Weekly Update – September 16


formation 920

In the beginning God created… For the next three-weeks, Spark Rotation will have workshops designed around the Biblical story of Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:4).

This week, Ms. Anne Wiebe will lead the pre-k-2nd grade group and Mr. Joe Cain will lead the 3rd-5th grade group. Our helpers are Ms. Betsy Appleton and Ms. Kristin Mondy. Thank you all so much!

Please try to drop the kids off promptly at 9:45am in the library. If you’re running late, stay calm and quietly enter the room. This year, unless you’re a teacher or helper, we’re asking all adults to leave the room after dropping off their children. Snack time will happen from 10:35-10:45am. We’ll be outside on the playground if the weather is good. If the weather is bad, we’ll be on the stage in the fellowship hall. Please pick your children up no later than 10:45am. Thank you!



youth group


Sunday September 20th. FELC high school youth will meet for lunch and discussion after the 11 service. We’ll then join the youth at St. David’s Episcopal Church from 4-6 pm. St. David’s is located at 301 E. 8th St. in downtown Austin. You can park for free in their garage by traveling north on Trinity, between 7th and 8th Street. Meet Jimmy in the church lobby.






September 20: Church and Gun Laws
Pastor Coffey will share information about new laws in Texas regarding open carry, and the concealed carry laws, and what options churches have. What policy do you think FELC should have regarding concealed and open carry in the church? Come have a conversation and Pastor Coffey will share the feedback with the church council.

September 27: Transgenderism
Kate Wanstrom, Family Nurse Practitioner will do an educational presentation on what transgenderism is, possible causes, treatments, and the emotional, psychological, mental, and spiritual aspects of living with this condition. Questions and discussion are welcome.



FELC Neighborhood Dinner Church logo

This fall we begin a new worship ministry: Neighborhood Dinner Church on Sunday evenings once a month in a church member’s home, rotating between north, central, and south Austin. These alternative worship services will include a potluck dinner and an informal service of word and sacrament. It will be a great opportunity occasionally to worship closer to home, and when you can’t get to church on a Sunday morning. It can be a welcoming opportunity to invite neighbors and friends to a different experience of church. And it will be a great way to build our inter-generational community of faith and make connections to church members who live in your part of the city.

You are encouraged to attend the Neighborhood Dinner Church event in your area, so you could attend once every three months. The first event is September 20 from 6–8 PM for Austin North folks, at the home of Dave and Marian Klumpp (512-609-8899). Bring a dish to share (main course, vegetable, salad, bread, etc.). If you plan to attend, please let the Klumpps know by Friday of this week. If anyone needs a ride, please call the church office to arrange.




Our weekly chef-prepared dinner ministry begins again Wednesday, September 23. Once again we will serve dinner from 6–7 PM with dine-in or carry-out options. Each dinner typically includes a main course, a cooked vegetable, a starch, salad, and tea.

We are raising the suggested donation per plate to $5, with a child plate option of $3. These Wednesday meals are a great opportunity to visit with other FELC members, new visitors, daycare families, and neighborhood residents.

This ministry takes many volunteers to be successful. You can help out in food prep, setup, serving, and cleanup. Speak to Pastor Coffey, or email him at pastor@felcaustin.org, if you would like to help.



godly play

Godly Play will happen during the children’s gathering time of the 11am service. All children are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

Godly Play is an imaginative 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 and sacred liturgy in order to discover God, ourselves, one another and the world around us.

In Godly Play we prepare a special environment for children to work with adult guides. Two teachers guide the session, making time for the children:
· To enter the space and be greeted

· To get ready for the presentation

· To enter into a presentation based on a parable, sacred story or liturgical action

· To respond to the presentation through shared wondering

· To respond to the story through their own work, either expressive art or with the lesson material

· To prepare and share a feast

· To say goodbye and leave the space

How does all of this happen? Mr. Jimmy will invite the children to follow him to the parlor after the prayer of the day. An adult helper will greet the children at the door and make sure they’re ready to enter the space. Children will form a circle on the floor and get ready for the presentation. When it’s time to leave the space, we’ll return to the nave—hopefully during the sharing of the peace. Children have the option of joining Mr. Jimmy in the soft space in the north transept or returning to their parents in the pews.

I encourage all parents to come and experience Godly Play with their children. If you’d like to do so please contact Jimmy Wright to set up a time (we can only have one set of parents each week).

God’s Peace,
Jimmy Wright
Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries
(440) 985-8981

Stages in Godly Play

gp 2


Godly Play uses manipulative wooden materials to present a sacred story, rather than reading one from the Bible.



gp 3


Getting ready for a parable presentation




gp 5


Children respond to the story through their own expressive art or by working with the lesson material.





The last two church dinner parties at the Coffeys’ home are scheduled for October 3 and 17 at 6 PM (both are on Saturdays). This is a change from the September Echoes article, due to Pastor Coffey’s schedule changes. Please contact him ASAP to reserve your spot — these are the last two dates for the year.


St. Francis Day Worship in the Park
& Animal Blessing: October 4st francis

St. Francis Day is October 4, and this year it falls on a Sunday. To celebrate Francis’s love of creation and animals, we will have our second worship in the park event for the 11:00 liturgy (8:30 will be in the sanctuary).

Bring your leashed or caged animals to join us for worship and receive a blessing. This is a great event to invite friends and neighbors to.