NEWS BLOG

Fall Program Kickoff

Kicking Off the Program Year!
Fall Sunday Schedule
 
As we transition towards the academic year and fall programming, so many things are in flux – including the use of the education building and the church staff (with the arrival of our new vicar in the coming weeks).
 
As we live into transitions, here are some things you will notice at church:
 
– The circle of Godly Play & Big Church are coming closer to each other. Our space and stories for forming faith with children is coming into the embrace of our big church space for a time. This will allow folks of all generations to be formed by our stories and the presence of children.
 
– The Sunday schedule will have a rippling circle of gatherings. The Sunday schedule will be something like this:
8:00-9:30 – Worship Leaders will be preparing our space for worship
9:30-10:00 – Children and adults who wish to gather for the Godly Play story will be welcomed to the circle in the Godly Play space at the side of the room. Those not joining the circle will be invited to visit or prepare in the Narthex and other spaces until the story ends. As the story ends, children and others may choose materials like art supplies or stories or books to work with in the children’s space or at a seat with their family and friends, and we will transition towards the wider circle of Sunday Worship.
10:00-11:15 – We worship together in person and online, usually with Holy Communion, in the ways that are familiar to most.
11:30 – Following worship and some fellowship time, opportunities will arise to share in learning, conversation and fellowship over lunch – sometimes at church and sometimes at other locations. If you have a conversation topic, study, presentation, or book you wish to discuss, please let us know, and we will build a calendar for these gatherings.
 
Our Godly Play story circle at 9:30 will begin meeting on August 21. Our post-worship gatherings will begin as we find topics and venues (and assess pandemic safety protocols).
 
Confirmation/middle school and high school youth activities will begin to be announced within the next few weeks.
 
We are looking forward to a new program year together!


Picture of backpack with text Backpack Blessings August 14

Rally Day & Backpack Blessing

Picture of backpack with text Backpack Blessings August 14
As we prepare for a new program year, we invite everyone to a special worship service on August 14 giving thanks for the many ministry programs of Peace. Our worship service this Sunday will be familiar, but our space will be a bit different…as we sit “family style” and have table centerpieces celebrating our faith family’s many ways of sharing God’s love with the world. All are also invited to bring a bag or backpack for a special blessing…whether students, teachers, workers, crafters, or anything in between…


School Supply Drive 2022

Wow! This year has seen the largest financial donation ever to the school supply drive. Our congregation raised $1115 for the students and teachers of Anderson Mill Elementary. Anderson Mill Elementary is a Title 1 school meaning that more than half of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch. If you are able please consider staying after church this Sunday, August 7th for the blessing of the supplies and for their assembly into grade level bags. Any excess funds will go towards purchase of disinfectant wipes and tissue for teachers to use in their classrooms during the year. The supplies will be delivered to the school on the morning of August 9th.

Read more...
Pride Celebration Aug 20

Austin Pride Aug 20, 2022

Pride Celebration Aug 20
The Austin area RIC congregations are planning on joining together again to celebrate Pride this year, after two years of cancellations. We’ll be at the festival from 11 am to 6 pm, and marching in the parade at 8 pm.
 
If you are interested in taking a shift at the festival booth or contributing to preparations, sign up here
 
If you want details and to sign up for the parade, click here.
 
We’re so excited to be back at Pride, and excited to have you as part of it!


Welcome Our Summer Preachers

In July, we will have a number of guest preachers join us in worship. On July 17, Seminarian and Austinite Cecie Suknaic Saulnier will be with us, and we will have a Service of the Word. We will celebrate communion on July 24 & 31. July 24, we will be joined by  Rev. Lea Walker-Clark, the pastor of the new multi-ethnic mission grounded in East Austin, Palabra de Vida. And on July 31, the Pastor of Technicolor Ministries, Rev. Katy Miles-Wallace, will be with us. Please come and enjoy the rich good news they will share and welcome them into our community!


Peace Member joins HCCM Board

We give thanks for the invaluable services and care offered to our neighbors through Hill Country Community Ministries, and we are blessed to be able to partner with them. We also give thanks that there will again be a Peace member on the HCCM Board. Jan Massa begins serving a two-year term as board member this summer. You are invited to offer Jan and HCCM your congratulations and prayers for the work ahead!


Book Club News

Peace’s book club, Peace’s Perpetual Page-Turners, always welcomes new members. If you are interested in joining or want further information email us. We meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. We continue to meet via Zoom, although we eventually will have some in-person gatherings. Our reading list for the remainder of the year:

– July 14h: Send for Me by Lauren Fox
– August 11th: The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
– September 8th: The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
– October 13th: Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird
– November 10th: Last Dance on the Starlight Pier by Sarah Bird
– December 8th: Christmas Party

Authors Diane Wilson and Sarah Bird will be joining our meeting in September and October.


Covid Protocols – Navigating the Back & Forth

COVID rates remain elevated, so we remain in the Medium phase of the APH and CDC staging system. This means we continue wearing masks in worship and holding fellowship outdoors only, when the weather allows.

The Regathering Task Force has looked at the current situation and future contingencies and is currently be recommending that in the Low level of risk masks will be optional and fellowship with food and beverages may continue indoors. Whenever we reach Medium, we will be asking those at public gatherings like worship or any gathering with more than 25 people present to wear masks. At Medium, any food or drink fellowship will be outdoors, weather permitting. At both these levels, small groups may discern together when masking as a group might be the right choice for them.

Read more...

Crawfish Boil June 5

Come celebrate Pentecost and Confirmation and New Members Sunday, June 5 at the Peace Crawfish Boil! We’ll have a boil of crawfish, shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes, onion and mushrooms served with baguette bread. There will also be hotdogs, chips, and macaroni and cheese, as well as tea and lemonade to drink. Tickets are $10 adult, $25 Family Maximum, $2 for children or non-crawfish eaters. Tickets can be purchased in person after service on May 15, May 22, and May 29.  For online purchase sign up here.


Ripples of Covid

The COVID-19 pandemic and its effects upended our lives, are still upending our lives, and will continue to affect us long into the future. Whether it was health issues, stress related to staying healthy, physical distancing, meetings on Zoom, new ways to teach and learn, loss of loved ones, changes in jobs, the struggles to return to what seems normal…. Well, you get the point—the pandemic was, is, and is to be stressful. Stephen Ministers are able to listen and walk with you as you navigate the ongoing effects of the pandemic in whatever form it is.
 
If you feel the need for this kind of care or know someone who does and would like to learn more about Stephen Ministry, please email stephenministry@peaceaustin.org with your contact information or call the church office and a Stephen Leader will contact you.

During this period of social distancing, we can provide care by telephone, video conferencing, or other methods needed to maintain social distance. We can also arrange to meet in person safely.


Summer Food Drive

Hill County Community Ministry ( HCCM ) Summer food drive.

Summer is rapidly approaching and the needs at HCCM continue.  The focus for May, June, and July will be jelly, tooth brushes and tooth paste. Why pick these items?  Jelly is always needed!  During the summer more children are at home and a simple self sufficient meal / snack is peanut butter and jelly.  Tooth brushes and tooth paste are low inventory at HCCM, too. I always feel 100% prepared for the day after I brush my teeth.  Please consider bringing these items with you and add them to the basket located in the narthex. You can also give online and choose HCCM from the dropdown menu. Thanks in advance for helping our neighbors in need.


Discipleship Sessions

Starting May 1!
 
Whether you are new to Peace, plugging back in, or just eager to connect with a wider group in our faith family – these Sunday sessions are for you!

At Peace we make it a point each year to invite new folks to connect. We don’t call it a new member class…because it isn’t about the learning…not really…and there certainly isn’t any test. It’s about slowing down, deepening in faith as we listen to ourselves and to one another and to God.

Read more...

Book Club

Peace’s book club, Peace’s Perpetual Page-Turners, always welcomes new members. If you are interested in joining, email mwhiteeagle@msn.com. Currently we have 15 members and are still meeting via zoom. We read only fiction, socialize extensively, and promise not to berate if you don’t have time to read the book that month. Our meeting date is the 2nd Thursday of each month at 1:30. Starting in July we intend to have an in-person meeting on the 2nd Thursday and a zoom meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month, giving people the option of online or in-person meeting. Our group includes both current church attendees as well as former ones who live out of state.


Masking Optional

COVID Protocols – Masking Options Still In Effect

COVID transmission rates have risen, but our local health systems are still functioning well. We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully, and may return to masking for larger public events if local health authorities advise it.
For now, our policies continue to permit individuals to choose whether to wear a mask or not at church events, including larger, public gatherings like Sunday worship.
 
As ever, we continue to urge each individual to follow the protocols that are recommended for you based on risk…and we ask anyone who will be on campus to prescreen for symptoms and stay home if you feel sick.


CROP Walk 2022

 
The day of the CROP walk event may have passed, but there’s still time to donate!
 
Join us for the 2022 Leander/Cedar Park CROP Hunger Walk! We’ll gather at the Twin Lakes Family YMCA at 1:30pm on April 24 and step-off at 2pm using the beautiful Brushy Creek Regional Trail! The steps you take and funds you raise will end hunger for neighbors around the block (through Hill Country Community Ministries) and around the world (through Church World Service). Can’t make it the day of the walk or still unsure about a group setting? Sign-up and walk (or not) in the way that best suits, or donate to one of our walkers or the team.


Mask with smile

Progress Continues!

Mask with smile
COVID Protocols – Progress Continues!

We remain grateful that the Austin area is in lower stages of its COVID protocol system, and that the CDC has released new guidance for individuals based on weekly county-level data. In light of this public health guidance and the commitments we have held throughout the pandemic, we are in ongoing discussion of our community’s protocols. If you have strong feelings about the pace of restrictions loosening (or not) you may always be in touch with us. We are balancing many different variables in this discernment.

Read more...

Feeling Down?

Our Stephen Ministry can help. Stephen Ministers aren’t just there for “big” crises. They’re also available for the little ones because many times the little things can really add up. So don’t wait until you have a really big crisis; consider Stephen Ministry if the little things have you feeling down.
 
If you feel the need for this kind of care or know someone who does and would like to learn more about Stephen Ministry, please email stephenministry@peaceaustin.org with your contact information or call the church office and a Stephen Leader will contact you.

During this period of social distancing, we can provide care by telephone, video conferencing, or other methods needed to maintain social distance.


Lent 2022

Lent 2022: Cultivating & Letting Go

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday worship at 7:00 pm on March 2 and we will be offering both in-person and online ways to connect to worship by that time.
 
This Lenten season, we will reflect on the theme of Cultivating & Letting Go. On Wednesday evenings we will worship with Holden Evening Prayer, and reflect on the weekly scriptures through conversation, journaling, and contemplative coloring.

Read more...

In-person worship resumes

In-Person Worship Resumes February 27

We give thanks for the official announcement of Stage 4 precautions from Austin Public Health. In light of this encouraging transition, the Regathering Task Force is recommending that in-person worship resume again this Sunday, February 27. As always, if you will feel safer connecting online, you may continue to do so…and you are no less a part of the community…no matter which way you join!

Read more...

Closer to Stage 4

Hospitalizations in our community continue to decline, and we finally dipped down into the Stage 4 numbers at the end of this week after briefly stalling out still in Stage 5. Because the downward trend was slowed, we have not yet reached an official transtion to Stage 4. We will remain online only for Sunday, February 20, and continue to look to the Stage 4 designation of Austin Public Health as our signal that in person gathering is advisable. Again…hopefully next week for Transfiguration Sunday.

Read more...

Lent Sacred Time

Lenten Sacred Time Invitation from the Bishop’s Office
An Invitation from Bishop Sue
Immerse yourself in the gift of Sacred Time during Lent

This Lenten season, we offer the gift of Sacred Time to all people in the Southwestern Texas Synod. We invite you to set aside an hour once a week to gather with fellow disciples for guided prayer, dwelling in ancient stories from scripture, and sharing your own stories of faith. The theme is: For the love of God our hearts confess… loneliness, fear, thirst, rebellion, joy.

Read more...

Covid Update

COVID Protocols – Looking Towards Stage 4
Hospitalizations in our community continue to decline, and we anticipate a return to in person worship very soon. We will remain online only this Sunday, and hope to have an announcement by next Sunday that the invitation to worship on campus will be open again to those who wish to. Please keep an eye on the weekly email, facebook page, and homepage of the church website for updates.

Read more...

Stage 5 Update

This past week hospitalizations in our community have continued to surge, and have now exceeded the highest previous hospitalization rates for the entire pandemic. To do our part (vaccinated or not) to break the chains of transmission, the Peace Regathering Task Force is asking that only the worship leaders come to the church campus for worship during stage 5, and that others connect to the live stream online.

Read more...

A Day for Dreaming

A Day for Dreaming – POSTPONED
In light of the current spike in covid cases, we are postponing our Day for dreaming event from this Saturday to early February (hopefully February 5). We hope this will allow more people to participate safely and fully…

Read more...

MLK Day 2022

MLK Day of Service – Jan 17
It is difficult to find activities where we can serve as a group at this time, however there are still ways we can serve. Below are a few examples of how this can be done. There is something for all ages and abilities. Of course there are many more than what is on this list. We would like for you to take a picture of yourself serving and post to Friends of Peace on Facebook or send it to comm@peaceaustin.org.

Read more...