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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mickela Moore, email@example.com
George Philip, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Storey, email@example.com
Alexander Varghese, firstname.lastname@example.org
We will keep you informed on our progress.
Masa Matasushita, Chair
Stewardship & Finance Committee