THE NEWSLETTER    Vol 53, No. 28                                         July 8, 2020
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Thanks for the Food Baskets
Thank You 1,000 times over for your outpouring of support for the 4th of July Food Baskets. This longstanding mission project faced new difficulties with our current pandemic. The decision was made to switch from bags of food to gift cards to shop at H-E-B. As of last Sunday, the donations were around $750. From the office, an appeal was sent out and the donations poured in. Contributions between Sunday and Thursday were nearly $1,000. Anne Veech delivered to The Purple Door, 25 gift cards for $50 each. An additional $300 was given to Good Samaritan Rescue Mission. There remains a small balance in the account for the Mission Committee to distribute.

Who doesn't believe in the story of the loaves and the fishes?

Back to School Project     
During past years we have signed up and purchased backpacks and school supplies for the students of Sophia Montemayor, the PCHAS (Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services) worker who has an office at Parkway. Due to the pandemic we are going to have to get those supplies for these local students by making monetary donations. There are 3 ways to give.

1.) In  Realm there is a "Back to School" item to select. 
2.) If you would like to use your cell phone to give money towards the fund,
 you simply TEXT the word 'parkwaypc' to 73256 then follow the prompts. 
3.)Or, if you prefer to write a check, please payable to Parkway with "Back to
 School" in the memo line. 

Typically, it costs between $50 and $60 to purchase the items needed for one student, depending on their grade level. Please make your donations before July 26th to allow time for the items to be ordered.

John Knox Ranch Cancels Remaining Summer Program
John Knox Ranch, our presbytery camp near Fischers, TX, has made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining camps scheduled for this summer. Camp Director, Henry Owens writes, "Due to the recent dramatic spike in local Covid19 cases, we feel we must cancel the remainder of our summer camp sessions for Summer 2020....We are heartbroken about the loss of summer camp this year. We know camp has never been more important and that our campers and staff were so looking forward to the normalcy of the loving, accepting community of summer camp at John Knox Ranch. We are already considering creative ways to host camp experiences during the year as soon as it is safe to do so.
"However, we, like so many others, have taken a financial hit from Covid19. Before summer began, I estimated that our Covid related loss of income was $184,000. Now, after gearing up for summer and cancelling, that number is closer to $314,000. Any donation helps offset that loss of income. Also, the 'Light the Match' campaign is still on, and thanks to the generosity of so many of you, camp is in a position to weather this Covid19 storm. All donations received before December 2020 will be matched up to $400,000. If you are able to make a donation, now is a great time to do so."
If you would like to make a donation to John Knox Ranch you can either contact the camp directly, or make a donation through Parkway marked for John Knox Ranch. You can do this by check to the church office, through the church website, or using "text-to-give" from your smart phone.  


 Labor Day at Mo Ranch Retreat: September 4 - 7
MO Ranch is still on this year and MO is doing everything possible to make it safe for those who attend.  If you would like to join us or want more information, please contact Lynn Ware at 361-857-6805, 361-946-0333 or email . She will have a list of prices and room availability.

Sign-up has begun for the annual Parkway Labor Day Retreat at MO-Ranch and will continue until all space is full.  
We have a variety of housing available.  Old members, new members, visitors, and guests are welcome to take part in this beloved Parkway tradition.

 Izzy's Closet and  El Divino Salvador's Clothes Closet
We are still collecting for both groups. You are welcome to bring items in anytime  Monday - Thursday between 9 - 1 and Friday between 9 - 12.

The Evolution of Online Worship
So how is it that, on Sunday morning at 11:00, there is an on-line worship service and an in-person worship service with many of the same people leading the service but from different places? No, it isn't some Harry Potter spell. Obviously, the online worship is prerecorded and set up to air on Sunday morning.
When we first started online worship we recorded a Zoom video conference. Everyone needed to be available at the same time and any missed words or foibles ended up in the final product. The advantage was that recording the service took about 40 minutes. The disadvantage was that the sound quality was poor, at best, and terrible for the music.
On Youth Sunday, it was impossible for Rev. Laura to get all those teenagers in one place at the same time to record the service. Instead each one recorded a segment, sent the file to Laura, and then she edited everything into a finished product. The editing took longer but the individuals could record when it was personally convenient. The prerecorded service also allowed for vastly improved quality to the music.

Since then the process has stayed the same but the personnel have changed. Individuals use an iPhone, iPad, or computer camera to record a segment, like the Call to Worship. Iris and Joyce meet in the sanctuary and Iris' husband, Gregg, is the recording engineer to capture the music. All of the video files are sent to Gregg who then edits the dozen or so files into one seamless worship presentation. Gregg finds additional pictures and overlays the words to the hymns and various titles into the presentation. He says it is "no problem," but it takes hours.
There is a next incarnation coming in the near future. The church has purchased equipment to be able to live stream the Sunday morning service. There will be cameras and other equipment in the sanctuary to be able to send out the worship service in real time. The number of "views" the service gets on Facebook far exceeds the number of people who regularly attend worship even prior to the current pandemic. Obviously, online worship isn't for everyone, but for many it is still an important way to stay connected to Parkway and to feed the soul.
However, just as our current online service went through a period of trial and error, so it will be with our efforts to live stream the service. In fact, even after the equipment is in place we will offer a prerecorded service until we get a good feel for operating the equipment and getting a good product to send along.
Thanks for your continued support of Parkway's mission and ministry as, together, we navigate these uncharted waters.

Sara's Kids Ministry
Parkway has been purchasing birthday gifts for children in foster care since Spring of 2003.  We do this through Sara's Kids Ministry, a memorial to long-time member and child protective services worker, Sara Ward.  During the pandemic we have not been able to get a monthly list of children nor get out to purchase gifts. 
We should have a list of children with August birthdays soon.  Regular participants that want to continue in the same manner, your name will remain on the list. Otherwise, there are several other ways you may participate.  One is to click here to signup online.  You may also contribute to Sara's Kids fund, clicking  here choose Sara's Kids Project or Text to Give by texting parkwaypc to 73256, click the link that is sent to you and follow the prompts. 

Once you have an assigned child, you can purchase a gift and drop it off to Parkway, wrapped or in a gift bag. Or you can purchase it from and have it shipped to the church. Please send an email to Cheryl  to let her know the child's name. 

Traditionally, we give $20 gift certificates to teenagers and buy a gift valued at $10 to $15 for younger children. 
Stay tuned for the August birthday list and instructions to access the list online. Questions? Email Lessie.   Gifts due by July 27th. 

In-Person Worship Sundays at 11:00 AM
Guidelines to help ensure safe social distancing:
  • Two entries into the building will be open, the main entrance on Brawner Parkway and the entry through the Music Building from the alley.
  • Masks will be required for entry but may be removed once you are seated in the sanctuary. Masks can be provided if you forget yours.
  • Ushers will regulate the number of people entering from the narthex and the alley to ensure appropriate social distancing.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at both entrances.
  • The Order of Worship will be sent by email to every member and you are encouraged to print the Order of Worship at home and bring it with you. A limited number of copies will be available at the church.
  • Seating will be in every other row and blue tape designates each seat. Please leave three seats between your family and the next family unit.
  • Offering baskets will be placed next to the entrance/exit and any donations may be dropped into the basket on arrival or leaving. Offering plates will not be passed.
  • Iris Fielden will serve as the Cantor for the congregation. There will be no congregational singing.
  • There will be no desks for sign-ups in the narthex.
  • The Nursery will not be open.
  • At the end of the service, ushers/ministers will direct dismissal to avoid over-crowding the narthex.
  • Please do not assemble in the narthex, but stay around for conversations out on the lawn.

Rev. Laura Neely Villarreal's Maternity Leave
Laura will be back at work on July 14 through the 
end of August.
Prayers of Thanks for Healing
Ben Sanchez, the church Custodian, has been out of the building for two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. He has recovered and is back to work.

July 12   --   July 18
11:00 In-person and  Online Worship 
 6:00 Properties Committee Meeting

  9:30 Staff Meeting  
12:00 WOW Meeting via Zoom
  5:30 Worship Committee Meeting





Loaves and Fishes (Metro Ministries)
Loaves & Fishes is a free cafeteria that serves nutritious dine-in meals for the homeless, poor, working poor, disabled, and elderly. This program provides lunch and dinner Monday through Friday. Parkway has committed to serving in the soup kitchen every Friday, from 4:45 to 6 pm. A food handler's permit is required and quite easy to obtain. If you would like to participate in this ministry, contact Irene Jones.

All Parkway shifts have been cancelled until further notice. 

Still want to volunteer? Please call Loaves & Fishes at  887-0151, Ext. 242. to let them know you are coming.
Prayer Concerns
If you would like to place a prayer concern onto the prayer chain, please call or text Karen Wesson at 361-815-2099, or send an e-mail to If you are not currently receiving the prayer chain emails (or your email address has changed) and wish to participate in lifting up concerns of the congregation, you may add yourself to the distribution list by going to your Realm account at .
Judy Forbes
June Baker Dallas Marek  Billie Franklin
Elizabeth Falk Dick McCracken Tom Kimes
John Brownlee
Sarah Elizabeth (daughter of Sarah and Walter Norris)
Molly Mauldin
John Piatt Lucia Villarreal
Jay Wesson