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