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March 13,2024

Emmanuel Family,

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ.

It seems like we just finished the Christmas season and here we are…. Just 2 weeks away from Easter! I have not been very good about getting a monthly newsletter out since Laurie Bell left… she was very good at making me sit down and write it! I have committed to getting one done at least once a quarter. This is my first attempt at keeping that promise!

So, what has happened in the last quarter (and maybe a little more)?

Advent was a whirlwind – since Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday it seemed to be over before it started. We continued with our outreach ministry of Advent Big Give. The recipients this year were the Animal Shelter, Bois D’Arc Assisted Living residents and the Hays Caldwell Women’s Shelter. Well over 200 pounds of food, toys, blankets and treats went to bless our fur friends at the animal shelter. Each AL resident received a fleece blanket knotted with love by our folks, and the Women’s shelter received a large donation of items they specifically needed. You continue to be so very generous each year – Thank You.

The first Sunday in Advent we welcomed our new Bishop, the Rt. Rev David Read – we had 4 confirmations and 5 baptisms that day! What a wonderful celebration!

After Christmas, we welcomed the season of Epiphany with blessing the chalk for marking this year’s blessing on our doors at home.

We had our annual meeting and elected new Vestry members – Lynne Lewis, Karen Jurgensen and Melodie Ramirez. We also elected delegates to our annual Diocesan Council which took place in February in San Marcos. At council we celebrated the 150th birthday of the Diocese – LOTS of great history! One of my favorite events at council each year is the worship service – If you have never worshiped with 700+ Episcopalians in one room – you have missed quite an experience! Council will be in San Marcos again next year – please consider driving over for the Eucharist service!

One of the projects at council this year was to support our own Plaza de Paz migrant respite center in San Antonio. After learning about the wonderful work that they do, serving more than 14,000 people in 2023 – we put together “lunch kits” to send with the migrants when they leave the center. We made 50 kits and will be delivering them to the diocesan office soon.

Meals on Wheels is very short on volunteers to deliver meals this year – Emmanuel stepped up and we took an additional 2 weeks in March. Thank you for making that happen!

My goal was to keep this newsletter to one page…. Already I have failed…. But I want to let you know about some of the upcoming stuff – especially Holy Week!

The Holy Week Schedule is:

March 24th – Palm Sunday – we will be making palm crosses on Saturday March 23rd at 10am in the Parish Hall for that service.

March 25, 26 and 27 (Mon, Tues, Wed) we will participate in the annual Community Lenten Lunches series. Faith/Fe church at 900 Aransas St. will be hosting this year. We start at 11:50 with some “gathering” Praise and Worship music followed by a short worship service with participation from several local pastors beginning at Noon, and we will finish with a light lunch starting at 12:30. Please join us if you can!

We will have our regular Evening Prayer service at 6 PM on Wednesday.

Thursday the 28th we will have Maundy Thursday service at 6 PM when we recall the institution of the Lord’s Supper, followed by the solemn stripping of the Altar in preparation for Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It is a lovely service, I hope you will come.

Good Friday (the 29th) we will gather at noon for prayers and Stations of the Cross.

Easter!! Details are pending, but there will be a sun-rise service at the state park at 7 AM, I will send more information when I have it!

Easter Services at 8:30 and 10:30 to celebrate our Risen Lord!! We will have the flowering of the cross – if you have flowers in your garden, please consider bringing some to put on the cross – it is a beautiful way to signify Christ’s triumph over the grave!

Easter Egg hunt in the garden for our kids after the 10:30 service!

I invite you to come for coffee between service and see the bulletin board that has our “5 Things” that we love about our Emmanuel church and family. It is a reminder of how truly blessed we are! If you have not submitted your “5 Things”, please do so!

You will also notice a digital frame next to that bulletin board… It became too hard to keep up with pictures of all of the things that we do at Emmanuel. Now, I can just load them directly from my phone to the frame! If you have pictures of any of our activities that you would like to share – please text them to me so that I can load them!

Starting the 4th Sunday in April – and continuing on the 4th Sunday each month through the Summer,  I am planning a “Did you Know?” series during the Sunday School hour 9:30-10:15. We will start with information and discussion about our Book of Common Prayer – we are the “people of the Book” – we should know what is in it!!! At some point, one of the sessions will be an “Instructed Eucharist” – why do we do what we do….what does it mean… during Eucharist. I am open to other topics – so if you ever wondered why… about being Episcopalian – now is the time to ask! Send me questions!

There is so much happening – so many blessings, I could go on and on… but I have run out of room – (I almost kept it to 2 pages).

I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of the Ministry and Mission of Emmanuel!

YOU are truly a blessing to the community and a loving light reflecting the love of God in our world.



Mother Karen+