APRIL 15, 2018
ST. FRANCIS WEEKLY WORD NEWSLETTER
My Word

 Way back in….. well, when I was just graduating from seminary, there was a meeting with the Bishop. The Diocese of Oklahoma was trying something new. Rather than taking a test in addition to the General Ordination Examination, after graduating from seminary, each person went on a 3 day retreat with the Commission on Ministry for the first day, the Standing Committee the second day, and the Bishop on the third. It was a long, intense, and thorough period of discerning, searching, and examining. Each of us already had jobs lined up, so finding a place was taken care of. I was “traded” to Western Kansas, for draft choices to be named later, as I like to put it. Far Western Kansas. A place I had only been to once, and that was at the interview.

On this third day of retreat, the Bishop was trying to give us the benefit of his wisdom, his oversight, his experience. None of us were coming to Oklahoma, the economy in the oil patch was just too weak to support new curates. We were all a bit nervous. After tips, questions, prayers, and finally his blessing, he asked if we had any concerns. No one said anything. Finally, I simply blurted out, “Bishop, are they going to love us as much as our home parishes?”

For many of us, the transition to a new Rector comes with this very question. Who is it going to be? What becomes of us? Will the new Rector measure up to our beloved clergy of the past? With our current station of life, with what’s going on now, what will become of us? What is going to happen to us? Will they love us?

Many of you have been kind enough to welcome me with great love and affection already. I feel particularly blessed. Do you suppose that the new Rector will be any different? After all, doesn’t the Lord God look out over us now? Won’t it simply get better? And better?

-Fr David
PRAYER DURING THIS TIME OF TRANSITION
As we continue to let the work of listening to God to discover His desires for St. Francis, let us pray:
Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, Page 816 )
PRAYER REQUESTS
Open to All
You are invited to submit to your prayer requests here, which will be received by office staff and included in the Parish prayer list. If received after 4:00pm on Wednesdays, of your indicate that you would prefer to keep your prayer confidential, a member of the clergy will address your prayer privately.
SUNDAY SERVICE TIME
All are Welcome
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9:30am: Holy Eucharist Rite II

9:30am: Children's Chapel

10:30am: Hospitality
(Coffee and Conversation)
NEW ADDRESS FOR NOAH SCHAEFER
Noah has been moved to another facility for further processing in the system. If you wrote him recently, your card or letter may not get to him, & may be returned to you.

Please write him again to help keep his spirits up and give him encouragement. In this regard we can all be like Barnabas—a son (or daughter) of much needed encouragement!

Noah Schaefer
TDCJ #02178942
Byrd Unit
21 FM 247
Huntsville, TX 77320
WHAT'S GOING ON AT ST.FRANCIS?
Please Consider Lay Reading
Serving as a lay reader is an important Church Ministry. At each service, we read scripture and usually assist clergy with Holy Communion. It's a wonderful way to the Lord and our Church.

We are looking for readers for the 9:30 service. Most lay readers serve once a month. It is perfectly fine if you wish to just read and not serve Holy Communion.

Please speak to or email Fr David or John Dieter if you are interested.
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WE HAVE A NEW COMPUTER IN THE OFFICE

Thanks to a very generous donation, we have a new computer in the office! This means that there may be a slight hiccup here or there in the next couple of days or weeks with materials and documents that come out of the office. 

However, it’s already much easier to do a couple of things, much easier to access a couple of things, and much easier to use.

Your continued patience in the short transition is appreciated.
HOLY COW ASSESSMENT REMINDER
Please Complete Your Assessment

A great big THANK YOU to all who have turned in your survey!!

If you have not yet filled yours out, please do so ASAP ! We need to get this step finished and the results tabulated so that we can move on with the search process.m If you have any questions please call Ruth Henry at (254) 541-0060.

Thank you,
Your CAT Team
Confirmation
Preparation to Begin
One of the ways we are able to step up to our responsibilities, one way that we can learn about our faith, one of the ways that we deepen our understanding and develop our faith is Confirmation, the sacrament of grown up life in Christ. It is perhaps one of the least understood, but most important moments of the life of Grace. Interested? Confirmation can only be administered by a Bishop, we happen to have one coming in the Fall, and now is the time to prepare. A course of preparation will start soon, but if you are interested please contact Deacon Tamara or Fr David .
VESTRY WISH LIST
Looking for ways to Help?
Tell a Vestry member if your are going to take care of one of these or would like to  pitch in toward one :

  • Major organ revamp and repair (about $10,000–ask Debra Johnson or choir member)
  • AED (automatic external defibrillator) (about $1,700–talk to Heidi Couchman)
  • Four-sided frontal for our altar (about $300–talk to Kyla Sherrard)
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FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Stay up to date with the latests news, photos and events by following us on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram . It is also a great way to stay in touch or make friendships with your fellow parishioners. Have photos of a St. Francis event you have attended? Email them along so that we can share them with others

Evangelism Tool Kit
Every baptized Episcopalian has vowed to proclaim with our words and our lives the loving, liberating, and life-giving good news of Jesus Christ.

Through the spiritual practice of evangelism, we seek, name and celebrate Jesus’ loving presence in the stories of all people—then invite everyone to more. The Evangelism Toolkit helps us to live into that call.

COLLECT FOR THE THIRD
SUNDAY OF THE EASTER SEASON

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen .

(Book of Common Prayer Page 224 )

( Lectionary for Third Sunday in Easter)
WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Friday, April 13–Sunday, April 15


Sunday, April 15

  • Holy Eucharist Rite II
  • Vestry Meeting Following Service

Thursday, April 19

  • 9:00am: Garden Day
Meditation Garden
Featured Plant of the Week
In the Meditation Garden near the Columbarium plants mentioned in the bible have been placed, along with signs with the Biblical source.

ALOE ( Aloe vera )
Nicodemus, who at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighting about a hundred pounds. They took the body ofJesus and wrapped it with the spices in the linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.
UPCOMING EVENTS
APRIL 25:
Webinar: Hybrid Faith Formation

If you’re looking to “flip” your faith formation classroom or combine in-person gatherings with online/at-home faith practices, this webinar is for you. Join e-formation to tackle these 21st century topics of faith formation and digital ministry. 3:00pm EST Register!
MAY 5:
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to Speak

All are welcome in Good Shepherd, Austin on Saturday, May 5 to hear Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to speak about discipleship. The Church will have formation opportunities leading up to this event, as well as following, centered on "Becoming Disciples." Contact the Church for more details.
MAY 5:
Woman to Woman Retreat
St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church,

Learning to dance with God through the pain isn’t easy. The dance steps won’t make the pain go away like a magic formula, nor does it mean there won’t be any more times of suffering. We learn to be brave because we are with the Lord of the Dance. Email Sisters of the Promise to RSVP. Space is limited, so hurry!
MAY 4–6:
Discovery Retreat. Have you felt a call to leadership or ordination?

The Discovery Retreat is a weekend gathering about discovering how God-given gifts and talents might be used in the mission of the Church. The retreat is open to all confirmed members of EDOT who wish to take the time and make a commitment to discern their vocation.
For more information on the retreat click here. To register, visit  this page .
FRIDAYS, MAY 4–25: 10:00-11:00AM
Forming Adult Christians Online Workshop

Christian Formation is a life-long endeavor, yet the church often drops the ball after Confirmation. In this discussion-based workshop we will study techniques, theory, and research, and then use these to create plans for our individual churches. If you are interested in applying, contact Rebecca Hall .

Cost: $100
Limit: limit 6 participants
JULY 13:

Join us at the Minute Maid Park as the World Series Champs Houston Astros face the Detroit Tigers. Christ Church Cathedral Houston will host a free hotdog cookout from 5:00–6:30pm, so make sure to come early as food and drink are on a first come first serve basis. Parking is available in the garage on San Jacinto St, across from the Cathedral. For tickets, email Astros rep Brent Broussard or call (713) 259-8316. Download to Calendar
FALL 2018:
Pastoral Care Course for Youth and Children's Ministers

Youth ministers and Christian educators consistently provide pastoral care to young people, to their complex family systems, and to adult volunteers, usually without systematic training or education. In Fall 2018 the Iona Center will offer a pastoral care course specifically for youth ministers, Christian educators, and family ministries coordinators.

Meeting in person at the beginning and end of this course, the rest of the classes will meet via videoconference. Participants will set personal educational goals and present pastoral encounters for feedback from peers and instructor.
If you are interested in learning more, contact The Rev. Sarah Knoll Sweeney sarah.knollsweeney@iona.ssw.edu

UPCOMING YOUTH EVENTS
JUNE 25–July 1:
Diocesan Choir Camp

Camp will be expanded this year with more options for instrumental music (including hand bells) for youth in rising grades 6-12. Campers live in the college dorm at Blinn College . Tuition includes room, board, all supplies, local trips to the Blue Bell Aquatic Center, Horseshoe Junction Fun Park and outreach music performances. Pottery and art are part of the week's fun. Call Dr. Linda Patterson with questions at (979) 836-7248 extension 13 or Register here! .
Add this event to your Calendar.
JULY 4–9:
Episcopal Church Young Adult Festival

The festival is scheduled to run concurrently with the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Austin this summer. The Young Adult Festival is designed for 18–30 year olds to meet peers from across the globe, pray and learn together, engage in the church’s legislative process and help discern God’s call for the Episcopal Church. Register !
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JULY 17–25:
SUMMA Student Theological
Debate Society

SUMMA provides a way for high school students to build their faith through intellectual channels. Founded in the confidence that knowledge and reason are foundational to faith, SUMMA offers fun, friendship and the opportunity for a deepened and more thoughtful faith. Held at the Univ. of the South, applications open until July 1. Register Today!
JULY 22–28:
Reach Mission Trip

St. Andrew's, Pearland is hosting youth and their sponsors, along with Reach Mission Trips who will be repairing storm damage in Brazoria County. Partial scholarships available through the Diocese.
  • $419 per person
  • Entering 6–Graduating 12 grade

Contact Reach Mission Trips. Visit our page for more info. View our video about the trip to the right.
AUGUST 3–5:
Intermediate Urban Mission Retreat: Houston by C.U.S.E.

All rising 4th–6th graders are invited to spend the weekend at their Cathedral. Activities include serving in the community, riding the Metro, sleeping over in the Tree house youth space and worshiping at the 9:00 service along with their families Sunday morning. This weekend will introduce our intermediate students to the life-long call of service and worship while learning the value the Church and world place on their unique gifts and talents with Cathedral Urban Service Experience C.U.S.E. in downtown Houston.

NOVEMBER:
Texas Episcopal Service Corps

Texas Episcopal Service Corps invites young adults from across the country to apply for a year of service, community engagement, and vocational discernment in and around the city of Houston. Texas ESC communities provide a place where young adults live alongside one another in intentional community while thoughtfully and critically serving both the church and the world. Apply here.
VIEW A FULL LIST OF EVENTS ON THE DIOCESAN CALENDAR
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.

FEED MY SHEEP SACK MEALS (FMS)
On the 2nd Sunday of each month, all are invited to gather in the Parish after the 9:30 service to prepare 100 sack lunches for our neighbors who have limited access to food. The lunches are delivered to Feed My Sheep. Our next schedule sack meal preparation is Sunday, May 13 .

CHURCHES TOUCHING LIVES FOR CHRIST (CTLC)
The collection item for April 2018 will be Cereal . Items may be brought to the narthex on Sunday or to the Church Office during weekdays.

ST. FRANCIS GIFT SHOP
As most of you know, the gift shop must have two workers at all times. We are in desperate need of volunteers. This is a great time to ask your best friend to sit with you and a great time to socialize and catch up. Please consider, just 3 1/2 hours a month and we will put you on the schedule.

ST. FRANCIS CHOIR
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!” Notice the passage does NOT say we have to have a beautiful voice to praise God! We are looking for new choir members. We practice at 8:30am before we sing at the 9:30am service. So come join us!
MINISTERS IN THE LORD'S SERVICE
Altar Guild:
Gail Avots
& Judy Ludlow                                 

Readers :
Cindy Allen
& Peggiann Jones

Acolytes:
Collin & Ian Wilson   
Ushers :
Tommy Miller
& Bill Frick

Hospitality :
           

                                      
Children's Chapel:
Gail & Andre Avots
Vestry Greeter:  
Mickey Kerr


Organist:
Debra Johnson

APRIL BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
APRIL 21 BIRTHDAY
Chip Schaefer
APRIL 22 ANNIVERSARY
Pat & Roiann Ludlow
APRIL 25 BIRTHDAY
Dr. Stewart Smith
APRIL 25 ANNIVERSARY
Allen & Julia Ann Popelka
APRIL 26 BIRTHDAY
Dr. Vivian Baker
APRIL 26 ANNIVERSARY
Mark & Nida Brown
APRIL 27 ANNIVERSARY
Nick & Erika Graham
APRIL 29 ANNIVERSARY
Larry & Rose Bednarczyk
Make sure to take some time to walk around the gardens, find some peace in God's nature, and admire all of the Wildscape Guild's hard work!