The Episcopal Church Being Invitational

1.  From the St. Michael’s South Altar Launch Team (SALT):

We are applying to hold weekly services in the auditorium of Covington Middle School (very close to the intersection of Brodie and Wm. Cannon) starting Sunday, March 8. Eucharist would be at 9:00 followed by Christian education time. The Launch Team would have a “dress rehearsal” the week before, so our last Sunday at St. Michael’s-360 would be Feb. 22. Please come Feb.  22 and pray for the Launch Team, that our mission to south Austin may bear much fruit. South Austin needs a worshiping family that knows the risen Lord Jesus and makes him known through the Eucharistic mystery of his Body and Blood, proclamation of the Word that takes the bible seriously but not always literally, and actions that witness to the love, mercy, and justice of his coming kingdom.


2.  From the Rev. Paul Johnson:

Church of the Cross, the new Episcopal Church being born in the Lake Travis area, begins its worship life Sunday, February 15. This new community will be gathering for weekly worship at 10:00 AM on Sundays at Serene Hills Elementary School, 3301 Serene Hills Dr. in Lakeway. Here’s how you can help as the Episcopal Church of the Cross gets started:

  • Keep us in your prayers, praying always that the Lord’s will be done through this new people; that God open doors and hearts; and that God’s grace, mercy, love, hope, peace, and joy settle even more powerfully upon the Lake Travis community and all of Austin.
  • Introduce us to your friends in the Lake Travis community. We love making new friends! So we invite you to make a connection. You can send an e-mail to Paul Johnson, Vicar of ECC.  Mailing address is POB 340821, Austin 78734, and phone is 512.695.2803.       

We are immensely grateful to all of our fellow-servants of St. Michael’s, and all who have supported Church of the Cross in the new adventure God has given us.  And we will keep you in our prayers, as well.

Looking for something to do this Saturday evening?
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Is Your Youth Missing Out? Are You Missing Out?

Why do we have a full time Youth Minister? Because, as we shall say in our baptismal liturgy January 11, it is important to continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.  I was copied on the note below from a parishioner to our Youth Minister, Mary Conkling.

Xyz and I have just returned from our day of helping you and the youth group with the mini-mission trip and I wanted to take a minute to write down some of my thoughts and feelings about the day.  I am so impressed with you and with what you do for the youth.  We did so much today – Xyz and I were only with you from 9 until 8 and when I think back to all the things that we did, it feels like we were with you for a couple of days.  The variety of activities was awesome.  I don’t think anyone was bored, but the thing that impresses me the most is what you were actually providing for these teens.  Everyone that was there today was in high school and you provided them with a great time, interaction with peers, activities that they may not otherwise do because they might feel that they are too old or too cool to do anymore, and they did it all and really enjoyed themselves!  They were able to act like kids! It speaks volumes that these teens would give up the last few days of their holiday to be together and with you. What a special group!

Thanks for letting us be a part of this memorable day.  We got so much out of it and really enjoyed ourselves too! And thanks again for being such a positive role model for [our daughter]! We love having you in her life!  [signed: a parent]

Mary does a great job of nurturing the youths and the adults who work with the youth program in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.  Pray about whether you need to help your youth take part.  Pray about whether you need to volunteer to help the program.

–The Rev. Robby Vickery


Prayers for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

O God our Creator, you have divided our life into days and seasons, and called us to acknowledge your providence year after year: Accept your people who offer their praises, and, in your mercy, receive their prayers; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Most gracious and merciful God, you have reconciled us to yourself through Jesus Christ your Son, and called us to new life in him: Grant that we, who begin this year in his Name, may complete it to his honor and glory; who lives and reigns now and for ever. Amen.

– from Prayers for Pastors and People, pp 227-228 (Church Hymnal Corp. 1984)

Thoughts About St. Lucy …


Lucy, or Lucia, was martyred at Syracuse, Sicily, during Diocletians’s reign of terror (303-304). Her catacomb tomb can still be visited. Known mostly for her purity of life and gentleness of spirit she was soon venerated and became popular throughout the church.

Lucy, whose name means light, became very popular in Scandinavia because her feast day,December 13, was for many years the shortest day of the year (the winter solstice date changed to December 21with the Gregorian calendar reform in 1582). Her feast day became a symbol of the gradual return of the light during the very short and dark winter days. Even today, Lucy’s day is a festival of light that is kept in churches and homes.

In the home version, the children dress in white (symbol of Lucy’s purity) with a red sash (symbol of her martyrdom), and carrying candles and singing, bring freshly baked breakfast saffron buns to their parents. It used to be only the girls did this, but nowadays boys join in, wearing a star hat and also carrying candles.

 You will also see St. Lucy observances in churches, schools, hospitals, care centers, and more. A procession of children and young people “bring in the light”, sing songs, including Sankta Lucia, and distribute saffron buns. The leader of the procession, “Lucia” has been chosen (it’s quite a competition) and wears a wreath crown with candles and everyone else follows carrying candles and stars.


On December 14, our Sunday School children will come into church in Lucia processions, carrying candles, and presenting saffron scented bread at the offertory. The Music Team and Chancel Choir will get in the spirit with the singing of translation of Swedish version of Sankta Lucia to the tune of traditional Neapolitan boating song.

– The Rev. Janne Alro Osborne, Associate Rector

Two Recent Vestry Actions

 1.     Our Vestry authorized in principle the negotiation of a lease for St. Michael’s south campus. This is part of our church community learning to be more invitational, reaching out, not just waiting for people to find us by driving up our long drive way. This campus would still be part of the ONE church family that is St. Michael’s. The idea is “two altars/one church.” Just like our four current services share clergy, one vestry, one set of financial and congregational records, a youth minister, etc., this fifth service would too. We are currently working on a lease with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for its auditorium complex. The lease would be for six months.  Any services in the south MoPac area are contingent upon receiving a Diocesan Strategic Mission Grant. Such a grant, with restricted funds currently held by St. Michael’s, would enable the operation of the second campus without any funds from St. Michael’s operating fund for one and up to possibly two years.  Keep this mission in your prayers. We are looking at starting this in February.  Do you know anyone who lives out south you could invite to it?  For that matter, do you know anyone you could invite to our current site this Advent?

 2.     Our Vestry authorized the acceptance of the donation of the used organ from our brothers and sisters at St. Luke’s on the Lake.  (They are getting a new organ.)  Having the option of organ music has been the desire of a significant number of people at St. Michael’s for a while, though it is still envisioned that for the foreseeable future piano will remain our primary musical instrument.  Even though the organ is being donated, there are still costs associated with it:

     $20,000     Construction of tone chambers to hold the speakers

     $  1,500     Engineering

     $  2,500     Installation

     $     250     Transportation

     $24,250     TOTAL

This cost will be paid out of the building fund. NOTE:  The first $21,500 are not specific to this organ.  Such tone chambers are a permanent improvement on the building and are necessary for this or any future organ using speakers.  Such chambers were not designed in the original construction of the building because it was not known then when and how St. Michael’s would use such an organ.

Let me or a Vestry member (e.g. Senior Warden Ron Olson or Junior Warden Ann Harwood) know if you have any questions or comments about either of the above actions.

– The Rev. Robby Vickery

cross-from JAO office
Phyllis Vaughn
died on Wednesday, November 26, 2014
May her soul, and the souls of all the departed, rest in eternal peace 
and may light perpetual shine upon them. 
Please keep her husband Daniel and their whole family in your prayers.
The Burial Service will be celebrated
Friday, December 5, 2014, 2 pm, at St. Michael’s.
followed by a reception in the church entryway.

2014/15 Stewardship Statement


  • We are created in the image of a generous, loving and self-giving God.
  • All that we are, all that we have and all that we need comes from God.
  • God calls us to be generous and loving.
  • We are called to celebrate God’s blessings by giving joyfully.


  • Giving to God the first portion of our time, talent, money and all our resources – not merely the leftovers.
  • Nurturing an ever-deepening spiritual relationship with God.


  • Tithing, or
  • Working intentionally toward a full tithe, or
  • Giving in a sacrificial way.


  • Open your heart to experience the joy of giving.
  • Dare to imagine a stronger connection with God that manifests itself in a growing ministry to and for one another and the world.

Join the Vestry, Clergy, Finance Commission and Stewardship Committee of St. Michael’s by signing this statement on the poster in the entryway.

--The Vestry of St. Michael’s Church 


It’s that time of year …

It is the time of year to be talking with God about how God wants you to allocate the financial resources he has put in your trust in the coming year.  Below is how the Vickerys are thinking about this. What is God saying to you?



Robby’s Salary


R’s Soc. Sec. Paid by Ch.


Robby’s pension payment


R’s Housing Allowance


Robby’s 403(b) payment


Dividends and Interest


Medical Ins. Payment


R’s Health Savings Acct.






Operating Fund, St. Michael’s


Bldg. Fund, St. Michael’s


Op&Bldg. Funds, St. Stph’s, DC


Operating Fund, St. Marts,CpCv.


Discretionary Fund & Feed Prg.


UT and Rice


Diocese of Peshawar, Pakistan


Virginia Theological Seminary


Flower Fund, St. Michael’s






–The Rev. Robby Vickery

Thoughts … Fellowship

Sunday as part of our baptismal liturgy I will ask the congregation:  Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship? I hope the response is an enthusiastic, “I will, with God’s help.”

This past Saturday we had a great example of fellowship, Trunk ‘r Treat.  Over 150 people of all ages showed up to create a community for several hours.  We ate great tacos, we paraded in our costumes, we auctioned off some marvelous Halloween cakes, we bounced our way through a Bounce House and a LONG obstacle course, and last but not least, we went from car trunk to decorated trunk picking up candy.  People were there from the church, from the preschool, and from friends of such.  You could visit with “old” friends and make new ones.  I mean, if you cannot start a conversation with a Talking Pickle, who can you do so with?
Trunk ‘r Treat happened because some folks served the larger fellowship.  As our children and youth ministers, Leslie Margerrison and Mary Conkling invested hours of planning and execution way beyond their job descriptions.  Youth group volunteers helped monitor the bouncy places.  As chief cook Andy Hines spent the whole day grilling and preparing food.  And since parents had to get little ones home to bed, there was a host of older parents and grandparents who cleaned dishes and tables and policed up trash.
This leads us into our next community celebration, All Saints’ Day.  On November 1 our choir will lead us in worshiping through Mozart’s Requiem, i.e. we shall hear Mozart’s musical settings for a eucharist for the repose of the souls of the dead. On Sunday, November 2 we shall continue celebrating the fellowship we have with all the saints who have served us before.  Come and continue in this fellowship.
–The Rev. Robby Vickery

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