Weekly Update: June 6, 2017

Preparing for Holy Trinity Sunday, June 11

with Healing Prayer

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Though the word trinity is not found in the scriptures, in the gospel Jesus sends disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity expresses the heart of faith: we have experienced the God of creation made known in Christ and with us always through the Holy Spirit.

Call to Remembrance

This Sunday in our prayers and liturgy, we remember the one year anniversary (June 12, 2016) of the terrorist attack and hate crime at Pulse, the gay nighclub in Orlando, Florida. 49 people were killed and 58 wounded. It was both the deadliest incident of violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in United States history, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since September 11, 2001.

Readings for this Sunday

Matthew 28:16-20

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses

Only material bodies fill or occupy material space. The Godhead is beyond all space; let no one seek the Godhead as though it were in space. Everywhere the Godhead is invisible and indivisibly present. Who can comprehend this? What then are we to say of God? For if you have grasped what you wish to say, it is not God. If you had been able to comprehend it, you would have comprehended something else in the place of God. If you had been almost able to comprehend it, your mind has deceived you. It is not God, if you have understood it. But if it is God, you have not understood it.
—Augustine
[Augustine, in The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, III, 75-76.]

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. Those 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 in worship 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 others in the parlor/fellowship hall.  During this time, they will participate 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.)

Children will engage the following topics throughout the summer:

June 11 – Gathering: Song – Writing a Hymn

we’ll talk about why we gather together on Sundays, what hymns and songs are, and why we sing them, sing one stanza of a hymn, then write new words for that melody. Our newly-written hymn text will be sung later in the summer by all the worshipers

June 18 – Word: Bible Stories for the day

we will hear, read, and experience the bible stories for the day and discuss them, and about why we hear and read the Bible when we gather together

June 25 and July 2 – Summer Children’s Gathering will not meet on these Sunday 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 the reasons to pray

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 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

Ramadan Iftar Dinner: tomorrow, Wednesday, June 7

Join together as FELC welcomes friends from the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest for a meal and presentation. We gather at 8:00 pm in the fellowship hall.  All are welcome. If you plan to attend, please let Pastor Coffey know today at pastor@felcaustin.org

 

 

New Phone System Installation ThursdayFELC and CDC is changing our phone service and will have new equipment installed on Thursday, June 8. There may be a temporary disruption of service when trying to call the church. We will still have internet and email available.

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 help the ELCA (and ourselves) continue to reflect, learn, and grow.

These study sessions will happen on 7 different Wednesday evenings throughout the summer, 6:00-8:00 PM in the FELC parlor, 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.

Summer Sunday Schedule at 9:45 am

We continue our Summer Sunday Schedule with one Word & Eucharist liturgy at 9:45 am.  Some summer Sunday highlights include: Celebration of World Refugees and Blessing of Summer Trip Travelers on June 18, FELC 81st Anniversary Sunday on July 16, and a Back-to-School Blessing on Sunday, August 20.  We continue with one liturgy at 9:45 am through Sunday, September 3.

 

 

Vision of Hope African Methodist Episcopal Worship Service:

Sunday, June 18 at 11:00 am

All are invited to worship with our friends at Vision of Hope AME church. Their worship service on Sunday, June 18 will be a time to celebrate Juneteenth, and remember the martyrs of Charleston who were slain June 17, 2015. This will mark the 2nd anniversary of beginning the relationship between FELC and Vision of Hope AME. Worship at Vision of Hope begins at 11:00 am. Pastor Coffey will leave immediately following the FELC 9:45 am worship service on Sunday, June 18 arriving at VOH around 11:15 am.  Vision of Hope AME church is located at 4711 Delores Ave, Austin, 78721.

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 Tuesday, July 11. 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.

Weekly Update: May 30, 2017

Preparing for Pentecost Sunday, June 4

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people, and kindle in us the fire of your love. Alleluia!

This Sunday’s feast day derives its name from the Jewish festival of Pentecost, observed fifty days after Passover. On the fiftieth day of Easter we celebrate the Holy Spirit as the power of God among us that heals, forgives, inspires, and unites.

Worship in the Park

All are invited for a great morning this Sunday, June 4 at 9:45 am as we gather across from the church (weather permitting) in Hemphill park. We will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost with fire, water, languages, and an affirmation of our Spirit-empowered vocations in the world. Invite a friend or neighbor as we gather in the beauty of creation for worship and fellowship. Pets on leashes or in crates are welcome.

{We welcome anyone to participate in set-up and welcoming for worship in the park this Sunday.  Please meet at 8:45 am.}

Readings for this Sunday

Numbers 11:24-30

Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Acts 2:1-21

When the day of Pentecost had come, [the apostles] were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.
And I will show portents in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and smoky mist.
The sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.
Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ”

Summer Sunday Schedule at 9:45 am

We continue our Summer Sunday Schedule with one Word & Eucharist liturgy at 9:45 am.  Some summer Sunday highlights include: Celebration of World Refugees and Blessing of Summer Trip Travelers on June 18, FELC 81st Anniversary Sunday on July 16, and a Back-to-School Blessing on Sunday, August 20.  We continue with one liturgy at 9:45 am through Sunday, September 3.

 

 

Calling all Egg Cartons for Micah 6 Food Pantry

Please bring your empty egg cartons to First English for re-use at the Micah 6 Food Pantry. Micah 6 purchases eggs in large cases from the Capital Area Food Bank, and partcipants repackage them into dozen cartons for individual shoppers. You can deposit your empty egg cartons in the Micah 6 baskets located at the entrances to the sanctuary. Thank you for helping Austin families have nutritious eggs. For more information, and to be more connected to our ministry with Micah 6, contact Jackie Chuter at chuter.jackie@gmail.com

Vicar Internship Project

If you were not able to attend the informational session about the Vicar Internship Project, Making Connections, please know that you can still participate. Learn more about the project by clicking this link, or by talking with Travis (vicar@felcaustin.org or 830-328-3068).

Companions Action Invitation

As most have noticed, the alienation between different groups of people in our country has grown more strident in the past few years.  In that context, the Companions in Christ group recently finished its study of HEALING THE HEART OF DEMOCRACY The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit by Parker J. Palmer.  The book was a timely, well-reasoned call to get involved in bridging that gap.  The challenge is to get out of our silos and dare to be in civil conversation with those with whom we disagree.

We didn’t want to sit on our hands and do nothing in response.  To help with that, we are exploring local opportunities already in place.  We will be visiting various “conversation” groups to listen, participate as possible, and evaluate.  Our quest, finding avenues that support our responsibility for exercising our faith in the public square.

We encourage you to read the book!  Whether you do or not, we welcome you to come along with us as we explore.  No one has to do this alone.  Dates and info will be announced through the Echoes Bimonthly and Email Weekly.

Our first outing will be to attend a monthly meeting of “The Red Bench—Interfaith Conversations that Matter” sponsored by Interfaith Action of Central Texas (IACT).  The topic will be courage.  The meeting is Tuesday, May 30, 6:30-8:30 pm held at Unity Church in northwest Austin.  If you wish to attend, please RSVP and get more information at this link:  http://interfaithtexas.org/events/the-red-bench-courage-2/.

It would be helpful, also, to check in with us about meeting up:  Renee Carlson, Charlotte Gilman, Chris Paton, Anne Wiebe, Andy MacLaren, or Barbara Wiederaenders.  Watch for other outings in the future.  Contact: Barbara Wiederaenders at

bwiederaenders@att.net.

Ramadan Iftar Dinner: Wednesday, June 7

Join together as FELC welcomes friends from the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest for a meal and presentation. We gather at 8:00 pm in the fellowship hall.  All are welcome. If you plan to attend, please let Pastor Coffey know by June 4 so we can give an estimate to those preparing the meal.

 

Vision of Hope African Methodist Episcopal Worship Service:

Sunday, June 18 at 11:00 am

All are invited to worship with our friends at Vision of Hope AME church. Their worship service on Sunday, June 18 will be a time to celebrate Juneteenth, and remember the martyrs of Charleston who were slain June 17, 2015. This will mark the 2nd anniversary of beginning the relationship between FELC and Vision of Hope AME. Worship at Vision of Hope begins at 11:00 am. Pastor Coffey will leave immediately following the FELC 9:45 am worship service on Sunday, June 18 arriving at VOH around 11:15 am.  Vision of Hope AME church is located at 4711 Delores Ave, Austin, 78721.