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

11201 Parkfield Drive, Austin, Texas
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
From Our Interim Rector


A time to be born, a time to die … I look at this well-known scripture reading from Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 every day.

This verse is cleverly painted on a scrap piece of fence that was torn out by Category Five hurricane Charley, in August 2004. I had just moved to this little island to become vicar of St. John’s Episcopal Church eight months earlier. Things were never the same on the island after that hurricane. There were bad and good changes, and I’m pleased to say a lot of good is still going on as a result of that hurricane 16 years ago. Per usual protocol, almost everything is rebuilt. The town of Matlacha that you drive through to cross the bridge to the island is once again filled with funky colors, kind of a miniature Key West! But it has all taken time.

With change there is loss and there are gains. There is no specific clock like on my piece of fence that says at a certain hour, certain day such and such will happen. I think that the hardest part for all of us right now is the just not knowing. With a hurricane, it thrashes through, leaves, and clean-up begins. With a pandemic, there is no timetable so we take it a day at a time; doing our best to plan for what we can, to be safe, to be safe for others, and to be patient.

Patience—is that not the most difficult part at this stage? …. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

When we count our blessings this week, let us not forget the sacrifices that so many made for us in the past.

(This is a piece of official salvaged fence post blown down by the ferocious Hurricane Charley from the world famous Matlacha Art Gallery. Hurricane Charley, August 13, 2004 —label on the back of the fence piece)

Episcopal 101- Renewal and Reaffirmation

As announced previously, our Regional Bishop, The Right Rev. Kathryn (Kai) Ryan, is scheduled to be at St. John's for her visitation on Sunday, August 30. We are not yet sure when we will be able to re-gather for public worship, but our hope is for 2 services: English at 10:45 a.m. and Spanish at 1:00 p.m. on that day. If we are able to gather in the church, we will present candidates for baptism, confirmation, reception, and reaffirmation, and we will all renew our baptismal promises (covenant).

There will be 4 Wednesday evening sessions for preparation prior to Bishop Ryan's proposed visit: August 5, 12, 19, 26. At this time, we don't know if we will be able to hold these sessions in person at the church, but regardless, we will continue to utilize Zoom for those who might still be uncomfortable with attending group meetings. These sessions will include those preparing for confirmation, reception, and reaffirmation, as well as anyone who would like to learn more about the Christian Faith as expressed in the Episcopal Church.

Renewal is defined as to make like new; to restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection; to make new spiritually. Part of our participation in the services of baptism and confirmation is to renew our Baptismal Covenant as individuals and as a congregation of worshiping, learning, serving, loving Christians.

Reaffirmation is defined as a reassertion or confirmation of a fact or belief. Those who present themselves to the bishop for reaffirmation are those who for one or another reason feel the need to deepen their commitment to their faith. These reasons could include a crisis of faith, a life change, a time of particular thanksgiving.

If we have been able to re-gather for public worship by then, your Interim Rector and I would love to present our entire congregation to Bishop Ryan for a resounding Reaffirmation of our Faith!

If you wish to be baptised, confirmed, or received, or if you have any questions about reaffirmation, please feel free to contact me by email (fay@austinstjohns.org).

Wishing you peace and good health, Fay
Moving towards Re-Gathering

To reiterate our message from last week, our Diocesan Bishop, Andy Doyle, has set forth requirements for re-starting public worship in this diocese. The summary of these requirements is:

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.

St. John's has submitted an extensive and very detailed draft plan in response to the Bishop's request. Additionally, you received a short survey from St. John's asking a few questions about your own personal readiness to re-gather in public worship.

If you have questions about our efforts to re-gather, please contact Rev. Ann ( revann@austinstjohns.org ).
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.
Wear Red and Decorate Your Door to Celebrate the Coming of the Holy Spirit!
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.
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