From the Rector
Fr. Len Giacolone
Two Special Services in November
Thursday, November 1, is All Saints Day, a day of obligation in our Anglican Liturgical Calendar. That means that we are supposed to attend a worship service on that day. It is a day to remember all the men and women who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. It is especially for all those who do not have a particular feast dedicated to their memory. Scripture tells us that we are “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1). These are the people who have kept the faith throughout the centuries and passed it on to us. It is appropriate to honor them with a special celebration. Our Holy Communion service will be at 12 noon that day and everyone is encouraged to attend.
Thursday, November 22, is Thanksgiving Day. While not a day of obligation, it is the closest thing we have to one in our secular calendar. I realize that in recent years there has been a lot of push back on this day for one reason or another (in my opinion, due mostly to political correctness). The reason for the day, however, is to give thanks. That may sound a little trite. But if that's the case we may not either be giving thanks enough or we don't understand the meaning of giving thanks. Our Eucharistic liturgy is, by its nature, directed to thanksgiving to Almighty God for his great goodness to us. Between now and Thanksgiving Day, we should spend some time meditating on who and what there is for which to be thankful. It would make our celebration of Thanksgiving Day a great deal more important and powerful for us. Our Thanksgiving Day Holy Communion service will be at 10 am.
During the month of November, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth holds its annual convention in order to deal with the business end of the diocesan entity. This year the convention will be held on Friday evening November 9 and Saturday, November 10 at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican Church in Arlington. There will be an opening Eucharistic celebration on Friday evening at 5:00 pm followed by a banquet for the delegates and others who wish to attend. Usually, the business meeting on Saturday morning lasts from about 8:00 am to noon. There may be some additional business this year having to deal with the election of the new Bishop Coadjutor. The nominating committee may have a report to make to the convention, but I don't know that yet. I will be representing the parish as a member of the clergy and Amy Crandell will be our lay delegate. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to guide the deliberations of the meeting.
The other matter of concern in the diocese is the bishop's health. Recently, Bishop Iker spent some time in the hospital due to complications from his chemotherapy. It is increasingly important to keep up the prayers for our bishop while he is undergoing his treatment. I am grateful to all of you who signed up to pray on Saturdays for his health. And, of course, to every one of you who is praying but didn't sign up.
Finally, Operation Christmas Child is in full swing. This is our outreach to children in other countries who are less fortunate. I know that there is additional information elsewhere in the newsletter, but I wanted to put in my own plug for your cooperation in this annual appeal.
Building Fund Update
As most are aware, St. Francis incurred a $605,000 mortgage to provide the funds needed to complete our current church building and grounds. This mortgage has a twenty five year term with monthly payments of around $3,600 per month. Thanks to some generous special donations and the faithful monthly contributions of your building fund pledges, our current mortgage balance now stands at $508,000, placing us around five years ahead of our scheduled repayments and saving us many thousands of dollars in future interest expense! Thank you for your continued faithful support towards retiring this mortgage obligation.
Oak Creek Site Plan Extension Approved
I am pleased to report that one of our interactions with The City of Austin has resulted in a complete success!
The back story: In 2013, St. Francis received approval of our original site plan for the current church building and grounds as well as a two-story parish hall and classroom addition to be constructed on the south wall of the existing building. This site plan approval was scheduled to expire in 2018. The expiration of the site plan could have resulted in the rollback of certain “grandfathered” development rights impacted by changing zoning and building code ordinances as well as the loss of the benefit of the engineering and other professional costs that went in to developing the original site plan.
The vestry approved seeking an extension of the site plan. This process required additional engineering work, city permit fees and forms, notification of our neighbors and the neighborhood association, review by city staff, and ultimately, public hearings before the Zoning and Planning Commission and an appeal process. We requested a ten year permit extension with the expectation that our extension request would be cut to five years.
Our application received no adverse comments from our neighbors, city staff was supportive of the request, and our extension was approved on the consent agenda of the Zoning and Planning Commission and no appeals were filed. Accordingly, and while I am hopeful that we will not need this many years for our construction to be completed, our existing site plan and related development rights are in full effect until 2028.
Anglicans for Life
Submitted by Steve McCown
"Don't talk about religion or politics.” And why shouldn't we? Because religion and politics generate arguments, and arguments aren't fun for anyone. Human beings in general do not handle conflict well—because, let's face it, we love to be right. Add to that our increasingly polarized society, where dissention on a particular point of view can end friendships, and we have a world that cannot discuss difficult issues. So can you have challenging conversations about something like abortion in this climate? Yes, and it's important that we as Christians do so. A 2015 Vox study found that 39% of people in America say that they are neither pro-life nor pro-choice. That's 39% who aren't sure if ending the life of an unborn child in the womb is right or wrong. And if we can't have reasonable discussions with uncertain people about something as important as that, we need to rethink how we communicate. Here are a couple of tips for starting meaningful discussions. Begin a dialog with a person. Listen to that person—really listen, not just prepare rebuttals in your head—explain why he or she thinks a certain way. Once you have listened and understood the defense, you can respond with truth. But it requires us to think beyond ourselves and perceive what is at the heart of another's view of the world. And we can only reach that heart by starting with civility and graciousness. We won't be able to convince everyone. But we are called to speak the truth—not just because we're life-affirming people but because that is what Scripture calls us to do. “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Eph 4:15)
Operation Christmas Child
Each year, the children in the Sunday School classes participate in the packing the Operation Christmas Child boxes. Members of the congregation are asked to donate the items to go in the boxes or to help defray the shipping costs. Items are being collected until 9:30 a.m. on November 19. There is a table in the narthex set up for the donations. Check out the gift suggestions. Contact Missy Bernard at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions
Daylight Saving Time Ends
Don't forget to set you clock back an hour when you go to bed on Saturday, November 3. Daylight Saving time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. We get back that hour we lost in March. Some day, we may stop this nonsense of changing the time twice a year.
The Diocesan Convention provides much more information about the happenings in the Diocese, so stay tuned.
Hosts are needed to provide something tasty to eat after the 11:00 service. It is not hard at all when you team up with someone. A group of three families with each bringing one food item is not hard for each family to do and provides plenty of food. Volunteers have signed up for some Sundays, but plenty are left for more to volunteer.
11/1 All Saints Day
11/4 23 after Trinity Proper 26
- Ecclesiasticus 44:1-10, 13-14
- Psalm 149
- Revelation 7:2-4, 9-17
- Matthew 5:1-12
11/11 24 after Trinity Proper 27
- Deuteronomy 6:1-9
- Psalm 119:1-16
- Hebrews 7:23-28
- Mark 12:28-34
11/18 25 after Trinity Proper 28
- 1 Kings 17:8-16
- Psalm 146:4-10
- Hebrews 9:24-28
- Mark 12:38-44
11/22 Thanksgiving Day
- Daniel 12:1-4a
- Psalm 16
- Hebrews 10:31-39
- Mark 13:14-25
11/25 Christ the King, Proper 29
- Deut. 8:1-3,6-10,17-20
- Psalm 65
- James 1:17-18, 21-27
- Matthew 6:25-33
- Daniel 7:9-14
- Psalm 93
- Revelation 1:1-8
- John 18:33-37
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 LectionaryPage.net.
- 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 posted on our webpage.
- 9:30 a.m. Said Holy Communion
- Sunday School for Youth
- 10:00 a.m. Choir Rehearsal
- 11:00 a.m. Holy Communion with music. On the first Sunday of each month, the service is Morning Prayer with Holy Communion
Nov. 1, All Saints' Day
- 7:00 p.m. Evening Prayer (not on Thanksgiving)
1st Friday, Nov. 2
- Noon Holy Communion with homily
1st Saturday, Nov. 3
- 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Games Night
Friday - Saturday, Nov. 9 - 10
- 9:00 a.m. Prayer Service for our Nation
2nd Sunday, Nov. 11
- Diocesan Convention at St. Peter and St. Paul in Arlington.
2nd Monday, Nov. 12
3rd Sunday, Nov. 18
- 3:30 -4:30 p.m. Retirement and Nursing Home Visit
3rd Monday, Nov. 19
- 12:30 p.m. Anglicans for Life Meeting
3rd Friday, Nov. 23
- 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Readers of First Things group meeting
Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day
- Noon Mothers' Prayer Group
- 10:00 a.m. Holy Communion
22 David & Adriane Kristo-Reinking
30 Glenn and Rebecca Hunt
3 Mark Rambin
8 Rory Motl
10 Jimmy Parker
11 Katya Kristo-Reinking
12 Michael Adams
14 Bev Scheer
15 Don St.Martin
17 Kerry Manning Adams
25 Steve McCown, Mary Boswell
27 Rebecca Hunt
Evening Prayer at St. Francis
Each Thursday at 7:00 p.m., Evening Prayer is held at St. Francis. This half hour service includes an opening and closing hymn, often with instrumental accompaniment with the Order for Evening Prayer in-between. The canticles are sung a cappella and lessons are from the prayer book for the appointed Sunday. Eight St. Francis members regularly attend, and all are welcome. This is yet another way to praise and worship our Lord. All are welcome to attend.
Mobile Loaves and Fishes
St. Francis is financially supporting Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Many may not know the history of this organization and what it does now for the homeless in Austin. This is the first of a couple of articles on what this ministry is and the volunteer opportunities the group provides.
Mobile Loaves & Fishes began when five parishioners of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin, Texas boldly answered God's call to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Alan Graham and his friends began delivering meals out of the back of a minivan to men and women they found living on the streets. Graham readily admits that the group's original approach for serving the homeless had some flaws, but with the help of a formerly homeless man they perfected the model that Mobile Loaves & Fishes successfully uses today.
Their first trip serving meals on the streets of Austin was in September of 1998. Within a few months Graham and his group purchased a pickup truck with a catering bed. Since that first truck run, Mobile Loaves & Fishes volunteers have served more than 5 million meals with a side of hope to homeless men and women living on the streets. Delivering more than a sandwich, Mobile Loaves & Fishes volunteers hit the streets 7 nights a week, 365 days a year to provide food, clothing, hygiene products and other life-sustaining items to our homeless neighbors who are struggling to survive.
With the support of more than 19,000 volunteers, Mobile Loaves & Fishes is the largest prepared feeding program to the homeless in Austin, Texas and has spawned similar food truck programs in other cities across the country.
Volunteers are the backbone of Mobile Loaves & Fishes' food truck ministry. Not only do they prepare and deliver meals to men and women who are living on the streets, they also provide our homeless friends with the dignity that comes with handshake, a hug or a friendly smile.
People of varied interests and abilities can volunteer, whether you want to be hands-on serving food during truck runs, prepare meals behind the scenes, or provide other needed assistance.
There are eight locations for the food trucks with specific opportunities varying from one location to another. This page describes the locations: https://mlf.org/program-locations/ with the contact details for Volunteer Coordinators at each food truck location. Please email or call the Volunteer Coordinator directly to arrange a time to serve.