September 27, 2018
My Word:
Messages from American Grace Thus Far

Recently I purchased a book entitled American Grace . It’s the book that Bishop Doyle is reading, and around which he is starting an online book discussion group. The book is a lot longer than I anticipated (nearly 550 pages), and filled with many charts and numbers. However, it is written by the same author of Bowling Alone , a book which explains that while more people than ever are bowling, membership in bowling leagues is at a 50-year low, a fascinating look at the devolving of community.

American Grace strives to accomplish a similar goal, in that the author looks at the aspects that unite and divide Americans religiously. I have not read terribly far into the book, but one thing that comes up immediately is that many folks consider mainstream religions to have gone soft in their understanding of how individuals live an ethical life. 

This is a complicated topic, one that is far beyond the scope of a short article in a weekly or monthly newsletter, but I do want to, at the very least, give you all something to consider. On any one issue it would be quite easy for someone to proclaim, “X is right, Y is wrong, and our standards are clear.” Yet in the course of life, most times issues are rarely that black and white, that clear, and are more often complicated and messy.

I am all in favor of clear ethical teaching, and I actually think that the Episcopal church has quite a lot of it, more than you might think; yet, let me ask a further question. What happens when folks do not live up to that teaching? It turns out that actual conduct in the world does not vary dramatically based upon church teachings. Similar numbers of folks engage in behavior that some churches teach as sinful. In my understanding, then, the upshot may be disheartening, but it is clear. We are all sinners, as Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23 .

I don’t like holding folks up as bad examples. Perhaps I’m afraid that I might get held up myself in judgment, as both John ( John 8:7 ) and Matthew ( Matthew 7:1 ) warned us against. More importantly, though, I think it is important to discuss the life of God’s Grace that moves us beyond our failures. I like to think that it is precisely in our failures where we can see the love of God most clearly at work. It’s not the perfect, the large, the powerful, or even the rich that show the majesty of God. It is, rather, the flawed, the small, the weak, and the poor that know they have no hope without the help of God; those are the folks that make the Grace of God most visible and unmistakable.

I will discuss one last concept I’ve learned from the book thus far. There are massive numbers of younger folks who have seen the religious right and said to themselves, “if that is Christianity, then I don’t want any part of it.” Is there another way to present the Christian faith? One that says we are clear about what we believe is right and wrong, but that we are also grateful that God deeply loves and welcomes us to Him, regardless of our transgressions? That is one of the challenges that we now face: spreading this message to a sinful, lost world; letting the world know about the welcoming Grace of a shepherd who will search tirelessly for us all, and perhaps most of all the least of the lost and the lonely. 

But then, that has always been the Gospel message, hasn’t it?
-Fr David Krause


Sunday, September 30
  • 9:30am: Holy Eucharist Rite II

Tuesday, October 2
  • 1:00pm Tuesday Solace

Thursday, October 4
  • 8:00am: Garden Day

Saturday, October 6
  • Blessing of the Animals at Christ Episcopal Church

Sunday, October 7  
  • 11:00am
  • St. Francis Oktoberfest / St. Francis Fest Luncheon and Auction to Benefit Sister Parish St Paul’s in Orange, TX • $5 Donation

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; 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 234 )
Lectionary for this Sunday
All are Welcome
9:00am : Holy Eucharist Rite II

11:00am : Hospitality
  • (Coffee and Conversation)

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.
Notes From
Deacon Tamara

Noah Schefer's Birthday
Well done St. Francis! Noah Schaefer received over 20 birthday cards and you helped make his day a bit brighter.

Tammy recently shared with me a couple of pictures from their last visit. Noah’s spirits are good, but he misses everyone. I know that he is afraid that he will be forgotten. We cannot visit him, but we can remember him with notes, letters and cards.

I know that it may be difficult to write—especially since you will most likely not get a return letter. It is like having a one-way conversation. But it really means a lot to Noah to receive your notes, letters, and cards. When I write, I just tell him what I have been doing and what has been happening at the church. Sometimes it is not very exciting stuff, but it keeps the connection.

For those who may be curious about what prison life is like, I recommend listening to the Ear Hustle Podcast ( ). It is about life inside San Quentin Prison brought to you by inmates at San Quentin. It has opened my eyes and given me a different view of prison other than what I see on TV or in the movies. If you do take a listen, I warn you that there is explicit language.

Noah Schaefer, TDCJ#02178942
Smith Unit (SM) - Texas State Prison
1313 CR 19
Lamesa, TX 79331-1898
Shelter Fundamentals Postponed!
The Shelter Fundamentals Class Scheduled for Saturday, September 29th has been postponed until a new date can be found. STAY TUNED!
Visit to St. Paul's, Orange TX
November 3-4: A visit to St. Paul’s in Orange is being planned. We partnered with St. Paul’s to help in their recovery from Harvey. Fr. Keith came and celebrated with us last February. And now we are going to visit them. Please email me at if will be joining the group headed to Orange so we can coordinate hotel, carpools, etc.


St. Francis' Profile now appears on the Diocese's search site . At this point, Rev. Francene Young will set up a time to train our Search Committee.

Our search committee consists of Linda Frick, Greg Ross, Sheri Macchi, Chris Sedonic, Mike Ludlow, Cindy Allen, Peggiann Jones, Don Miller, Linda Collins
Congratulations to Tuesday Solace on Being Awarded
Grant & Recognized as Difference-Makers
Tuesday Solace had been awarded a grant of $500 by the Royal Neighbors Difference Maker Project.

The Royal Neighbors chose Tuesday Solace as a recipient of this grant because of the difference they see the program making in our community for folks with Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias and their caregivers. A great big thank you to the Royal Neighbors of America!


Beginning next month, clergy and lay leaders are invited to join Bishop Andy Doyle in reading and discussing American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell. There is a private Facebook "group page" where questions and comments may be shared about the book. At the end of October, Bishop Doyle will post some comments and questions on the first two chapters of the book to begin the discussion. Participants are also invited to recommend books they have found helpful in their ministry for future discussions. American Grace may be ordered on Amazon . To join the Facebook Group, please go here and click "Join Here." You will be added to the group by the administrator.
Did You Know? 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.

St. Francis was born at Assisi in 1182. After a care free youth, he turned his back on inherited wealth and committed himself to God. Like many early saints, he lived a very simple life of poverty, and in so doing, gained a reputation of being the friend of animals. He established the rule of St Francis, which exists today as the Order of Friars Minor or the Franciscans. He died in 1226, aged 44. Why is Francis the patron saint of animals? Why do churches bless animals on or near his feast day (October 4th)? Francis had a special mission to the least of all of God’s creatures, the poor, the lame, the elderly and the sick. He had compassion upon all who were lowly and humble of heart. He also had a special joy in all of God’s creation, celebrating the goodness of all things. It is easy to see how these two foci led to a third area of interest, our animal companions in creation. St. Francis was said to have practiced his preaching in the forests, where even the wild animals would come to hear him extol the joys of worshipping the creator
A Fall Clean Up Day at Church

A Fall Clean up day at church will be Saturday, October 13th. We’ll start at 8:30am and go until 1:00pm or as long as you can comfortably stay. Donuts and lunch will be served. Below are some of our to dos. If you can’t make the official workday, but would like to help out, that’s great too! Just let Mickey Kerr or Cindy Allen know task you are going to take care of and we’ll cross it off our list. We’ll try to have tools available if you let us know what is needed that you don’t already have.

  1. Clean leaves out of screened church gutters and drainage areas.
  2. Power wash the area between the church and great hall.
  3. Kill grass and weeds between the back of the school and metal building in preparation of spreading rocks or gravel out there. Mickey
  4. Take down the fallen branches and trees out back.
  5. Sledge hammer the heavy old room dividers and take them to dumpster (or find someone who wants them). Richard M. and Jeff C.
  6. Disassemble, move and reassemble the last of the metal shelves and organizers from the old shed into the metal building.
  7. Get rid of the shed and its contents. Demo will probably happen in a month or two with help from Jeff Callin and his heavy equipment.
  8. Sept 29, haul off old paint and other hazardous items in the old shed. Cindy
  9. Declutter our parlor and passage hall beside it. Trash, donate and move seasonal items to metal building.
  10. Repair the doorbell to Frances’ office.
  11. Help organize the metal building.

Speak to Cindy Allen or Kyla Sherrard if you have questions.
Meditation Garden
Today we revisit the Passionflower, but not for its beautiful bloom. If you examine the vine you will find that it is a host for the Gulf Frittery caterpillars and the fiery butterflies that they will transform into.

The Ministry of Reconciliation
11  Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences.  12  We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart.  13  For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.  14  For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.  15  And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

16  From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,[ c ] we know him no longer in that way.  17  So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  18  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;  19  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself,[ d ] not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.  20  So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  21  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

St Francis Gift Shop is now reopened. Regular hours are:

• Thursday and Friday,

• Saturday

Come check out our new look and our summer clearance
Calling All Artists, Craftsmen & Fans of Etsy!
St. Francis is blessed to have a number of talented, gifted folks as members. Maybe you can paint, work in wood, sculpt, or assemble collages. If so, we are in need of your help.

In early October, St. Francis will be hosting our annual Patronal Festival—St. Francis Fest! This year’s auction and fundraising for charitable purposes, comes with a slight twist. What if we asked those of us who can create, to make a little something to help raise a bit of money? Not for the budget, not for the coming Rector, not for ourselves. What if we raised a bit of money for helping others?

If you paint, sculpt, work in wood or other materials, produce anything that you might find on Etsy, we are asking if you would consider donating some of your precious talents to our good cause. 

More information on St. Francis Fest to come, but for those who might donate, and need time to get your project prepared, please start now !
September Events

Camp is not just for kids and youth, Camp Allen is hosting several events for adults this year. Reserve your spot now! For more information and to register, please visit .
Junior League of Houston

October 25, 2018

Join us for a star-studded event as we raise scholarship and program support for Camp Allen and honor the Hamill Foundation. 

Camp Allen hosts monthly familiarization "FAM" tours that showcase our vast facilities. It is the best way to see & taste all that Camp Allen has to offer! To view all the dates and to learn more click below.

Due to the nature of this public tour, we do not allow children. If you cannot attend without your children, please call sales to arrange a private tour instead of the FAM tour. Thank you.
October & November Events

Greetings Franciscans, or as they say in Germany “Guten Tag”

St. Francis is gearing up for our very own annual St. Francis Fest/Oktoberfest celebration following our regularly scheduled service on Sunday, October 7, 2018, in the Great Hall.

You won’t want to miss this special celebration and I can guarantee the cuisine will be the finest as our own German chef in residence, Mike Ludlow, will be at the helm of the kitchen. Mike will be preparing his homemade Sauerbraten, Spaetzle, Cabbage and of course, what German meal would be complete without German Beer!

We would welcome accompaniments with a German flair. Suggestions for salads are German potato, three-bean, cucumber and sour cream, pea, vegetable, tossed or any salad of your choosing. Our very own Rector, Fr. David Krause, has offered to make his famous German potato salad and we can all judge to see if his cooking ability can measure up to his speaking ability!

We will also need desserts, german bakery bread, butter and iced tea. Any help in the kitchen before and after would be deeply appreciated. Please let me know if you can provide a salad, dessert, bread, or any of the above.

We are going to have a real German Fall Festival; so dust off your lederhosen or Pettipants and join the fun! Please let me hear from you, if you can help with the side dishes or in the kitchen.

Please RSVP with us by letting us know what side accompaniment you will be bringing and dropping off your $5.00 per adult suggested donation. Donations and proceeds of onsite auction of small items will go toward helping St. Paul's Episcopal in Orange, Texas continue to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Cell or Text: (254)760-1323
Home: (254)778-1520

Linda Frick and Gail Avots
Special Events Coordinators

Sunday School Starts Again

November 3–4: A visit to St. Paul’s in Orange is being planned. We partnered with St. Paul’s to help in their recovery from Harvey. Fr. Keith came and celebrated with us last February. And now we are going to visit them. Details will follow, but for now check your calendars and save the date!
October 29, 2018
Wildflower Country Club

The Inaugural Bell County Community Coalition Golf Classic benefits Bell County residents facing an emergency financial crisis. The registration deadline is October 26.

Feed My Sheep is in integral part of this event and asks you to p lease consider a sponsorship to the Inaugural Bell County Community Coalition Golf Classic.

Money raised from this event will assist many area Bell County Residents to get back on their feet financially. The loss of a job, reduced working hours, an unexpected illness and hospitalization, unexpected car repairs, and theft are reasons many area residents face a financial crisis.

Please help us help others. As Jesus told us in Matthew 25:40, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

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.

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 September 2018 will be Peanut Butter & Jelly (plastic jars —no glass). 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!

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!
Altar Guild
Ann Booze and
Kyla Sherrard
Lay Readers :
Cole Mooney and
John Dieter

Garrett Mooney and
Noelle Dieter
Ushers :
Frank Pugliese and
Tom Miller

Hospitality :
Lawson Grant and
Jeanie Grant 

Children's Chapel:

Vestry Greeter:  
Ruth Henry and
Tom Miller

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 and 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.
Cole Mooney
Chris Pearce
Jan Wilson
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.

Thank you for reading it in its entirety.