Weekly Update: October 24, 2017

Reformation at FELC: Sunday, October 29

one worship service

9:30 am   Reformation Hymn Sing – in the sanctuary

9:45 am   Festive Reformation Word and Eucharist Liturgy

We welcome everyone, including students and families from Lutheran Campus Ministry at UT.

Pastor Coffey and Pastor Brad Fuerst will preside.

11:00 am Reformation/Luther Rose Stained Glass Window Dedication

11:15 am Reformation Celebration including:

Luther Rose coloring station for children and adults
Pub Quiz
Reformation Tic-Tac-Toe conversations
Reformation Door for Posting Your New 95 Theses
Bouncy Castle for Children

Preparing for Sunday worship…

Jeremiah 31:31-34

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

John 8:31-36

Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

Know God, Know Ourselves
This is a Sunday packed with beautiful images, deep-seeded ideas, and a rich history. For life-long Lutherans, these things can provoke a sense of pride in our denomination, but Reformation Sunday is not “Lutheran Pride Day.” Instead it is a day focused on knowing God truthfully and in the process understanding who we are as people of faith and children of God in light of God’s unbelievable grace.

Luther spent a great deal of time trying to know who God was and to find ways of expressing what he came to know and believe so that others would know God too. He used coarse language, drank beer, and wrote hymns using tunes people knew and recognized. When he wrote his catechism he used language his small son could understand. Luther even translated the Bible into the language people spoke. Truth about God and our faith, as complex as it is, should be something we can grasp and wrestle with.

Reformation Sunday is certainly a festival day where we celebrate and remember our history, and it is also be a day to reexamine our faith. Part of that is recognizing the truth about our inadequacies, our failings, and our sinfulness. The law is like a mirror in a room with intense fluorescent lights; it shows us who we are with every flaw and wrinkle. But God doesn’t look at us in that mirror. The truth about God brings us new knowledge about ourselves. God shines a new light on us, where grace abounds.

The message of Reformation Sunday is God loves. It is a love that frees us and redefines us as people of God and as the whole body of Christ. In God’s eyes, we, and all people, are beautiful.

Oktoberfest begins at 5:00 pm

food, fun, and fellowship for all ages in the FELC parking lot, weather permitting.

bouncy castle for children

sausage and schnitzel provided

bring a German side dish to share, if you are able.

BYOB

We celebrate our diversity and give thanks for the heritage of our founding families.

Guest Preacher on Reformation Sunday

Antonio Ramírez de León, Ph.D, D.Min; LPC-S will be our guest preacher on Sunday, October 29. Born and raised in México City, Antonio received his BA in Psychology from the University of California at Irvine; MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas, and Ph.D in Counseling Education and Supervision from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Ramirez also has a Masters Degree in Theology from the Graduate Theological Foundation and has a Doctorate in Ministry from the same institution. At the present he is finishing a MA in Spirituality from Oblate School of Theology.  He served as a full time lay missionary in North, Central, and South America for over 10 years. Dr. Ramírez has offered workshops, seminars, retreats, and clinical counseling for over 25 years. Presently, he teaches Theology and Spirituality at the University of the Incarnate Word and Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. His full time work is as the Director of Breathe-Respira Counseling Services which provides psychotherapy for couples, families, and teens. His most recent book is called “The Men: Reflections on Masculine Identity and Spirituality” from Ligouri Publications.

Reforming Stewardship

Stewardship is our spiritual discipline of using our whole lives to thank and serve God by loving God, our neighbors, and ourselves. Making stewardship commitments helps us be intentional. What new ways of using your time, your abilities, learning new skills, and sharing your wealth do you feel inspired to commit to for the coming year?

Forms are available at FELC to fill out and turn in.    

We also have stewardship forms available online:
Stewardship of Finances: http://www.felcaustin.org/forms/stewardship-of-finances-form
Stewardship of Time and Abilities: http://www.felcaustin.org/forms/stewardshipoftime

For planning purposes, it is helpful to receive the Stewardship of Finances form by December 1, and the Stewardship of Time and Abilities form by January 1.

May God continue to bless us as we live into God’s abundant life.

Companion Café: Wednesday, October 25

Companion Cafe is our ministry of cooking delicious, high quality, fresh dinners and sharing them in community with 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.

The menu for October 25: Smothered Baked Potato with Chicken, Green Beans, Spinach Salad with Berries and Poppy Seed Dressing

Café Conversations: Wednesdays, 6:30 to 7:30

As a new part of our Wednesday evening ministries this fall, 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.

October 25: Nelson Linder, Austin President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – www.naacpaustin.com

November 1: We welcome Jennifer Long, Director of Casa Marianella. Casa Marianella is a volunteer-driven emergency homeless shelter in east Austin, serving recently-arrived immigrants and asylum seekers from around the world – www.casamarianella.org

Come and enjoy a great Companion Café 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 one another.

 

Conspirare Concert

Symphonic Choir sings Connection:

Friday, October 27 at 8:00 pm

University Presbyterian Church
2203 San Antonio Street, Austin, 78705

Dynamic choral art is 80 voices and 8 instrumentalists joining forces for Symphonic Choir Sings Connection. What connects us? Song? Text? Country? Disaster? Love? Conspirare’s Symphonic Choir presents a concert examining our impulse for connection. Program includes regional premieres of david lang’s the national anthems and Mass Transmission by Mason Bates.  The Symphonic Choir will be joined by instrumental collaborators the Artisan Quartet, Austin Haller (organ), Faith DeBow (piano and electronica), Thomas Burritt (percussion) and Utah Hamrick (double bass).

For more information and tickets, see https://conspirare.org/event/symphonic-choir-sings-2017/

Here I Sing! The Reformation and the Church’s Music:

Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Shelton Chapel
100 East 27th Street, Austin, 78705

Cost: FREE but seating is limited.

RSVP here if you can come!  For more information, visit here.

 

A Word from Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy

From early faith leaders to modern-day congregations, people of faith have always been central to providing healing and wholeness in our communities. Your help is needed to ensure that your community receives access to healthcare in 2018. Unfortunately, we are already seeing an increase in the number of uninsured for the first time since the ACA was implemented.  In Texas, we are working to get roughly 1.2 million people covered. (That’s the number of Texans who got their insurance through the ACA in 2017.) You can help inform your local communities by: talking to people in your congregation to make sure they are taking advantage of any Affordable Care Act subsidies available to them.Reminding families that the Affordable Care Act exchanges at www.healthcare.gov are still available beginning November 1. Reminding families that the enrollment period is shorter this year, running from November 1 through December 15. Spreading the word: The Marketplace will be closed Sundays from midnight to noon. Letting families know financial and in-person help to enroll is available.

All Saints Sunday: November 5 at 8:30 & 11 am

Sunday, November 5, we will celebrate the Feast of All Saints (November 1), a time to remember and give thanks for saints near and far, famous and familiar only to us, those who died long ago, those we have lost recently. As part of the observance we will read the names of those from FELC who have died during the past year.  We invite you all to bring pictures and mementos to place on our sacred space of remembrance in the Chapel of the Saints, and to write the names of anyone who has died in the past year in the Book of the Dead. This liturgy can be a helpful part of grief.

Adult Formation in November

In our adult formation at 9:45 am on Sundays in November, we will take time to reflect on a number of issues happening in our nation and how people of faith and the church community could respond. All opinions will be welcomed, and we will practice attentive and respectful listening to each other, rather than a lot of crosstalk and reacting. Throughout this forum, we will explore how it is we are called to live out our faith in the political realm. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has adopted twelve social statements since its formation. The first one was adopted in 1991 and is called “Church in Society.” It provides a helpful framework for thinking about how the church engages in issues of public life and policy. We will use that as an introductory discussion topic. The social statement is available online here: http://elca.org/en/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Church-in-Society

Weekly Update: October 17, 2017

October 23: Commitment Sunday

8:30 & 11 am – Word & Eucharist liturgy

9:45 am – Faith Formation for all ages

Preparing for Sunday worship…

Psalm 96:1-13

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless the name of the Lord;
proclaim God’s salvation from day to day.
Declare God’s glory among the nations
and God’s wonders among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised,
more to be feared than all gods.
As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols;
but you, O Lord, have made the heavens.
Majesty and magnificence are in your presence;
power and splendor are in your sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord honor and power.
Ascribe to the Lord the honor due the holy name;
bring offerings and enter the courts of the Lord.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
tremble before the Lord, all the earth.
Matthew 22:15-22

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap [Jesus] in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.

Reforming Stewardship: Commitment Sunday, October 22

Stewardship is our spiritual discipline of using our whole lives to thank and serve God by loving God, our neighbors, and ourselves. Making stewardship commitments helps us be intentional. What new ways of using your time, your abilities, learning new skills, and sharing your wealth do you feel inspired to commit to for the coming year?

On Sunday mornings in October we have been hearing about our theme Reforming Stewardship: Our Minds, Our Hearts, and Money and participating in cottage meetings. We will celebrate God’s mission and ministry among us on Commitment Sunday, October 22.

We will have forms available before the Sunday liturgy to fill out and turn in.     We also have stewardship forms available online:
Stewardship of Finances: http://www.felcaustin.org/forms/stewardship-of-finances-form
Stewardship of Time and Abilities: http://www.felcaustin.org/forms/stewardshipoftime

If you aren’t ready to submit stewardship forms this Sunday, you can do so later. For planning purposes, it is helpful to receive the Stewardship of Finances form by December 1, and the Stewardship of Time and Abilities form by January 1.

May God continue to bless us as we live into God’s abundant life.

Adult Faith Formation: Sunday, October 22 at 9:45 am in the parlor

Reformation is much more than 95 theses or an historical movement in the

Western church. Reformation is about re-forming our way of being together

in community. Martin Luther’s insights about God’s love shook the world 500 years ago. How do his insights still shake our world today? Are we ready to be shaken?  Facilitated by Nancy Baden and Travis Fitzgold, we will explore the relationship between economic activity and trusting God’s grace.

Removal of Six Pews in the Nave

The congregation council approved the removal of six of the pews in the nave. The front two pews on each side have been removed in order to make more room for worship activities and performance space. The front modesty panels have been returned in front of the remaining pews.  The second to last pew on each side have been removed to make room for families with children who need more space to move around, for processions, and for persons in wheelchairs. All of the pew ends that have carvings have been preserved. They will be placed on the outside ends of other pews. The carvings are an important artistic and highly valued element of our original worship space from 1939. The pews that are being removed will become several benches, one of which is placed near the restrooms. We are grateful to Lee Johnson and Lee Baker for working on this project.

Companion Café: Wednesday, October 18

Companion Cafe is our ministry of cooking delicious, high quality, fresh dinners and sharing them in community with 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.

The menu for October 18: Chicken Marsala with Fettuccine, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Caesar Salad

 

Café Conversations: Wednesday, October 25 6:30 to 7:30

As a new part of our Wednesday evening ministries this fall, 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.

 

October 25: Nelson Linder, Austin President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – www.naacpaustin.com

 

Come and enjoy a great Companion Café 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 one another.

 

 

Reformation Musical: October 20 and 21 at 7:30pm and Oct. 22 at 3:00pm

Triumphant Love Lutheran Church in conjunction with 9 participating churches presents Reformation The Musical. Don’t miss this fully-staged theatrical musical that focuses on Martin Luther’s calling to reform the church of his time.

Friday, October 20, 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 21, 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 22, 3:00 pm
Pastor Norb Firnhaber will present “A Brief Historical/Theological Focus on the Reformation” at 6:45 pm before the Friday and Saturday performances.

 

Held at Triumphant Love Lutheran Church, 9508 Great Hills Trail, Austin, 78759.

Tickets may be purchased at the venue for every show, but if you are planning on attending it’s best if you purchase them online to guarantee you have them.

Tickets:

adults $10,

children 12 and under $5.

Groups of 10 or more people are priced at $8 each.

Bottled water will be sold that you may bring into the sanctuary.

To purchase tickets, contact www.tllc.org contact or Deb Sands at reformation.musical@gmail.com.

Music Improv Circle: Monday, October 23

Zen Learning Project is leading a music improv circle in partnership with the Spiritual Transformation Project, and you are all invited! Who are these projects and what are they about?

Zen Learning Project is an Austin-based organization that practices mindfulness through the arts, and is led by Travis Fitzgold. More information can be found here.

The Spiritual Transformation Project is a new social impact organization in Austin that exists to help individuals and communities cultivate spiritual growth, life-giving community, and social justice, through personal coaching, community events, collaborative workshops, and annual festivals.

The music improv circle will take place Monday, October 23, 7:00-9:00 pm at 1603 Taylor Gaines Street, Austin, 78741, and the Facebook event is here.

What is a “music improv circle”? A music improv circle is a community music event that is created on the spot. Similar to a flash mob and a drum circle, participants simply show up ready to create music together. There is no need for prior musical experience, and bringing instruments is optional. The improv circles is an opportunity to surrender to the creative process in the present moment. There will be a focus on breathing, simple movements, body percussion, and rhythmic and harmonic variation. Come enjoy!

 

Reformation at FELC: Sunday, October 29

one worship service

9:30 am   Reformation Hymn Sing – in the sanctuary

9:45 am   Festive Reformation Word and Eucharist Liturgy

11:00 am Reformation/Luther Rose Stained Glass Window Dedication

11:15 am Reformation Celebration with Hospitality and Activities

 

Oktoberfest begins at 5:00 pm

food, fun, and fellowship for all ages in the FELC parking lot, weather permitting.

bouncy castle for youth

sausage and schnitzel provided

bring a German side dish to share, if you are able.

BYOB

We celebrate our diversity and give thanks for the heritage of our founding families.

 

Guest Preacher on Reformation Sunday

Antonio Ramírez de León, Ph.D, D.Min; LPC-S will be our guest preacher on Sunday, October 29. Born and raised in México City, Antonio received his BA in Psychology from the University of California at Irvine; MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas, and Ph.D in Counseling Education and Supervision from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Ramirez also has a Masters Degree in Theology from the Graduate Theological Foundation and has a Doctorate in Ministry from the same institution. At the present he is finishing a MA in Spirituality from Oblate School of Theology.  He served as a full time lay missionary in North, Central, and South America for over 10 years. Dr. Ramírez has offered workshops, seminars, retreats, and clinical counseling for over 25 years. Presently, he teaches Theology and Spirituality at the University of the Incarnate Word and Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. His full time work is as the Director of Breathe-Respira Counseling Services which provides psychotherapy for couples, families, and teens. His most recent book is called “The Men: Reflections on Masculine Identity and Spirituality” from Ligouri Publications.

2017 Norwegian Christmas: register soon

Join us for a wonderful day in Clifton, Texas, the Norwegian Capital of Texas.  Each year on the first Saturday in December, Clifton celebrates Norwegian Country Christmas.  There are historic homes to visit including the Ringness Home, the museum, the Bosque Art Center, Norse Church, the Old Rock Church, many craft vendors, and a wonderful luncheon served at the City Civic Center.  On Saturday, December 2, we will travel by bus departing at approximately 8:00 am and return late that afternoon. Exact time and place to meet TBA.  A local tour guide will join us in Clifton.  Clifton is about 2 hours from Austin.  We are partnering with South Austin AARP and the cost will be $58 per person, which includes lunch.  Please register as soon possible (only 20 seats are available on the bus) by e-mailing or texting Pat Thomas at pthomas1@autin.rr.com or Teresa Ringness at ttbhip@gmail.com or 512-831-8806.

All Saints Sunday: November 5 at 8:30 & 11 am

Sunday, November 5, we will celebrate the Feast of All Saints (November 1), a time to remember and give thanks for saints near and far, famous and familiar only to us, those who died long ago, those we have lost recently. As part of the observance we will read the names of those from FELC who have died during the past year.  We invite you all to bring pictures and mementos to place on our sacred space of remembrance in the Chapel of the Saints, and to write the names of anyone who has died in the past year in the Book of the Dead. This liturgy can be a helpful part of grief.

Adult Formation in November

In our adult formation at 9:45 am on Sundays in November, we will take time to reflect on a number of issues happening in our nation and how people of faith and the church community could respond. All opinions will be welcomed, and we will practice attentive and respectful listening to each other, rather than a lot of crosstalk and reacting. Throughout this forum, we will explore how it is we are called to live out our faith in the political realm. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has adopted twelve social statements since its formation. The first one was adopted in 1991 and is called “Church in Society.” It provides a helpful framework for thinking about how the church engages in issues of public life and policy. We will use that as an introductory discussion topic. The social statement is available online here: http://elca.org/en/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Church-in-Society