- meet and connect with others,
- find friendships,
- jump-start your spiritual journey or continue with your walk,
- reflect on where or who you are as a child of God,
- and more!
My sermon last Sunday explored a frequent theme of St. Michael’s community this year: moving from being a welcoming church to one that is inviting as well. What I mean by this is that we do a pretty good job of greeting people once they decide to turn into our driveway off of Loop 360 and walk through our doors. Where we do not do anywhere near as good a job is in inviting people to make that turn. We all too often wait for them to come to us. Scripturally, disciples of Jesus go to the world instead of waiting for the world to come to them. This is why we took part in Back to Church Sunday on September 15 by encouraging members to invite folks to worship with us.
There is a way that going to the world has long been part of St. Michael’s history. When I arrived at St. Michael’s in 1990, I was told that the long-range plan included St. Michael’s helping start another Episcopal congregation. We assumed it would be out west of us. Two years ago the vestry took a look at starting something in the booming Bee Cave area but decided that the interest among us in doing so was not strong enough at the time. We started looking at the possibility of starting a second location for St. Michael’s in Bee Cave again this spring, but the Diocese of Texas was already exploring other ways of starting a congregation there. Then, last month the Diocese announced that a priest with church planting experience had been hired to start a congregation in the Bee Cave area starting December 1. Praise God!
But, when God closed one door, did he open another? The vestry started looking at the south MoPac corridor. This would include the areas of Bowie High School and Circle C. There is no Austin Episcopal Church west of Manchaca and south of U.S. 290. Could God be calling us to start a second location of St. Michael’s there? One of our Neighborhood Care Groups in this area already has 32 active members.
Q: Where would a second St. Michael’s location meet?
A: Who knows? Maybe a school, maybe a shopping center.
Q: What would the worship service(s) and education opportunities be like?
A: Who knows? It would evolve to meet the needs of the folks there.
Q: Would the Diocese help?
A: Yes; there is a very good chance of us getting a grant for $50,000 over the next three years to help with this. If it really takes off, there could be much more help.
If God might be calling you to trust and to be part of this new ministry of invitation, let me know. You do NOT have to live in the south MoPac area. We would need to find at least 20 families that will commit to being part of the “seed” for this new planting for us to discern it as a go.
– The Rev. Robby Vickery
Thoughts from the Associate Rector…
October 20 – November 17
- Theology: talking about God
- Holy Scripture: hearing God’s word to us
- Sacraments and Book of Common Prayer: practicing God’s presence and ordering our lives “the Anglican way”
- Spirituality and Prayer: listening to God in our daily lives
- Church History and Governance: making sense of a somewhat crooked path and acting in the world, locally and globally.
Participation in this series prepares you to be confirmed or to be received into the Episcopal Church. The Sacrament of Confirmation is the adult affirmation of one’s baptism and Reception is the welcoming of an already confirmed person into the Episcopal Church from any Christian denomination.
Confirmation is for those who have never had an adult opportunity to confirm their faith; reception is for those who have made such an affirmation and would now like this to be recognized by the Episcopal Church. Confirmation and Reception is celebrated by the bishop and will next happen in Spring 2013.
Please contact me to register! You may also sign up in the entryway of the church.
Note: If you have never been baptized and are thinking about receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, please talk to one of the clergy. Attendance at these classes is very appropriate preparation for baptism, but is not required.
– The Rev. Janne Alrø Osborne
A chapter of Daughters of the King is forming at St. Michael’s!
Daughters meet for prayer and to encourage each other in the spiritual life as well as do works of service. A six-week training course begins Sunday October 20, 3-4 pm.
To learn more about Daughters of the King, contact Kim McDonald.
You bring your own meat. We provide the fire pit and hot grills, plates, silverware, sides, salad, appetizers, sauces, dessert, and non-alcoholic drinks.
Come on Sunday evening, October 20, at around 5:30 pm with dinner at around 6:30 pm. Several of us are arriving early (around 4:30 pm) to prepare the sides, dessert, etc. and enjoy the fellowship. Come early to prepare something for the group – or just to relax.
Please email James Russell if you have a question or want to make a group contribution.
It’s free so bring a friend…
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism will be celebrated at the services on All Saints’ Sunday, November 3. If you or someone in your family has never been baptized, please speak with one of the clergy today. Sign up for baptism is required by October 20; baptism preparation class (required for adult candidates and one or both parents and godparents) will be the week prior to the baptism.
Remembering Those Who Have Died
On All Saints’ Sunday, November 3, we will remember by name those who have died. Please add names of your loved ones to the list in the entryway or send them to The Rev. Janne Alro Osborne.
October 20 – November 17
Five Sunday afternoon sessions of conversation, learning, exploring, praying …
and, just a good time of being with other folks seeking to deepen their faith and spiritual journey.
Attendance prepares you for confirmation or reception at the next Bishop’s Visit.
More information may be found in the church entryway.
Facilitated by the Rev. Janne Alrø Osborne.
October 12, 6-8 pm
Are you ready to eat, polka and be merry?
The fabulous Jean Farris Fuller and her accordion along with the “Peppers,” a six-player accordion band from St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, will join us again this year!
Dinner at 6 pm.
Music begins at 7 pm.
Sausage, Brats and Hot Dogs with all the fixin’s are provided for $5.00 per person. You bring a salad or dessert plus your choice of beverage.
Please sign up in the entryway or call the church office 512-327-1474!
I took the picture (above left) of the sanctuary of All Saints’ Church, Peshawar, Pakistan the day I preached there 7 years ago. I understand that the death toll from the suicide bombings 2 Sundays ago is now 133 men, women, and children, plus 165 injured. The picture (above right) is one of the injured.
The text over the altar is in English and reads, “I will make them joyful in my house of prayer.” A religion of “sweetness and rainbows” dissolves before such evil. Only the cross of Christ and his empty tomb can bring joy back to this house of prayer. Maranatha!
One thing we can do to aid our brothers and sisters in Christ is to send money. Many of the victims were quite poor. If you feel called to give, make a check payable to “St. Michaels Episcopal Church”, memo “All Saints’ Aid.” As we have been doing since my sabbatical there, we shall get the money transferred to the Diocese of Peshawar. I am proud that for years St. Michael’s has been strengthening the medical ministries of the Diocese of Peshawar with our donations.
– The Rev. Robby Vickery
Enjoy breakfast tacos and fellowship in the Parish Hall
Plan to bring your animals and pets for their “St. Francis Blessing” on Sunday, October 6, at 6 pm in the Courtyard. Our annual Blessing of Animals and Holy Eucharist is so much fun and very special – and a great opportunity to invite friends to come (with their pets, of course!) to discover St. Michael’s.