Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Smattering of Song

On April 28, Kajsa Wilkins was our guest organist. It is always wonderful to have her visit. Kajsa, her husband Bray and their children will be moving to New York City soon.

Before they leave town to pursue their musical careers, we have a chance to hear and enjoy their music. Bray and Kajsa will present "A Smattering of Music" on May 9 at 7:00 p.m. at Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church and May 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the Strauss Theater. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

Let's turn out to wish them well and great success!

St. Thomas' Back to the Bayou Fish Fry

St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church will hold its Back to the Bayou Fish Fry on Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on their back patio. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for those under fifteen.

The Back Pew Pickers will entertain us and games are planned for all ages.

Join them for great food, fun and music! 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cursillo # 145 Closing

Mark, Dee, Father Whit, and Mother Dawnell attended the closing of Cursillo # 145 at Camp Hardtner on Sunday afternoon! What a great time!

Friday, April 26, 2013

E.Y.C. at the Spring Fling

It is time to dance! E.Y.C. is joining Grace Middle School for their End-of-the-Year Party! Tickets are $10 each with all the profits going to offset expenses of the Eight Grade Costa Rica Trip. Sixth, Seventh and Eighth grade students from all area schools are invited to attend the Spring Fling! D.J. Logan and D.J. Benji will put the fling in Spring with their musical talents! Grace Church and School parents will chaperon. Hope to see you there!

Men's Study Group Surprises Father Whit

Father Whit and the Men's Group

The Men's Study Group surprised Father Whit with a birthday party last Wednesday night. Senior Warden, Charles B., lured Whit to the River Grille where the group was waiting. The men had a delicious supper and a fantastic strawberry birthday cake from Thurman's!

Mercifully, only one candle was used...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Let there be Light!

St. Alban's Sexton, Chris Eby, has installed outdoor lighting for our church sign out front. The lighted sign announces our presence along Deborah Drive once the sun goes down so that folks can find us more easily at night.

Drive by one evening and check out Chris' work and remember to tell him thanks!

Photo: by the Sexton, himself.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wednesdays at St. Alban's

As a reminder, Wednesdays at St. Alban's are always fun and busy...

Our Women's Study Group meets at 4:00 p.m. in the Conference Room. The discussion is always lively, the food is good and there's lots of laughter!

Holy Eucharist with Unction and prayers for Healing follow at 5:30 p.m. Join us for this mid-week refreshment.

Our Men's Study Group meets at 6:15 p.m. in the Conference Room. Come spend some time with this group - we promise you'll be glad you did.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We're starting something new. Sometimes less is more when it comes to communication. The data provided by our mass email service indicates that I'm talking too much. Or at least emailing you too often.

The percentage of these emails actually opened is still very good, but the percentage is beginning to decline. That is usually an indication that you are getting more email from a source than you can reasonably process.

So, in order to communicate in a more effective and helpful manner, we are initiating a twice-monthly e-newsletter. Additionally, starting soon, my messages will often be in brief video format (say, three minutes). These videos will also be available on YouTube.

As a step in this multimedia direction, this week I offer you the audio version of Sunday's sermon. To listen, just click the title that follows the colon: Feeding Sheep with the Ham of God.

Continued Easter blessings to you all.

In Christ's Love,

The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD The Diocese of Western Louisiana
P. O. Box 2031, Alexandria, LA 71309


Editor's Note: Don't miss listening to Bishop Jake's Sermon linked above!

Monday, April 15, 2013

When the Priest is away...

Everybody has heard the old saying...

When the Priest is away,
The Church will pray! *

Sort of... Luckily, Archdeacon Bette J. Kauffman, Ph.D. will be at St. Alban's at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 to lead Evening Prayer.

Father Whit is away at Camp Hardnter for the Eastertide Clergy Retreat. He can be reached on his cell phone in the event of an emergency. The Church office will be open as usual.

* Okay, you can play a little too...

Boston Bombing - A Response from Bishop Jake

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Like you I am reeling from the news coming from Boston.  Innocent people have been killed and many more have been injured by bombs timed to explode as the Boston Marathon was coming to a close.  First responders reacted with heroic speed, and now medical personnel apply their skilled hands to saving and healing those who survived.  Families, friends, the country, and much of the world watch and pray tonight.
Let us join them in prayer.  Prayer for those who have entered into eternal life and for those fighting to recover.  Prayers for the first responders and medical teams.  Prayers for those who wait anxiously for word that their loved one is okay.  Prayers for those whose hearts are rent by grief.
Earlier today I shared prayers on Facebook from Unapologetically Episcopalian.  I share these rich Anglican prayers with you now and ask you to join me in lifting them to the Lord:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

All My Mistakes

Your Saturday night song... Sometimes it is our mistakes and failures that help us find God.  See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Today I will be departing from St. Crispin's Conference Center in Oklahoma. Since Monday the Bishops of Province VII have gathered here to discuss mission and ministry, to find ways for our Dioceses to cooperate in that mission and ministry, and to deepen and strengthen our bonds of affection.

It has been a gracious and fruitful time. Among the topics we discussed were providing sustainable clergy leadership for small congregations, the local formation of bi-vocational priests, and strategies for decreasing congregational operating costs by increasing cooperation among congregations.

In one session Bishop Stacy Sauls joined us from the denominational offices in New York to update us on the restructuring process initiated by General Convention last summer and to gather our input. The dream is to reorganize our denomination so that the denominational offices work to support and coordinate initiatives made at the diocesan level. There is still much work to be done, but the direction seems the right one to all of us gathered.

I have enjoyed this time with my colleagues, the warm hospitality and beautiful setting of St. Crispin's, and the fellowship with my episcopal colleagues. Nevertheless, I long for home and will be glad to be back among you in Western Louisiana.

Continued Easter blessings to you all.

In Christ's Love,
The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD
The Diocese of Western Louisiana

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Silver Beaver Awarded to Mark Snellgrove

St. Alban's own, Mark Snellgrove, recently received the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America. Mark’s Scouting experience as a youth and adult reached fifty years in 2013.  As a youth, he attained the Arrow of Light, Eagle Scout, and OA membership. As an adult, he served the Norwela and the Louisiana Purchase Council in multiple volunteer roles in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Exploring. He is Woodbadge trained. The Pioneer District benefits from Mark's youth - facing and unit committee leadership experience through his service as a unit and assistant,district commissioner, where he focuses on several units that are experiencing multiple challenges. Mark served, on the council's training team and as a winter camp merit badge counselor. He completed his Bachelor of Commissioner Science in 2012. His volunteer Scouting awards include the Den Leader Coach Award, Webelos Den Leader Award, and the District Award of Merit.

Established in 1931, the Silver Beaver Award is presented for distinguished service to young people within a BSA local council. More than 50,000 recongitions have been conferred to date throughout the nation. Silver Beaver recipeint's service to Scouting endures as a living testament in the lives of generations of our Council's youth and with those whom our scouts touch.

Mark serves in many ways at St. Alban's and is currently a vestry member. Congratulations Mark!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Common Cathedral in Boston

Watch this video and let me know what you think. Archdeacon Bette and I have been kicking a similar idea around in conjunction with our Refuge of Hope ministry.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Thoughts from Bishop Jake

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Happy Easter!

The Great Fifty Days of Easter began last Sunday and continues through the Day of Pentecost. Among the Sunday readings for Eastertide you will be hearing selections from The Acts of the Apostles and from The Revelation to John.

It probably comes as no surprise to you that these readings represent more than a haphazard choice by the lectionary committee. On the contrary, these biblical books teach us that the resurrection is at once about today and about eternity.

The Acts of the Apostles traces the remarkable growth of the earliest Church. It recounts the perils and power of following Jesus right here on earth. The Holy Spirit creates a new kind of community and transforms individual lives. Love, faith, and hope break out in the unlikeliest places.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Elizabeth's Birthday Blessing

This picture of Elizabeth was posted on the Bishop's Facebook page by her sister Catherine. Catherine said,

"I know no one that looks more forward to her birthday blessing than Elizabeth. What a thrill for her to get the blessing from our Bishop! We loved having you at St. Alban's on Palm Sunday. And are so glad to have you as our Bishop!"

Monday, April 1, 2013

Things worth Believin' In

From the movie Second Hand Lions. 

Just in from the Diocese...

The Rev'd Frank W. Hughes, Ph.D., currently serving as interim priest at Grace, Monroe, has been called to become rector of St.John's, Minden -  here in the Diocese.

Congratulations Father Hughes! Let us all continue to pray for our friends at Grace as they continue their search process.