Weekly Connections

February 17, 2023

This Sunday we celebrate Transfiguration and Black History Month with two special guests: Singer Natori Blue and visual artist Brian Joseph.


8:15 a.m. | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
The radiant voice of Natori Blue lights up both services as we reflect on Jesus as the bridge between heaven and earth. A Texas native and UT alumni, Natori is following God’s call, using her gift of music to spread the love of Christ. The children will also bury the Alleluias since Lent starts this week with Ash Wednesday. See below for service times.

Painted in vibrant colors with visible joy, the works of Austin artist Brian Joseph are on view in the Gathering Space this Sunday. Brian paints and shares the philosophy of the fictitious Bydee People (“Bydee” means Bringing You Delightful Entertaining Experiences), whose story he began developing within his first painting. Works by Black artists from private collections will also be on view.

Special thanks to the Welcome and Inclusion Team for inviting Natori Blue and Brian Joseph in celebration of Black History with the goal of advancing education, dialogue, and openness within our walls.

Pick up yours this Sunday at the entrances to the Sanctuary!

9:15 a.m. | Activity Center
Food for Fellowship is serving breakfast from 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. every Sunday. Support this hospitality ministry and give online anytime by selecting the Fellowship Events/Breakfast Fund.

Sunday, February 19
9:30 a.m. | Family Ministry Office (Joel and Megan’s Office)
One more chance to hear about plans for the upcoming Guatemala Trip (June 22-June 30) and ask us all the questions you have! This is a multi-generational trip (meaning your age doesn’t matter if you’re over 11) to build relationships with our ILAG ministry partners. Here is an edited video of ILAG’s most recent update from Pastor Karen and Diego. Contact Joel Timmons if you would like to Zoom.

9:45 a.m.
| Library + Zoom
Great discussions of the Good Book. Contact Ruby Cadenhead for more information.

9:45 a.m. | Activity Center

It’s time for Family Breakfast with crafty things for kids to do while parents enjoy each other’s company. Contact Megan Getman with questions.

6:30 p.m. | Activity Center

Bible study and games for grades 5-12. Contact Joel Timmons, Student Ministry Coordinator.

Sunday, February 19
Noon | Family Ministry Center, Rm 205

Grief can be experienced with any life transition such as job or school changes, retirement, breaks in relationships or children leaving home, illness, death. or family conflict. If you experience feelings of profound loss, distress, anger, depression, guilt, or pain, consider dropping in on our group. Please R.S.V. P. to Rebecca Guengerich, Spirituality and Wellness.


Check the calendars on Realm or the website for a complete list of events including Pickleball, Prayer Shawl, PALS, Yoga, and more!

Tuesday, February 21
6:00-7:30 p.m. | Activity Center

Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras…whatever you call it, if you love breakfast for dinner, this is your day! The youth and their helpers will be cooking up pancakes and eggs, sides to go with them, and the perfect opportunity to gather as a faith community. Other reasons to come? You won’t have to cook dinner, you can enjoy the company of friends, AND you can support the Youth Boundary Waters Trip by grabbing an envelope from the Fundraising Wall and filling it with cash to help buy a tank of gas, food, or a paddle. Don’t panic, we take checks and credit cards too.

  • Can’t stay for dinner? Fill out this order form ahead of time and we’ll prepare a to-go box for you to take home to the family.
  • Ready to make a supporting donation today? Click here

Wednesday, February 22
Our Story-My Song. This service, with the Imposition of Ashes, marks the beginning of Lent as we surrender our old life for a new life in Christ. Choose a time that works for you.
6:30 a.m. | Sanctuary Start your day with this 30-minute service.
Noon | Sanctuary Stay after – soup’s on in the Activity Center following worship.
7:00 p.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream Come early – soup’s on at 6:00 p.m. in the Activity Center.

No Wednesday studies this week. Early Riser’s Study on Zoom will resume next week on March 1 at 7:30 a.m. Late Risers will not meet during Lent. Contact Pr. Lauren or Pr. Tom

Sundays, February 26 – March 26
8:15 a.m. | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
“This is My Story, This is My Song” During Lent we will look for the intersections of God’s Story and our story, revealing Jesus in his full humanity. Join us for Worship on Sundays and “Once Upon a Time” on Wednesdays as we create space for story-telling focusing on those who were witnesses to Jesus’s journey.

Sunday, February 26
2:30 p.m. | St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 606 W. 15th Street
+ Zoom
Plan to join us, and please spread the word about ACL’s 2023 Summit. More than an update – more than a meeting – but a time to take action and participate in meaningful and impactful ministry! There will be updates on ACL Ministries and what’s ahead, volunteer sign-ups for BFA Food Pantry, Mariposa FLC Work Team, Move-In Ministry Team, Technical Support Team, Rent Assistance Fundraiser, and more!
Learn more about the Summit Meeting here.

ONCE UPON A TIME…Mid Week Worship
Beginning next Wednesday, March 1
Each Wednesday we will hear a dramatic reading telling the story through the eyes of those present: from the thief crucified next to Jesus; to Mary, the mother of Jesus. We will hear their story and experience the passion of that moment. Two times, your choice. Come early for soup!

  • 12:00-12:30 p.m. | Activity Center Soup’s on!
    12:30-1:00 p.m. | Activity Center Stories + Scriptures
  • 6:00-6:30 p.m. | Activity Center Soup’s on! Kid-friendly food too.
    6:30-7:00 p.m. | Activity Center Stories + Scriptures

Friday, March 10 | St. Martin’s Lutheran Church

Saturday, March 11 | St. John’s Lutheran, San Antonio
Whether you’re a Cobber, a choral music lover, or both, mark your calendar for these dates. More information to follow next week!


Like many American cities, Austin established segregation in the 1920’s and 30’s using zoning restrictions on where African Americans could live (known as redlining).  A City Plan for Austin, Texas,” prepared for the City Planning Commission in 1928, infamously institutionalized racial segregation. It recommended a plan to move “the negro population” east of East Avenue, where I-35 is today.

Honoring Black History
Don’t miss the slideshow in the Gathering Space featuring different black leaders & their contributions to society and our community. Special thanks to Ruby Cadenhead and Robert Spillar of the Welcome & Inclusion Team for creating this presentation to expand our education and knowledge of Black leaders in our world. Members of the Welcome and Inclusion Team are Ruby Cadenhead, Sean Murray, Lauren Paulson, June Spann, Robert Spillar, and Pr. Lauren Dow Wegner


Giving is an expression of joy and gratitude for the bounty of God’s goodness! There are so many ways to give-both financially and through serving.

Gifts for BeREAL Young Adults
Purchase Appliances Online

Give the gift of love by purchasing an appliance to help an Upbring BeREAL client furnish their kitchen. Choose from a whole list of items that include things like a microwave ($55), blender ($20), or can opener ($6) that will be sent straight to the church. Your gift will help someone aging out of foster care become self-sufficient. Don’t like to shop? Make a financial contribution! Questions? Contact Kathy Gerhardt.

Please help support Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) and Lutheran World Relief (LWR) efforts in response to the devastating earthquake in areas of Turkey & Syria. Your gifts provide help and hope for those whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake. Gifts designated for the earthquake relief effort will be used entirely (100%) for response efforts until they are complete. Love Offering envelopes will be available this Sunday and next for gifts of cash and check, or you may give online.

We are getting closer to our $3,000,000 goal! To date, we have raised $2,300,140 with 149 households participating. Please consider a gift! Learn more about Beyond here.

Keeping current with your pledged or regular giving has never been easier because you can do it all online!

It’s not too late! Begin your new year by responding in gratefulness. Please prayerfully consider giving in support of our Mission and Ministry Fund and/or Facilities and Campus Care Fund for 2023 if you have not yet done so. It’s easy to make a pledge online or ask the front office for a pledge card. Thank you for helping us do God’s work in the world!

Serving is a great way to give back and get to know others in our community. Whether you are interested in serving locally, being part of a global mission, or volunteering to help in a variety of ways on Sundays, we have a place for you!

Every Monday, Faith Presbyterian Church, 1314 E. Oltorf
Noon-3:00 p.m. | Preparation Shift

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. | Preparation Shift
4:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m. | Distribution Shift
Choose a time and help Austin City Lutherans’ Bread for All Food Pantry, serving Southeast Austin. No need to sign up ahead of time! This is a perfect activity for families, retirees, or anyone with spare time and a big heart.

The pantry is in need of Basmati rice and bags of flour in addition to other non-perishable goods. Please contact Weldon Allison with any questions! Bring non-perishable items and diapers to the collection bins located in the Gathering Space on Sundays or in the courtyard on Saturdays from 9-11:00 a.m.

This week’s Altar Flowers are given in memory and honor of Carl Grevlos by Pr. Tom and Jeanne Grevlos.                                

If you would like to place flowers on the altar in memory of a loved one or in celebration of a special occasion, you can sign up here!


In need of prayer? Please contact a pastor to be put on the prayer list.

We pray for Rodney Varner, Callie Ray Bell, Eric Paul, and Jan Wilson.

We pray for family and friends of Shepherd members: Marie Lindstrom, sister of Linda Fiandaca; Linda and Tom Ferris, sister and brother-in-law of Jennifer Arndt; and Margie Robinson, mother of Debra Wissman.

Merciful and Loving God, as war and violence rage in Ukraine and other parts of the world, we pray that leaders of the world will practice peace-making, bringing together people of every tribe and race under the umbrella of your amazing grace.

We pray for the countries of Turkey and Syria as they cope with the devastation of the recent earthquake. Surround those who grieve with your mercy and comfort. Give strength and courage to rebuild lives. Use us in our prayers and through prayer leading to action inspire our own generous support. May we remember Jesus’ words, “As you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.”

We pray for our global ministry partners: Rev. Karen Castillo in Guatemala; Iglesia Luterana Augustina Virgen del Rosario, Aurora 8 de Octubre, Guatemala. We pray for Malcolm and Joy Henderson and the ministry of CHARIS in Haiti. 

We pray for our local ministries: Mariposa Family Learning Center, Bread For All, and Upbring Ministries.

We pray for our faith community, that we may be a church without walls and live out loud…faithfully!

Would you like someone to pray alongside you during troubling times? Contact a Stephen Minister who can travel with you on life’s sometimes bumpy road.

*Prayers for family and friends are listed for 2 weeks, unless we are notified otherwise.


Catch up on what you might have missed by reading last week’s Weekly Connections by clicking here.