Annual Update

Since we were unable to hold our Annual Membership meeting, I present a brief update on the business of New Church Challenge. Hopefully, we will see you all in person for our 2021 Annual Meeting!

President’s Report

New Church Challenge, marks with sorrow and gladness the passing into the next life of one of our founding fathers, and long-time president, Kurt Horigan Asplundh.  Kurt passed on, surrounded by his family on May 3, 2020.

Kurt Horigan Asplundh

Thank you to Les Alden, our treasurer, who is a volunteer and an expert at the numbers.

Our financial status is still good. While investments took a hit, they are again climbing, and our operating capital is secure. We continue to look for new opportunities to serve individuals, and families in the New Church. 

We are supported entirely by your dues and your generous donations.  We were unable to hold our big fundraiser, the Pancake Breakfast this year. Thank you for your continued donations.

The Family Grants program is a better known program of New Church Challenge and it continues to be a very popular recipient of generous donations. Please encourage anyone in any New Church congregation to reach out to us with further needs. 

I would also like to mention the Carlson Fund, which is not well known. The Carlson Fund was a bequest to the General Church to promote the vocational training for a young person with disabilities. New Church Challenges manages this fund, and to date we have had one small disbursement. Please consider whether you know anyone who could benefit from this fund.

We are very excited that we have had the first two successful recipients of the New Church Challenge Scholarship for New Church Teachers enrolled in the Bryn Athyn College Master of Science in Special Education. 

We do continue to work towards a New Church Challenge residence for adults with disabilities. The Building Committee, headed by Bob Fazio, is exploring an exciting opportunity.

Our other activities include our lovely newsletter, published twice a year for our membership. Nina Kline, the editor for many years has done a fabulous job of soliciting and collecting wonderful stories and news.

The Horizon Group, under the leadership of Cathy McQueen and Lori Odhner, planned many fun activities for our young adults. Though in-person gatherings were restricted this spring, participants including some Education students from Bryn Athyn College enjoyed a successful online trivia night.

Website and Communications: We continue to add information, and resources to the Website:

Thank You!

James P. Cole, President
New Church Challenge


The nominating committee presented a slate of directors, published in the last newsletter. Usually during our annual meeting the candidates are offered for affirmation by the membership of New Church Challenge, before presenting the slate to the General Church Board of Directors, who elects our Board. Since the annual meeting had to be cancelled, we offer the names below, all of whom are incumbent Board members who are seeking re-election. If there are no objections, the slate will be presented to the General Church Board of Directors at their June meeting:

Mrs. Sarah Wong
Mr. James Cole
Mrs. Nina Kline
Rev. Mr. Philip Schnarr

The nominating committee is also seeking an appropriate candidate to fill the vacancy left by Kurt Apslundh’s passing. If you would like to be considered or have a suggestion for the committee, please contact us at


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