Weekly Update: November 15, 2016

Preparing for Worship on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 8:30 & 11 am

Scripture texts 

Here are some biblical verses and writings as a way to prepare and begin hearing and pondering the scripture texts for worship this Sunday:

Jeremiah 23:5-6

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

Luke 23:33-34a
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses

Against all our images of stern authority and capricious power, we hear the Lord’s voice, the voice of the shepherd who tends the scattered sheep of the flock. In Jesus, this image of shepherd-king is turned upside down in that mysterious wisdom of God. The shepherd becomes the very lamb who is led to the slaughter, who is led to the cross, so that our sickness and our injury, our final enemy is at last put to death in his body on the cross. This Jesus whom this Sunday praises as king, is, in fact, like no other king that has ever reigned. For today, the gospel, and the holy meal proclaim him king where we least expect it: in the depth of our yearning for life, our suffering, and our need. And in this he is no ordinary king. Here in our struggle and desire to be witnesses to his life and his love for us, he reigns. And here in the world, hidden in the struggle for justice and peace, here he reigns.

Samuel Torvend

[Samuel Torvend, in Homilies for the Christian People, 177-178.]

The Season of Advent

Last Sunday we began observing the ancient tradition of celebrating a longer season of Advent. This gives us six Sunday worship observances of the time of hopeful waiting for the coming of Christ future, present, and past. While we will still observe the traditional four Sundays of Advent prior to Christmas with the lighting of candles on a wreath, we will have six Sundays of a change in liturgy with a more peaceful, quiet mood, including silence, confession and forgiveness, contemplative prayer, and songs and texts that stir up our faith and hope in Christ.  Come and worship and let us prepare together.

Advent Workshop 2016: This Sunday, November 20 at 9:45 am

Beginning at 9:45 am outdoors (weather permitting) in the front of the church!

·         Live animal nativity photos with costumes and props available!

·         Advent ornament making

·         Reverse advent calendar outreach for Micah 6 Food Pantry

·         Pastries, coffee and hot apple cider

·         Advent music

All ages are encouraged to participate. 

This Sunday: adult forum

Conversations on Racism, led by Intern Pastor Travis Fitzgold, takes a break this week for the Advent Workshop at 9:45 am. All ages are welcome to the Advent Workshop. The adult forum continues on Sunday, November 27.

Companion Cafe: Wednesday, November 16 

breaking bread, making friends

Serving Wednesdays from 6-7 pm

FELC Fellowship Hall

Enjoy a great, chef-prepared, freshly cooked meal.

Dine together and enjoy the community dinner, or take it to go.

Suggested donation: $5 for adults, $3 for children

Menu for 11/16: Shepherd’s Pie, Creamed Spinach, Wedge Salad w Blue Cheese Dressing

Companion Cafe will not be serving on Wednesday, November 23 and will resume on Wednesday, November 30.

Reformation 500 Bookstore Last Day: Thursday, November 17 

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is fast approaching! Do you want to learn more about Martin Luther, his writings, and their impact on Christianity? Do you want to reflect on the ongoing impact of the Reformation today? Books will be on display through Thursday. Our Bookstore is sponsored by Augsburg Fortress, the publishing ministry of the ELCA. The books include bestselling biographies like Luther the Reformer as well as an atlas of the European Reformations, a novel for young readers, and primary sources from The Annotated Luther series.

Thanksgiving Celebration: Sunday, November 20

Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) invites you to its 32nd Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service and Celebration! The service and celebration will be held at St. James Missionary Baptist Church (3417 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) on Sunday, November 20 at 3:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. All are wlecome. We have a seat waiting for you! In addition, if you would like to bring a dessert to share after the service, we would greatly appreciate it. For more information, please visit our website: www.interfaithtexas.org.

Godly Play at FELC: The Greatest Parable – $190

The Greatest Parable includes 13 triangle plaques, triangle gold box with Jerusalem cross on lid. As we continue to evaluate our needs for equipping our Godly Play room, we are looking for ways to save money on the resources. Still, there are some materials that will have to be purchased. The Greatest Parable is one of those. Could you offer this as a gift to the children of FELC? If you can help, please contact Jimmy Wright, Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries, formation@felcaustin.org

Upcoming Events: Connect, Grow, Serve

Mark your calendar & invite someone to join you at FELC.

Wednesday, November 30, December 7 & 14:

Advent Evening Prayer at 7:00 pm

Peaceful services of prayers, songs, readings, reflections, candle lighting, and contemplation.

Sunday, December 18:

Christmas Caroling at 2:00 pm

Join together as we bring Christmas carols of joy and comfort to those homebound.

All ages are welcome.

Wednesday, December 21:

Blue Christmas Evening Prayer at 7:00 pm

While Advent is a season of hope and Christmas is a season of joy, not everyone feels hopeful or like celebrating. Grief, illness, aging, depression, loneliness, unemployment, underemployment, and loss can be magnified. We gather on the darkest night of the year, the winter solstice, and experience hope. All in the community are invited.

Saturday, December 24:

Christmas Eve Eucharist with Candlelight

5:30 pm               Child–friendly with children/youth leading and sharing the Christmas story

11:00 pm             Choral and instrumental music, with prelude music at 10:45 pm

Sunday, December 25: one service at 11:00 am

Christmas Day Eucharist with Lessons and Carols

11:00 am              Experience the Christmas story in word and song

Sunday, January 1, 2017: one service at 11:00 am

New Year’s Day Eucharist

11:00 am              Begin the New Year in prayer and praise

Weekly Update: November 8, 2016

Preparing for Worship on Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 8:30 & 11 am

Scripture texts 

Here are some biblical verses and writings as a way to prepare and begin hearing and pondering the scripture texts for worship this Sunday:

Malachi 4:2a

But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.

Luke 21:7-8

They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses

Let us turn in continual prayer toward you, our only hope, O Lord. Our heart is filled with sadness: bring joy to our sadness, Lord, and give refreshment to our burning hearts. Day and night sorrow and affliction surround us: cool, O Lord, the flame of our hearts. For apart from you we have no hope to comfort us in our grief. Place your finger, that gives life to all things, on the pain concealed in our heart. Let our soul not be robbed of your strengthening, O Savior, so that we may not be plunged into the waves of despair.  —Ephraem

[Ephraem, in Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, IV, 350.]

Healing Prayer

On the second Sunday of each month we offer Healing Prayer, an ancient and powerful ritual of the church.  It is a 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. You may wait in one of the chairs until the healing prayer kneeling station is free. This can also be a meaningful experience for children, youth and their families.

Sunday, November 13: the Season of Advent

This year we will once again observe the ancient tradition of celebrating a longer season of Advent, beginning Sunday, November 13. This will give us six Sunday worship observances of the time of hopeful waiting for the coming of Christ future, present, and past. While we will still observe the traditional four Sundays of Advent prior to Christmas with the lighting of candles on a wreath, we will have six Sundays of a change in liturgy with a more peaceful, quiet mood, including silence, confession and forgiveness, contemplative prayer, and songs and texts that stir up our faith and hope in Christ.  Come and worship and let us prepare together.

Sunday, November 13: adult forum at 9:45 am

Conversations on Racism

Join the adult form in the parlor for Conversations on Racism, led by Vicar Travis Fitzgold, and facilitated this week by Pastor Coffey. This series of conversations is looking at major Christian theological themes in light of the persistent reality of racism in the United States.  What is the Bible and who is Christ, given the reality of racism? Who is the church and where is hope, given the reality of racism? Come explore these questions and others in a thought-provoking, supportive environment. Bring your confusion, your questions, and your experiences as we search together for Christ and healing this Advent. We hope to wrap up the series of conversations by watching the movie, Selma, with the beloved at Vision of Hope AME Church in January.

Companion Cafe: Wednesday, November 9 

breaking bread, making friends

Serving Wednesdays from 6-7 pm

FELC Fellowship Hall

Enjoy a great, chef-prepared, freshly cooked meal.

Dine together and enjoy the community dinner, or take it to go.

Suggested donation: $5 for adults, $3 for children

Menu for 11/09: Pumpkin Soup with Sour Cream, Whole Wheat Rolls, Succotash,

Garden Salad Bar with Dill Ranch Dressing

Sisters in Spirits: Thursday, November 10 

Sisters in Spirits, a monthly gathering of women, meets on Thursday, November 10 at 7:00 pm at Vino Vino, 4119 Guadalupe St, 78751. Come enjoy your favorite beverage and lively conversation. For more information, contact Sarah Roberts at sarabeara_13@hotmail.com.

Reformation 500 Bookstore: last Sunday, November 13

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is approaching in 2017!

Do you want to learn more about Martin Luther, his writings, and their impact on Christianity?

Do you want to reflect on the ongoing impact of the Reformation today?

Stop by our Reformation 500 Bookstore to shop for engaging books on the Reformation for readers of all ages and interests! Save up to 50% plus receive free shipping on all Bookstore titles.

Books will be on display on Sunday mornings through this Sunday, November 13, and in the church office until November 17.  Our Bookstore is sponsored by Augsburg Fortress, the publishing ministry of the ELCA. The books will include bestselling biographies like Luther the Reformer as well as an atlas of the European Reformations, a graphic novel for young readers, and primary sources from The Annotated Luther series.

Book Club: Sunday, November 13 

The Book Club meets Sunday, November 13 at 6:30 pm at the home of Kathleen and Charlie Boas. We’ll share a potluck dinner at 6:30 and then discuss the book of the month.  We’re reading our first book of the year, Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World by James Boyce.  All are welcome. For more information, contact Anne Wiebe at wiebeanne@hotmail.com.

Godly Play at FELC: A New Story

We’re grateful for donor from the congregation provided us with a gift of the Ark and Temple story set!

Another core story we need to purchase is the Synagogue and Upper Room.

This story evokes the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Meal. The Synagogue and Upper Room are joined together to form a model of Christian worship, joining the first and second testaments of the Bible.

The Synagogue and Upper Room is a more expensive story. Perhaps a few folks could join together to make this tax deductible gift available to our children. The cost is $320 from Godly Play Resources.

If you can help, please contact Jimmy Wright, Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries at formation@felcaustin.org

Upcoming Events: Connect, Grow, Serve

Mark your calendar & invite someone to join you at FELC.

Sunday, November 20: 

Advent Workshop and Event at 9:45 am

We’ll host our annual Advent Workshop and Event. Come prepare for this season of hope and expectation with wreath and ornament making, music, and fun holiday goodies and merriment. All ages are invited to participate.

Wednesday, November 30, December 7 & 14:

Advent Evening Prayer at 7:00 pm

Peaceful services of prayers, songs, readings, reflections, candle lighting, and contemplation.

Sunday, December 18:

Christmas Caroling at 2:00 pm

Join together as we bring Christmas carols of joy and comfort to those homebound. All ages are welcome.

Wednesday, December 21:

Blue Christmas Evening Prayer at 7:00 pm

While Advent is a season of hope and Christmas is a season of joy, not everyone feels hopeful or like celebrating. Grief, illness, aging, depression, loneliness, unemployment, underemployment, and loss can be magnified. We gather on the darkest night of the year, the winter solstice, and experience hope. All in the community are invited.