Your prayers, support and contributions will help us keep a faithful Anglican presence and traditional Anglican worship alive and kickin' here in the Texas Hill Country. We have a lot to do to bring our parish mission to this part of God's world: to be "Catholic in Tradition, Biblical in Faith and Sacramental in Worship." Your generous (and tax-deductible!) donations will help fund that mission and keep us movin'!
Our Sunday Schedule is:
9.00 AM Morning Prayer
9.30 AM Holy Eucharist (sung with sermon)
10.45 AM Fun, Food and Fellowship
As much fun, food and fellowship as Anglicans allow themselves to have
11.15 AM Class (first, second, fourth and fifth Sundays; the parish Vestry meets on the third Sunday)
1.00 PM - Evening Prayer during the summer
4.00 PM - Evening Prayer rest of the year
4.00 PM - Evensong on the Second Sunday of each month
Our Sunday morning Liturgy (Morning Prayer followed by the Holy Eucharist) is live-streamed on our parish Facebook page beginning at 9.00 AM each Sunday morning. www.facebook.com/stjosephsnewbraunfels
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
11:45 AM - Morning Prayer
12:00 noon - Mass
7.00 PM - Evening Prayer
Holy Days as above
For each week's schedule of Saint's Days & Holy Days, and the Epistoller's Schedule, see the schedule on our "About Us" page
Parish Dates to Note in May:
Vestry Meeting: Our Vestry usually meets on the third Sunday of each month at 11.15 AM; in May, that date is the 21st.
Parish Women’s (Healthy!) Breakfast: meets next on Saturday, May 6 at 10.30 AM (after Morning Prayer at 10.00 AM)
Parish Men's Not-So- Healthy Breakfast: Saturday, May 27 in David Hall at 10.30 AM (after Morning Prayer at 10.00 AM)
Bishop Peter Ng'ang'a will be with us on May 14th as celebrant and May 28th (Whitsunday) 30th as preacher.
This Sunday’s Liturgy: Whitsunday
Whitsunday ranks with Christmas and Easter as one of the Great Feasts of the Christian Calendar. The services for the feast are similar to those of Easter Day and as complicated for the dedicated liturgist, but at St Joseph’s, we’ll mark the day with its customarily rites and ceremonies a bit simplified. Aside from the readings and chants appointed for the day, there are some things we must do that are a bit “out of the ordinary.”
Whitsunday is the medieval English word used for the feast of Pentecost. The liturgical color for Whitsunday is red (how it came to be called “White Sunday” is something for another time), the Church’s “color” for feasts and celebrations of the Holy Ghost. You know that Whitsunday is the feast of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Lord’s apostles on the Pentecost following His resurrection. Because of the extraordinary events of that first Christian Pentecost, Whitsunday is sometimes celebrated as “the birthday of the Church” (St Thomas Aquinas says otherwise and I will not dispute St Thomas, but it is a good excuse for a party!).
Before the Christian Pentecost, however, the Jews celebrated a feast of Pentecost (Pentecost is the Greek word for “fiftieth”) which they called Shavuot, the “Feast of Weeks,” fifty days after Passover. It was a celebration of God giving Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.
So in many churches (ours included), we’ll read the Ten Commandments at the beginning of Mass. After the Alleluia chant, but before the Gospel, we’ll chant the ancient Sequence Hymn, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, appointed for the day (fear not, we’ll sing it in English this year). When Deacon Lee reads the Gospel, however, the excitement begins. You’ll hear strange tongues spoken throughout the congregation, as the Gospel is read in a multiplicity of languages: Greek, French, Gaelic, Latin, Kiswahili, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, German and finally, Chaucer’s English (which you’ll remember from Canterbury Tales!).
This year, Whitsunday falls on Memorial Day Weekend. During Mass we’ll pray for those who’ve fallen in defense of our country and after we sing Sunday’s closing hymn, we’ll bring the American flag forward, we’ll pray, and the bishop will; asperse it. We’ll sing “My Country, T’is of Thee” and head outdoors. Following Apostolic Custom, we’ll bless and release 6,000 Ladybugs into our parish garden and the party begins (which includes a birthday cake for the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (I think this is the 1,990th, so no candles).
9.00 AM - Morning Prayer
9.30 AM - the Holy Eucharist (sung): Bp Ng'ang'a, preacher, Fr Wilcox, celebrant
10.45 AM - Memorial Day Tribute
11.00 AM - Blessing & Release of the Whitsun Ladybugs
11.15 AM - Parish Whitsun Barbeque
4.00 PM - Evening Prayer
Bishop Ng’ang’a on Christmas Cows for Kenya
Last Sunday after Mass, Bishop Ng’ang’a spoke to us about his adventures with powers both governmental and ecclesiastical in supplying a couple of cows and goats to a few rural Anglican families in Kenya. It sounded like a ovel, but he persevered and in doing so, has established a pattern by which we can actually help people in need rather than bureaucrats in want. But be warned, the Bishop is a clever man as well as a genuinely good one, and I’m pretty sure there’s a “ ‘Christmas in July’ Cows for Kenya” collection a-planning. Tanya’s already designing the envelopes.
Whitsun Speaking in Tongues
This Sunday, the Feast of Pentecost, looks back to the day flames danced on the heads of the Apostles as the Holy Ghost descended on the Church: Pentecost is sometimes called “the Church’s Birthday.” To celebrate, Fr Wilcox and Tanya will present the parish with a Happy 1,990thBirthday Cake to sweeten our barbeque lunch. So set aside your red blouse or tie (or socks) to wear for the occasion (‘cause even though it’s called Whitsunday, the liturgical color of the feast is red – it’s one of those “mysteries of the Church” nobody can quite explain).
Whatever your Pentecostal friends may say about stogy old Anglicans, Whitsunday is our day for “speaking in tongues!” The Epistle for the day, from the Acts of the Apostles, tells how the Holy Ghost came down on the Apostles and they “began to speak with other tongues.” People from all parts of the world heard them speak about “the wonderful works of God,” each in his own language. On Pentecost we’ll read the day’s Gospel in different languages: in the past, we’ve heard Spanish, French, German, Welsh and Russian, as well as Greek, Latin, Coptic, Kiswahili and Anglo-Saxon! This year we’ll add Gaelic and Chinese to the list.
Whitsun Parish Barbeque and Sing-Along (and a bit of dancing, too)
After we finish speaking in other tongues during the Liturgy, and after we release 6,000 Ladybugges into the parish gardens, we’ll cap the day with a parish barbeque, sing-a-long (“Waltzing with Bears” will be among the songs) and maybe even a bit of dancing outside between the parked cars and bikini-clad tubers who’ll be passing through our property on Whitsunday. Our Junior Warden Bill Hull will be in charge of the outdoor barbeque and Jan Bates will be the Misteress of the Kitchen for the day. So try a bit of old-fashioned fasting before Communion that day and come to Mass hungry, then you’ll really be ready for some of the best burgers you’ll find in central Texas. Don’t forget your dancing shoes, loosen up your tongue and remember to wear red of Whitsunday!
Confirmation Class Meets Next on Sunday, June 4
Last Sunday we began our Confirmation Class for 2023. The class will meet the first and last Sunday of each month (except May, because of Whitsunday on May 28th) for 45 minutes, beginning at 12 noon. The class is open to all, confirmed or not. We’ll use the Prayer Book “Offices of Instruction,” Fr Moss’ Summary of the Faith and readings from Fr Carleton’s The King’s Highway. The course will conclude in November with Bishop Ng’ang’a doing Confirmation (dv) on the First Sunday in Advent (December 3rd).
Trinity Sunday’s Mysteries
Sunday, June 4 is the Feast of the Holy Trinity; all y’all know that means we keep the feast not only by stumbling our way through the labyrinthine Trinitarian phrases of the Athanasian Creed, but after church we continue our Trinitarian observance with Trinity Sundaes made exclusively with Neapolitan Ice Cream (three flavors in one ice cream). It may not be perfect theology (it’s a bit Sabellian), but it makes for a tasty meditation…my old friend (old in both senses!), the Rev Deacon Denis Mahoney, esq, told me something almost forty years ago which I remember afresh every year when Trinity Sunday rolls around: “No clergyman should ever be allowed to preach on Trinity Sunday, since none of you understand what he’s talking about” (he said this before he was made deacon, so I don’t know whether he’d say it today, since he probably doesconsider himself qualified!). Though he’s doubtless correct about incompetent preaching on the Holy Trinity, if that rule were applied across the board, the only thing clergyman could sermonize about would be how to sin…
“The riddles of God ae more satisfying than the solutions of man.” – G K Chesterton, The Book of Job [Introduction], 1916
See this week's Liturgical Schedule on our "About Us" page
Parish Food Closet
We collect non-perishable food items throughout the year and every two months we caravan the donations to the New Braunfels SOS Food Bank. Our current food collection is continuing till Sunday, September 5, so please remember to bring something for one of our collection baskets by then. We have one collection basket by the front entrance of David Hall, just ot the right of the door. The other basket is in the back of the church on the Gospel side. Thanks to your ongoing generosity, st Joseph's is one of the major contributors to our local food bank.
Options for Life
Throughout Lent we've been raising money for an annual gift to the New Braunfels "Options for Life" Program, supporting young, single mothers struggling to raise their children. The garishly-colored plastic baby bottles lined up on the narthex table are for you to take home and fill up as part of our common parish Lenten Alms program. We also have an OfL Collection Jar in our parish hall for through-the-year donations. We'll being collecting bottles on Easter Day and on Whitsunday present our check to the office of OfL.
On Memorial Day and Veterans' Day we take up special collections for the "Wreaths Across America" program. At Christmastime, we participate in this by laying wreaths at the graves of veterans in New Braunfels and Comal County. For more information, contact Tanya Wilcox.
Most-Needed Items at Food Bank
The brochure for our local Food Bank lists the following items as their greatest needs: Canned meats, tuna, chicken or salmon; Meals in a can (soup, stew, chili); Low-sodium canned vegetables; Canned fruit in its own juice or water; Peanut butter; Olive or canola oil; Spices (cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, salt-free spice blends); Canned foods with pop-top lids; Low-sugar whole grain cereals; Healthy snacks (granola bars, nuts, dried fruit).
Their brochure goes on to say: “Please avoid items packed in glass. No candy or sugar-sweetened drinks. We request that you do not donate bulk quantities of rice, flour, or sugar. Although we appreciate and can utilize every donation we receive, the Food Bank does not have the repackaging facilities needed to properly distribute such items.”
Summertime Food Bank Ingathering
Our Summertime SOS Food Bank Ingathering has begun and will continue until Labor Day weekend. Food donations should be of canned goods and nonperishable items. The Food Bank prepared a list of their special needs which is on a green sheet on our narthex table. We have wo stations for the Ingathering, the wicker basket in the back corner of the church (on the “Gospel Side”) and the large white basket in David Hall to the right of the front entrance as you come in the front door. Thank you for your ongoing generosity to this worthy cause.
Bishop Ng’ang’a’s Schedule
I am grateful to Bishop Ng’ang’a, who altered his schedule to be with us for the Sundays of Passiontide and Easter Day this year. It’s always a joy for us when anna joins him. Y’all will recall I asked you to go to him on Passion Sunday and sweet-talk him into coming for all three Sundays. Quite a few of you did. Thanks! He’ll be with us on the Third Sunday after Easter (April 30) to celebrate the success of our Christmas Cows for Kenya program (yes, we’ll be taking up another collection!). When he’s here, thank him again for spending those Sundays with us (don’t let on, but we’re buttering him up for something else!).
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