Christmas gift. Through poetic narration, Scripture passages, and creatively arranged carols, the timeless story of the birth of Christ is presented. Gathered around the wonders that accompanied Jesus' birth, this cantata journeys from the miracle of prophecy to the glorious proclamation of this most significant moment. Stellar orchestrations by Brant Adams and a consort orchestration by Stan Pethel frame the work with golden beauty.
Our brothers and sisters in the faith at Hyland Heights Baptist Church are having their annual Fall Fun Fest. Check out the flyer below for more info!
This year we commissioned nine missionaries for a construction service project in rural West Virginia. The missionaries included Gary Andrews, Dennis Janiak, Sang-il Lee, Jimmy Martin, David Sease, Sally Sease, Pastor Ed Soto, Shirley Vuncannon, and Mark Younkin. We started the trip by heading out after worship on August 20. The group was divided roughly in half. Mark, Shirley, Sang-il, and Gary worked on a deck for one trailer. Jimmy worked extensively on plumbing for another trailer near them. Dennis, David, Sally, and Pastor Ed worked on the skirting and decking for another trailer at another site. On Monday we got to experience about 90% of the eclipse! We are so thankful for the generosity of this congregation and the hospitality of the Freedom Full Gospel Assembly House of Prayer. May God continue to use them as a blessing to their community.
On July 26, APC volunteers helped at Gus-the-Bus+ in Altavista. If you haven't heard of him, Gus-the-Bus is a mobile learning station for children. Gus-the-Bus+ is a project of the Altavista Ecumenical Partners (AEP) that bring literacy activities and nutrition to neighborhoods during summer months. Once a week, kids can come and learn, do crafts, hear stories, and get some food. Each week has a theme, like pirates, dinosaurs, or colors. For our week, the theme was Super Heroes! The kids decorated their own super hero capes and heard from local heroes like the Altavista police offer in the photo above.
Gus-the-Bus+ will be on the move again next summer, so be sure to like them on Facebook for updates!
Friends, there's a lot of new and exciting things coming to APC this Fall!
Before we jump into the new things, I want to lift up an unfortunate circumstance. After much prayer and discernment, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of Sunday School for this upcoming year. We've noticed a sharp decline in attendance to our Adult Sunday School and a non-existent Children's Sunday School. This is not the "death," but simply a pause. We're going to take this year and re-calibrate our Sunday School programs with the aim of restarting afresh next Fall.
Starting in August, we're going to bring back the Prayer Fellowship! We'll meet every Second and Fourth Wednesdays of the month and we'll gather at 9:30 AM in the pastor's study. If you need prayer or want to pray for others, please stop on by! Our first gathering will be August 9th.
Also restarting in August will be our regular Youth Group meetings. The Youth Group will consist of kids in both Middle and High School. We'll meet on the Second and Fourth Sundays of the month. Meeting times to be announced. Pastor Ed will lead the study aspect of the meeting and our Adult Volunteer will assist. The Youth will experience biblical learning and enjoy fellowship in the form of a meal and various games. All Youth and their parents are invited to join us for our first meeting of the season, which will be a pool party and cookout at the Janiak farm on August 13th at 4:00 PM.
Starting in September, we're going to introduce a new Coffee Hour before worship. When the Apostles gathered in house churches on Sunday mornings, the meeting almost always included a meal. Part of APC's ministry is to continue this fellowship of the Church. Therefore, the Session has decided to host a Coffee Hour on the Fourth Sunday of the month. This will take place in the Fellowship Hall at 9:00 Am. There will be coffee, tea, pastries, and other beverages and lite snacks. Please bring a friend to the inaugural Coffee Hour on September 24th and the subsequent worship at 10:00 AM.
Also starting in September will be two new Bible Study opportunities. Pastor Ed will lead class with a mixture of lecture and group discussion. The two Bible studies will be identical in content but differ in time. On the First and Third Tuesdays of every month, Pastor Ed will lead an evening Bible study at 6:30 PM. If you are working during the day or if you're a evening person, this Bible study is for you! This meeting will be B.Y.O.D.: Bring Your Own Dinner. Stop by McDonald's or bring leftovers, and join us in the class room. On the First and Third Thursdays of every month, Pastor Ed will lead a morning Bible study at 10:00 AM. If you're free during the day or don't like to drive at night (especially in winter), then this Bible study is for you! This meeting will be the same lesson taught at the evening Study, so don't worry about missing anything. Bring a friend as we all dive into the wonderful world of Scripture! The initial classes will start September 5th at 6:30 PM and September 7th at 10:00 A.M.
The Committee for Ministry Beyond the Congregation is pleased to announce this year's Summer mission trip! We'll return for a third time to Hampden, West Virginia, where we'll partner with the West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy & Workcamps, Inc. and the Freedom Full Gospel Assembly House of Prayer. The WVMAW is supported in part by the Presbytery of West Virginia and they provide construction for those whose lives have been devastated by natural disasters or by poverty. The Freedom Full Gospel Assembly House of Prayer is a partner church that helps organize and host mission workers.
Our work week will be Monday to Friday, August 21st through 26th. We will leave after church on Sunday, August 20th and return on Saturday, August 27th.
If you are interested in joining the team, please use the sign-up sheet on the church bulletin board. If you are unable to attend, we will have a special collection to help offset costs. The ACT for Missions Fund will be used to supplement once all special collections are received.
The Altavista Area YMCA and Altavista Arts Council are holding a special reception on April 30 from 2:00-4:00 PM to recognize over 25 high school artists from AHS!
The reception will be held at the Athletic Center on 718 7th Street, Altavista.