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

Weekly Update: October 3, 2017

Preparing for Sunday worship…

Isaiah 5:7

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed;
righteousness,
but heard a cry!

Matthew 21:42

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?

Jesus, Cornerstone of Our Faith

God has showered humanity with gifts and blessings, but humanity continues to misuse those gifts. We have been entrusted with a creation to care for, and in our shortsightedness we abuse and pollute the earth, even bringing about the extinction of entire species. We abuse the gift of our bodies. We have been given the ability to create so many wonderful things, and even this gift we abuse as we gather and keep as much as we can for ourselves. This is nothing new. Even in the days of Isaiah it was clear the people turned away from God’s gifts. God expected righteousness and justice. Instead the people responded with bloodshed and suffering, turning away from God.

Even if you can think of all the ways you have not turned from God and all the ways you have been faithful, it does no good. As Paul reminds us in the reading from Philippians, “Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ” (Phil. 3:7). Even all of Paul’s good and faithful acts add up to nothing. For Paul, and for us, all that matters is Jesus. As Christ himself reminds us, he is our rock, our cornerstone. Jesus is the foundation for our faith and the foundation for our lives. Even as we turn from Jesus, even as we reject Jesus, he returns to us with love and forgiveness. This is the grace of God, the love of God coming into our world and into our lives. To our joy we discover the open arms of Jesus on the cross, bringing life into this world even where there is death; bringing hope where there is despair; and bringing resurrection to all creation.

Healing Prayer

Healing prayer with laying on of hands and anointing with oil, is offered to all ages during communion distribution at both services this Sunday. This ancient ritual of the church is a deeply personal encounter with our need for healing in body, mind, and spirit, and our turning to God for all healing, grace, and mercy.

Adult Faith Formation: Sundays, October 8, 15, 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.

Survey Results on Christmas Eve Worship Times and Adult Formation

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey on Christmas Eve worship times and adult faith formation. The detailed information on the survey results are here.

Christmas Eve

From the survey, it is clear that an earlier time for our child-friendly worship service is preferred. We will move this to 4:00 PM this year. There is also a clear preference for an earlier time for the later evening Christmas Eve candlelight worship service. We will move this to 10:00 PM this year.  Both Christmas Eve worship services will celebrate the eucharist. This year, Christmas Eve is a Sunday.  We’ll worship together on the last Sunday in Advent at one word and eucharist liturgy that morning at 9:45 am, then gather for the celebration of the nativity at 4:00 pm (child-friendly) and 10:00 pm (candlelight). We will not have a worship service on Christmas Day.

Adult Formation

The adult faith formation results show a strong interest in topics related to politics and faith, and social justice issues. Other strong interest was shown for faith and film, and spirituality. Meeting times for adult faith formation show a clear preference for Sunday morning, with some interest in Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoon. We’re planning adult formation opportunities for November and beyond now. Look for more information soon.

Companion Café: Wednesday evenings

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 4: Pork tenderloin with pear chutney, sautéed spinach with bacon, roasted red potatoes, wedge salad with blue cheese dressing.

Café Conversations: 6:30 to 7:30 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.

October 4: Mike St. John, Operations Director, Interfaith Action of Central Texas – www.interfaithtexas.org

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.

Reforming Stewardship
Cottage Meetings begin this week

All First English participants are 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.

Choose the meeting that best fits your schedule and location. It is helpful to the hosts if you contact them 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
Katy and Travis Fitzgold’s home

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

Book Club: Sunday, October 8

The next FELC Book Club meeting is Sunday, October 8, 6:30-8:30 pm. Our book is The Zookeeper’s Wife, by Diane Ackerman. For meeting location or more information, contact Anne Wiebe at wiebeanne@hotmail.com.

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

Triumphant Love Lutheran Church in conjunction with 7 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.

 

Tickets may be purschased 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 500 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 Stained Glass Window Dedication

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

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.

recipes: http://germanfood.about.com/od/vegetables

BYOB

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

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.

787 Collective: connection among young adults

 

 

 

 

FELC is participating in the 787 Collective — a Lilly Endowment grant funded program led by Austin Presbyterian Seminary. The Collective is a group of congregations in Austin seeking to do innovative relational ministry with 20-somethings.

Our discernment team met last week, and we are hosting a “Happy Hour Focus Group.” We will be gathering at the end of October with young adults who are not connected with a church community, and listening to their thoughts, concerns, hopes, and struggles as young adults. It is the first step in a several year process. Look for more updates in the coming months.