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

11201 Parkfield Drive, Austin, Texas
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
From Our Interim Rector


In February of 2015, I went on my first of what became five trips as the chaplain with the Mississippi Medical Mission to Honduras. This has been going on annually for some 37 years offering services to a remote mountain region.

The small village of San Joaquin has a sweet Episcopal Church on the town square. We arrived in the village around noon. That evening was the Eucharist. They do not have a regular priest or deacon, so they were delighted to be celebrating the Eucharist that night. As I prepared the table, I noticed that the chalice, a tan ceramic, had this dark brown drip down one side. I had only been in Mississippi for a year, so I decided to ask about the matching chalice and paten later; still curious as to why the drip had not been cleaned before firing.

The next day at breakfast, I asked about the chalice and paten. Yes, they were a gift from a former Mississippi medical mission team, and they were very special. I asked, “Why did they give them a chalice that had a drip down the side?” I was softly, yet shockingly corrected, “Ann, that is not a drip, that line symbolizes the Mississippi River. And those two pieces are famous Mississippi McCarthy pottery which are measured and held in high esteem. (I have a piece here in Austin in front of my tv). You don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t know anything about McCarthy pottery (I do now). The members of
the little church in Honduras were honored because of the people that gave them this gift (they didn’t know what it was either). And, the Mississippi team thought this was a very fitting gift, one special from their home state!

We don’t know what we don’t know. And there is an extra serving of that going around these days. At all levels, we don’t seem to know what we don’t know! We don’t know what is a drip, what might be symbolic of the Mississippi River, and what is a fine sample of a line of pottery! That little church goes for weeks at a time but they do to get to use their chalice and paten because they have the clergy to celebrate on a regular basis. A local man, who has been in training for years, studying for ordination vows independently with the Bishop, keeps things going at the little church.

When they do get to celebrate the Eucharist, it is with a beautiful chalice and paten that are filled with all kinds of memories including sickness and disease and all the healing that the medical team has brought to the area over the years.
It also has special meaning to me as a reminder of brokenness being healed. In February 2018, I broke my elbow and top of femur bone in that little village. It was great to go back in 2019 healed and ready to celebrate the Eucharist again.

No, we don’t know what we don’t know; but we do know that we are not alone in this world as we deal with disease, healing, death, and hope. Hope is what we do know, and hope has been given to each one of us.


Moving towards Re-Gathering

As stores and restaurants begin to open around us, there are certainly questions about when and how our church will begin re-gathering. Bishop Andy Doyle has requested that each congregation provide a “start-up” plan for review and approval by our regional bishop. You will be proud to know that St. John’s was the first in this region to do so. A team composed of several of your parish leaders has met and an extensive plan has been in development for several weeks. Bishop Kai has this plan under review and we are waiting for her response.

In order to answer some of your questions, here is a summary of the Template for Re-Gathering provided by the Diocese of Texas:
To re-start in-person worship:
The decision to begin worshiping in-person again is made by the rector and with the approval of the regional bishop, with careful consideration of the following:
·          14 days of declining cases and that hospitals are not overloaded.
·          Congregation’s readiness to practice health protocols including physical distancing throughout Phase II, expressed in a plan submitted to and approved by the regional bishop.

There follows a six-page questionnaire which covers seating capacity (currently at 25% by order of the Governor), Eucharist and distribution of communion, cleaning, signage, and case contingency. All of these, and more, are being addressed in the St. John’s plan.

You have received a short survey from St. John's asking a few questions about your own personal readiness to re-gather in public worship. The purpose of this survey, as well as our other planning efforts, is to ensure that St. John's is a safe space for worship and fellowship. If you have already submitted your survey, we thank you! If not, it will be appreciated if you will do so in the near future. You can use this link for easy access to the survey:
If you have questions about our efforts to re-gather, please contact Rev. Ann ( revann@austinstjohns.org ).
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.
Travis County Assistance Programs

Numerous financial assistance programs are available in the Austin area. Low income families as well as struggling households can get everything from rent to mortgage help to free food, medical or dental care, money for security deposits, and free debt reduction assistance. Find how churches as well as charities in Travis County (and even the government) can help struggling households, whether they are senior citizens, immigrants, Spanish speakers, or the disabled.
Food Banks in the Austin Area

Get information on Austin and Travis County food banks and pantries. The food banks and pantries in the Austin area have various criteria that need to be met in order to receive food, however very few people are turned away from help. Even if a pantry does not have resources available, the staff will try to offer referrals or other solutions. Each center will operate under different conditions and the food banks, pantries, and churches are located throughout Travis County. You may need to call to make an appointment for some centers, and others operate under limited hours.
Farmshare's New Home Delivery Program

1. Wednesday Deliveries: Serving North/Central/East Austin
Order form closes at 9pm on Sunday for Wednesday delivery.

2. Friday Deliveries: Serving South Austin and Del Valle
Order form closes at 9pm on Tuesday for Friday delivery.

Please check both order forms to find the delivery day that serves your zip code. Order forms are updated every Friday. We accept cash, credit, debit, SNAP, and Double Up Food Bucks as payment. Payment is processed in person upon delivery.

If you do not see your zip code, you may select on-farm pickup for either of our regular delivery days. Just fill out the order form for the day you'd like to come pick up your order. 

Please visit Farmshare Austin's website to access order forms for the following week's delivery:
HEB Grocery Delivery for Seniors

Limited to 25 items; same day delivery; $10 tip added to bill

Call the Support line (833-397-0080) 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Census 2020

“One of our goals in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas is to meet our neighbors and support our communities.

Helping with the 2020 Census is one way we can do this. … We are serving our neighborhoods so they can better be served. Our neighbors count. I hope you will join us in the 2020 Census project.”
The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, IX Bishop of Texas

A big way our community gets money for child and family programs is by participating in the U.S. Census. - - - - When children are part of the census count, the community receives its fair share of money for important programs. The state and federal government uses census information to fund programs like childcare, free and low-cost school lunches, CHIP and Medicaid.

Children under age 5 is the largest age group of undercounted people in the United States. Parents and caregivers often don’t include children ages 0-5 that are living with them on their Census forms. In 2020, it’s crucial to ensure a complete count of all children and babies to secure adequate federal funding to support them and their families.

Click the button below for more information.

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