September 2015
 
St Francis Bulletin
September 2015, Volume 22, Issue 7

From the Rector
Fr. Len Giacolone

It's time to crank this up again and this Fall will be an especially busy and important one for our parish.  We have been on a journey, albeit an extended one, to find a new jurisdiction for our parish.  As you know, we have decided to pursue an affiliation with the Diocese of Fort Worth under the leadership of Bishop Jack L. Iker.  When I met with Bishop Iker at the end of May, he seemed enthusiastic about welcoming us into the fold.  His schedule has prevented him from being with us up to this time and because of that he sent Father Tom Hightower to us on June 21 to meet with us and answer our questions about Fort Worth.  I think everyone enjoyed Father Hightower's visit and I hope that everyone got their questions answered.

I asked Bishop Iker to meet with us personally before our official affiliation takes place in November at the Diocesan Convention.  Again, because of his schedule on Sunday, he is unable to come and celebrate with us before November.  However, he did agree to come for a visit on Wednesday, October 21, at 6:30 in the evening.  This can only be categorized as a meet and greet because of the time constraints.  However, I thought it was important that we meet our new bishop before we became part of his diocese.  He will probably bring with him Father Ryan Reed, the President of the Diocesan Standing Committee.  At any rate, this is a big deal for us.  I would like as many of you as possible to be there for this event.  I know that this is not a great time for a lot of folks but it was the best we could do for the circumstances we are in.

One of the conditions of our entrance to the Diocese of Fort Worth from our perspective is a vote of the parish to affiliate with them.  This will have to be done at a parish meeting.  The Vestry will discuss this at its meeting in September and we will schedule a meeting for the vote at that time.  A second requirement, and this on the part of the diocese, is that we provide them with the signatures of at least fifty (50) members of the parish.  The salient part of Canon 22.2 of the diocese reads as follows:  “For the admission into the Diocese of an existing congregation, the following Article of Conformity must be signed by not less than fifty (50) baptized persons at least eighteen (18) years of age.

Reverend Father in God:  We, the undersigned, do associate ourselves together for the purpose of maintaining the worship of God and the preaching of the Gospel, according to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Church as maintained in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, in the town of Austin, in the State of Texas, and do promise to abide by and conform to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.”

Canon 22 also requires that each member of the Vestry subscribe to this article of conformity along with the above-mentioned signatures of the congregation.  Therefore, beginning on August 30, there will be a place to provide your signatures to the Article of Conformity stated above.  I would encourage you to sign the document as soon as possible so that the Vestry can act in its official capacity and set up the parish meeting.  Some of this may seem redundant, but we are dealing with two separate sets of requirements, one for us and one for the diocese.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation.  If you have any questions about this please don't hesitate to ask me.

Finally, I will baptize Joseph Grady Lamb at the 11:00 am service on Sunday, September 6.

Sunday School News
Missy Bernard



St. Francis Sunday School classes begin on September 13th! We hope everyone enjoyed their summer and we are looking forward to beginning a new year!

The younger class will be working with Missy Bernard, and the older class will be working with Doug Cooper. 

The younger class will be beginning a slightly changed curriculum. One Room Sunday School, published by Abingdon Press, has a new name: Deep Blue.  It is not much changed - as always, it is designed for both readers and non-readers. Each lesson begins with a Bible story and follows with games and craft activities to reinforce the lesson.  However, the new format is more streamlined, and appears to fit more easily into a 45-minute session. 

The first unit in the Fall 2015 curriculum is titled God's Creation Is Good on the first chapters of Genesis. The lessons are as follows: The Earth, Living Things,In God's Image, and Adam and Eve. The inspiration verse for this unit is Genesis 1:31: "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good."

We are excited to see the children and get started!  We hope you will continue to keep the Sunday School in your prayers.  

Anglicans for Life
Phoebe Hughes



Saint Francis Church is a strong supporter of the sanctity of life and has had a chapter of Anglicans for Life for seven years.  We will be having our first fall meeting of this chapter on Sunday, September 20, after the 11:00 service.  We would like to invite everyone who has not been a member of this group to join us for this meeting to hear a little of our history, where we would like to go, and suggest any way that we can continue and grow.  This is a time when the horrors of abortion are being brought to the attention of many and a time when we should try to help make this fact a reality for all and, at the same time, do what we can to help the mothers and babies in need. We would appreciate your support and prayers.  We hope to see you on the 20th.

Morality, Moralism and the Gospel
The Rev. Randall R. Scheer

Morality is following a code of ethics, a set of rules by which one governs his/her life.  Often our code of morals comes from the society around us, our culture.  Moralism is like what we try to do on Sunday when we put on a suit/dress/special pants and shirt.  We really look good on the outside while all along we know how we really are inside, a mess.  We don't live up to our own set of morals let alone how God in Heaven has revealed the way He wants us to live.  This failure to hit the mark of the high calling of God we Christians know as sin.  As St. Paul said it, “All have fallen short of the glory of God.”  The Gospel is not “try harder.”  The Gospel is that we are far more sinful than our wildest imaginations and yet more deeply loved than our fondest dreams.  The Gospel is God giving to us what we do not have in ourselves, the ability to live stellar lives.  He gives us grace for those times when we accidentally and deliberately miss His mark.  It is His amazing Grace that magnetically draws us to him and saves us.

James Harrison received 13 liters of blood for a surgery that saved his life at age 13.  He pledged to donate blood once he turned 18.  It was discovered that James had an antigen in his blood that healed Rhesus disease.  He donated blood a record 1000 times and saved 2,000,000 lives.  As wonderful as Mr. Harrison's gift of life to 2 million  lives is, our Lord Jesus Christ has saved every life that has come to Him for salvation, for reclamation, for transformation, for change into the image of God's Son.  The Holy Spirit courts us, not forces us to experience Him.

Randy Scheer is a retired minister of the Presbyterian Church.  He, his wife Sandy and sister Bev are now members of St. Francis.



"...This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."
Anne Graham Lotz

Have you ever fasted?  While we often are required to fast from food and/or drink before a medical test or procedure, have you ever fasted voluntarily in association with prayer?  During our Mayday! Mayday! A Distress Call for Prayer, I received quite a number of queries about fasting as it relates to prayer, which leads me to believe it may be an important spiritual discipline that needs fresh consideration.

When the disciples who had not drawn aside for a time of quiet retreat with Jesus on the mountain were faced with a difficult situation in Mark 9, they were unable to deal with it.  When they asked Jesus why they had no power to make a difference, He responded that power to make a difference in some situations requires prayer and fasting.

So what is fasting? Traditionally fasting usually involves going without food for a certain period of time.  Jewish tradition calls for fasting from food from sundown on one day until sundown the next day.  In some unique circumstances, the fast can stretch to days and even weeks.  But in a broader sense, fasting means to go without anything and everything in order to make the time to pray.

In prayer we turn to God.  In fasting we turn away from everything else but God.  While we associate fasting most often with abstaining from food, it can also be abstinence from business, emails, phone calls, ministry, entertainment, web surfing, meetings, housework, shopping, cooking, talking, television, technology—the list is unlimited.

One reason we fast is not to show God how pious we are.  He already knows.  It is not a “work” we are to add to our prayer effort in order to merit His answer.  His answers are gifts of His grace, not rewards for our work.  It is not to make God love us more or pay us more attention.  He loves us completely, fully.  He can't love us any more.  And He has already given us His undivided attention without our fasting.  So why do we fast?

There are several reasons we fast.  One reason is because Jesus expects us to fast.  He told His disciples, “When you fastů”1 Not if you fast.  For myself, fasting has helped to purify my motives in prayer.  It sharpens my focus on heavenly things and clarifies my perspective on earthly things.   It prompts me to pray more persistently and frequently.  And perhaps most importantly, it reveals to me how sincere I really am as I seek the Lord in prayer.

I suggest that you start to build fasting into your prayer life if you haven't already.  Talk to God about it. Then decide what you will fast from.  When you will fast from it.  And how long you will maintain your fast.  Then do it.  What difference will it make?  Why not find out?

This article has been adapted from Anne's new book, The Daniel Prayer, which will be released in April, 2016.

Ice Cream Social



There has been talk amongst some members of the St. Polycarp Men's Guild to host an Ice Cream Social to mark the end of summer.  Mark your calendars for Sunday, Sept. 13 at 12:15 pm. Currently plans are for members of the St. Polycarp's Guild to supply the food - ice cream, hamburger, and hotdogs.  Look for further announcements to see if parts turn into potluck. 


St. Francis Activities
Our parish has many groups to carry out our mission.  Here are more details on a few of them: 

Ushers
Service as an usher is an important lay ministry of our parish. By their service, the ushers help to establish a welcoming and reverent atmosphere for worship, they assist in the orderly conduct of the service and they perform record keeping vital to the ongoing operation of the parish. Contact Al Parker if interested in serving al@alparker.com.

Webmaster
The St. Francis website is maintained by Jim Crandell and serves as a portal of information to the outside world.  Times of upcoming services, our location and the main activities are listed.  Most importantly, recordings of sermons are available from the most current recorded Sunday back to January 2002 for anyone to listen to.

Women's Bible Study
From time to time, Becky Hunt conducts a women's Bible study during the day. The Bible study has in the past studied several books of the Bible, mostly in the summer in 8 or 9 week sessions, as well as a couple of Barbara Mouser studies, such as Knowing God and Understanding Men, a study of Genesis and the Patriarchs.  Plans are in the works to do Barbara's in-depth exploration of Biblical femininity, "Five Aspects of Woman," beginning soon. 

Newsletter Submissions
Newsletter articles are gladly accepted for inclusion in the next month's newsletter. E-mail to the editor, Amy Crandell at amytcrandell@gmail.com by the 20th of the month. 

Readings for Upcoming Services



9/6  14 aft Trinity
Isaiah 35:4-7a
Psalm 146
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:31-37
 
9/13  15 aft Trinity
Isaiah 50:4-9
Psalm 116:1-8
James 2:1-5, 8-10, 14-18
Mark 8:27-38
 
9/20  16 aft Trinity
Wisdom 1:16-2:1, 6-22
Psalm 54
James 3:16-4:6
Mark 9:30-37
 
9/27  17 aft Trinity
Numbers 11:4-6,10-16, 24-29
Psalm 19:7-14
James 4:7-5:6
Mark 9:38-48
 


Calendar

Sundays
9:30 am, Holy Communion (said service)
9:30 am, Sunday school, beginning Sept. 13
10 am, Choir Practice
11 am, Holy Communion with music. On the first Sunday, this service is sung Morning Prayer with Holy Communion.

Thursdays
7 pm, Evening Prayer

1st Friday, Sept. 4
7 - 9 pm, Games Night

1st Saturday, Sept. 5
9 am, Prayer Walk

Sunday, September 13
12:15 pm, Ice Cream Social   

2nd Monday, September 14
5:30 pm, Vestry Meeting 

3rd Thursday, Sept. 17
12 pm, Noon, Mothers' Prayer Group

3rd Sunday, Sept. 20
12:30 pm, Anglicans for Life

September Birthdays



4      Judy Bernard
7      Eileen Cole
10    Austin Lamb, Hally Glenn
15    Katie Sandlin, Michelle Collins 
20    Kimberly Norris, Henry Noelke, Adriane Kristo-Reinking  
21    David Kristo-Reinking  
25    Sheri Brummett  
27    Elias Smith

September Anniversaries



5    Mark & Susan Rambin  
6    Steve & Angie McCown  
16    Brian & Kerry Glenn 

Our Mission Statement
  • We the People of God as Saint Francis Anglican Church are a community of believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ whose mission it is to spread that Gospel in what we preach and in the way we live.
  • We are called to know the Word of God, to act on it in our lives and to share it with our brothers and sisters in the world.
  • We are determined to hold the ancient faith of our ancestors in the Anglican tradition, to uphold traditional Christian values based on the Holy Word of God and to be faithful witnesses to the person of Jesus in the Austin Community.
  • St. Francis parish is dedicated to the presence of Christ in the lives of the poor, the needy, the sick, to each other and to all those to whom Jesus comes to minister in His life on earth.
  • As a community of believers, we intend to entrust our growth in love, in faith and in resources to the generosity of God.

Staff
Rector - The Rev. Canon Len Giacolone
Music Director and Organist - Paula Blaha

Lay Leadership
Vestry Members - Senior Warden, Mark Rambin; Junior Warden, Keith Harrell; Treasurer, Michael Ready; Secretary, Jim Crandell; John Hatley, Anne Idsal,  Ed Sandlin, Fr. Len Giacolone
Acolytes - Fr. Len Giacolone
Altar Guild - Becky Hunt
Anglicans for Life - Phoebe Hughes
Austin City Prayer Walk - Claire Ducker and Amy Crandell
Choir - Amy Crandell
Christian Education for Youth - Missy Bernard, Doug Cooper
Christian Education for Adults - Fr. Len Giacolone
Evening Prayer - Jim Crandell
Home Group Hosts - Claire Ducker, Anne Idsal, Kim & David Norris
Hospitality - Kim and David Norris
Intercessory Prayer Group - Fr. Len and Nancy Giacolone
Mothers' Prayer Group - Charlotte Ready
Newsletter & Bulletin - Amy Crandell
Nursery - Missy Bernard & Grace Rowse
Prayer Shawl Ministry - Charlotte Ready
Readers - Mark Rambin
St. Claire's Guild - Eileen Cole
St. Polycarp's Guild - Jim Crandell
Ushers - Al Parker
Webmaster - Jim Crandell
Women of the Church - Leanne Read
Women's Bible Study - Becky Hunt
5th Sunday Nursing Home Service - Amy & Jim Crandell
Copyright 2015 St. Francis Anglican Church, All rights reserved.