Weekly Update: August 8, 2017

one Word & Eucharist liturgy

Summer Sundays at 9:45 am

Green Season

Sometimes it is called “Time after Pentecost” or “Ordinary Time” because of the numbering (ordinals) of the Sundays. The primary color of the season is green, highlighting themes of growth in faith and discipleship, so the name “Green Season” is appropriate. It includes the distinct seasons of summer and fall, which have different themes emphasized. The image of a green, growing plant in the warmth of the sun helps us to envision how God is working among us.

Scripture Readings for Sunday, August 13

Romans 10:12-13

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Matthew 14:22-27

[Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee], while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
O Jesus, gentle love, you who are the true and complete peace in every discord, bring peace and concord to every conflict. Let my enemies come, who in the world are so numerous; but if I feel myself to be with you, I overthrow them all, and the world itself I overthrow. I am like a fish that rests in the sea; when the waves sweep over it and the great tempests assail it, the fish enjoys swimming, because it cannot be captured, and it leaps more nimbly. Thus do I in this world that is a troubled sea: the great currents arise, and I sail below them, and I take shelter in your bosom, and let them pass by. Feeling myself with you I have no fear of the currents. But if I do not possess you, I am like the whale that when the tide goes out sits on the sand and is condemned to death, because without the tide it no longer has the chance to escape.
—Umilta of Faenza
[Umilta of Faenza, tr. Richard J. Piolo, in Medieval Women’s Visionary Literature, ed. Elizabeth Alvilda Petroff (NY: Oxford, 1986), 251.]a, The Prayers of Catherine of Siena, ed. Suzanne Noffke OP (NY: Paulist, 1983), 101-102.]

Healing Prayer

On the second Sunday of each month we offer Healing Prayer, an ancient and powerful ritual of the church.  It 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. People of all ages who desire healing prayer with laying on of hands and anointing with oil are invited to come to the Chapel of the Saints during the communion distribution. You may wait in one of the chairs until the healing prayer kneeling station is free.

2017 Summer Children’s Gathering: Growing in worship and community

Liturgy means “the work of the people” and the presence of children in leadership and service is an important part of Christian faith formation. Children gather with the worshiping community at 9:45 am. Then following the bible readings in the liturgy, children 4 years through 5th grade are invited to gather with Anne Wiebe and other leaders in the fellowship hall.  Children engage in hands-on learning about one aspect of liturgy. They will return to the worshiping community at the sharing of the peace for communion and blessing. This Sunday will be the last Children’s Gathering this summer. 

Faith, Sexism, and Justice: Summer Conversations

Last Wednesday

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is preparing a Social Statement on Sexism and Gender Based Violence beginning this fall. Since our community has been studying the sin of sexism and searching for God’s grace in response, FELC has been exploring a study guide this summer to continue to reflect, learn, and grow.

The last summer conversation in this series will be this Wednesday evening, August 9, 6:00-8:00 at FELC, pot-luck style dinner. Bring yourself, and bring a friend!

Bathroom and Hallway Construction

As part of our capital campaign, construction of the bathrooms and hallway area between the sanctuary and fellowship hall continues. Flooring installation for the hallway and restrooms is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, August 8 & 9. If you’re in the building these days, the utility bathroom in the CDC wing is usable.

Planning Meeting for Children, Youth, and Family Ministries:

Sunday, August 13, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm in the parlor

All parents and other adults wanting to help make our ministries for children, youth, and families excellent in the coming year are invited and encouraged to attend a planning meeting. We will join in conversation, share information about the direction we are going for 2017–2018, and plan together how to do some great special events during the year. Children will have a supervised activity in the fellowship hall during the meeting. Everyone’s input and participation is important.

 

2017 Summer Musical: this Sunday

A TECHNICOLOR PROMISE  (Noah’s ark story) by Allen Pote and Carole McCann

A full children’s musical production with sets, costumes, leads and chorus

Performance Sunday, August 13

9:00 and 11:00 am

Triumphant Love Lutheran Church

9508 Great Hills Trail, Austin, 78759

Back to School Blessing: Sunday, August 20

Sunday, August 20 at the 9:45 am liturgy, students of all ages and education professionals of all types are invited to participate in the Back to School blessing and bring backpacks and or some sign of their work.

A Word from the Congregation Council

 

Dear First English Community,

The Congregation Council wishes to keep the FELC Community regularly informed of our church finances to facilitate continued stewardship awareness and generosity.

The second quarter financial report indicates the following:

·         Expenses were over budget for this quarter by just under $2000; however, expenses for the full year are under budget by about $3000.

·         As of June 30, we are about $6000 under budgeted giving. This giving trend is not uncommon for FELC in the summer months, but we should strive to close this gap.

·         If you have not adjusted your giving to reflect a revised pledge, please take a moment to do so: www.felcaustin.org/giving

We are also continuing with important projects funded by the 2015-2016 Capital Campaign:

·         The parlor renovation was completed.

·         Pipe Organ repair is proceeding.

·         Renovation of the foyer and restrooms between the sanctuary and fellowship hall will be completed soon.

Our next stewardship emphasis to further inform the direction FELC takes in 2018 and beyond will happen in the next few months. Catching up to budgeted giving as soon as possible will help inform this direction and minimize those difficult year-end deficits.

Thank you for your continued stewardship of God’s gifts. The people of First English are a generous faith community, sharing financial resources, time, talents, energy, wisdom, strength, curiosity, and prayer. We are indeed blessed by a spirit of abundance.

Sincerely,

FELC Congregation Council

Weekly Update: August 1, 2017

one Word & Eucharist liturgy

Summer Sundays at 9:45 am

Green Season

Sometimes it is called “Time after Pentecost” or “Ordinary Time” because of the numbering (ordinals) of the Sundays. The primary color of the season is green, highlighting themes of growth in faith and discipleship, so the name “Green Season” is appropriate. It includes the distinct seasons of summer and fall, which have different themes emphasized. The image of a green, growing plant in the warmth of the sun helps us to envision how God is working among us.

Scripture Readings for Sunday, August 6

Isaiah 55:1-3

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.

Matthew 14:15-21

When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
Eternal Goodness, I shall contemplate myself in you.
By this light I shall come to know that you, eternal Trinity,
are table and food and waiter for us.
You, eternal Father, are the table that offers us as food,
the Lamb, your only-begotten Son.
He is the most exquisite of foods for us,
both in his teaching, which nourishes us in your will,
and in the sacrament that we receive in Holy Communion,
which feeds and strengthens us while we are pilgrim travelers in this life.
And the Holy Spirit is indeed a waiter for us,
who serves us this teaching by enlightening our mind’s eye with it
and inspiring us to follow it,
and who serves us charity for our neighbors
and the salvation of the whole world for the Father’s honor.
—Catherine of Siena
[Catherine of Siena, The Prayers of Catherine of Siena, ed. Suzanne Noffke OP (NY: Paulist, 1983), 101-102.]

2017 Summer Children’s Gathering: Growing in worship and community

People of all ages are vital in the life of Christian community, and that includes children. Liturgy means “the work of the people” and the presence of children in leadership and service is an important part of Christian faith formation.  On Sunday mornings, children gather with the worshiping community at 9:45 am. Then following the bible readings in the liturgy, children 4 years through 5th grade are invited to gather with Anne Wiebe and other leaders in the fellowship hall.  During this time, children will engage in hands-on learning about one aspect of liturgy. They will return to the worshiping community at the sharing of the peace for communion and blessing. Children’s Gatherings continue on Sunday mornings through August 13. (a snack will not be provided during this time.)

8/6 Meal: Holy Communion

We’ll study the Last Supper

Faith, Sexism, and Justice: Summer Conversations on Wednesday Nights

Continues this week

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is preparing a Social Statement on Sexism and Gender Based Violence starting Fall, 2017. Since our community has been studying the sin of sexism and searching for God’s grace in response, FELC is exploring a study guide this summer to continue to reflect, learn, and grow.

These study sessions will happen on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, 6:00-8:00 PM at FELC, pot-luck style dinner in the parlor.

Remaining dates are: 8/2, 8/9

The study sessions are lead by an excellent crew of church leaders, including Leigh Northcutt-Benson, Mary Lou Larson, Nancy Baden, Renee Carlson, Anne Wiebe, Taylor Dieringer, and Travis Fitzgold. FELC is delighted to be nurturing community through in-depth study of social issues. Bring yourself, and bring a friend!

Bathroom and Hallway Construction

As part of our capital campaign, construction of the bathrooms and hallway area between the sanctuary and fellowship hall continues.  Asbestos abetment for the hallway tiles is scheduled for Thursday, August 3. Flooring installation for hallway and restrooms is scheduled to begin Tuesday, August 8. If you’re in the building during the week, the utility bathroom in the CDC wing is usable.

FELC Website and YouTube channel: connect online

 

We have updated the FELC website to better and more regularly connect with everyone, near and far.  Check it out at www.felcaustin.org

Check out our YouTube channel where you can find audio of Sunday worship services at www.youtube.com/channel/UCj9B6jWh3PqO7ojn9-tHHRQ

Connect with FELC, in person AND online.

Planning Meeting for Children, Youth, and Family Ministries:

Sunday, August 13, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm in the parlor

All parents and other adults wanting to help make our ministries for children, youth, and families excellent in the coming year are invited and encouraged to attend a planning meeting. We will join in conversation, share information about the direction we are going for 2017–2018, and plan together how to do some great special events during the year. Children will have a supervised activity in the fellowship hall during the meeting. Everyone’s input and participation is important.

 

Back to School Blessing: Sunday, August 20

Sunday, August 20 at the 9:45 am liturgy, students of all ages and education professionals of all types are invited to participate in the Back to School blessing and bring backpacks and or some sign of their work.