The Bridge
St. John’s Episcopal Church
June 10, 2020

The Mission of St. John’s is to be a community of God’s people who heal brokenness, build bridges, and exemplify borderless kindness.
We have a new name!

As we continue to strive towards living into our Mission Statement, we have renamed this newsletter "The Bridge", hoping the information we send out will provide a bridge of communication for our congregation. We have also added some "human interest" stories about mission and ministry in our midst. We hope this will continue to be an effective "bridge", especially while we are unable to be together in worship and fellowship.
From Our Interim Rector

Dear Folks,

In March, when we had to close our in-person services and begin our live virtual services due to the corona virus, if you had told me we would still be doing this in June, I would have, I did, say, “No way!” Yet, here we find ourselves! We will not return to in-person services until some requirements are met.

The major factor is that the health department/ government figures need to show a 14-day decline in number of new cases and hospitalizations for Austin. We were on a pattern of decline, seven days, when numbers spiked again the first of this week.

Second, we had to design a comprehensive and detailed plan for how we will re-open respecting “social distancing”, masks, and cleaning/sanitizing. Our completed proposal has been sent to the diocesan office.

Third, we need approval from our regional bishop, Bp. Kai Ryan, that our plan is acceptable and that we have permission to open. Tuesday morning, we received an email from Bp. Ryan stating that our plan has been approved. We do not yet have a date for re-gathering.

Initially, in our plan, we hoped to open the end of June. However, this recent spike means we need to push the open date to a later date. When we do open, masks will be required, seating will be in such a manner as to respect social distancing, Eucharist (bread only) will be administered in the pews; and we will wait awhile before opening the parish hall for coffee hour. Even after we open, we will continue live streaming for those who are not yet comfortable with returning to in-person worship services.

This is good news! It also comes with new responsibilities. I ask that you attend when you feel comfortable doing so. That being said, we will need extra help in order to usher, assist with seating, and help clean surfaces between services. This Saturday, 10 am, we will have a training session for anyone that can help with services.

May I also take this time to remind everyone that your financial support is needed now as much as at any time. Thank you to those who have continued to support the church; some increasing their pledges.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me ( ) or our Sr. Warden John Williams, ( ).

God’s blessings to each of you!

COVID-19 and Hard Choices

You may have noticed that I’m not one of the brave handful of 60+ year old people who are leading worship on Sunday mornings via Facebook Live. I’m very grateful for the ones who are making it possible for us to worship every Sunday: Rev. Ann, Bill, Philip, John, Fay, Alphonso and Maria. Without them we would be wandering around in the Internet wilderness looking for a place to worship that feels like home. I also pray for their continued health.

Why am I not there? I turn 72 this year and I have a history of atrial fibrillation. If I get sick with the COVID-19 virus, I am at a high risk for getting seriously ill, at best. I don’t even want to use the words associated with the worst case. Our children worry a great deal about Roy’s and my health. Whenever I brought up the subject of going to church to be part of the team creating the virtual worship, our children and my siblings react very strongly against this. I have chosen to honor and respect their concern for my health. But, I tell you, it’s not easy.

When will I return? I have not set time or clear benchmark to signal my return. I’m grateful for the Key Indicators for Staging developed by the Austin Department of Health. (See for more information) I check the charts and data most days. When the numbers move us into Stage 2 and stabilize for about 2 weeks, I will be eagerly preparing to return to church.

Until then I’ll be working in the background helping Fay produce The Bridge, especially the Spanish version. I will be working with Rev. Ann on various projects. I will be with you all at the virtual Christian Education classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I hope to be with you for other classes that may develop over time. And I certainly will be with you at every virtual worship service, listening to the Word of God, praying, singing, and exchanging “Amens.” Be at peace, love and serve the Lord, wherever you are. Alleluia!

Deacon Victoria Mason
Building Bridges and Healing Brokenness

Addressing Homelessness in our City
by Mike Davis

The Homelessness Ministry at St. John’s was formed to learn about homelessness in Austin, and to reach out to the people in the streets in a positive and personal way. In the past we have participated in breakfasts provided through a downtown Austin church, assisted in the Point-in-Time count which is an effort to actually count homeless people in the City of Austin, and put together packages of needed items for persons experiencing homelessness including underwear, socks, tooth paste, tooth brushes, and City of Austin bus passes. During the pandemic, the homelessness ministry has suspended activities. 

My own interest in homelessness arises from my early involvement in home finance. At that time, in the 1960's, there were several programs in the mix: Section 245 was a program of Federal interest subsidy, Federal block housing was still an active Federal initiative. Section 8 (so-called) continues in existence. However, as my experience in the point-in-time count showed me, the actual problem of sheltering people in this society continues to plague this wealthy nation.

Once it is again safe to interact with people, including the highly at-risk homeless population, this ministry will again undertake the activities mentioned above and will extend those efforts into the community around our St. John’s church.
A Loss

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Rosalinda Rodriguez's mother passed away on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Her name is Rosa Tenorio, and we ask that you include her and Rosalinda, Carlos, Henry, and Daphne in your prayers.
Love God, Love Neighbor
Episcopal Month of Action

In the month of June, join the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations and Episcopal Migration Ministries for Love God, Love Neighbor: Episcopal Month of Action, a series of webinars to learn and advocate with and on behalf of immigrants, DACA recipients, refugees, and asylum seekers.

Newcomers contribute greatly to U.S. communities, enriching our common life, strengthening the U.S. economy, and bringing joy as they join and reunite with families and friends. And yet, immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees face a wide array of challenges, including federal policies and legislation that are outdated and do not address the realities of immigrants in America today. As the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement, we are called to advocate with and for our siblings seeking safety and a better life in the United States.

June 14-20: Episcopal Action on Resettlement Week
WEBINAR: June 16, 3:30-5:00pm Eastern Time

June 21-27: Episcopal Action on Asylum Week
WEBINAR: June 23, 3:30-5:00pm Eastern Time
Message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

Dear Friends in Christ,

With both public and scientific knowledge of the nature and timing of an effective vaccine and treatment protocol for COVID-19 evolving on seemingly a daily basis; and with the very real possibility of a resurgence of the virus later in the year, the Executive Leadership Team has decided to keep the DFMS offices closed and the suspension of all non-essential travel, meetings, and conferences in place until further notice.

We recognize that there may need to be regional differences relative to reopening offices between New York, Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas, and so we will be prepared to visit the timing of reopening with our management staff in each of these as local conditions warrant. Ultimately the decision in all cases will remain with the Presiding Bishop’s office ...

We understand and sympathize with those of you who are challenged to work remotely, and that if we could offer a date-certain for reopening it would be ideal, but the uncertainty of this present time makes any firm date suggested unrealistic. As an expression of Jesus’ command to love our neighbor, we are committed to the safety and health of all of our staff, visitors and those who come to our offices.

May we be God’s blessings, and instruments of God’s love. May the words of the Apostle Paul ring loudly and true in our hearts, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.” (2 Cor 1:3-4)

Yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop
Sunday Services at St. John's
We are finding different ways to worship.
All Sunday services are being live streamed from our Chapel:

10:00 a.m. Morning Prayer in English
12:00 noon Morning Prayer in Spanish

You can participate in our live stream videos by clicking this button to go to the St. John's Facebook page:
This will take you to the "videos" tab on the left side of the Facebook page. When the red box like the one below appears next to "videos", click on it.
If this doesn't take you to the live video, try using the "refresh" button at the top of your screen.

The live stream for each service will be available approximately 5 minutes before the start of the service.
Recorded video from all services will be posted on YouTube later in the day. Links to the YouTube videos will be posted on Facebook and on our website ( .
Giving at St. John's

People have asked how to continue their giving as the ministry of the Church continues.

There are several ways you can continue to give:

Mail your check to the Church: St. John's Episcopal Church, 
P. O. Box 81493, Austin, TX 78708-1493

Go to your bank's website and set up direct payment - the bank will send a check directly to St. John's using this address: 
St. John's Episcopal Church, P. O. Box 81493, Austin, TX 78708-1493

Use this link to pay online through our website: Click here to donate online

Use this button to go directly to our online giving site:
Missing your Book of Common Prayer?

All Daily Office services are in the Book of Common Prayer.  Here is a link to the Lectionary Page website which will give you the readings for each Sunday: Lectionary Page

You can find the Daily Office Lectionary in the Prayer Book on page 934 (or eCP if you have that app).
Caring for Each Other

If you, or someone you know, need prayer or would like to be contacted by the church, please contact the Reverend Ann McLemore at 769-257-2377 or to add names to the Prayer List.
Need Help?

Please, if you find that you need help financially, with food, spiritually, emotionally, do not hesitate to call Deacon Victoria (512-297-5953) or Rev. Ann (769-257-2377).

We are a church family; when a family member needs assistance we want to try and help that member.
Christian Formation and Education

Each Tuesday, an email message will be sent out giving information about our Christian formation and education. The message will include the Zoom links for that week's sessions. Please watch for these messages in order to have the most current information and links.

Only Rev. Ann and essential support staff will be in the Chapel for the streaming of services as w e continue to follow the direction of government officials and the guidance of our Bishop.

All meetings and activities at St. John's are temporarily suspended.

Ministry continues. All St. John's meetings will be held virtually (via Zoom).

We will post a notification here, on Facebook, and on our website when this restriction has been lifted.
Virtual Sunday Services
10:00 am in English (Facebook)
Mediodía en español (Facebook)
For more information about events at St. John’s,
please visit our website at