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The mission of the Episcopal Church of the Cross is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and soul, and strength, and mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.  We are the ECC:  Loving God and our Neighbors.
In this edition of the Daily Cross…
  • Worship with Church of the Cross
  • New Mailing Address
  • February Worship Ministry Signup
  • Common Threads
  • Men's Morning Fellowship
  • Keeping Lent- a word
  • Keeping Lent at the ECC... Study
  • The Practice of Listening
  • Keeping Lent- Ministry and Generosity
  • Daily Scripture Readings
  • Prayers
Sunday, February 18, 2024—The First Sunday in Lent
9:30 AM Worship and Children’s Ministry
18101 W. Highway 71, Suite 120
Texts in worship:  I Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15
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Christ in the Desert by Nicholas Roerich
In Children’s Ministry:  We continue exploring Jesus calling and appointing the Twelve Disciples.  We will bring the stories to life by learning about the adventures of Jesus’ disciples, while also focusing on qualities that make a disciple and how we are all call to be disciples.  This Sunday, we will be spending time with John 1:40-42.
This Sunday’s worship bulletin can be found here.  The service will be streamed at facebook.com/ecclaketravis.
After Worship:  The Practice of Listening:  An Introduction
 

New Mailing Address for the Episcopal Church of the Cross
Our new mailing address is 18101 W. Highway 71, Suite 120; Austin, TX  78738.
 

February Worship Ministry Sign-Ups…
…can be found here.
 

Tuesday, February 20--Common Threads
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
At the home of Sue Peterson
Common Threads is a group at the ECCLT who meet weekly to knit and do other sorts of handwork.  Gatherings begin with sharing a meal.  Please bring something to share!  All are welcome and you don’t have to know how to knit! We have lefties and righties who can teach you. If you are new to knitting, we have supplies to share to get you started. For more information, please contact Judy Cariker at [email protected].

Friday, February 23--Men’s Morning Fellowship
7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Hat Creek Burger
1602 RR 620 S. in Lakeway
Gather for fellowship, to share a meal, and dwell in the scriptures.
For more information, please contact Paul Johnson at [email protected].

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Keeping Lent—a word

Dear ECC Friends,,
Lent begins this week.  The word “Lent” comes from an old English word for spring, it’s related to the word “lengthen.” During Lent, the days lengthen.
And it is, of course, the forty-day season of preparation for Easter. 
Lent is a season of returning, and renewal, and restoration.  It is a time of focus, and special intention.  We often do something in Lent…take on a practice or give something up…to change our lives a little bit…disrupt our lives in some small way…so that God can have space to move in us to transform us and make us new.
Lent has a reputation for being a bit dry and dusty.  But really, it’s an incredibly fruitful and life-giving time; a time when we are reminded that always we can return, and always we are being restored, and always we are being made new.  In Lent, we dare to hope and are prepared for the promise proclaimed at Easter of new life, given eternally, and always. 
And so in Lent, we pay attention, cultivate willingness, embrace expectancy, and do our part to help God make us new again.
               I bid you a blessed Lent.  May it be a season of intentionality and renewed focus.  May our hearts and minds be open for the new thing God is doing; for the restoration and transformation God promises and delivers.  And may we be filled with renewed hope in God’s love, and mercy, and strength, and peace, and calling, and the new life God gives forever.
               Peace be with you, friends.
               Paul

Keeping Lent at the ECC…Study
Beginning this Sunday, February 18
After Worship During Lent:  The Practice of Listening
“Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”  -James 1:19
“Prayer is the way we learn to listen.”  -Joan Chittister
“The first service one owes to others consists in listening to them.”  -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Vocation comes from listening.  I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about—quite apart from what I would like it to be about—or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.”  -Parker Palmer
 
               Dear ECC Friends,
               After worship during the Sundays in Lent, we’ll be gathering to consider the spiritual practice of listening.
               The practice of intentional listening strengthens our relationship with God, with one another, and our own understanding of ourselves.  “Most people don’t want you to solve their problems,” GK Chesterton once said.  They just want to be listened to.” And echoing the words of the ancients, Mother Teresa taught that “Listening is the beginning of prayer.”
               So after worship during Lent, we’ll explore what it means to listen well, and consider how we can grow in this skill of listening and become better listeners of God, others, and ourselves.
               The series begins after worship this Sunday, February 18 and continues through the Fifth Sunday in Lent on Sunday, March 17.  Child-care will be available after worship each of those Sundays.
               We invite you to be with us for these gathering in which we explore the spiritual gift and practice of listening.
               Blessings to you, friends, and I bid you a rich and blessed beginning to this Lenten season.
               Paul
Sunday, February 18—The Practice of Listening
The Invitation to a Listening Heart
Conversation facilitated by Paul Johnson
 
Sunday, February 25—The Practice of Listening
Listening to One Another
Conversation facilitated by Shelley Coleman, LPC-S, RPT
 
Sunday, March 3—The Practice of Listening
Listening in Community
Conversation facilitated by Rebecca Hall, Director of Adult Formation at St. David’s Episcopal Church and Founder and Steward of the Abbey
 
Sunday, March 10—The Practice of Listening
Listening to Ourselves
Conversation facilitated by Rebecca Pollard, MA, LPC, SEP
 
Sunday, March 17—The Practice of Listening
Listening for God
Conversation facilitated by Paul Johnson

Keeping Lent—Ministry and Generosity…Partnering with Foster Village
              For our Lenten in-gathering this year, we are collecting supplies for parents and their young children that are being served by our ministry partner, Foster Village.
              County judges and CASA have asked us to supply toiletries and infant items to moms going through the Parenting in Recovery/Family Drug Treatment Court process of attending rehab, moving into a sober-living facility, and then transitioning back to independent living.  The parents are not allowed to work during this process so they need help with these basic necessities – especially with alcohol-free hygiene products that meet facility guidelines while entering treatment for recovery. With this family preservation model, mothers are able to keep their young children with them, reducing the trauma of separation.  The hope is that by coming alongside and providing community support for struggling parents who are engaging with Parenting in Recovery, we can help fill gaps while the court and community partners work to stabilize families and prevent removal of children from their families.
              Extending generosity in support of this ministry is simple:  Please order from one of the Amazon links below, and then bring the supplies to worship during Lent so we can assemble the kits for mothers and infants.
Recovery/Treatment Center Material for Infants:   https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2URHVHVHUC80Q/ref=hz_ls_biz_ex
Recovery/Treatment Center Material for Mom:
              https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/21ZKX2M6H7W0Z/ref=hz_ls_biz_ex
              Please join us in caring for these children from hard places and their parents.  We hope to work upstream to improve the odds of better outcomes for these children who have come into contact with the child welfare system due to their parent’s substance use disorder.
For more information about the county program, please go to:
https://www.traviscountytx.gov/health-human-services/children-and-youth/welfare/family-drug-court.
We will collect these items and assemble the kits during Lent and then on Good Friday at 11 am we will go to Foster Village and deliver the kits.  Common Threads is knitting away to redecorate a tree at Foster Village and there will be simple yarn projects we can do on site on that day.  We’ll also prepare Easter eggs for our Easter Day celebration!  Children are invited to participate in this ministry, and there is a playground at Foster Village where kids can play with parental supervision.

Daily Scripture Readings
“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’” 
-Mark 1:14-15
 
Sunday, February 18:
Morning Psalms:              63, 98                                  Evening Psalm:                  103
Daniel 9:3-10; Hebrews 2:10-18; John 12:44-50
 
Monday, February 19:
Morning Psalms:              41, 52                                  Evening Psalm:                  44
Genesis 37:1-11; I Corinthians 1:1-19; Mark 1:1-11
 
Tuesday, February 20:
Morning Psalm:                45                                         Evening Psalms:                47, 48
Genesis 37:12-24; I Corinthians 20-31; Mark 1:14-28
 
Wednesday, February 21:
Morning Psalm:                119:49-72                           Evening Psalms:                49, 53
Genesis 37:25-36; I Corinthians 2:1-13; Mark 1:29-45
 
Thursday, February 22:
Morning Psalm:                50                                         Evening Psalms:                19, 46
Genesis 39:1-23; I Corinthians 2:14-3:15; Mark 2:1-12
 
Friday, February 23:
Morning Psalms:              40, 54, 95                           Evening Psalm:                  51
Genesis 40:1-23; I Corinthians 3:16-23; Mark 2:13-22
 
Saturday, February 24:
Morning Psalm:                55                                         Evening Psalms:                138, 139:1-17
Genesis 41:1-13; I Corinthians 4:1-7; Mark 2:23-3:6

Prayers
 
O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength:  By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray you, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
               -A Prayer for Quiet Confidence
 
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgement, and light rises up in darkness for the godly:  Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
               -A Prayer for Guidance
 
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan:  Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.
               -Collect for the First Sunday in Lent
 
Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your grace may increase until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.
               -A Prayer for Peace from the Book of Common Prayer

The ministry of Church of the Cross is supported by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the tithes and offerings of the community and friends.  Gifts in support of Church of the Cross can be set up online, through text messaging or checks/cash. Click here for more information and links.
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