First English Lutheran Church

3001 Whitis Avenue, Austin, TX, 78705

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Welcome

Welcome to First English Lutheran Church.  You’re invited to join a real community of faith and friendship that gathers for worship, relationship building, personal growth, and service to the community and the world.

We welcome people from all walks of life and in all places in the journey of faith and life.  Whether you’re a lifelong Lutheran, a former something else, or a seeker and questioner looking for more to life and a place to explore , we’re glad to have you.  Since 1989, FELC has openly welcomed persons of all sexual orientation to full participation in the church.

Sunday, August 21: Worship at 9:00 am

This Sunday our worship time changes to 9:00 am (not our normal Sunday worship time of 9:45 am). We welcome our guest preacher, Rev. Dr. Mark Washington, pastor of Vision of Hope African Methodist Episcopal Church in Austin.Mark-Washington

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Update – August 3

 

Summer Evening Prayer, this Wednesday, August 3 at 7 pm

New Picture (2)

Join us as we gather for evening prayer in the Chapel of the Saints. We’ll
use a Taize style service of singing, scripture, prayer, and silence. Each
service will include praying for the nations using the floor map and
candles, and praying for healing for ourselves using individual healing
prayer. Those who want to visit afterwards can walk to Trudy’s with Pastor Coffey.
Invite a friend for a beautiful and meaningful time of prayer.

 

________________________

Sunday Worship on August 7, 2016

ELW logoWe worship together at First English this Sunday, August 7 at 9:45 am.

Immediately following our 9:45 am service this Sunday, Pastor Coffey will
preach at the 11:00 worship service at Vision of Hope African Methodist
Episcopal Church. As part of our ongoing relationship of fellowship and
faith, members and friends of FELC are encouraged to attend. Vision of Hope
AME Church is located at 4711 Delores Ave, 78721.

Here are several biblical verses and other quotes for the coming Sunday at
First English as a way to begin hearing and pondering the texts.

Psalm 33:20-22

Our innermost being waits for you, O Lord,
our helper and our shield.
Surely, our heart rejoices in you,
for in your holy name we put our trust.
Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we place our hope in you.

Luke 12:32-34

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to
give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for
yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no
thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.

A Kingdom for the Little Flock

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to
give you the kingdom.” Jesus promises the kingdom to us, his little flock,
straining our minds with this uninhibited generosity. Even to us, so little
and undeserving? Even to us, in the face of so many things to be afraid of?
Suddenly everything we hold dear in this world is repriced, and the true
value of things becomes plainly clear. We are being given the kingdom! So
why not sell our possessions and give to those in need? We are being given
the kingdom! So why not wait on expectant tiptoes for the master? When he
comes he will wait on us! The Father’s free generosity calls forth in us a
generosity we have never before known. Fear is now met with anticipation,
and tightfistedness with open hands. We are being given the kingdom, so now
we know what true treasure looks like. And yet, like our fathers and
mothers in faith that the Hebrews reading speaks of, we too “desire a
better country, that is, a heavenly one.” But in Christ our heavenly
country has already arrived. In him, God has freely given us the kingdom.

___________________________

CHILDREN’s CHURCH for Sunday, August 7: The Plagues

On Sunday we’ll take a break from our mural project and revisit the story
of The Plagues (Exodus 7:14—12:32). We’ll sort through some of our photos
and begin recording the audio track for our Lego movie about the plagues.
Children’s Church begins in the parlor during the worship service after the
scripture readings. All children ages 2 and up are welcome to attend.
During most Sundays this summer, we’re creating artwork which will be added
to the mural in the fellowship hall. Children return to their families in
the sanctuary prior to the communion distribution.

_________________

Sunday, August 21 – FELC WORSHIP AT 9:00 am with guest preacher

VOH imageIn August, Pastor Coffey and Pastor Mark Washington will preach in each other’s churches, as part of our ongoing relationship of fellowship and faith. On August 21 Pastor Washington of VIsion of Hope AME will be the guest preacher at FELC.

Due to his need to be back at VOH by 11:00 am that day,

the FELC worship time will change to 9:00 am for Sunday, August 21 only.
This will allow Pastor Washington time to worship and share hospitality
afterwards. Join us as we welcome him and the Vision of Hope Praise Dancers
to our worship service.

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – August 8-13

The triennial churchwide assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America takes place in New Orleans. At this assembly, two participants from
First English will attend as voting members: Liam Coffey will be our
synod’s youth voting member, and Ele Clay will vote as our synod’s adult
female person of color. Pastor Coffey will be attending the Grace Gathering
(see more info at elca.org/gracegathering), a concurrent event for service
events and themed events in preparation for the 500th anniversary of the
Lutheran reformation in 2017. You’ll be able to follow the assembly on
social media and at elca.org.

Weekly Update – July 13

Thank You’s

Thank you to Heidi Goebel and our whole invitation team for hosting the new member and visitor lunch last Sunday.

Thank you to Charlie Boas for cutting up and hauling away the large tree limb that fell in the courtyard last week.

Thank you to Lee Johnson for repairing pews in the sanctuary.

Thank you to YOU for that thing you did that no one noticed yet!

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FELC 80th Anniversary Sunday
July 17

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The 80th anniversary of the formation of First English Lutheran Church is
July 19. We’ll celebrate on Sunday, July 17 during worship at 9:45 AM and a
potluck meal and time of remembrance afterward. Join us to celebrate our
congregation’s long and rich history, learn about parts of the story you
might not know, and be inspired for continuing to live out the mission of
our congregation for the years to come.

____________________

Preparing for Sunday Worship (Lectionary 16 C, July 17, 2016)

ELW logoAs a new part of our weekly email, Pastor Coffey will share several
biblical verses and other quotes for the coming Sunday as a way to begin
hearing and pondering the texts.

Colossians 1:15-18
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all
creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all
things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all
things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body,
the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he
might come to have first place in everything.

Luke 10:41-42a
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted
by many things; there is need of only one thing.

Quote
Both Luke and Colossians use the language of unity in relation to the life
of faith—“there is need of only one thing,” and “In [Christ] all things
hold together.” In the spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the
Jesuits, this unity finds expression in the First Principle and Foundation, which affirms that many diverse aspects of life are held together under the umbrella of God’s love and life for us. The text, as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J., culminates with this “one thing”: “Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to God’s deepening his life in me.”

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CHILDREN’s CHURCH SAYS GOODBYE TO MOSES

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We come to Mount Nebo above the Plains of Moab where we say goodbye to the
greatest prophet, the only person to see God face-to-face, Moses. The
Israelites continued to doubt Moses and God. Even Moses had doubt that
water could come from a dry desert cliff simply by speaking God’s word.

Did you know?
· Moses was 120 years old when he died.

· Moses wrote five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

· Joshua was chosen by Moses to be the Israelites new leader.

Our Nursery is in Need of a Crib and Mattress
Please consider making a contribution and contact Jimmy Wright.
formation@felcaustin.org or 512-478-1933 ext. 12.

____________________

FINANCIAL STATEMENT INFO

The church council wanted to update the congregation on our current
financial deficit. It is common for congregations to go into a period of
the year where our income is below expenses. However, as of the end of May,
we are further behind than we would like to be. Here is a brief summary of
income and expenses, budgeted and actual:

Budgeted      Actual
Income                134,305           122,535
Expenses             141,090           142,638
Difference            -6,785              -20,103

As you can see, our actual expenses are very close to budget, but our income is below budget. We had budgeted to have a deficit, but the actual deficit is much larger. This deficit begins to affect our cash reserves.

The church council is asking you to consider how you can help us reduce this financial deficit.

Here are ways to consider helping:
1. If you are a pledged giver, check to see if you are up to date on your giving. If not, can you make up the difference now?
2. Are you able to make an offering in advance of your anticipated giving for the coming months?
3. Are you able to make an offering in addition to your regular offering?
4. If you aren’t currently using Simply Giving, our electronic donations option, to set up regular, automatic giving, would you consider doing that to help stay regular in your giving? Or does your own bank have an option for you to do this through electronic checks?
5. Keep the ministry and members of FELC in your prayers, that we may be generous and faithful stewards of all that God has given us.

For the council and pastor’s part, we are closely monitoring expenses and
looking at ways to save in budgeted costs. We have asked our Financial
Secretary, Terry Porter, to increase statements of giving from 3 times a
year to 4. This should help all of us be more mindful of our giving.

Thank you for your support of the church in doing the ministry of the
Gospel. Without you and your support, we could not share the good news,
invite people to be part of a loving community of faith, and serve the
world in the name of Jesus.

____________________

Farewell Sunday for Ele Clay July 24

MOIEle Clay has been our administrative assistant since 2009, and a beloved member of FELC since 2012. Ele is now preparing to leave for her seminary internship in West Des Moines, Iowa, as part of her preparation for ordained ministry in the ELCA. Ele’s last Sunday with us will be July 24.
We will send her off with God’s blessings in worship that day, and during hospitality time have a reception in her honor. Please join us as we send Ele off with our love and support.

Message from Pastor Coffey

Dear FELC friends,
We have encouraged and supported Ele in her seminary studies. She has been a much loved and appreciated part of our community.

Ele is leaving us to do her internship in West Des Moines, Iowa. We want to send her off with God’s blessings, which we will do in worship on July 24. We also will have a chance during the hospitality time that Sunday to celebrate her time with us and say goodbye.

We want to send her off with a gift from the congregation to show our appreciation and to support her in her internship. If you would like to contribute toward a financial gift, please do so by Thursday, July 21. You can send a check marked “Ele Clay gift,” include it in the offering plate, or use our online electronic donation service at www.felcaustin.org/giving.

I hope to see you on July 24 as we send Ele off with God’s blessings and our love.

Peace.
Michael Coffey

____________________

LOOKING FOR GREAT READS!

The First English Book Club is asking for your suggestions for our
2016-2017 reading year!

Every summer, we ask anyone and everyone to submit suggestions so we can
choose our books for the coming year. We want good suggestions for our
reading! Interesting ideas, great writing, fiction or non-fiction, we love
to read good books and WE NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS, now through July 30.

Submit suggestions to Anne Wiebe at wiebeanne@hotmail.com with the title/author for your suggestion/s. You can also drop off suggestions at the FELC office. We especially request suggestions of shorter books, since we plan to alternate shorter “quick-read” books with average-length books again on this year’s list.

RULES FOR SUBMISSIONS: 
The book must be available through Austin Public Library (check at http://library.austintexas.gov/virtual).The book should be less than 450 pages, good “quick-read” books under 250 pages are especially requested.
Deadline is July 30.

Can’t think of a good short book? Here’s some possible online sources of quick-read lists: www.goodshortnovels.com/, www.goodreads.com/list/show/19081.Great_Short_Short_Books/, www.lazyreaders.com/. The book must be available through Austin Public Library (check at www.library.austintexas.gov).The book should be less than 450 page, good “quick-read” books under 250 pages are especially requested. Deadline is July 30.

The First English Book Club meets the second Sunday evening of each month,
at the homes of our members. We meet, share a potluck dinner, and discuss
the book for that month, as well as related subjects brought up by the
book. Everyone is invited! You can come to a meeting just once, or as often
as you wish. We love to discuss books and ideas, and the more who come, the
better the discussion! Questions? Anne Wiebe at 512-407-8427 or wiebeanne@hotmail.com.

Weekly Update – July 5

New Picture (2)Peace Be Yours: For the Healing of the Nations and Ourselves
Summer Evening Prayer, Wednesday, July 6
First Wednesdays at 7 pm

Join us as we gather on Wednesday, July 6 for evening prayer in the Chapel of the Saints. We’ll use a Taize style service of singing, scripture, prayer, and silence. Each service will include praying for the nations using the floor map and candles, and praying for healing for ourselves using individual healing prayer. Those who want to visit afterwards can walk to Trudy’s with Pastor Coffey. Invite a friend for a beautiful and meaningful time of prayer.

____________________

Preparing for Sunday Worship (Lectionary 15 C, July 10, 2016)

ELW logoAs a new part of our weekly email, Pastor Coffey will share several biblical verses and other quotes for the coming Sunday as a way to begin hearing and pondering the texts.

Colossians 1:5b-6
You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God.

Luke 10:25-29
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
Why didn’t Jesus tell the lawyer whom we are to love? Why concentrate instead on how we are to love? It seems to me that it would be so much easier if I only knew who it is I have been called to love. It would better if I could know the names of those for whom I bear such awesome responsibility, but I don’t. We don’t. We are called by Jesus to an expansive love, to a love without limit that is potentially there for all. No one is eliminated in advance. . . .We are to love not only the disenfranchised and alienated, the marginalized and oppressed, those needy strangers whom we read about on the front page or pass by in the subway station, but our friends, our relatives, and all those at the center of our political, social, and economic power structures. If we love like the Samaritan loved, we will be compassionate and generous to each person upon whom we stumble.
—Barbara Finan
[Barbara Finan, in Homilies for the Christian People, 499.]

____________________

healing prayerHEALING PRAYER THIS SUNDAY

On the second Sunday of every month, we offer healing prayer during the communion distribution in the Chapel of the Saints. Healing prayer with laying on of hands and anointing with oil is an ancient practice carried on in the church throughout its history. These signs, first given in baptism, tell us again that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked forever with the cross of Christ, who is health and salvation for the whole world. Those who sense the need for God’s healing in any aspect of their lives–body, mind, or soul–are invited to participate.

In its ministry of healing, the church does not replace the gifts of God that come through the scientific community, nor does it promise a cure. The church offers and celebrates gifts such as these: God’s presence with strength and comfort in time of suffering, God’s promise of wholeness and peace, and God’s love embodied in the community of faith.

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A CHILDREN’s CHURCH REPEAT: The Ten Commandments

ten x2

Following the timeline of our mural project, we’ve been learning the story
of Moses and the Israelites—the plagues, crossing the Red Sea, and manna
from heaven—lead us to Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments!

Did you know?

· The Qur’an includes two versions of the Ten Commandments in sura Al-An’am 6:151 and chapter 17 in Al-Isra.

· Some academic theologians suggest that the commandment translated as “you shall not steal” was originally intended against stealing people—against abductions and slavery.

· Idolatry is forbidden in all Abrahamic religions. In Judaism there is a prohibition against worshipping an idol or a representation of God, but there is no restriction on art or simple depictions.

____________________

FINANCIAL STATEMENT INFO

The church council wanted to update the congregation on our current
financial deficit. It is common for congregations to go into a period of
the year where our income is below expenses. However, as of the end of May,
we are further behind than we would like to be. Here is a brief summary of
income and expenses, budgeted and actual:

                           Budgeted        Actual
Income            134,305             122,535
Expenses        141,090              142,638
Difference         -6,785               -20,103

As you can see, our actual expenses are very close to budget, but our
income is below budget. We had budgeted to have a deficit, but the actual
deficit is much larger. This deficit begins to affect our cash reserves.

The church council is asking you to consider how you can help us reduce this financial deficit.

Here are ways to consider helping:
1. If you are a pledged giver, check to see if you are up to date on your giving. If not, can you make up the difference now?
2. Are you able to make an offering in advance of your anticipated giving for the coming months?
3. Are you able to make an offering in addition to your regular offering?
4. If you aren’t currently using Simply Giving, our electronic donations option, to set up regular, automatic giving, would you consider doing that
to help stay regular in your giving? Or does your own bank have an option for you to do this through electronic checks?
5. Keep the ministry and members of FELC in your prayers, that we may be generous and faithful stewards of all that God has given us.

For the council and pastor’s part, we are closely monitoring expenses and
looking at ways to save in budgeted costs. We have asked our Financial
Secretary, Terry Porter, to increase statements of giving from 3 times a
year to 4. This should help all of us be more mindful of our giving.

Thank you for your support of the church in doing the ministry of the
Gospel. Without you and your support, we could not share the good news,
invite people to be part of a loving community of faith, and serve the
world in the name of Jesus.

____________________

FELC 80th Anniversary Sunday
July 17

anniv

The 80th anniversary of the formation of First English Lutheran Church is
July 19. We’ll celebrate on Sunday, July 17 during worship at 9:45 AM and a
potluck meal and time of remembrance afterward. Join us to celebrate our
congregation’s long and rich history, learn about parts of the story you
might not know, and be inspired for continuing to live out the mission of
our congregation for the years to come.

____________________

FELC BOOK CLUB MEETS THIS SUNDAY
July 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Dear FELC Book Club members and friends,

Goodness, the month has slipped away and it’s already time for our next meeting!

Next Sunday, July 10, we will meet at 6:30 at the home of Kathleen and
Charlie Boas, (512) 459-5650, to discuss June’s book, The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. This book is of course available from
Austin Public Library; the library has many copies, of which 11 are on the
shelves right now. The library also has many audiobook and ebook versions
of this very popular book.

Please also send in your recommendations for next year’s list – remember, it can be any book that is:

1. 400 pages or less (half of our list will be quick reads of 225 pages or less, so we specially request those)
2. Available from Austin Public Library

Send as many book recommendations as you like!

See you next Sunday!

Happy reading,
Anne

____________________

EXCHANGE STUDENT HOST FAMILIES NEEDED

We received the following information from Kirsten Mathisen, local
coordinator for “Education, Travel, and Culture” about a need for two
Lutheran exchange students coming to Austin:
I am a local coordinator for Education, Travel, and Culture, non-profit
high school exchange program. We are looking for host families for two
Lutheran students from Germany and your help in spreading the word is
greatly appreciated! We are working to find families for students from all
over the world, from all different backgrounds and religions, but I would
like to share a little about Amelie and Ludwig.

AMELIE
Start date: August – 2016
Year of Birth: 2001
Home country: Germany
Gender: Female
Program duration: Fall Semester
Religion: Lutheran
Interests/Activities: Amelie has one younger brother, and some of her
hobbies include crafts, skiing, sailing, drawing, and long boarding. Her
favorite subjects in school are art, chemistry, English, and Math, and in
the future she would like to be an industrial designer or psychologist.
Amelie describes her as open-minded, creative, and full of life. While in
the U.S. Amelie hopes to get to know a different school system and meet new
people.

LUDWIG
Start date: August – 2016
Year of Birth: 1999
Home country: Germany
Gender: Male
Program duration: Academic Year
Religion: Lutheran
Interests/Activities: Ludwig has two younger brothers, and his favorite
subjects in school are Mathematics, Music, and Physics. Some of his
interests include playing the trumpet, sports of many kinds, jogging, and
other outdoor activities. Ludwig describes himself as open to new things,
easy-going, and with a good sense of humor. While in the US Ludwig would
like to become more self-confident, to make new friends, and to see how
American schools are.

Open your heart and home to a high school exchange student this year!
Education, Travel, and Culture, a non-profit organization is looking for
host families for Ludwig and Amelie, two Lutheran high school students from
Germany. For more information, please contact Kirsten Mathisen, Local
Coordinator. Cell: (214) 538-8462. Email: kirstenmathisen14@gmail.com

Exchange students enrich the lives of their host families, peers, teachers,
and the entire community! I had a German exchange student stay with my
family in high school, and then made my own plans to visit her and her
family when I was in college. I can truly say that hosting is an amazing
experience and an unforgettable time for the whole family. Most people walk
away with a new member of the family, new traditions and menu ideas, great
memories and a vacation invitation from abroad! Our students bring their
own spending money and insurance and totally integrate within the family;
they are not a guest! You can expect them to do chores like American
teenagers and they participate in all of your usual family activities.

Host family responsibilities:
* Ensure a safe and nurturing home environment for the student
* Provide students with a room (can be shared with a host sibling), his/her
own bed, adequate storage, 3 meals per day, and transportation for
extracurricular activities
* Give love and support to the student
* Explore cultural differences and similarities
* You do NOT have to have high school kids of your own- all types of
families are accepted!!

Our students:
* Bring own spending money & insurance
* Have good English skills
* Are highly screened for suitability for the program
* Are excited to meet their American family!

Our Local Coordinators:
* Have received extensive training
* Meet with the students every month
* Often have international or hosting experience
* Provide ongoing support to the host family