Happy Easter! He is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Thanks be to God, Alleluia, Alleluia!
From the Rector
Fr, Len Giacolone
Thanks to everyone who participated in our Holy Week and Easter services and especially to those who were part of the planning and their execution. As always, so many people participate behind the scenes in order to prepare for and perform our liturgical celebrations. They do this out of dedication and love for the Lord and for our parish community and each and every one deserve our gratitude.
Confirmation classes will begin on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:00 pm and run through the end of May, in preparation for Bishop Iker’s visit on June 5. If you wish to be confirmed you must attend this class. Confirmation is the sacrament which bestows upon a member of the parish communicant status. Likewise the bishop will receive any who have been confirmed in another church by a bishop in apostolic succession. Even though June 5 is the first Sunday of June, we will not have Morning Prayer on that Sunday due to the Bishop’s visit. I believe we will have some sort of Pot Luck for Bishop Iker’s visit and therefore I think we should not have one the Sunday before which would be the fifth Sunday in May. I don’t know if St. Polycarp’s group is planning to have their annual Pentecost BBQ, but that would give us three Pot Lucks in four weeks or so and that would be a bit much.
Most of you have been informed about the progress on our building program. By the time you read this the construction of our new church building should have started and is due to be completed sometime in October of this year. Although we always need rain here in Austin during the summer months, we will also need good weather for the construction project. Please ask the Lord to provide for both in appropriate amounts. He will figure it out. As you know, we have had to take out a loan to complete this project. While we do not at the present time have an official building fund campaign, we do have a building fund and contributions to that fund will be graciously accepted at any time. Even after we have our new church, it will be a work in progress for a while with appointments that will need to be added. So don’t be hesitant about donating if God puts it on your heart to do so.
A couple of house cleaning details: The carpet has been cleaned for our Holy Week and Easter celebrations. I would appreciate it if we did not have to do it again before the Bishop comes in June. It is not inexpensive to do this. Therefore, if you see something on the floor, pick it up before it gets ground into the carpet. We don’t have much longer in this space. Remember, all of this is God’s house, not just the space where we worship.
Some time ago I mentioned to you that the policy of the diocese regarding intinction for communion is that the priest or minister dip the host into the chalice and place it on the tongue of the communicant if the communicant does not choose to drink from the chalice. When I said that I wouldn’t fight about it some of you apparently thought that it did not matter. It is my desire that we conform to the regulations of our diocese and therefore I’m going to ask you again to either drink from the chalice or allow me to dip the host into the chalice for you and place it on your tongue. Thanks for your cooperation.
Finally, for those of you who may not have gotten the message as yet, there will not be a 9:30 am service on Sunday, April 3 due to the Austin 10/20. There will not be any access to the building until later in the morning. We will have the 11:00 am service as usual.
My Prolife Journey
I have always known that abortion was wrong. How could the killing of an unborn baby be otherwise? Thus I remember well exactly where I was when the news of the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe vs. Wade came through on my car radio. It seemed to me unreal, how could these intelligent adults possibly come to such a decision? But, as the years passed, it became abundantly clear that it was indeed real and becoming acceptable to many.
What to do? At this time I was an active member of the Episcopal Church and I believed the church was the place to go. I learned that someone in Pennsylvania had started a pro-life group within the church, the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life, NOEL. That someone was Georgette Forney. I got in touch with her and made plans to start a chapter in Austin. I received permission to use our Parish Hall for a meeting and sent out letters to the rectors of all of the Episcopal churches in the Austin area, telling them of plans to organize this group and inviting all to join us. These were followed by fliers, etc. And the day of the meeting came. And no one came, not even our rector. No one even replied to my invitation. The message they sent was very clear.
At this same time I was also disturbed by some actions within the Episcopal Church and had become aware of a small church in Austin, Saint Francis, where they used the 1928 Prayer Book and were orthodox in their beliefs. I paid them a visit and it was soon clear that this was a place where I would be at home. I had a visit with the rector, Fr. Len, where he welcomed me and, after time to get settled, gave me permission to organize a pro-life group. So I got in touch with Georgette again and learned that NOEL was now Anglicans for Life and they would welcome us as a chapter.
St. Francis Anglican Church’s official chapter of Anglicans for Life had its first meeting in January of 2009. Twenty-five people came, a good number for our small congregation. The response and support were fantastic and have continued to be over the years. Although our regular attendance at meetings is smaller, the support has continued, as has the faithfulness of all. We have worked with college students, written letters to legislators, sent books to school boards, stood and prayed in front of abortion facilities, collected diapers and other baby needs for the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, contributed Christmas presents for their children, marched for life, taken classes, attended fund raisers, provided brochures, and other things over the years. There is much more to do. The recent affiliation of our parish with the Diocese of Fort Worth opens new windows of opportunity.
A quotation concerning abortion from our Archbishop, The Most Rev. Foley Beach, “This is the greatest moral issue of our time and we must not remain silent.” says so well what I believe to be true. Our chapter of AFL is now being led by Rory Motl. I am confident that we at St. Francis will support her, will not be silent and will strengthen our wills and voices to protect all of God’s children.
FYI - Our chapter of Anglicans for Life is now under new leadership. Rory Motl has graciously taken over and is the new Life Leader of our group. With your continued help, support and prayers this fight will be - is being - won.
Lenten Food Drive Results
The food drive held during Lent this year resulted in an additional 887 pounds of food on the shelves of the Storehouse Food Pantry, plus an additional $350 for them to purchase food. Thanks to all who participated!
Home Groups at St. Francis
Spiritual life includes a variety of activities: attending church, private prayers, study, acts of charity, fellowship, and the effort to live out our faith in daily life. It is sometimes hard for one to know how one is doing, how and whether progress is being made.
Several years ago some members of St. Francis attended a conference in San Antonio at which Richard Foster was the principal speaker; a couple of years later we went to a Renovare conference in Austin conducted by the Hill Country Institute for Contemporary Christian Studies. (Renovare was founded by Richard Foster to promote disciplines for spiritual growth for ordinary Christians.) Subsequently Father Len conducted a study at St. Francis of Foster’s book Celebrating the Disciplines.
One method Foster recommended was that people gather in groups of six to ten to meet regularly and encourage one another in spiritual formation and progress. Some of us wanted to try this, so we formed four or five groups, based simply on geographic proximity (which was about as random as you can get) and started with an outline for proceeding. We began by sharing our experiences of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives since the previous meeting, followed by a study of the Bible readings for the following Sunday, and prayers. Nearly ten years later two of these groups are still active.
The original plan was for the groups to meet weekly, but both the surviving groups meet every other week. One meets on the first and third Mondays of each month, and the other meets the second and fourth Fridays. Both groups meet at the leader’s house, but one of the original groups met at the church. One group tried meeting at different members’ houses each time with the “leader” being the person at whose house the meeting was held, but this became too complicated, and we settled on one member’s house. One group now meets at Doug Cooper’s house, and the other at Claire Ducker’s.
Each group is free to set its own agenda. Doug’s group is now reading through the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a’ Kempis and usually some other book, followed by one of the offices for family prayer from the Prayer Book. Claire’s group has stayed with the original outline.
Members of both believe that the groups have made an important contribution to their spiritual progress. The groups provide a structure for accountability, measurement of growth, fellowship, and an opportunity to talk about spiritual subjects in an informal, honest, and personal way that is not always available in social discourse, even with other Christians. The groups facilitate a regularity and continuity in spiritual self-awareness that has enabled the members to grow and flourish in their Christian lives.
If you are interested in forming such a group, Claire and Doug can give you some general information, and Father Len can advise you further.
St. Michael's Conference is a 7-day conference at Camp Crucis in Granbury (June 19-25) where an intentional community of prayer, support, and education helps to form young Christians to be witnesses to the world of the Saving Power of Jesus Christ. The intention is not to do a "new thing", but to faithfully hand on what has been given to us - the Anglican expression of the Catholic Faith. All youth between the ages of 12 and 19 are highly encouraged to attend. See www.stmichaelsw.org or contact Joseph Francis at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Receive the newsletter via e-mail with a printable version attached
- 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, via e-mail (best method) at email@example.com or by calling 512.452.7231.
St. Francis Anglican Church of Austin A parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
Diocese Office: 2900 Alemeda St.
Fort Worth, TX 76108 http://www.fwepiscopal.org/ Bishop
The Rt. Rev’d Jack L. Iker, D.D Rector
The Rev. Canon Len Giacolone Music Director and Organist
Paula Blaha Parish Administrator
Mark Rambin Vestry Members
Senior Warden, Grady Collins; Junior Warden, David Norris; Treasurer, Michael Ready; Secretary, Kevin Burnette; Brendle Glomb, John Hatley, Don St.Martin, Ed Sandlin
Church Group Leaders
Acolytes: Fr. Len Giacolone
Altar Guild: Becky Hunt
Anglicans for Life: Rory Motl
Austin City Prayer Walk: Amy & Jim Crandell
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, Kim & David Norris, Doug Cooper
Hospitality: Kim and David Norris
Intercessory Prayer Group: Fr. Len and Nancy Giacolone
Mothers' Prayer Group: Charlotte Ready
Newsletter & Pew Sheet: 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's Bible Study: Becky Hunt
Women of the Church: Leanne Read
5th Sunday Nursing Home Service: Amy & Jim Crandell