The picture is of the building where I attended the longest church service of my life. Just a few minutes before I took this picture it had been jammed with over 150 people, even filling the center aisle. There were over 40 people standing outside looking in through the windows. Between 9:00 am and 1:20 pm (yes, that’s 4.3 hours) we:
- Dedicated the church building
- Heard the Rev. Tom Day of League City, Texas preach a sermon that was translated sentence by sentence into Chichewa
- Confirmed 10 people
- Married one couple
- Commissioned four 20-somethings as diocesan youth ministry officers
- Heard the bishop teach
- Had eucharist
- Presented gifts to the bishop, including a 50-pound bag of milled maize (corn) and a LIVE goat. I would love to see the reaction if we gave our next visiting bishop a live goat.
Two things stand out from the service:
- The earnestness of the people. They were worshiping because they expected God to make a difference in their lives.
- The singing by the people. There were no musical instruments to accompany the congregation, just a cheap sound system, but they sang out with enthusiasm and joy.
Lord, grant that we at St. Michael’s may worship with such faith and sing with such joy as our brothers and sisters at St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church, Chilimba Parish, Namadzi, Malawi. Amen.
– The Rev. Robby Vickery
Read story from Episcopal News Service – contact the Rev. Janne Alro Osborne for additional information about opportunities to get involved
The Rev. Paul Johnson as our Preacher
And here is the latest news from the new congregation:
Dear St. Michael’s Friends,
We are pleased to announce the congregational name of the Lake Travis Area Mission. Because at the foot of the cross there is room for everybody; because at the cross we can lay down our burdens and are made free; and because from the cross comes power and strength to stand for God’s purposes, this new gathering of faithful seekers is named Church of the Cross.
Please keep this ministry in your prayers. We are grateful for the privilege of serving with you on the west side of Austin. It is a grace to walk alongside our St. Michael’s friends and witness with you to the restoring, transforming, and healing power of God’s love. Read about the life of Church of the Cross here.
Blessings, and we bid you God’s grace and peace. Faithfully,
Missioner, Church of the Cross
From the Children’s Minister…
Vacation Bible Camp
From what I have been told, vacation bible camp is a memorable childhood experience for many of you. I never had the opportunity to attend as a child but as an adult this one certainly was memorable for me. Being responsible for all the planning and preparation was a challenge but my main trepidation was ‘will the children all come on the first day and if they do, will they come back on the second?’ My fears were unfounded. Everyone came and returned each day singing the catchy worship songs, telling me about their favorite classes (everyone got a mention) and asking if it could go on for another three weeks (volunteers – what do you say?). All in all, a wonderful week and I look forward to the memories of my next one.
– Lesley Margerrison, Children’s Minister
From our Senior Warden…
Update on Discernment of South Altar
Our parish is continuing the discernment process for whether St. Michael’s is called to start a second parish service site in South Austin. Currently, a South Altar Launch Team is seeking to form. This Team would be a fellowship group, would further discern St. Michael’s calling, consider the logistics of a South Altar, and launch such if it comes to be. If you feel you may be called to participate in the Launch Team, please prayerfully consider it. Our timeline for confirming a Launch Team is the end of July. If you would like to join the Team, please contact me as soon as possible to share your interest.
– Ron Olson, Senior Warden