The Weekly Word
Simplicity and Great Power

We are all aware of the irony that exists between honoring the birth of the Son of God in the most simple circumstances in a chilly stable by reveling in the conspicuous consumption of gifts, food, drink, etc. intended for our personal pleasure.  This is not news, yet somehow each year many of us find ourselves giving in to the temptation to use this Divine Commemoration in ways that are anything but simple.  The Great Power of our Savior Jesus Christ is often set aside, and our attention focuses on the great power of human pleasure and gratification.

For this coming week, an appropriate response to recognize the Simplicity and Great Power that define our Savior would be to engage in deliberately living simply so that our hearts may be open to see the Great Power that God has sent into the world through the birth and life of Jesus.  To do so may be challenging, but to not do so puts us in danger of not properly honoring the One who has come into the world to teach God's will, to suffer, and to die so that we do not have to die, but have life for all eternity.

May God grant us the Grace to live simply so that our hearts and our minds may be clear to recognize that God's Great Power is taking place all around us.  All we have to do is to stop long enough to look and to listen, to know that we are truly standing in the very presence of God.

Fr. Brad

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.

Christmas Service Times
Christmas Eve (Saturday)
6:00 p.m. Midnight Mass

Christmas Day (Sunday)
One Service at 10:00 a.m.
Pledges for 2017

Pledges 2017 continue to come in. If you have not already submitted a financial pledge for 2017, please do so by one of the following methods:
  • Mail your pledge card to the church office
  • Phone your pledge to Frances in the church office
    (254) 773-4255
  • E-mail your pledge to Frances in the church office
  • Drop your pledge card in the collection plate during Sunday Worship
Greetings My Friends in Christ

We are so blessed with the hard work and dedication of our St. Francis staff.   Keeping with tradition, the Vestry would like to honor and recognize each of them this Christmas with a monetary gift and we are asking each of you to make a donation to the staff gift fund.

If you wish to contribute and honor our staff, please place your contribution in the alms basin or send it to the church no later than December 18, 2016. Please designate your donation as "staff gifts". Your gifts will be distributed to our Rector, Fr. Brad; our Deacon, Tamara Clothier; our administrator, Frances Svatek; communication coordinator,  Caroline St. Romain; sexton, Ricky De la Garza; child care minister, Nicole Vernon; and our organist, Debra Johnson.

On behalf of the Vestry, I would like to thank you for your gifts as we show our appreciation for our wonderful staff members. Also, the Vestry wishes all of you a very Merry Christmas, and prays for God's Blessings upon each and every one of you throughout the New Year.
Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2017.

Christ's love,
Lyn Miller, Sr. Warden
St. Francis Episcopal
School Service Project
For the month of December, St. Francis School working with Bell County Foster Care to collect donations for their Rainbow Room.  The room services children ages birth-18 years of age.  The school is collecting winter jackets/hoodies (sizes newborn-adult) and shoes (sizes 6 toddler-adult sizes).  All donations must be new for the care center to accept them.  If our parishioners are interested in contributing, donations may be dropped off in front of our school kitchen area.
Feed My Sheep Hot Meal

As previously announced, Feed My Sheep has asked that we provide a Hot Meal on Wednesday, December 21st.  A menu has been decided of ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls & butter, pudding and fruit cups.  Christ Episcopal will be providing the sack lunches as well as assisting us on the actual day.  There are several opportunities to help!  
* Mike Ludlow has graciously volunteered to slice the ham, but will need assistance.
* Shopping for and then delivering the food to CTLC
* The schedule for the actual day (Wednesday, 12/21) at CTLC:
  • Prepare and heat the meal from 9:00am-10:45am
  • Plate the meal from 10:45am-11:30am.
  • Meeting, visiting and praying will take place prior to the doors opening
  • Doors open at 11:30am
  • Clean up and finish by 1:00pm
Grace and Peace, Deacon Tamara
Project Angel Tree
Gifts should arrive in the Parish Hall by 11 December.

If you are bringing wrapped gifts, please remember to place the Angel Sticker on your gift. This sticker depicts the child who is receiving the gift as well as a personal message from their parent. If you are bringing unwrapped gifts, please remember to place the sticker with the gifts, so that our "Wrapping Angels" can place the sticker on the gift. "Wrapping Angels" will wrap gifts between services, and after the 10:30 service, Sunday, December 11. "Delivery Angels" will deliver the gifts to the children, Saturday, December 17.
St. Francis Gift Shop Opportunities 
Volunteers are needed to help extend the St. Francis Gift Shop hours during the month of December.  This is the only month each year that we strive to be open each business day.  In order to facilitate this, we are asking for your help in staffing our shop.

We will maintain our regular hours on Thursday and Friday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm and on Saturdays from 10:30 am until 2 pm with our regular volunteers.

Our extended hours for the Christmas season in December, will be Monday through Wednesday from 10:30 am until 4:00 pm.  An experienced angel volunteer or board member will be working beside you and no prior experience is necessary.  You can volunteer to assist with a shift for as little as 2 hrs. or the entire day.  

You may discover the immense satisfaction of working with our Gift Shop Angels and may want to volunteer on a regular basis in the future.  Volunteers are eligible to receive a 15% discount on your Christmas shopping needs.  St. Francis Gift Shop supports the mission of our church and is completely managed by volunteers.

A sign-up sheet will be available Sunday, in the Narthex, or contact Judy Ludlow,, or any Board member. Thank you for your consideration of helping us to extend our shopping hours during December.
The Gift Shop Board

Thank You
The Daughters of the King would like to thank everyone for their generous donations to the Shoebox Ministry.  We filled 24 boxes to deliver to the Women's Shelter.  We will be continuing this ministry in the new year.  Watch  for future announcements.  
The Women of St. Francis
The Women of St. Francis will meet at Martha Hoyt's for lunch, potluck salad s, on D ecember 14 at 11:30. Please contact Martha at or or let Frances in the office know that you'll be coming. Martha's new address is 4509 Brutus Lane in Temple.
There will NOT be a gift exchange this year.

Sympathy is extend to the Pete Fredenburg family on the loss of Pete's sister, Pam Dowell.

What's Going on at
St. Francis this Week?
Third Sunday in Advent
  • 8:30am Holy Eucharist Rite II 
  • 10:30am Holy Eucharist Rite II
  • 10:30am  Children's Chapel
  • 11:30am Hospitality   
  • Childcare is available from 9:30 until 11:30am  
  • The gift shop board of directors will meet Monday, December 12 at 5:15.

  • Tuesday Solace (See description below)
  • The gift shop board will host an open house on Tuesday, December 13 from 4:00-6:30pm. Stained glass artist, Dawn Pechal will be our special guest.  Please join us for refreshments, unique gifts, and Christmas sales. 
  • Weekend Nutritional Backpack Ministry: 9:00am at CTLC - 702 West Avenue G, Temple TX (See description below) 
  •  The Women of St. Francis will meet at Martha Hoyt's for lunch, potluck salads, at 11:30.  Please contact Martha at or or let Frances in the office know that you'll be coming.  Martha's new address is 4509 Brutus Lane in Temple. There will NOT be a gift exchange this year.
  • Garden Work Day: Join us for garden workday every Thursday at 8:00am.
Upcoming Events

Saturday, January 7

Join St. Joseph's Episcopal Church in celebrating Epiphany and get your New Year's Resolutions for fit and healthy living off to a great start with a fun, family friendly race in historic Salado, Texas!  In addition to supporting the missions of St. Joseph's, proceeds from this year's race will support the Salado Family Relief Fund (SFRF). SFRF provides emergency relief to local families. Sign up and more information can be found here: and don't forget to select Team St. Francis Episcopal!
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.

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 TX

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 Sunday, December 11.  To learn how to get involved, please see Deacon Tamara.   
Churches Touching Lives for Christ (CTLC) :  The collection item for December 2016 is a Toy for children 18 months - 12 years old. The CTLC Christmas Room will open on December 6th through the 24th for parents of children needing presents. They need help keeping it stocked. Alternatively, a Blanket, new or gently used, may be donated.Items may be brought to the narthex on Sunday or to the Church Office during weekdays.
Ministers in the Lord's Service

Altar GuildAnn Booze, Ruth Henry & Jeanie Grant

Ushers: Bill Frick & Ruth Henry
Acolyte(s): Steffanna Wojtaszek &
Garrett Mooney

Vestry Greeter: Lyn Miller
Lay Readers
8:30: Bill & Linda Frick
10:30 Cole Mooney & John Dieter

Organist: Debra Johnson

Children's Chapel: Lyn & Tom Miller
Hospitality: Jessica Dieter

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

December 11 Birthday
Lisa St. Romain

December 11 Anniversary
John & Ann Booze

December 12 Birthday
Julia Ann Popelka

December 12 Birthday
Noelle Dieter

December 14 Birthday
Tommy Miller

December 15 Birthday
John Millican

December 16 Birthday
Christina Culp

December 16 Birthday
Katherine Wojtaszek

December 17 Birthday
Jerry Allen

December 18 Anniversary
Jerry & Cindy Allen

December 18 Anniversary
David & Marjorie Lewis

December 23 Birthday
Pat Ludlow
December 23 Birthday
Gaill Avots

December 28 Birthday
Stewart & Nancy Smith

December 29 Birthday
Philip Okeson

December 30 Birthday
Susan Strasburger

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