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  • Writer's pictureParish Office

"The Curate" February 2021

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is hard to believe that February is upon us and we face the Lenten season of preparation, the 40 day (not counting Sundays which are “in” and not “of” Lent) period leading us into the greatest of seasons in our Church Year of grace together. Ash Wednesday on February 17th will launch us into this penitential time of fasting, prayer, and soul-searching—a time of preparation for the Great Mystery of our faith.

As the church has considered ways of responsibly imposing ashes during the current pandemic, it has been suggested that this year mark a return to the more ancient way of receiving ashes to faithfully begin the Lenten journey. A glance at The Book of Common Prayer, page 265 if you’re checking, will confirm that the way ashes are to be imposed isn’t prescribed. Only the following is stated, “If ashes are to be imposed…” and “The ashes are imposed with the following words.” It has been the recent custom that ashes are placed on the forehead in the sign of the cross, however this was not the typical practice.

A search into the interesting history of imposition of ashes will lead you to its roots “as a sign of admission to the order of penitents who had fallen away from the church by reason of grievous sin” (Celebrating Liturgical Time, J. Neil Alexander, p 97). In this time, ashes were sprinkled on the heads of penitents. This sign was later extended to all, ashes were sprinkled on the heads of all to mark the beginning of Lent. Eventually, a cross was made with the ashes on the shaven tonsures of monks. This was later moved to the forehead of all as we see now. History tells of the imposition of ashes as a journey from sprinkling on the head to crossing on the forehead.

This year I will offer the most ancient form of imposing ashes, sprinkled on the head while reminding each of you of your own mortality, saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The parallels for casting dirt upon a coffin or urn at burial are unmistakable and rich with meaning for the day.

One last note on Lent this year. In conversation with our Sr. Warden, it has been decided that the best course of action is to cancel our typical Lenten Lunch program this year. It has become clear to me that the most well-attended and well-loved aspect of this program is in fact the fellowship surrounding our meal together. I know many love the programs, but in the best interest of our communities health it is most fitting to forgo the program in 2021. I’ve considered offering such a program online, but do not feel it would meet with much success when so many understandably crave face-to-face interaction. We will, however, continue with our customary Lenten study as a church, working our way through Living Well Through Lent 2021, using our Christian Formation time on Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m. on Zoom ( to ground that effort.

Lastly and importantly, if you desire a pastoral visit and/or Holy Communion brought to you, please contact me by phone, email, or text to schedule a visit. I would be more than happy to bring the church to you!

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Fr. Justin Briggle


The next DOK meeting will be held on Sunday, February 7th, after church in the Parish Hall at 11:45 a.m. Social distancing and masks required. Also available via Zoom for those who would rather

meet virtually.

The next SMG meeting will be held in person on Monday, February 15th, in the Parish Hall at 6:00pm. Social distancing and masks required.

There will be no ECW meeting in the month of


February Birthdays

1 John Myers

8 Judith Nemer

11 David Brown

12 Jenny Cunningham

13 Helen Elliott

18 Justin Briggle

18 Barbara Kolstad

22 Bill Stites

23 Marcus Briggle

24 Clinton Taylor

26 Pedro Garcia-Castillo

February Anniversaries

8 George & Kayte Monahan

27 Chris & Danette Gouras

Ushers - February 2021

Curt Winkler.

Ushers—March 2021

To be announced.

December 2020 Year to Date

Beginning Balance $62,821.45 $97,586.72

Total Income $42,710.25 $236,918.86

Total Expenses $21,833.05 $250,806.93

Ending Balance $83,698.65 $83,698.65


Please consider contributing for Altar Flowers on a

Sunday morning in Thanksgiving for an anniversary, birthday, or other blessing or in memory of someone.

To give please call the Church Office at 903-729-4214.

Altar Guild Schedule:

Jan 30 - Feb 5 -------Team 2 Becky Myers, Cathy Summers, Julie Law

Linens: Kirsten Knippers

Feb 6 – Feb 12--------Team 3 Alex Nemer, Vicki Winkler

Linens: Vicki Winkler

Feb 13 – Feb 19 ------Team 4 Sara Minton, Kathy Stites, Hilda Garcia-Castillo

Linens: Jeanette George

Feb 20 – Feb 26-------Team 1 Nancy Waggoner, Sherry Snow,

Linens: Joann Evans

Feb 27 – Mar 5--------Team 2 Becky Myers, Cathy Summers, Julie Law

Linens: Kirsten Knippers

Lay Minister Schedule:

February 2021 Reader/Server

Sunday 2/7 10:30 a.m. Barbara Kolstad

Sunday 2/14 10:30 a.m. Phillip Morton

Wednesday 2/17 5:30 p.m. Pat Redding

Sunday 2/21 10:30 a.m. Sparky Kolstad

Sunday 2/28 10:30 a.m. Scott Nicholson


The magi arrived to offer the finest gifts and to pay Jesus homage.

Drive-thru ashes will be

available for Ash Wednesday!

Snow day 2021! What a

beautiful day to remember.


Singing: Why do we do it? What is it for? How did it all start, and why in church?

These are some of the questions I hope to answer here. The history of vocal song can be traced back to the beginning of recorded history. Some think historically it had a physical purpose in the church, and not one for entertainment. This idea is for reading scripture. The year is 1724, picture yourself in an exceptionally large church space, (say Westminster Abbey, for example). Now, you are sitting at the back of the church, and the reader is at the lectern. There are no microphones, no electricity, nothing other than the natural acoustic of that great space. The reader reads the passage, with only their spoken voice. You are sitting there thinking “I can’t hear you.” Now, the reader sings or “chants” the text with good diction, projection, etc. Now you hear every word with clarity because the singing voice travels much greater in a solid acoustical environment than spoken voice. This is what prompted choral singing or chanting of all readings, Psalms, etc. For the sole purpose of being able to hear them better in a large space that offered no artificial amplification.

Here is another point on why we sing. You have all heard a sermon by now in your life, right? Next Sunday you are in church, I want you to try to remember one or two sentences that were said at the beginning of the sermon when you leave the building. Chances are you cannot do it, can you? I know I cannot. Now, can you sing the first stanza(s) of “Amazing Grace,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night?” How about nursery rhymes, such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “Merry Had a Little Lamb,” or “Old McDonald?” I bet you can! Why is that though? Why can we remember these words we learned decades ago, but not what our preacher said in the past few minutes? Music, of course! Science has proven that words that we sing have a much higher retention rate than spoken words that we hear.

Of course, singing our favorite hymns can often give us the “goose bump” feelings when we really like them. When this happens, it is a good sign that the mood of the tune and content of the text complement each other very well. You will typically notice that texts with dark themes have melancholy melodies, usually in minor keys. While texts with joyful themes will have triumphant melodies, usually in major keys. This is done for all the experience to help us remember the words we sing. Why do we sing in church then? Most hymns are based on Holy Scripture, Psalms, or poems based on ideas that help us live better lives. The idea that we sing these words is, so we remember them!

Joshua Lang, Organist/Choirmaster


Junior Warden Report: January 2021

4 Jan. Met with East Texas Locksmith re: change out locks in church. Discussed zoning for key distribution as well as two levels of Master Key. Problem identified with the Narthax door lock and the door to the west door to the choir area. 12 Jan. Fr. Justin identified a leak in the ceiling in North East corner of Parlor. Notified Haws Roofing. 13 Jan. Called Peace of Mind Electric Company re: schedule more overhead fluorescent lights retrofitting to LED. Will schedule. 15 Jan. -Haws Roofing will schedule to come out a.s.a.p. will call ahead. -Peace of Mind Electric Company technicians retrofitted 9 overhead fixtures. Technician looked at flood light Narthax and identified the fixture has a ring affixed with an allen screw. Need long ladder to remove ring and replace bulb with LED. 28 Jan. Haws Roofing technicians here to access the roof leak (s). 29 Jan. Peace of Mind technicians to come and retrofit 8 more overhead fixtures. Phillip O. Morton, RN Junior Warden



Rector: Fr. Justin Briggle Cell: (512) 799-9365

Parish Assistant: Ginger Brown Treasurer: Melissa F. Cox

Sexton: Martín Rodríguez Organist/Choirmaster: Joshua Lang

Vestry Members


Bill Fraser

Phillip Morton, Jr. Warden

Tucker Royall

Bob Snow


Barbara Kolstad, Sr. Warden

Pat Redding

Mike Tisdale

Nancy Waggoner


Melissa Cox, Treasurer

Alex Nemer, Clerk

Vincent Salaz

Joan Strominger

Normal Office Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.

Closed Federal and Occasional Church Holidays

Phone: (903) 729-4214 Fax: (903) 729-8691

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