We are now four weeks into Explore God and the feedback has been positive. The group discussion seems to be going well and I hope that you are all getting something out of the sermons on the various topics in the series. As has already been mentioned in the pew sheet Jim Crandell is planning on making a CD of all seven sermons and making them available for those who wish to have the whole series. Thanks, Jim.
There is still time to sign up for the prayer vigil at the abortion clinics in town during the 40 Days for Life campaign. There is information in the Sunday pew sheet to get you to the website where you may sign up to participate in this activity. If you are able to do this I highly recommend it.
On Friday, September 20, members of the Vestry and the Facilities Committee met with our architect and our civil engineer to continue planning for our new building. Preliminary plans are still being looked at by the city and will have to be approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (I think that’s correct) before we get final approval. However, we foresee no obstacles and we are moving along quite nicely at this point. As we get a little further along the design path, our plan is to meet with members of the parish who head ministries in the parish to get some input from them about final plans. Please keep all of this in your prayers.
If you haven’t been to St. Francis in the last two weeks you haven’t noticed our new altar railings. These have been provided to us courtesy of an anonymous donor. It is our custom in this church to kneel for communion, if possible. We have made an allowance for those who are not able to kneel without the aid of a railing and we will continue to do so, if you are not able to kneel at all.
At the present time we are planning to use all of the furnishings we have currently in our new building when it is finished. As time goes on, we may make some modifications with our furnishings. However, we are taking the most cost effective approach to our transition that we can.
I need to make just a couple of gentle reminders to those of you who attend St. Francis. Our services begin promptly at 9:30 and 11:00 am. It is my hope that all of you can be in church when the services begin. It is disruptive when the door to the sanctuary is constantly opening and closing, not only after the beginning of the service but throughout. Barring an emergency, there simply isn’t any reason for you to leave and return during the service. This is the most important thing you do all week and it should have your full attention. Please be courteous to God and to your fellow worshippers. Thanks.
Father Andrew Brummett and his family are planning to be with us on the third Sunday of October. They will be spending some time is the U.S. and are looking forward to being with us before they return to the United Arab Emirates where Father Brummett is the priest-in-charge of a congregation, as well as doing some hospital work. Their family has grown since we last saw them so it will be nice to see them all. Additionally, Father Tim Williams has also indicated to me that he and his family will be in town near the Thanksgiving holiday and that they will do their best to come by and visit if they can. Let’s hope that that visit also comes to pass.
Christian Education News
Sunday School is in full swing! The younger class is working on Unit 1 of the One Room Sunday School curriculum, titled From Judges to Kings. Its Scriptural inspiration is "Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening." (1 Samuel 3:9) The theme is "I am called to be a servant of God." The children are reading about Deborah, Hannah, and Samuel, creating prayer candles and prayer kits, and exploring ways to pray, serve, and listen to God's Word.
The older class has jumped into the Explore God program and will be taking up the Teach Deep curriculum in October.
Thanks so much to Claire Carter for helping teach, to Carol Sanders-Jacobs for assisting with supplies, to Amy Crandell for her guidance, and to everyone who has supported us as we get off to a great start. Please continue to keep the Sunday School in your prayers.
Operation Christmas Child Boxes
Thanks to your donations, we are doing very well so far in our collection this year, but we still need a few more shoe boxes! Please see the card table collection set up in the fellowship space and add yours when you can. Letters will go out later this month asking for assistance with donations to fill the boxes. Our planned packing date is November 24th.
St. Francis has a group who agree to independently pray daily for people on the St. Francis prayer list. This is an active list, with several new prayer concerns added each week. If you or someone you know needs prayers, you can jot down the prayer request and leave in our prayer box on the right side of the worship space. Fr. Len and Nancy Giacolone maintain the list and update the group via e-mail.
Weekday Prayer Services
Tuesdays at noon, Anglican Rosary.
Major religions have for centuries advocated the use of prayer beads as an aid to prayer. A modern twist on this ancient tradition is the development of the Anglican Rosary. Using a string of 33 beads (the number of years in Christ's life) and arranged in sets, the Anglican Rosary is more than a simple recitation of prayers. The beads offer a focal point to help keep the mind still while praying, thus allowing the prayer to become physical as well as mental. The purpose of praying with beads is to allow the repetition of words (a Bible verse, mantra or portion of a psalm, for instance) to quiet the mind and bring us into stillness. At the end of the rosary we are invited to sit in silent communion with God. Becky Hunt leads this prayer service and beads with instructions are provided.
Thursdays at 7 pm, Evening Prayer.
The Order for Evening Prayer is a beautiful counterpart to the 1928 Prayer Book's Morning Prayer. Each Thursday at 7 pm, the prayers and lessons are read, but the Gloria and Canticles are sung without accompaniment. There is no sermon, so the whole service is over in 20 minutes. Jim Crandell leads as it is his belief that Evening Prayer should be said at St. Francis.
All are welcome to both services.
Monthly Prayer Walk
After a break from the summer heat, the Prayer Walk resumed on the first Saturday of October. We choose a neighborhood a little to the north and east of our current location to begin our walk. Seeing the houses, the people, the cars, along with inspiration from the Holy Spirit brings out some very poignant prayers. You can immediately recognize prayer needs when you slowly walk down a street. Anyone who happens to be outside, gets and introduction and are informed about the existence of St. Francis nearby. Please join us on Saturday, October 5 at 9 am in our temporary location. We have an opening prayer, drink lots of water and then drive to the starting point for the prayer walk. Usually, we complete the walk and the prayers and drive back to the church for a closing prayer to be finished by 11 am. Kim and David Norris are our prayer walk leaders.
Anglicans for Life Forty Days for Life's Fall Campaign has begun and it's not too late to be part of it. If you have followed this campaign for any time, you know that this world wide movement began in College Station in front of an abortion facility. Some things that have happened since then: 575,000 people and 16,000 churches have participated, there have been 2480 campaigns in 501 cities and 19 countries, 7536 lives been saved, 83 workers have quit and 40 clinics have closed (this includes the one in College Station). If you want to participate, but aren't able to pray in front of an abortion facility, you can set aside a particular time each week to pray with them for life.
At the Anglicans for Life September meeting it was learned that the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center has been out of baby wipes for some time. Since this is part of their program to help and support new mothers, it was moved that we send APRC $300.00 to replenish their supply. This was passed and a check for this amount has been sent to APRC.
Our next meeting will be on Sunday, October 20, after the 11:00 service. Everyone is welcome to join us.