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’re Lutheran, so that means we believe in grace for everyone. The good news of Jesus Christ, who brings us the love and mercy of God as a gift, liberates us to love as we are loved, serve as we are served, and give as we have been given much.

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: September 19, 2017

September 24:

8:30 & 11:00 am – Word & Eucharist liturgy

9:45 am – Faith Formation for all ages

Preparing for Sunday worship…

Jonah 3:10-4:2

When God saw what [the people of Ninevah] did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing.

Matthew 20:1-16

[Jesus said to the disciples:] “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses

Let all the pious and all lovers of God rejoice in the splendor of this feast; let the wise servants blissfully enter into the joy of their Lord. Let those who have toiled since the first hour now receive their due reward. Let any who came after the third hour be grateful to join the feast. Those who may have come after the sixth, let them not be afraid of being too late, for the Lord is gracious, and he receives the last even as the first. He has pity on the last, and he serves the first; he rewards the one, and is generous to the other; he repays the deed, and praises the effort. Come you all: enter into the joy of your Lord. The calf is a fatted one: let no one go away hungry.

An Easter homily by John Chrysostom

[John Chrysostom, in A Triduum Sourcebook, ed. Gabe Huck and Mary Ann Simcoe (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1983), 11-12.]

Adult Faith Formation: Sundays at 9:45 am

With the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation almost here, it’s time to get back to some Lutheran basics.

Pastor Coffey and Vicar Travis lead the adult faith formation forum using “By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism” Sunday mornings through October 1 at 9:45 am in the parlor. Beginning October 8, we’ll take a look at “The Forgotten Luther: Reclaiming the Social-Economic Dimension of the Reformation”.

There’s An App for That Catechism

Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is now available as an app for Android and Apple. It’s a great resource for study, and it’s free for the basic edition. Find it on the app store of your choice.

Survey on Christmas Eve Service Times and Adult Formation

We have an important survey we need all First English participants to complete regarding worship times for Christmas Eve and adult formation plans. It will only take 1 or 2 minutes, and will be very helpful in our planning. Please fill it out. We will receive results through September 30. Here is the link:

www.surveymonkey.com/r/TT5FDK6

 

Companion Café: begins Wednesday, September 20

Companion Cafe is our ministry of cooking delicious, high quality, fresh dinners and sharing them in community with folks from the congregation, child development center, community, and all who are hungry. We serve beginning at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays, until 7:00 PM. Suggested donation of $5 per plate, $3 for children. To go orders are welcome. Our menu for September 20 will be: Sweet and Tangy Glazed Meatloaf, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Rosemary Green Beans, Baby Greens Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. We have a dedicated group of leaders, and more can participate. The positions for Companion Cafe include: Head chef: plans a menu, shops for ingredients, oversees cooking; Prep and cook: Helps the head chef cook the meal, from 3:30 to 6:00, helps serve if available; Setup and cleanup: Get things ready, serve, and cleanup after. If you’re interested in serving in this ministry, let Chef Coffey know.

 

Café Conversations: 6:30 to 7:30 on Occasional Wednesdays

As a new part of our Wednesday evening ministries this fall, we are beginning Cafe Conversations. We are inviting local leaders of non-profits and other community organizations to present on what they are doing, and then have time for questions and conversation.

Currently we have three speakers scheduled:

September 27: Bee Moorhead, Executive Director, Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy / Texas Impact;

October 4: Mike St. John, Operations Director, Interfaith Action of Central Texas;

October 25: Nelson Linder, President, Austin NAACP.

Come and enjoy a great Companion Cafe meal, and then stay for the presentation and conversation as we learn about many great organizations in our community and ways we can connect with and support them. Look for the rest of the fall lineup soon.

Living with Alzheimer’s Forum: Saturday, September 23

University United Methodist Church is excited to host the “Living with Alzheimer’s” forum with special speakers Geri and Jim Taylor. When the Taylors learned that Geri was in the early stage of Alzheimer’s, they determined to live fully and happily, deciding to share the diagnosis openly, risking isolation. This inspiring presentation tells of their participation as the subjects of a feature article, titled Fraying at the Edges, in the New York Times, Geri’s entry into an exciting and promising drug trial, and Jim’s being cast in a professional play ironically about Alzheimer’s. Geri’s career as a health professional provides unique insights into living fully with dignity and determination.
This presentation takes place Saturday, September 23 at 7:00 pm in the UUMC Sanctuary followed by a Q&A session and reception. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to attend this event at www.uumc.org. Donations are welcome and will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter. For additional information, contact Barbara Wiederaenders at bwiederaenders@att.net

Reformation Hymn Festival: Sunday, September 24

On Sunday, September 24 at 7:00 pm, St Paul Lutheran Church in Austin presents a hymn festival led by organist Benjamin Kolodziej of the Perkins Chapel at SMU in Dallas. The festival will center on hymns of the Reformation. St. Paul invites you to join them in this festival– to hear and to participate in singing the notable (and some new) hymns that identify worship in the Lutheran tradition. St. Paul is located at 3501 Red River Street, on the east side of Red River, slightly south of W. 38th Street.

Reforming Stewardship
Cottage Meetings for All

All First English participants and invited and encouraged to attend one of our four cottage meetings for conversation and a dessert potluck. Each meeting will include a chance to meet new people, discuss our stewardship theme, and explore what it means for each of us to know reformation in our minds, hearts, and money. Bring a dessert to share if you can, but if you can’t, there will be plenty.

Here is the schedule for the cottage meetings. Choose the meeting that best fits your schedule and location. It is helpful to the hosts if you contact them directly at least 3 days prior to the meeting to let them know you are coming.

Northwest Austin
Tuesday, October 3, 7:30 to 9:00 pm
Dana and Andy MacLaren’s home
6805 Manzanita St, 78759
512-258-4184, danamaclaren@cs.com

Central Austin
Thursday, October 5, 7:30 to 9:00 pm
LaRu and Fred Woody’s home
1801 Santa Clara St, 78757
512-350-1165, woody.ursamajor@gmail.com

Northeast Austin
Sunday, October 8, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Pat Thomas’ home

11110 Tom Adams Dr, Villa #9, 78753

512-441-1485, pthomas1@austin.rr.com

Southeast Austin
Saturday, October 14, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Katie and Travis Fitzgold’s home

5307 Viewpoint Dr, 78744
830-328-3068, vicar@felcaustin.org

Worship in the Park

St. Francis Blessing of Animals & Prayer for Creation Sunday, October 1 at 11:00 am

Everyone is invited to bring their leashed or caged pets for a blessing of the animals, a St. Francis Day tradition.

We will also pray for the healing of all creation.

This worship service will be outdoors in Hemphill Park, across from the church.  We welcome your iguanas, geckos, dogs, birds, fish, snakes, lizards, bugs, rats, cats, toy stuffed animals, or photos, all to be blessed.  Join together for a great festive, family and animal friendly experience! If weather prevents us from gathering outside, we will hold the animal blessing in the sanctuary. The 8:30 liturgy will be in the sanctuary and will not include the blessing of animals.

Save the Date: Reformation Sunday

October 29, 2017

one worship service

Schedule:

9:30 am   Reformation Hymn Sing – in the sanctuary

9:45 am   Festive Reformation Word and Eucharist Liturgy

11:00 am Reformation Stained Glass Window Dedication

11:15 am Reformation Celebration with Hospitality, Activities, and Quiz with Prizes

And Oktoberfest begins at 5:00 pm

Weekly Update: September 12, 2017

Two Sunday morning worship services September 17:

8:30 & 11:00 am – Word & Eucharist liturgy

9:45 am – Faith Formation for all ages

Preparing for Sunday worship…

Genesis 50:15-21
Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

Matthew 18:21-22

Peter came and said to [Jesus], “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
The evil of remembering past offenses is twofold: it is inexcusable before God, and it serves to recall past sins already forgiven and places them against us. Nothing whatsoever does God so hate, and turn away from, as cherishing remembrance of past offenses and fostering our anger against another. If we must remember offenses, let us remember only our own. If we remember our own sins, we shall never store up the sins of others. I shall make bold to say that this sin is more grievous than any other sin. Let us be zealous in nothing so much as in keeping ourselves free from anger and from not seeking to be reconciled with those who are opposed to us. Neither is this my word only, but the word of that God who shall come to judge us.
—John Chrysostom
[John Chrysostom, in The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, IV, 289.]

Installations

This Sunday, September 17 we will install Mary Lou Larson, Community Connector and Andy Petras, Godly Play Leader, in these ministry roles.  We welcome them and pray for one another in our life together in Christ.

FELC Choir rehearsals: Wednesday evenings

The FELC Choir is an integral part of community worship and witness. We are blessed with committed singers and we want more. Come add your voice to God’s song! We lead music on various Sundays at the 11:00 am Eucharist throughout the fall/winter/spring. Rehearsals on Wednesdays from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the sanctuary. For more information, contact Bryan Rust, director of music.

Adult Faith Formation: Sundays at 9:45 am

Get Your Reformation On

With the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation almost here, it’s time to get back to some Lutheran basics. ELCA presiding bishop Elizabeth Eaton is encouraging congregations and communities to study Luther’s Small Catechism this year. Remember that? If you went through Lutheran confirmation you had to study it and maybe even memorize it (the old days?).

For many of us, it hasn’t had much impact since. Now is your chance to study or re-study the Small Catechism. Pastor Coffey and Vicar Travis will lead the adult faith formation forum using “By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism” Sunday mornings through October 1 at 9:45 am in the parlor. Beginning October 8, we’ll take a look at “The Forgotten Luther: Reclaiming the Social-Economic Dimension of the Reformation”.

There’s An App for That Catechism

Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is now available as an app for Android and Apple. It’s a great resource for study, and it’s free for the basic edition. Find it on the app store of your choice.

Survey on Christmas Eve Service Times and Adult Formation

We have an important survey we need all First English participants to complete regarding worship times for Christmas Eve and adult formation plans. It will only take 1 or 2 minutes, and will be very helpful in our planning. Please fill it out. We will receive results through September 30. Here is the link:

www.surveymonkey.com/r/TT5FDK6

Companion Café: begins Wednesday, September 20

Companion Cafe is our ministry of cooking delicious, high quality, fresh dinners and sharing them in community with folks from the congregation, child development center, community, and all who are hungry. We serve beginning at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays, until 7:00 PM. Suggested donation of $5 per plate, $3 for children. To go orders are welcome. Our menu for September 20 will be: Sweet and Tangy Glazed Meatloaf, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Rosemary Green Beans, Baby Greens Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. We have a dedicated group of leaders, and more can participate. The positions for Companion Cafe include: Head chef: plans a menu, shops for ingredients, oversees cooking; Prep and cook: Helps the head chef cook the meal, from 3:30 to 6:00, helps serve if available; Setup and cleanup: Get things ready, serve, and cleanup after. If you’re interested in serving in this ministry, let Chef Coffey know.

 

Café Conversations: 6:30 to 7:30 on Occasional Wednesdays

As a new part of our Wednesday evening ministries this fall, we are beginning Cafe Conversations. We are inviting local leaders of non-profits and other community organizations to present on what they are doing, and then have time for questions and conversation.

 

Currently we have three speakers scheduled:

September 27: Bee Moorhead, Executive Director, Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy / Texas Impact;

October 4: Mike St. John, Operations Director, Interfaith Action of Central Texas;

October 25: Linder Nelson, President Austin NAACP.

Come and enjoy a great Companion Cafe meal, and then stay for the presentation and conversation as we learn about many great organizations in our community and ways we can connect with and support them. Look for the rest of the fall lineup soon.

Living with Alzheimer’s forum: Saturday, September 23

University United Methodist Church is excited to host the “Living with Alzheimer’s” forum with special speakers Geri and Jim Taylor. When the Taylors learned that Geri was in the early stage of Alzheimer’s, they determined to live fully and happily, deciding to share the diagnosis openly, risking isolation. This inspiring presentation tells of their participation as the subjects of a feature article, titled Fraying at the Edges, in the New York Times, Geri’s entry into an exciting and promising drug trial, and Jim’s being cast in a professional play ironically about Alzheimer’s. Geri’s career as a health professional provides unique insights into living fully with dignity and determination.
This presentation takes place Saturday September 23 at 7:00 pm in the UUMC Sanctuary followed by a Q&A session and reception. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to attend this event at www.uumc.org. Donations are welcome and will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association Capital of Texas Chapter. For additional information, contact Barbara Wiederaenders at bwiederaenders@att.net