This Week's Announcements
Our Schedule of Services:

Here is our schedule;
more information may be found by downloading the bulletin.


Sunday September 12:


8:30 am In Person Eucharist


10:30 am In Person(also streamed virtually) Eucharist


Virtual Coffee Hour
In-Person Service
We have a new mask requirement for the time being during service. Due to this, there will be no seating restriction, and you will no longer need to reserve seats. Thank you for your understanding while we work to protect our children under 12!
This Week
Kick Off Sunday
Saturday Garden Clean Up
CHURCH HITCHOCK MEMORIAL GARDEN AND PRAYER WALK/QUIET GARDEN CLEANUP

A special thanks goes out to the Pollard family, Ken, Ella Grace and Grant for the great job they did in weeding, cleaning up and mulching their adopted Bird House Garden in the church’s Hitchcock Memorial Garden and Prayer Walk/Quiet Garden.

I need your help to bring our other garden beds to the same standards as the Bird House Garden. So please mark your calendar for another exciting and fun filled church garden clean up to take place on the 11th of September starting at 8am.

With the installation of the new Curb-It concrete edging around our garden beds and the celebration of our Fall Kickoff Party/Picnic taking place on the 12th of September our church gardens and grounds needs some cleanup. Sidewalk needs to be edged, weeds in the playground area need to be pulled, some perennials need to be cut down and the normal weeding needs to be done. Any shrub pruning will be delayed until the spring.
Everyone in the parish is invited to attend this event no matter your age. Our little ones can pick up sticks and our mature adults can provide some moral support. If you have adopted a garden berm and are unable to attend this event, please contact Jim Keepers at 402-618-8837 or email at jlkeepers45@gmail and he will let you know what needs to be done in your adopted garden.

Our parish members did an outstanding job moving into the new facility. Let’s show this same work effort in cleaning up our church gardens. Please make sure to wear gloves and if it hot, bring lots of water and wear sun screen. Weed diggers and trash bags will be provided.
Nursery Now Open
The nursery is looking for a couple of donations, if you have these things and were planning to give them away, please contact Kate. We may have more requests as we get the nursery situated. Thank you!!

Rocking Chair, or other chair for nursery attendants to sit in, play kitchen, small slide, doll house, dinosaurs, trains, cars/trucks & nesting blocks.
Nursery Re-Opening!
We will be reopening our nursery on kick off Sunday, September 12! Nursery will be open from 9:30-11:30 in case anyone assisting in Sunday School has a nursery aged youth that needs care.

If you feel that you would enjoy volunteering in the nursery, please contact Kate so she can be sure you are safeguarded and added to the schedule. All of our staff and volunteers that work with youth in any capacity go through a safeguarding training and are background checked. We also always have 2 people in any room with children so our youth are never alone with one adult. 
Pastoral word from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on 20th anniversary of Sept. 11
As followers of Jesus, and with our siblings in other faith traditions, we place great value on the act of remembrance. As we reflect on the solemn anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, we remember many loved ones lost and first responders who put their lives at risk, modeling the sacrificial love of Jesus, who said: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
 
While 20 years have passed, I also want us to pause and remember the days that followed these tragic events. There was a moment in the aftermath when people came together. We were praying, grieving, and also working together. Because in that moment, however fleeting it was, we knew with immediacy and vulnerability that we need God, and we need each other.
 
Memories of that tender cooperation—of love for each other as neighbors—serve as guiding lights for the present. Amidst the ongoing pandemic and natural disasters that have taken so many lives and pushed first responders to their limits, and amidst a worldwide reckoning with the sin of racism, we are called to become the Beloved Community whose way of life is the way of Jesus and his way of love.
Online and In-Person Offerings
Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12
Trinity Church Wall Street invites all who are seeking solace around the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to join us, online or in person, for worship services, events, and activities, including  A Time and Space for Remembrance and Healing, a vigil at St. Paul’s Chapel in Lower Manhattan from Friday evening, Sep. 10, to Sunday evening, Sep. 12. In 2001, St. Paul’s Chapel, part of Trinity Church Wall Street, served as a relief mission for recovery workers at Ground Zero for nearly a year after the buildings fell.
Our worship services and other offerings onsite and online will offer time and space to pray, reflect, mourn, or simply sit with your memories. On Sunday, Sep. 12, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preach at our live-streamed and in-person 11:15am Holy Eucharist at Trinity Church. And, at 8pm on Sunday, we will host a live-streamed and in-person Compline by Candlelight service at Trinity Church. Visit trinitywallstreet.org/911 to learn more about the full weekend and save the date, and for opportunities to watch videos, read content from our archives, or submit your own remembrances as audio files.
Please CLICK HERE to see the full schedule
Acolyte Training
Acolyte Training for Fall 2021!
Hello all! As we prepare to return to a full building again, we are planning a good refresher meeting for our acolytes to help remember everything after a long year away! Serving as an acolyte (a word that means “Helper”) is often one of the first ministries children can assist with at church, and can be a special way of participating for them, and a sign for our whole community that God calls each of us to be a part of the holiness of worship and the great family of the church. Fr Ben and other leaders will be reminding current acolytes and training new ones in how to serve as torchbearer and crucifer (cross-carrier) roles. At present, we are asking that acolytes be in at least 3rd grade to serve as torchbearer and at least 6th grade to serve as crucifer. Please contact Fr Ben (rector@sainta.net) and Pam Wright (wrightpamelaj@gmail.com) if you have a youth interested in serving in this ministry! Please also send Pam any conflicts you may know about through December, and whether they would like to serve at the 8:30 service or the 10:30 service OR either one, as she is beginning to prepare a schedule. Parents are welcome to stay and learn too, so you can help remind your acolyte of the details.

As a reminder, all of our clergy, staff, and adult volunteers who work regularly with youth and children are required to have the Safeguarding God’s People training, which includes having multiple adult leaders present at our events with young people.

Trainings:
  • Sunday, November 14th, 11:30 am – noon: New Acolytes
  • This training will be an opportunity for newer members or children who have had a chance to see acolytes at the service jump in and begin participating as well
  • “Rain Date” Training
  • Youth who cannot make the scheduled dates may coordinate a time for training with Fr Ben, with parents present.
Important Updates
Masking

Because so many of the members of our church are under 12 years old and cannot yet get a vaccine, we will temporarily require masks at some church events, including Sunday worship. We are hopeful that this present surge will be brief, or that the vaccines for younger children that are currently in development will be approved soon and assist in shutting down this new surge of the delta variant. It is incredibly important to create as safe a place as possible for families to build up a church habit again after the disruptions of the past year.

Key points:
  • To protect kids at church, Masks will be required, even for vaccinated persons, at Sunday worship and Sunday school.
  • Masks will be optional for vaccinated people at Coffee Hour (please wear a mask until you get to the tables), and children will be able to take a Coffee Hour treat to the Sunday School classrooms to eat, with masks required while not eating
  • Adult ministries will be able to make a decision as a group whether they wish to wear masks or use the rule that vaccinated people can choose whether to wear one or not
  • We will be steadily watching the virus rates and other major factors, especially children vaccine development and rollout, so as to review this regularly

Please keep our communities, our healthcare providers, and our church in your prayers as we continue to fight this virus.
Coffee Hour

We have returned to holding our regular coffee hour at St A’s! We’ll have coffee hour after each of our services as a chance for fellowship at church. As a reminder, we’ll be asking people to wear masks while in our halls on Sunday to help protect children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated, so please wait until you get to the tables to remove your mask. Otherwise, we’re looking forward to seeing each other again for fellowship!

Coffee Hour Crew!
Now that we are back and meeting for Coffee Hour, we need a crew to help serve coffee, put everything away, run the dishwasher and take out the trash at the end of the day. There will be a sign up next to the cappuccino machine to choose your date to help. Thank You!
Consider a Parish Ministry
First Sunday Offering
In September, our First Sunday Offering (the second basket that we send around on First Sundays of the month) goes to Episcopal Relief and Development, which does work throughout the United States and the world in the face of need, disaster, and opportunities for development.
First Sunday Offering:
Giving Opportunities For Our World
This year, we are aware that people may wish to designate gifts to some of the specific crises in the world, and so the following links are provided if you wish to support something specific more directly:

The Haiti Earthquake via Episcopal Relief and Development

Hurricane Relief via Episcopal Relief and Development

Afghani Allies and Refugees via Episcopal Migration Ministries
To contribute financially to provide for housing, medical and financial support, and expanded community sponsorship to serve our Afghan allies, visit bit.ly/supportafghanallies to make a secure donation online, or text “EMMALLIES” to 41444.
For opportunities to volunteer, provide housing, or sponsor, visit https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/volunteer-community-interest-form/
Save the Date for Brewsky's Golf Open 2021!

Thursday, September 30th Crooked Creek Golf Course 333 S 134th St Lincoln, NE

Shotgun start at 11 AM

Please register and pay by September 24. For more details, please see flyer below.
Save the Dates for Fall Fun!

September 12--Fall Kick off Party/Picnic
September 15--Youth Group Kick Off Party
September 25--Nebraska Diocese Youth Group outing to Vala's Pumpkin Patch
October 27--Boo Bash Halloween Party
November 7--Chili Cook Off
November 14--Acolyte Training
The Omaha area Episcopal Youth are invited to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, September 25 from 10:45 AM-3:45 PM. This event will have safeguarded chaperones for youth in 5th-12th Grade, but families with younger children are welcome to join us with guardians present. 

The event will include a bonfire, hotdogs, chips, a drink, and s’mores, cost is $20/person. As always, if cost is a reason not to join, let Kate or Fr. Ben know, and the church can help with cost of admission! 

Please RSVP to Kate by Saturday, September 18.
August Vestry Notes
EfM
Walking the Mourners Path
Elaine Randall Book Club
Volunteers
Friday, September 10

  • 8:00 AM -Men's Bible Study via Zoom CLICK HERE
  • Meeting ID: 725 959 1126


Saturday, September 11

  • 8:00 AM -Garden Clean Up


Sunday, September 12

  • 8:30 AM -Eucharist in person


  • 10:30 AM -Eucharist in person & via Facebook Live CLICK HERE


  • 11:30 AM -Kick Off Sunday Lunch and Fun Day



Monday, September 13

  • 10:00 AM-Daughters of the King Prayer and Bible Study


Tuesday, September 14

  • 6:30 PM -EFM (Contact Jack for Zoom Link)

Wednesday, September 15

  • 6:00 PM -Youth Group Kick Off Pizza and Pool Party at The Armitage's home
  • September 19 Visit from the Bishop
  • September 19 Walking the Mourners Path first session
  • September 25 Youth Trip to Vala's
  • September 30 Brewsky's Golf Outing
  • October 10 Ministry Fair
  • October 24 Stewardship Season Celebration
  • October 27 Boo Bash
  • November 7 Chili Cook-off
  • November 14 Acolyte Training
Rector's Reflection
Thursday, September 9th, 2021

Lessons from History

I often reflect on the story of my grandmother, Felicia Maciulis. A Lithuanian refugee after World War II, she fled the Soviet invasion of her homeland, lived several years with her husband and two young boys in a refugee camp, and was finally permitted to emigrate to the United States. On the boat over, her husband took up with another woman and left her. My grandmother arrived in the US with two children and a pregnancy, $10 from Ellis Island, and the ability to speak five languages … none of which was English. She got a job in Chicago at the Campbell’s Soup factory and started learning English from the break room magazines. My mother was born here, a “first-generation American.”

Growing up, it took me a long time to even begin to understand my grandmother. I was a second-generation American, and my moçiute’s Lithuanian community in Chicago seemed like a quirky hobby to me instead of a displaced people with a memory of a different nation and world. My grandma had pride and dignity in ways that seemed cold and hard to me – I didn’t understand what she had escaped from, survived, fought for, and overcome. Even today, I’m sure I still don’t comprehend its full depths.

However, being aware of that story helped me learn a kind of compassion I might not otherwise have automatically developed in the very stable surroundings I grew up in. I was aware of the way in which the events we learned about in history class played out on “ordinary people.” I had a face and a lifetime to match to textbook sentences like “After the war many people were displaced.”

Learning more also helped me see my grandmother in a new light: she could be fierce, or cold, or judgmental, or hold a grudge … and those things had either been the costs of surviving, or the tools she developed in order to. Her anger at me if we didn’t finish a meal as kids or asked if we could eat something different than what she’d prepared made a lot more sense when I reviewed it through the lens of a life that had seen long stretches where it wasn’t clear what meal you might get, or be able to set before your children, at all.

All of that has had me thinking a bit, these days, about how the events I’m living through are shaping me. The year of remote work through the pandemic and construction has fragmented my sense of what “work hours” are (which is already more than a bit unusual and “on call” for clergy) to a pretty astonishing degree. I imagine we’ll have masks in our house through the rest of our lives, for the flu season at least, in case one of us has a scratchy throat or runny nose, just to help protect our neighbors.

I’m also paying a lot of attention to my empathy. This is an era that in which many voices are trying to teach us that it is not only okay but that it’s good to stop caring about our neighbors, especially if we find ourselves fighting over something. This sort of vision of fellow human beings – that they are no longer worthy of respect, love, care, or consideration if they don’t behave a certain way – is the beginning of most of the worst sins in world history … including the kind of cultural destruction in the name of Soviet patriotism that was done to my grandmother’s family. It’s particularly challenging right now when so many of the consequences of our actions are woven into one another’s lives, whether through public health or the election of vastly differing political and economic positions about how to make our communities safer and financially stable: lots of people are ready to cut ties, and the temptation to “demonize” someone we disagree with is very, very strong. Easy to lose sight of the calling to love our neighbor, even across a disagreement, or even while holding to something we yet believe in.

I don’t think the verdict is fully in on this moment, though. For all that there are voices out there preaching outrage politics or profiteering on division, I also find overwhelmingly that people want to love and be loved, to respect and be respected. Somewhere in our depths, God has hard-wired us to long for community and caring, for ourselves and those around us. We might get anxious about how that is best sought, but deep down, we wish we could find our way home to the kind of world God dreams of.

So I’m not sure, yet, what kind of proud scars our generations will carry forth from these days. My hope is that it’s more “keep some masks in the entryway drawer” and less “be ready to pack up and walk away from those who aren’t the same as you.” My hope is that the Gospel of Jesus, calling us to love our neighbor as ourself, isn’t set aside by our generations as “too hard a teaching” until things calm down enough for it to feel easier. My hope is that instead, we double down on Jesus. We double down on scripture. We double down on each other.

Because the pandemic will end, but the human family won’t. And whatever we do to divide it up now, we’re going to have to find a way to sew back together later, learning deeply from the wisdom that God’s Spirit makes known in the world. Maybe if we’re careful, we can learn it before the divisions, instead. 

St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
285 S 208th Street
Elkhorn, NE 68022
402-289-4058
Church Communication and Announcements
Those of you who need to share information with the parish, please be sure to send it to parish@sainta.net as well as ministries@sainta.net  Jay and Kate will need to have this information by Wednesday at 10:00 am to be included in that week's communication for bulletin and newsletter. We appreciate your support.
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