The Weekly Word

In about 1636 a German Lutheran clergyman named Martin Rinkart wrote a prayer that is set to music in our hymnal. Shortly before he set pen to paper his wife had died of bubonic plague, as had more than 6000 other souls in Eilenburg. Thousands of others were within that walled city to escape onslaughts by belligerents of the Thirty Years War and they were starving. Death was everywhere. In the face of all  this catastrophic social and personal loss, Pastor Rinkart wrote a table prayer for his children to offer to God:

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

Despite the difficulty of his circumstances Rinkart could still find faith to trust in God and to be grateful to him for his blessings. His was the same kind of gratitude that allowed St. Paul to write from a prison cell: "Thanks be to God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every blessing."

In the Bible the words for "gratitude" and "faith" are interchangeable. If a person has faith he will also have a sense of thankfulness. If one is thankful he must also be a person of faith. Rinkart understood, like St. Paul, that in whatever circumstance - even death, loss, and hardship - we are to turn to God in praise. This does not mean that we are supposed to put on a false front of happiness. It doesn't mean that we're supposed to try to psych ourselves into feeling better. Rather, we are to be thankful in times of hardship because we know that God has the final word.

The life we live has its many challenges and its many blessings. It has its pain - but it's also a life filled with excitement and surprises and times of incomparable inspiration. How can any one of us be ungrateful, regardless of our circumstances? If in the midst of devastating war, plague, famine, and death, Rinkart could find the faith to sing his thanks to God, how much more should we who are living in much better circumstances rejoice in the goodness of God that has blessed us so abundantly?

Shalom, John+

Sunday Service Times 
  • 8:30am and 10:30am: Holy Eucharist Rite II
  • 10:30am: Children's Chapel (Sunday School for ages K-5th Grade)
  • Childcare is available from 9:30am until 11:30am
See our Christian Formation page for more information on programs for infants, toddlers, children, youth and adults.
You are invited to submit your prayer requests here. Submission of your prayer request will be received by a member of our office staff and in the included in the parish prayer list. If received  after 5:00pm on Wednesdays, or you indicate that you would prefer to keep your prayer confidential, a member of our clergy will address your prayer privately.

General Announcements

God loves us....On Saturday, August 13th, He sent cloud cover when we were expecting 100+ degrees, and 9 people showed up to spruce up the grounds!  Thanks to Glen Couchman, Lawson Grant, Tom and Lyn Miller, Leonard and Ruth Henry, Richard Macchi, and Jerry and Cindy Allen.  Windows in the great hall and sanctuary, outside and in, were cleaned, two trees were taken down, weedwacking, leaf raking and flower bed improving, and a hollowed out panel in front of the school was replaced.

You guys are my heroes....thank you!  
Cindy Allen

Please join us in giving thanks to Fr. John for all he has done as our interim priest. The Vestry will host a small reception in the Parish Hall after the 10:30 service Sunday, 21 August. Please stay and share our appreciation and love to Fr. John and his wife, Su. We will also acknowledge our beloved Deacon Tamara. The Vestry would like to recognize all the work she has done during Fr. Brad's sabbatical, Deacon Tamara once again has gone above and beyond the call of duty and we all appreciate her love and dedication to St. Francis.

Just a note to thank all of the wonderful people at St. Francis that help make Backpack Buddies such a success every year.  This is a wonderful outreach to our community by the combined efforts of our churches, and thank you for being such a big part of this effort to help the least among us.  Faithfully, Carol Lynch

Veterans needed for a film called "Coming Home" about the pilgrimages of remembrance and reconciliation for veterans that the Rev. David Peters began leading at Grace, Georgetown several years ago. A feature-length documentary is planned about Peters' experience and he is looking for a dozen OIF/OEF veterans willing to be filmed. "We need veterans of WWII, Korea, especially Vietnam, Balkans, Somalia, Persian Gulf, Panama, and others to support this new generation of warriors on the journey home from war," Peters said. Contact Peters at

A new bumper sticker features the words of Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, "We are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement!"  It can be found on the table in the Narthex.  Get yours this Sunday!

What's Going on at
St. Francis this Week?
Sunday, August 14     
  • 8:30am Holy Eucharist Rite II 
  • 9:45 am Sunday Breakfast Club
  • 10:30am Holy Eucharist Rite II
  • Childcare is available from 9:30 until 11:30am 

Tuesday, August 23   
  • Tuesday Solace on Summer Break through August.
     It will resume in September. (See description below)
Wednesday, August 24
  • Weekend Nutritional Backpack Ministry: 9:00am at CTLC - 702 West Avenue G, Temple TX (See description below)
    **Currently on summer break!** 
Thursday, August 25
  • Garden Work DayJoin us for garden workday every Thursday at 8:00am.
Saturday, August 27
  • Quiet Day:  9am-2pm, 305 N 30th St, Waco, TX 76710

All Women of St. Francis are invited to The Diocese of Texas ECW and The ECW of St. Alban's, Waco. Carpool arrangements are being made. Please contact Martha Hoyt at 773-4409 or Frances at 773-4255 if you plan to attend.


Upcoming Events

Last year's Cru Sunday was another amazing team effort!  So many of you contributed in numerous ways to help make the UMHB football team and staff feel a part of our church family.  The vestry with the support of many of you has decided to initiate the 4th Annual Cru Sunday and we need everyone's help.

The following is a draft of committees and volunteers. If you are willing to help on one or more of these committees, please contact the person listed below.
  • Church - set up (chairs)   
  • Nursery - we may need one extra volunteer 
  • Tables/Chairs - Chris Sedonic
  • Decorations/plates/silverware - Karen Fredenburg
  • Drinks - Chris Sedonic
  • Hospitality - Jeannie Killgore
  • Parking - Mike Ludlow
  • Pocket Crosses - Gift shop board
  • Nursery - Nicole Vernon & Rose Bednarczyk
  • Need: Ice & Coolers for Drinks and a Kitchen Crew
Chip Schaefer will once again be providing the meat, and we, of course, hope each of you will sign up to bring one on more dishes.  The signup sheet will be in the Narthex.  Please bring your dishes in the tin pans provided next to the signup sheet.  God Bless you
Ongoing Ministries 
Tuesday Solace: Tuesday Solace is a free service supporting families affected by Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia and takes place from 1:00 -4:00pm at the Parish Hall. Allowing caregivers respite time, the program provides music and singing, fun, social activities, and loving care to the participants.
**Currently on Summer Break!**

Weekend Nutritional Backpack Ministry: Each Wednesday morning at 9:00am volunteers gather at CTLC (Churches Touching Lives for Christ) to fill 400 backpacks for the WNB Ministry. CTLC is located at 702 West Avenue G, Temple T X
**Currently on Summer Break!**

Feed My Sheep Sack Meals (FMS) : On the 2nd Sunday of each month, all are invited to gather in the Parish at 9:30 to prepare 200 sack lunches for our neighbors who have limited access to food. The lunches are delivered after the 10:30 service to Feed My Sheep by those who may wish to volunteer. Our next schedule sack meal preparation is set for Sunday, SEPTEMBER 11  To learn how to get involved, please see Deacon Tamara.  
Churches Touching Lives for Christ (CTLC) :  The collection item for August 2016 is P-Nut Butter & Jelly (in plastic jars). Items may be brought to the narthex on Sunday or to the Church Office during weekdays.
Ministers in the Lord's Service

Altar GuildGail Avots,
Ethelene Rodriguez & Kim Carpenter

Ushers: Len & Ruth Henry
Acolytes: Ian & Hannah Wilson 

Vestry Greeter: Cindy Allen
Lay Readers
8:30: Cindy Allen
10:30 John Dieter & Nick Graham

Pianist: Jonnie Gendron
Violinist:  Annie Bailey

This Week's Birthdays & Anniversaries 
If your birthday or anniversary is missing or incorrect, please contact Frances and let her know!

August 24 Birthday:
Carole Morrow Cortinez   
August 25 Birthday:
Gerri Tipps 

August 27 Birthday:
Nancy Smith

August 28 Birthday:
Frances Ford
August 30 Birthday:
   Chuck Gendron

August 30 Anniversary:
Gary & Wanda White

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