July is one of my favorite months—that is after December. It is a month when we celebrate the birth of our country and remember the principle of freedom on which this country was founded. There are few countries in the world that gives its people a Bill of Rights as well as a Constitution that guarantees those principles. We need to set this day apart not just for parties, parades and libation. We should remember all those who fought for those principles and be thankful. They are easily given up when a good person does nothing to keep them. Freedom is a basic fundamental principle in our Christian thought. God never forces us to accept him nor do anything for him. Our relationship with God can slip through our fingers as well as our freedom to choose as we become more and more enslaved by sin.
We lose sight of him rather than choose the true freedom to love him and do as he wills—living an abundant life in him. There will be a Eucharist on July 4th at 10 am. It would be a great way to start this important day in the life of our country. The Parish Office will be closed on Friday in honor of this holiday.
On Sunday, July 5th, we will again welcome The Rev. Brandon Walsh. Fr. Walsh is not only Paul and Debbie Nelson’s nephew, but is Ambassador to Archbishop Rwaje of the Anglican Church in Rwanda. Fr. Walsh will be preaching at the 8 and 10:30 am Eucharist. In addition, he will give a presentation in the Parish Hall at 9:15 am. Please put this on your calendars and join us. Don’t forget to invite others to join us to learn more about the Church in Rwanda. It will indeed be a blessing. Coffee and snacks will be available.
Another blessing we have is an addition to the staff of St. Alban’s. Courtney Patten will be joining us as Director of our youth and children’s choirs. Courtney is a Middle School music teacher and has the experience of working with youth. Courtney will be teaching a whole program to our youth to include not only basics of music but how music fits into our liturgy. In addition to her position, Courtney is also planning to sing in our Chamber Choir. She will be attending the all-day Staff meeting on July 8th and her duties begin in September.
I would like to thank Mandy McFarland and Samantha Childers for organizing and their leadership for Vacation Bible School. Our gratitude also to all our donors and volunteers who did such a superb ministry teaching our VBS participants. They did a fantastic job! We had 42 participants, 10 youth leaders, three in the nursery and a host of volunteers decorating, working in the kitchen preparing snacks, teaching and clean up. Thank you for all your hard work and for being a blessing.
I would once again encourage you to attend the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans. It is being held July 13th through 17th. It is being held at the Hilton, downtown Fort Worth and St. Andrew’s, downtown. In this Legate you will find the information on some of the workshops. Go to fifna.org to register. You don’t want to miss this. There will be no weekday Eucharist this week as I will be attending.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for August 12th and 19th for an exceptional Bible Study. Bishop Fanuel Magangani will be at St. Alban’s for these two Wednesday evenings. Make sure to invite family, friends and neighbors to join us for this rare opportunity.
I will be on vacation beginning July 26th. On this Sunday we will have the privilege of having The Very Rev. Crary as celebrant and preaching at the 8 and 10:30 Eucharist. Please give him a warm St. Alban’s welcome. On August 2nd Fr. Maneikis will be our celebrant and preaching at both Eucharists. I thank them for allowing me to take a rest and vacation.
I hope everyone will have a blessed summer and exercise every opportunity that God places in front of us to choose in our freedom God and his abundant life he offers.