St. Francis Bulletin
March 2015

Volume 22, Issue 3

From the Rector

Fr. Len Giacolone

Palm Sunday
As you know, there is another foot race, the Austin 10/20, scheduled for Palm Sunday, March 29.  After discussing this with the Vestry and the people who are in charge of the race, I have decided to cancel the 9:30 service that day.  Believe me when I say that this is the last thing I wanted to do.  But there will be no access to the church except on foot (and that probably from The Domain) until 11:00 am.  It is possible that even the 11:00 service will have to start late.  But we will have it nonetheless.  I am sorry that we have to do this but there appears to be no other reasonable alternative.  For those of you who never attend the 11:00 service, there will also be a Pot Luck lunch on that day after the service.  Please come and meet some of your fellow parishioners that you never see.  

Lenten Services
Each Wednesday evening in Lent I will celebrate Holy Communion at 7:00 pm.  During the service I will make some reflections on one of the classics of Christian literature, The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence.  If you have not read this tiny little book, it is well worth your time.  My version is only sixty-three pages long.  But there is extraordinary wisdom in the book regarding our relationship with God.  I won't claim that I will add to the wisdom; only that often times someone else's insight into a matter may be of some spiritual help.  That is my hope for this Lenten series and I encourage you to attend if you are able.

Confirmation and Holy Communion
It has been the tradition in our parish and in the wider continuing church that Holy Communion is to be given only to those who have been confirmed.  I have followed this tradition in most cases and made exceptions only when a child has been admitted to communion in another Anglican church or other church in apostolic succession.  Since we are seeking affiliation with the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth I checked on their position on the matter.  It is their practice that children be admitted to communion sometime after the age of five and after having been duly instructed on the subject.  I personally think that's a bit young but I am seriously considering admitting children to Holy Communion before Confirmation.  I have not yet worked out all the details but I think that this particular change is a good one and will profit our young people greatly.

On Sunday, February 1, at our annual parish meeting, the congregation voted without any dissent, to seek affiliation with the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, currently under the leadership of Bishop Jack L. Iker.  After consultation with the Vestry I have written Bishop Iker and asked him to visit us.  This is a preliminary step in our venture and there are more formal steps to be taken in the process should they be as interested in us as we are in them.  I hope that the bishop will accept our invitation so that we can meet him and hear from him in person.  I don't have any idea what his schedule is like but I assume he is busy.  We will simply have to wait for his response.
Also at the February 1 meeting, John Hatley, Anne Idsal and Ed Sandlin were elected to the Vestry for three year terms.  They replace Doug Cooper, Carole Martin and Don St. Martin whose terms had expired.  Don, Carole and Doug served the church with distinction during their time on the Vestry and I want to thank them on behalf of all of you for their service.

One Housekeeping Note
Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 8.  Please turn your clocks ahead one hour the night before so that you won't be late/early for church.

Elements of a Lenten Journey Text is by Pope Francis from Ash Wednesday in 2014

The first element is the prayer. Prayer is the strength of the Christian and of every believing person. In the weakness and fragility of our life, we can turn to God with the confidence of children and enter into communion with Him. In the face of so many wounds that hurt us and that could harden the heart, we are called to dive into the sea of prayer, which is the sea of God's boundless love, to enjoy its tenderness. Lent is a time of prayer, a more intense, more diligent prayer, [one] more able to take care of the needs of the brethren, to intercede before God for the many situations of poverty and suffering." 

The second element of the Lenten journey is fasting. We must be careful not to make a formal fasting, or one that in truth "satisfies" us because it makes us feel as though we have all in order. Fasting makes sense if it really affects our security, and also if a benefit to others comes from it, if it helps us to grow in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, who bends down to his brother in need and takes care of him. Fasting involves choosing a sober life, which does not waste, which does not "discard". Fasting helps us to train the heart to essentiality and sharing. It is a sign of awareness and responsibility in the face  of injustices, abuses, especially towards the poor and the little ones, and is a sign of our trust in God and His providence."

The third element is almsgiving: it is a sign of gratuity because alms are given to someone from whom you would not expect to receive anything in return. Gratuity should be one of the characteristics of a Christian, who, aware of having received everything from God freely, that is without any merit, learns to give to others freely. Today often gratuity is not part of everyday life, where everything is bought and sold. Everything is calculation and measurement. Alms-giving helps us to live the gratuitousness of the gift, which is freedom from the obsession with possessing things, [freedom from] the fear of losing what one has, from the sadness of those who do not want to share their well-being with others.


40 Days for Life

Ongoing now through March 29th, we are uniting with hundreds of cities across the country and world for a simultaneous 40-day prayer vigil. 40 Days for Life is a 40-day campaign of prayer, fasting and a constant peaceful prayer vigil in front of abortion facilities. This international movement has resulted in 59+ abortion clinics closing, over 100 abortion clinic workers having conversions and leaving their jobs, and over 9,699 women choosing life for children they were going to abort. Here in Central Texas at least 205 women have changed their minds and chosen life! You can find information online at CentralTexas or by calling the Coalition for Life office at (512) 296-2071.

Sunday School


Missy Bernard
This March, the younger class will be learning about Lent as we begin Unit 1 of the Spring 2015 One Room Sunday School curriculum, titled Preparing For Easter.  The Bible verse for this unit is from Psalm 121: "My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." The stories in this unit are Mary Anoints Jesus, The Widow's Offering, The Last Supper, The Garden, and Palm Sunday.  

One Room Sunday School is designed to provide materials and activities that help teachers work with both younger non-readers and older experienced readers in the same classroom. This has been tremendously helpful recently as we have some new children joining us who aren't yet strong readers.  So far it has worked well, as the older children also have a chance to practice helping the younger ones along.

Since we are now in Lent, several Lenten activities will be added in to our regular curriculum. One of the more popular activities last year was making pretzels, and the kids are looking forward to doing that again. We will also reprise last year's discussion of the Lenten practices of fasting, prayer and almsgiving, and ways in which children can participate, both at church and at home.

Doug Cooper will be studying with the older children and continuing to work on a timeline of the life of Jesus.

Please keep the St. Francis Sunday School in your prayers.

Anglicans for Life

Phoebe Hughes

Anglicans for Life will have its regular monthly meeting on Sunday, March 15th, after the 11:00 service. Our support of the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center continues with our contribution of diapers, sizes 3, 4 and 5. The collection of diapers from the congregation has been most gratifying and we hope for your continuing support.  Also, one of APRC's money raisers is their Baby Bottle Campaign, so if you see a baby bottle on the table in the fellowship are and happen to have some extra change, drop it in and it will go to them.  Everyone is welcome to our meetings.  Hope to see you on the 15th.

Fifth Sunday Activities

March is the first of four months in 2015 with five Sundays.  As is customary, there will be a potluck luncheon after the 11:00 service on March 29.  Plan to bring a dish to share and enjoy the company of your St. Francis friends.

On the same day, from 3:30 -4:30 pm, a small group will gather at the Retirement and Nursing Center at 6909 Burnet Lane for an hour of hymn singing, prayers and Bible readings.  Please come and check out this outreach activity of St. Francis. This will all be repeated in May.

Annual Lenten Food Drive

During Lent, St. Francis will be conducting a food drive that benefits The Storehouse, a Christian-based food pantry in Pflugerville.  The food items they like to have on hand are:
Canned fruits/veggies Canned meat/fish
Peanut Butter/Jelly 1 pint cooking oil
2 pound bag of flour 2 pound bag of sugar
Dish Soap Hand Soap
Toilet Paper Diapers

Bring your donations to the office by Palm Sunday, March 29.  A printed copy of the above list is available on the table outside the worship space, as well as plastic bags to transport the items.

Jack and Sandra Cochrun who founded The Storehouse have an amazing story of the path that brought them to starting this food pantry.  Go to and click on Our Story.

St. Francis is a church partner with the Storehouse.

The Practice of the Presence of God

Each Wednesday in Lent through April 1, there will be Holy Communion at 7:00 PM, incorporating Fr. Len Giacolone's reflections on Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God, one of the great spiritual classics of Western Christianity. All are encouraged to attend.  

This is a summary of the book : 

Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of "practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end." He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul.

We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. For nearly 300 years this unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day.

Newsletter Submissions
Newsletter articles are gladly accepted for inclusion in the next month's newsletter. E-mail to the editor, Amy Crandell at by the 20th of the month. 
10435 Burnet Road, #125
Austin, TX 78758

The Rev. Canon Len Giacolone

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, John Hatley, Anne Idsal, Ed Sandlin, Fr. Len Giacolone

Acolytes - Fr. Len Giacolone

Altar Guild - Becky Hunt

Anglicans for Life - Phoebe Hughes

Anglican Rosary - Becky Hunt

Austin City Prayer Walk - David and Kim Norris

Choir - Amy Crandell

Christian Education for Youth - Missy Bernard, Doug Cooper

Christian Education for Adults - Fr. Len Giacolone

Evening Prayer - Jim Crandell

Home Group Hosts - Claire Ducker, Anne Idsal, Kim & David Norris

Hospitality - Kim and David Norris

Intercessory Prayer Group - Fr. Len and Nancy Giacolone

Mothers' Prayer Group - Charlotte Ready

Newsletter & Bulletin - Amy Crandell

Nursery - Missy Bernard & Grace Rowse

Prayer Shawl Ministry - Charlotte Ready

Readers - Mark Rambin

St. Claire's Guild - Eileen Cole

St. Polycarp's Guild - Jim Crandell

Ushers - Al Parker

Webmaster - Jim Crandell

Women of the Church - Leanne Read

Women's Bible Study - Becky Hunt

5th Sunday Nursing Home Service - Amy & Jim Crandell

Special Events

March 29, Palm Sunday
NO 9:30 service
~11 am, Blessing of the Palms and Holy Communion
~12:30 pm, Potluck Luncheon
3:30-4:30 Retirement and Nursing Home Visit

Regularly Scheduled Events
9:30 am, Holy Communion (said service), except March 29
9:30 am, Sunday school for Youth, except March 29
10 am, Choir Practice 
11 am, Holy Communion with music.  (On the first Sunday, this service is sung Morning Prayer with Holy Communion.)

12:00 pm Noon, Anglican Rosary 

7 pm, Holy Communion with reflections on The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence 

7 pm, Evening Prayer 

1st Friday, March 6
7 pm, Games Night

1st Saturday, March 7
9 am, Prayer Walk

2nd Monday, March 9
5:30 pm, Vestry Meeting 

3rd Sunday, March 15
12:30 pm, Anglicans for Life

3rd Thursday, March 19
12 pm, Mothers' Prayer Group

Upcoming Events
Thursday, April 2
7 pm, Maundy Thursday Service 

Friday, April 3
7 pm, Good Friday Service

Saturday, April 5
7:30 pm, Easter Vigil

Sunday, April 5
9:30 and 11 am, Easter Sunday

Julie Davis
Andy Adkins
Penny Sandlin
Shirley Ellis, Missy Nelson Bernard, Kolby Glenn
Joe Gardner, Grady Collins
Stephanie Brail

Eileen and Larry Cole

Readings for March

3/1  2 Lent 
Genesis 22:1-14
Psalm 16
Romans 8:31-39
Mark 8:31-38

3/8  3 Lent 
Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19:7-14
Romans 7:13-25
John 2:13-22

3/15  4 Lent 
2 Chronicles 36:14-23
Psalm 122
Ephesians 2:4-10
John 6:4-15

3/22  5 Lent 
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51
Hebrews 5:1-10
John 12:20-33

3/29  Palm Sunday 
Mark 11:1-11a
Isaiah 45:21-25
Psalm 22:1-11
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:32-15:47

St. Francis Activities
Our parish has many groups to carry out our mission.  Here are more details on a few of them: 
Mothers' Prayer Group: On the 3rd Thursday of each month, this group of mothers meets to offer prayers of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Petition - with the petition prayers concentration on the families.  Contact Charlotte Ready for more information.

Newsletter & Bulletin: The St. Francis Bulletin is published each month.  This newsletter is distributed primarily via e-mail, with some copies mailed.

A pew sheet is prepared for each service held at St. Francis to use in the worship service.
Amy Crandell prepares both documents.
We the People of God as St. Francis Anglican Church are a community of believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ whose mission it is to spread that Gospel in what we preach and in the way we live.
We are called to know the Word of God, to act on it in our lives and to share it with our brothers and sisters in the world.
We are determined to hold the ancient faith of our ancestors in the Anglican tradition, to uphold traditional Christian values based on the Holy Word of God and to be faithful witnesses to the person of Jesus in the Austin Community.
St. Francis parish is dedicated to the presence of Christ in the lives of the poor, the needy, the sick, to each other and to all those to whom Jesus comes to minister in His life on earth. 
As a community of believers, we intend to entrust our growth in love, in faith and in resources to the generosity of God.
Copyright © 2015   St. Francis Anglican Church of Austin,   All rights reserved.