Weekly Update: September 26, 2017

October 1:

8:30 – Word & Eucharist liturgy – in the sanctuary

9:45 am – Faith Formation for all ages

11:00 am – Word & Eucharist liturgy – in Hemphill Park

Worship in the Park: St. Francis Blessing of Animals & Prayer for Creation Sunday, October 1 at 11:00 am

Everyone is invited to bring their leashed or caged pets for a blessing of the animals, a St. Francis Day tradition.

We will also pray for the healing of all creation.

This worship service will be outdoors in Hemphill Park, across from the church.  We welcome your iguanas, geckos, dogs, birds, fish, snakes, lizards, bugs, rats, cats, toy stuffed animals, or photos, all to be blessed.  Join together for a great festive, family and animal friendly experience! If weather prevents us from gathering outside, we will hold the animal blessing in the sanctuary. The 8:30 liturgy will be in the sanctuary and will not include the blessing of animals.

Preparing for Sunday worship…

Philippians 2:1-8

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Matthew 21:28-32
“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.”

Comments from the Cloud of Witnesses

It may be that you say to yourself, God has promised me forgiveness, whenever I reform; so I am safe. Tomorrow, when I amend my life, God will pardon me my sins. You are right; what you say is true. That God has promised you pardon when you amend your life, I cannot deny. But tell me, I pray: who has promised you tomorrow? Where you read that you will receive forgiveness, read for me also how much longer you have to live! Ah, it is not there, you say. Therefore you do not know how long more you have to live. Then reform your life, and be always prepared. —Augustine

[Augustine, in The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, III, 102.]

Adult Faith Formation: Sundays at 9:45 am

Pastor Coffey and Vicar Travis lead the adult faith formation forum using “By Heart: Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism” Sunday mornings through October 1 at 9:45 am in the parlor.

Beginning October 8, we’ll take a look at “The Forgotten Luther”




Survey on Christmas Eve Service Times and Adult Formation

Deadline Saturday, September 30

We have an important survey we need all First English participants to complete regarding worship times for Christmas Eve and adult formation plans. It will only take 1 or 2 minutes, and will be very helpful in our planning. Please fill it out. We will receive results through September 30. Here is the link:


Companion Café: Wednesday evenings

Companion Cafe is our ministry of cooking delicious, high quality, fresh dinners and sharing them in community with all who are hungry. We serve beginning at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays, until 7:00 PM. Suggested donation of $5 per plate, $3 for children.

To go orders are welcome.

The menu for September 27: Salmon Brûlée, Rice Pilaf, Roasted Broccoli, and Spinach Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette. 

We have a dedicated group of leaders and more can participate. The positions for Companion Cafe include: Head chef: plans a menu, shops for ingredients, oversees cooking; Prep and cook: Helps the head chef cook the meal, from 3:30 to 6:00, helps serve if available; Setup and cleanup: Get things ready, serve, and cleanup after. If you’re interested in serving in this ministry, let Chef Coffey know.

Café Conversations: 6:30 to 7:30 begin this Wednesday

As a new part of our Wednesday evening ministries this fall, we are beginning Cafe Conversations. We are inviting local leaders of non-profits and other community organizations to present on what they are doing, and then have time for questions and conversation.

Currently we have three speakers scheduled:

September 27: Bee Moorhead, Executive Director,

Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy / Texas Impact;

The Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy is a faith-based, non-profit organization established in 2000, providing theologically grounded public policy analysis to people of faith and other Texans. The Center is the research and education partner of Texas Impact, a interfaith legislative advocacy network.

October 4: Mike St. John, Operations Director, Interfaith Action of Central Texas;

October 25: Nelson Linder, President, Austin NAACP.

Come and enjoy a great Companion Cafe meal, and then stay for the presentation and conversation as we learn about many great organizations in our community and ways we can connect with and support them. Look for the rest of the fall lineup soon.

Reforming Stewardship
Cottage Meetings for All

All First English participants and invited and encouraged to attend one of our four cottage meetings for conversation and a dessert potluck. Each meeting will include a chance to meet new people, discuss our stewardship theme, and explore what it means for each of us to know reformation in our minds, hearts, and money. Bring a dessert to share if you can, but if you can’t, there will be plenty.

Here is the schedule for the cottage meetings. Choose the meeting that best fits your schedule and location. It is helpful to the hosts if you contact them directly at least 3 days prior to the meeting to let them know you are coming.

Northwest Austin
Tuesday, October 3, 7:30 to 9:00 pm
Dana and Andy MacLaren’s home
6805 Manzanita St, 78759
512-258-4184, danamaclaren@cs.com

Central Austin
Thursday, October 5, 7:30 to 9:00 pm
LaRu and Fred Woody’s home
1801 Santa Clara St, 78757
512-350-1165, woody.ursamajor@gmail.com

Northeast Austin
Sunday, October 8, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Pat Thomas’ home

11110 Tom Adams Dr, Villa #9, 78753

512-441-1485, pthomas1@austin.rr.com

Southeast Austin
Saturday, October 14, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Katy and Travis Fitzgold’s home

5307 Viewpoint Dr, 78744
830-328-3068, vicar@felcaustin.org

Book Club: Sunday, October 8

The next FELC Book Club meeting is Sunday, October 8, 6:30-8:30 pm. Our book is The Zookeeper’s Wife, by Diane Ackerman. For meeting location or more information, contact Anne Wiebe at wiebeanne@hotmail.com.

Reformation Musical: October 20 and 21 at 7:30pm and Oct. 22 at 3:00pm

Triumphant Love Lutheran Church in conjunction with 7 participating churches presents Reformation The Musical. Don’t miss this fully-staged theatrical musical that focuses on Martin Luther’s calling to reform the church of his time.

Friday, October 20, 7:30pm
Saturday, October 21, 7:30pm
Sunday, October 22, 3:00 pm
Pastor Norb Firnhaber will present “A Brief Historical/Theological Focus on the Reformation” at 6:45 pm before the Friday and Saturday performances.

Held at Triumphant Love Lutheran Church, 9508 Great Hills Trail, Austin.

Tickets may be purschased at the venue for every show, but if you are planning on attending it’s best if you purchase them online to guarantee you have them.


adults $10,

children 12 and under $5.

Groups of 10 or more people are priced at $8 each.

Bottled water will be sold that you may bring into the sanctuary.

For tickets contact www.tllc.org contact or Deb Sands at reformation.musical@gmail.com.

Save the Date: Reformation at FELC

Sunday, October 29, 2017

one worship service

9:30 am   Reformation Hymn Sing – in the sanctuary

9:45 am   Festive Reformation Word and Eucharist Liturgy

11:00 am Reformation Stained Glass Window Dedication

11:15 am Reformation Celebration with Hospitality, Activities, and Quiz with Prizes


And Oktoberfest begins at 5:00 pm