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.

Weekly Update – June 23

COMMUNITY MEETING TONIGHT AT METROPOLITAN AME CHURCH

Pastor Coffey will be attending this community forum tonight,
and encourages others to join him.

A TIME FOR RACIAL HARMONY

African Methodist Episcopal Churches Of the Greater Austin Area Present…
an open-forum community meeting

7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23, 2015
at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church
1101 E 10th Street, Austin, TX 78702
Phone: 512-478-2857

To bring the city together to discuss:
•Ways to live, not in fear, but rather in faith during difficult times
•Ways we can foster safer communities & safer places of worship
•Ways we can improve race relations in our community

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RAMADAN DINNER
Wednesday, June 24 at 7:30 PM

A reminder to those who made a reservation: The Ramadan Dinner hosted by the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest is this Wednesday, June 24, beginning at 7:30 PM. A presentation and conversation will begin the event. Dinner will be served at sundown, around 8:40 PM. Please remember that our guests will be fasting since sunrise without food or water, so please plan to wait to eat or drink after you arrive until they break the fast at sundown.

Reservations for the event are now closed.

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SUNDAY WORSHIP JUNE 28

Join us for worship this Sunday as we gather again in the fellowship hall in a unique and more intimate form of worship. Our guest preacher and presider is FELC member Tim Lincoln. Pastor Coffey will be on vacation and will return next week.

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UPDATE ON SANCTUARY AIR CONDITIONING

The new unit is on order, but will take two weeks to arrive, followed by
about a week of work. We are anticipating a mid-July completion.

We received good news last week that we are covered by our insurance policy.
We have a $5,000 deductible, and are covered for up to $50,000 in repairs.

Weekly Update – June 17

GUEST PREACHER AND PRESIDER THIS SUNDAY

Our guest preacher this Sunday is former vicar Alex LaChapelle. Alex is now
associate pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois
(www.stlukespr.org).

Our guest presiding minister is Alex Raabe, who is being ordained this
Saturday at Gethesemane Lutheran Church (the ordination was moved from FELC
because of the A/C problems). Alex is pastor of the new mission start Table
of Mercy in Austin, which will be meeting at FELC on Sunday evenings every
other week. You can read more about this ministry at www.tableofmercyatx.org.

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CHILDREN AND FAMILY CORNER

Children’s Church is in need of volunteer leadership. Please take a look at your calendar and see it there’s a Sunday or two will work for you. You can sign-up by going here
http://www.felcaustin.org/ministries/children-youth scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Spark Rotation Volunteers. We need two volunteers each Sunday. Contact Jimmy Wright for more information: formation@felcaustin.org

New Picture

 

This coming Sunday we’ll learn about Jesus calming the sea. Mark 4: 35-41. Don’t forget to have your child bring a laptop or tablet. We’ll use Minecraft or Legos for our creative reflection time.

 

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SENIOR HIGH YOUTH HEADED TO DETROIT

We only have 28 days until we depart for the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit! This year’s cost is high because of the distance from Austin. All detroitmodes of transportation—car, bus, train and plane—were explored to help keep our cost as low as possible. Once you factor in all the extra costs of traveling by car (food, gas, and hotel) or even bus, the cheapest rate turned out to be by air.

On July 15th we’ll depart Austin on Southwest Airlines at 5:45 a.m. Switch planes in Atlanta and arrive in Detroit at noon. We have a free shuttle taking us to our hotel. We are blessed to be staying 1 mile from the Cobo Center in downtown. This allows us to walk to the convention center each day and not have the extra costs taking a bus or taxi.

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RAMADAN FAST-BREAKING DINNER
AT FIRST ENGLISH LUTHERAN CHURCH

Wednesday, June 24 at 7:30 PM

Dialogue Institute of the Southwest-Austin (DIS) has invited First English
Lutheran Church to share dinner in the fellowship hall, 7:30-9:30 pm,
Wednesday, June 24th. During Ramadan, Islam’s annual, month-long period of
fasting, prayer, self-discipline and selflessness, adult Muslims abstain
from eating and drinking (even water) from sunrise to sunset.

DIS expects that 20 of its members will attend the dinner and hopes that
many from FELC will join them to break their fast that day. Sharing a meal
will give all of us an opportunity to participate in conversations about
our beliefs, hopes and thoughts. A short program with a speaker from DIS
and Pastor Coffey will precede the meal. Children are invited and welcome.

Signing up ahead of time is required. The deadline is Sunday, June 21st,
but please let us know as soon as you know you will attend by calling or
emailing Pastor Coffey at 512-478-1933 or pastor@felcaustin.org.

Volunteers from FELC are needed to help that evening and to help with setup
and cleanup, and provide water, tea, and lemonade. Let Pastor Coffey know
if you can help.

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SANCTUARY AIR CONDITIONING

During the Memorial Day Weekend rainstorms, the church basement flooded
with three feet of water. You may not have known that we have a basement…
It is where the mechanical equipment for the sanctuary heating and air
conditioning is housed. The system for the library/choir room/restrooms is
there, too. Both units were damaged, and we discovered our sump pump
drainage system is not operating properly.

The biggest issue to address is the sanctuary air conditioning. We were
given two options by our A/C repairman. One was to replace the damaged
compressor with an identical unit. This would cost about $9,000, take 2 to
3 weeks, and our system would still be housed in the basement subject to
flooding again. The second option was to install a new system outside where
the current fan cooling unit is along 30th street outside the library
window. This would cost about $14,000, take 2 to 3 weeks, and our system
would not be in the basement (except for the blower unit) and not be at
risk for flooding. It would also likely be a more efficient system.

The church council voted to do the second option and install a new system
no longer housed in the basement. The work will be paid for out of cash
reserves, and reimbursed by making it part of our upcoming capital
improvements plan.

We anticipate the work will be done by the end of June or early July. We
will be worshiping in the fellowship hall until it is completed.

Weekly Update – June 3

2014-15 CLASS OF STEPHEN MINISTERS

To be Commissioned at June 7 Worship Service

stephen ministryA group of four FELC members, Ann Graham, Cindy Schlandt Gravell, Greg Meier, and Liz West have completed the 50-hour Stephen Ministry training course.

They have learned the core Stephen Ministry skills, in particular listening and keeping confidentiality, as well as the characteristics of and approaches for helping people facing some of the specific crises common in Stephen Ministry pairings. Having gone through the very intense training, which includes a lot of role play practice, they are especially well-prepared to help on a one-to-one basis those of us going through difficult periods in our lives like a death or serious illness of a loved one, our own hospitalization or serious illness, and divorce.

After their commissioning they will become an important part of our caring ministry at First English. They are committed to serving for two years, with the option of re-committing. During that time, they will continue to expand and increase their caregiving skills with continuing education and supervision. Please keep these newly trained Stephen Ministers as well as others of us on the Stephen Ministry team in your prayers.

Finally, please let the Pastor or me know when you are in need of the kind of ministry we are prepared to give. We try to be pro-active in asking potential helpees, but we can’t always know when there is a need.

For information about Stephen ministry contact:

Charlotte Gilman, Stephen Ministry Leader, (512) 321-5074

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BETHLEHEM OLIVE WOOD CARVINGS FOR SALE

Next Sunday we welcome Bethlehem Christian Families, as they bring hand-carved artworks from the Holy Land. Items will be for sale following worship in the fellowship hall.

The goals of Bethlehem Christian Families missions include:

* Improving the economic condition of the Christian communities in the
Holy Land, which has been acutely affected by a drastic drop in sales.
Sales have diminished as pilgrims and tourists avoid the instability in the middle east region and there is an absence of a strong export
market.Unemployment, skilled craftsmen are leaving their profession-
Encouraging families to remain in the Holy Land by alleviating their
economic plight through job development
* Revitalizing this traditional art industry, which is slowly disappearing
* Creating job opportunities for craftsmen and encouraging apprenticeship

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CHILDREN AND FAMILY CORNER

New PictureChildren’s Church begins this Sunday, June 7th and we’re in need of volunteers to lead this summer ministry. If you’d like help out, please contact Jimmy Wright: formation@felcaustin.org or (440) 985-8981

Bedtime Story Brigade is happening on June 10th 6-8 pm. All children and parents are welcome to attend this wonderful outreach ministry. We’ll read books, share cookies and milk, and play games with the children staying at the Salvation Army Shelter in downtown.

We have two options of getting there.

Option 1: Meet Jimmy Wright at the FELC parking lot. We need to depart promptly at 6 pm.

Option 2: Meet in the lobby of St. David’s Church at 6:15 pm and we’ll walk over to the shelter. St. David’s is at 301 E. 8th St. You can park for free in the church parking garage. The garage entrance is on Trinity St. just south of 8th.

Please RSVP for this by contacting Jimmy Wright: formation@felcaustin.org or (440) 985-8981

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YOUTH SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

JP NORTHCUTT-BENSON

JPNB JP is finishing up his freshman year at McCallum High School and is a very talented drummer. His humor, leadership, and positive outlook are vital to our youth group. When asked about his thoughts on attending the ELCA Youth Gathering this summer, JP concisely stated, “I feel like Detroit will be an interesting experience and I look forward to it.” It will indeed, JP!
Thanks for all you do.

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YOUTH FUNDRAISING UPDATE

We’ve done an amazing job of raising money for our youth to attend the ELCA Youth Gathering this summer in Detroit. And we still have a lot to do! Look for our updated fundraising board during the fellowship time following worship each Sunday.

Please consider sponsoring one of our youth. Sponsorships at the $100, $300 and $600 levels are most needed.

You can also still purchase shares of stock for $20 per share. We’ll have
an incredible shareholder dinner and presentation upon our return from Detroit.

Funds raised $3871.00

Funds still needed $2940.00

Contact Jimmy Wright with any questions you might have:
formation@felcaustin.org or (440) 985-8981.

All checks coming into the church need to be marked “youth fund” in the memo line.

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CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROPOSAL AND MEETINGS

The church council is working on a proposal for a capital improvements to our facility, including the sanctuary, bathrooms, fellowship hall, parking lot, and more. A proposal summary will be provided in the near future for your consideration.

The council has scheduled two meetings to present the proposal and have conversation. These meetings will be identical so you only need attend one. Your input into the capital improvements plans will be essential and an important part of putting together a final proposal.

The two meetings will be held in the parlor:

Sunday, June 14 at 11:00 am

Sunday, July 12 at 11:00 am

Following these meetings the council will finalize the proposal for vote at a congregational meeting. The congregational meeting is scheduled for Sunday, August 2 at 11:00 am in the fellowship hall. Voting on the proposed capital improvements and necessary expenditures will be the only item of business. Following approval, a capital campaign to raise funds will begin.

Weekly Update – May 27

worshipinparkWORSHIP IN THE PARK
Sunday, May 31 at 9:45 am

We’ll have a great time on Sunday, May 31 as we gather for worship in Hemphill Park, directly across the street from the main entrance to the sanctuary. We’ll set up chairs, but feel free to bring blankets or lawn chairs if you like. This is a great, unique event to invite friends and neighbors to. If you’d like to help setup that morning, we’ll begin at 8:30 am. Hospitality time will continue after worship in the park. Friendly and leashed pets are welcome.

If weather is bad or the park too wet, we will worship in the sanctuary,
and reschedule for the following Sunday, June 7.

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YOUTH SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Ally Schlandt

As our youth prepare for their pilgrimage to Detroit, they’ve been asked to
provide a short reflection on past ELCA Youth Gatherings or what they might
expect this year. This week’s article comes from the great Ms. Ally Schlandt.

“I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend two ELCA National
Youth Gatherings during my time in high school. I attended the New Orleans
gathering in 2013 and it really was a life changing experience. It was
amazing being surrounded by thousands of other young people who were
excited to do good for a struggling community, and celebrate their faith,
whether it was through community service projects, singing and dancing, and
massive high five trains along sidewalks. I am super excited to get to
Detroit in a few weeks to do it all over again! I can’t wait to tell you
all about it!”
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OUR YOUTH NEED YOUR SUPPORT

youth gathering

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so happy to report that since a call went to “sponsor a youth” we’ve had pledges of $1200! This provides the money needed to send two of our youth to Detroit. We now only need to raise $600 each for five students!

How can you help? Sponsorships in the amount of $100, $300, or $600 are most needed. I ask you to pray and consider making a pledge in one of these amounts. If that seems beyond your means, our youth will continue selling stock shares for $20 per share. Upon our return from Detroit, we’ll hold a VIP stockholder dinner and presentation!

Please contact Jimmy Wright if you’d like to sponsor a student or have any questions. Checks coming into the church need to be marked “youth fund” in the memo line.

Thanks and may God’s countless blessings be upon you.

Jimmy Wright, formation@felcaustin.org (440) 985-8981
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CHILDREN AND FAMILY CORNER

What an excellent celebration of Pentecost and first communion we had on Sunday. It was wonderful to see so many children and families together on this very special day. Let’s keep the momentum rolling into next week!

May 31st Trinity Sunday we’ll celebrate the beginning of summer by worshiping in the park across the street from FELC. Make sure the kiddos bring their swim suit and towel as we’ll have water some water games set-up after church.

Sunday’s focus is on the Holy Trinity. The idea of holiness is intimately tied up with what we celebrate on this day. Whenever our worship calls on us to contemplate the Trinity, the Three-in-Oneness of God, it asks us to use the language of holiness, blessedness, or glory: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.

 

How about Some Vacation Bible School?

New Picture

 

 

 

Come and join Mr. Jimmy as we experience God’s Love in Action. All children ages 3-5th grade are welcome. Extended afternoons (12-3 p.m.) and boxed lunches are also available for additional fees.

When? June 8-12

Where? St. David’s Church, 301 E. 8th St.

Hours? 9-noon

Registration? Ends on May 26th!!!

Call or email Jimmy Wright today. (440) 985-8981 formation@felcaustin.org

 

Looking out and beyond our walls: A Summer Pilot Program

One of the things I’d love to see our families involved in is a pilot program we are calling, Bedtime Story Brigade. A few of our older youth have participated in this and we are now ready to include all ages of children (parents are welcome, too).

What is Bedtime Story Brigade? It’s pretty simple and a lot of fun. We meet in the lobby of St. David’s Church at 6:15 p.m. We walk over to the Salvation Army Shelter and read stories to the children and families staying there.

Afterwards, we serve cookies and milk, have an art project or games, and leave the children with several books. It is during this time that the real ministry and God’s love can be found. As we interact with the children we get the opportunity to talk, serve, share life stories, play and laugh together. This brings a time of great joy into their lives.

The summer dates are listed below. If you would like to take part in this pilot program, please contact Jimmy Wright, formation@felcaustin.org or (440) 985-8981.

If needed, we can arrange to meet at FELC and I can take the kids with me. Parents have the option of attending or perhaps having a date night!

· June 10th
· July 8th
· August 12

We’ll evaluate this ministry as we head into the fall program schedule.
____________________

2014-15 CLASS OF STEPHEN MINISTERS
To be Commissioned at June 7 Service

A group of four FELC members, Ann Graham, Cindy Schlandt Gravell, Greg Meier, and Liz West have completed the 50-hour Stephen Ministry training course.

They have learned the core Stephen Ministry skills, in particular listening and keeping confidentiality, as well as the characteristics of and approaches for helping people facing some of the specific crises common in Stephen Ministry pairings. Having gone through the very intense training, which includes a lot of role play practice, they are especially
well-prepared to help on a one-to-one basis those of us going through difficult periods in our lives like a death or serious illness of a loved one, our own hospitalization or serious illness, and divorce.

After their commissioning they will become an important part of our caring ministry at First English. They are committed to serving for two years, with the option of re-committing. During that time, they will continue to expand and increase their caregiving skills with continuing education and supervision. Please keep these newly trained Stephen Ministers as well as others of us on the Stephen Ministry team in your prayers.

Finally, please let the Pastor or me know when you are in need of the kind of ministry we are prepared to give. We try to be pro-active in asking potential helpees, but we can’t always know when there is a need.

For information about Stephen ministry contact:

Charlotte Gilman, Stephen Ministry Leader, (512) 321-5074