Chili, Cornbread *and* Brownies? Oh, My!

Dust off your crock pot and your recipe book because the Annual Chili Cook-off is coming up Saturday, February 1st, starting at 5pm in our Parish Hall. This annual St. Alban’s tradition promises a good and tasty time for all.

Anyone can enter, but if you’re not a chili or cornbread chef, come anyway and try some amazing chili and awesome cornbread – everyone helps judge the competition!

New for 2020: there are our usual chili and cornbread categories, but we are also adding a new prize for Best Brownies — so get ready to wow us with your best baking skills.

It’s easy to enter: just send in your name along with the name of your chili, cornbread, or brownie entry to Tammy in the parish office at info@stalbansva.org. But hurry, there is limited space available! We look forward to seeing everybody there (invite your neighbors and friends!), and big thanks to our Parish Life Committee for hosting the annual feast.

A Successful Campaign, Thanks to You!

by Bill Calvert & Linda Cummings

Throughout our capital campaign, we have been overwhelmed by the love displayed by our fellow members for St. Alban’s and its role in our community and our lives. We have seen that love in your passionate conversations, your willingness to serve, your eager hopes and plans for the future — and yes, your incredible generosity during this special time of need.

Last month, during our Commitment Weekend, we received new pledges totaling $68,000, which helped secure a generous $50,000 challenge match from an anonymous parishioner. This means that we have raised, as of this writing, just below $1.4 million from over 100 pledges — exceeding not only our minimum goal, but our stretch goal of $1.3 million!

Campaign Update: December 1, 2019

As of December, we have documented 111 pledges totaling $1,389,878.

That exceeds our minimum goal of $1.1 million and our stretch goal of $1.3 million!

Please download the last Campaign bulletin here.

If you haven’t been able to make a pledge yet but feel the call to do so, please contact either of us, or anyone else on the campaign committee. Every amount helps. If you are only able to support us with your prayers, we completely understand and are deeply grateful for your support.

As we move forward, the focus will move to the Kitchen Committee and the work they can now do as a result of our successful campaign. We are all committed to keeping communications open — so look for regular updates in your email, on our website, and on Facebook throughout the entire process. And please, always feel free to ask any questions, of us, the committee, the vestry, or the clergy.

We would also like to thank everyone who has worked so hard on, and with, the Campaign Committee — including Harry & Delores Baisden, Charles & Debra Becker, Nancy Calvert, Jo Hodgin, Jim & Ivy Kilby, David & Jane Lesko, Debbie Rosse, Donna Tildon-Archer, Tom Tycz, Fran Walinsky, Rick & Karen Weinberg, and David & Kitty Wildes, plus all of the other committee liaisons, Vestry members, and everyone else who helped make this a successful campaign.

Thanks to every single St. Alban’s parishioner for your love and your support for our parish — and for your time, and for your prayers. Here’s to an exciting 2020 of blessings for all of us!

December 8 is Commitment Sunday

As of December 3, the Campaign for St. Alban’s has reached $1.23 million in pledges, thanks to the generosity of our parish members — and we still have more parish families to visit. The success of the Campaign is laying the groundwork for a revitalized St. Alban’s that will serve Christ in our community for decades to come.

This Sunday, December 8, Father Jeff and the Vestry will ask that each parishioner make a sacrificial pledge (payable over 5 years) toward this important effort. While we have met our minimum goal, there is more to do — and we need everyone’s participation.

Every dollar raised before the end of the year will allow us to complete our renovations, revitalize our capital reserve, and ensure the vitality and stability of our parish for future generations.

Campaign Update: December 1, 2019

As of early December, we have more than 83 gifts raised by 19 volunteers.

We still need to hear from around 80 of our active parish families.

Please download the December 1 bulletin here.

As Fr. Jeff wrote in the newest issue of our newsletter:

Our initial goal of $1.1M is the minimum we believe we’ll need to complete the project God has called us to, but until the actual work is begun and the old kitchen floor is jackhammered up, we may not know exactly what kind of work we are faced with and the cost could be higher than we estimate. And, because I have absolutely no desire to run a Capital campaign again in my career here with the saints of St. Alban’s, this is our one chance to raise the funds that will be needed to take care of some physical plant issues and potential problems looming ahead of us.

The entire exterior of our building, including the rectory, desperately needs to be scraped, cleaned and repainted. Ironically, our smooth, new parking lot now makes our building look ill-cared for. I have recently learned that the mini-split air-conditioning units in the parish hall are operating with a coolant that will be banned in the next couple of years, meaning that sooner or later, those systems will have to be replaced as they won’t be maintainable.

Did you know that your volunteer mowing teams literally mow the hill on the north side of Columbia Pike with one foot on the curb, and one foot on the extremely busy asphalt surface of Columbia Pike? I wouldn’t ask anyone to do put their lives in danger like that, but yet, our mowers do that weekly. That hillside needs to be cleaned up and replanted with low- or no-maintenance plantings so that our fellow parishioners don’t needlessly put their lives at risk to maintain the beauty of our campus.

These are just a few of the reasons we need to continue forging ahead with our Capital Campaign. In the season of Stewardship, we must be mindful not only of the financial needs of our parish community, but also of the need to maintain and improve our lovely home here at St. Alban’s.

Our Capital Campaign is entering into its final weeks. If you haven’t been approached to give yet, I pray that you respond to the call with generosity. If you’ve already given, thank you! If you are not in a position to financially support this important project, I hope that you will support us with prayer and share the excitement about the possibilities of new ministries and programming.

The work we do today will ensure that there is a St. Alban’s in Annandale tomorrow – a place where Jesus is known and where his love shines brightly.

Campaign Update: Above & Beyond!

by Bill Calvert & Linda Cummings

As you know, the Capital Campaign Committee plans to meet with every family in our parish to discuss the campaign and to hear firsthand everyone’s thoughts and hopes for the future of St. Alban’s. We are thrilled at the response so far, and the generosity of our fellow parishioners.

As of this writing, we’ve met with about half of all the families, and we have documented pledges for the campaign totaling nearly $1.2 million. Your level of commitment is putting us on a path to improved infrastructure that will benefit our ministries for decades to come!

Our minimum financial goal, to complete the renovated kitchen and adjacent facilities, was $1.1 million. Having exceeded that minimum, we can now focus on revitalizing our capital reserve fund. This will enable us to complete a large number of long-overdue and necessary projects like:

  • Fresh repainting of the entire exterior of the church & rectory
  • Improving the lighting and cooling in the choir loft
  • Upgrading the speakers in the nave so that all can hear
  • Replacing the boiler, long past its lifespan
  • Clearing the overgrowth along Columbia Pike and replanting the hillside with low-maintenance plantings to ensure the safety of our volunteer mowing team

What is the Capital Reserve Fund and why does it matter? The Capital Reserve has been used to fund several important (and expensive!) projects that otherwise might have required capital campaigns of their own. These included such projects as the resurfacing and relighting of our parking lot, structural repairs to the sacristy, and the replacement of the HVAC system.

By replenishing the Capital Reserve, and refurbishing our aging structures, we also contribute to the long-term financial stability of the parish. Did you know that 80% of our annual income comes from parishioner pledges? While your annual pledge generosity  is needed and appreciated, it will be easier for your vestry to plan from year to year if we added more revenue from other sources, such as facility rentals. All of this improved infrastructure will make that possible!

We are only halfway toward our goal of meeting with everyone, and we hope to achieve parish-wide participation in the campaign. If that happens, your vestry will be able to consider even more improvements that have long been requested by our fellow members, such as:

  • Upgrading the electrical throughout the facility, including charging stations in all rooms
  • Upgrading the parish office air conditioners
  • Replacing signs on Gallows Road and Sleepy Hollow Road
  • Eventual need for asbestos removal from classrooms and sacristy
  • Redesigning Room 1, including removing closets, repainting, and appropriate furnishings

It’s been a blessing for those of us on the committee to meet with so many parishioners and hear of how much you love St. Alban’s and what its ministries mean to you. Every single one of you is a vital part of this parish, and we can’t wait to meet individually with each of you. Please, when you are contacted by a member of the committee about meeting, say yes! 

And if you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact either of us, or anyone on the committee. There are also a complete set of Q&As, and regularly updated information, on our website at https://wearestalbans.org/campaign/. Thank you!

Christmas Bazaar: Please Spread the Word and Lend a Hand

The Christmas Bazaar is next Saturday, November 23! We hope you’ll drop by and join in the fun. If you’ve never attended, it’s an excellent place to meet new friends, reconnect with neighbors and friends you haven’t seen in a while, do a little shopping, and have delicious food at the café. The kids can enjoy face painting, a visit with Santa, and playing in the moon bounce (weather permitting).
Have a few hours to spare? Volunteer opportunities this week include:
11/19/19 (Tuesday) 6:00 to 7:00 pm – Set up Jewelry Room
11/20/19 (Wednesday) 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Put Christmas decorations and Toys in Parish Hall, Decorate parish hall & set up Café
11/21/19 (Thursday) 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Bring books and all remaining items out of the attic. Full access to all rooms/stands
11/22/19 (Friday) Beginning at 9 AM – Finalize all rooms (if not already complete)
11/23/19 (Saturday) from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm – Bazaar (volunteers report at 8:00)
11/23/19 (Saturday) from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm – Breakdown the bazaar!
Note: Food and drinks will be provided on Wednesday 11/20 and Thursday 11/21.
Please contact Nancy Calvert or Sue Mairena with any questions.

Campaign Update: 96% of Our Minimum Goal

On October 20, “The Campaign for St. Alban’s” officially launched — and thanks to our committed fellow parishioners and several early gifts, we have a big head start toward meeting our goal! There’s still a way to go, and we need everyone’s support, and, especially, prayers.

As we’re sure you’ve heard by now, the Vestry launched this campaign after years of prayer, discussion and discernment. At the heart of our project is a major renovation of our Parish Hall facilities — including a new kitchen to help enhance and expand our food ministries, parish family events, and rental revenue; new restrooms, required to comply with county codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act; and a new shower and laundry area to improve our hospitality offerings such as our hypothermia program.

In fact, you could say that “Hospitality” — to our neighbors and community, as well as our parish family — is the theme of this entire project.

The goal of the Campaign Committee is to ensure that personal meetings are held with each and every one of our nearly 200 member families. We want to discuss the goals of the campaign with each of you personally, hear your feedback, and answer any questions you may have about it. When you are contacted by a fellow parishioner about setting up a personal visit to discuss the campaign, please say yes to the visit! And we hope that all of you will continue to pray for our parish, and the success of our campaign.

Campaign Update: October 24, 2019

As of October 24, we have written and verbal pledges adding up to 96% of our minimum goal!

We have met with 63 of our 191 parish families.

Please download the October 24 issue of our campaign newsletter here.

What Do We Mean By Minimum Goal?

That minimum goal represents the least amount of capital that we believe we need to conduct the kitchen and adjoining facilities renovation. We will need everyone’s help in order to reach that goal — and, hopefully, exceed it.

By exceeding our initial minimum goal, we will be able to replenish our capital reserve — which will contribute to the church’s long-term stability and allow us to fund a number of expected capital replacements over the next few years. A full list of potential projects can be found on our campaign webpage. Please visit that webpage frequently as we will keep it updated as we go along! It also includes lots of other background information and resources, including Frequently Asked Questions about the campaign.

Patience, Persistence, Prayer, and the Proper Use of Agitation

by Trish Huheey

On October 22, the 3rd-4th-5th grade St. Alban’s Sunday School class focused on persistence as a force for change. We studied the parable of the Widow and the Judge (below), and learned how the widow prayed and approached the Judge over and over, seeking justice, until he finally relented.

We watched our Whirl curriculum video, about a group of friends who lobby their friend’s baseball coach to let him play in a game. The coach initially ignores them, but the kids persist in standing up for their friend until the coach finally lets him play. This led to a discussion about times we stood up for something we believed in, and whether or not we persisted, if we did not succeed immediately.

Finally, we made sandcastles, and observed how water wears away at a sandcastle’s base. We also observed that, when we shook our trays and agitated the water, that the sandcastles wore down even faster. One of our students said that “agitating” sounded a lot like “annoying people,” so we discussed if there was a time to annoy people for good reasons! Jesus tells us that we should not give up!

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1-8 (New International Version)

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Shrine Mont Weekend 2019

Our annual Parish Weekend was held September 27-29 at Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs, Virginia. It was a time of relaxation and fun with new friends and old, in a beautiful mountain setting. Some folks hiked, some folks fished, some folks read, some folks napped, some folks even attended a program or two, but everybody came together for conversation, music, and a chance to enjoy the company of our parish family.

Here are just a few memories from the weekend (photos by Duncan McBride). We hope even more of our fellow parishioners will enjoy the weekend with us next year!

Get Ready for the Bazaar!

2019 Christmas Bazaar - Nov. 23, 9am - 2pmFor over 60 years, the St. Alban’s Christmas Bazaar has been a highlight of the year for our parish and our neighborhood. This year’s Bazaar is happening Saturday, November 23 from 9:00am to 2:00pm. At the Bazaar, you’ll discover a cornucopia of gifts and treasures, including toys, jewelry, books, decor, tools, baked goods, and more.

The Bazaar is an excellent place to make new friends, reconnect with neighbors and friends you haven’t seen in a while, do a little shopping, and enjoy delicious food at the café. The kids can enjoy face painting, a visit with Santa, and the moon bounce (weather permitting). Best of all, proceeds from the Bazaar go directly back into the community as we use all the funds to support our many outreach ministries and programs.

Join the Fun, Make a Difference

The Bazaar is one of our biggest annual programs and is only possible with the enthusiastic support of dozens of volunteers. From donation of goods to set-up and take-down, from decoration to promotion, we rely on the entire St. Alban’s family to make this event possible.

For additional information, please contact Nancy Calvert at billandnancycalvert@verizon.net, Sue Mairena at mairena75@verizon.net or one of the many area leads — view this document for a complete contact list.

Why do folks volunteer and help out with the Bazaar? 

“I participate in the Christmas Bazaar to get closer to all those St. Albanites I don’t see that often. The best way to get to know people is to work together.” (Ann Gates)

“I like participating in the St. Alban’s Bazaar because of the sense of community I feel while I am there. Not only from our St. Albanites – but also from the neighbors and friends that participate!” (Camille Stern)

“I was new at St. Alban’s when I first volunteered at the Bazaar. It was such a great way to get to know people that I did not hesitate when I was asked to be a co-chair a couple of years later. Working with so many fellow parishioners on the wide range of bazaar activities showed me how much everyone does to make St. Alban’s the friendly, welcoming and supportive place that it is.” (Betsy Anderson)

“I love working with our church family at the Bazaar! It is so much fun to see everyone put their best efforts in for the community of people who come to shop, eat and take in the day with us. Working at this event is a fantastic way to get to know my fellow churchmates.” (Ivy Kilby)

See even more testimonials and stories from volunteers in the October issue of The Word.

Please consider joining our band of enthusiastic volunteers! Our next meeting is Wed, 10/30 @ 6:30 pm in the Parish Hall. Everyone is welcome!

Donations Welcome!

The Bazaar closet is open for your donations! Please place items in boxes or sturdy bags marked with a description of the contents. As you choose which items to donate, please consider the sorts of items that you or others would like to buy.

All items should be clean and in good condition. Please make sure any battery‐operated items have a battery, so the customer can see that they work. For more information about donations, please contact Nancy Calvert or Sue Mairena.

Raffle Prizes Needed!

Our raffle is one of the most popular items at the Bazaar, but its success depends on the prizes being offered. Please consider donating a raffle prize, such as sporting event, theater or concert tickets; an offer of professional services (such as decorating a special cake or raking leaves or detailing a car); or gift cards, which are always popular!

To donate an item (preferred value of $75 or greater), please complete this form (you can also use the form to upload a photo, if possible). Actual prizes can be delivered to the church now or during the event set-up. Please contact Chris Peck or Stephanie Lightner for more information about the raffle.