From the Rector
Fr. Len Giacolone
We are still fairly early in Lent at this point but it is not too early to mention Holy week which comes at the end of March.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. Thankfully, there will be no race this year that will impede access to the church for the early service. We will do the blessing of palms as usual at the 9:30 service. For the 11:00 am service I would ask that everyone congregate in the hospitality area where we will bless palms and process into the church with the processional hymn. Palm Sunday has, of course, a dual focus: Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, along with his Passion, this year according to St. Mark. These two very different events are not unlike our own Christian life with the joys and sorrows that inevitably come our way simply because we follow the Master.
Maundy Thursday celebrates the institution of the Eucharist and the command that Jesus gave to His disciples to love one another. It is always followed by the stripping of the altar that calls to mind that Jesus was stripped of his garments before he was nailed to the cross. Since the Blessed Sacrament is now reserved in the tabernacle, the last item to be removed will be the ciborium with the consecrated hosts. It will be removed to the sacristy so that there may be Holy Communion from the reserved sacrament on Good Friday. We have never done this before since we have never before reserved the sacrament. This year Holy Communion will be distributed after the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday.
We will do Good Friday the same as always with the above mentioned exception. The service includes Scripture readings including the Passion according to St. John, The Litany, Veneration of the Cross, and this year, Holy Communion. Thursday and Friday evening will begin at 7:00 pm.
The Solemn Easter Vigil will take place on Saturday Evening, March 31, beginning at 7:30pm. The principle reason for this service is to commemorate the history of salvation leading up to the celebration of Christ's resurrection. It is also the first Mass of Easter. On this night we will bless the new fire (symbolizing light out of darkness) from which the Easter Candle is lit; sing the Paschal Proclamation; listen to the Scriptures with regard to our salvation in Christ; renew our baptismal promises and share the first Easter Eucharist. It is a glorious celebration, always too sparsely attended in my mind. But I can only encourage your participation.
On Easter Sunday morning, we will have our regular Sunday schedule. Our 11:00 am service will be enhanced with musicians in addition to the organ to give proper solemnity to the feast.
I always encourage you to make as many of these services as you can and to make them your own. This is for the glory of God which can never be overemphasized.
Our Lenten series on The Fourth Suffering Servant Song continues on Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm. Even if you have to miss some evenings, please try to join in for the others.
As I mentioned to you on Sunday, February 17 during the church service, please keep Saturday, April 14, free for The Emergency Preparedness Workshop sponsored by the diocese and given by Father Jay Atwood. More details will be forthcoming in the near future but please try to attend. There will be valuable information for everyone in the parish regarding what to do in case of any kind of emergency we might encounter while at church. This will take most of the day so be forewarned. The training session begins at 10 a.m. Lunch will be provided.
Annual Meeting Report
At the annual meeting held on January 28, three St. Francis members were elected for a three-year term: Jim Britt, Matt Donnowitz, and Donna Hunt. Thanks to all who ran. The parish was blessed in that any of the six candidates would have served the parish well. Since the annual meeting, Fr. Len reappointed David Norris as Senior Warden. At the February meeting, the Vestry elected Jim Britt as Junior Warden and Kevin Brunette as the Secretary. Grady Collins will continue as Treasurer, but is not a Vestry member. Our 9-member Vestry is as follows, listed by the year their term expires:
Also at the annual meeting, Cynthia Reiser agreed to be the delegate to the Diocesan Convention November 9-10 at St. Peter and St Paul Anglican Church in Arlington. Amy Crandell will be the alternate delegate.
- Class of 2019 - Kevin Burnett, Secretary; Brendle Glomb; and David Norris, Senior Warden
- Class of 2020 - Dinah Arce and Missy Bernard
- Class of 2021 - Jim Britt, Junior Warden; Matt Donnowitz, and Donna Hunt
- Fr. Len is an unelected, permanent member of the Vestry.
Anglicans for Life
Last week, the Gerber Company unveiled the 2018 Gerber Baby. Like every other Gerber baby that has come before him, 1-year-old Lucas Warren from Dalton, GA is undeniably cute. But Lucas is the first Gerber baby to have Down syndrome since the contest's start in 2010. “He's very outgoing and never meets a stranger,” Lucas's mom, Cortney said, “He loves to play, loves to laugh, and loves to make other people laugh.” This is both a delightfully bold and incredibly timely move for Gerber, considering that Iceland has claimed to have “eliminated” Down syndrome—not through scientific breakthroughs, of course, but through abortion. But Lucas doesn't know that there are many who see his life as not worth living—that government officials will brag about their non-existent disabled population or that abortion is seen as a “merciful” choice for unborn children who show positive results for Down syndrome in prenatal tests. Instead, his face shows a big smile, one full of happiness and innocence.
Who are people with Down syndrome? According to National Down Syndrome Society, people with Down syndrome usually have low muscle tone and developmental or cognitive delays. These cognitive delays range from being very mild to severe, although most people with this condition have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate. They are also, due to advances in medical technology, living longer than ever before. In the early 20th century, children with Down syndrome were expected to survive to age nine. Today, 80% of adults with Down syndrome reach age 60, and many live even longer. Additionally, with special programs and therapies children can achieve the same milestones as children without Down syndrome, if somewhat later. Adults with Down syndrome often work, get married, have friendships, and report being generally happy with their lives. Unfortunately, where there is a prenatal diagnosis of for this condition, the abortion rate is over 90%.
March 19th-25th is Down syndrome awareness week. Do you know someone in your life who has Down syndrome? Talk with them. Honor them and their parents and loved ones. See their happiness not as something silly or childish but as something to emulate and honor. May Lucas the Gerber Baby, with his big, beautiful smile, and all those who have Down syndrome be spokespeople for their positive outlook on life. And may we as society seek to not only protect them but celebrate them for their ability to see the world differently and to live with more joy.
Emergency Preparedness Workshops
This is a description of the workshop that will be held at St. Francis on April 14. Plan to be there. (http://www.fwepiscopal.org/resources/EP.html)
The diocesan Risk Management Committee has developed a program to help churches improve the overall safety of their facility and activities. This is a matter of good stewardship of God's people and property. Whether the crisis is a medical emergency during worship, a grease fire in the kitchen, a tornado warning, or a violent intruder, the clergy and people of every congregation need to be equipped to respond.
In 2018, every congregation is asked to examine its present state of preparedness and to establish a Safety Team to address the areas that are identified for improvement. A walk-through with a member of your community's police or fire department is recommended.
To launch this program, workshops are being held throughout the Diocese to acquaint all staff members, volunteers, and ministry leaders with best practices for all types of emergency situations, whether on Sunday morning or through the week. Vestry members, ushers, nursery workers, and Sunday School teachers are especially encouraged to attend, but the workshops are open to all: We can't predict who will be on hand at a critical moment. The content of each workshop is the same; you may attend whenever and wherever it is most convenient for you. Depending on the amount of discussion, the workshop will last between four and five hours.
The Diocese of Fort Worth has a wonderful camp program for youth from Kindergarten through high school at Camp Crucis in Granbury - south of Ft. Worth. Sessions begin on June 24 and include a family camp. Check out their web page and Facebook page. Click here to see the flyer handed out at the Diocesan convention. The flyer is also posted on the bulletin board in the Fellowship area.
The annual Diocesan's Women's Conference will be held Saturday, August 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at St. Timothy's Anglican Church, 4201 Mitchell Blvd., Ft. Worth, TX. Entitled "Igniting Your Passion To Overcome", it will be led by Janet Perez Eckles, an internationally known women's speaker. Although physically blind, Janet Perez Eckles has taught thousands to see the best in life. Click here to see the flyer. The flyer is also posted on the bulletin board in the Fellowship area.
Other Diocesan Activities
Diocesan Activities are promoted on this blog. You can subscribe and have updates emailed to you.
The Diocesan calendar is here.
The Bishop's page is here.
Voice of the Martyrs
New to St. Francis for Lent 2018 - a drive to benefit the Voice of the Martyrs.
The Voice of the Martyrs is a nonprofit, inter-denominational Christian missions organization dedicated to serving our persecuted family worldwide through practical and spiritual assistance and leading other members of the body of Christ into fellowship with them.
The Voice of the Martyrs continues this mission around the world today through the following purposes:
How can you help? Christina Hatley is encouraging St. Francis members to donate items for an Action Pack and/or a Family Medical Pack. Check out the display table in the Narthex for information on how you can help.
- To encourage and empower Christians to fulfill the Great Commission in areas of the world where they are persecuted for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- To provide practical relief and spiritual support to the families of Christian martyrs.
- To equip persecuted Christians to love and win to Christ those who are opposed to the gospel in their part of the world.
- To undertake projects of encouragement, helping believers rebuild their lives and Christian witness in countries where they have formerly suffered oppression.
- To promote the fellowship of all believers by informing the world of the faith and courage of persecuted Christians, thereby inspiring believers to a deeper level of commitment to Christ and involvement in His Great Commission.
Diocese of Ft. Worth Customary on Marriage
As promised in the February newsletter, here is the text on marriage from the Customary of the Diocese of Ft. Worth. Bishop Iker describes the Customary as follows:
This Customary is offered as a resource and guide to all the clergy and laity of this Diocese, to strengthen our common life and ministry as a Christian family. It offers norms and standards, guidelines and policies, which are intended to be helpful to all of us, both in terms of answering a variety of questions that come to the Diocesan Center on a regular basis and also in terms of establishing certain expectations that I have as your Bishop regarding the way we do things here in the Diocese of Fort Worth.
The priest is in charge, not only of the marriage service, but also of the decoration of the church and the choice of music. No wedding date may be set without consultation and approval by the priest in charge. Marriages are expected to be celebrated in the church as a service of worship and not as private affairs or social spectaculars. No marriage is to be celebrated during Advent or Lent, except for special or unusual reasons. In such cases, it is customary to consult with the Bishop before proceeding. The clergy are required to provide careful preparation and instruction to the couple prior to the solemnization of any marriage. For this reason, the officiating priest must be contacted at least sixty days prior to the anticipated date of the proposed wedding.
Every congregation is expected to have clear and precise policies regarding marriages and the use of the Parish Hall for receptions. Matters to be addressed include the use of flowers, candles, photographers, videos, music, rehearsals, fees, etc.
It is the practice of this Christian community to celebrate all services of Holy Matrimony within the normal place of worship, the parish church building. Marriage is a Sacrament celebrated by, for and with the Christian community. Any other practice such as garden weddings, or on bridal paths, at lakeside, in airplanes, while skydiving, etc., are to be discouraged as inappropriate. Marriages of communicant members of the Church are normally celebrated in the context of the Nuptial Mass, during which all communicants are to be given opportunity to receive the Blessed Sacrament during the Communion of the people.
If for pastoral reasons an ecclesiastical annulment is requested, evidence must be submitted based on Canon I. 19, Section 2(a) of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. In requesting an annulment, the application form provided by the Bishop's office is to be accompanied by the following:
Marriage In The Church of Divorced Persons:
- A letter from the petitioner explaining the grounds for a judgment of the nullity of this marriage.
- A letter from the priest of the congregation where the petitioner is a member, stating his assessment of the basis for an annulment to be granted.
- Written statements from a minimum of two witnesses, supporting the application, based on their personal knowledge of the marriage in question.
A petition to the Bishop is necessary when either or both parties have been previously married and when the former spouse is still living. The Church is not a business for marrying people, and only those who are part of the Christian community or those who are seeking to become part of it are to be considered. One of the parties must be baptized and should ordinarily be a member of the parish where the wedding is to take place.
A petition is something that seeks a decision. Therefore, certain information is necessary on which to base that decision. The pastoral relationship established between the priest and those coming to him seeking permission to marry in the Church is essential. The findings of the priest are the most important parts of the petition upon which the decision is based. Therefore, thorough counseling and teaching are expected.
The information presented to the Bishop, along with the completed form of petition which is provided by the Bishop's office, must include:
A petition for remarriage of a person who has already been twice married before will not be considered by the Bishop unless the priest can present data which indicates that there were specific impediments to one or both of the previous marriages. These impediments are consanguinity or affinity; mistaken identity; sufficient mental deficiency; failure to have reached the age of puberty; undisclosed impotence, sexual perversion, or venereal disease; bigamy; concurrent contract inconsistent with the marital contract; or fraud, coercion, duress, or personality defects which make competent and free consent impossible.
- A letter from the divorced person(s) indicating what went wrong in the previous marriage, whether counseling was sought, what positive insights or understandings were gained from the experience, why it is believed that the proposed marriage will be successful, what moral and financial responsibilities continue with respect to the former spouse and any children of that marriage, and the reason(s) the person wishes to be married in the Church.
- A letter from the priest indicating his opinion in the matter and his willingness to officiate at the marriage.
Communicants of one Diocese who wish to be remarried by a priest in another Diocese must first secure the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese in which they are canonically resident, and then have it endorsed by the Bishop of the Diocese in which they wish to be married.
The Bishop will receive petitions for permission to bless marriages of those married outside the canonical provisions of the Church. A letter, summarizing the circumstances of the marriage, and stating that the couple has been instructed in the Church's teaching on marriage, is necessary. The priest involved with them shall determine the time within these limits. During this period, the couple is expected to show their sincerity of commitment by regular attendance at services of worship, financial support of the Church, prayer, and involvement in the life of the congregation.
Letters assuring communicants of their continued good standing are available if requested, when they are not requesting permission to be married. Such a letter does not carry permission to be married in the Church at some future date. A petition must always be submitted to the Bishop whenever a divorced person, whose former spouse is still living, desires to be married in the Church.
In all requests for the Bishop's consent to the marriage of divorced persons, applications must be in the hands of the Bishop at least 60 days before the marriage is contemplated, and no announcement of the marriage may be made until the consent of the Bishop has been received. Such applications will normally be considered by the Bishop only when the divorce has been final for at least one year.
The Blessing of a Civil Marriage by a priest of the Church requires the same consent from the Bishop and must meet the same criteria of Canon I.19, if there is a previous divorce with the previous spouse still living.
2 Hannah Hatley
5 Bill Palmer
7 Penny Sandlin
13 Keira McCormick
14 Marilynn Palmer
15 Shirley Ellis, Melissa Nelson Bernard, Kolby Glenn
19 Timothy McCormick
23 Jim Orr
26 Grady Collins
28 Lavanna Martin
31 Stephanie Brail
- Larry and Eileen Cole
Wednesdays in Lent
On each Wednesday in Lent at 7:00 p.m., there will be a Holy Communion service with a reflection on the Fourth Suffering Servant Song. (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). The readings will be the lessons designated for the previous Sunday in the 1928 Prayer Book.
- Feb. 21: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10, Psalm 16, Matthew 4:1-11
- Feb. 28: 1Thessalonians 4:1-8, Psalm 67, Matthew 15:21-28
- March 7: Ephesians 5:1-14, Psalm 77, Luke 11:14-28
- March 14: Galatians 4:21-31, Psalm 97, John 6:1-14
- March 21: Hebrews 9:11-15a, Psalm 132, John 8:46-59
- March 28: Lamentations 3:1, 14-33, Psalm 74, John 16:16-28
We return to Daylight Saving Time the second weekend in March. Be sure to set your clocks forward an hour before going to bed on March 10.
St. Francis Groups & Activities
Our parish has many groups to carry out our mission. Below are the groups with the contact listed for questions.
Reading for March
- Acolytes - Fr. Giacolone
- Altar Flowers - Angie McCown or Nancy Critchfield-Jones
- Altar Guild - Becky Hunt
- Anglicans for Life - Rory Motl
- Choir - Ralph Webb
- Christian Education for Youth - Missy Bernard
- Christian Education for Adults - Fr. Giacolone
- Evening Prayer - Jim Crandell
- Games Night - Amy Crandell
- Home Groups - Fr. Giacolone
- Hospitality - David Norris
- Intercessory Prayer Group - Fr. Len and Nancy Giacolone
- Mothers' Prayer Group - Char Ready
- Newsletter & Bulletin - Amy Crandell
- Nursery - Missy Bernard
- Prayer Service for the Nation - Amy Crandell
- Prayer Shawl Ministry - Char Ready
- Readers or Lectors -Fr. Giacolone
- St. Claire's Guild - Eileen Cole
- St. Polycarp's Guild - Jim Crandell
- Ushers - Al Parker
- Vestry - Fr. Giacolone
- Webmaster - Jim Crandell
- Women's Bible Study - Becky Hunt
- Women of the Church - Susan Rambin
- 5th Sunday Nursing Home Service - Amy Crandell
3/4 3 Lent (v)
3/11 4 Lent (rose)
- Exodus 20:1-17
- Psalm 19:7-14
- Romans 7:13-25
- John 2:13-22
3/18 5 Lent (v)
- 2 Chronicles 36:14-23
- Psalm 122
- Ephesians 2:4-10
- John 6:4-15
3/25 Palm Sunday (v)
- Jeremiah 31:31-34
- Psalm 51
- Hebrews 5:1-10
- John 12:20-33
3/29 Maundy Thursday (w)
- Mark 11:1-11a
- Isaiah 45:21-25
- Psalm 22:1-11
- Philippians 2:5-11
- Mark 14:32-15:47
3/30 Good Friday
- Exodus 12:1-14a
- Psalm 78:14-26
- 1 Corinthians 11:23-32
- John 13:1-15
3/31 Solemn Easter Vigil (w)
- Isaiah 52:13-53:12
- Psalm 22:1-11
- Hebrews 10:1-25
- John 18 & 19
Notes on the Readings:
- Genesis 1:1-2:2
- Genesis 22:1-18
- Exodus 14:10-15:1
- Isaiah 55:1-11
- Ezekiel 36:24-28
- Romans 6:3-11
- Matthew 28:1-10
Each Sunday's readings are linked to the passage on LectionaryPage.net.
St. Francis follows the 1979 BCP Lectionary for the lessons (We are in Year B) with the text read from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. The Sunday collects and text of the psalms are from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
Wednesdays in Lent - ongoing through March 28
- 9:30 a.m. Said Holy Communion
- 9:30 a.m. Sunday School
- 10:00 a.m. Choir Practice
- 11:00 a.m. Holy Communion with music (on the first Sunday, the liturgy includes Morning Prayer.)
- 1:00 p.m. Embrace the Journey course
- 7:00 p.m. Holy Communion with a series of reflections on the Fourth Suffering Servant Song. (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)
1st Friday, March 2
- 7:00 p.m. Evening Prayer (except March 29)
1st Saturday, March 3
- 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Games Night
2nd Monday, March 12
3rd Friday, March 16
- 9:00 a.m. Prayer Service for our Nation
Holy Week and Easter Services
- 12:00 p.m. Mothers' Prayer Group
March 25, Palm Sunday
March 29, Maundy Thursday
- 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. - Liturgy of the Palms and Holy Communion.
March 30, Good Friday
- 7:00 p.m. Holy Communion with music and the stripping of the altar.
March 31, Solemn Easter Vigil (first Mass of Easter)
- 7:00 p.m. Good Friday Liturgy with Communion from the Reserve.
April 1 Easter Sunday
- 7:30 p.m. Bless the new fire, commemorate the history of salvation leading up to the celebration of Christ's resurrection, renew our baptismal promises
- 9:30 a.m. (said service) and 11:00 a.m. (with the flowering of the cross and music).
St. Francis Anglican Church of Austin
A parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
Diocese Office: 2900 Alemeda St.
Fort Worth, TX 76108
The Rt. Rev'd Jack L. Iker, D.D
The Rev. Canon Len Giacolone