July 27, 2018
My Word

"God is Love and Wants to Give Life!"
– PB Michael Curry

As we approach the end of Summer (Can you believe it, already ?!), I want to say just one or two words about what I found most surprising about the recently concluded 79th Episcopal General Convention, which met in Austin at the beginning of July. You may be tired of hearing about it, and this is pretty close to the last thing that I’ll say about it.

On Saturday night, July 7, Convention took a short break, to do something that is not something Episcopalians normally do, or do well. We got together for a revival: a good, old-fashioned, preachin’ and prayin’ and singin’ revival! Afterwards, we had a BBQ on the lawn, shared some great food, a bit of beer or lemonade, and had a great time.

It is the Revival itself that really struck me, though. Picture this if you can: The Palmer Events Center, a warm summer evening, and a packed house with a couple of thousand in attendance. When my wife and I arrived at the event, about 45 minutes before start time, seating was already in short supply. Fortunately, we were able to sit with some folks we knew, who had been saving seats for us. We saw some folks from St. Francis, some from Christ Church and several former parishioners from across the United States; then we started to sing .

There didn’t seem to be much of a program, if you consider programs as being planned-out, logically-arranged, and resembling a formal service from the Prayer Book. The singing was fun, enthusiastic, warm, lively, and similar to gospel-style and contemporary music. Nothing was from the hymnal, but nothing was difficult to sing. The songs were catchy, moving, and got toes to tapping and hands to clapping. 

There was a reading from scripture, and then the Presiding Bishop Curry began to speak, along with Dinorah Padro. Curry travels with a Spanish-language translator in order to make his message accessible to the Spanish-speaking community. His Revival Sermon lasted for about 45 minutes, but it certainly didn’t drag. “The only reason to be born is to live!” he exclaimed.

If you haven’t seen him preach yet, go to http://bit.ly/RevivalSermon to see the video and read the transcript . It’s worth your while. He is funny, on point, and sees deeply into the soul of our times.

For example, he spoke about Nicodemus and his visit to Jesus. (Remember the story? You can read it in the Gospel of John, Chapter 3:1–17 ). The Presiding Bishop is convinced that Nicodemus was an Episcopalian. Why? He comes to see Jesus at night, and doesn’t really want folks to know that he is following this teacher. He wants to be close to Jesus, but not have others know about it. Which is certainly the stereotype of us Episcopalians!

After the address, there was time for prayer, and folks who felt in special need of prayer could go to one of several designated spots where someone would pray for and with them. Some of these spots had special languages available such as Creole French, in order to make sure everyone felt included and loved.

It was an inspiring night, uplifting and encouraging. As with most experiences that bring inspiration it caused me to pause and think. It made me consider the future of The Episcopal Church and the future of St. Francis. Episcopalians are often known for our careful, rational, balanced approach to the scriptures, and to all aspects of our faith. But are we known as a people of passionate commitment

Our liturgy, our common sense application of scripture, our devotion to the traditions and wisdom of The Church throughout the centuries is laudable. These are some of the reasons I joined The Church in the 1980s, but that is not quite enough any longer. We are being called into new expressions of our faith. Not ones that are at odds with our historical understanding, but one that builds upon our solid foundation.

It will no longer be enough to be thoughtful. It will no longer be enough to have crisp or well practiced liturgy. Although we certainly need both, we also need to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ, and we need to beseen by others. What the world is looking for is not our pedigree, but whether we walk the walk that we proclaim. 

I have found that St. Francis is that kind of place: where folks want to walk the walk, where their actions represent their values. Will you help?

Together, let us

-Fr David Krause

Video of the entire Revival can be viewed here.

Photo Above: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preaches as a Spanish-language interpreter Dinorah Padro stands at his side. Photo Courtesy of: Mike Patterson / Episcopal News Service
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 )
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, or your indicate that you would prefer to keep your prayer confidential, a member of the clergy will address your prayer privately.
All are Welcome
9:30am: Holy Eucharist Rite II

9:30am: Children's Chapel

10:30am: Hospitality
(Coffee and Conversation
Jumbo screens were required to enable the large audience to watch Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preach. Photo: Mike Patterson/Episcopal News Service
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry begins an impassioned sermon before a packed audience at a revival held on July 7 at Austin’s Palmer Center. Photo: Mike Patterson/Episcopal News Service
Sisters with the Society of St. Margaret staff prayer stations at the back of the Palmer Events Center for people seeking prayers following the revival service July 7. Photo: Melodie Woerman/Episcopal News Service
Some 750 smoked brisket sliders were prepared for the July 7 celebration. There were also nearly 30 watermelons cut for the crowd to enjoy. Photo: Melodie Woerman/Episcopal News Service
A Note from Deacon Tamara: Smartphones. A Challenge.

 This week I had the gift of a visit from a good friend. She lives in Oklahoma so although we email and text each other, we don’t get to see each and just visit; and visit was pretty much all we could do. We enjoyed the air conditioning and stayed out of the heat.

At one point in our time together we caught ourselves just looking at our phones. Here we were: sitting on the couch, absorbed into our phones checking email and social media. We were not present with each other. When I pointed this out, we both laughed and then put our phones away.

I recently read an article that suggested that when we are with other people, we should be mindful to actually be with them, even if they are strangers. Put the phone away. Don’t hide behind it. Our phones make it way too easy to be isolated from each other even in a roomful of people. We need to look up and be present with the people and the life around us. The article suggested that we only take our phones out to check email, text, or talk when we are alone. That is a tall order, but it is one I am going to try. Hope you do too.


It is hot out! So you know what that means? Cold weather is just around the corner!! Time to bring out the knitting needles and crochet hooks! If you would like to make hats and/or scarves for the homeless and needy, put the items in the box labeled Knitting Ministry on the bench outside the women’s restroom in the Narthex. I will collect them as the box fills. There are many free patterns on Pinterest to choose from.

If you have any questions, contact Roiann Ludlow at 254-780-1527 or roipat@sbcglobal.net .
2018 Backpack Buddies
We Have Been Asked This Year to Provide for 50 Elementary Students
Thank you for sponsoring a Backpack Buddies

The backpacks will be blessed Sunday, July 29th at the 9:30am service

God Bless,

Backpack Buddies Chairs
Karen Fredenburg & Heidi Couchman

A Volunteer for Delivery is Needed!

On August 3rd, at 5:15, the backpacks that St. Francis has gathered and blessed with our prayers and fond wishes will be delivered to the public Schools. However, as you may notice, there are quite a few of them. We are in need of one (maybe two) folks who might be available to help deliver these. Do you have a vehicle that might hold some or all of 50 backpacks? Are you available on the 3rd from 5:15 to 6:30? Please let Karen Fredenburg or Heidi Couchman know of your availability. Thank you.
Green thumb? Brown thumb?
Any thumb at all?

Wildscape Guild is looking, for new members who can help on Thursday mornings, but also for folks who are willing to splash some water on sunbaked plants, between our Thursday waterings. Feel free, if you notice pots that look sad, to grab a hose or douse them from the sink. It takes a village, when it’s so hot this early in the summer.

See Ruth Henry , Karen Fredenburg or Cindy Allen for questions about joining us...or just show up on Thursday morning with work gloves and your favorite tools between 8:00 and 9:00am
“One is nearer God’s heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth.” Dorothy Frances Gurney
Property Committee Update
Richard and Sheri Macchi completed the insulation the wall and boarding in the new storage building.You are amazing! Our new storage area is ready to use!

The box has been mounted. Now the AED needs to put in the box!

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

( Book of Common Pray e  r Page 231 )

Lectionary for this Sunday


Saturday, July 28
  • Sound the Alarm, 10:00am,
  • 1215 N Wall Street, Belton, TX
  • Bring your friends and family. All tools, training and refreshments provided. Help the Red Cross in their mission to save lives!

Sunday, July 29
Blessing of the Backpacks
  • 9:30am: Holy Eucharist Rite II

Tuesday, July 31
  • There will be no Tuesday Solace for the month of July

Thursday, August 2
  • 8:00am: Garden Day

Friday, August 3
  • 5:15 load backpacks into vehicles for transporting to school.
Do You Have a Favorite Hymn?
Do you have a favorite hymn that you really enjoying singing? Something that we don’t do often enough? Or even something that is not in the Episcopal Church Hymnal of 1982? 

On the 5th of August, during Sunday worship, St. Francis will host a good old fashioned, Hymn Singing Eucharist. We will play with the liturgy just a tad bit, and I’m hoping that you might suggest favorite hymns to sing.

Wouldn’t it be fun if we sang 10, 15, or even 20 hymns? OK, maybe not all of the verses of each one. But I really enjoyed some old chestnuts that we sang the other week, and I’m sure that you have a favorite as well. Suggestions are welcomed in the office, sent along as an email , or even written on a piece of paper and handed to us. Let’s have some musical fun! Suggestions are due by the 29th of July
Next Sunday (August 5 th ) is our Hymn-singing Sunday!
We will be signing a lot of favorite hymns from suggestions made by the congregation. Even the sermon will be a light and loose commentary on music, faith and our understanding of the Gospel in song!
Meditation Garden
Today's beautiful featured garden plant is the Black and BlueSalvia (can you spot the butterfly?). Remember, a fountain and benches provide a pleasant environment for meditating on God's love and care—and listening for his voice.

10  For the land that you are about to enter to occupy is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sow your seed and irrigate by foot like a vegetable garden.  11  But the land that you are crossing over to occupy is a land of hills and valleys, watered by rain from the sky,  12  a land that the Lord your God looks after. The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
July Events
122,259 Alarms Installed
$15,423,225 Raised
31,300 Volunteers Needed

The Heart of Texas Red Cross has teamed up with the Belton Fire Department to install 800 fire alarms in Belton homes who need them. Why? Every day 7 people die in home fires. The installation of smoke alarms can help prevent these deaths.

120 volunteers are needed to register, install, and educate. You will be trained and no experience is required. All equipment will be provided as well as refreshments.

Volunteers are needed to:
  • Install the alarms. All equipment is provided. You will need to be able to climb a ladder.
  • Educate the family about home fire safety while the alarm is being installed. No ladder climbing required.
  • Registration of volunteers.
  • Logistics, the checking in and out of equipment.

Saturday, July 28, 10:00am–4:00pm
Meet at Immanuel Lutheran Ministries, 1215 S Wall St, Belton

There will be a signup sheet available this Sunday or you can email me at revtamara@stfrancistempletx.org . I need to be able to give the Red Cross a count of the volunteers, so please let me know as soon as possible. Remember to invite your friends and family to help with this community event! Many volunteers are needed. This is a great way to show the community our St. Francis spirit!

( Ancillary pre-canvassing event: On Friday, July 20 , starting at 10:00am , volunteers are needed to walk the neighborhood where the alarms are to be installed and place hangtags announcing the event on the doors. Just walking and hanging tags. No ringing doorbells! You will get your steps in! See me if you are interested in helping out. )

August Events
August 11 • 9am–12pm

Last year 876,000 marriages ended in divorce. This life-changing event can be overwhelming. Join us for this complimentary workshop as we explore and offer solutions regarding the financial, emotional and physical challenges of divorce.
Presenters include:
Dee Kerr, CFP
Dr. Kerri Pearson, LPCS
Darla Reeder, Yoga & Meditation Expert

Seating is limited. Please call,
(254) 770-3022 to reserve your seat.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2018:
Dinner in the Country & Silent Auction Benefiting Feed My Sheep

1:00–4:00pm but feel free to come and go as you please.

$12.00 per plate requested donation.

There will also be a silent auction for which they are soliciting donations. If you or your business have something you'd be willing to donate, please call Staci at 512-775-7999.

More information at 

After receiving shoebox gifts from Samaritan’s Purse and the Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection, many children are invited back to participate in the Operation Christmas Child discipleship program, The Greatest Journey.

This month, we invite you to take part in keeping the journey going through our Greatest Journey Ornament program. Simply purchase an ornament for $6—found in stores only—and you’ll send the 12-lesson course, The Greatest Journey, and a New Testament to a child in need.
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 collection item for August 2018 will be Cereal . Items may be brought to the narthex on Sunday or to the Church Office during weekdays.

The Wildscape Guild's purpose is to provide a beautiful and welcoming outdoor environment at St. Francis' church for all God's creatures—including humans. We seek an awareness of God's presence in fellowship, in silent meditation, and in all the sensual joys of planting and harvesting in the care of creation. We are filling the grounds with native and adapted plants that will support birds, butterflies, and other wildlife as well as saving water and preventing erosion. We hope to make the gardens a living classroom to encourage the love of the outdoors in children at the school. We meet every Thursday at 8:00am . Please feel free to come by with your gloves and favorite tools. We would love to have you!.

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.

“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!
Altar Guild:
Heidi Couchman & Sharon Hughes                        
Readers :
Cole Mooney &
John Dieter

Garrett Mooney &
Noelle Dieter
Ushers :
Glen & Heidi Couchman

Hospitality :
Sheri Macchi

Children's Chapel:

Vestry Greeter:  
 Ruth Henry

Jeanne Winters

Don & Peggy Flores
Heidi Couchman
Shirley Strasburger
Richard Stillman
Robert Cortinez
Kerry Brady
Take time to walk around the gardens Thank you to the Wildscape Guild for working so hard to maintain such a beautiful, natural, meditative space for us.