Last month, I reported that I, as VCC’s Stewardship and Fellowship Chair, would be attending the AFCU Spring Meeting in Austin, Texas, and updating AFCU Board Members on the progress and plans regarding VCC’s Capital Funding Appeal, as well as report on how our membership is benefitting from having its own fellowship space. As I mentioned in April’s Voice, the AFCU team led by former VCC pastor, the Rev. Jim Wiberg, has been tirelessly contacting former VCC members in the North America and requesting contributions for our capital funding appeal.  Some 30 AFCU board members and representatives from the three churches in Europe gathered together to discuss development and strategy of AFCU and the three supporting churches – Berlin, Paris and Vienna. 

The meeting agenda focused on the activities, security issues and financial status of the American Church Paris, the American Church Berlin and Vienna Community Church. The three churches have different agendas and issues to struggle with, but commonly seek the spiritual unity of congregations who are English speaking and live and work in their respective cities. What is most amazing is that these three churches have the support of their alumni who are, for the most part, now living  in the United States. This is due largely to the fact that each church’s AFCU board members are making tireless effort to contact alumni members, as well as former members and request financial support for their respective churches in Europe.

All of the AFCU board members who are VCC alumni were present at the Spring Meeting (see photo).: They were: Rev. Dr. Jim Wiberg, a former VCC pastor who also served as interim on several occasions when VCC needed him and  his wife Luray, who was actively in the choir; Rev. Jack Hustard, who was both a former pastor and also served as interim pastor on several occasions, and his wife Helen, who also was a choir member; Kate Koob, a former VCC member; Dr. Walt Deitrich, who was recently elected to the AFCU Board, and his wife Pat. His membership on the AFCU board will certainly strengthen VCC representation in the AFCU.

In terms of the struggles confronting each of the Churches, the American Church Paris has been spending much time and personnel capacity on security issues arising out of the recent Paris bombings; the American Church Berlin has been working hard to preserve the old church structure with the local Historic Preservation group; and the Vienna Community Church is trying best to raise capital funds to meet the repayment schedule for the loans owed to a private bank and individuals.

We all have to do our part. VCC is our work in progress and has been so for the last 58 years. The Church needs participation from all those who appreciate the opportunities for fellowship organised by the VCC and increased possibilties for fellowship at the VCC Meeting Point. Please consider active involvement and creative fundraising initiatives from those who are members and friends of the VCC.

Those who can kindly offer your donation to the VCC Capital Funding Appeal are requested to contact one of the following Stewardship and Fellowship members:

Ronan Le Bras, treasurer@viennacommunitychurch.com

Mickela Moore, property@viennacommunitychurch.com

George Philip, philipgp@gmail.com 

Anne Storey, membership@viennacommunitychurch.com

Alexander Varghese, avunido@gmail.com 

We will keep you informed on our progress.

Masa Matasushita, Chair

Stewardship & Finance Committee

 

 

Ethiopia Evening

Approximately 20 people attended the video reportage at the VCC Meeting Point on 30 March 2016 presented by VCC members, Nicole & Tony Wrixon. In addition to providing an overview of the demographic and topographic facts about Ethiopia, we learned that, in addition to Armenia,  Ethiopia was one of the first countries to officially recognise Christianity in the 4th Century. Other highlights of the reportage was a feast for our senses with a pictorial overview of some of the Ethiopian peoples, the beautiful churches, 16th Century castles, gorgeous landscapes and wildlife.

For those who missed the reportage, Nicole and Tony have hung at the VCC Meeting Point some of the more than 7000 photos taken during their 17 day trip to Ethiopia.

 

Concert Held in Memory of Gail Stewart

Gail Elizabeth Stewart, whose lovely flute playing is remembered by many of the VCC died of cancer on 26 February 2016.   Rev. Lowell Karnes conducted the funeral service in the crematorium of the Vienna Central Cemetary.  A house concert in memory of Gail was held in the home of Anne Peschek.

How Drops of Water make an Ocean

Many VCC members contributed to the Baby Matthew cause, an infant orphaned and being cared for by his grandmother. Souwanit paid a visit to Thailand to personally present to Baby Matthew’s grandmother the funds that she collected . Below is her thank you to the VCC congregation:

My Dear Friends,

Finally we have photos of Baby Mathew. Sorry that my ‘private photographer’ (my daughter) was sick after the trip from Thailand. But here we are. Baby Mathew has grown to be quite a strong and healthy boy and you can see how he flirted with the camera. He is a happy and good boy. He sends you all Kob Khun Maak Krab (Thank you very much). Toi and Mumu (his sister) also send their ‘ thank you very much ‘through the photos. They were so happy and thankful for the sum we took directly down to them. I am also so thankful to all of my friends who believed and supported this ‘Mini Project’. At least we could give two children some security for a moment. Little drops of water did make the ocean indeed. All in all we received 2,430 Euro, which is a huge amount of money, especially when it is converted into Thai Baht. As Toi said,’I have never seen this much money in my life’. And she was so grateful. She sent her curry puffs which I hand carried and served during the VCC fellowship time on 21 February and hope many of you enjoyed them.

May our Lord shower His blessings upon you and your families.

Souwanit

American Church in Berlin sends Greetings to VCC

Rainer Zimmermann made a private visit to Berlin. On 6th March, he attended the Sunday worship service of The American Church in Berlin (ACB) at 11 a.m. The ACB together with The American Church in Paris (ACP) and the VCC are member churches of the American and Foreign Christian Union (AFCU). As many of you recall, the AFCU alumni are supporting VCC’s Capital Fundraising Appeal. Rainer was welcomed by Pastor Stephan Kienberger, who also sent kind regards to Pastor Lowell Karnes and the “folks at the VCC”.

Amerika Haus

Presentation of the new blog on campaigning and the U.S. presidential election by Stefan Sengl and Yussi Pick

 

AMERIKA HAUS

November 5, 2015

6:30 p.m.

Friedrich Schmidt Platz 2, 1010 Vienna

Registration: programs@usembassy.at

 

Stefan Sengl is Managing Partner at The Skills Group. In 2010 he managed the reelection campaign of Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer.

Yussi Pick is Managing Partner at Pick & Barth Digital Strategies, a firm specializing in digital public affairs. He has lived in Washington, DC where he consulted candidate and advocacy campaigns.

AFCU Autumn Meeting

20151017_112753The AFCU Autumn Meeting was held in Atlanta, Georgia on 16-17 October 2015. The AFCU (American and Foreign Christian Union) ) is a charitable organisation that supports  the VCC, American Church in Paris and American Church in Berlin, respectively. Focusing primarily on alumni and friends of these churches, the AFCU manages endowment funds to support these 3 churches, stimulates donations to grow these funds, and offers consultation and direct support to assist us in our operations.  Former VCC members and friends currently contribute over 30% of VCC’s annual funding. Masa Matsushita and Mickela Moore represented VCC at this meeting and gave 2 presentations outlining VCC’s plans for its Capital Funding Appeal and information about our VCC Meeting Point.  We appealed for support to the AFCU to assist the VCC in meeting its goal of paying off all VCC loans in 5 years. We will report more about this to the congregation in the near future.

VCC’s Multicultural Gallery

As the VCC is so multicultural, the idea is to create a VCC Gallery reflecting our diversity. To this end, members and friends are requested to submit high quality photos highlighting a particular aspect of your culture or country. We plan to hang them on the walls at VCC’s Meeting Point , either in the form of portraits (for example, a photo of someone from a tribe or ethnic group in traditional dress) or landscapes. The photos should be framed, ready for hanging, and be minimally 40x50cm and maximum 50x70cm. We will start out with one photo per family group.

If you would like to contribute something or discuss, please send a digital photo or your query to Mickela: property@viennacommunitychurch.com