Weekly Update: July 3, 2017

one Word & Eucharist liturgy

Summer Sundays at 9:45 am

Green Season

We’ve begun the long time after Pentecost Day, the last day of the Easter season celebrating Christ’s resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. 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.

Preparing for this Sunday, July 9

Zechariah 9:9-10

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war-horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Matthew 11:28-30

[Jesus said:] “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses
Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you, where there is wondrous gifts, and joy without compare, rest unchanging, happiness without end, unceasing melody, perpetual glory, unwearied giving of thanks, loving absorption in divine things, infinite riches, a kingdom without end, through all ages and ages, deeps of compassion, an ocean of mercy and kindness—which the human tongue cannot describe but makes known only through figures. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, and you shall find rest for your souls, where the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge shall be revealed. Come to me, all you that hunger and thirst after justice, and I will fill you with all that you desire. Come to me, for whoever comes to me I shall not cast forth.
—Ephraem
[Ephraem, in The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, III, 310-311.]

Healing Prayer this Sunday

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. Children and adults 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.

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.  Children are the present and the future disciples of Jesus, growing together, and sharing God’s love.  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 will 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 some 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.

(a snack will not be provided during this time.)

June 11 – Gathering: Song – Writing a Hymn

June 18 – Word: Bible Stories for the day

July 9 – Word: Apostles’ Creed

we will decorate an Apostles’ Creed wall hanging while discussing the meaning of each article of the creed

July 16 –  Word: Praying

we will learn about and experience different ways to pray, and discuss prayer

July 23 – Word: The Lord’s Prayer

we will do activities to understand each part of the Lord’s Prayer

July 30 – Meal: Sharing the Peace and Baking Bread

we will bake the bread for the next week’s Eucharist, and learn about the significance of sharing the peace

August 6 – Meal: Last Supper/Holy Communion

we will study the Last Supper and re-enact it

August 13 – Sending: Review and Blessing

we will review the summer’s learning and have a celebration liturgy and blessing

August 20 – Back to School Blessing

Students of all ages and education professionals of all types are invited to participate in the Back to School blessing during the liturgy.  Students and educators are invited to bring some sign of school or work

Church and CDC Closed

The church office and child development center are closed on Tuesday, July 4 for the Independence Day holiday.

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

Takes a break 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 7 different Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, 6:00-8:00 PM at FELC, pot-luck style dinner.

Remaining dates are: 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9

The study sessions will be led 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. Studying a particular issue in-depth allows the community to sink deeply into the stuff of faith and invite God’s transforming love. FELC is delighted to be nurturing community through in-depth study of social issues.

Bring yourself, and bring a friend! Come participate in the transforming work of the Spirit through community.  Contact: Travis Fitzgold at vicar@felcaustin.org.

First English Evangelical Lutheran Church Anniversary: Sunday, July 16

RSVP for the meal by July 9

First English Lutheran Church celebrates 81 years as a congregation on July 19. Join together on Sunday, July 16 for a festive liturgy at 9:45, a catered meal after, a cake and ice cream potluck, and fun outdoor activities for kids. Our meal will be prepared by the Syrian American Refugee Aid organization of Austin (www.saraorg.org). Their women earn income by cooking traditional Syrian food for large groups. The meal will cost $10 per person ($5 for children) and include hummus with pita bread, falafel, Mediterranean salad, rice, lahem bi ajeen (meat stuffed pastry), and fatyer (small cheese pie). This will be a great way to enjoy a meal and support our local Syrian refugee families. Please make a reservation for the meal by emailing office@felcaustin.org by Sunday, July 9. Dessert will be a cake and ice cream pot luck. Bring your favorite cake, or ice cream, or ice cream toppings to share, and we’ll have the best church potluck ever! We’ll have outdoor games and activities for kids. Bring swimsuits and towels for water activities. All are welcome.

Farewell for Shannon Ball: Friday, July 21

All are invited on Friday, July 21 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in the FELC Fellowship Hall as we say farewell to Shannon Ball and give thanks for her many years of love, dedication, and service as Child Development Center director. The menu will be: frito pie, watermelon, coleslaw, and cupcakes! Please join together to thank Shannon and celebrate her new career opportunities. Let us know if you will be coming so we can plan food accordingly. Contact the CDC or Church offices.

Pipe Organ Repair Continues

As part of our capital campaign improvements, repair work is scheduled to resume on the pipe organ. Beginning Tuesday, July 25, the organ will be out-of-service for months (probably until mid October) as we enter the next phase of maintenance and refurbishing. There will be further opportunities to help and be “hands-on” in this project.  Stay tuned.

Suggestions for Great Reads

The First English Book Club is asking for your suggestions for our 2017-2018 reading year! Every summer, we ask anyone and everyone to submit suggestions so we can choose our books for the coming year. We want good suggestions for our reading. Interesting ideas, great writing, fiction preferred this year, but all suggestions are welcome. WE WANT YOUR SUGGESTIONS now through July 30. Submit suggestions to Anne Wiebe at wiebeanne@hotmail.com with the title/author for your suggestion/s. We especially request suggestions of shorter books, since we plan to alternate shorter “quick-read” books with average-length books on this year’s list.

RULES FOR SUBMISSIONS:

1.      At least two copies of the book must be available through Austin Public Library (check at www.library.austintexas.gov).

2.      The book should be less than 450 pages, good “quick-read” books under 225 pages are especially requested.

3.      Deadline is July 30.

The First English Book Club meets the second Sunday evening of each month, mostly in homes of participants. We meet, share a potluck dinner, and discuss the book for that month, as well as related subjects brought up by the book. Everyone is invited! You can come to a meeting just once, or as often as you wish. We love to discuss books and ideas, and the more who come, the better the discussion! Questions? Anne Wiebe at 512-407-8427 or wiebeanne@hotmail.com.

New Stephen Ministry training class to start in September

Stephen Ministry is a one-on-one caring ministry which brings Christ’s healing love to people by accompanying them through issues such as losing a loved one, losing a job, losing independence, or facing a health crisis. Caregivers are trained in a 50-hour course (2 hour meetings on Tuesday nights, 3 times a month, and one Saturday retreat).  Commissioning will be in April, 2018.  Some of the major topics studied in the course are the art of listening, sensing others’ feelings, compassionate assertiveness, crisis theory and intervention, maintaining confidentiality, setting boundaries, grieving, and praying with people.

If you would like to know more about the ministry, or are interested in participating as a caregiver, please contact FELC Stephen Ministry Leader Charlotte Gilman at church, by phone (512-332-6102), or at cegilman@hotmail.com.

Weekly Update: June 21, 2017

Preparing for Sunday, June 25

We’ve begun the long time after Pentecost Day, the last day of the Easter season celebrating Christ’s resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. 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. During the summer following Trinity Sunday, the liturgy can have a more relaxed feeling reflecting the change in schedules and the casual dress many wear during hot weather. The image of a green, growing plant in the warmth of the sun helps us to envision how God is working among us. We gather in the holy mystery and presence of God in Christ through the Spirit, receiving word and sacrament as God’s gifts.

Bible readings for this Sunday

Romans 6:1b-11
In baptism we were incorporated into the reality of Christ’s death. Our lives in the present are marked and shaped by his crucifixion, just as our lives in the future will be marked and shaped by his resurrection. Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 10:24-31

[Jesus said to the twelve:] “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses

Most high, all-powerful, good Lord, yours are the praises, the glory, the honor, and all blessing. To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no one is worthy to mention your name. Praised be you, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,

who sustains and governs us, and who produces varied fruits with colorful flowers and herbs. Praised be you, my Lord, through those who give pardon for your love

and bear infirmity and tribulation. Blessed are those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they shall be crowned. Praised be you, my Lord, through our sister bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape. Blessed are those whom death will find in your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks and serve him with great humility.

Francis of Assisi

[Francis of Assisi, Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, ed. Regis J. Armstrong OFM CAP and Ignatius C. Brady OFM (NY: Paulist, 1982), 38-39.]

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.  Children are the present and the future disciples of Jesus, growing together, and sharing God’s love.  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 this summer, children will gather with their families and the worshiping community at 9:45 am in the sanctuary. Then following the bible readings in the liturgy, children 4 years through 5th grade are invited to gather with Anne Wiebe and other adult leaders in the fellowship hall.  During this time, children will engage in some hands-on learning about one aspect of liturgy. They will return to families and the worshiping community at the sharing of the peace for communion and blessing.  (a note to families: a snack will not be provided during this time.)

June 25 and July 2 – Children’s Gathering will not meet on these mornings

July 9 – Word: Apostles’ Creed

we will decorate an Apostles’ Creed wall hanging for home while discussing the meaning of each article of the creed

July 16 –  Word: Prayers

we will learn about and experience different ways to pray, and discuss prayer

July 23 – Word: The Lord’s Prayer

we will do activities to understand each part of the Lord’s Prayer

July 30 – Meal: Sharing the Peace and Baking Bread

we will bake the bread for the next week’s Eucharist, and learn about the significance of sharing the peace

August 6 – Meal: Last Supper/Holy Communion

we will study the Last Supper and re-enact it

August 13 – Sending: Review and Blessing

we will review the summer’s learning and have a celebration liturgy and blessing

August 20 – Back to School Blessing

we gather 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.  Students can bring backpacks and educators some sign of their work

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

The ELCA 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 7 different Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, 6:00-8:00 PM at FELC, pot-luck style dinner.

These dates are: 6/14, 6/21, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9

The study sessions will be led 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. Studying a particular issue in-depth allows the community to sink deeply into the stuff of faith and invite God’s transforming love. FELC is delighted to be nurturing community through in-depth study of social issues.

Mark your calendar, bring yourself, and bring a friend! Come participate in the transforming work of the Spirit through community.  Contact: Travis Fitzgold at vicar@felcaustin.org.

Pastor Coffey Away on Holden Village Trip

Pastor Coffey will be with the FELC group at Holden Village from June 23 through July 2. During most of this time, he will not have cell phone service or access to email. For pastoral needs, please contact Travis Fitzgold or Bryan Rust in the church office.

SAVE THE DATE

First English Evangelical Lutheran Church Anniversary: Sunday, July 16

First English Lutheran Church celebrates 81 years as a congregation on July 19. Join together on Sunday, July 16 for a festive liturgy at 9:45, a catered meal after, a cake and ice cream potluck, and fun outdoor activities for kids. Our meal will be prepared by the Syrian American Refugee Aid organization of Austin (www.saraorg.org). Their women earn income by cooking traditional Syrian food for large groups. The meal will cost $10 per person ($5 for children) and include hummus with pita bread, falafel, Mediterranean salad, rice, lahem bi ajeen (meat stuffed pastry), and fatyer (small cheese pie). This will be a great way to enjoy a meal and support our local Syrian refugee families. Please make a reservation for the meal by emailing office@felcaustin.org by Sunday, July 9. Dessert will be a cake and ice cream pot luck. Bring your favorite cake, or ice cream, or ice cream toppings to share, and we’ll have the best church potluck ever! We’ll have outdoor games and activities for kids. Bring swimsuits and towels for water activities. All are welcome.

New Stephen Ministry training class to start in September

Stephen Ministry is a one-on-one caring ministry which brings Christ’s healing love to people by accompanying them through issues such as losing a loved one, losing a job, losing independence, or facing a health crisis. Caregivers are trained in a 50-hour course (2 hour meetings on Tuesday nights, 3 times a month, and one Saturday retreat).  Commissioning will be in April, 2018.  Some of the major topics studied in the course are the art of listening, sensing others’ feelings, compassionate assertiveness, crisis theory and intervention, maintaining confidentiality, setting boundaries, grieving, and praying with people.

If you would like to know more about the ministry, or are interested in participating as a caregiver, please contact FELC Stephen Ministry Leader Charlotte Gilman at church, by phone (512-332-6102), or at cegilman@hotmail.com.