Welcome!

By | Community, From Fr. Ram, Worship, Youth | No Comments

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. I am happy to announce that the St. George Community has called Frances Caroline “Cookie” Harris as our next Youth Minister, Sacred Studies Teacher and School Chaplain. Cookie is super excited to be joining our team and becoming a part of this community.

Cookie is a detail-oriented and gifted communicator. She has years of nonprofit administrative and leadership experience. She graduated from The University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Elementary Education and a Master of Curriculum and Instruction. While at Ole Miss, she served as a Recruiter for the School of Education. Returning to her native San Antonio, Cookie served as Youth Director Intern for her home parish, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and School.

In 2014, Cookie felt the call of God tugging her to move to Haiti. While there she founded and directed the English as a Second Language Program for Respire Haiti in Gressier, Ouest, haiti. She also served as the lead teacher of the English Immersion Homeschool Classroom at Respire Haiti Christian School in Gressier.

While in Haiti, Cookie adopted Robi and Sherly. They are in 9th and 10th grades and are boarding at TMI-The Episcopal School of Texas. Cookie will begin her ministry at St. George mid-July. Currently, she is working very closely with Daniel Forman as they both work to ensure a smooth transition. Please join me in welcoming Cookie to the St. George Community!

Holy Week Worship Services Invitation from Fr. Ram

By | From Fr. Ram | No Comments

Dear St. George Family:

I want to invite you and your loved ones to be a part of our Easter Sunday festivities.

Worship on this high feast day of the Church will be at 8:30 am and 10:45 am.  In between services we will have an Easter Brunch, Easter Egg hunts (by age) for all the children; and the Flowering of the Cross (symbol of the new life that bursts forth in the world at Jesus’ resurrection).

I will offer an Easter Message at both services and adhere to my yearly practice of inviting the children forward to participate in the sermon at 10:45 am.

I also invite you to attend our Holy Week services:

  • Maundy Thursday, April 13 at 6:30 pm
  • Good Friday, April 14 at noon and 6:30 pm
  • Holy Saturday, April 15 at 9:30 am  (refreshments will be offered to all who come and stay to help the Altar Guild decorate the Church for Easter Sunday)

Kendra, Christopher and John Michael look forward to being with you and your loved ones this Easter.  Come and worship the One whose Resurrected Life has the Power to change your life and the life of the World!!!

Peace,

Ram+

New Year’s Day Worship Followed by The Rector’s Black-Eyed Pea Throwdown Challenge!

By | Fellowship, From Fr. Ram | No Comments

Please join us for Holy Eucharist on 4:00 on New Year’s Day, and stay for…

Rector‘s Black-eyed Pea Throwdown Challenge!!

black-eyed-peasFr Ram will be cooking up a batch of his black-eyed peas to share after the 4 pm Holy Eucharist on New Year’s Day afternoon.  All you cooks are invited to boil up some peas and bring ’em out for all God’s people to sample!

Everyone else is invited to bring their favorite New Year’s Day snacks (cheese trays, tamales, relish trays – you name it) and we will enjoy fellowship and start the year with Jesus and each other.

Black-eyed pea cooks:  Please email our Director of Operations and Management, Maricela Graciano-Ramos (mgracianoramos@saintgeorgechurch.org) so we will have a place to plug in your crock pot.  Small serving cups and spoons will be provided so that you can share your culinary artistry!

 

Christmas Gift to Our Sister Community in Haiti

By | From Fr. Ram | No Comments

December, 2016

haiti-dec-16-emailMerry Christmas to our brothers and sisters at St. Benoit! This week we sent a gift package to our sister community in Haiti, St. Benoit.  Included in this gift were school supplies, printing supplies, homemade pencil pouches from last year’s 5th grade, some soccer balls, and even some Chain of Love shirts to share with the children and community.  A loving donation of a Communion set to the church was included in the gift, as noted in Fr. Ram’s letter to our friends below.  Construction of the new church is developing nicely and the building will be ready soon with the scheduled dedication to take place on the feast of St. Benedict this year! Please keep our brothers and sisters in your thoughts and prayers as we move through this season and remember how our prayers and love help sustain this beautiful partnership.

-Keith Earlehaiti-2-dec-16-email

Fr. Ram’s Note:

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Your friends at St. George are sending you a chalice and paten that came to us some years back.  It is what is left of a United States Army Chaplain Communion set.  While we do not know its history, the set was commissioned to serve those engaged in carrying out various missions.

As I reflect on this initial intent I am aware that once again these vessels will be once again used to serve those on a mission.  In this case, a Kingdom of God mission to proclaim the resurrection hope and life of Jesus Christ to all people.  And we both share in this most important mission of all to seek and serve Christ in all persons.  May this chalice and paten be a sign between of us of our continuing friendship and support of each other’s mission and ministry to the glory of God.

May God grow our partnership and may we be blessed to share the blessing of God to us – His only Son.

Faithfully,

The Rev. Ramiro López

A Letter from the Rector

By | From Fr. Ram | No Comments

Dear Friends in Christ,

Life at St. George is vibrant and moving!  God’s Spirit is roaming freely tending and shaping our common life!

I want to share some dates with you so that you can circle them on your calendars.  Some of these dates represent changes to previous calendars.  So where there is a conflict with older calendars, please use these dates instead.  And look for articles that will give more detail.

October 30 – Promise Plan Ingathering at both worship times followed a Picnic on the Green with opportunities to have some All Hallows’ Eve fun with our children.

November 6Sunday after All Saints’ Day with Holy Baptisms and Daughters of the King Corporate Communion.

November 13 – Bishop Robert Hibbs, retired Suffragan, for Adult Confirmation, Reception and Renewal of Baptismal Vows.

November 20 – St. George Community Thanksgiving Celebration with turkeys courtesy of our Dragonslayers Men’s Group to complement your favorite Thanksgiving side dish or dessert.

November 27 – First Sunday of Advent and blessing of our new Advent Altar hangings and accouterments.

Please read your eSpear and Sunday bulletin closely.  There are many opportunities for each one of us to grow closer to God and to one another in Christ Jesus.

Many blessings abound here at St. George!

Ram+

Letter From Fr. Ram

By | Called to Serve, From Fr. Ram | No Comments

‘…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses…to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1.8, ESV)

Right before the resurrected Jesus ascended to the “right hand of the Father” he promised his apostles that they would not be left alone. Soon, they were to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and each were to embark on a mission that would literally change the course of history.

This outpouring of the Spirit both instilled powerful gifts for ministry and enhanced gifts still unused and undeveloped. Yet once those gifts were unleashed a powerful movement began among the people they encountered as they traveled. Today we look upon that day, the Feast of Pentecost—the day when the Holy Spirit birthed a people who shared their spiritual gifts with others—and we consider that day the birthday of the Church.

The birth of the Church coincides with the unleashing of people, empowered to use their own gifts and talents to proclaim the Good News of Jesus.

My leadership team and I have had much conversation with various leaders in our many ministries. One of the common themes is the difficulty of attracting new volunteers. Likewise, we have had conversations with those who are new to St. George.  A common obstacle is the challenge of serving, especially among those with significant time commitments or younger children.  Being scheduled on a recurring rotation monthly can be daunting when one is new to a ministry.

Obviously this presents quite the conundrum.

As we have pondered these conversations, it has become increasingly clear that we need to shift our thinking from volunteer recruitment to ministry training. This is important so that we can reclaim our identity as The Church—that is, the “unleashed people of God, empowered to use their spiritual gifts and talents to proclaim the Good News of Jesus.”

At St. George, you will find numerous opportunities for you and your loved ones to be people of action through our Summer of Service. Those opportunities range from backpack stuffing to helping during our Vacation Bible School (VBS). Additionally, with summer travel upon us we will have some openings in some of our Sunday morning ministries, most notably in our Greeter Ministry. Please look over all the opportunities that are available to you to see which one(s) grab your attention and then go and serve.

The other side of the coin is that I will be asking all of our ministry leaders to find appropriate, flexible opportunities for all St. George Community members, especially those new to serving, to sign up to serve in ministry here in a way that fits their schedule. If you are new to serving in the congregation or are considering serving, please know how much you and your gift of time and talent are appreciated. If you would like to participate in a simple, yet highly transformative, Sunday morning ministry come to one of the Greeters’ tables on either end of the worship space and parish hall. You could make a big change in someone’s life just by smiling and saying “Good morning!”[1]

This coming Sunday, sign up sheets will be available in your bulletins for you to offer your time this summer and beyond. We are being called and empowered to be a people of ACTION. I invite you to answer that call from God and share how you can serve here at St. George, in the surrounding community and in the world. May God unleash us through the gift of the Holy Spirit and may we use our gifts to be people of Good News at all times!

 

Faithfully,

Fr. Ram+

 

 

[1] Please note that the Lector and Lay Eucharistic ministry is a bit more complicated in terms of getting on the schedule since these ministries are licensed by the Bishop’s Office. But their leaders are always eager to welcome, train and unleash new servants!

 

Mother’s Day Message from Fr. Ram

By | From Fr. Ram | No Comments

flowersGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bring your mother to church this Sunday for Mother’s Day.  Whether you pick her up and bring her with a coffee in hand to worship or whether you carry her sweet memory in you heart, come and worship.  Together we will celebrate motherhood and offer prayers for all mothers – expecting ones, new ones, recently empty-nested, moms who are now grandmothers and even those who have been like mothers to us.

I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday at St. George!

Blessings,

Ram+

Reflection Series- “Stations of the Cross” – Station 1

By | A Lenten Journey, From Fr. Ram | No Comments

Station 1 – Jesus is Condemned to Death

1 Station

Jesus is Condemned

The world is full of many beautiful sights.  In my own travels I have seen the beauty of the mesa in New Mexico, cathedrals and castles in England, and historical sights in the Boston and Washington DC.  I have seen the brightly lit streets in Times Square in New York City and the quiet night of the Pacific Coast.  And in each of those beautiful places I have sensed the awesome presence of God who has given me the blessing of seeing so much of his world.

I have also seen places less than beautiful.  I have seen places where fresh drinking water is non-existent, where cardboard serves as the walls that keep out the wind and rain, where one meal a day is all one can manage, where life is not at all like any of the other places I have seen or experienced. And I have also sensed the powerful presence of God in these rougher edged places.

Journeys are spiritual.  Journeys reveal to us the God who lives among his very own people – not inside buildings of our own making or in the books of our libraries.  Jesus embodies all, both the lovely and the not so lovely aspects of our humanity.  Jesus experiences the highs and lows of life, the victories and the struggles, the joy and the sorrow.  All of which make up our human journey through life.

Jesus’ final journey – to the cross of suffering death – is marked by false accusations and the unjust judgment which emerges from those lies.  Jesus endures with us the pain of betrayal, the empty feeling of loneliness and, finally, the sting of death.  The story of Jesus’ passion and death on the cross leave us no doubts that he indeed knows the heights and depths of human life and embraces it fully in Divine Love.  Jesus’ final journey to death on the cross leaves us no doubts that he indeed knows each one of our very complex lives and embraces us fully in Divine Love.

The Scriptures tell us that if we die with Christ then we shall be raised with Christ (Romans 6.8).  Jesus invites us to take up our own cross and follow him (Luke 9.23).  This Lent walk with Jesus.  Walk the way of suffering and death on the cross.  Hear once again the magnificent story of the amazing depth of God’s love for us that to redeem sinners he sends a Son (Galatians 4.7).

-Fr. Ram Lopez