Jul
01
2014

July 2014

Dear Parishioners:

First I would like to thank our choir, Thomas Rinn our Choir Director, Michael Hitt our Organist, Vicki Keller, Youth Choir Director and the Saint Alban’s Singers for all the wonderful and worshipful music they have provided. They get a little vacation during the month of July and yet many of our faithful choir members still sing out to provide beautiful music during this time. Thank you for all your dedication and your vocation to sing to the glory of God.

Our congratulations to Thomas Rinn who is now going to be working at Heritage High School in Colleyville. While this will not change his ministry at St. Alban’s, it is a great opportunity for him and we wish him the best!

Second, a few business items need to be announced. The first Friday in July, July 4th the Parish Office will be closed for the holiday. The following Friday’s through August 1st the Parish Office will be closing on Friday’s at Noon! Please remember that for an emergency the cell phone number to be called is in your Sunday Bulletin. A good reason to take your bulletin home as this number changes each month depending who is on call.

On Thursday, July 17th the Staff will be having an all-day Staff meeting and the Office will be closed. This meeting allows us to start the planning for the coming months. So please be aware that the phone will not be answered and the Office will not be open.

Third, please mark on your calendars that on Sunday, August 3rd we will return to the 10:30 am time for the Eucharist. 8 am and 5:30 pm will remain the same but the 10 am Eucharist will return to its former time of 10:30 am. This will give us a few Sunday’s to become use to the time again before everything begins once again. Why? We tried as an experiment to have Christian Education following the 10 am Eucharist. This was to give those who visited a chance to join us in Education as well as allow the youth to have a later starting time that would encourage attendance. This just did not happen. Starting in September we will have our former schedule of 8 am Eucharist; 9:15 Christian Education for all ages; 10:30 am Eucharist; and 5:30 pm Eucharist on Sunday’s.

Talking about the Eucharist, I would like to encourage everyone to try one of our weekday Eucharist. We had a faithful group on Mondays and Wednesdays, but for various reasons attendance has fallen off. Why not add a little something to your rule of life or spiritual discipline? The weekday Eucharists only take about a half hour and are a great way to reconnect our lives during the week with our Lord and Savior. Need Unction? Try the Wednesday Eucharist which is a healing service as well. If you need to get to work, the Thursday Eucharist is at 6:30 am which allows plenty of time to get to your daily chores. Come and join us for these celebrations to add assured grace and worship of our Lord to your daily life.

Fourth: A big Thank you to Marsha Neal and all the volunteers who did a fantastic ministry for Vacation Bible School. Many hands helped in donating needed items; many hands were needed to set up the Parish Hall and Classrooms; many hands, talent, and ministry was needed to teach and help these young ones to learn and be enthusiastic about the Gospel Message. Thanks to each of you who helped make this outreach to our neighbors, children, and friends such an enjoyable and fun filled week.

Fifth, there are three outreach programs that I ask you to rise to the occasion. An article and the Mayor of Fort Worth, Betsy Price asked the community to get behind the USO. Dallas/Fort Worth has always been a great stop for our service people coming back from the hostilities of battle in foreign countries. The USO has greeted them with cheers and provided a meal or snack. Volunteerism as well as supplies are low now perhaps because it has been such a long battle. But whatever the reason, I believe Saint Alban’s can get behind this ministry and welcome our service people who have put their lives on the line for our freedom and safety. The last should be welcomed home as strongly as the first. I have asked Kathy King to help gather information and procedures for helping out.

I also have heard from Fr. Binga, our Centurion. He has given a plea to ask if St. Alban’s could help in completing a “priest’s” house for his family. At present they are renting a house that has no doors or windows in it. There are no other available housing in the area to buy or rent. The parish he is serving at, has been able to come up with funds enough for half the bricks. It would cost about $1000 to $1500 to complete the “priest’s” house and make it livable with windows and doors. Can you help?

The end of July and the first part of August we begin to collect funds and supplies for Operation School Supplies. We are in a relationship with Ellis Elementary School that is always in need of our help. Carol Shunk is our contact person and will have a list of supplies that are needed as the time draws near. We did a fantastic job last year providing supplies and underwear for the school last year. Can we do more?

Finally we will be starting our Inquirer’s Class for those wishing to be Confirmed, Received into the Anglican Communion, Renewing their Baptismal Vows or just like to review and re-learn what was forgotten in August. Please watch the Newsletter and Bulletin for information. Our Bishop will make his Visitation on Sunday, October 19th this year so even First Communion Class may begin a little earlier this year.

I hope you will all have a wonderful 4th of July Celebration and continue in faithfulness and prayer during our summer months. Don’t forget to pray and worship even when traveling as God is the source of our life and being.

In Christ,

Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/07/01/july-2014/

Jun
01
2014

June 2014

Dear Parishioners:

June brings warmer weather and the beginning of summer. Many of us consider it is a time of vacation. It is the time we “take off” and leave the regular routine behind for a week or two. But while that is fine for the secular world, it is not for the Christian. The time after Pentecost is a time for growth and liturgically we use green as the color of our vestiture to signify and remind us that we are to be growing. It is not a time to take a vacation away from God but to grow even further in the knowledge and understanding of our Lord. After all is not the first and great commandment to love the Lord our God with ALL our heart, mind, soul and strength? Does this not mean only worship him every Sunday, the Lord’s Day, but each and every day of our lives? To deny this authority of God’s command is called antinomianism, from the Greek, anti—against, and nomos—law. Such statements of antinomianism are: “Nobody’s going to tell me what to do. I’m free to do what I want.” Antinomianism, writes James Sauer, “has a continuous pull on the human heart—for it puts our feelings above God’s precepts. Herbert Scholssberg correctly summarizes the antinomian framework in his book “Idols For Destruction: “Any conception that has love without law as its ethical principle will be relativistic and self-serving and without any means of arranging a priority between rival goods. There is no action so evil that it cannot and will not be said to be motivated by love. Antinomian love goes perfectly with autonomous man; neither can stand the shackles of law.”

Jesus came, he said, “not to abolish the law but to fulfill it” (Matthew 5:17-20). We need authorities, the divine and the time tested ones, not to take away our freedom but to channel it, direct it towards the good we were made for. Precisely because we do not always recognize or acknowledge that good, we need the guidance of law, whether it is divine law which makes real love possible or human law and courtesy which makes living together plausible.

So what can we do this summer to grow further? Have you thought about reading a spiritual book to grow? Our Bookstore has many available. On a trip? Have you thought about stopping in a church and lighting a candle with prayer for a safe journey that day? Then repeat this each leg of the journey. Have you thought about visiting a church, there is a beautiful set of painted churches here in Texas and stopping in to learn, say a prayer and light a candle? How about Sunday’s? Have you thought about reading a chapter a day of Scripture throughout the summer months? How about a commentary on the scriptures? There are so many possibilities and opportunities to grow during these months!

On June 1st we will honor our Christian Education Teachers for all they have done to help our youth and adults learn and grow. Our team of dedicated teachers has faithfully and devoutly taught Sunday after Sunday. I hope everyone will express their gratitude to this group of people for all they have done this past school year. As I mentioned in last month’s Newsletter, this fall we will return to our former schedule of Christian Education at 9:15 am and our Eucharist will return to the 10:30 am time. Don’t neglect to help our children to grow during their summer months by reading a Bible story before bed or perhaps the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.

Also on June 1st we will have our Parish Picnic following the 10 am Eucharist. It will be in the Park on the north side of the Church. It is a great time for us to grow in fellowship with perhaps someone we have not met or don’t know. We ask that you to bring a dish to share and if you would like to enter the cobbler contest, bring your best recipe baked to perfection. Again, I hope everyone will join us for this relaxing and fun event.

Coming soon on June 17th through 20th will be our Vacation Bible School. VBS is not only a great way for our youth to learn and grow in the knowledge and love of God but all the volunteers make relationships and nurture our youth. If you have not volunteered for this event, please do not hesitate. Registration is online at www.saintalbans.org and is open to our children, grandchildren, godchildren, friends, and neighbors. The title is “Weird Animals” –Where Jesus’ Love is one-of–a-kind. Many items are needed and a sign up list is available in the entrance.

On June 22nd we commemorate our name saint, St. Alban. We will be having a Potluck in the Parish Hall following the 10 am Eucharist. We will have roasted chicken and ask you to bring your favorite side dish or desert to share. Mark this on your calendar as we thank God for the wonderful example of faith and sacrifice of St. Alban and for the fantastic people who call themselves St. Alban’s Parish.

May your summer months be filled with rest and the peace of the Lord! May your time on vacation be full of learning and be fruitful! And may God keep you safe and growing in our Lord, Jesus Christ!

Faithfully in Christ,
Fr. Kresowaty+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/06/01/june-2014/

May
20
2014

Questions and…answers

Dear parish family,

As many of you may (or may not) know, our Caritas ministry is a group of young adults and young professionals that meets regularly for bible study and fellowship. One of our regular features is called “Caritas Q&A” in which we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant. As we wait on our orders, we write out questions about anything of interest or something that we’ve always wanted to know from the perspective of the Church. After our meal, we spend time discussing the questions that have been submitted. It is a great time, and I’m often told that is when I become most animated…I suppose it is because I really want to get certain points across. It has recently been suggested that I journal such questions, which has given me the idea to blog one or two questions from each of our gatherings in order to broaden the discussion. This will be my first attempt at writing down the things that I said in answer to a participant’s question.

Participants are able to submit their questions anonymously, and this question was presented to the group at our last gathering on March 29th.

Why does it seem that the closer we try to get to God, the farther away He seems to be?

This really is a fantastic question, and asking such a question is almost certain to make your priest’s day! While answering this one at Q&A, I took a number of different angles in order to further our discussion, and I’d like to use it as a point of reflection now that we are coming upon the end of our “program year”.

How have you grown over the course of this last year? We are all called to spiritual growth and to become more and more in love with our Savior, Jesus Christ. So, are there any signs in your life of this continuing process?

To answer the question most directly, the reason that God often seems farther away when we are trying to get closer to him is because God IS infinitely far away from us… “who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see.” (1 Timothy 6:16)

The more we hunger after God and see our relationship to him as it is, we realize that he is perfectly holy and we are…not. We see all of the things within our own lives that are not pleasing to Him and are sinful before an all holy God. This is exactly why we need a savior…because we can never bridge the gap between our own imperfection and the perfection of the All Holy One. The more we come to realize this, the more in love we become with Jesus who is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).

This is growth. It’s the same reason that high schoolers are no longer having to learn that 2+2=4…you’ve already learned that. As we start our spiritual journey, God leads us along through the equivalent of 2+2=4; however, that is not all that there is to know, is there? God’s intention is that we come to know him, and so we are lead to more advanced concepts, often involving trial. But don’t give up…this is God calling you deeper. The question is, do you want to do what it takes to go deeper? How have you grown this year and what are the products of that growth?

In Christ,

Fr. Joe+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/05/20/questions-and-answers/

May
01
2014

May 2014

Dear Parishioners:

Where do we find Easter in our lives? Or have we ever experienced Easter? Isn’t the experience of Easter in reality what it means to be saved?

Some people live their lives in Good Friday. Good Friday is more real to some than Easter. Suffering is what they experience in life. For affluent Americans, Good Friday is not so real, but neither is Easter. And yet with all of our affluence our lives are empty, very much a Good Friday. Material goods and running up and down the toll-ways don’t produce happiness.

The Good News of the Gospel is that there is an option, an alternative to the same old things. Jesus’ resurrection is an immense gift, the gift of eternal life– and He didn’t mean something that just happens after we die– He meant something that is available here and now.

But eternal life doesn’t happen in a magic way, by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior or by believing in Him. After all, Scripture states even Satan believed. Eternal life is participating in the very life of God by allowing Him to transform our life. This is what happens (if we allow it) in the Eucharist.

In the Eucharist, we do not just believe more firmly, at the deepest level we are consumed by love. It is not a matter of believing of what we know in our minds. Nor is it a matter of emotions or the conscious mind. It is the whole person in the deepest level: conscious, subconscious, mind, intuition, emotions, and the will. Put that together and we have what Scripture and the Church Fathers meant by the heart.

This is where the Most Holy Sacred Liturgy reaches. Here is where music helps. This is why the hymns of the Church are chosen to fit the season and Scripture themes, and take us beyond the songs of childhood, songs of the campfire or the pep rally with its slogans. The hymns take us to a deeper spiritual level where, if we are open, we may find God himself dwelling within us.

In the same way Scripture reaches into the depths of the whole person, not as a magic book or a law book, with its “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not’s”. Scripture communicates on the level of the heart as the Church Fathers meant. Scripture reveals Jesus to us not in the literal surface meaning of the words but in a kind of dialogue in which the Lord is made known to us as we respond to the Church’s understanding of Scripture and to the Holy Spirit whispering in our heart that intimate personal message.

Easter—Salvation—Eternal Life is the penetration of God into the heart of the individual who is supported by participation in community of the Church, nourished with the bread of heaven and in constant dialogue with the Word of God, pointing us to Jesus himself, in whom we are transformed.

I want to personally thank all those who participated in the events of Holy Week and Easter. Our Altar and Flower Guild had a very active week with all the various liturgies. Our Choir, directed by Thomas and accompanied by Michael did a fantastic and beautiful ministry. Our acolytes, ushers and greeters did fantastic. Randy Sparks receives a big thank you for the bulletins as well as all the Office Staff. There is a large amount of ministry, time, energy and use of God’s gifts and I believed we are so blessed to have such wonderful and active ministries given to us at St. Alban’s. Thank You!

There are also some activities I would like to call to your attention. On Friday, May 2nd, The Brotherhood of St. Andrew will host a dinner and a program on the Shroud of Turin. Tickets aremnecessary due to limited space but they are free. All you need to do is to ask for one from a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. It should be an educational, spiritual and fun evening.

May 18th will be the last day of Christian Education. The following weekend is Memorial Day Weekend and the Church Office will be closed on Monday. We will honor our Sunday School Teachers on Sunday, 1st at the 10 am Eucharist. They have done a fantastic ministry and I hope all will be present to express our gratitude to this group of faithful teachers teaching our youth about our Lord and Savior.

We tried to see if having Christian Education following the 10 am Eucharist was beneficial this past year. It did not seem to make a great difference. We will continue with the 10 am Eucharist until further notice and most likely return to our schedule of Christian Education at 9:15 am, Holy Eucharist at 10:30 am in the Fall.

May 18th also starts our Pro-life Baby Shower. We are collecting all kinds of baby items—clothes, bibs, bottles, diapers, blankets all items to help new mothers and their babies have a great beginning of life. The items we collect on Mary 18th and 25th will be donated to the Arlington and Mansfield Pregnancy Centers which offers free pre-natal medical services, education and counseling to women in our area. Don’t miss this chance to help.

Remember that Easter lasts 50 days. On the 40th day we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord and Savior. The 50th Day we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. Plan to participate in these great Feast Days of our Lord and the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/05/01/may-2014/

Apr
14
2014

Parish Happenings – April 2014

Saint Alban’s Parish
911 S. Davis Drive
Arlington, Texas 76013
(817) 274-7826


Holy Week is the most sacred week of the Christian Year.  We commemorate the events of our Lord’s command to love one another; the institution of the Eucharist; and our Lord’s Passion and Death.  These lead us to the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Easter Day.  The Lenten Season of sacrifice and self-denial are about to come to an end.  But the greatest focus for  this week is the Passion and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ and the events that led up to it.

Please make note of our services offered during Holy Week. Come participate in all of these wonderful services.


Eggs for Easter Egg Hunt

We are still collecting candy filled eggs (no chocolate, please) for our annual Easter Egg Hunt which will follow the 10am service on Easter Sunday. Please take your filled eggs to the kitchen and leave them on the counter in the container provided.


Mass of Collegiality
Tuesday, April 15 at 10:30am
St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Bedford


This is the service where the Diocese of Ft. Worth gather and  
the clergy of the Diocese renew their ordination vows and concelebrate the Eucharist. The Holy Oils are also blessed during this service and distributed to all parishes for yearly use. All are invited. Come join us for this special service.


Presentation on the Shroud of Turin

BOSA will be sponsoring a presentation by Larry Crowder on Friday, May 2nd in the Parish Hall at St. Alban’s.

Tickets are FREE! Pick yours up after each Sunday morning service or contact a BOSA member.
 
“The Mysterious Shroud of Turin – A Message of Hope”  

Larry Crowder will present a powerpoint with over 60 slides  
which present scientific evidence that the Shroud of Turin is truly the burial cloth of Christ! Come discover details that you did not know about the Crucifixion.


Work Day at Camp Crucis


Calling all men of St. Alban’s! Young and Old.

On Saturday, May 17th, we will be gathering for a Diocesan work day at Camp Crucis in Granbury. We will be clearing the horse trails of excess brush and low hanging limbs, replacing trim & some exterior painting, and many other small jobs the Director needs our help with.

Any questions, please call Charles Patton at (817) 475-8291.

If you are interested, please CLICK HERE to go the the website and sign up to let them know how many will attend. 


Pro-Life Baby Shower

This year, our Pro-Life Baby Shower will be held over 2 Sundays: May 18th and May 25th. The items we collect will be donated to the Arlington and Mansfield Pregnancy Centers which offer free prenatal medical services, education and counseling to women in our area.

Watch for sales & start collecting items now! The following is a list of items they need. Be sure they are gender neutral!

Baby Clothes * Bibs * Booties * Bottles * Diapers * Small Toys Blankets * Rattles * Pacifiers * Hooded Towels * Wash Cloths Receiving Blankets * Stuffed Animals

Hand made blankets, booties & hats are especially appreciated, so please remember this ministry when starting a new sewing project! 

Holy Week Schedule

 

April 13
Palm Sunday

Holy Eucharist
8:00 am, 10:00 am and 5:30 pm

April 14
Holy Eucharist
6:00 pm
April 15
Holy Eucharist
6:00 pm

Mass of Collegiality
St. Vincent’s Cathedral – Bedford
10:30 am 

April 16
Holy Eucharist
6:00 pm

April 17
Maundy Thursday

Seder Dinner
6:00 pm

Holy Eucharist
8:00 pm

April 18 
Good Friday

Stations of the Cross 12:00 noon

Mass of the Pre-Sanctified
7:00 pm

April 19 
Holy Saturday

The Great Vigil
of Easter
8:00 pm

April 20 
Easter Sunday

Holy Eucharist 
8:00 & 10:00 am

Easter Egg Hunt following 10:00 am service

 

Links & Emails
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Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/04/14/news-april-2014/

Apr
01
2014

April 2014

Dear Parishioners:

We once again find ourselves looking toward Holy Week and Easter this month. Once again we find the answer to our most terrible questions. Where is God when evil seems to overwhelm us? Does God care that children are being killed by other children? Where is God when I am in pain and sorrow? Contrary to our experience, is God consistently reliable against evil, all evil? To get at the answer we must carefully look at what happened at the end of Jesus’ life.

The nature of sin is alienation from God and the goodness of God, so that the goodness of God is no longer understood. Nothing of His goodness; not His love, not His forgiveness, not His mercy, not His power and glory, can be understood as long as sin clouds the human mind. It is this fact that caused Jesus’ death. Sin blinding men is what killed Him. He died at the hands of blind men. “I came,” Jesus said, “to give sight to the blind, and to take sight from those who say they see.”(John 9:39)

Because of sin, all those who held the fate of Jesus in their hands could not see the truth about this man. He is innocent but they can’t see it. Strictly speaking, it is sin which condemns Jesus.

Our own sins may be many or few, but we are all involved in the sinful situation of our race. We live by choosing, choosing between self and God. And sometime or another we have all chosen self, and that is the opposite of love; and that is sin. Why do people not see the hand of God? We are blinded in our sin.

Choosing self-separates us from God; sin is separation. But God hates this separation, and means to destroy everything that causes it. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth.” (Romans 1:18)

Jesus is love, the love of God in the flesh; it is a love that contains all goodness. But condemned by sin, Jesus’ love is so self-less, He chooses to accept the verdict of sin—that He is a sinner. If sin proclaims Him guilty, so be it. He chooses to take upon Himself that which sin sees in Him, the sin of all men and women who have ever lived or ever will live.

He, who knew no sin, chooses to become sin for us. And what is the upshot? That men crucify him. Not only that, but in the crucifixion He feels all the wrath of His Father–the wrath of the Father against the Son.

The wrath of God, as St. Paul tells us, is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness, not against men and women, themselves. But Jesus must experience the separation of sin from His Father because He has chosen to become sin and so he cries out from the Cross: “My God, My god, why has Thou forsaken me.”

Jesus becomes the focal point, the place where all sin is gathered, and God’s wrath can be directed against it, and destroy it. And we see it happening.

It is here at the cross we find our terrible questions about God answered. Evils, injustices, moral failures, distresses and sorrows surround and we cry out, does God care? Does God care that children are killing other children? Does He care that a mother is taken away from her young children by cancer. Does He care that so many have to make their way through life unloved by anyone?

And in our daily life itself there is a hardness, a stress, unavoidable failure as we strain after goodness and kindness and love, that grinds and fossilizes us against our own will.

Does God care? Contrary to our experience, is God consistently reliable against evil, all evil? The cross is the answer. All evil is here as if under a magnifying glass. In the passion of Christ, the wrath of God is revealed. Here the righteousness, the overflowing, forceful, energizing holiness of God is finally revealed for all to see.

If you want to know if God cares about evil, look here. God will go to all lengths against evil, even the length of killing His own Son to deliver mankind from it.
Because we, along with all who have ever lived, have taken into ourselves impiety, ungodliness (something deliberately anti- God), and unrighteousness (sinning out of weakness and selfishness) and made them our own, made them by our choices part of ourselves; because of that, God’s rescue from evil is a rescue from ourselves, that is our false selves.

But because it is a rescue from ourselves, it cannot but be painful. Take up your cross and follow me; as Christians the pain of our daily lives is one with the cross. Was God successful in destroying all sin and evil on the cross? Don’t look at yourself; we are still on the cross. Look at Easter for the “wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through our Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

I hope to see you at all the services offered in Holy Week, especially Maundy Thursday; The Good Friday Liturgy; The Great Vigil of Easter or the Sunday of the Resurrection. Come participate in the great salvific act of our God.

Faithfully,
Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/04/01/april-2014/

Mar
01
2014

March 2014

Dear Parishioners:

Do you remember the phrase, “spring cleaning?” I know some of our younger ones have no clue what spring cleaning is about. In the good old days before technology freed us from this chore, area rugs would be hung on the clothesline and beaten to get the winter dirt and soot from the coal furnaces we had in our homes. I remember as a child going down to my grandmother’s basement and looking at the coal furnace—no longer working of course—and other antiques such as a pedal sewing machine that were stored there. When growing up in Illinois, we still had spring cleaning in our house. While we did not have to beat the area rugs, we did have to hand wax the wooden floors; clean the storm windows; clean the window sills as well as the windows themselves; clean out closets and drawers; as well as vacuum and dust the whole house. All the dust, dirt, and things we had collected over the winter months now needed attention. The windows were flung open for clean fresh air to fill the house.

The Season of Lent is a time for us to have a kind of spring cleaning. We have collected all kinds of dirt and soot in our lives. We need to clean out the things we have stuck in our closets and drawers that we have not wanted to deal with. We need to be open to a washing away of the dirt we have collected and been prevented from dealing with. Lent is a season for us to open ourselves up to the cleansing grace given to us by our Lord, Jesus Christ.

We begin not by belly gazing but lifting up our eyes to the Cross. This is not an exercise of self-awareness but of realization and response to what God has done for us. He is the one that has taken away the sin of the world and calls us to participate in that life he calls us to. Has pride been something we have ignored to the detriment of a relationship with God? Has anger caused us to cause damage and hurt to others? Have lies, twisting the truth, been used to make us appear something we are not? What have we stuck in a closet or in a drawer that we have been unwilling to deal with?

The Church, in God’s wisdom is here to help. Lent is the time for examination, repentance and amendment of life with God’s help. It is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to the glory of God as a means to open ourselves, our souls and bodies, to his healing and saving grace.

March 2nd starts off with World Mission Sunday. This Sunday is dedicated to helping the Mission and Ministry of SOMA –Sharing of Ministry Abroad. If you remember, Dr. Glen Petta came to speak to us about the ministry and mission of SOMA a couple of years ago. It is an opportunity to celebrate that we are a missionary Parish. We will take a special “mission offering” to be used for the international work of SOMA. Its mission is to build up clergy, spouses, and lay leaders through short-term mission and retreats to serve God in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

In addition to Mission Sunday, enclosed with this newsletter are a prayer guide and Lenten Mite Box for each family to use. The Sunday School students will also be receiving a Mite Box for their personal use. As individuals and families, I commend to your use these prayer guides and Lenten Mite Boxes each and every day of Lent. “They will help everyone learn a little more about our brothers and sisters in Christ from Myanmar, frank peretti speaker olympian winner of mary lou retton wedding texasUganda, Peru, Pakistan, Ethiopia and around the world and have the opportunity to place a small thanksgiving donation in your mite box on their behalf. There will be suggested daily prayers for those suffering poverty during Lent. After all Lent is a time of reflection and remembrance in which we acknowledge our own need for mercy and the desperate needs for food, security and love in the world around us. During Lent we recognize that we are all equally poor—whether spiritually or materially—before God, and equally the recipients of His radical Grace.” (Paraphrased from the Anglican Development and Relief Fund Web site)

Shrove Tuesday we will once again have the opportunity to help our Boy Scout Troop 82. By joining us for our Pancake Supper you will have a “fat” meal served as well as some great entertainment. Our own Jon Stutler and Razzmajazz will provide the fantastic music. I hope you will come and join us as we celebrate Shrove Tuesday with a pancake supper, fellowship and great entertainment. Shrove Tuesday derives its name from “Shriving” or to confess our sins and receive absolution pronounced by a priest. This tradition of “shriving” on Shrove Tuesday is more than to just feast on fattening food. It is our preparation for the season of Lent. Confession will be available from 11:30 am to Noon.

Ash Wednesday is March 5th and again we will have Confessions available from 11 am to 11:30 am and 6 pm to 6:30 pm. The Imposition of Ashes and Eucharist will be a Noon and at 7 pm. Ash Wednesday should be of high priority as it sets the tone for the Season of Lent. Our Lenten Schedule of other offerings is available elsewhere in this Legate. We will have speakers and Lenten Concerts; a defense class; and Deacon Nancy will offer on Sunday evening at 6:30 pm a class on Prayer and the Gospel of St. Matthew. One of the speakers will be our own Fr. Maneikis who will share his recent trip to Turkey and the Hagia Sophia. At the writing of this Newsletter things are still in the organizing phase so please watch your Sunday Bulletin for more complete information. Concerts, classes and speakers are great times to invite family, friends and neighbors, so please invite them to join us.

Lent is a very important time for a Christian. It sets the tone, it allows us to enter into the spring cleaning of our selves, our souls and bodies. It prepares us to enter in the celebration of Easter with joy that comes only from our Lord and his Resurrection. May we all have a blessed and fruitful Lent.

In Christ,
Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/03/01/march-2014/

Jan
01
2014

January 2014

Dear Parishioners:

First you are a blessing when we had to be homebound during the ice storm. Although it is probably a distant memory now, I want to thank you for responding as you did. Yes it was a very difficult decision to make to cancel Sunday Services, but you took it in stride and were excellent about your stewardship. Thank you for your understanding.

Second, you are a blessing for a wonderful celebration of my 30th Anniversary of Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood. Your love, your presence and your generosity are beyond words. My heartfelt gratitude, appreciation and love to each one of you for a wonderful celebration. Thank you also for your most generous gift. It is greatly appreciated. I would like to mention a few names although I know I will miss someone. My expressed gratitude to Randy Sparks who oversaw the arrangements for the celebration: to Susie and Don Wheaton for the floral arrangements and decorations in the Parish Hall; to our Flower Guild for the Sunday Floral arrangement; to Thomas, Michael and our choir for their beautiful music for the Evensong; to Julie and Britt Todd for the Bulletins; to Bob Yarger for his excellent photography; to our Vestry who provided for this special occasion to occur; to our Acolytes, Ushers, and Clergy who graciously joined in the celebration; to our Bishop for his presence and renewal of Ordination Vows; to those who loaned lamps and vases for the reception; to my staff for all their help and organization; and not least but to my family and my parish family who have been and continually are loving, supportive, and an inspiration to me despite all my faults. Thank you all from my heart.

Third, you were a blessing helping to make the celebration of the Incarnation of our Lord so beautiful and meaningful. Christmas is a very special time of year. We give thanks to God for the birth of his Son, our Lord and Savior and pray that his presence and grace will be with us. The love our God has for us is indescribable. It is a time of family and friends and the celebration of love come down. Thank you for all your ministry and help you have given to make it a special time of year.

January brings us the celebrations of the Epiphany, the manifestation of our Lord and the Baptism of our Lord. There will be no Christian Education as we will be having a brunch on January 5th in anticipation of the Epiphany. On the day of Epiphany, January 6th the Eucharist will be celebrated in the Church at 10 am. The Baptism of our Lord is on the 12th of January and it is a great time to look up your own Baptism date. Many of us were baptized as infants and don’t know when we were made new people in Christ. Look around in family Bibles or in one of those important paper boxes we all have. Since at this time we do not have any Baptisms scheduled, we will renew our own Baptismal Vows on this Sunday.

On January 26th is our Annual Parish Meeting. Please mark your calendars as we will have one service at 9 am followed by our Meeting in the Parish Hall. We have a great slate of candidates to be elected to the Vestry. The budget for 2014 will be presented as well as reports of the various ministries will be available. All parishioners in good standing and giver of record are eligible to vote. This is another good reason to get that pledge card in.

Again Thank You for all the Blessings you have been to me this past year. May you be blessed this New Year with God’s abundant love and mercy.

In Christ,
Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2014/01/01/january-2014/

Nov
01
2013

November 2013

Dear Parishioners:

November brings not only the cool weather but the countdown to the Holidays. We begin November with All Saints’ Day, November 1st. We commemorate those living and departed who have been the chosen vessels of God. The Eucharist will be celebrated at 10 am in the Chapel on November 1st. November 2nd is All Soul’s Day. We will remember all those loved ones who have gone before us at the 10am Eucharist on Saturday, November 2nd. Also, please remember to fall back one hour on Saturday as the time is here.

November 3rd our Bookstore will host a Holiday Tea. I ask you to invite your friends and neighbors to this wonderful event. Even our youth will have a table at the Holiday Tea. Our Bookstore is part of the ministry of outreach at St. Alban’s. Not only do they offer books and gifts to the Parish and community, profits of items sold at our Bookstore are given to organizations that help the community of Arlington. It is also a great time to do a little shopping for the holidays as well as pick up a new Church Calendar, Advent Candles or wreath. Please join us in supporting this ministry and outreach of St. Alban’s.

On Saturday, November 9th our Altar and Flower Guild will have their annual luncheon. We will gather for the Eucharist at 10 am followed by the luncheon in the Parish Hall. I especially want to thank our Altar and Flower Guild for their ministry to our Lord by preparing the Altar for the celebration of the Eucharist and our Flower Guild for providing beautiful arrangements also for the glory of our Lord. If you are interested in being part of this ministry, please see Janie Lundy for the Altar Guild or Jana Stutler for the Flower Guild.

Diocesan Convention is the next Friday and Saturday at St. Peter and St. Paul, Arlington. Our Delegates will be there representing St. Alban’s as well as our clergy. Bishop Ray Sutton, Bishop Coadjutor of Mid-America will be our guest preacher at the Eucharist Friday evening. Please pray for our Bishop and our Convention as they meet. As far as a report on the lawsuit, late Friday October 18th, TEC appealed to the Texas Supreme Court for a rehearing of their case. We are once again in the “wait” pattern to see if the Supreme Court will agree or deny the rehearing. The odds for a rehearing are very small, as Scott Brister, one of our lawyers and former Texas Supreme Court Judge has written. Please continue your prayers as we wait with patience for the case to move forward.

Sunday, November 17th is a very important day as our Bishop will be with us at the 10am Eucharist. We will have Baptisms, Confirmation, Reception and Renewal of Baptismal Vows celebrated. The children who have been attending First Communion Classes will share in receiving Christ’s Body and Blood for the first time this Sunday. A covered dish potluck reception will follow in the Parish Hall where you may also greet our Bishop. Meat and dessert will be provided by the church. It is an exciting day to welcome our Bishop and celebrate the Sacraments of the Church. Please join us.

November 17th is also the deadline to bring in your Operation Christmas Child Shoebox. If you haven’t picked one up, please do so. You fill the box with small items for a boy or a girl as per the instructions in the box and return it to the Church no later than the 17th as they will be gathered on the 18th for shipping to boys and girls around the world who would not have a Christmas without your help. It is a great ministry to help children know the love of our Lord and Christians around the world.

November is also the month we kick off our Advent Project. Glenda Morgan is leading this ministry and we thank her for her leadership. We ask that you bring in cans of food or give donations to the Advent Project. We can also use your help sorting the food and wrapping boxes to put the food in. Again it is an outreach ministry to those who could not have a holiday season without our help.

Thanksgiving is on November 28th this year. We will anticipate Thanksgiving with a Eucharist at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 27th. It is a great time to bring in food for our Advent Project. Let us give thanks for the bountiful blessings God has poured and is pouring upon us. The Parish Office will be closed for Thanksgiving Day and Friday. There will be no 9:30 am Wednesday Eucharist as we will gather that evening.
December 1st is the beginning of the New Year for the Church. We anticipate our Lord’s coming again as we also anticipate celebrating his Nativity. Since this is usually a very busy time for each one of us, I would like you to mark your calendars for Sunday, December 15th at 5:30 pm. I hope you will join in the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of my Ordination to the Priesthood. We will begin at 5:30 pm with Evensong. Our guest preacher will be a long time priest and friend, The Reverend Larry Bausch from San Diego. Our Bishop will be here and I hope all of our Parish family will be also. A reception in the Parish Hall has been planned with a delicious menu. Babysitting will also be available. If you don’t drive in the evening, please let us know as we will try to find a ride for you. I hope you will join me in this celebration.

Finally, but very important, I encourage everyone to fill out and turn in their commitment card for Stewardship. Writing down our commitment is saying I am accountable for my vows to God. Don’t worry if something might happen that would not allow you to fulfill your decision. God is very aware of what is going on in your life and spirit. As far as the Church goes, you may change your commitment amount any time emergencies or unexpected expenses pop up as they do. Just let Pat Sparks or myself know so we can make the necessary change. Our stewardship is one of the ways we can say yes to God and support the ministry of his Church.

Many opportunities are available for us at St. Alban’s this November. May God bless our endeavors and bless each one of you as we approach this holiday season.

In Christ,
Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2013/11/01/november-2013/

Oct
01
2013

October 2013

Dear Parishioners:

As we anticipate our Stewardship for 2014 there is often an air of hurried, guilty distaste surrounding the task. “Here are those cards to fill out once again!” We don’t mind giving, but must it be so often? We almost begrudge the church its need. But in doing so we are liable to overlook our own need.

In the heart of us all there is a stubborn kernel of covetousness. The whole point of giving to God is that our giving itself becomes a sacramental path for grace to enter our hearts, softening and finally consuming that kernel. Joy Davidman, in “Smoke on the Mountain”, beautifully describes the process.

“Not until Christ came were we shown the real alternative to covetousness, in that charity which not only loves to give but also takes with love. And not until Paul taught us did we understand how a man may appeal to the Grace for help against the covetous-ness in his own heart.

Christianity is everywhere paradoxical, everywhere too difficult for simple black and white thinking; but nowhere more so than in its doctrine of worldly goods. For they are good things—and yet we must not long for them–they are to be enjoyed—and yet we must not make that enjoyment our goal.

They are God’s plenty; in the form of bread and wine, they are the very symbols of that act of God which makes and keeps us man; they are ‘things we need of;’ yet we must not devote our lives to getting them.

If we have them, the best possible thing we can do is to give them away; if we don’t have them, we may expect to get them, but we mustn’t worry about it! The Savior who bestows miraculous loaves and fishes upon the multitude is the same who proclaims that man does not live by bread alone, and he who teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily Bread,” also warns us, “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?” It seems almost that we are told not to desire what, by our very natures, we cannot live without.

The paradox is easier once we remember that the text runs, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” –once we remember the distinction between end and means. Seeing God face to face is our goal; the pleasures of life, and even life itself, are the means to it. Therefore the milk and honey and corn and wine and soft chairs and fine houses and swift automobiles—all those pleasant things—exist primarily as a kind of currency of love; a means whereby men can exchange love with one another and thus be capable of the love of God.

In charity, we value such things not only for their pleasantness, but also because we can give them away and give our love with them; or else because, in receiving them, we receive others’ love for us as a baby at the breast sucks his mother’s love with her milk.

Nowadays we usually praise the power to give, which implies worldly success, far beyond the power to take, and we are sometime ashamed of “receiving charity.” Yet Christ and the apostles were not. Though it be more blessed to give than to receive, to be fully Christian one must know how to do both with the same humility and the same joy.”

I would like to thank Thomas Rinn, Jon Stutler and our Jazz ensemble as well as our St. Alban’s Singers for a moving Jazz Mass for Rally Sunday. They did an excellent ministry and I hope they jazzed you up to Celebrate Ministry: Time, Talent and Treasure. Our focus on Rally Sunday was time and talent. If you did not join in a ministry, please take the time to call one of our ministry leaders found in our Come, Belong, Become booklet and join in the ministry of our Lord and St. Alban’s.

On Saturday, October 5th at 10 am in the Parish Hall we will have our Annual Blessing of the Animals. Bring those cherished pets to receive God’s Blessing. As I have said many times it does not guarantee any better behavior on their part or ours–but is a great way to thank God for the wonderful gift of our animals and pets.

On Saturday, October 12th, from 9 am until 2 pm at Christ the King, Fort Worth, all women of the parish are invited to join in the Fall Women’s Congress. The topic is Today’s Modern Gal—Embracing Modern Life through Biblical Principals. The cost is $15 or $17 by credit card.

Sunday, October 13th we will have a special Compline Service. Thomas Rinn our Choir Director has written an article on this special service. In addition our Brotherhood of Saint Andrew and our Youth Group will join together to host an Oktoberfest Dinner– Brats, and hotdogs for the little ones. This Oktoberfest dinner is also a fund raiser for the youth. They are raising funds to help furnish the youth room with new furniture. I hope you will join us not only for the sung service of Compline but the dinner to help support our youth group.

As I write this article we are in the last phase of hiring a new organist for the Parish. Please keep this ministry in your prayers. Hopefully soon, maybe before this article is read, I will be announcing a new staff member for our wonderful music ministry.

On Sunday, October 27th there will be a special treat for our youth. They will receive it from their Christian Education teacher. Following Christian Education, we will have pumpkin carving in the Parish Hall. Come join in this family and fun activity. Learn again the meaning of the jack-o-lantern.

Finally, you have been sent a letter and a commitment card for 2014 by our Stewardship Committee. Please place it where you will see it every day to remind you to pray to God about your commitment. Am I giving according to the Biblical Tithe? Am I able to move my commitment towards the tithe? Am I giving joyfully to the Lord? Then fill it out and return it by placing it in the box provided or the offering plate.

May God Bless and Keep you!

In Christ,
Fr. K+

Permanent link to this article: http://www.saintalbans.org/2013/10/01/october-2013/

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