St. Francis Bulletin

May 2014

From the Rector

Let me start out by saying that our Holy Week which started out on an unexpected note with cancellation of services due to yet another foot race in Austin, ended with a great celebration of the Easter Triduum and a marvelous culmination on Easter Sunday.  These wonderful celebrations obviously don’t get done by themselves.  Large numbers of volunteers make it possible for all of us to worship the Lord in the manner we have chosen.  

I want to thank Becky Hunt and the Altar Guild for all their work throughout Lent and especially Holy Week.  Beginning with the Saturday before Palm Sunday making all the palm crosses and arrangements (can we use them next year?), the Altar Guild performs flawlessly each year from one day to the next preparing our worship space for celebration.  Thank you.  

The music was also wonderful during the Easter celebrations.  Paula, Amy and the choir, and instrumentalists at the 11 on Easter made Holy Week and Easter marvelous worship experiences for everyone who came.  I can’t thank you all enough for the time and effort you put in each year to make this all work.

A special word of thank to Amy Crandell for putting together the programs for our celebrations.  Since we are operating without our BCPs and hymnals while we are in our temporary space, Amy has taken on a good deal of additional work to publish our pew sheets each week and especially during Holy Week.
We have already been alerted that there will be another race on Palm Sunday next year, so it behooves us to be out of our temporary space and into our new church by next year.  Keep praying!

Speaking of prayer, our six-week study on prayer came to an end on Wednesday of Holy Week.  However, the members of the group were excited enough about what they learned about prayer and the actual practice of prayer that they wanted to continue praying and meeting, at least occasionally, to learn where the Lord is leading us as a parish and how the Lord wants us to continue to pray.  We would like to become known as a praying parish.  While we are still trying to discern what that will look like in the future, we have made a commitment to continue to seek the Lord for His guidance.  We will meet again on May 7 to see what the Lord has been telling us.  During the six week period, we averaged about 12-15 participants each week at our sessions.  I am grateful for the interest shown by our parishioners not just in the subject of prayer, but in actually praying.  Nothing gets done in the Lord’s church without it.  At least nothing should.  

I want to say a special work of thanks to Kyle and Leanne Reed for the display of crosses on the exterior wall of our sanctuary.  Keith Harrell came up with the idea after visiting another church.  Kyle and Leanne collected the crosses and mounted them on the wall.  I think it adds a great deal to our hospitality area and I am once again reminded that so much of what happens at St. Francis gets done by folks who simply love to give of themselves and their time and talent for all of us.

Finally, Thursday, May 29, is the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, a day of obligation.  We will have a Holy Communion service at 12:00 noon.  Please try to attend.

Sunday School News

Now that Lent and Easter are over, the younger Sunday School class will focus on Peter in the month of May. We will study Peter's Declaration (Matthew 16:13-20), Peter and John (Acts 3:1-10), Peter and Tabitha (Acts 9:36-43), and Peter in Prison (Acts 12:1-17). Since Peter is the rock upon which Christ built his church, we are using stones for prayer this month to emphasize Peter as the rock and all of us as Christ's church. 

The older class is working on a variety of lessons with Doug Cooper.  Please keep the Sunday School in your prayers.

-Missy Bernard Nelson
Well, the bluebonnets are blooming away, the oak trees are dumping yellow pollen goop all over the car, and I even had the first tarantula of the year show up on my front porch.  It is clearly Spring, which means that it's time to spend the weekend outdoors, sipping iced tea and watching your wife work in the garden.

A Saturday or two ago, I noticed Char pick up a piece of paving stone, whack away at the ground underneath it with a mattock, then drop the stone back in place.  When I was a kid and my mom did something like that, it usually meant there was some critter with too many legs - or no legs at all - under the rock.  Our family is pretty creepy-crawly-friendly, so I asked her what she was doing.  Turns out the ground had settled unevenly, leaving the paving stone teetery and out of balance, and she was leveling it back out and giving it a firm foundation.  Now, I didn't just drive into town on a truckload of turnips, and I know a topic for a newsletter article when I get hit in the face with one.

Most everybody I know has been a little bit teetery and out of balance lately - except for those of us who have been a lot teetery and out of balance for a long time.  There's a lot going on, what with war, terrorism, pestilence, famine (well, maybe a lackluster stock market isn't exactly famine, but it's as close as most of us want to get) and the constant threat of another Lady Gaga video.  And like a wobbly paving stone, when I'm out of balance, I don't look right, I don't act right, and I break easily.

Now, Char balanced the paving stone by leveling the dirt underneath it and giving it a firm foundation.  Once the rock is properly supported, it stays in place, works without wobbling around, and can support an enormous amount of weight without breaking.  It's not a whole lot different for me, and I expect it's not a whole lot different for anyone else - my ability to act right and bear the weight of life depends a lot on the support I get from my foundations.

We all know people who fall into that big, rather nebulous category we call "the Lost".  "Lost" doesn't just mean 'heathen bound for hell any by golly they deserve it";  it means, well, lost - as in "wandering around without knowing where to go next".  They wobble from side to side, look unhappy, and don't function very well because they don't have a permanent foundation.  I'm pretty sure I know whereof I speak - been there, done that.

Everyone's sung that old hymn - "The Church's One Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord" - and it's times like these when the truth of that trite old statement really come out in our lives.  That Easter morning vindicated Jesus, His words and His teachings.  He didn't show up alive - He showed up transformed.  And that event transformed the apostles from rabbits into revolutionaries that turned the world upside down.  Running into the risen Christ shook Saul of Tarsus up so much he even changed his name.

Now Jesus may not be present with us physically like He was with the apostles, but He can be our foundation through His words, His teachings, and His body on earth - the Church.  Jesus-in-Himself and Jesus-in-each-other are what give us our balance and our support in times like these.  There's a Messianic Jewish worship song that goes, "We were born for such a time as this, for the Lamb of God is in our midst".  None of us is here right now by accident.  Back in the days of the Persian Empire, there were a lot of Jews who never went home from the Exile.  Ester, a young Jewish woman married to the Persian king, was caught in the middle of a plot to kill all the Jews.  She was in a position to influence events with the king, but only at great risk to herself.  Ester was scared, and really wanted to keep a low profile. But her Uncle Mordecai wouldn't let her off the hook, telling her she was queen for a reason.  "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish.  And who know whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Ester 4:14)

This Easter season is a little special for St. Francis because we have witnessed and are witnessing a transformation of our own.  As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and our own transformation into new creatures in Christ, let's look to the example of the early church.  Their transformation was more than just the promise of eternal life for themselves.  It was their foundation from which they were empowered to reach out to a lost and dying world.  I guess the world has been lost and dying since that last day in the Garden when we first realized we knew how to sin, and I guess it will be lost and dying until Jesus comes back.  In the meantime, here we are - founded on the risen Christ and newly equipped for the job at hand.  I don't think we have been given this church for our comfort; we've been given it for our use.  A lot of folks can find their true foundation at St. Francis - just like a lot of us already have - but first they have to know it's here.  So let's all pray for guidance.  I'm hoping that we're in for a real period of ferment, energy and growth here, where we won't be afraid to try out all kinds of new ideas for ministry and prayer.  After all, to paraphrase old Mordecai, even if we goof it up, God will make sure things work out as they should, and who knows - maybe we've been put here for such a time as this?

- 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 and Organist
  Paula Blaha

Lay Leadership
Vestry Members
  Senior Warden, Mark Rambin
  Junior Warden, Keith Harrell
  Treasurer, Michael Ready
  Secretary, Jim Crandell
  Grady Collins, Doug Cooper, Carole Martin, Don St. Martin, Fr. Len Giacolone
  James Glomb, Arthur Woodgate, Ed Sandlin, Ray Merrill
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
  Kim and David Norris
Intercessory Prayer Group
  Fr. Len and Nancy Giacolone
Mothers' Prayer Group
  Charlotte Ready
Newsletter Editor
  Tricia McLean
  Missy Bernard & Grace Rowse
  Mark Rambin
St. Claire's Guild
  Eileen Cole
  Al Parker
  Jim Crandell
Women of the Church
  Leanne Read
5th Sunday Nursing Home Service
  Amy & Jim Crandell
Thursday, May 1st
7 pm, Evening Prayer
Friday, May 2nd
7 pm, Games Night
Saturday, May 3rd
9 am, Austin City Prayer Walk
Sunday, May 4th 
2nd Sunday after Easter
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 
  • Acts 2:14a, 36-47
  • Psalm 116
  • 1 Peter 1:17-23
  • Luke 24:13-35
Tuesday, May 6th
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Wednesday, May 7th
Pray in Faith, 7 pm
Thursday, May 8th
7 pm, Evening Prayer
Sunday, May 11th 
3rd 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 6:1-9, 7:2a, 51-60
  • Psalm 23
  • 1 Peter 2:19-25
  • John 10:1-10
Monday, May 12th
5:30 pm, Vestry meeting
Tuesday, May 13th
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Thursday, May 15th
7 pm, Evening Prayer
Sunday, May 18th 
4th 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 17:1-15
  • Psalm 66:1-11
  • 1 Peter 2:1-10
  • John 14:1-14
12:30 pm, Anglicans for Life Meeting
Monday, May 19th
Noon, Mothers’ Prayer Group
Tuesday, May 20th
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Thursday, May 22nd
7 pm, Evening Prayer
Sunday, May 25th
5th Sunday after Easter
10:00 am, Choir Practice
9:30 am and 11:00 am, Holy Communion
  • Acts 17:22-31
  • Psalm 148
  • 1 Peter 3:8-18
  • John 15:1-8
Tuesday, May 27th
Noon, Anglican Rosary
Thursday, May 29th
Ascension Day
12 pm Noon, Holy Communion
  • Acts 1:1-11
  • Psalm 47
  • Ephesians 1:15-23
  • Luke 24:49-53
7 pm, Evening Prayer
Amy Crandell 
Cathy Stevenson 
Mark Stevenson 
Michael Presley  
Mark and Cathy Stevenson 
Allan and Carol Jacobs Parker
Chaille and Melissa Bernard
Keith and Gayle Harrell 
Ben and Shirley Ellis