May 2018, Volume 25, Issue 5

From the Rector

            Fr. Len Giacolone

Sunday, May 20, is Pentecost Sunday and Bishop Iker will be here for his annual visitation and to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for some of our members. While I don't know the exact number yet, there will be three or four who will be confirmed. It is a wonderful blessing that we can celebrate confirmation on the feast of the giving of the Spirit to the church. As of this writing no one has informed me that he or she wishes either to be received into the Anglican Communion from another jurisdiction or to renew their commitment to the Anglican branch of the Christian faith. There is still time, but it is growing short since I need to inform the diocese of the number of certificates I need for the above rituals. Please contact me immediately if any of the above applies to you.

Recently, Nancy and I were in Fort Worth to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Bishop Iker's consecration as a bishop. (I believe the actual date is April 24). On Sunday, April 22, Good Shepherd Sunday, several hundred people gathered at St. Andrew's in Fort Worth for Solemn Evensong. Archbishop Foley Beach preached at the service. That was followed by a dinner at the Ridglea Country Club in the see city. One of the reasons our congregation chose to be part of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth was because of Bishop Iker's fidelity to the faith once delivered to the saints. He is recognized throughout the church for his faithfulness and courage in the face of an ever growing secularism in the church.

Along those lines, you may know that the Diocese of Fort Worth has been in a legal battle with The Episcopal Church over its property since it separated from TEC in 2008. The diocese recently received word from the Second Court of Appeals that the property should stay with TEC. This decision came as a complete surprise to everyone who has been following this case. Three years ago, the Texas Supreme Court instructed the Court of Appeals to decide the case according to neutral principles of law, rather than preferential principles which are often used to decide cases involving internal church matters. According to the attorneys for the diocese, the appellate court completely disregarded the instructions from the Supreme Court and decided the case according to preferential principles. In a statement released by Bishop Iker shortly after the decision, he said that he expected that the final decision would ultimately be made by the Texas Supreme Court. However, this will take more time (probably another two years) and more money (who can possibly know how much) before it is finally over. The matter has now been in the courts for ten years at a cost of several million dollars. Fortunately most of that cost has been paid by insurance. We need to continue to pray that the courts will decide in our favor, and quickly, although nothing seems to move very quickly in the courts. This has happened in a number of dioceses across the country where the diocese has decided to leave TEC. In many of those cases which have been won by TEC the property sits empty. They aren't using it because they have no one to use it. Will the madness never end?

Closer to home, the church is now equipped with security cameras both inside and out. The system is able to be monitored remotely and will give us the ability to have eyes on the property even when no one is there. It was payed for by a generous parishioner and many thanks go to Jim Britt and David Norris for arranging for and spending long hours seeing to the installation of the cameras. I, too, spent not a little bit of time on this project. 

Thursday, May 10, is Ascension Day, a day of obligation. We will have Holy Communion at 12:00 noon on that day. Please try to attend.
Garage Sale
St. Francis will participate in the Northwood Neighborhood Garage Sale.  Twice a year, the neighborhood association invites neighborhood residents to have a garage sale and they will do all the advertising.  The next sale is Saturday, May 5th with David Norris coordinating the sale at St. Francis.  We need items to sell! Also needed are folks to setup the tables to be ready to go at 8 a.m. on May 5th.
Anglicans for Life
            Steve McCown

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation. Psalm 68:5

The verse struck me as curious. How is the LORD a Father of the fatherless and a Protector of widows from His holy habitation? Rather, it sounds as if, by being in His holy habitation (a likely reference to heaven), that God was forfeiting His place as Father and Protector. After all, didn't God come to earth to dwell (literally, tabernacle) among us? In Jesus, God drew near. How can God be a father and a protector from a distance?

Among the more inspiring and convicting efforts I know is that of the International Justice Mission (IJM), an organization that seeks to rescue the oppressed and bring justice to oppressors. To do their work, IJM must draw near to the factory where slaves suffer brutal toil and beatings and to the brothel where preteen girls are raped for profit. And they must confront the perpetrators of these crimes and, frequently, the governments that are themselves complicit.

In his book Terrify No More, Gary Haugen, the director of IJM, submits that there is a threefold poverty that accounts for inaction in the face of oppression: a poverty of compassion, a poverty of purpose, and a poverty of hope. Poverty of compassion is, in short, a lack of love for the vulnerable and the oppressed. Poverty of purpose is the way we trifle away much of life, choosing the petty and irrelevant over the great purposes for which we have been fashioned by our Creator. Poverty of hope is the belief that, in the end, nothing can ever really be done because the problems appear, well, just too great. Because of this poverty, evil persists...

The problem is deep, and it is vast.

So why is the Father of the fatherless and the Protector of the widow in His holy habitation?

We find out at the end of the psalm: “Awesome is God from His sanctuary; the God of Israel—He is the one who gives power and strength to His people. Blessed be God!” (Psalm 68:35). The One who reigns from His sanctuary is not distant from the vulnerable. Rather, He gives strength to His people, people who bear His name and reflect His character, who love what He loves, who hate what He hates, people who know the purpose for which they were made, people who are made strong in their weakness by His power at work within them. In short, the LORD from His sanctuary lifts His people from the poverty of love, purpose, and hope. Whether bringing the unwed mother into our homes, adopting a fatherless baby, bearing testimony concerning past involvement in abortion, praying, giving money or time, being politically involved, or making plain the good news that God forgives the sin of abortion, God draws near, as the Father to the fatherless and Protector of the widow, through His people.

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Austin Readers of First Things Meeting 

The Austin Chapter of Readers of First Things (ROFTers) plans to meet Monday May 21  from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at St. Francis. The group meets monthly to discuss an article selected from First Things, a journal of religion and public life. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. Copies of the article to be discussed will be available in the Narthex before the meeting.   For more information or to be put on the group's email list, email Karl David Stephan (
Diocesan Events

Camp Crucis

The Diocese of Fort Worth has a wonderful camp program for youth from Kindergarten through high school at Camp Crucis in Granbury - south of Ft. Worth. Sessions begin on June 24 and include a family camp. Check out their web page and Facebook page. Click here to see the flyer handed out at the Diocesan convention. The flyer is also posted on the bulletin board in the Fellowship area.

Diocese of Ft. Worth Women's Congress

Who are the Diocesan Churchwomen (DCW)? If you are an adult female and attend one of the churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth under Bishop Iker...      YOU ARE THE DCW!  We sponsor our annual Fall Congress in the Fort Worth area as well as facilitate communication between the women of our parishes and missions throughout the Diocese.

JOIN US Saturday, August 25, 2018 at St. Timothy's, 4201 Mitchell Blvd. Fort Worth, Texas 76119

IGNITING YOUR PASSION TO OVERCOME with Internationally Acclaimed Christian Women's Speaker, Janet Perez Eckles
  • Plus catered lunch
  • Raffle baskets to support: La Gran Familia Orphanage in Northern Mexico (tickets $3 each or 2 for $5)
  • In gathering for ARDF
  • Gift for Each Participant
  • Local Anglican Vendors
 9:30 – 10:00    Registration, Continental Breakfast
10:00 – 11:00   Eucharist Celebrated by Bishop Iker
11:15 – 12:15   Keynote Speaker Janet Perez Eckels
12:30 – 1:30     Catered Lunch with special guest Missionaries Ralph & Miho Clatworthy from Japan
1:30 – 2:00       Raffle Drawing and Announcements

Register at Pay at the door – check, cash or credit card

Other Diocesan Activities
Diocesan Activities are promoted on this blog. You can subscribe and have updates emailed to you.
The Diocesan calendar is here.
The Bishop's page is here.
May Birthdays
1          Amy Crandell
4          Cathy Stevenson
8          Veronica Armstrong, George Robinson
9          Randy Scheer
17        Sandy Schee
May Anniversaries
21        Michael Adams and Kerry Manning
23        Claude and Missy Bernard
31        Ben and Shirley Ellis, Thomas Sager and RobinRuth Alexander

St. Francis Groups & Activities 

Our parish has many groups to carry out our mission. Below are the groups with the contact listed for questions. 
  • Acolytes - Fr. Giacolone
  • Altar Flowers - Angie McCown or Nancy Critchfield-Jones
  • Altar Guild - Becky Hunt
  • Anglicans for Life - Rory Motl
  • Choir - Ralph Webb
  • Christian Education for Youth - Missy Bernard
  • Christian Education for Adults - Fr. Giacolone
  • Evening Prayer - Jim Crandell
  • Games Night - Amy Crandell
  • Home Groups - Fr. Giacolone
  • Hospitality - David Norris
  • Intercessory Prayer Group - Fr. Len and Nancy Giacolone
  • Mothers' Prayer Group - Char Ready
  • Newsletter & Bulletin - Amy Crandell
  • Nursery - Missy Bernard
  • Prayer Service for the Nation - Amy Crandell
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry - Char Ready
  • Readers or Lectors -Fr. Giacolone
  • St. Claire's Guild - Eileen Cole
  • St. Polycarp's Guild - Jim Crandell 
  • Ushers - Al Parker
  • Vestry - Fr. Giacolone
  • Webmaster - Jim Crandell 
  • Women's Bible Study - Becky Hunt
  • Women of the Church - Susan Rambin
  • 5th Sunday Nursing Home Service - Amy Crandell
Readings for May

5/6 5th Sunday after Easter

  • Acts 11:19-30
  • Psalm 33:1-8, 17-21
  • 1 John 4:7-21
  • John 15:9-17

5/10 Ascension Day

  •  Acts 1:1-11
  • Psalm 47
  • Ephesians 1:15-23
  • Luke 24:49-53

5/13 Sunday after Ascension Day

  • Acts 1:15-26
  •  Psalm 47
  • 1 John 5:9-15
  •  John 17:11b-19

5/20 Pentecost

  • Acts 2:1-11
  •  Psalm 104:24-31
  •  1 Corinthians 12:4-13
  • John 20:19-23

5/27 Trinity Sunday

  • Exodus 3:1-6
  • Psalm 93
  • Romans 8:12-17
  • John 3:1-16
Notes on the Readings:
  • Each Sunday's readings are linked to the passage on
  • St. Francis follows the 1979 BCP Lectionary for the lessons (We are in Year B) with the text read from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
  • The Sunday collects and text of the psalms are from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
  • In general, on the second and fourth Sundays, the psalm is chanted at the 11:00 service. The psalm markup is based on the Cathedral Psalter and is a part of the St. Francis Psalter - a multi-year project to post the psalms for chanting on our website.
St Francis Calendar
  • 9:30 a.m. Said Holy Communion
  • 9:30 a.m. Sunday School (vacation starts on May 27)
  • 10:00 a.m. Choir Practice
  • 11:00 a.m. Holy Communion with music (on the first Sunday, the liturgy includes Morning Prayer.)
  • 7:00 p.m. Evening Prayer
1st Friday, May 4
  • 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Games Night
1st Saturday, May 5
  • 8:00 a.m. Neighborhood Garage Sale
  • 9:00 a.m. Prayer Service for our Nation
Thursday, May 10
  • Noon Ascension Day Service, Holy Communion
2nd Monday, May 14
  • 6:00 p.m. Vestry Meeting
3rd Friday, May 18
  • 12:00 p.m. Mothers' Prayer Group
3rd Monday, May 21
  • 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Readers of First Things (ROFTers) Austin Chapter Meeting 

St. Francis Anglican Church of Austin
A parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
Diocese Office: 2900 Alemeda St. 
Fort Worth, TX 76108
Bishop: The Rt. Rev'd Jack L. Iker, D.D
Rector: The Rev. Canon Len Giacolone
Music Director: Ralph Webb
Parish Administrator: Mark Rambin
Vestry Officers
Senior Warden 
David Norris
Junior Warden 
Jim Britt
Kevin Burnette
Grady Collins
Vestry Members

Class of 2019: Brendle Glomb, David Norris, Kevin Burnette
Class of 2020: Missy Bernard, Dinah Arce
Class of 2021:  Jim Britt, Matt Donnowitz, Donna Hunt
Fr. Len Giacolone