The season of Advent has arrived. The word itself means “coming”. In this busy time it is easy to get caught up in the coming of Santa and not the Christ child. Be still, be quiet, prepare your hearts for the coming of Jesus. Reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
The Daughters of the King of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 2128 Barton Hills Drive is hosting an Advent Quiet Day on Saturday, December 7, from 10:00A.M. to 1:00P.M. A simple soup lunch will be served. To RSVP or for more information contact Gail Reid.
“The good news of Advent is that if we wait, while we wait, in the waiting, God comes.” Emmanuel.
Come raise your voice in song on Sunday, January 5, at 5 pm to support All Saints’ Church in Peshawar. Sing for those who struggle to fill the house of their Lord with joy after the bombing of their church home and the loss of so many lives.
We will sing and also hear from the Rev. Robby Vickery who spent his sabbatical at All Saints’. We will take up a Love Offering which will be sent to All Saints’ to support the recovery of their community.
Please extend the invitation to any friends and family.
It has been said,
“The Church is the only organization that exists for the sake of those outside of the organization.”
So, what is St. Michael’s doing for those outside of St. Michael’s?
Here are just a few examples of what we are doing:
- We just sent $2,200 to the Diocese of Peshawar to aid in the care of the survivors of the terrorist suicide bombings this fall at All Saints’ Church. 133 men, women, and children were killed as they came out of church, and another 165 were injured.
- We just sent $1,000 to El Buen Samaritano, the Episcopal service agency in south Austin. More specifically, this purchased 100 $10-turkeys (via our donations to “turkey tail feathers”) for Thanksgiving Dinner baskets for families that need some help stretching the food budget for the upcoming holidays (holy days).
- During the week of November 3-10 as part of the Interfaith Housing Network (IHN) we converted Sunday school rooms to bedrooms and provided a home for 4 homeless families made up of 5 adults and 6 children. It took 74 volunteers to pull all of this off. 14 stayed overnight at St. Michaels as hosts. 20 were day or dinner hosts. 21 brought food. 19 helped with move in, move out, laundry, or driving. This took 224 volunteer hours and 493 miles of volunteer driving. We have been part of IHN for about 21 years, hosting 2-4 times each year.
- On Saturday, October 29 about 18 volunteers inspected, sorted and packaged about 5,000 pounds of food through the Capital Area Food Bank. 41% of CAFB clients are children. One third of its older clients go extended periods without food. Almost half of its families have to choose between buying food and paying utilities.
- On Sunday, December 22 we shall serve a meal and lead worship for the homeless in the downtown area. Join us at 2:00 pm at the Trinity Center (7th St. and Trinity). It is not a good time of the year to be telling folks that there is “no room at the inn.”
– The Rev. Robby Vickery
For this and more, sign up or contact the Rev. Nancy Ricketts.
Signup Sheets are on the Bulletin Board in the Church Entryway!
The St. Michael’s book group will next meet Wednesday, December 4, at Trianon in Westlake at 2:30 pm.
Please read anything of your choice by Anna Quindlen, and we will honor her writing with our discussion.
Please join us! For more information, contact Jackie King
Join our 5 pm Christmas Eve Choir!
No choir experience is necessary as we will sing familiar Christmas carols.
Only one rehearsal with Mary Parse at 5 pm, Monday, December 23.
Please help make a joyful noise at this very special Christmas Eve celebration.
Sign up in the entryway or contact the Rev. Janne Osborne
A parishioner recently sent me the following data on religious affiliation from Sperling’s bestplaces.net:
Here in Austin almost as many people affiliate themselves with Islam as with the Episcopal Church.
Over 12 times as many folks affiliate with the Roman Catholic Church.
Over 7 times as many folks affiliate with the Baptist Church.
Over half of the people in Austin do not affiliate with any church. 53.78% of 790,000 is 425,000 unaffiliated folks in Austin. Talk to God about it. I bet there is somebody you know that God is calling you tell about the Episcopal way of living the Good News of Jesus. This way includes:
- Grace overcoming guilt
- Scripture taken seriously but not always literally
- Coping with paradox and the “gray” areas of life
- Women and gays taken seriously
- Jesus recognized regularly in the sacrament of his Body and Blood.
– The Rev. Robby Vickery
Christ Renews His Parish: A Women’s Spiritual Retreat
November 16 and 17
Thoughts from Barbara Johnson –
Christ Renews His Parish. It all sounded a little too . . . churchy to me. I feared there would be too much talk of Jesus. I didn’t know much scripture and I certainly couldn’t quote it. And besides, my faith journey had just been too weird. This would not be a good fit and quite frankly, I didn’t want to feel like an outsider. What’s more, I worked full-time (still do) and made it a priority to spend weekends with my daughter. I didn’t have time for CRHP.
But God had other ideas so I arranged mom-alternative care for my daughter, juggled other commitments, and somehow, found myself attending the weekend, with time for prayer, listening, thinking, sharing (only as much as I cared to), and talking to God through sighs too deep for words.
At the retreat, I found that my faith journey wasn’t all that different from that of fellow attendees and hosts. I laughed. Oh how I needed to laugh. And Jesus? Well yes we talked about Him, but more frequently He was present in the comforting soups that were served, the kind eyes that listened to my awkward sharing, the insightful stories of faith found, lost, and found again, and the feeling of community that gradually formed an encouraging embrace around the attendees.
I’m so glad I attended. The CRHP experience gave my heart and spirit a much-needed lift and drew me closer to other women in the parish.
To the woman – yes, you – who hasn’t attended a weekend and is taking the time to read this, I’d love for you to be as kind and thoughtful to yourself as you are with your family, your job, your neighbors. Be considerate to you by registering or learning more — from Barbara Johnson or Mary Healy.