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.
Until further notice, due to the pandemic, 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 Autumn, Morning Prayer will be read at 11.30 AM, with Evening Prayer 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 VII
“…those Christian women who endured the horror and the shame still survive with their purity intact…they maintain within themselves the glory of chastity, and carry the witness of their unsullied conscience. Even more, they preserve their chastity in the living presence of God and with this intact, they need nothing more.” – St Augustine of Hippo, The City of God
Several chapters of the first book of St Augustine’s City of God address the plight of Christian women who were treated brutally by the barbarians at the time of the fall of Rome (which was the immediate catalyst for the City of God). The women who survived the rape of the city, as I’ve mentioned previously, were vilified by their pagan neighbors that the Christian’s God not only failed to protect the city, he failed to protect the women who’d consecrated themselves to Him.
Augustine first wrote to console the women who’d survived but his thoughts also became a meditation for all Christians on chastity. In the brief quotation above, he shows that Christian chastity runs deeper than bodily purity: it “carries the witness of an unsullied conscience.” Chasity is part of the overall integrity that makes up an essential part of Christian character. Chastity isn’t merely the purity of body but the maintenance – and love – of an integrity of body and soul “in the living presence of God.” This intact, Augustine says, “nothing more is needed.”
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).
This Sunday in Anglican History
On October 18, 1861 (a Friday that year), a specially called Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America entered into its third day of deliberations. The Convention was meeting at Trinity Church (now Trinity Cathedral) in Columbia, South Carolina to formally organize the new Church following the recent secession of the southern States from the Federal Union. The principal purpose of the convention was to approve a constitution for the new Church, begin the process of re-organizing dioceses and writing a new set of canon laws. The focus of the delegates – every southern diocese was represented but Texas – on that day was a debate on the name of the new Church. It was proposed to change the name from “the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States” to “the Reformed Catholic Church in the Confederate
States.” While the majority of delegates favored the change, Bishop Meade, the senior (and presiding) bishop at the convention, convinced the rest to make no unnecessary changes for the present and to focus only on providing “Confederate Episcopalians” with a sense of continuity with their past. Taking that principle as a guide, a number of proposed changes to the liturgy of the Prayer Book were similarly postponed, substituting only the words “Confederate States” in place of “United States” during prayers for the country.
The delegates closed the convention on Sunday, October 20, with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. They would meet again in November of 1862, for the only other convention of the short-lived “Church in the Confederate States.”
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, October 18 - the Feast of St Luke and the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity
9.00 AM - Morning Prayer
9.30 AM - the Holy Eucharist
1.00 PM - Evening Prayer
…we celebrate the feast of St Luke the Evangelist. I’ve written a brief account of the saint’s life above, but on the icon stand beside the baptismal font in the church is something more interesting: a picture of an icon of the Evangelist I was given years ago by a young woman originally from Croatia, Maya Kos, only then starting out her life as an iconographer. I met her and admired her work while studying back east and she sent me the icon as a memento of our meeting. The icon depicts St Luke painting an icon of the Blessed Virgin. St Luke was not only a physician and evangelist but in medieval legend, the first painter of icons, particularly of the Virgin and her Son (this comes from the fact that St Luke so vividly, in his Gospel, depicts the Blessed Virgin; occasionally Christian writers of the past said he “painted a picture of her” and somewhere along the line people began to take the words literally). I’m happy to display Maya’s icon of St Luke on his feast…after the 9.30 Eucharist, after several delays, we’ll begin part two of our long-deferred class “Male and Female Created He Them: Gender, Sex and the Image of God.” This is a continuation of the class we began last year, which focused on these questions from the teaching of the Old Testament. This twelve-week class will examine this in the teaching of the New Testament and early Christian Church. Classes will run from 11.00 AM till 11.45…we’re continuing “experiments in filming” during our “Liturgy Broadcast from St Joseph’s,” trying to make the camera angles better and the setup less intrusive. We’ll get it figured out eventually (well, frankly, I don’t know whether we ever will do that, but it sounds like the kind of thing I should say), until then, I appreciate your patience…our Facebook broadcast can be found at this link:
… it may seem premature but the coming and going of Daylight Saving can sometimes be a shock, so be forewarned, beloved: Daylight Saving Time ends (so we “fall back” an hour) on All Saints’ Day this year, Sunday, November 1.…we’ll hold our next Vestry meeting on Sunday, October 25 after the 9.30 Eucharist: the sermon that day will be cancelled, and a light brunch will be served for the members, who’ll need it, because they’ll have a “full plate” on the agenda during this our first meeting since the beginning of summer…Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 26ththis year, so continuing till Sunday, November 22, we’ll be taking up a special food collection at church. As you know, we have two “collection stations”: one at the back of the nave on the “Gospel side” and the other just to the right of the front entrance of David Hall. …
See this week's Liturgical Schedule on our "About Us" page
St Luke is one of the Four Evangelists – authors of the Gospels, accounts of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ – which open the New Testament. St Luke wrote two books of the Bible, his Gospel as well as the Acts of the Apostles, telling the story of the Church in the decades following the Resurrection of our Lord. Together, his two books account for more than a quarter of the New Testament. Though St Luke never names himself in his texts, his name has been associated with the two books since the earliest days of the Church.
St Luke is mentioned by St Paul in his letters, wherein, among other things, he tells us that St Luke was a physician, a medical doctor. New Testament scholars have noted the great interest that St Luke shows, in his Gospel, of the sick and Jesus’ special care and concern for them. Traditionally, St Luke is said to have been born a decade or more after the birth of Christ, in the great city of Antioch. His writing reflects an excellent classical Greek education; his writing style is the finest of any in the New Testament. He is the only non-Jewish author whose works are in the Christian Bible.
St Luke is mentioned in three of St Paul’s epistles, but he also adds his own personal story in three different sections of the Book of Acts, wherein he recounts his own experiences alongside St Paul with repeated mentions of “we.” He was a faithful friend and helper of St Paul during his travels and ministry, including traveling with the great Apostle on his final trip to Rome, where he was martyred, with St Peter, at the order of the Emperor Nero. After St Paul’s martyrdom – in AD 67 – St Luke made his way to Greece, settling in Thebes, a region in the central part of the country, where he spent his final decade composing his two great works. During an anti-Christian riot, when the Evangelist was 84, St Luke was seized and, when he refused to renounce Christ, hanged from an oak tree not far from his home. Christians took his body and buried it, eventually building a church on the site.
In AD 357 his bones were removed to a shrine built for them in Constantinople, where they remained for more than 800 years. During the Fourth Crusade, in AD 1204, Crusaders from Italy removed his bones from the shine and sent them to Padua. In 1992, the Greek Orthodox bishop of Thebes asked the Italian Archbishop of Padua to return a portion of the saint’s remains to the original shrine. In granting the request, the archbishop allowed scientists to take a tooth from the skull for scientific testing. The results were astounding. The carbon-14 testing, as well as other genetic examinations, revealed the body to be that of a man who’d died when he was in his late 70s to 80s, of Greek descent but born in the Syrian region of Antioch. The archbishop returned half of the remains to Thebes, keeping part of the skeleton (and all the skull!) in Padua. While the saint’s soul is with the Lord in Heaven, for the time being half his body rests in the Benedictine Abbey of St Justina in Padua and the other half in the saint’s ancient shrine in Thebes. When the great rattling and re-assemblage of bones comes at the General Resurrection, it will be interesting to see which part of St Luke goes where!
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