THE BI-MONTHLY NEWSLETTER OF PARISH LIFE AT St. DAVID’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND SCHOOL
St. David’s Calendar of Events Sept. 27 Sept. 30 Oct.6 Oct. 7 Oct. 8 Oct. 16 Oct. 19 Oct. 25
10:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 3:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 Oct. 31 Nov. 4 Nov. 11 Nov. Nov. Nov. Nov. Nov. Nov.
13 14 19-23 20 23 30
12:00 p.m. 8:45 a.m. 5:30 p.m. 11:00 a.m.
Daughters of the King Prayer Service and Meeting Combined Worship Service Fall Meeting of the Parish Pray With Your Feet 5K Blessing of the Pets Columbus Day—Church office closed/School Holiday School Board Meeting Vestry Dinner and Meeting Fall Fling Daughters of the King Prayer Service and Meeting Seven Days in Utopia Movie Night Episcopal School Sunday Halloween/Spooky Parade All Saint’s Sunday Taco Sunday Veteran’s Day San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon School Board Meeting School Parent Education—”Let’s Get Organizing!” School Holiday for Thanksgiving Vestry Dinner and Meeting Thanksgiving Birthday Celebration—October, November and December Birthdays
Fall Issue Contributors The Rev. Lisa Mason, Rector email@example.com
Ashley Miles, Head of School firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Kates, Director of Children and Youth Ministries
The Beginnings of Fall With late August comes the return of excited voices of teachers and children anticipating the year ahead. New programs for church and school begin while others pick up after a summer break. School and after-school activities find their way into the daily routine and for some, it means a time to discover new interests to mark the season. St. David’s is experiencing all of the above! We have many new families and faces who have joined our community; please be bold and introduce yourselves to one another even if it means a “reintroduction!” New Wednesday evening programs have begun with opportunities for all ages. On Sunday mornings, formation classes will be held with the return of the adult choir and a beginning of a children’s choir. Continued on next page
Bill Sommers Junior Warden St. David’s Vestry email@example.com
In This Issue…
John Brooke Stewardship Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
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Jerry Kirkpatrick Director of Seniors Ministry email@example.com St. David’s Episcopal Church www.saintdavid’s.net
Ms. Marcela’s Pre-K3 class on the first day of St. David’s Episcopal School
Letter From Our Rector Visioning Day Feedback Taking a Fresh Look at Church Mission Our Facilities: Past, Present and Future Cowboy Sunday Round-Up New Beginnings at Our School A Rich History Together Summer Adventures
The Beginnings of Fall
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Summer was a time of transition for the church staff with Jerry Kirkpatrick retiring from her position as Parish Administrator and beginning some new volunteer endeavors. Beth Crowley rejoins us as finance and congregational coordinator. Amy Case will be joining us on Mondays to lend fresh eyes to the website by helping with the E-news and Star publication. She will also serve as a back-up finance person. Eric Holloway, our intern seminarian, has become part of our church family primarily on Sunday mornings. Eric is a second year student at the Seminary of the Southwest, Diocese of Texas. I look forward to our participation in his formation for ordained ministry and he will be a blessing to our life. On September 30, we will have an annual fall meeting following a joint worship service at 9 a.m. Please be present to discuss our parish life together. I am hoping we can spend a few minutes in our four focus groups from visioning day of worship, outreach, pastoral care, and formation/education. This is an important meeting and I encourage you to attend! God calls us to empower our church to grow both as a community and as a congregation to strengthen our oneness with Christ. We give thanks to God who continues to bless us abundantly, but there is always more to be done to grow the kingdom of God! May we continue to share this work so that God will be glorified in all that we do and in all that we are as members of the Body of Christ. Peace, Lisa+
The Rev. Lisa Mason firstname.lastname@example.org Transformation We have a story to tell. That story is the story of God’s involvement in our lives, an involvement which “lifted me out the desolate pit, out the mire and clay,” about how God “set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.” (Psalm 40:2) The main point of the paper in your hands right now is transformation, transformation rather than information is the goal of Christian communication. I hope you may find that in our newsletter. Please let us know if you have any suggestions as to how the publication might better serve you.
Once there, setting up the computers was a snap. I put them in the center's classroom, where they will be useful for the afterschool tutoring program once school starts in the fall. If you know of any churches, community centers, etc. that have a need for several computers, please contact me at email@example.com. Likewise, contact me if you have any unused computers that could be put toward this use.
Visioning Day Feedback Thanks to all who participated in our Visioning Day this past June. It was well attended and we gained some great insight from you. On July 29, we spent a Sunday morning during Adult formation reviewing your concerns. I wanted to share the information with those who could not attend. In the focus groups on Visioning Day, we looked at worship, outreach, pastoral care, and formation/ education. Participants celebrated the areas of ministry that were working effectively, but also looked at area with opportunities for growth. Across all areas, the primary interests were children, the senior population, and local outreach. A desire to provide more midweek and program opportunities for our seniors was expressed and more focus on our children’s spiritual formation. St. David’s needs to become a greater part of our school families and our surrounding community. We are the only church and public meeting place, other than City Hall, in Terrell Hills. We have already begun to address these areas of interest, but we need you to make a difference in the life and ministry of St. David’s. Pat Bose and Jerry Kirkpatrick are leading the team for Senior Ministry. The Children’s Choir has been formed to participate in our Sunday morning worship this fall. We have a new curriculum for children on Sunday morning led by Aimee Wheatcraft and Heidi Mosely, and a new class for parents led by Sarah Kates and me, your pastor. We are discovering new ways to be present for our school families and in our community. We are partnering with the school, offering a program on Wednesday nights for parents and children in the church, school and community. More details are forthcoming about these opportunities. Peace, Lisa+
First Annual MotherDaughter Getaway Friday, Nov. 30—Sat., Dec. 1 During these busy and active days it sometimes seems that we don’t get the opportunity to just spend “girl-time” with our daughters, so together with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, we’ve planned an overnight to do just that. Moms and their 4th grade and older daughters will gather at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos on Friday night around 6:00pm. We’ll have dinner and then some fun “girl time”, including a motherdaughter photo courtesy of Brandi Sutherland and decorating a keepsake picture frame. Saturday morning, we’ll have breakfast at the hotel, then moms and daughters are free to do some Christmas shopping (retail therapy!) at the Outlet Mall. The cost is $149 (+tax) for the room, in addition to dinner Friday, place to be determined. A full buffet breakfast on Saturday morning is included in the cost of the room. The rooms are suites and so could accommodate 2 “motherdaughter families.” I will be reserving a block of rooms at the Embassy Suites and sending out a link so that you can book your own rooms and include another family if you wish. Please let Sarah Kates know if you need any more information.
Communications News My name is Amy Case and I will be helping St. David’s church with The Star news letter, the website, and as the Growing the Tradition bookkeeper. It is a joy to be working at St. David’s church. I was an assistant teacher at St. David’s school last year and loved getting to know Rev. Lisa, Sarah and the rest of the church staff. I have a background in accounting and communications and am a life-long Episcopalian, so I am delighted to be able to use these experiences at St. David’s. This is my first issue of The Star, so please let me know what you think! I am blessed to be a part of a wonderful team of volunteers —Jean Bevans, Peggy Henry and Carol Hester— who beautifully edit all of the articles in this publication and guide me in its creation. Please contact me if you have any suggestions as to how we can better serve you. Amy Case firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Adventures Humility Hebbronville, Texas was our destination for mission work in early July. The first day we drove four hours to arrive at my father’s ranch in Linn to fuel up, swim, enjoy fellowship and spend the night. The next day we drove to Hebbronville, which is an hour and a half from Linn, to stake out our mission grounds. The Rev. Chris Graunke was there to greet us and show us around the church and town. The boys and I spent the next three nights at The Grey Ranch where we were showered with hospitality. The boys, Andrew Herlich, Kyle Herlich, James King, Nathan Howell and Hunter Olivarez, made the hunting lodge their new home for the next three days. Thanks be to God, I stayed at one of the main houses. The modest yet proud town of Hebbronville was so grateful for our work and for the fact that we had picked them to serve. After day three, we felt like a part of their family. We are forever grateful for this opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and humbled by their hospitality as they fed us physically and spiritually. What a wonderful Diocese of West Texas family we have. Recognition In August, St. David’s and Reconciliation Junior High Youth Group traveled to Austin, Texas for two nights and three days to serve the homeless community. We stayed at St. David’s Church, Austin and had a blast using their facilities. One half of the group served at Austin’s Food Bank and the other served at Caritas Food Ministry. Each group learned different but similar lessons. The Food Bank group realized that the bank was the “mother ship” for all other food ministries in the Austin area and that sometimes working behind the scenes and not being recognized for your work is the best kind of serving. After all, that is what Jesus calls us to do. We can’t always see the fruits of our labor. The Caritas group learned that all people want to be recognized and be known even the homeless. Their journey is different but they too need to be recognized as children of God. This group stepped out of their comfort zones, traveled 55 miles north, got back to basics and followed Jesus’ instructions to feed the hungry.
Sarah Kates Director of Children, Youth & Family Ministries
Innovation By Jacob Roth, Junior at Alamo Heights High School It was near the end of the school year that I saw a stack of computer hardware in the back of one of my school's small computer labs. I stopped to take a closer look. They were all fairly good computers. About a week went by, and they were still sitting there. I asked the computer teacher in the neighboring room where they were headed. Apparently, they were due to be shipped off and recycled at the end of the year. Recalling a conversation I'd had with one of my teachers about community service projects, I wondered if these computers could be put to good use. I then went to Sarah Kates, St. David's Church Youth Minister, and asked if there were any places where these computers would be helpful. She mentioned Church of Reconciliation, another Church that might need computers for its afterschool tutoring program. After some paperwork provided by our rector Lisa, I was able to convince the school to give me the computers - 13 in all. I fixed them up with brand new software a complete Linux-based operating system. The operating system is meant to be extremely fast and stable and should extend the lifetime of these computers for a few extra years. I gave three computers to Church of Reconciliation. They were placed in the Sunday School building and should be available to teachers, students and others using those rooms when after-school programs start this fall. After those three computers were set up, I still had ten more to place. Mrs. Leslie Mixson in the Diocesan office sent out an email asking churches if they needed them. I got one reply - from Trinity Episcopal Church in Pharr, Texas. They wanted six computers for their after-school tutoring program. Pharr (pronounced "Far") is the most aptlynamed town ever. It's a whopping five-hour drive from San Antonio. I drove down there with these computers, as well as another interesting contraption. The Good Samaritan Center in Pharr, Texas (cousin to San Antonio's Good Samaritan Center) where I was to set them up, had only a weak wireless internet signal, coming from the church office across the street. I had bought a wireless receiver that would allow me to plug these computers into the signal. I then augmented this gadget's antenna with a home-built directional radar dish to give it a stronger reception. It doesn't look like much, but I'm very proud of that little parabolic reflector.
Taking a Fresh Look at Church Mission As is evidenced by the multiplicity of Christian (and nonChristian) denominations and different groups in each, there are many ways of thinking about Church. Some see Church as a safe and healing “place”; there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Some see it as Sunday morning worship; again, nothing wrong with that. Some see it as sustaining the beautiful tradition of our denomination, including a focus on how we maintain that financially. I confess the latter as my weakness (and somewhat limited view). I am working hard to overcome that view and ask you to join me in that effort. Jesus didn’t put his emphasis on being comfortable or worship or balancing the budget. Jesus did command us to follow the “Great Commission” – to make the Good News of Christ known to all the world. What if—just what if—we put our focus on this command? If we are going to do that, then the question becomes, OK, how? What if everything we do were to be based on that command? Wouldn’t we have a paradigm shift in our “Christian thinking”? If this was what we are going to do—then how do we reshape our comfort/discomfort equation? How do we reshape our liturgy? How do we think about budget in relation to our missionary goal? Well, the answer is that we put mission first and make everything else serve that end. If we say and think that we want to execute the Great Commission, we put that focus first and try to make everything else fit that!
think first about the client, then the money will take care of itself; if you don’t put the client first, then no amount of talk will solve your money problem.” What my senior partner was saying was that the only focus should be on the mission that a lawyer should have: serving the client. I have never forgotten that advice. Our mission (as set forth by Christ) is not about a building, a budget, or a church service. Certainly, these are important but they should be seen as the means to the objective—“tools” that we use to accomplish the mission. They are just tools to be used by us as workers to spread the gospel. If tools do not aid in accomplishing the objective of spreading the gospel, then the worker should discard them. Jesus is saying the same thing my senior partner said to us many years earlier; that we are not the objective. We are the means toward the objective. The focus should not be on us, our wants and needs, but rather the Commission. This means continually asking ourselves: are we doing this thing for ourselves or because if helps us spread the Good News? The question should always be: How do we do that which Christ commanded us to do?
My request is that you join me in taking a fresh look at what it means to be a Christian in today’s world, based on what Christ commissioned us to do. Just imagine what we could do if we shifted our focus away from ourselves to those to whom Christ is directing us! We could, with God’s help, This leads me to tell you about an event that helped shape become a huge force in our community and world. my life. As a young lawyer, I met with my firm for coffee every morning to discuss current issues. A young lawyer “Don’t focus on the money, focus on the client, and complained about not having enough money--that we needthe money will take care of itself.” ed to charge our clients more, so we will have more! Speaking gently but firmly, the senior partner said that the young Now, I would not normally presume to suggest that the man’s focus was entirely wrong. “Don’t think or say that Church adopt some principle advocated by a lawyer. Howwhat we do should be driven by money. We should be driv- ever, in this case, it is something to ponder. en only by what is the very best for the client. That should be our only thought. Don’t think about the money. If we John Brooke
Our Facilities: Past, Present and Future What an exciting time to be a member of the St. David’s congregation. The words preservation, maintenance, updating and enhancement describe the purpose of this Junior Warden’s report. In the early spring of 2012, Reverend Lisa selected me to serve as Junior Warden. We conducted a facility survey of the church campus to assess both needs and wants. Through the spring and summer, we have explored all of the needs of preservation and maintenance, as well as updating and enhancement suggestions. We met with staff, reviewed historical concepts and plans with parishioners, conferred with conceptual planners and contractors to formulate options and coordinate ideas. Having reviewed our options, several briefings to the vestry were provided for discernment and approval of our proposed preservation, maintenance, updating and enhancement. With the recommendation of the vestry, a visioning meeting of the church was organized in the early summer to take the pulse of the church. What an enlightening experience it was! Some of the visions shared at the meeting moved from
preservation and maintenance of to updating and enhancing the facilities to improve the foundation of the St. David’s ministry. In September, many of the ideas and suggestions will be shared with the vestry and shared in more detail with the congregation. Some of you who have participated in this process have some awareness of one or more of the ideas. Many of you have shared your knowledge of historical perspectives dating back to the mid 60s and the original construction of the main church. On September 30, 2012, both services are being combined to allow sufficient time for your participation in the direction of the paths to follow. On that day, we will have our congregational family meeting to discuss the preservation, maintenance, updating and enhancements which we have been considering. Your presence is earnestly desired. Please make every effort to attend. Looking forward to seeing you there, Bill Sommers, Junior Warden
Gimme That Old Time Religion...and Another Plate of Barbeque! Major General Jerry Prather addressed us from the pulpit— preaching in the cadences and accents of the Deep South. He took us on his spiritual journey bringing us closer to God and leaving us glad that he was our guest. During Communion, the Borderline Singers favored us with more classic gospel tunes. If you closed your eyes, you could almost believe you were worshiping in a brush arbor or a tent on a hot summer evening a hundred years ago. The music and the preaching would sound the same, the hymns would be familiar, and only the absence of the need for hand fans would tell you that you were in the comfortable, airconditioned sanctuary of St. David’s in the 21st century. For decades, our annual Cowboy Sunday has been the kick-off event for our church year. Cowboy Sunday 2012 certainly maintained that tradition and added some new luster. Our choir took a busman’s holiday and, along with the congregation, enjoyed the acoustic stylings of the Borderline Singers — complete with mandolin, banjo, fiddle, guitars, and wash tub bass.
Our annual celebration of cowboy culture and history was perfectly rounded out with another tradition from those old time-y tent meetings and brush arbor gospel singings: A “Dinner on the Grounds,” prepared and served by our own Whack’em and Stack’em. No one went away from the meal hungry and none went away from the whole day unmoved. So, until next year when we again experience the sound and feel of “That Old Time Religion,” let us give thanks for the hands and voices that made Cowboy Sunday 2012 such a blessing to us all! Hallelujah! Amen! Jim Kirkpatrick
Please Join Us St. David’s Movie Night
The morning’s events began with a wonderful talk by our own Hill Country rancher, Steve Goebel. His heartfelt explanation of his four priorities: God, people, animals, everything else — in that order— set just the right tone for a day of joyous worship and warm fellowship. The worship service began with a musical prelude by the ban, including classic gospel songs. Parishioners of all ages joined in singing these well-loved melodies, framing our liturgy and the Scriptural readings into a meaningful worship experience.
Thursday., Oct. 25 5:30 p.m. In the Parlor There will be hotdogs and popcorn Admission is free -There is a possibility of a bus trip to Lost Maples
Plans for a Joyous Christmas Terrell Hills Police department spent months last year collecting toys and looking for families in need . The police used McAllister Hospitality Hall to arrange the toys to be given to the families, and on the day, boys and girls came to St. David’s with big eyes and big hopes that Santa had not forgotten them.
Please join the group planning this event on Wednesday, October 24, at 10:00 a.m. If you have any questions, please contact the church office. Please help us see that the families in Terrell Hills all have Christmas presents under the tree and food on the table. Jerry Kirkpatrick
It may seem too early, but it is time to get ready for this Christmas. St. David’s will provide space for the police to set up. We are also hoping to work with the San Antonio Food Bank to be able to give each family food to take home.
New Beginnings... The school year at St. David’s is off to a great start as we strive daily to meet our mission of “Loving God, loving our neighbor, and loving learning.” On August 28, we welcomed 165 students ages 16 months to five years old to St. David’s Episcopal School. They walked (or were carried by mom or dad) through our doors feeling a mixture of excitement, nervousness, and anticipation. The children were greeted in each classroom with a warm welcome from their teacher as the school year started. There are some new faces among our school staff. We welcome Jennifer Ekberg who will serve as the receptionist in the school office. Kimberly Flores will be an assistant teacher with Ms. Lori in the Bright Beginnings program. Brittany Villarreal is an assistant teacher in the pre-k 3 program. They are great additions to an outstanding staff. The fall months have many exciting events and offerings for the St. David’s community. The Race To Nowhere documentary and discussion groups on Wednesday nights provide an excellent opportunity for parent education. Fall Fling will be held on October 19. This year’s chairs, Cameron Armstrong and Nina Bubel, have organized a St. David’s Homecoming event, inviting all St. David’s community members, school parents, alumnae, and friends of St. David’s to attend this family-friendly carnival. Episcopal School Sunday is October 28 at the 10:30 a.m. service and will include St. David’s students. Parents and staff members will share their experiences at St. David’s.
Two big initiatives are in the works at St. David’s School. First, a dedicated group of volunteers continues to work tirelessly to prepare for the Growing the Tradition capital campaign. Committees meet and discuss the plans for rebuilding Jackson Hall, the main school building. The new building will feature a one story structure with a basement, improved safety features, six classrooms, meeting spaces, kitchen, new administrative offices, and more. Secondly, the school is preparing for re-accreditation from the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools. Ten years ago, St. David’s School was visited by a team of educators who reviewed all aspects of the school’s program to determine whether the school met the high standards of SAES. During the 2013-2014 school year, another visit will be held and our program will be reviewed to determine whether Ashley Miles the accreditation Head of School will stand. Please pray for our school. We are very blessed with a wide network of individuals who love St. David’s Episcopal School. Through God’s grace and the support of the St. David’s community, our school is blessed with an amazing group of students, parents, and staff members. God bless! Ashley Miles St. David’s Episcopal School
St. David’s Church and School: A Rich History Together It was 60 years ago when Bishop Everett Jones mailed a letter to neighbors and friends in Terrell Hills, inviting them to Sunday morning services at the home of Mr. Robert Megee. These small services, the genesis of what is today St. David’s Episcopal Church and School, were held in Mr. Megee’s living room. When the weather became too hot, services were moved to the back porch. As the congregation grew, a move was made to a theater at Fort Sam Houston. While not an ideal location (members compared the dark and gloomy surroundings to the caves and catacombs of the early Christian church!), the theater served its purpose until a move was made in 1953 to its current location on Wiltshire Drive. The following year, a preschool opened its doors to a small group of children. Word spread quickly about this wonderful new school, and within a year, there was a waiting list for students. Fueled by strong and committed leadership, both the church and school
thrived. One of the early goals of St. David’s School was “to teach three, four and five-year olds to develop their physical and mental capabilities as well as to begin their Christian Education.” In a report to the congregation in 1961, Headmistress Rena DuBose stated that through generous scholarships “no child has ever been turned away because of inability to pay.” Under the loving guidance of school staff and volunteers, children learned about freedom of expression and were given the opportunity to listen, to share, and to learn new skills. Today, just as back then, the children of St. David’s enjoy daily chapel services, learn about the life and teachings of Jesus, and develop Christian values and a love of education that will serve them throughout their lives. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje is the daughter of Ginger Purdy, a long-time member of St. David’s. Melissa says, “I have fond memories of growing up at St. David’s Church, and of my time as
a kindergartner at St. David’s School. I remember it as a warm, nurturing place. When it was time for my son to start Mother’s Day Out, there was really only one place I wanted to send him. Sam blossomed under the wonderful care of the teachers at St. David’s. I got to relive my time at St. David’s with every Christmas pageant, Halloween courtyard parade, and Fall Fling. I served on the school board and served as a volunteer on many occasions. At St. David’s, my son got a great start, a firm spiritual foundation, and today he is a straight A graduate student at New York University. Sam’s love of school first took root at St. David’s.” St. David’s Church and School have a rich history together. As a member of the St. David’s family, your support of our much-needed new school building will keep us growing and serving our community for the next 60 years and beyond. To be continued…..