St. Francis Bulletin

April 2014

From the Rector

As I write this, we are two weeks into our study on prayer. About twenty of our parishioners have made the effort to come weekly to discuss what they are learning during their own personal study during the week. Even more have taken books to study at home. Our major focus is to have a parish that prays—and even more, prays together. The study runs through Holy week and it is my hope that more people will not only be interested in prayer as a topic for discussion, but will be armed with more tools to make their prayer life more vibrant. 

Last year, Easter was almost as early as it could be. This year it is almost as late as it can be. By the time you receive this we will be more than half way through Lent and that means Holy Week and Easter will be upon us before we know it. Our Holy Week schedule never changes but it is always worth reminding you of what it is. 

PALM SUNDAY. Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday. This feast commemorates the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem before His passion and death. There is a two -fold emphasis on Palm Sunday. The first, of course, is the proclamation of Jesus as King as He enters the holy city. The second is Our Lord’s Passion, which this year will be read from St. Matthew’s gospel. These two very strikingly different emphases remind us of our own lives during which we praise God and then defy Him with such remarkable ease. We will distribute Palm crosses each service as a reminder of our duty to hail Jesus as Our Lord and King. 

MAUNDY THURSDAY. Thursday of Holy Week calls to mind the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist as well as the ministerial priesthood. But the gospel of the washing of the disciples’ feet also reminds us of the need to love and serve one another with all our hearts. Since the Eucharist is the sacramental sign of Jesus’ great act of love on our behalf, our reception of the Eucharist should be a sign to us of our love and service to one another. 

GOOD FRIDAY. The Good Friday liturgy is rather a simple one, with readings, the litany of the word, and the veneration of the cross. The simplicity adds to the focus on the death of Jesus on the cross for our salvation. The atmosphere is stark. The altar is bare and there is no liturgical pomp to influence our senses or emotions in any way. As the twelfth station so simply states “Jesus Dies on the Cross.” Lest we forget, it is a meditation for a lifetime, let alone an evening. 

THE SOLEMN EASTER VIGIL reveals a brilliant contrast to the liturgy of Good Friday. It is the first Mass of Easter. But before we enter into the principal celebration of our faith, we take a liturgical journey through salvation history. The blessing of the Easter candle, the singing of the Paschal Proclamation, and the Liturgy of the Word remind us of the eternal love of God for His people from the garden to eternal salvation. I know that this service is a bit longer than anything else we do, with the possible exception of ordination. However, if you have never experienced the Easter Vigil, please come this year and give God praise and glory for His wonderful love for you. 

EASTER SUNDAY morning continues the great festive celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. Our services will be at 9:30 and 11:00 am as usual. Even if you have celebrated with us on Saturday evening you will want to come again on Sunday morning to experience the greatest celebration of our faith. As I always do, I want to encourage you to be present for all of these wonderful celebrations. They represent the central mysteries of our faith.

Austin City Prayer Walk

The April Prayer Walk will be held in a different location: 9th and Red River. This was the site of the horrible tragedy during the early morning of March 14 at South By Southwest when a drunk driver plowed through crowds, killing 3 and injuring more than 20. We will meet at the corner at 9 am on April 5th to pray and walk along Red River. As usual, all are welcome to join us! Contact at Kim and David Norris at or 281.923.9028 for additional information.


Sunday School News

Lent is here and we are excited to be exploring it in Sunday School. In March and April the younger class will do several Lenten lessons as we study Unit One of the Spring 2014 One Room Sunday School curriculum, "The Way To Jerusalem." The inspirational Bible verse for this unit is Luke 19:37: "As Jesus approached the road leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole throng of his disciples began rejoicing. They praised God with a loud voice because of all the mighty things they had seen."

In addition to studying the gospel stories that lead us toward Jerusalem, which include Zacchaeus, The Lord's Supper, Praying in the Garden, and Peter's Denial, we will also learn more about the traditional Lenten activities of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Some of these concepts are new to the children, and I hope these lessons will help them understand the special significance of Lent in the Christian year and the recurring joy of Easter.

The older class continues to work on a variety of lessons with Doug Cooper. As always, please keep the Sunday School in your prayers.
-Missy Bernard Nelson
Slave of Jesus Christ
Over the past few years, I've heard a number of guys on the electric TV make a big fuss that it's demeaning to my dog to refer to her as a "pet". In our Brave New-Age World, I gather that I am supposed to refer to her as a "companion animal", signifying  both our equal stature as evolutionary contemporaries and our mutual critterness, or something like that. Anyway, the notion that I actually own my dog is supposed to be an unacceptable symbol of human chauvinism and inter-species oppression. Now, when I hear this stuff, I usually just sigh and go back to eating my roast beef - excuse me, I mean "my companion foodstuff" - but it has caused me to think a little.

One of my projects is to teach myself Greek. Actually, as long as you use small words and we everything in the present tense, I'm doing okay - too bad there's not a "letter of Dick and Jane to Spot" anywhere in the New Testament. Anyway, I was trying to parse out Paul's letter to the Romans. In the translation we use at church, the first line says "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ..." Now l live in South Austin, and when I think of a servant, I usually think of either an English butler with a snooty accent and a superior attitude, or a French maid in a movie that I probably shouldn't be watching in the first place.  In any case, I think of somebody that does a job for money and can take it or leave it. But when I looked up the Greek word, translated "slave, bondslave, bondman, bondservant". That didn't sound a whole lot like an English butler to me. The New King James translates the sentence "Paul, a bond servant of Jesus Christ." That sounds a whole lot more palatable than "slave," until you stop and think what "bondservant" actually means. Going from "slave" to "bondservant" is about like being promoted from "Programmer" to "Information Technology Specialist".  You do the same job for the same hours in the same cubicle for the same pay; you just get fancier business cards.

As Americans, it makes us real uncomfortable to hear the word "slave"; given our history it doesn't take a degree in rocket science to understand why. The notion of one person owning another sets our teeth on edge. It doesn't set our teeth on edge for a person to own a dog, though. What trips the moral trigger is the notion of one being owning another equal being. Nobody gets upset when a being like a man owns unequal beings like livestock. As a matter of fact, in modem times, human slavery always requires one group to claim superiority over another - inferior blacks in the 1800s, inferior Jews in the 1940s, inferior Christians today. So when Paul describes himself as a slave, we think of Mississippi plantations, German Konzentrationslagem, and the slave markets of  Khartoum, and we start getting pretty twitchy.

But Paul describes himself as slave to Jesus Christ, and if there's a superior being in the universe, it's Him.  On the one hand, Jesus is just a guy like us from Galilee, who lived a long time ago; on the other hand, He is also the One By Whom the universe was made, in Whom the universe hold together, and for Whom the universe exists.
My dog Raven doesn't get a choice about whether she belongs to me or not. Dogs were bred by people; if we hadn't bred them, there wouldn't be such a thing as a "dog".  It's not like you can go to a park in Montana and see the beagle herds running wild and free on the prairies; nobody's going to write a book called "Schnauzers in the Mist". Nor do I get a choice about belonging to God; I was manufactured by Him, and He bought and paid for me again on the cross.

Dogs do get to decide whether they acknowledge that ownership. Raven can live in my house, eat my food, and be adopted as a member of the family, or she can be her own dog, define her own reality, and live a glorious life of independence with a pack of strays - groveling to the pack leader, preying on society for food, in a constant struggle with the other dogs for status in the pack, and dying early from a fight, bad food, or stress. Funny how much dogs are just like us. It's also funny that, whichever she chooses, it doesn't change her status. If she ran away where I couldn't find her and joined the pack, she'd still be my dog - she just would have left my house and forfeited the benefits.

It's pretty much the same with Jesus, I think. Jesus is Lord because of Who He is, not because I say so. If I refuse to acknowledge that I'm His property, all I can do is forfeit the benefits. Back in the Old Testament days in Israel, slavery was a temporary thing. If you sold yourself for a debt - say, to put your daughter through college - you were free in the seventh year, Fairly frequently - at least, frequently enough for it to be specified in the Law - the slave decided he liked the job and wanted to keep it. The ceremony then `was to drive an awl through his earlobe into the doorpost of the master's house. We obviously don't have to do that today, but even if we did, I'm not sure I'd want to complain to Jesus about the barbarity of driving a sharp piece of metal through my flesh into a hunk of wood - the irony might be just a bit too much. Anyway, I can only speak for myself, but when I look back on the years spent as a "stray", describing myself as "slave of Jesus Christ" doesn't really sound bad at all. I think I’d like to keep the job and anytime He wants to pound an awl through my ear into the doorpost of His temple, He's welcome to it.

How about you?

- Michael Ready


Newsletter Submissions

Any parishioner who has news of any kind to share is welcome to send it in writing to Tricia McLean or to her e-mail address ( If received by the 20th, it will appear in next month’s newsletter.
10435 Burnet Road, #125
Austin, TX 78758

The Rev. Canon Len Giacolone 
Assisting Priest
The Rev. Peter Nganga
Music Director & Organist
Paula Blaha

Lay Leadership
Ray Merrill, Ed Sandlin, Arthur Woodgate and James Glomb
Altar Guild
Becky Hunt
Anglicans for Life
Phoebe Hughes
Anglican Rosary
Becky Hunt
Austin City Prayer Walk
David and Kim Norris
Amy Crandell
Christian Education for Youth
Missy Bernard
Evening Prayer
Jim Crandell
David and Kim Norris
Intercessory Prayer Group
Fr. Len and Nancy Giacolone
Mothers' Prayer Group
Charlotte Ready
Newsletter Editor
Tricia McLean
Mark Rambin
St. Claire's Guild
Eileen Cole
Al Parker
Senior Warden

Mark Rambin 
Junior Warden
Keith Harrell
Michael Ready
Jim Crandell
Vestry Members
Grady Collins, Doug Cooper, Carole Martin, Don St. Martin, and Fr. Len Giacolone
Jim Crandell
Women of the Church
Leanne Read
Tuesday, April 1st
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Wednesday, April 2nd
Pray in Faith, 7 pm
Thursday, April 3rd
7 pm, Evening Prayer
Friday, April 4th
7 pm, Games Night
Saturday, April 5th
9 am, Austin City Prayer Walk
Sunday, April 6th 
5th Sunday in Lent
9:30 am, Holy Communion
9:30 am, Sunday School for Youth
10:00 am, Choir Practice
11:00 am, Morning Prayer and Holy Communion 
  • Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Psalm 130
  • Romans 6:16-23
  • John 11:1-44
Tuesday, April 8th
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Wednesday, April 9th
Pray in Faith, 7 pm
Thursday, April 10th
7 pm, Evening Prayer
Sunday, April 13th 
Palm Sunday
9:30 am, Sunday School for Youth
10:00 am, Choir Practice
9:30 am and 11:00 am, Holy Communion
  • Matthew 21:1-11
  • Isaiah 45: 21-25
  • Psalm 22:1-11
  • Philippians 2:5-11
  • Matthew 26:36-27:66
Monday, April 14th
5:30 pm, Vestry meeting
Tuesday, April 15th
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Wednesday, April 16th
Pray in Faith, 7 pm 
Maundy Thursday, April 17th
7 pm, Holy Communion and Stripping of the Altar
  • Exodus 12:1-14a
  • Psalm 78:13-25
  • 1 Cor. 11:23-32
  • John 13:1-15 
Good Friday Service, April 18th
7 pm, Good Friday Liturgy
Solemn Easter Vigil
7:30 pm, Holy Communion
  • Genesis 1:1-2:2
  • Genesis 22:1-18
  • Exodus 14:10-15:1
  • Isaiah 55:1-11
  • Ezekiel 36:24-28
  • Romans 6:3-11
  • Matthew 28:1-10
Sunday, April 20th 
9:30 am, Sunday School for Youth
10:00 am, Choir Practice
9:30 am and 11:00 am, Holy Communion
  • Acts 10:34-43
  • Psalm 118:14-29
  • Colossians 3:1-4
  • John 20:1-18
Monday, April 21st
Noon, Mothers’ Prayer Group
Tuesday, April 22nd
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Thursday, April 24th
7 pm, Evening Prayer
Sunday, April 27th
1st Sunday after Easter
9:30 am, Sunday School for Youth
10:00 am, Choir Practice
9:30 am and 11:00 am, Holy Communion
  • Acts 2:14a, 22-32
  • Psalm 111
  • 1 Peter 1:3-9
  • John 20:19-31
12:30 pm, Anglicans for Life Meeting
Tuesday, April 29th
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Micah Looke, Robert Bernard
Shannon Adkins
Hannah Presley
Ray Merrill
Jim Crandell
Diane Darling, Jace Phillips
Lorraine Pangle
 G.W. Martin
Roy and Nancy Jones