November 29, 2018
ST. FRANCIS WEEKLY WORD NEWSLETTER
My Word:

Saying that we might spend a bit of time in prayer, well, it just seems like an obvious kind of thing for church-going folks to do. However, I want to suggest that it really isn’t obvious, not at all obvious. After all, who in the church is going to come out and say that they are against prayer?

Well, I won’t say that, but I will throw my two cents in: I think that learning how to pray is a lot more difficult than it may first appear . Oh, it may be comparatively easy to open our hearts and pour out our deepest wishes and thoughts to God (in the silence of our hearts), or it may be really easy to listen to a well crafted prayer and find that we are deeply moved by the sentiments and the theology. Heck, it’s even easy to get caught up in a time of great ecstasy and pray along with the Spirit!

But these can be isolated moments. Do any of us take the time and develop the discipline to really create a habit of prayer? It does not seem obvious to me, and, like many of you, I sometimes struggle to keep a regular, focused prayer life.

That’s why this coming Saturday, as a Pre-Advent preparation day, St. Francis is offering a time of prayer. No, we will not be going into the church and sitting in silence, nor reading moving passages from the Book of Common Prayer. Rather, gathering in the Great Hall, we will take some time to learn different avenues, different expressions, different manners, of prayer.

I do realize that there is a home UMHB football game that starts at noon, and I don't want to say that I had hoped that the CRU wouldn’t make it this far—what I will admit is that sometimes we just have to set times and dates, and do the best that we can. If you would like to join us, from 10:00am–2:00pm on Saturday December 1st there will be a light meal provided. The time will be focused, fun, and certainly relaxing into a prayerfully deep state. The schedule will include Centering Prayer, Prayer Types and Temperaments, and even time on the Labyrinth.

Please join us if you can. Pray for us if you can’t. Regardless, prepare your hearts for the coming of the Lord .

-Fr David Krause

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, or your indicate that you would prefer to keep your prayer confidential, a member of the clergy will address your prayer privately.
ST. FRANCIS EPISCOPAL CHURCH WEEKLY SCHEDULE

First Sunday in Advent

Saturday, December 1
  • 10:00am–2:00pm Pre-Advent Prayer & Preparation. A light Lunch will be provided.

  • Visit St. Francis Gift Shop at Chisholm Trail for First Saturday

Sunday, December 2
  • 9:30am Holy Eucharist Rite II

Thursday, December 6
  • 9:00am: Garden Day
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FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT

THE COLLECT:
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen .

( Book of Common Pray e  r Page 211 )
Lectionary for this Sunday
SUNDAY SERVICE TIME
All are Welcome

9:30am : Holy Eucharist Rite II

11:00am : Hospitality
  • (Coffee and Conversation)
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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 )
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Feed My Sheep Cards
Sign your name this Sunday
This Sunday you will find Christmas cards on the tables in the parish hall which will be put into the Feed My Sheep sack lunches on December 9th.

Please sign your name to as many cards as you want so that these people will feel loved and not forgotten.
WHAT'S GOING ON AT ST.FRANCIS?
A Note from Deacon Tamara:
The meaning of Advent • Read the Gospel of Luke along with me
Advent has always been confusing to me.  I have never been quite sure what I am supposed to do during Advent. It has sometimes been referred to as a Mini-Lent. The spiritual disciplines of Lent make sense to me. Penitence, renewal, and the sacrifice of giving up something are not tied to the commercialism of Easter. During Lent no one seems to get upset if you do not say “Happy Easter.” The season of Advent bumps right up against the consumerism of shopping for Christmas. There are continuous reminders that we should be out shopping and purchasing gifts not only for others but for ourselves as well.
During Advent we are asked to anticipate and prepare for an event that already happened: the birth of Jesus that took place over 2000 years ago. We are also asked to anticipate and prepare for the second coming of Jesus who we will stand before in judgement, but we live in this present day with all its pitfalls and distractions.  The challenge of Advent is to reach back to the past in remembrance and pull from the future in hope to create a present day life where we are the beacon of a living Christ. Where to we begin?

As Fr. David suggested above, prayer is a good place to start . If you can, please join us this Saturday for the Pre-Advent Prayer and Preparation Retreat. Even if you cannot stay for the whole retreat, stay for what you can.

Reading scripture is also a good place to start. Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the Lectionary Year C. During Year C, Luke will be our main Gospel focus. During Advent, I will be reading Luke’s Gospel—one chapter a day. Perhaps you would like to join me? There are 24 chapters in Luke. If you start December 1 you will be finished by December 24. Think of it as a different sort of Advent Calender.

CHRISTMAS POINSETTIAS

If you would like to assist with Christmas Poinsettias please download and fill out this form . You can click submit and it will be sent to Frances or come by the office any time during normal business hours to fill one out or print one out and drop it off.

We will also be sending out a constant contact Christmas Poinsettia "event" that you can contact us through.

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Project Angel Tree 2018
We are in need of Party and Delivery Angels
Ho ho ho! The last of the Angel Tree gift takes were picked up last Sunday. Please place all of the three gifts in the large shopping bag and return them to St. Francis by December 16. Remember, St. Francis Gift Shop has items for the Christian Gift.

St. Francis is hosting a Project Angel Tree Christmas Party on Saturday, December 22, from 10:00–11:30pm. ALL ARE WELCOME! Please join us as we host the party for the children we sponsored. Enjoy some Christmas carols, refreshments, visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as fellowship.

We need Party Angels to assist in decorating, supplying the refreshments, and hosting the party. We are also in need of Delivery Angels, to help deliver the gifts for those who cannot make the party.

Our next meeting will follow the service on Sunday, December 9, to finalize all the party details. Please feel free to join us, or contact, Chris Sedonic or Roiann Ludlow.

Thank you all for supporting this wonderful ministry and putting a little Christmas Cheer in the lives of these children.
SPONSOR A GIFT TO
HELP A HURRICANE HARVEY SURVIVOR RETURN

Whether it's a set of pots and pans or an entire bedroom suite, honor your loved ones by giving a gift to the Diocese of Texas' Home for the Holidays catalogue supporting Harvey survivors . Thousands of people are still not able to return home and many others continue their repairs and struggle to replace the basics they lost. Please help them by giving a gift in memory or in honor of someone in your life. We will send you a gift card to personalize and print. There’s no better way to show your loved ones you care. Make a compassionate gift in their honor today. Simply scroll over the items shown, to see the price of each and add to your shopping cart. Checkout is easy.

Please SHARE this opportunity with your friends and family. For the thousands of our most vulnerable sisters and brothers, recovering from the record-breaking storm is a long and precarious journey.

“Let us not grow weary in doing what is good.”
Contact: HarveyRecovery@epicenter.org with questions or comments.

The mission of our the Episcopal Diocese of Texas' Harvey Recovery Program is to partner with churches that are engaged in Hurricane Harvey recovery with their most vulnerable neighbors. Funding is provided through grants from Episcopal Relief & Development and the Diocese of Texas Quin Foundation. If you would like to know more about this program, contact the Rev. Stacy Stringer or Kécia Mallette .
Sign Up for AdventWord
Get emails sent straight to your inbox and follow on social media
Be sure to follow AdventWord on Instagram , Facebook and Twitte r , so that you can help create a Global Advent Calendar! You can also sign up to receive daily Advent words and meditations into your email inbox.

This project is a ministry of Lifelong Learning at VTS, and we've been working diligently to put this together. We've got some great content in store for you this Advent season!

Want to know a little more? Take a look at the video Sarah Stonesifer did to introduce AdventWord !
FEED MY SHEEP T-SHIRTS
STILL AVAILABLE!

Feed My Sheep T-shirts are still available. If you wish to purchase a shirt the cost is $10.00. A signup sheet will be in the Narthex, and you may contact Chris Sedonic , (254) 624-1759, to place your order.

If paying by check, please make it payable to Feed My Sheep. If you already have purchased your shirt, please don’t forget to wear them every second Sunday of the month on our FMS Sack Lunch Sunday.

The shirt is a beautiful green color.
The front says: "Feed My Sheep."
(John 21:17) Serving Bell County

The back reads "I wondered why somebody didn't do something. Then I realized I am somebody."
Did You Know?
The 12 Days of Christmas, The Church and the Advent Calendar
The 12 days of Christmas do not refer to any sort of count down until the big day. Rather, they measure the time from Christmas until Epiphany, which is always exactly 12 days. The 12 days refers to the number of days in the Christmas season. After Epiphany, it’s Epiphany season, and Christmas is “over.”

Likewise, there will be many “Advent Calendars” that you may see for sale in stores and catalogs of different kinds. Very few of them will actually measure out the time of Advent. That, of course, varies from year to year. It always begins on the 4th Sunday before Christmas, and runs to Christmas day. Meaning this year, Advent begins on December 2nd, and runs to the 25th. But most years, Advent begins in November, and usually runs much longer than 25 days—the length of most secular Advent calendars.

Finally, remember that Advent and Christmas do not end the Church year, they begin it.  The first Sunday of the Church year is also the first Sunday of Advent. Our church uses a three-year lectionary pattern, designating the years A, B, and C, in a repeating three-year cycle. We have just finished year B, and on Sunday begin year C.
THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so
much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
& it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
UPCOMING EVENTS
December Events

December 1st:
10:00am–2:00pm

Pre-Advent Prayer and
Preparation Retreat

A pretty basic idea to the Christian faith, isn’t it? Yet, for many of us, one of the most difficult things to remember to do. Oh, we may say a short prayer in the morning, or even grace at meals. And many of us may still say our bedtime prayers. But there is so much more to the life of prayer.

Come to St. Francis for a free , Day of Prayer, in which we will discuss, learn, and practice some prayer techniques. Saturday, December 1st, from 10:00am–2:00pm, with a light meal provided . You just might find your prayer life invigorated .

December 9th:

Feed My Sheep Sunday!

December 18th:
4:00pm at The Kyle
The Kyle Christmas Party

Christ Episcopal Church has invited us to celebrate the Holidays with the residents of The Kyle. The Kyle is a 13-story building in downtown Temple for elderly, disabled and handicapped residents. Save the date and details will be forthcoming on how to participate.

December 22nd:
Project Angel Tree Christmas Party
Saturday, December 22
10:00–11:30am

St. Francis is hosting a Project Angel Tree Christmas Party on Saturday, December 22, from 10:00–11:30am.

ALL ARE WELCOME! Please join us as we host the party for the children we sponsored. Enjoy some Christmas carols, refreshments, visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as fellowship.

We need Party Angels to assist in decorating, supplying the refreshments, and hosting the party. We are also in need of Delivery Angels, to help deliver the gifts for those who cannot make the party.

Thank you all for supporting this wonderful ministry and putting a little Christmas Cheer in the lives of these children.

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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 1:00-4:00 PM 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.

CHURCHES TOUCHING LIVES FOR CHRIST (CTLC)
The collection theme for December 2018 is Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows. Items may be brought to the narthex on Sunday or to the Church Office during weekdays.

THE WILDSCAPE GUILD
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!.

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!

We still need more choir members.  Our group is small enough that when a couple of members have to be absent, we are left really short. With more people we would be able to do more & different kinds of music. You do not have to have a big or beautiful voice because as in math, the whole (choir) is greater than any of its parts (members). We are a fun & companionable group and will welcome YOU! Come try singing with us & then decide if you want to join us!
MINISTERS IN THE LORD'S SERVICE
Altar Guild
Lyn Miller and
Kyla Sherrard
     
Lay Readers :
Bill Frick and
Linda Frick

Acolytes:
John Dieter and
Noelle Dieter
Ushers :
Ruth Henry


Hospitality :
Pat Ludlow and
Roiann Ludlow

Children's Chapel:
Gail Avots

Vestry Greeter:  
Mickey Kerr

Organist:
Debra Johnson

Social Media at St. Francis
Don't wait for the Weekly Word! Stay up to date with the latest news, photos and events on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Pintrest too! It is also a great way to stay in touch or make friendships with your fellow parishioners.

Click any of the circular icons to the left and either create an account and follow/like us. We are followed and following many Social Influencers in our space so it would be a great way to hear from the Anglican Communion and others.
NOVEMBER BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
DECEMBER 2 BIRTHDAY
Ruth Henry
DECEMBER 4 BIRTHDAY
Nita Searcy
DECEMBER 4 ANNIVERSARY
Tom & Shirley Strasburger
DECEMBER 11 ANNIVERSARY
John & Ann Booze
DECEMBER 12 BIRTHDAY
Julia Ann Popelka
DECEMBER 14 BIRTHDAY
Tommy Miller
DECEMBER 15 BIRTHDAY
John Millican
DECEMBER 16 BIRTHDAY
Christina Culp
DECEMBER 16 BIRTHDAY
Katherine Wojtaszek
DECEMBER 17 BIRTHDAY
Jerry Allen
DECEMBER 18 ANNIVERSARY
Jerry & Cindy Allen
DECEMBER 18 ANNIVERSARY
David & Marjorie Lewis
DECEMBER 23 BIRTHDAY
Pat Ludlow
DECEMBER 23 BIRTHDAY
      Gail Avots 
DECEMBER 28 ANNIVERSARY
Stewart & Nancy Smith
DECEMBER 29 BIRTHDAY
Phillip Okeson
DECEMBER 31 BIRTHDAY
Julia Lawyer
Take time to walk around the Meditation Garden. Benches and shade have been provided for you. Plan to walk the labyrinth. Thank you to the Wildscape Guild for working so hard to maintain such a beautiful, natural, prayerful space for us.