The Banner                   October 2015
In This Issue
 

ST. GEORGE'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

 

4301 N. IH 35
Austin, TX 78722  
 

Phone: 512.454.2523    

stgeorgeaustin@gmail.com

 

Church office hours:  

Monday - Thursday 

9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

 

www.sgchurch.org  

 

Sunday Schedule

8:00am - Holy Eucharist Rite I
9:45am - Choir rehearsal
10:30am - Holy Eucharist Rite II  
                   with Kids Word

5:00pm - Recovery Worship Service


The Rev. Kevin LJ Schubert
Rector
The Rev. Judith Liro
Assisting Priest & Minister to
St. Hildegard's Community

The Rev. John Brewer
Deacon 
Anne Weaver 
Music Minister 
Vanessa Nering
Newcomer Minister/
Office Administrator


Jerri Thompson
Head of School
Vestry
Melissa Eason Brackin
Raul Carrera
Mark Casstevens
Brad Dieringer
August Dolan-Henderson
Spencer Gordon
Claire Irwin
Alice Nelson
John Rickard
 
Melissa Eason Brackin
Senior Warden
John Rickard
Junior Warden
Sandra Villalaz
Financial Secretary

Frances Rickard , Treasurer
 
Spencer Gordon , Clerk
 
Mark Casstevens,  School Liaison  



CALENDARS
Click on the following links to find:

Click here to sign up to be a reader or intercessor during our Rite I & II services.

November Banner Submissions
Deadline for news for the next issue of
The Banner is  Monday, October 26th.
Please e-mail information, schedules, photos and articles you would like included in next month's edition to stgeorgeaustin@gmail.com .

Mark Your Calendars
Oct 4th       Blessing of the Animals, 1:30-3:30
Oct 7th       Wednesday Weavings
Oct 11th     Women's Book Club
Oct 21st      Wednesday Weavings
Oct 25th      Bishop's visit
Nov 1st        All Saints' Sunday
Nov 13-15th  Annual Parish Retreat

blessingBlessing of the Animals
Sunday, October 4th 
1:30-3:30 pm
St. George's is partnering with Austin Pets 
Directory to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis with a  Blessing of the Animals and Community Fair on Saturday, October 4th .
All are invited to bring their pets to the 
church grounds to receive a blessing. There will be live music, food, and frosty beverages to enjoy. Representatives from Austin-area pet organizations will also be present. This family-friendly event is a great occasion to bring together our community friends, including of course, our furry friends. All are welcome!




St. George's Current Financial Status
We have had a tremendous year so far of growth, transformation, and vitality.  Over 
the past nine months the vestry of St. George's has worked diligently to improve our beloved church's facilities and grounds.  Included in these improvements are the new parking spaces for newcomers, beautifying the memorial garden, updating and improving our campus signage, and the new church office space in the Wright/Giles House.  These improvements are extremely beneficial for the church as a whole, and practically, there have been costs associated with them. 
This year St. George's has also seen a decrease in the amount we have traditionally  
received from outside groups utilizing our campus. The campus improvement costs and the decrease in campus usage by outside groups has made an impact on our financial status. Our total receipts so far this year have been $191,392.82, though our total disbursements have been $227,548.17.  Most of the negative difference can be accounted by funds that were designated for capital improvements, such as those listed above. These capital improvement funds had been readily available over the years through generous gifts and 
money accrued through usage fees from outside groups using the campus.
To maintain the church's financial health through the end of the year, St George's members are encouraged to fulfill their 2015 pledges and to prayerfully discern other monetary gifts to the church. If you have any questions and concerns regarding the current financial status of St. George's please contact Father Kevin in the church office or Senior Warden, Melissa Eason Brackin.  


Rector's Corner
Dear St. George's Family,

Recently, I read an anonymous quote that says, "If money is the root of all evil, why 
are  churches always begging for it?"  At first glance, I am amused by the paradoxical notion of this saying. Although, if I'm truly honest with my understanding of God and God's kingdom and I strip away all the fear, anxiety, and shame associated with money, I realize how much I disagree with the common notion that money is the source of all evil. In actuality, I believe that money is not the source of evil. Rather, if we approach our finances with gratitude and are respectfully cognizant of our earthly resources as blessed gifts, then we can make healthy stewardship decisions with integrity. When it all boils down, money is the means by which we are able to subsist in the world we live.  It is not so much that money is evil, but rather our negative perception of it, our desire for more beyond our essential need, and our constant focus on it is what leads us into a life of scarcity and fear in which evil can reside.  

The other part of the anonymous quote that bothers me is the notion that the church 
begs for money. Though this is the case for some religious institutions, I have not found this to be true for St. George's.  This is mainly because the church is not some entity outside of her members.  You and I are the church together. The church does not consist of the buildings on our campus or the annual budget. Rather, the church is made up of the people that are served through the buildings and budget.  The community as a whole must make healthy stewardship decisions, both individually and collectively. 

This coming Sunday we will begin our financial stewardship season, " Forging an 
Attitude of Gratitude". You will be receiving a pledge packet in the mail to help you discern an appropriate amount to pledge to St. George's in 2016.  I pray that you thoughtfully consider your pledge to this great community we call home.  God bless you and keep youthis month and always.  


God Bless, 
The Rev. Kevin LJ Schubert  

St. George's Approved for Same-Sex Marriage

The Right Reverend Andrew Doyle has given his authorization to St. George's Episcopal Church to celebrate same sex marriages after the First Sunday of Advent (November 29, 2015). Due to the completion of the parish process of preparation for same sex marriages outlined in the Diocese of Texas document  Unity in Mission, St. George's will begin the inclusion of same sex couples into the sacrament of marriage.  This is a great cause for celebration in our community.  St. George's extends a tremendous expression of gratitude to The Diocese of Texas and Bishop Doyle.


No Fall Grace Series

Over the past several years St. George's has offered a lecture series during both fall 
and spring semesters known as the Grace Series.  The original intent of the Grace Series was to fulfill the church's vision and core value of Lifelong Learning.  When the Grace Series began there were no Christian formation opportunities offered by St. George's.  Currently, with the Sunday morning Lifelong Learning classes  being held each semester, and the year-round Wednesday Weaving Group and Education for Ministry classes thriving also, it would appear that the necessity of a bi-annual lecture series has ended.  The Grace Series will henceforth be held annually and will continue during the Lenten season in the spring of 2016. 

Newcomer Minister Transition

             It is bittersweet for me to announce that my time as the newcomer minister and office administrator at St. George's Episcopal Church is concluding more quickly than I had previously anticipated.  After much deliberation and prayer, I have discerned a call that requires me to resign from my current position.   A door has been opened for me and I have accepted a position at an emerging Austin start-up company in the mental health field.  My last Sunday as a St. George's staff member will be October 11th.
               
I am deeply honored to have been made a part of this generous and loving community
  It has been both a gratifying and fulfilling experience.  I will miss being a part of the daily church operations and I will especially miss the blessings you have heaped on me as I went about my work.  At the same time, I am excited and eager to turn my attention full-time to continuing my vocational development and to pursuing a counseling career.  

Lastly, I want to affirm that I will continue to be an involved member of the loving and Christ-centered church family I have found here.  So, may we carry on seeing and blessing one another, and it is my hope that each of us will be empowered to continue to do the work of kingdom-making to which God calls us.  Thank you! 

Peace to you all,

Vanessa P. Nering

Donations for Kitty Quilts

My f riend, Connie Carson, and I thank everyone who donated 
t-shirts for the kitty cages at the Austin Animal Shelter. The kitties especially thank you   J
Connie cuts-up the shirts to make patchwork  bedding for the kitty cages at the Austin Animal Center.  Any size, weight, color, or design of tee is fine  and it doesn't matter if the shirts have holes, rips or stains as long as they have been freshly laundered.

If you have any old t-shirts too far gone for donation to needy humans, we  will collect them at the Pet Blessing.
If you prefer to bring them and place them in the collection basket at the south entrance to the church, I will be happy to take them to Connie.
 
Again, thanks so much!  Gayle Wall


Wednesday Weavings

If you are looking for a way to plug in to the St. George's community, Wednesday Weavings may be the ticket! This low-key adult discussion group meets in different homes on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. We share a simple meal, have a short time of centering prayer, and discuss a selected reading from the journal  Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life. Because we discuss a different reading each time, feel free to come any Wednesday you can. Please bring a contribution for the salad bar meal (for example, fruit, vegetable, or crunchy toppings).  This month, the gatherings are on October 7 at Sarah Campbell's home and October 21 in Kleberg Hall.  Copies of the reading are available in church on the Sunday before the Wednesday gathering. Please join us if you can!  For more information, e-mail Frances Rickard at  fajrickard@gmail.com.

Free Caregiver Workshop
Saturday, October 17th

The Austin Groups for the Elderly is a fabulous resource for anyone who has aging parents or is aging themselves. AGE has many workshops and activities for the community. It is easy to learn about the activities by signing up for thier newletter. You can do that by contacting the office. Below is a description of a Caregiver workshop planned for October 17. You will meet many others who are dealing with aging famiy or friends as well as exceptional resources in the field of gerontology.  For your information, see or email  Sandra Villalaz.

 
Free Caregiver Workshop on October 17
     Registration is now open for the free seminar "The Keys to No Car Keys" workshop on Saturday, October 17th.  Part of the on-going workshop series to help family members effectively care for an older loved one, the free seminar will be held from 10:00 am to Noon in the Large Meeting Room of the AGE Building, located at 3710 Cedar Street, Austin, TX 78705.
     Experts from the St. David's Adaptive Driving Program will discuss how caregivers can evaluate their older loved ones' driving abilities and explore local medically-based driving evaluations and driver training to promote senior independence and safety.  The seminar is free, but space is limited. 
      Participants can register by calling(512) 600-9275 or registering online at http://tinyurl.com/AgeOctober2015. A limited amount of free respite care for older family members will also be available during the seminar at AGE's Austin Adult Day Health Center by RSVP only. To RSVP for respite, please request the service with online registration or call Gailyn Trammell at (512) 600- 9275 no later than October 14th.



The Bishop is Coming!
Sunday, October 25th

The Right Reverend Dena Harrison, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Texas will preside at the 10:30 worship service on  October 25th.   During this service, individuals who are currently enrolled in the Discovery class will be confirmed, reaffirmed, and received into the Episcopal Church.  Father Kevin and Heather Schubert's youngest son, Harper Schubert, will also be baptized.

Annual Parish Retreat
November 13-15, 2015

Each Fall, St. George's gathers for a time of rest, relaxation, and community building at the
beautiful Well Spring Retreat Center on Wessendorff Ranch in the Texas Hill Country.
This year's retreat will be held from Friday, November 13 - Sunday, November 15.
 The retreat is dedicated to enriching our communal bonds as we enjoy times of worship, family and individual recreation, social activities, community building activities, and great food! There will be plenty of dedicated free time to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Texas Hill Country, including the spectacular sight of the famous 'narrows.' Accommodations for families with children will be in motel style rooms with a dormitory arrangement for others when the motel rooms fill up. There are no single occupancy  rooms. You are asked to bring your own bedding, beverages and snacks to  share.
Registration forms will be mailed shortly. 
The cost of the retreat includes sleeping accommodations and all meals (Meals are not provided on Friday, so plan to come fed or bring your own). Scholarships  are available; please contact Kevin Schubert for more information. Come and enjoy a relaxing  weekend in a loving restful environment!

Retreat Cost Breakdown

(Family Maximum cost is $125)
Friday - Sunday Adults: $45
Friday - Sunday Children: $25
Saturday Only Adults: $15
Saturday Only Children: $10


Photos for Church Office

In preparation for completing the transition of the church office into the Wright House, a request has been put out to all parishioners.  There are a lot of blank walls in our new office space, and Father Kevin would like to decorate using images of all the wonderful activities of St. George's.  So, if you happen to have some really great photos of various St. George's community activities that you believe deserve to be blown up and placed on the walls, please send them in!   Feel free to provide photos on a cd, jump drive, or any other digital way (photos in digital format are requested to have the highest resolution possible, jpeg formatting preferred).  

 


Financial Statements
Financial statements for the second trimester are ready. For those planning to attend the 10:30 worship service on Sunday October 4, Sandra Villalaz, Financial Secretary, will have your statement for you.  Otherwise, expect statements in the mail in the upcoming week. 

Outreach
Baskets, Turkey Feathers and Angel Wreaths! 
Plus new food bank for St. George's Court

Fall and holiday outreach projects are underway. Below are details on current projects and a change in a current initiative.
  • Christopher House baskets will go on sale in the coming weeks. Please see Mary Stewart Miller to purchase a set of baskets that provide hospitality needs and comfort for newly admitted patients to Christopher House, a hospice facility in central Austin. 
  • El Buen Turkey Drive returns in November. Spanish-speaking volunteers are needed as well as funds toward purchasing Thanksgiving meals for families serviced by El Buen Samaritano.
  • St. George's Court Angel Wreath will appear by late November. Due to the holiday schedule, we'll have two weeks to gather donated HEB or Wal-Mart gift cards and deliver the stockings to residents at St. George's Court. Make a note of this now.
Update on  Food Bank donations: Outreach has decided to support a food pantry at St. George's Court in lieu of donating to the Hope Food Pantry. Grocery donations are welcome all month -- please place donations on the marked shelves in Kleberg Hall. They will be delivered to St. George's Court monthly. If you would prefer to make a monetary donation, make checks out to St. George's, with a note in the memo line that the funds are for St. George's Court food bank. Funds will be deposited to the Court's account with Capital Area Food Bank. Please see Belinda McGhee if you have questions or would like more information about this initiative.


Day of the Dead Altar

The "Day of the Dead" may sound like a horror movie title, but Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and in some parts of South America and the U.S.
 
It is a time to remember our friends and relatives who have died, but still live on in our hearts. It is a day of the year when the distance between them and us is shortened, the veil between us and the afterlife is thinner. It is a day when we can feel a closer connection to them. At St. George's we will celebrate the day on All Saints' Sunday, November 1, with a special altar at the front of the church.
 
Denise Hope will decorate the altar on Saturday, October 31, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Come join in as you are able! All are welcome to come for as long as you can and participate in the altar's decoration.
 
On Sunday everyone is encouraged to please bring pictures and/or mementos of loved ones to church to place on the altar. Part of the tradition is to place on the altar some object that is familiar to that person, like a favorite book, playing cards, can of soda, etc., and/or to light a candle in their memory. Also, a sign-up sheet will be available if you would like your loved one's name added to the list of those remembered.

Being Green at St. George's
This Month's Focus: Meatless Mondays
 
October brings us the Feast of St. Francis and  St. George's Blessing   of the Animals .  
If  you  are looking for another easy way to celebrate our animal friends AND be a good steward of the earth, why not try going meatless once a week? 
The idea for Meatless Monday had its roots in World Wars I and II, when the
United States Food Administration encouraged citizens to ration and help the war effort by having a weekly meat-free day.
The Meatless Monday campaign has had a twenty-first century revival, this
time with an emphasis on nutrition, animal welfare, and the environment. Of course, you can be vegetarian any day of the week you want (and on more than one day!), but Monday is the only day of the week that gives that nifty alliteration.
The Humane Society has several great recipes for Meatless Mondays and
regularly adds new ones. And Meatless Monday describes the impact you can make on your health and on our planet by taking part.

A Home for our Church History

When the church office made its move to the Wright-Giles House last  spring, our paper 
records and other artifacts from various offices and storage closets were put in a room on the second floor of the house. This was much better for the records than being stored away in closets without air conditioning. But boxes of unorganized records just sitting there (see photo), even in an air-conditioned room, is still less than satisfactory. Those boxes hold our parish history, and until we are able to connect with the contents of the boxes to uncover the voices of our past, the records aren't doing us much good.
                As it so happened, I needed to find a capstone project to fulfill the requirements of my master's degree in Information Studies at UT-Austin this fall. Establishing an archives for St. George's fit the bill perfectly, and Kevin graciously agreed to be my field supervisor for the project. During the past month, I've inventoried the contents of the boxes and begun arranging them like the pieces of a puzzle into an organizational scheme that will help us know what we have and where to find it. So far, I've found Vestry minutes, annual parish meeting reports, Banners,and parish directories, some dating back to the early 1950s when St. George's was still a mission. There are also photographs, architectural plans, legal documents, and records detailing some of the ministries of St. George's over time. And I still have a ways to go before I uncover everything. By the end of the semester, I hope to have all the records in organized boxes and an inventory to describe what is in each box.
                Over the next month, I'll be working on a small exhibit to show you images of some of the fun and special treasures in our parish archives. The exhibit will be on display Gratitude Sunday, November 8. I want to thank Kevin for his support; and Mikail McIntosh-Doty, Mary Stewart Miller, and Alice Nelson for serving on the archives advisory committee. In next month's Banner, I'll provide an update on this project and describe future work to be done and how you can help if you are interested. Please contact me at fajrickard@gmail.com or catch me at church if you have any questions or would like more information.
- Frances Rickard

Commitment to Ministry Forms

A special thanks to all that offered your commitment to ministry forms on God's altar
during September.  The church office has received these forms and will continue to receive forms through Nov. 8th.

Please take some time to prayerfully reflect on ways you may be called to serve the community of St. George's.  A link to the form can be found here: 

St. George's Episcopal School


We've had a great first month back to school at St. George's! 

Our school children's grandparents came to visit on Grandparent's Day, we had our first annual Family Picnic and a very productive Parent Volunteer Day to upgrade our veggie gardens for the new school year! A big thank you to our community for all the support!


October Birthdays and Anniversaries

We wish the following parishioners a very happy October birthday:
Navin Manohar (Oct. 1), Georgia Woods (Oct. 4), Matthew Jones (Oct. 5), Carolyn Moreau (Oct. 12), Donna Parker (Oct 13), Sandra Villalaz (Oct. 14), Mikail McIntosh-Doty (Oct. 16), Dylan Kadas (Oct. 17), Cassandra Church (Oct. 18), Sara Liang Scarborough (Oct. 18), Audrey Sayer (Oct. 20), Claire Puckett (Oct. 20), Adam Moreau (Oct. 23), Mary Spies-Maxwell (Oct. 23), Mark Casstevens (Oct. 24), Kat Hernandez (Oct. 26), Samantha Stevens (Oct. 27), Gerald Mendoza (Oct. 28)

And a very happy anniversary to:
Susan & August Dolan-Henderson (Oct. 27)
Congratulations!
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