Weekly Update: January 9, 2018

Sunday, January 14

Commemorating the Life and Witness of

the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

(January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

Word & Eucharist with Healing Prayer – 8:30 am

Faith formation for all – 9:45 am

Word & Eucharist with Healing Prayer – 11:00 am

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Sunday, January 14 at both liturgies we will celebrate the life and ministry of renewer of society and martyr the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose was born January 15, 1929.  An American prophet of justice among races and nations, King was a Baptist minister, a leader of the nonviolent resistance to race-segregated society, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Dr. King was assassinated April 4, 1968.

Scripture for Sunday, January 14

Luke 6:27–36

Jesus said, “I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

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. Adults and children 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.

The Time after Epiphany

Epiphany is the celebration of the star that revealed the Christ child to the magi from the east, and all the ways that God shines light revealing God’s love and mercy among us.

Epiphany (meaning “showing forth”) is a season of four to nine weeks, from the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6 – the end of the Christmas season) through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (this year February 14). The length of the season varies according to the date of Easter. The gospel stories of this season describe various events that show the divinity and humanity of Jesus. The coming of the Magi is celebrated on the Epiphany. The Baptism of our Lord is observed on the Sunday after Epiphany. The gospels for the other Sundays of the Epiphany season describe the wedding at Cana, the calling of the disciples, and various miracles and teachings of Jesus. The Last Sunday after the Epiphany is devoted to the Transfiguration. Jesus’ identity as the Holy One of God is dramatically revealed in the Transfiguration gospel, as well as the gospel of the baptism of Christ. We are called to respond in faith in lives of love of God and neighbor.  Christ’s light shines through us.

Formation with adults: Sunday Mornings

We continue the theme of Christians in the public sphere with discussion of Walter Wink’s book Jesus and Nonviolence. Wink points to Jesus’ example of nonviolent resistance as an appropriate response to injustice for Christians today. Learn what Jesus really meant by “turn the other cheek” and “walk the extra mile” in this thought-provoking series of conversations. As always, we build community by seeking God’s will together in faith; come join the conversation and participate in the faith journey together,

Sundays at 9:45 am in the parlor.

Formation with children: Sunday mornings

Godly Play is what the Rev. Jerome Berryman calls his interpretation of Montessori religious education. It is an imaginative approach to working with children, an approach that supports, challenges, nourishes, and guides their spiritual quest. It is more akin to spiritual direction than to what we generally think of as religious education.  Godly Play assumes that children have some experience of the mystery of the presence of God in their lives, but that they lack the language, permission, and understanding to express and enjoy that in our culture. In Godly Play, we enter into parables, silence, sacred stories in order to discover God, ourselves, one another, and the world around us.  Children gather on Sunday mornings at 9:45 am in the Library, entering through the Chapel of the Saints.  For more information, contact Andy Petras at godlyplay@felcaustin.org.

FELC Book Club: Sunday, January 14

Sunday January 14 is the next Book Club meeting, from 6:30-8:30 PM at Kathleen and Charlie Boas’ house, 2007 Payne Avenue, Austin. (For those who haven’t been there, it’s a few blocks north of 2222 and a few blocks east of Burnet Road.) As always, we begin with a potluck dinner for about the first hour and then go on to our discussion. The discussion starts with the book and goes all around it, so it’s great if you’ve read the book but not essential to enjoy and partcipate in the discussion. Everybody is welcome! The book this month is Holes, by Austin author Louis Sachar. This is a young-adult novel and quite short, so it’s a quick read but a good one! Contact Anne Wiebe at wiebeanne@hotmail.com.

Companion Café: Wednesday, January 17

Companion Café will begin again on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm in the fellowship hall. We offer a chef-prepared meal for a suggested donation of $5 ($3 for children). It’s great to meet friends and new people. The menu for January 17 will be:

Thai Curry Chicken, Steamed Rice, Sautéed Garlic Spinach, Cucumber Salad.

Proposed Budget Forum: Sunday, January 21 at 9:45 pm

Potluck and Annual Meeting: Sunday, January 28 at 12:15 pm

The congregation council has set the annual meeting of First English Evangelical Lutheran Church for Sunday, January 28, 2018. We will begin with a potluck after the 11:00 am liturgy, and the meeting will follow. More information about the agenda, proposed ministry budget, and the nominations to council and synod assembly will be shared next week. The congregation council and finance team with host a forum discussing the proposed budget on Sunday, January 21 at 9:45 am.

Austin Crop Hunger Walk: Sunday, February 25

The annual Austin Crop Hunger Walk is taking place on Sunday afternoon, February 25. The Crop Walk is sponsored by Interfaith Action of Central Texas (i-ACT), is the largest interfaith event in Austin, and works to end the sin of hunger in the midst of enough.

If you are interested in participating in the walk (or donating), register and donate here.

If you are interested in organizing a team on behalf of FELC, please contact directly Janis Coltin of Triumphant Love Lutheran Church at jcoltin@yahoo.com.  FELC has participated in this walk in years past and this is an excellent opportunity to live out our commitment to love God and neighbor, one step at a time.