We seek to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness," following the Anglican liturgy found in the Book of Common Prayer (1928) and the Anglican Missal.
During the Summer - till the week after Labor Day - on Sundays Morning Prayer will be read at 9.00 AM, the Holy Eucharist offered at 9.30, and Evening Prayer will be read at 1.00 PM.
On Wednesdays, Thursday, and Fridays through the Summer, Morning Prayer will be read at 10.30 AM, with Evening Prayeer at 7.00 PM and the Holy Eucharist offered at 7.30 PM
Our Schedule for the other seasons of the year is:
7.35 AM Morning Prayer
8.00 AM Holy Eucharist (said)
9.15 Bible Class
10.30 AM Holy Eucharist (sung)
11.45 AM Fun, Food and Fellowship
As much fun, food and fellowship as Anglicans allow themselves to have
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
Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays
11:45 AM - Morning Prayer
12:00 noon - Mass
7.00 PM - Evening Prayer
Holy Days as above
For each weeks schedule of Saint's Days and Holy Days, see the schedule on our "About Us" page
Reading St Augustine’s The City of God
St Augustine began to write The City of God in AD 413. It took him, by most accounts, about 15 years to complete (he had other things to do and put the unfinished work aside several times to do them). He wrote The City in response to the great psychological crisis of his day, the sack of Rome by the barbarian Visigoths in AD 410. For you and me, that’s just a date in the history books, but for citizens of the Roman Empire, it marked the end of literally more than a thousand years of stability (having the Cuban military occupy Washington DC might give us something of a similar psychic shock). The Romans looked around for a scapegoat. Who was to blame, not only for this disaster, but the slow decline of Roman power and glory? It didn’t take long for one reason to come to the fore: it was the fault of the Christians.
In AD 313, the Emperor Constantine had allowed the open practice of Christianity throughout the Empire. It quickly gained a favored status (Constantine presided at the opening ceremonies of the Council of Nicaea in AD 325) and in AD 380, the Emperor Theodosius declared Nicene Christianity as the official religion of the Empire. But many of the old, noble families of Rome and much of the Roman intelligentsia rejected the “new religion” and pilloried Christianity as the religion of slaves and the lower classes. When Rome fell to the Visigoths, the upper classes in Rome blamed it on the government’s embrace of Christianity and rejection of the old gods.
A good friend of Augustine’s, a government official named Marcellinus, brought the problem to Augustine. What answer could be made to these angry attacks against Christians and the Church? Augustine thought, then thought some more, and then picked up his pen. “Most glorious is and will be the City of God,” he began “both today, where she lives by faith – a pilgrim among unbelievers – and in the days to come, when she arrives at her eternal home.” This opening sentence of The City of God sets the tone for all that follows.
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.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, due to severe shortages in town, we're collecting food in boxes on the front porch of David Hall for a weekly trip to the NB Food Bank. Come anytime, day or night, and leave food on the porch. Wile you're there, if you need hand sanitizer, we're making about 20-30 bottles a day and leaving it also on the porch. Help yourself!
Options for Life
Every Lent we raise money for an annual gift to the New Braunfels "Options for Life" Program, supporting young, single mothers struggling to raise their children. We also have an OfL Collection Jar in our parish hall for through-the-year donations.
On Memorial Day and Veterans' Day we take up special collections to help wounded and disabled veterans. At Christmastime, we lay wreaths at the graves of departed veterans.
When you come by the church, take a look at our "new" old bell, a bronze 100 -year-old beauty with a rich tone that carries all the way down to the river when it rings! The stained glass windows in the church are less than 20 years old, but are closely-patterned after stained glass seen throughout the South from about 1870-1920 (St Joseph's boasts the only Men's Room in central Texas with its own stained-glass window). St Joseph’s chalice and paten were originally given as a gift to the first Episcopal Bishop of Quincy, Illinois, the Rt Rev Thomas Burgess, in 1878. As the hallmark under the base of the chalice shows, it was made by the Gorham Manufacturing Company, the leading silversmiths of 19th century America. How St Joseph’s came into the possession of a chalice & paten owned by a former Yankee chaplain in the War Between the States is a tale worth hearing (but at another time and in another place).
Receiving Holy Communion at St Joseph’s
At St Joseph’s, any baptized person is welcome to receive Holy Communion. We have a kneeler in front of the table we are using for an Altar. At communion-time, form a line and approach after the person in front of you has received the Sacrament. If you cannot kneel (or get up easily), please remain standing and receive. The priest will place the Sacrament in your hands (it is customary to support your right hand with the left): simply lift the Sacrament to your mouth. It is the sacramental Body of Christ. Please do not handle the consecrated Bread with your fingers. If you prefer to have him place the Host directly on your tongue, simply open your mouth as you approach and he will place it there. If you would like to have the Host dipped in the chalice rather than drink from it, continue to hold it in your open hand and the priest will take it, dip it into the chalice and then place it directly in your mouth. Please do not dip the host into the chalice yourself.
If you wish to drink from the chalice, the Chalice-bearer will be standing beside you at the kneeler and will help you drink from it directly.
If you do not wish to receive Holy Communion (or are not eligible to because you are not baptized), but would like a blessing, stand in line until your time comes, approach the kneeler and either kneel or stand and the priest will bless you. To let him know you wish to be blessed, cross your arms over your breast when you approach. He will make the sign of the Cross on your forehead as he blesses you.
Any baptized person is welcome to receive Holy Communion, but not everyone always should. If you are in a state of serious sin, it would be best not to present yourself for Holy Communion, here or elsewhere, until you have confessed your sins, resolved “to live a new life,” and received absolution. Anyone, baptized or not, can always come forward to receive a blessing.
– Fr Gregory Wilcox
Sunday, August 2 - the Eighth Sunday after Trinity
9.00 AM - Morning Prayer
9.30 AM - the Holy Eucharist
1.00 PM - Evening Prayer
… we’ll be celebrating the happy coincidence of the anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and National Ice Cream Sandwich Day by eating ice cream sandwiches and singing the old English children’s song “Humpty Dumpty” (Lewis Carroll – that’s his pen name – was an Anglican clergymen who taught at Oxford)…Bishop Ng’ang’a will be with us this Sunday as the preacher at the 9.30 Eucharist after which we’ll present him with the second of his consecration gifts (which has been through a whole set of postal misadventures and destinations before finally arriving here Thursday)…we’re continuing – or hoping, anyway – to broadcast “The Liturgy Livestreamed from St Joseph’s” on our parish Facebook page this Sunday (*see the internet address at the end of this letter), with hymns both in the middle and at the end of the Mass (the offertory hymn will be # 197 “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” and our closing hymn # 553 “Go Forward, Christian Soldier”, both from the 1940 Hymnal). The “Voice of St Joseph’s,” Larry Mooney is out of town this weekend, but we have a surprise announcer planned for the day ...
See this week's Liturgical Schedule on our "About Us" page
Sunday, August 2 - the Eighth Sunday after Trinity
10.45 AM - Treats, Coffee and Opinions in David Hall
The Parish Office is closed during the summer, but call for an appointment.
Pope St Stephen of Rome, Martyr, AD 257
Pope St Stephen I was born into a well-known Christian family in Rome in AD 205. In his youth he was dedicated to his studies and was brought to the attention of the Bishop of Rome, St Callixtus, who helped pay for his education. He was eventually ordained to the priesthood and appointed archdeacon of Rome by Pope St Fabian about AD 245. Little more is known about his life until Pope Lucian, shortly before his death, suggested Stephen as his successor. After Pope Lucian’s death, Stephen was indeed elected to his place and consecrated Bishop of Rome on May 3, 253.
From the moment of his election, the new pope was forced into controversies. In Spain, there was division about the status of Christians who had purchased forged government documents saying they weren’t Christians (to show authorities and avoid persecution). Shortly after this came to his attention, a dispute from the Church in North Africa erupted when the bishops there refused to recognize the validity of baptisms done by heretical Christians. This involved him in a long controversy with the famous Bishop of Carthage, St Cyprian (Pope Stephen insisted that he Church had always accepted baptisms done by anyone, as long as water was poured over the head “in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”) In a letter to the bishops of Africa, St Stephen said “Let us introduce no changes into what we have received; let us rather keep that which is handed down to us by the Church’s tradition.”
On the morning of August 2, AD 257, after serving as pope for “four years, two months, and twenty-one days,” (as the ancient record of his pontificate says), St Stephen was arrested when Roman authorities burst in as he was celebrating the Eucharist. His trial was held on the spot (it wasn’t hard to prove he was a Christian) and he was killed sitting in his bishop’s chair. That chair is still preserved, and up until the 18th century, his bloodstains were still visible on it; just the sort of story I loved as a boy!
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-deductable!) donations will help fund that mission and keep us movin'!