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: www.NewChurchChallenge.com

Thank You!

James P. Cole, President
New Church Challenge

Nominations: 

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 NewChurchChallenge@gmail.com

 

Kurt Horigan Asplundh, 1933-2020

New Church Challenge marks the passing of Kurt Horigan Asplundh from this life to the next.  Kurt and his wife Martha were the driving force for the establishment of New Church Challenge. Kurt served as the leader and president for many years and he continued in his participation and his support until the very end of his earthly life.
While we are sad for his family’s loss of his calm and loving presence in this world; we are excited to think of his continued service to our Lord as he enters into His courts with praise.

Psalm 100       A psalm of confession.
Shout ye to Jehovah, all the earth.
Serve ye Jehovah with gladness;
Come before Him with a loud song.
Know ye that Jehovah, He is God. It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves, His people, and the flock of His pasture;
Therefore we are His, His people and the flock of His pasture.
Come into His gates with confession, His courts with praise; Confess ye to Him, bless His name.
For Jehovah is good; His mercy is to eternity;
And His faithfulness even to generation and generation.

IMG_4212

Bill Buick, 1941-2020

We are sad to report the passing of our friend and former President of New Church Challenge, William Buick.

Bill moved on from this life on February 21, 2020, at his home in Bryn Athyn, surrounded by his wife and family. Much like his usual demeanor, Bill had a quiet and graceful struggle against cancer, since his diagnosis in late 2018.

After serving as President  from 2009-2018, Bill stepped down from the role when he began his treatment. He never wanted to burden his friends and he continued to serve as an active supporter of New Church Challenge, despite his health.

Bill was recognized at our last annual meeting for his many years of service and he was given a new dogwood tree for his yard which was planted last spring.  Bill will not see that tree blossom this year, but we hope he is enjoying the heavenly blossoms with his keen spiritual senses.

Well done, good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful in a few things;
I will appoint thee over many. Enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:21

Bill Buick Tree #3

Scholarship Announced

Scholarship at Bryn Athyn College

New Church Challenge is excited to announce a new scholarship opportunity for New Church teachers interested in enrolling in the Bryn Athyn College’s Master of
Science in Special Education program. We are offering a $1,000 tuition grant to each qualified applicant who desires to better support students with learning differences in their classrooms. Through usage of our Differentiation Fund, we are delighted to further our mission and support New Church communities in this tangible way.  The requirements and application form are available here:

Scholarship

Family Grants Fund

The Family Grants Fund is available to provide material support to New Church families with specific needs.  New Church Challenge would welcome the opportunity to serve more families in more societies and groups in North America through the resources of the Family Grant program. More information and the application can be found here:  Family Grants

New Church Challenge Presents: Dr. Kelly Ballard

Please join us on May 1, 2018 at 7:30PM at Pendleton Hall Auditorium at Bryn Athyn College.

Dr. Kelly Ballard, the Head of the new Master of Science in Education, Literacy Focus at Bryn Athyn College, will talk to us about the new program and what it means for the future of New Church Education.  Her talk will be proceeded by the brief New Church Challenge Business meeting.

If you are unable to join us in person, please tune in on the Bryn Athyn College YouTube channel for a live-stream of the event.

Nominees for the Board of Directors

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our previously announced nominee for the board, Annika Barber, cannot now stand for election. The nominating committee presents the names of Wystan Simons and Leona Fitch as well as the Rev. Kurt Asplundh, who will stand for another term on the Board.

One of the vacancies on the board is that left by James Cole, who served as a board member from 2016 to the beginning of 2019, when he was appointed to the office of President by the Board after Bill Buick stepped down in September 2018. The nominating committee offers the name of James Cole for affirmation by the membership as President of New Church Challenge.

Please come to the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:30PM at Pendleton Hall Auditorium at Bryn Athyn College. You can also tune in to see a live stream of the proceedings at https://www.youtube.com/user/brynathyncollege.

Mental Illness Support

ONGOING SUPPORT GROUP 
  • Purpose: To support families and friends of people with mental illness
  • When: Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00 pm 
  • Where: Bryn Athyn Cathedral
  • Why: This group will be a space for people to safely share the experience of living with and loving someone who is suffering from mental illness (depression, bipolar, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, etc.) It will not be a treatment or therapy program, or medical consultation. Hopefully the members will share thoughts, feelings and experiences toward strengthening and healing the pain of being a support person for the mentally ill.
  • Who Leads: This group is led by Christopher Glenn. Christopher has spent over 37 years working in and creating various therapeutic environments to treat psychiatric disorders. His goal is not only to improve the life of family and friends, but to strengthen their ability to alleviate the suffering associated with mental illness.
  • Contact: If you are interested in getting involved with this group, please contact the Small Group Leader Chris Glenn (chrisglenn50@gmail.com), or Small Group Coordinator Bronwen Henry (215-530-2036, bronwen.henry@brynathynchurch.org).
  • NOTE: This is not for individuals suffering from a mental illness, but instead will focus on providing strength and comfort to the caregivers.