The Weekly Word

There's a parable about a country church that had the words, "We preach Christ crucified" carved in stone over the doorway.  An ivy plant was growing up by the door such that in time it began to cover the words. First, it covered the word "crucified," so a passerby would read, "We preach Christ."  More time passed and the word "Christ" was covered. Now the message was simply, "We preach." No one seemed to notice. "We preach."  No Gospel message - just a lot of talking - just so many warm, fuzzy, feel-good words.

    This parable tells us something about who we tend to be as God's people. There are some parts of the Gospel we prefer to ignore because they make us uncomfortable.  But if we neglect any part of the Gospel, Christianity loses its power. It loses its power because it's no longer the Good News revealed by Jesus.

    That was part of the problem with the church in Galatia.  They "watered down" the Gospel - left out uncomfortable things. They were being seduced by false teachers, not unlike some who plague the Church these days.  For example, when in 1997 some 4000 Christians gathered in Kansas City to talk about evangelism, Brazilian theologian Nancy Pereira declared that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ had no purpose.  She said, "We have to look at Jesus' Cross as a tragedy, a human episode without any sense of meaning.  We cannot say that the cross was God's will.  We have to change our point of view."  Her comments were warmly applauded.

    A lot of people enamored with the "church growth" movement say that to attract folks we have to avoid using traditional Christian symbols (even the cross) because they are alien to the unchurched. They believe these symbols "turn people off" to the upbeat message seeker-sensitive churches need to market to their audience.  We see an example of this in Joel Osteen's megachurch in Houston where a world globe replaced the cross and self-help rhetoric abounds.  In other words, don't preach Christ crucified;  just preach.

    "Cross-less" Christianity - whether it's promoted by liberal theologians or evangelical "feel good-ers" is a false gospel.  Richard Niebuhr said that what they preach is "a God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross."

    Jesus' death on the Cross wasn't an accident. It was not the greatest tragedy of all time. The Cross was - and is - the instrument of our salvation. It saves us not because of what it was, but because of the One who was nailed upon it. It was upon that Cross that "mercy and truth met together."  It was there that "righteousness and peace kissed each other." It was upon that Cross that the incredible love that God has for his people was made manifest.  So let us put a sign over the doorways of our hearts that says "We preach Christ Crucified."  Don't let anything cover up a single word of it.

Shalom, Fr. 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
St. Francis Church Family, we have 13 more students to sponsor for our Backpack Buddies project.  Please consider sponsoring one or more students for $40 each. This is such a worthwhile community project and we have supported this for over 10 years. We will be buying school supplies for these remaining students this week. If you haven't already donated towards this project, you can simply bring a check by the church office, bring it to church next Sunday, July 24th, or mail it it. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Thank you, BackPack Buddies Chairs
Gail Avots
Karen Fredenburg
Heidi Couchman


The St. Francis Foundation is an excellent way to mark life's milestone events or to honor and memorialize loved ones into perpetuity.  Please consider a gift (which will be tax deductible) to the Foundation to celebrate a birthday, remember an anniversary, or to memorialize a loved one.  The proceeds from any such gift will be used to support and benefit our own St. Francis Episcopal Church in Temple Texas. Check needs to be marked in memo for the St. Francis Foundation.  

Regional Discernment committees are replacing local discernment committees to provide the Seeker with a broader community input into his/her discernment. We are now in the process of recruiting members from local churches to be trained to serve on Regional Discernment committees.  There is currently a need for nine members from congregations other than St. Christopher's, Killeen and St. Paul's, Waco.  

We all have spiritual gifts and if yours is helping others discern a call or vocation then please read below and contact Deacon Tamara if you would like to explore this ministry. 

*Demonstrate an ability to listen, carefully.
*Have the ability to question and probe, respectfully.
*Knowledge of the Diocesan vision to move toward more "missional" work outside the    walls of our brick and mortar churches.
*Ability to work on a team.
*Willing and able to participate in a 5-6 hour training.  The next scheduled training is  August 6th at St. Christopher's, Killeen.  
*Willing and able to serve on a at least two Regional Discernment Committees over the  course of 12 months (totaling approximately 24-30 hours for the year).
*Please note that participation on a discernment committee can, in itself, be a call or  vocation to help others discern their call to ministry, lay or ordained.

We are undergoing many changes this summer as we get ready to welcome 92 students into our school this fall.  Our school would like to thank Jerry Allen for all his help with our office renovations, Cindy Allen and Daniel Perry for all their hard work on the grounds of both our school and church, Frances Svatek for all she does when we are away to help and our janitor Ricky de la Garza for painting our hallways.
Our school would like to introduce our staff members for the 2016-2017 school year.  We are welcoming back Kindergarten Teacher Lisa Niemeier, Jr. Kindergarten teacher Katy Ganey, Fours teacher Abbie Atkinson, Threes teachers Summer Pyror and Robin Maddux and Twos teacher Nicole Vowels.  It is our joy to announce Ann Bickel returning to teach Fours and welcoming our new teachers Amy Erskine (Threes) and Leah Amador (Twos).  Susan Elliott and Carla Kauppila will be returning as our aides, Cindy Taft as our bookkeeper and Suzanne Burrows as our school secretary.

The school is looking for recycled (cleaned) glass jars the size of baby food or small jelly jars for use in the classrooms. If you have any, please simply leave them on the bench outside our office. We appreciate the help! 
School will begin with Meet the Teacher on August 30; our First Day of School is August 31.

Many blessings,
Wendy Thibeault, Director

What's Going on at
St. Francis this Week?
Sunday, July 24     
  • 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, July 19   
  • Tuesday Solace: 1:00-4:00pm in the Parish Hall. (See description below). 
Wednesday, July 20
  • Weekend Nutritional Backpack Ministry: 9:00am at CTLC - 702 West Avenue G, Temple TX (See description below)
    **Currently on summer break!** 
Thursday, July 21
  • Garden Work Day: Join us for garden workday every Thursday at 8:00am.

Upcoming Events

The 50 backpacks we have donated will be blessed at the 10:30am service!  Remember to bring your full backpack between now and the 31st.    

Monday, August 1, 9am - 11am

CTLC has requested St. Francis' help in the assembly of their backpacks.  All the supplies and backpacks will be at CTLC.  Volunteers will put them together in assembly line fashion.  If your schedule permits, please consider doing this outreach - even if you can only come for an hour your help will be greatly appreciated!  We did this last year and it was a lot of fun! (This is a separate request from the above request to provide a backpack and school supplies.  You can do both!)

Saturday, August 20, 11am

The Gift Shop Board will be hosting their annual "Angel Appreciation Luncheon" on Saturday, August 20 at 11:00 am.  Invitations will be forthcoming.
Saturday, August 27, 9am - 2pm

The Women of St. Francis are invited to a Quiet Day sponsored by The Diocese of Texas ECW and The ECW of St. Alban's in Waco.  Martha Hoyt is working on getting a group together to carpool up to Waco.  If you would like to participate, then please contact Martha or Frances.      

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 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, August 14  To learn how to get involved, please see Deacon Tamara.  
Churches Touching Lives for Christ (CTLC) :   The collection item for July 2016 is Breakfast Cereal. 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 & Chris Sedonic  

Ushers: Frank Pugliese
Acolytes: Cole & Garrett Mooney

Vestry Greeter: Lawson Grant
Lay Readers
8:30 Service: Cindy Allen
10:30 Service: 
John Dieter & Nick Graham
Organist: Debbie Jimenez  

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

Birthday, July 24:
Shelley Smith   
Anniversary, July 24:
Dr. Hanes & Rolinda Brindley

Birthday, July 25:
Peggy Flores

Anniversary, July 28:
Don & Peggy Flores

Birthday, July 29:
Heidi Couchman  

Birthday, July 31:
Shirley Strasburger  

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