Church Dates for February & March
Diocesan Council Fri. & Sat. Feb. 25 – 26
Pancake Supper 6:000 – 7:00 Tuesday March 1
Ash Wednesday 12 noon & 6:00 pm Wednesday March 2
Spiritual Life Dates for February
For Lent: “The Rest of the Story”: Classes and discussion group:
Sundays after lunch 1:00 – 2:00, March 6 – April 3. Five one hour, one session.
The first class is addresses where the Episcopal Church came from and what is unique about it.
“The Essential Story”: coming in April of 2022, a condensed course to be completed before Pentecost, and the end of the school year and before the start of summer vacations.
Children’s Church was blessed to have two new teachers train for Godly Play work allowing us room to grow. It’s good to welcome Roy Hinojosa to this very important ministry to our youngest Episcopalians.
‘Rite – 3 Patio Service’
This service has been created for people who would never feel comfortable in a traditional church. We created four videos about what makes this approach to God and spiritual growth different. Look over these very short videos and forward them to friends and family who don’t really go to church anywhere and who perhaps grew up in the Episcopal world.
“Spiritual but not religious” https://youtu.be/10dwoK8PpN0
“Bring your dog and coffee, but most importantly your desire” https://youtu.be/VgqGfSjcHWA
“Social Justice and Spiritual Awakening” https://youtu.be/PaZp5ytPB9Y
“Transformation here and now” https://youtu.be/168_uHj0EXA
In case you missed this at the Annual Parish Meeting: we had a fine year in 2021 in regards to budgets and finances. We now have about 115 pledges which is a very high 80% of our congregation. In 2022 due to increases in fixed cost we have a deficit of about $35,000. This was communicated by letter to the congregation. Fr. David volunteered a $5,000 one-time reduction in salary to begin to whittle down the deficit. So, we are now down to $30K. Consider you options and let us know if you can help with this situation.
The Four Loves – “Education, Inspiration, and Action”
- Love the Earth: Climate Change
For the waters of the ocean deep and the land which stand above the seas, all these are God’s own finest act of artistry. Psalm 95:4-5
* Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, is asking for climate action to reduce greenhouse gases right away. He gave this compelling interview calling all Episcopalians to understand the issues and the changes needed.
* The Diocese of West Texas, for the first time, will present a piece on climate change at Council 2022 Feb. 25-26. It will introduced by the Diocesan committee for environmental stewardship.
* Fr. David is leading a sub-committee of the Climate Reality Project in San Antonio for faith-based communities. He is also working with climate groups specifically in the Episcopal Church in San Antonio – especially Church of Reconciliation. Ask if you want to join up or know more.
* A recommended book on spirituality and protecting earth from climate change: “Rooted and Rising”. Click here.
- Love Peace
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’ – Matthew 5:9
* Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Peace, reconciliation, non-violence, justice and reconciliation all these are central to the Good News of Jesus. Operating on many levels of healing from personal trauma to peace in the Middle East here is information on how to go deeper in this aspect of the work of Jesus and do so as a community here at St. Andrew’s. Click here for more information.
- Love the Poor
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.’ Luke 4:18
* Going beyond charity
At St. Andrew’s we help with CAM, Habitat for Humanity, Food Pantry, Angel Tree, the Honduran Mission Trip, and Good Samaritan Christmas meals. All wonderful ministries!
As we move forward, we would also like to consider if changes need to, or can be made to our economic systems so that more people do not need generous charity. The ability ‘to work hard and get ahead’ is sort of the American Dream. Actually, many other countries are set up better than ours in this regard (we ranked 27th in 2020). If you want to look at systemic long-term changes needed to foster a more equitable society – let’s talk.
Roger Graham and investment advisor and a sharp thinker in the area of creating and sustaining wealth – met with Fr. David. We discussed how to operate within the free market system and use the power of group action to balance forces of management and capital. Group actions include unified consumer choices, and unified employee choices. A balance of power makes the system more equitable.
- Love the Outsider and Stranger
‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’. Matthew 25:34
* Immigration Ministry Updates & News
Our People separated in the Immigration System
One of the families we helped pass through San Antonio, led by the mother – Brenda – went to a mid-west city to meet up with her son who is already here. Her three children under her care went with her. They await their final asylum case hearing in the future.
However, two other members of the family who are in their twenties – being adults over 18 years of age – where not allowed by U.S. authorities to come with her. So, this family like thousands of others cannot be together: four on one side of the border, two on the other.
The Stranger and the Outsider in our midst
Amazing but true: about 66,000 legal asylum seekers with papers in hand and court hearings to go to passed through San Antonio in 2021. We directly helped five (two families) make their way to their sponsors. While immigration policies and rules change at our borders and the number of people looking to leave their countries ebbs and flows there are many opportunities to do small things which end up making a difference. As we learn ‘the system’ we will present it to the congregation in a teaching in 2022 and as soon as possible. St. Andrew’s is working closely with these two immigration ministries as we try to be open to the stranger and the outsider – ask Fr. David if you want to know more:
– Interfaith Welcome Coalition. – Updated website.
– Episcopal Diocese of West Texas Immigration Ministries. – Feb. 7th newsletter.
Why these Four Loves?
Why are doing these social things? I thought Jesus wasn’t political?
Where did the idea of the Four Loves come from? The short answer is ‘Jesus’. But here is a 5-minute presentation which spells it out nicely. Click here.