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From the Rector

Fr. Len Giacolone
The fact that the newsletter is starting up again means that summer is winding down and certain things will begin to crank up for the fall. Sunday School will begin for the children on September 9 and I once again want to commend all our teachers who give a lot of their time to make sure our kids get at least some Christian education. This is more important than ever. Anti-religion forces are running rampant in society and we need not only to be able to defend ourselves but to publically announce the Good News.

We have now been in our new building for over a year. If I am correct, the construction company, NAVCON, has turned over the building to us without further responsibility on their part (barring some defect, of course). This means that we are responsible for all maintenance and repairs (as well as paying off the debt). More about that later. I want to encourage you, as I have in the past, to be careful in the building. I know we have to use it, but we can use it gently, if you get my drift.

The summer has seen both a decrease in attendance and in giving. This is not completely unusual. But the level of decrease is a little more than I would expect. I want to remind you that attendance at church on Sunday is not optional. According to the Catechism in our Prayer Book, attendance at Sunday worship is something all of us have a duty to do. I know that there can be reasons why that is not possible. But the obligation remains and should not be taken lightly. I have also noticed that proper attire is lacking on occasion. Shorts are never proper attire for worship. You may ask, “Does God really care?” But that's the wrong question. The question should be “How do I perceive what I am doing there?”

If you have missed making contributions during the summer for whatever reason I would hope that you would do your best to make up those donations, both to our operating fund and to the building fund.

A couple of final words on etiquette in the church. Once again, I ask that if you do not drink from the chalice for communion, that you hold the Body of Christ in the palm of your hand and allow me to pick it up and place it on your tongue. This will make the transfer less dangerous. Secondly, I have noticed that there has been a good deal of conversation going on in the church itself. That's not the place for it. Please try to do all of your talking in the fellowship area. Finally, our services begin at 9:30 and 11:00 am, not sometime around those times. Please try to be there when the service starts. This is not a widespread problem but it is a problem. And you know who you are.

One of our Vestry members, Matt Donnowitz, has resigned from the Vestry and from the parish. He and his family will move their Christian walk to the Eastern Orthodox Church. It will be the task of the Vestry to appoint someone to fulfill his term of office which ends in 2021. This will be discussed at the September Vestry meeting. Other items for that meeting will include recommendations from the Audit Committee for making our financial reporting everything that it should be. My thanks to Dinah Arce, (Chair), Missy Bernard, and Steve McCown for their diligent work on our audits each year.

One of the recommendations from our Security workshop in May was to have an Automated External Defibrillator on hand in case someone has an unexpected cardiac event while at church. Because of a very kind donation from one of our fellow parishioners we have purchased one. I expect that there will be some training on this is the near future so that the machine will be useful should we need it. Let's hope that that is never the case.

Ice Cream Social

An Ice Cream Social is planned for September 9, after the 11:00 service. Even though the heat will continue for several more weeks, we like to think the end is in sight after the Labor Day holiday. The members of the St. Polycarp's Men's Guild will make delicious, creamy ice cream and supply the fixings for all to enjoy.

The Silent Storm

Humanity's Response to Suffering
Submitted by Steve McCown
Last year, Hurricane Harvey ripped into the Gulf Coast of Texas. The flooding was unimaginable, as was the damage—houses destroyed, streets flooded up to the traffic signals, towns devastated. The destruction was a terrible reminder of our own vulnerability and mortality in the path of that kind of force of nature...

It was also a remarkable showcase of the power of the human spirit; not only were people fighting for survival, but others were seeking to aid them. Media outlets shared photos of police and emergency personnel carrying children from flooded areas and saving families stranded on the roofs of their homes. But even more amazing was the sight of normal civilians volunteering their time, resources, and even safety to help their fellow Americans in need. Donations of food and clean water were brought in the truckload, neighbors helped push cars and trucks off streets that look more like rivers, and strangers gave shelter to those who were homeless.

There were no discussions about race, sex, or creed, no claims of favoritism or unjust treatment. There weren't philosophical debates about whether or not it is right to save these people. Experts didn't look at this event as a much-desired opportunity to lower population levels. People saw the needs of friends, neighbors, church members, and even strangers and reached out to them to provide what they needed. Why? Because behind the theoretical debates about “when life begins” and “survival of the fittest,” people know the truth—all lives are valuable and worth saving. Which is why, whenever our nation is impacted by a disaster or an attack, people join together to help. While it may affirm our knowledge that people, deep in their hearts, understand that life is sacred, the real tragedy is that it takes a horrible event to bring out this kind of response.

I think the Church can learn a lot about pro-life ministry from watching the response to Hurricane Harvey. For one, many people who are interested in serving Life are overwhelmed by the massiveness of the issues. How can they, by themselves, bring an end to abortion or stop assisted suicide legislation? The short answer is that they can't—but they are capable of doing something. The rescuers and volunteers who helped those suffering from the hurricane were likely overwhelmed by the suffering and damage—but that didn't stop them from helping who they could, when they could, and how they could. And that doesn't mean that their efforts, while not capable of relieving all the pain and horror from the event, weren't valuable. Pro-life people should never feel that an effort to save any life is insufficient if they aren't able to save all lives. Do what you can in love and faith, and give the rest to God.

Secondly, our awareness of those who suffered in Texas was because it was on our computers, announced from our televisions, and in the public consciousness. We respond to suffering when we see a need. But humans don't often go looking for a need to meet. That is why we cannot be silent about what happens in abortion clinics and medical facilities that allow euthanasia. We can't hide behind political correctness or politeness or popular opinion. Imagine if someone would suggest that we shouldn't save children trapped in flooded homes in Texas because they may a burden to the mother or to the state government. We would be rightly horrified! But these are the same reasons many give for supporting abortion, and how often do we sit silently, unable to defend those who have no voice? If the lives of people and children devastated by Hurricane Harvey matter, then the lives of the unborn, the elderly, and the vulnerable should also matter. We cannot control who the media does and does not pay attention to, but the Church can be active and vigilant in respecting every person.

Sunday School News

Missy Bernard
Sunday School begins September 9th! Classes begin by attending the 9:30 service for the readings, and then meeting upstairs in the classrooms. Sue Orr and Missy Bernard will be teaching the younger class (K-5th) and will begin the year with a lesson about Moses, using the One Room Sunday School curriculum. Doug Cooper will teach the older class. We hope everyone enjoyed their summer, and we look forward to seeing you!

Nursery news: Our nursery aides Tonia and Maha graduated from the University of Texas this past May, and have moved on to new things! I will be looking to hire two new aides this month, now that students have arrived back at UT for the fall semester.

Advanced notice: our Operation Christmas Child collection will begin a little earlier this year, to give parishioners a little more time to donate and to give the children more time to prep and pack. Donations will be collected beginning October 14th. This is an exciting yearly event for the St. Francis youth. We look forward to packing boxes on November 11th. This is St. Francis's 16th year of participation!

How to get involved: Beginning October 14, we will be happy to accept your donations of toys and supplies at the table near the front doors of the church. Lists of suggested items for donation can be found here. St. Francis usually tries to focus on the 5-9 age group.

Alternately, you may donate funds toward the purchase of gift items, or toward shipping costs for the boxes (OCC suggests a donation of $9 per box for shipping). Please make checks out to St. Francis.

Learn more about this wonderful ministry here.

Please contact me with any questions and suggestions you may have at Thank you for your consideration!


The St. Francis Choir will join the band wagon of groups ending the summer hiatus and begin rehearsals on September 9 at 10:00 a.m. Our music director and organist, Ralph Webb is the choir master and selects the music and leads the rehearsals. He patiently and aptly leads the singers to produce the sound and quality needed to present a worthy offering to God during the 11:00 service. If you enjoy singing, please consider joining us.

Prayer Shawls 

Charlotte Ready

Here is a long over due update on the status of the prayer shawl ministry. First of all I want to sincerely thank all those who have made this possible....those who have donated their time and talent to knit and crochet, and those who have donated funds for supplies. To date, this year alone, we have given out 16 shawls to those in physical and spiritual need. These shawls that are prayed over as they are created and then blessed before being handed out, have brought peace and comfort to the recipients. I have been blessed by so many who relate to me the impact receiving the shawl has meant. Such as a note from the spouse of a recipient writing “This was such a beautiful surprise. It brought tears to our eyes. I can't thank you enough. You are truly special. Thanks”.

Although a "quiet" ministry, we impact so many lives. Thank you to all who volunteer or contribute.


9/2 14 after Trinity, Proper 17
  • Deuteronomy 4:1-9
  • Psalm 15
  • Ephesians 6:10-20
  • Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23
9/9 15 after Trinity, Proper 18
  • Isaiah 35:4-7a
  • Psalm 146 4-9
  • James 1:17-27
  • Mark 7:31-37
9/16 16 after Trinity, Proper 19
  • Isaiah 50:4-9
  • Psalm 116:1-9
  • James 2:1-5, 8-10, 14-18
  • Mark 8:27-38
9/23 17 after Trinity, Proper 20
  • Wisdom 1:16-2:1, 12-22
  • Psalm 54
  • James 3:16-4:6
  • Mark 9:30-37
9/30 18 after Trinity, Proper 21
  • Numbers 11:4-6,10-16,24-29
  • Psalm 19
  • James 4:7-12
  • Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
Notes on the Readings:
  • 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.
  • Each of the Sunday's readings are linked to the page on
  • The Sunday collects and text of the psalms are from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
    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. So far 142 of the 150 (95%) psalms are completed.


  • 9:30 a.m. Said Holy Communion
  • Sunday School for Youth (beginning 9/9)
  • 10:00 a.m. Choir Rehearsal (Beginning 9/9)
  • 11:00 a.m. Holy Communion with music. On the first Sunday of each month, the service is Morning Prayer with Holy Communion
  • 7:00 p.m. Evening Prayer
1st Friday
  • 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Games Night
1st Saturday
  • 9:00 a.m. Prayer Service for our Nation
3rd Monday
  • 6:00 p.m. Vestry meeting
3rd Friday
  • Noon Mothers' Prayer Group
3rd Sunday
  • 12:30 p.m. Anglicans for Life Meeting


3          Tara Montalvo, Ruth Ann Stillman
4          Judy Bernard
7          Eileen Cole
10         Hally Glenn
15         Katie Sandlin, Michelle Collins
18         Curran Peter Hatley
20         Kimberly Norris, Adriane Kristo-Reinking
21         David Kristo-Reinking, John Armstrong
23         Eileen Goodrich
24         Stephen Jon Moss
25         Sheri Brummett


5          Mark & Susan Rambin
6          Steve & Angie McCown
10         Franklin & Donna Hunt
16         Brian & Kerry Glenn 

Greek Classes

Beginning in September, Fr. Bill Dickson is offering three Greek classes in Dripping Springs: (1) Hill Country Greek is a beginning class offered at 5:15 p.m. on Mondays. (2) Advanced Greek Reading from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Fridays (or possibly via Skype) and (3) Greek Readings from the Apostolic Fathers from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Fridays (also with the possibility of a Skype class). Go to for even more information. Fr. Bill can be reached at

Diocesan News

August 20, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

After prayerful discernment and reflection, I have decided the time has come for us to begin the search process that will lead next year to the election and consecration of a new Bishop as my successor.

As you know, I am now in my 26th year as your Bishop, and in a few days I will celebrate my 69th birthday. In order to make way for new leadership, it is my intention to retire on December 31, 2019.

The first step is the election of a Nominating Committee, under the provisions of Canon 40, on the “Election of a Bishop.” In September and October, 14 clergy and 14 lay members will be elected to serve on the committee, and the Standing Committee will elect a chairman. A profile of the Diocese will be compiled in October, and then nominations for Bishop will be received until the end of December.

The Nominating Committee will research the list of nominees and conduct interviews in the early months of 2019. The Committee will provide the names of at least three nominees to stand for election at a Special Convention on June 1 of next year. The Bishop Coadjutor-elect would be approved by the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America at their regular June meeting, and tentative plans have been made for his consecration on Sept. 21, 2019.
The new Bishop would serve with me until the end of December, and his formal installation as Diocesan Bishop would be held in early January 2020.

As we move forward together in the months ahead, we are confident of God's grace and guidance as things unfold. Thank you for your prayerful support of this process, that it may be led by the Holy Spirit.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth

Other Diocesan Information

The Diocesan web page can be found here:
The Bishop's page is here.

40 Days for Life

40 Days for Life is a volunteer based prayer campaign that draws attention to the injustice of abortion through three simple avenues:
  • Prayer and fasting
  • Community outreach & Education
  • Constant peaceful vigil
The fall 40 Days for Life campaign runs from Sept. 26 through Nov.4.
Prayer volunteers commit to pray for one hour or more each week during the 40 day vigil in front of one of the three abortion facilities in Austin:
  • Planned Parenthood at 201 E Ben White Blvd
  • Austin Women's Health at 1902 South IH35 (just south of Woodland)
  • Whole Women's Clinic at 8401 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd (just north of 183 on the north bound access road).
If you are interested in participating in this life-saving campaign or in helping to coordinate the campaign, sign-up at, email or call the Central Texas Coalition for Life office at 512.296.2071.

Why Are You Dressed Like That?

Fr. Steven Rindahl, Rector of St. Francis Cibolo, Texas, an ACNA parish
The little girl asked me – Why are you dressed like that?

It is an understandable question. She had never seen a priest in vestments before. Not only that – even if she had, it is unlikely that she would have gotten an answer from anybody else she may have asked. The truth is, few priests and fewer parishioners know why a priest wears what he wears.

So the little girl's question – Why are you dressed like that?, got me thinking: I ought to answer her question in this forum. Maybe a reader or two will find it of interest.

First a big disclaimer: You need to know up front that the majority (possibly all) vestments and other clerical wear got their start in something quite practical (such as keeping the priest warm in ancient churches without the benefit of modern HVAC systems). Once worn, however, various traditions of sacred symbolism have bee assigned to the many different things worn. The next thing you need to know is that the various traditions of sacred symbolism are not all the same. You may find one person say a particular piece of vestiture means one thing when somebody else says it means another. It is not (necessarily) that one is wrong, and the other right (although possibly so) but that they are both “right” in that either explanation of sacred symbolism is a valid way of interpreting the item. In this series, over the next few days or weeks, you will learn the symbolism as I learned it. I encourage to read about vestments and their meanings and see what else other people have to say as well.

Lacking any other place to start we will make it easy and go from the inside out beginning with “clericals.”

Clericals is a bit of a catch-all phrase which reflects a priest's street clothes and what will be worn around the parish when not conducting services. Yes, I am talking about the black shirt and white collar. Depending on the priest, you may find one of the few – particularly those of the Orthodox faith – who wear a cassock (basically a thin, close-fitting black work-coat/coveralls) through the day.
Why is the priest in black? Why wear a collar turned around the wrong direction?
Well, going to the practical bit – black is easy to launder and does not show dirt the way other colors will. If you have a man whose job it is to tend the parish and its parishioners you want him to be able to care for his clothes as with as little difficulty as possible.

Now, more importantly – especially today, what is the sacred symbolism of “The Man in Black” (sorry Johnny Cash – could not resist).

Actually, the reference to Johnny Cash's song “The Man in Black” is not too far off from why a priest wears black. The priest wears black to show a unique role in the world. While not a rejection of the world – it is a rejection of the riches and fineries and fashions (and fashion sense). It is a visual statement saying, “I am not here to satisfy my own desires but instead to help meet the needs of others. I will help carry off some of the darkness that exists in this world.” Likewise, the “backward collar” is just that. In the days of collars that attached separately from the shirt, clergy began wearing the collar buttoned in place backward to signify a different way of engaging with the world around them.

There is a bit more symbolism known by some (and when understood explains why a priest should not be wearing blue and green and all the other colors of the rainbow – remember, clericals are not about fashion. They are distinctly about not being in fashion – re-read above if need be).

The collar, when turned around, looks like an old slave collar. When worn this way it represents being a slave of Christ (as in the passage in the Bible where the Apostle Paul writes and gives us instruction as to the nature of our work: “Not serving to the eye, as it were pleasing men, but, as the slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart.”

The black clothing of the priest is representative of the sin we each bear; the sin that separates us from God the Father. The prophet Jeremiah writes about this in the Bible explaining: “Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord GOD.”

If we are slaves of Christ and stained with sin to the point nothing can clean it – is there any hope? Can the stains be covered? Can freedom be achieved?
YES – But that is the next installment in this series. Next is learning about Albs and Surplices.

Newsletter Delivery Options

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  • Pick up a printed copy on the table at the entrance to the church
  • Have a copy mailed to your physical mail box (cost to the church is 49 cents)
  • View newsletters on our website.
  • To change how you receive the newsletter, contact Amy Crandell in person or via e-mail.

Reminder: Prayer Intentions

The number one activity always recommended at St. Francis is prayer. If you or someone you know is in need of prayer for any reason, consider adding the name to the Parish Prayer Intention List. At the back of the church is a rectangular shaped box for you to submit names for prayers and the reason for prayer. Fr. Len and Nancy send the request via email to the 13 members of the group who pray each day for the Universal Church, the Diocese, St. Francis, the country and city, all Priests and their wives, our benefactors, followed by a lengthy list of the first name on the request and why prayers are needed. Periodically, new names are added and others taken off.

All are welcome to submit prayer intention requests. If you wish to be a member of the prayer group, let Fr. Len or Nancy know.;

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, Donna Hunt, Vacant
Fr. Len Giacolone