November 21, 2014

Dear Friends,

Christ the King Sunday

This Sunday marks the end of the church year with Christ the King Sunday.  Next Sunday begins the Advent Season.  On Christ the King Sunday, we consider Jesus as he is now, the King and righteous judge of the whole universe.  The Gospel lesson, Matthew’s last parable from Jesus, concerns the separation of the sheep and the goats, the righteous and the unrighteous, to inherit the Kingdom of God or to go “into eternal fire.”  It is, at once, a most glorious and chilling picture.  And it is the perfect scripture to usher us into Advent when we will prepare for his return.  Join us in worship this Sunday!

Scripture of the Week: Psalm 100 on Giving Thanks

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!  Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!  Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!  For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Trivia Question Answered

Last week’s question: What country is home to the world’s first oil well?  Though some have told me that I have been fooled by an old Soviet plot, the home of the first producing oil well is actually in Poland.  It was dug (yes, dug) about 60 feet down until oil was struck.  The purpose?  To fuel the new kerosene lamps invented by the one who bankrolled the project.  The year?  1853.  Though now part of a museum complex, it still produces!   Thanks to Gary, Doug and Tola who missed it by a continent but took their best shot!

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

 

THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS

  • Sundays, Classes at 9:15 am, Worship at 10:30am. Youth Confirmation begins this Sunday.
  • Saturday, November 22nd, 9:00am, Food Pantry distribution. We could use a little extra help for our Thanksgiving pantry – the largest of the year.
  • Tuesday, November 25th, 11:45am, Men’s Fellowship Lunch at Jubilee.  Open to all men, it’s a relaxing and fun way to spend your lunch hour.  The food is top notch too!
  • Wednesday, November 26th, 6:30 pm, The Bible Study will not meet because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

LOOKING AHEAD

  • Friday, December 12th, 8:15am-9:15am.  Shelf Stocking at Jubilee Center.
  • Saturday, December 13th, 9:00am-12:00pm, Jubilee Center, Food Distribution.  Just show up, we’ll find a place for you to serve!
  • Tuesday, December 9th, 6:00pm.  Dinner and Vestry meeting in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Sunday, December 14th, Bishop Mark Zimmerman visits for confirmation, reception of new members and renewal of baptismal vows.
  • Friday-Sunday, beginning on January 16th, All Saints Women’s Retreat in San Angelo.
  • Sunday, January 25th, The Annual Meeting after church.

 

November 13, 2014

Dear Friends,

Some Thoughts on an Old Prayer

 Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known and, from you, no secrets are hid.  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your Holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

So begins our worship each week, as it has among Anglicans for as long as we have offered our prayers in English.  Included in the first Book of Common Prayer of 1549, this “Collect for Purity” (as it is called) was said as it is now at the very beginning of the service of Holy Eucharist (Communion). Before 1549, it was offered in Latin privately as the priest prepared himself to lead worship. The prayer itself goes back to 900 A. D. or earlier where it can be found in the Leofric Missal – an ornate English manuscript of the liturgy at that time.

Look at the structure of the prayer.  It begins with a threefold affirmation that God’s knows everything about us.  So we begin our worship by affirming this and then seek his cleansing power before we say or do anything else.  We pray “Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit.”  And we believes that God responds by making us fit (worthy and able) to do all that follows in worship. What we cannot do on our own, God does for us by cleansing us – not only for worship Sunday by Sunday but also for life in his presence forever.

From start to finish, cherished ancient traditions play a big part in our worship as Anglican Christians.  There is humility in that.  While our society advances – especially in the area of technology – we continue to pray as our forebears did because we trust that their insights concerning Christian life and worship still hold true.  I thank God for our heritage and pray that we will all grow more faithful as we are guided by it.

Scripture of the Week

 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  Luke 6:37-28

 Trivia Question of the Week

What country is home to the world’s first oil well?  Reply to this email with your answer.  The first correct answer wins you a special Prize at this Sunday’s service. (No Google or Wikipedia!  Make your best guess.)

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

 

THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS

  • Sundays, Classes at 9:15 am, Worship at 10:30am. Youth Confirmation begins this Sunday.
  • Wednesday, November 19th, 6:30 pm, The Bible Study at the Oknefski’s, 2201 Hereford Boulevard. We will be in Genesis, chapters 28 and 29.

LOOKING AHEAD

  •  Friday, November 21st, 8:15am-9:15am.  Shelf Stocking at Jubilee Center.
  • Saturday, November 22nd, 9:00am-12:00pm, Jubilee Center, Food Distribution.  Just show up, we’ll find a place for you to serve!
  • Tuesday, November 25th, 11:45am, Men’s Fellowship Lunch at Jubilee.  Open to all men, it’s a relaxing and fun way to spend your lunch hour.  The food is top notch too!
  • Tuesday, December 9th, 6:00pm.  Dinner and Vestry meeting in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Sunday, December14th, Bishop Mark Zimmerman visits for confirmation, reception of new members and renewal of baptismal vows.
  • Friday-Sunday, beginning on January 16th, All Saints Women’s Retreat in San Angelo.
  • Sunday, January 25th, The Annual Meeting after church.

November 6, 2014

Dear Friends,

All Saints Mission Meeting Tonight!

This evening is our second mission meeting for those who missed the meeting on Monday. The Vestry, Wardens and I invite you to visit with us about the mission and vision of All Saints.  We begin at 7:00 pm and will discuss our vision and our financial plans for the coming year.  We’ll also take time to hear your thoughts about our life together and respond to any questions you have.  Please do make every effort to join us for one of these evenings.  The meetings should finish by 8:00pm.

Second Sunday Lunch After Church This Sunday

From Melissa McCarty: “As the season moves toward the holidays, let’s cook dishes dear to our hearts. Bring a dish that is one of your family favorites. It could be a recent family favorite or a dish that represents your family background. Also, bring copies of the recipes to share with others.”  Sounds wonderful to me!  Also, we continue to collect boxed Macaroni and Cheese for Jubilee Center.  Please leave your donations in front of the altar before service.

Scripture of the Week

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.  Hebrews 11:1-3

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

October 30, 3014

Dear Friends,

Daylight Savings Time Ends This Sunday!

Come an hour late and still be on time. What a deal! Might be a good week to try Sunday School if you have been away from it for awhile.  That’s only 15 minutes earlier than you came to church last week J.

All Saints Sunday This Week

On the Sunday after All Saints Day (which is this coming Saturday), we celebrate the lives of saints who have gone before and draw inspiration from their example.  We join with living saints at the Lord’s table and look forward to that day when the whole church in heaven and on earth will sing together around the throne of Christ. If you are a follower of Jesus, he has made you a saint by virtue of his sacrifice for your sake on the cross.  Someday, we will all be raised to eternal life as he was.  And when that day comes, you will know for sure what you are now—a saint of God.  Celebrate with us this Sunday!  If you have not added the names of loved ones you would like us to remember in worship this week, please feel free to email them to me.

All Saints Mission Meetings

On either Monday, November 3rd or Thursday, November 6th, Vestry, Wardens and I invite you to visit with us about the mission and vision of All Saints at one of two “Mission Meetings.”  The two different evenings, beginning at 7:00pm, are offered to make it more possible for everyone (adults and teenagers) to attend.  We will discuss our vision and our financial plans for the coming year.  We’ll also take time to hear your thoughts about our life together and respond to any questions you have.  Please do make every effort to join us one of these evenings.  The meetings should finish by 8:00pm.

The Vestry Meets Briefly After Church This Sunday

We meet to consider joining with our sister congregations in commissioning a new sign for the middle of the property on the Andrews Highway side.  All are welcome to attend.  I imagine it will take us about 10 minutes.

Scripture of the Week

 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:14-17

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

October 24, 2014

Dear Friends,

One Down, One to Go

Thanks to all who came out on Saturday to help distribute All Saints/Jubilee bags for our Neighborhood Outreach project.  This Saturday, we need to pick up those bags filled with donations for Jubilee.  Come to the church at 9:00am to get your route sheet and join a team.  We will need both drivers and “picker uppers.”  When you have completed your route, drop off the items you collect at the Jubilee Center, 3311 Andrews Highway.

All Saints Mission Meetings

On either Monday, November 3rd or Thursday, November 6th, Vestry, Wardens and I invite you to visit with us about the mission and vision of All Saints at one of two “Mission Meetings.”  The two different evenings, beginning at 7:00pm, are offered to make it more possible for everyone (adults and teenagers) to attend.  We will discuss the vision for our mission and ministry and our financial plans for the coming year.  We’ll also take time to hear your thoughts about our mission together and respond to any questions you have.  Please do make every effort to join us one of these evenings.  The meetings should finish by 8:00pm.

Scripture of the Week

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.  When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.  Psalm 91:14-16

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

October 17, 2014

Dear Friends,

Long time coming!

Tomorrow morning’s outreach project has been a long time coming.  We began thinking about doing a food collection for Jubilee Center about 18 months ago but it seems that there have been a dozen things that have kept us from following through.  But tomorrow, it’s finally going to happen!

Why are we going?

Our purpose is threefold.  First, because our Lord calls us to become personally involved in responding to the genuine needs of the poor.  When we do, we sense God’s pleasure and are changed by the experience.  Second, because a project like this invites others into the ministry of Jubilee and greatly increases their support base.  Third, because it introduces others to people and ministry of All Saints.

What exactly are we going to do?

We will meet briefly at the church at 9:00am, assemble teams, get our bags and neighborhood assignments and head out at 9:30.  Then each team will visit about 50 homes near the church or in a new neighborhood near Sam’s Club.  Some will just want to leave our collection bags on the door knob without speaking to anyone while others will want to meet people to talk about Jubilee Center and All Saints.  Both kinds of volunteers are needed!  We’ll also need a few drivers to get our teams in place and then bring them back to their cars.  Our neighbors will fill the collection bags sometime next week and leave them (or a plastic grocery bag) on the curb for pick up on the 25th.

How long will it take?

I am guessing that we can do the whole thing in about 90 minutes.  If you decide to meet the neighbors, it could take a bit longer but my guess is that 90 minutes is still a pretty good estimate.

What if I can’t come tomorrow morning?

Our teams will hit the street again a week from Saturday (on the 25th) to pick up the donations.  So if you can’t be with us tomorrow, you can always help out then.  In any case, the pick up on the 25th should take less than an hour.

Scripture of the Week

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.   Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;  your rod and your staff,  they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me  in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord  forever.  Psalm 23

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

October 10, 2014

Dear Friends,

Men’s Retreat Revisited

I think our little band of men’s retreaters picked the ideal weekend to take over Fort Davis.  The weather was perfect, our guys came ready to know the Lord and one another better and the cook was definitely on his game (except for those chocolate chip cookies, but we won’t speak of it).  Our general topic was the way others have influenced our choices and the way we have influenced others.  With Jesus as our ideal and with plenty of time to discuss, reflect and pray, it was a wonderful weekend and one, I trust, that will stay with all of us for a long time to come.  The hiking wasn’t bad either!

Second Sunday Luncheon and Jubilee Collection

Join us this Sunday for our monthly after church luncheon.  This month we are going truly “pot luck” with the committee only supplying the drinks.  Bring your favorite family main course or a side and dessert.  For the Jubilee Collection, let’s see how many different kinds of macaroni and cheese we can bring!

Investiture of the Archbishop

The “investiture” of our Archbishop, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, took place on Thursday evening in Atlanta, Georgia.  An investiture is the formal service where the new archbishop is recognized and granted the authority to lead by God’s grace.  The service is posted on Youtube at “Investiture for the Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach.”  It’s a little more formal than our typical Sunday worship but the warmth and love definitely shines through.  Check out the opening procession and you will find our bishop Mark Zimmerman there.

Neighborhood Outreach Project: Next Saturday, the 18th

This coming Saturday, the 18th, we’ll meet at 9:00am in the Fellowship Hall to form teams to collect food for the Jubilee Center.  Each team will visiting a few streets (mapped out in advance) to distribute All Saints/Jubilee bags door to door.  The bags will include a written request to leave canned goods and other non-perishables curbside on the following Saturday morning (the 25th).  Each bag will also include descriptions of Jubilee and All Saints and instructions on how to participate.

Scripture of the Week

You shall give to [your poor brother or sister] freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’  Deuteronomy 15:11-12

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

September 17, 2014

Dear Friends,

Thanks to all who made our Second Sunday luncheon such a success.  Along with the great burgers and dogs (thanks to the Jubilee Center Chefs!), there were some pretty awesome side dishes too.  These luncheons remind me of days gone by when people slowed down a bit on Sundays and considered being with one another over a church meal to be nearly sacramental in importance.

In the Church, there really is no substitute for spending time together.  This is when we truly get to know each other and, I pray, begin to talk about things that matter to us beyond the normal round of conversation (sports, work, politics and weather).  It’s surprising what you learn about others just by asking what their grown children are up to these days or what they did on their vacation this summer.  Not necessarily deeply personal questions, but invitations to a growing friendship.  When you can say that some of your closest friends are found at church, then you are beginning to taste the true fellowship that Christ intended for us all along.  When you touch base with your church friends, take the time to ask how the other is and then listen intently to the answer.  Pray about what you hear from your friend and expect that God will hear you.  Where else but in Christian fellowship can you experience God so powerfully at work?

Men’s Retreat (Last Call!)

If you have not yet let me know if you are coming on the Men’s retreat, it would be helpful to hear from you this Sunday.  We are planning a relaxing time outdoors, RV camping or lodge accommodations, a study and conversation about how Christian men can influence others for Christ and some meals that will put a smile on your face.  Join us Friday evening October 3rd through Sunday morning, October 6th at Indian Lodge in Fort Davis.

Inquirer’s Class

If you are thinking of becoming a member or All Saints or would just like to understand a bit more about the Anglican Church, join us this coming Monday at 7:00pm at All Saints for the first of four sessions on the history, faith, leadership and worship of our church.  Class will run from 7:00 to 8:30 with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Scripture of the Week

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1st Peter 4:8-11

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

September 12, 2004

Dear Friends,

Second Sunday Lunch and Jubilee Collection

This Sunday (rain or shine!) we’ll enjoy our monthly luncheon, this time cooked on the grill by our very own outdoor chef Greg Clark.  He has even recruited a couple friends from beyond our congregation to lend a hand.  Our job is to come ready to enjoy a lunch that can’t be beat.  Bring a side dish—the drinks, main course and dessert will be provided.  This would be a wonderful week to bring a guest to share worship and lunch.

Along with lunch, we are also collecting boxed macaroni and cheese for Jubilee Center this week.  Collections have been growing in recent months and this is certainly a blessing to the people who depend on Jubilee.  Please do leave your boxes at the foot of the altar before service begins.

Men’s Retreat

If you have not yet let me know if you are coming on the Men’s retreat, it would be helpful to hear from you this Sunday.  We are planning a relaxing time outdoors, RV camping or lodge accommodations, a study and conversation about how Christian men can influence others for Christ and some meals that will put a smile on your face.  Join us Friday evening October 3rd through Sunday morning, October 6th at Indian Lodge in Fort Davis.

Inquirer’s Class

If you are thinking of becoming a member or All Saints or would just like to understand a bit more about the Anglican Church, join us this coming Monday at 7:00pm at All Saints for the first of four sessions on the history, faith, leadership and worship of our church.  Class will run from 7:00 to 8:30 with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Scripture of the Week

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  1st John 4:10(“Propitiation” mean atoning sacrifice—a sacrifice that satisfies God’s judgment against sin and brings us into a right relationship with Him.)

 As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom

September 3, 2014

Dear Friends,

In recent weeks, I have been writing about renewing our baptismal vows. The attachment this week sets forth the vows made in your behalf (if you were an infant) or that children, teenagers and adults make for themselves should baptism come later than infancy. Take a look at these and reflect on how you are doing with them. Some you will find second nature at this point in your life and others might require some real soul searching to incorporate into the way you are living now. But that’s the nature of a vow; it calls you back to what is fundamental in your relationship with a holy God.

Just a few notes for those preparing for confirmation:

We begin our youth confirmation classes on Sunday, September 14th during the Sunday School hour. The purpose of Confirmation is for the young persons to “confirm” for themselves the faith their parents exercised when they were brought for baptism as infants. It follows a period of instruction meant to prepare the “confirmands” for adult membership in the church. Students will review the primary teachings of the church, learn about the Anglican Church and be challenged to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Adults who wish to be confirmed or received as new members are invited to four Monday evenings at All Saints beginning on Thursday, September 15th at 6:00pm.

A reminder to the men: Men’s lunch at the Jubilee Center (3311 Andrews Highway) is this coming Tuesday at 11:45 pm. The food is always excellent and the company isn’t bad either :-).

Scripture of the week: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2nd Timothy 2:15

As always, if you are in need of pastoral care, please do feel free to call me at 432-853-2751.

Your fellow servant,

Fr. Tom