What’s Happening at
St. John’s Episcopal Church

11201 Parkfield Drive, Austin, Texas
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Special Zoom Event!

Registration is not required for this Zoom event. Just click on the link below to join the meeting.

Let Our People Breathe
a conversation about police brutality with One Human Race
Saturday, June 6 - 4 PM - 6 PM
From Our Interim Rector

Dear Folks,

Most of our “news” the past days, weeks, and months has been sad, frustrating, repetitious, and it seems like we, as humans in the midst of a pandemic, are like lost sheep, who have lost our way.

I urge us all to recall that the #1 reason that God sent his Son to be amongst us as a human being was to spread the “Good News”. As L.A. City Council President, Nury Martinez, said, “We have to do better…go home. Parents call and get your kids back home.” She continued, “the peaceful demonstrators that are protesting are not the same people as those looting, destroying.” So many businesses in the country are just getting back into a “being open” routine and now to be destroyed by people that are using our social and racial injustices to take advantage of this hurting time in society, in the world, is such a shame. The good, the attention, the changes that can come from peaceful marches become buried in the graffiti, burning, looting and destruction of property. Anger, fear, frustration, hunger, loss of jobs and homes, and now, the death of George Floyd, an African American, by the knee of a police officer. Knees are for kneeling, praying, not choking.

So what is the “Good News”, the voice in the wilderness? That every one may hear, no matter what language they speak, by the gift of the Holy Spirit sent to God's people at Pentecost. Matthew 28:18: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Go….we have been commissioned! Begin with prayer: for humanity, the family of George Floyd (George’s brother asking for peaceful protest), for those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, for wisdom, for direction. Pray for ears that hear. Pray for eyes that don’t see the color of skin. After you have prayed, go and spread the Good News, feel who is holding your hand, and know that you are not alone.


An update on our worshiping status at St. John’s. Last week we turned in our final paperwork for permission to resume in-person worship with a tentative start date of Sunday, June 28. Tentative is the key word. There are several variables; the most important being that in order to open we will need extra help with ushers, live streaming assistants, and cleaning between services. If you can help or are interested, contact the Rev. Ann McLemore or Senior Warden John Williams. If we cannot find enough volunteers, we will wait to open until we have the necessary help. No matter what, we will continue live-streaming for those that are in the high risk ‘stay at home’ group, those wanting to wait longer, or those uncomfortable with returning to public worship for whatever reason. This is a decision to be made by each person.

Please stay home if you feel sick. Also, let us know if anyone is diagnosed positive COVID-19. Details will be forthcoming, but, all will be required to wear a mask and respect social distancing. Initially, the parish hall will not be open. Services will be at 8:30 am, 10:45 am, and 1:00 pm. One step at a time!

Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry on President Donald Trump’s use of a church building and the Holy Bible

J une 1, 2020
The following is a statement from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:

This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes.

This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.
The bible teaches us that “God is love.” Jesus of Nazareth taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The prophet Micah taught that the Lord requires us to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”

The bible the President held up and the church that he stood in front of represent the values of love, of justice, of compassion, and of a way to heal our hurts. 

We need our President, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Episcopal Diocese of Texas Bishops’ Statement

We grieve for the most recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

We hear the voices of people of color who live, daily, as victims of prejudice, contempt, and violence in America.

We support peaceful protests.

We speak out against the actions of authorities who tear-gas peaceful protesters.

We reject the government’s removal of clergy from church property without cause.

We reject the use of the Episcopal church as a political prop.

We condemn destruction of property.

The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle
Episcopal Bishop Diocesan of Texas
The Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher
Episcopal Bishop Suffragan of Texas
The Rt. Rev. Kathryn M. Ryan
Episcopal Bishop Suffragan of Texas
The Rt. Rev. Hector Monterroso
Episcopal Bishop Assistant of Texas

Click here for the complete letter from our Bishops:
Building Bridges and Healing Brokenness

COVID-19 and Its Effect on Divine Canines
by Laurie Williams and Cerys

Many of you know that I work with Cerys in Divine Canines, a therapy dog organization. Usually we work 2-3 times a week at St. David’s Hospital, Austin Oaks Hospital, and Brookdale Nursing Home in Westlake. This is reaching out to people in need. It is healing stress that those who work in those facilities feel, bringing a warm smile and a way to begin a conversation with the clients and their families. It helps young children sitting in the emergency room when dad has had an accident. 

But March 12th, all of this changed for all of the members of Divine Canines. No more visits, no more classes for new people hoping to join Divine Canines (April, May, and June classes have been canceled), no gear supply (e.g. t-shirts, trading cards). A big “no” is that May is Divine Canines major fundraiser that helps pay for our gear and training classes. As our Executive Director, Max Woodfin said,

“We are continuously evaluating the coronavirus situation, but for the immediate future, our visits are suspended. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to  e-mail me.  Yes, it hurts all of us to suspend visits, because we know what you and your Divine Canines do is incredibly important in our clients’ lives, and in yours. The health and safety of our clients and you is paramount, and we will resume visits only when it is safe to do so.”

This didn’t take us by surprise and many of the site managers like me were in discussion with our site contacts to plan for ways to work. Though none of the sites where I work are connecting virtually, those who have “liked” Divine Canines on Facebook can see our pictures and news about our dogs. We have also been connecting virtually! This has made national news, because, whether it is a Book Buddies virtual visit, virtual visits with folks from the Arc of Capital Area, or individual requests, handlers and their pups are still working…or Divine Canines is posting pictures of what pups are doing on off time. Cerys and I have been doing virtual visits at The Arc of Capital Area. Max has said,

“Do you know someone who might benefit from a virtual visit?  We have many open slots  during the next two weeks and beyond! It could be an older adult on your street, a parent struggling to keep out-of-physical-school children focused, or someone you know from our regular site visits.  You do not have to be participating in our virtual visits to invite someone to sign up!  Simply give them this link:  www.divinecanines.org/contact . There’s an option for ‘Scheduling a Virtual Visit.’ You can even sign up for them, if you have their e-mail address. We know the visits are working! We’ve heard from folks who have been recipients of visits, and they all report a lift in their spirits.”

We are trying to build bridges virtually and keep in contact. Our fundraiser is now planned for some time in the fall which I’m really looking forward to because we get out in the community and talk about the joys and benefits of working with our dogs as therapy dogs. For more information, or to talk about a virtual visit, please contact me, Laurie Williams, at wmslcw@earthlink.net
Trinity Sunday
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 ( www.austinstjohns.org) .
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 RevAnn@austinstjohns.org 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.
Census 2020

“One of our goals in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas is to meet our neighbors and support our communities. ...
Our neighbors count. I hope you will join us in the 2020 Census project.”
The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, IX Bishop of Texas

English is the primary language for the United States. However, when it comes to language, the US one of the most diverse countries in the world. (see WorldAtlas.com) The federal Census Bureau acknowledges this reality by making its information available in 60 languages other than English. (See upper right-hand corner of 2020Census.gov) The Census Bureau also provides web pages and guides in Braille, American Sign Language and large print.
So language itself is not a barrier to responding to the 2020 Census. But what about language skills? If reading or writing is difficult for someone, the individual can complete the Census questionnaire by phone. There’s a specific phone number available for the most commonly used languages. (See 2020Census.gov – How to respond)

The goal for the 2020 Census is to count every single person residing in the United States. To achieve that goal the Census Bureau has removed language barriers as much as possible. To date, almost 59% of the Travis County population has responded. If you haven’t responded yet and can do this online, click on the button below to get started.

Click the button below for more information about the Census.

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 www.austinstjohns.org