Special Opportunities

DON’T MISS OUT ON THESE GREAT EVENTS!   

 

Family Movie Night: Finding Nemo

Saturday, April 26

Dinner begins at 6:30pm and the movie will begin shortly after dinner. $5 per person, with a $20 max per family.

Bring comfortable pillows, blankets, and chairs for a cozy movie viewing experience.

Everyone is welcome!

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Camp Allen Fishing Fifth Annual Parish Retreat at Camp Allen

May 2-4, 2014

Food, fun, & fellowship in the Piney Woods.

All parishioners welcome. Please sign up in the church entryway and contact Rachel Ham for further information.   

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Vacation Bible Camp:

Workshop of Wonders

June 9 – 13 2014

Come and join Rivet, our busy worker ant, and build your relationship with God.  Sign ups for children, youth and volunteers available in the church entryway or online.  You may also contact Lesley Margerrison for more details.

“You are the God who works wonders”  (Psalm 77:14)

 

Save the Dates – Mark you Calendars!

  • Church Office is closed April 21
  • SMEDS (our Day School) Garage Sale is April 26
  • Family Movie Night is April 26
  • Our annual Parish Retreat at Camp Allen is May 2-4
  • Sharing Faith Dinners will be held Thursday, May 15
  • Heritage Award Dinner honoring Nell Dale is May 31
  • Vacation Bible Camp is June 9-13

Holy Week & Easter 2014

 

Palm Sunday April 13 at 7:45, 9:00, and 11:00 am; 6:00 pm 

We gather in Courtyard for Liturgy of the Palms followed by Procession  and Holy Eucharist. Bishop Harrison is with us at11 am as presider and preacher and will celebrate confirmation.

Sunday School begins after Procession. 

Nursery as usual.

 

 

Maundy Thursday April 17 at 6:30 pm

We remember Jesus’ command for us to love one another by footwashing and prayer during our simple Communion Service; we conclude with the Stripping of the Altar and leave in silence.

 

Good Friday April 18 at 6:45 am, noon, and 6:30 pm

At 6:45 am We begin this holy day with a group walk of the Stations of the Cross

At noon we gather for the Good Friday Liturgy with dramatic reading of John’s Passion Gospel, sermon, music and prayers reflecting upon Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross.

Following the service you are invited to join in a group walk of the Stations of the Cross.

At 6:30 pm we gather for The Good Friday Liturgy with the Chancel Choir and guests presenting Heinrich Schütz’ Johannes-Passion. 

Children (three years and up) and Youth gather in the Parish Hall for age appropriate activities focusing on Stations of the Cross. Nursery is available for infants and toddlers. Following the service you are invited to join in walking the Stations of the Cross. 

 

The Great Vigil of Easter Saturday, April 19 at 8:30 pm 

We light the new fire outside and then process into the church led by the Paschal Candle, the light of Christ. We listen to the stories of God’s great acts of salvation and respond with songs, psalms, and hymns. Holy Baptism is celebrated and the first Eucharist of Easter concludes this ancient and very meaningful service.

Childcare is available for those in kindergarten or younger.

 

Easter Day April 20 at 7:45, 9:00 and 11:00 am; 6:00 pm

All Easter Day services are celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. 9 am is our “Children’s Festival” and Music Team leads hymns and songs. At 11 am, Chancel Choir leads our singing with hymns and anthems and everyone sings “The Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.Children are invited to bring their mite boxes and flowers to decorate the cross.

No Sunday School.

Nursery is available during 9 & 11 am worship.

 

Holy Week begins this Sunday

Palm Sunday April 13 at 7:45, 9:00 and 11:00 am; 6:00 pm 

We gather in the Courtyard for the Liturgy of the Palms followed by  the Procession and Holy Eucharist in the Worship Space. Bishop Harrison is with us at 11am as presider and preacher and will celebrate confirmation.

Sunday School begins after Procession.  Nursery as usual.

Click here for schedule of Holy Week worship services.

Palm Crosses

Palm Crosses

African Palms USA, an outreach ministry of St. John’s Church of Olney, Maryland, was founded in 1965 by Father Alan Talbot, an Anglican missionary in Masasi, Tanzania who sought a way for poor farming families to augment their income and improve their living conditions. The result was turning a simple hand-woven palm cross into a great source of income and humanitarian aid. The net proceeds from the sale of the crosses, and all donations received, are returned to Africa in the form of non-denominational self-help grants to meet basic human needs.  The grants committee awards numerous grants up to $5,000 based on need. Past projects receiving the grants have included disaster and refugee relief, medical and public health programs, education, and agricultural assistance, primarily in east Africa.

The crosses are produced by villagers in Tanzania. Entire families take part in the project.  Palm cross orders ranging from 50 to 10,000 are shipped nationwide to over 3,000 churches, church related groups, chaplaincies, and individuals. And all of this is done primarily by volunteers. African Palms’ crosses are made from dried branches of the dwarf palm Hyphaena coriacia. The crosses are hand-woven, and neither the trees nor the crosses are chemically treated and are environmentally safe.

These crosses can serve as a reminder of your part in helping people in Africa help themselves.

South Mopac Discernment

The St. Michael’s church family is in discernment as to whether or not we should start a second location of St. Michael’s in the south MoPac area. There is currently no Austin Episcopal church west of Manchaca and south of Hwy. 290. Many people have found that helping a new congregation start was life and spirit transforming for them. It can bring a joyous change to the way people view God, themselves, the church, and their neighbors.

We are inviting you to another step in this discernment process. We are holding two meetings (attend one) of people who might be interested in being part of the start of this new location:

Monday, Mar. 31, 7:00 pm    

Ron & Suzan Olson’s home   7912 Via Verde Dr. 78739

Saturday, April 5, 10:00 am    

Jean Grubb’s home     5109 Summerset Trail 78749

The purpose of the meetings, which will last no longer than an hour and a half, is to give people an idea of what would be involved in starting such a congregation and to give St. Michael’s leadership an idea of the degree of interest there is in such a congregation.  Might the Holy Spirit be calling you to be part of something new and important?  Come and meet some of your neighbors.  Coming does not commit you to anything but will answer some questions and perhaps raise questions we have not even thought of yet.  I request that you let me know if you are coming to one of the meetings by simply emailing me.  We need to know how many to expect, and there will be refreshments.

If you have any questions or comments about this meeting, please let me know. If you are interested in learning more about the possibility of a south St. Michael’s location but cannot make one of these meetings, let me know this too.  In any case, keep this discernment process in your prayers.

– The Rev. Robby Vickery

 

How is your Observance of a Holy Lent Coming?

I want to share the following from the Rev. Stephen Gerth of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, NYC:

Before there was anything we would call Lent, in the first centuries of the Christian Era, persons preparing for baptism along with the members of the community celebrating baptism fasted. This was a pre-baptismal fast, one not identified with Jesus’ post-baptismal fast of forty days in Mark, Matthew and Luke. This pre-baptismal fast varied in length from a few days to a few weeks. This fast was not about repentance but preparation to receive a new birth. Things change in the time to come.

From the fifth century onward the late classical world collapses. Christianity becomes almost universal in the West. The conversion and baptism of adults recedes and is replaced by the baptism of infants. A focus on Christ’s suffering and death grows. Lent’s origins in baptism as the work of a community were overtaken by Christ’s suffering and our need as individuals for repentance.

Note, these two emphases, a community preparing to celebrate the new birth of its newly baptized and individuals’ need to repent are not mutually exclusive.  Indeed, personal repentance seems to flow well into new birth into community (see Isaiah 6:5-8).  And, we at St. Michaels may have a half dozen or so baptisms on Easter Eve.  Do you or someone you know desire baptism then?

We are one week into Lent.  How is this repentance and fasting thing working for you? Join us in worship this Sunday as Nicodemus (John 3) struggles to grasp this new birth thing.

– The Rev. Robby Vickery

Adult Confirmation or Reception

Thoughts from the Associate Rector

One of my favorite ministries at St. Michael’s is being with folks who are considering confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church. It is such a privilege being with folks who are considering making a public affirmation of their Christian faith and we always enjoy super conversation, fellowship, and study during our time together.

This spring St. Michael’s offer a one-day Adult Confirmation Class,

     a Saturday retreat, April 5, 2014, 9 am – 3 pm,

that will feature presentations on basics of the Christian faith, Bible, and life in the church and have lots of room and time for questions and discussions. This workshop will serve to equip those who would like to be confirmed or received, or who wish to reaffirm their baptismal vows, on Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014, when the Right Rev. Dena Harrison, Bishop Suffragan, visits St. Michael’s.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the adult affirmation of one’s baptism; Reception is the welcoming of an already confirmed person into the Episcopal Church from any Christian denomination. Reaffirmation is for anyone who is just looking for a fresh start or new commitment and has already been confirmed or received.  If you have never been baptized, please talk to Robby or me.  Attendance at this retreat is very appropriate preparation for baptism but is not required.

Please contact me for information or to sign up. You may also sign up in entryway.

Blessings,

Janne Alrø Osborne

 

Spring Forward! Clocks move ahead …

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour this Saturday night before you go to bed.  Daylight Savings Time officially begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 9, 2014 (when clocks should be set ahead one hour to 3:00 a.m.).

Don’t be late to your favorite worship service!

2014 Budget

Thoughts from the Vestry and Finance Commission –

The vestry has approved an operations budget for 2014.  Based on pledges received to date and other projections, this roadmap for the year forecasts income of $821,000.  Planned expenditures for the year total $836,000 leaving us with a year-end deficit of $15,000.  Our operational reserve will just barely cover this deficit and our cash flow swings over the course of the year.  If you have not yet made your prayerful decision about a 2014 pledge, we invite you to do so.  Cards are in the pews and may be dropped in the offering plates.

The diocese has benefited from the $1.3 billion sale of St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston and has passed some of this largess on to the individual parishes in the form of reduced medical insurance premiums.  The net result for St. Michael’s is a reduction of about $51,000.  Despite this savings our Outreach Ministry budget had to be reduced to the tune of  $30,000 in the amount our congregation devotes to helping others.  As a church family, we seek to be the instruments of God’s will in this place, and this reduction of our efforts in this calling should be a signal for us to consider prayerfully our priorities.

On the Bearing Lasting Fruits capital campaign front, things are progressing nicely.  With a total three-year pledge amount of $967,118, receipts to date are $496,931  -  51.4% after only one year of the campaign.  We are now ready to make another $100,000 curtailment of the primary mortgage for a total of $255,000 in reductions, leaving a mortgage principal of only about $124,000 outstanding.  This amount should be completely paid off as the campaign is completed.  Thanks to all involved in making this a reality.

 

The Observance of a Holy Lent

Ash Wednesday is March 5.  On that day the Presider at the liturgy will say to us:

Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.

Start planning now.  How are you going to observe a holy Lent?  How are you going to examine yourself, repent, pray, fast, deny yourself, and read and meditate on God’s holy Word?  These things do not just happen.  After Lenten discipline Easter will be abundantly joyous.

– The Rev. Robby Vickery