Weekly Update – August 3

 

Summer Evening Prayer, this Wednesday, August 3 at 7 pm

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Join us as we gather for evening prayer in the Chapel of the Saints. We’ll
use a Taize style service of singing, scripture, prayer, and silence. Each
service will include praying for the nations using the floor map and
candles, and praying for healing for ourselves using individual healing
prayer. Those who want to visit afterwards can walk to Trudy’s with Pastor Coffey.
Invite a friend for a beautiful and meaningful time of prayer.

 

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Sunday Worship on August 7, 2016

ELW logoWe worship together at First English this Sunday, August 7 at 9:45 am.

Immediately following our 9:45 am service this Sunday, Pastor Coffey will
preach at the 11:00 worship service at Vision of Hope African Methodist
Episcopal Church. As part of our ongoing relationship of fellowship and
faith, members and friends of FELC are encouraged to attend. Vision of Hope
AME Church is located at 4711 Delores Ave, 78721.

Here are several biblical verses and other quotes for the coming Sunday at
First English as a way to begin hearing and pondering the texts.

Psalm 33:20-22

Our innermost being waits for you, O Lord,
our helper and our shield.
Surely, our heart rejoices in you,
for in your holy name we put our trust.
Let your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we place our hope in you.

Luke 12:32-34

Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to
give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for
yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no
thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.

A Kingdom for the Little Flock

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to
give you the kingdom.” Jesus promises the kingdom to us, his little flock,
straining our minds with this uninhibited generosity. Even to us, so little
and undeserving? Even to us, in the face of so many things to be afraid of?
Suddenly everything we hold dear in this world is repriced, and the true
value of things becomes plainly clear. We are being given the kingdom! So
why not sell our possessions and give to those in need? We are being given
the kingdom! So why not wait on expectant tiptoes for the master? When he
comes he will wait on us! The Father’s free generosity calls forth in us a
generosity we have never before known. Fear is now met with anticipation,
and tightfistedness with open hands. We are being given the kingdom, so now
we know what true treasure looks like. And yet, like our fathers and
mothers in faith that the Hebrews reading speaks of, we too “desire a
better country, that is, a heavenly one.” But in Christ our heavenly
country has already arrived. In him, God has freely given us the kingdom.

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CHILDREN’s CHURCH for Sunday, August 7: The Plagues

On Sunday we’ll take a break from our mural project and revisit the story
of The Plagues (Exodus 7:14—12:32). We’ll sort through some of our photos
and begin recording the audio track for our Lego movie about the plagues.
Children’s Church begins in the parlor during the worship service after the
scripture readings. All children ages 2 and up are welcome to attend.
During most Sundays this summer, we’re creating artwork which will be added
to the mural in the fellowship hall. Children return to their families in
the sanctuary prior to the communion distribution.

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Sunday, August 21 – FELC WORSHIP AT 9:00 am with guest preacher

VOH imageIn August, Pastor Coffey and Pastor Mark Washington will preach in each other’s churches, as part of our ongoing relationship of fellowship and faith. On August 21 Pastor Washington of VIsion of Hope AME will be the guest preacher at FELC.

Due to his need to be back at VOH by 11:00 am that day,

the FELC worship time will change to 9:00 am for Sunday, August 21 only.
This will allow Pastor Washington time to worship and share hospitality
afterwards. Join us as we welcome him and the Vision of Hope Praise Dancers
to our worship service.

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – August 8-13

The triennial churchwide assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America takes place in New Orleans. At this assembly, two participants from
First English will attend as voting members: Liam Coffey will be our
synod’s youth voting member, and Ele Clay will vote as our synod’s adult
female person of color. Pastor Coffey will be attending the Grace Gathering
(see more info at elca.org/gracegathering), a concurrent event for service
events and themed events in preparation for the 500th anniversary of the
Lutheran reformation in 2017. You’ll be able to follow the assembly on
social media and at elca.org.

Weekly Update – July 13

Thank You’s

Thank you to Heidi Goebel and our whole invitation team for hosting the new member and visitor lunch last Sunday.

Thank you to Charlie Boas for cutting up and hauling away the large tree limb that fell in the courtyard last week.

Thank you to Lee Johnson for repairing pews in the sanctuary.

Thank you to YOU for that thing you did that no one noticed yet!

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FELC 80th Anniversary Sunday
July 17

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The 80th anniversary of the formation of First English Lutheran Church is
July 19. We’ll celebrate on Sunday, July 17 during worship at 9:45 AM and a
potluck meal and time of remembrance afterward. Join us to celebrate our
congregation’s long and rich history, learn about parts of the story you
might not know, and be inspired for continuing to live out the mission of
our congregation for the years to come.

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Preparing for Sunday Worship (Lectionary 16 C, July 17, 2016)

ELW logoAs a new part of our weekly email, Pastor Coffey will share several
biblical verses and other quotes for the coming Sunday as a way to begin
hearing and pondering the texts.

Colossians 1:15-18
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all
creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things
visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all
things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all
things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body,
the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he
might come to have first place in everything.

Luke 10:41-42a
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted
by many things; there is need of only one thing.

Quote
Both Luke and Colossians use the language of unity in relation to the life
of faith—“there is need of only one thing,” and “In [Christ] all things
hold together.” In the spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the
Jesuits, this unity finds expression in the First Principle and Foundation, which affirms that many diverse aspects of life are held together under the umbrella of God’s love and life for us. The text, as paraphrased by David L. Fleming, S.J., culminates with this “one thing”: “Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to God’s deepening his life in me.”

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CHILDREN’s CHURCH SAYS GOODBYE TO MOSES

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We come to Mount Nebo above the Plains of Moab where we say goodbye to the
greatest prophet, the only person to see God face-to-face, Moses. The
Israelites continued to doubt Moses and God. Even Moses had doubt that
water could come from a dry desert cliff simply by speaking God’s word.

Did you know?
· Moses was 120 years old when he died.

· Moses wrote five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

· Joshua was chosen by Moses to be the Israelites new leader.

Our Nursery is in Need of a Crib and Mattress
Please consider making a contribution and contact Jimmy Wright.
formation@felcaustin.org or 512-478-1933 ext. 12.

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FINANCIAL STATEMENT INFO

The church council wanted to update the congregation on our current
financial deficit. It is common for congregations to go into a period of
the year where our income is below expenses. However, as of the end of May,
we are further behind than we would like to be. Here is a brief summary of
income and expenses, budgeted and actual:

Budgeted      Actual
Income                134,305           122,535
Expenses             141,090           142,638
Difference            -6,785              -20,103

As you can see, our actual expenses are very close to budget, but our income is below budget. We had budgeted to have a deficit, but the actual deficit is much larger. This deficit begins to affect our cash reserves.

The church council is asking you to consider how you can help us reduce this financial deficit.

Here are ways to consider helping:
1. If you are a pledged giver, check to see if you are up to date on your giving. If not, can you make up the difference now?
2. Are you able to make an offering in advance of your anticipated giving for the coming months?
3. Are you able to make an offering in addition to your regular offering?
4. If you aren’t currently using Simply Giving, our electronic donations option, to set up regular, automatic giving, would you consider doing that to help stay regular in your giving? Or does your own bank have an option for you to do this through electronic checks?
5. Keep the ministry and members of FELC in your prayers, that we may be generous and faithful stewards of all that God has given us.

For the council and pastor’s part, we are closely monitoring expenses and
looking at ways to save in budgeted costs. We have asked our Financial
Secretary, Terry Porter, to increase statements of giving from 3 times a
year to 4. This should help all of us be more mindful of our giving.

Thank you for your support of the church in doing the ministry of the
Gospel. Without you and your support, we could not share the good news,
invite people to be part of a loving community of faith, and serve the
world in the name of Jesus.

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Farewell Sunday for Ele Clay July 24

MOIEle Clay has been our administrative assistant since 2009, and a beloved member of FELC since 2012. Ele is now preparing to leave for her seminary internship in West Des Moines, Iowa, as part of her preparation for ordained ministry in the ELCA. Ele’s last Sunday with us will be July 24.
We will send her off with God’s blessings in worship that day, and during hospitality time have a reception in her honor. Please join us as we send Ele off with our love and support.

Message from Pastor Coffey

Dear FELC friends,
We have encouraged and supported Ele in her seminary studies. She has been a much loved and appreciated part of our community.

Ele is leaving us to do her internship in West Des Moines, Iowa. We want to send her off with God’s blessings, which we will do in worship on July 24. We also will have a chance during the hospitality time that Sunday to celebrate her time with us and say goodbye.

We want to send her off with a gift from the congregation to show our appreciation and to support her in her internship. If you would like to contribute toward a financial gift, please do so by Thursday, July 21. You can send a check marked “Ele Clay gift,” include it in the offering plate, or use our online electronic donation service at www.felcaustin.org/giving.

I hope to see you on July 24 as we send Ele off with God’s blessings and our love.

Peace.
Michael Coffey

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LOOKING FOR GREAT READS!

The First English Book Club is asking for your suggestions for our
2016-2017 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 or non-fiction, we love
to read good books and WE NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS, now through July 30.

Submit suggestions to Anne Wiebe at wiebeanne@hotmail.com with the title/author for your suggestion/s. You can also drop off suggestions at the FELC office. We especially request suggestions of shorter books, since we plan to alternate shorter “quick-read” books with average-length books again on this year’s list.

RULES FOR SUBMISSIONS: 
The book must be available through Austin Public Library (check at http://library.austintexas.gov/virtual).The book should be less than 450 pages, good “quick-read” books under 250 pages are especially requested.
Deadline is July 30.

Can’t think of a good short book? Here’s some possible online sources of quick-read lists: www.goodshortnovels.com/, www.goodreads.com/list/show/19081.Great_Short_Short_Books/, www.lazyreaders.com/. The book must be available through Austin Public Library (check at www.library.austintexas.gov).The book should be less than 450 page, good “quick-read” books under 250 pages are especially requested. Deadline is July 30.

The First English Book Club meets the second Sunday evening of each month,
at the homes of our members. 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.