September 2014

St. Francis Bulletin

From the Rector
Fr. Len Giacolone

First of all, welcome back from summer vacation. If you didn’t have one, weren’t able to get away or just didn’t want to, it’s time to start things up again, at least here at St. Francis.

Amy Crandell is now the editor of our monthly newsletter.  I want to thank Tricia McLean who handled this responsibility for many years after her daughter, Erika, left for college.  I know that Amy has some new ideas that she wants to implement in the newsletter.  Thanks to her for being willing to take this on.

September will see the beginning of a new Wednesday evening class on the Holy Spirit.  I apologize that it has taken so long to bring this about.  As I mentioned to you in church, there was a problem just getting the book I wanted to use for the class and there have been other things that have kept me from the schedule I wanted to pursue.  I hope that many of you will be able to be a part of this very important study.  There will be more details in the Sunday pew sheet.

Parish Meeting, Sept. 7

On Sunday, September 7, after the 11:00 am service, we will have a parish meeting to discuss and vote on our withdrawal from the Episcopal Missionary Church.  As I mentioned to you in church on July 27, the Vestry of the parish voted on the previous day to effect a separation from the EMC and the parish by-laws require that the parish make the final determination.  St. Francis has been a member of the EMC since 1993, in fact, shortly before I became the Rector of the parish.  At the time, the EMC was new and was under the leadership of Bishop A. Donald Davies, a bishop from the Episcopal Church who had resigned from the House of Bishops of the church then known as ECUSA.  There was a great deal of hope in those days and the church grew somewhat.  Later that same year, we were invited to leave the EMC over a disagreement with Bishop Davies regarding the consecration of a bishop.  We decided to remain with the EMC at that time, mostly because there didn’t seem to be a better alternative.  However, over the years the church has both gained and lost parishes and the truth of the matter is that the EMC is probably no larger now than it was then.

I do not know at this point what all of our options may be although I believe that there are some.  A number of us have been discussing for some time the possibility of belonging to a larger entity, one that might be beneficial to the parish in some way.  It is my hope that we can develop a set of criteria for a new affiliation and then set up a small search committee to see if and how well a new association might work.  This will take some time.  During the interim, we will remain unaffiliated although we may need to seek episcopal oversight from someone.  As I have already mentioned in church, I do not expect much to change at St. Francis regardless of where we end up.  I know that most of you are here because you like what we have at St. Francis.  We will remain Anglicans and continue to worship the Lord as we have done for so long.  I encourage everyone to be part of that parish meeting.   
I have been asked to give the invocation at the annual Austin Pregnancy Resource Center Extravaganza at the Doubletree Hotel, Thursday, September 25.  Our Anglicans for Life group has been a part of this for some years now and St. Francis has been honored there for its continuing support of the APRC.  An anonymous donor was kind enough to pay for our table this year at the banquet.  Please continue to pray for an end to abortion.

Finally, I would also ask you to pray for those who are persecuted because of their faith.  Recently we have seen horrible images from around the world, and especially in the Middle East, of men, women and children, not only being exiled from their homes, but murdered, sometimes in horrific ways, simply because of what they believe.  We must intercede for our brothers and sisters, regardless of where they are.  Don’t believe for a moment that you and I will be exempt from this if we fail to stand up for them.

Electronic Version of the Newsletter
Amy Crandell

As the new editor of the St. Francis Bulletin, I am trying some new ideas with the format and distribution of the newsletter. I took the liberty to send this electronic copy of the newsletter to you, mostly because I had your e-mail address. I used a free service called Mail Chimp to create and send the newsletter.  

Simply unsubscribe if you do not wish to receive this in your in box. Links are at the footer of the message and at the bottom of the yellow sidebar.

If you received a newsletter in the mail, you will continue to do so. Since costs are incurred with the printing and the mailing of the newsletter, I will gladly remove your name from the snail mail list (i.e., sent with a stamp via the U.S. Postal service) and you can read the newsletter through your e-mail only.  Send me an e-mail message or speak to me at church to stop receiving the hard copy.

Paper copies will be available at the beginning of each month at the church.

Anglicans for Life
Phoebe Hughes

Anglicans for Life will hold its first fall meeting on Sunday, September 21, after the 11:00 service. We will talk about what our experiences with the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center have been and where we want to go from here. We have collected a good number of diapers for the Center and will ask for everyone to continue donating them.  Diapers are always needed.  

Also, we have a table for the APRC Fall Extravaganza, its fund raiser, on Sept. 25.
Our aim is to do what we can to further the belief in the sanctity of life and to assist those in need.
We welcome everyone and hope you will join us.

Sunday School is set to begin! 
Missy Bernard 

St. Francis Sunday School classes begin on September 7th! We will be so glad to see everyone back and hope everyone had a wonderful summer.  

The younger class will be working with Missy Bernard, and the older class will be working with Doug Cooper. 

The younger class continues to follow the One Room Sunday School curriculum and will begin the year with Genesis.  This exciting unit is called In the Beginning, and its inspiration verse is from Psalm 104: "Lord, you have done so many things! You made them all so wisely! The earth is full of your creations!"  

We will be studying Creation, Noah, and exploring generally what it means for us to be created in God's image. We'll also introduce the rhythm of the Christian year and the church calendar as we learn that "there is a season for everything, and a time for every matter under the heavens." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

This looks to be an enjoyable and engaging way to start the Sunday school year. We're excited to begin!  Please keep the Sunday School in your prayers.

9 1 1: Pray for Jerusalem
Submitted by Amy Crandell

Several St. Francis members participated in Anne Graham Lotz's prayer campaign at the beginning of July.  She recently announced another prayer campaign.  Read below for details or go to her website for more details: 

And I will pour out on…the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.  They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great…each clan by itself…And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:  “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.  And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”  Zechariah 12:10-12, Romans 11:26-27

It’s time to gather and rally His people to Pray for Jerusalem. So, I will be inviting you to partner with me for…
September 1, 2014 

Pray… in the 9th month, September
Pray… on the 1st day, September 1st
Pray… and fast for 1 hour of your choosing

The Purpose:
  • For God to pour out His Spirit of grace and supplication on Jerusalem
  • For God to open Jerusalem’s eyes to recognize her Messiah…Yeshua…Jesus
  • For God to break her heart for her sin and rejection of Him
  • For God to save her spiritually and physically as she cries out to Him
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…  Psalm 122:6

Click here to read her blog with more information and to sign-up to receive the 911 Prayer E-mail.

Going From Bad to Worse
Michael Ready

I don't know about you, but I have had a tendency to be pretty bummed out lately. Seems like every time I pick up the paper, some horrible example of societal decay is staring me in the face -- slaughtering our Jewish brothers and sisters seems to have reached a level of popularity it hasn't enjoyed since the 40s; they just gave an international ethics award to the guy at Princeton who advocates infanticide; the psychiatric association wants to normalize pedophilia; the Church in the Third World seems to be getting butchered while the Church  in the West dithers itself to death; and they have even started making Oreo's with the chocolate on the inside. The ultimate triumph of Satan and the destruction of mankind must be just around the corner. Come to think of it, why am I bothering to write this? I think I'll just crawl back in bed and take a nap; wake me up if Fox decides to televise Armageddon...

Well, I think we have stumbled on a partial truth, here. The world really is going to hell in a hand basket. Come to think of it, though, the world has always been going to hell in a hand basket; that's what the world does. Birds fly south in the winter, the sun rises in the east, water runs downhill, cats rub up against people wearing white pants, and the world goes to hell In a hand basket. It's the natural order of things. One bite from that lousy Tree of Knowledge, and bang! -- Down the tubes we go. That's what being fallen people in a fallen world means. As Christians we keep talking about salvation. But the very idea of salvation means that there must be something we have to be saved from. Otherwise we wouldn't need salvation; we'd just need Prozac. Of course the world is falling apart -- broken!

The good news is there's a plan in place to fix it, one that's been working out since the "foundation of the world". God's putting the universe back together with some nails and two pieces of wood. After all, if the world weren't hopelessly broken in the first place, the Incarnation and the Crucifixion wouldn't make a lick of sense. It's easy to get discouraged when we look around at the little slice of time our lives are buried in -- we really don't have much personal experience to compare it to. I'm starting to get, umm..., "mature", and I only remember the little window of time from Eisenhower to Enron. C. S. Lewis once made a point about how fortunate he was to be a student of history -- it helped him keep things in perspective. Go get yourself a copy of the Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius of Caesarea -- it chronicles the first 300 years after Jesus left, and it is one calamity after another. Funny thing -- the Church survived, just like Jesus said it would.

For that matter, the whole of scripture is pretty much a story of things going from bad to worse, with little points of light here and there. At one point in Kings, it looks like it's all over. Elijah has just made the 400 priests of Baal look like a bunch of boobs, and the King's wife Jezebel (a life member of the Baal fan club) is out for blood. Elijah is on the run, and maybe just a wee bit discouraged when he tells God, "Kill me now! Everything's going to hell in a hand basket!" (New Bubba Translation...) God's response? He tells Elijah that there are still 7,000 folks in Israel who haven't given their hearts and souls to Baal, and that those 7,000 will be the core of restored Israel -- in other words, things aren't really as bad as they might seem to one lone, scared, wanted guy in a cave.

In Acts, it looks like it's all over again. The apostles are on the run, the Jewish authorities are out to put an end to this goofy Messiah business, guys like Stephen have been killed, and the great Pharisee Saul is out to finish off the remnants of the Church. Flash forward a few years, and Saul has a new name (Paul) and a new job (apostle -- lousy hours, lousy pay, but an unbelievably good retirement plan).

I guess my point is that the worst things that come down the road always turn out, in the end, to be seeds of renewal and redemption. The forty years that Israel spent in the desert produced a generation ready to take the Promised Land; Elijah's 7,000 underground church members were the foundation of a restored Israel; Saul's Pharisaic enthusiasm and education wound up taking the gospel to the center of the world; the savage persecutions under Diocletian were followed in a few years by the triumph of the Church under Constantine; the moral collapse of the Church in the middle ages was followed by the Reformation and the Counter-reformation. And whatever's going on today carries the seeds of its own repair, because God has made it plain that He's not giving up on this world, and the fix is already in place. Whatever little disasters await us in the near term, the final outcome was determined before "Let there be light" put the bang into the Big Bang. It's our God that wins in the end, not Beelzebul, or Dollarbill the god of Enron. So turn your hymnals to number 114 and sing the last verse...

   Lord, teach thy Church the lesson,
   still in her darkest hour
   of weakness and of danger,
   to trust thy hidden power.

August 31st - 5th Sunday Potluck
Since you are receiving this early enough, remember that Sunday, August 31st is a 5th Sunday, which means a potluck luncheon!  Plan to bring something tasty to eat and to share with your St. Francis friends.  There is always plenty of food and the company cannot be beat!

Newsletter Submissions
Newsletter articles are gladly accepted for inclusion in the next month's newsletter. E-mail to Amy Crandell by the 20th of the month (or there abouts) for her to add to the newsletter.


10435 Burnet Road, #125
Austin, TX 78758

September Calendar
9:30 am, Holy Communion
9:30 am, Sunday School for Youth
10:00 am, Choir Practice
11:00 am, Morning Prayer (Sept. 7 only) and Holy Communion 

Sunday, Sept. 7
12:30 pm, Parish Meeting

2nd Monday - Sept. 8
5:30 pm, Vestry Meeting 

12 pm Noon, Anglican Rosary

7 pm, Evening Prayer

1st Friday, September 5
7 pm, Games Night

1st Saturday, Sept. 6
9 am, Prayer Walk

3rd Thursday, Sept. 18
12 pm Noon, Mothers' Prayer Group

3rd Sunday, Sept 21
12:30 pm, Anglicans for Life

September Birthdays
Judy  Bernard 
Eileen Cole
Katie Sandlin, Michelle Collins
Kimberly Norris, Henry Noelke
Sheri Brummett 

Mark & Susan Rambin
Steve & Angie McCown  

September Readings
9/7 12th after Trinity
Ezekiel 33:1-11
Psalm 119:33-40
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 18:15-20
9/14 Holy Cross Day 
Isaiah 45:21-25
Psalm 98
Philippians 2:2-5
John 12:31-36a
9/21 St. Matthew 
Proverbs 3:1-6
Psalm 119:33-40
2 Timothy 3:14-17
Matthew 9:9-13
9/28 15th after Trinity
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Psalm 25:1-14
Philippians 2:1-13
Matthew 21:28-32

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
  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 & Bulletin Editor 
  Amy Crandell
  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

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