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Update to Mask Protocols

See the video message above from our associate rector about an update to COVID protocols. Due to the increase in COVID infection rates, and following city guidelines, masks are now mandatory for all persons entering St. David’s buildings regardless of vaccination status. Thank you for helping to keep our most vulnerable parishioners healthy. Masks are available at the front desk.


UPCOMING WORSHIP CHANGES: Starting in August, all services will be in Historic Church. We plan to livestream the 11:15 a.m. service from Historic Church. We are currently testing that equipment. Registration is not required to attend worship.
Sunday 8 a.m. | Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Sunday 9 a.m. | Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Sunday 11:15 a.m. | Holy Eucharist, Rite II (livestreamed on FacebookYouTube, and online)
Sunday 8 p.m.
 | Choral Compline sung evening prayer (livestreamed)

Wednesday 5:30 p.m. | Evening Prayer (Zoom) Download Evening Prayer Booklet
Third Saturdays 9 a.m. | Holy Hikes (Location changes monthly)

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Music Notes | Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Eric Mellenbruch Associate Director of Music and Organist

The modern three-year lectionary used at the celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays and other major holy days is built, particularly in Ordinary Time (the season after the Epiphany that continues after the ‘interruption’ of Lent and Eastertide), around the three ‘synoptic’ Gospels of Sts Matthew, Mark, and Luke. St John’s Gospel is used at some other times, especially in the particular seasons, and also appears in the middle of Ordinary Time in the current Year B, where for five Sundays passages from John 6 – the ‘Bread of Life’ discourse – interrupt the in-course reading of Mark and indeed replace the latter’s account of the feeding of the five thousand and two other deeds of power. Thus Eucharistic hymns will feature prominently for the next several weeks, not only during the Communion of the People but in other parts of the liturgy as well.

This week the theme is sounded in ‘Father, we thank thee who hast planted’ [302], Bland Tucker’s versification of parts of sections 9–10 of the Didachê tôn dôdeka apostolôn (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles), a very early book of instructions and regulations about the Church’s life and worship. (It may be the earliest non-canonical writing, and these passages in particular are thought to be particularly old, possibly predating some of the canonical New Testament).

Fr Tucker hews very closely to the Greek, though he has cleverly extended and strengthened the agricultural metaphor in two ways: first, by changing the verb ‘caused to dwell’ (‘dwell’ here being the same word as in the Prologue to St John’s Gospel, literally ‘to pitch a tent’) to ‘planted’ (and of course one can metaphorically ‘plant a stake’ or ‘put down roots’); second, by wrapping up ‘to us thou hast given spiritual meat and drink, and life everlasting, through thy Son’ in the neat ‘[thou] didst give us food for all our days, / giving in Christ the Bread eternal’, which ties this hymn to both the day’s appointed Gradual Psalm, 145 (see vv. 16–17), and the Gospel.

This hymn is set to a tune from the [Calvinist] Genevan Psalter, which was discussed at some length in the notes for the 6th Sunday of Easter. This tune is also heard in two verses for organ, written by an unknown 17th-century Dutch composer and transcribed from the tablature manuscript source for our use this week.

As it happens, one of the three psalms for which this tune was used in the Genevan Psalter was 68, from which is taken the text of this Sunday’s Introit. This Introit likely forms part of the series of Introits taken from psalms in numerical order (see the Music Notes for the third Sunday after Pentecost) – and the chosen Verse draws attention to the entrance procession which the Introit is intended to accompany – but the Psalm also happily touches upon the theme of unity, or communion, found in ‘Father, we thank thee’:

God in his holy habitation,

God, who makes those of one mind to dwell in his dwelling –

he himself will give strength and power to his people.

The Hebrew rendered here as ‘of one mind’ apparently means ‘united, one, only, single’

and was translated in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) as monotrópos, ‘of one manner’,

though most modern translations made from the Hebrew (including the King James) understand it to mean ‘lonely’ in the context of this psalm (our Prayer Book Psalter reads ‘God gives the solitary a home’). The Latin translations (most made from the Greek) vary; the text of this Introit reads unanimes, and in liturgical context the same sentiment as Psalm 133, ‘…when brethren live together in unity’ – where another form of the same Hebrew word is used – must have been intended.

A beloved passage from another Psalm, 84, forms the text of the Communion anthem by 20th-century British-Canadian composer Healey Willan: ‘O how amiable are thy dwellings, thou LORD of Hosts; my soul hath a desire and longing to entier into the courts of the LORD…’. Our entrance and postcommunion hymns are taken from metrical paraphrases of two further psalms, 104 and the aforementioned 145 respectively. 

The former, ‘O worship the King, all glorious above’ [388], is graced by several winsome turns of phrase: ‘pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise’; ‘whose robe is the light, whose canopy space’; and so on. The ancient Middle Eastern insight that the divine and splendid Creator is also the sustainer of even the lowliest, which became part of Hebrew religion, shines through this early-19th-century Christian paraphrase: ‘thy mercies, how tender! how firm to the end! / Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!’. 

The postcommunion hymn, ‘God, my King, thy might confessing’ [414], dates from the same period, and given the somewhat similar subject material, forms an interesting comparison. Much of the difference in effect is due to the quite different meters (galloping amphibrachs or dactyls in 388, rather more stately trochees in 414), but the language of the former is also considerably more vivid, specific, and physical than that of the latter. Nevertheless 414 has its own kind of power born especially of some felicitous repetitions – ‘age to age’ twice in st. 2; ‘works’ beginning three of four lines in st. 4; ‘all his (thy) works’ tying st. 5 to 6 – and, of the very many inverted sentences, a few, particularly in the last stanza, that syntactically topicalize the LORD: ‘thee shall all thy saints adore: / King supreme shall they confess thee…’. Both psalm-paraphrases affirm that it is our duty and joy to acclaim God as the great King who is nevertheless ‘vast’ – vast! – ‘in love’.

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Sunday Children’s Ministry

Sunday Church Childcare

Church childcare is back for Sunday services! Childcare will be provided every Sunday from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for children ages 2 months through 3 years of age! The location is the same as in the past, first floor, room #115. Masks are required in St. David’s buildings. Temperature checks and a brief health form completion will be required. We look forward to seeing you! For more information please contact childcare coordinator Laura Lancaster Faulk.

Parent Orientation – Sunday, Aug. 29

10:15-11:10 a.m., Crail Hall

As we return to in-person formation for the first time in 18 months, parents of children (infants through 5th grade) are invited to an orientation for the 2021-22 school year. Join director of children’s ministry Amanda Wischkaemper and church childcare coordinator Laura Faulk for a morning of catch up and Q&A.

Children’s Christian Education Classes

Children’s classes meet 10:15-11:10 a.m. on the first floor of the church Sept. 5, 2021-May 29, 2022. Not meeting: Nov. 14 and 28, Dec. 26, March 13, and April 17. Register once for the whole year.

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based, experiential educational program focused on liturgy and scripture. Children direct their own learning in a carefully prepared environment (an “Atrium”) which supports children’s unique capabilities and interests, and gives them the opportunity to grow in love and knowledge of God through the Christian tradition.

  • The Good Shepherd Atrium (Ages 3-6)
  • The True Vine Atrium (Ages 6-9)

Junior Journeys offers age-appropriate, short-term courses that focus on specific topics in Children’s walk with and path to God. From Scripture to favorite movies, there are lessons about God’s love all around us!

Junior Journeys offers age-appropriate, short-term courses that focus on specific topics in Children’s walk with and path to God. From Scripture to favorite movies, there are lessons about God’s love all around us! Classes are divided by age:

  • Preschool & Kindergarten
  • 1st-3rd Grades
  • 4th-5th Grades

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Pride 2021

Pride Parade Worship Service

Saturday, Aug. 15, 6-7 p.m., Historic Church Eucharist and Blessing service prior to the Austin Pride Parade.

Volunteer and March in Pride Parade

Austin Area Episcopalians marching in the Pride parade are calling for volunteers to walk together, and hand out materials with information about affirming congregations. Visit this this SignUp Genius page to volunteer to decorate the float, bring snacks, clean up, and more.

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Music Notes | Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Eric Mellenbruch Associate Director of Music and Organist

Although the Fourth Sunday of Easter in the modern lectionary is always a ‘Good Shepherd’ Sunday, featuring relevant selections from the Gospel of John and concomitantly Psalm 23, shepherd imagery also appears at other times. This Sunday we read in Mark’s Gospel that Jesus looked upon the crowds who came to see him as ‘sheep without a shepherd’, and from our perspective – with the context of the aforementioned passages from John’s Gospel – we naturally understand Our Lord to have taken up the role of shepherd to those flocks. In the passage from Jeremiah we read that, in place of ‘shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of [his] pasture’, the LORD promised to ‘raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer…’, and to ‘raise up for David a righteous Branch’. Psalm 23 completes the set of related readings.

This week we will not sing any of the hymn-paraphrases of Psalm 23, but will sing two other ‘shepherd’ hymns. The more substantial of the two, ‘Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless’ [343] is a composite of stanzas by the Scottish Moravian journalist, abolitionist, and poet James Montgomery, a number of whose hymns grace the Hymnal. Beginning with this invocation of the ‘Shepherd of souls’, it ties together several scriptural references: the LORD’s provision of manna and water to the Israelites during their 40-year wilderness journey; Moses’s subsequent reference to the former, ‘one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Deuteronomy 8.3, quoted by Our Lord in response to the Tempter); then the account of the disciples’ encounter with the Risen Christ on the road to Emmaus and at table (Luke 24). The hymn is thus well suited to use in both Lent and Eastertide, on a ‘shepherd’ Sunday, or indeed at any celebration of the Eucharist. The 19th-century English tune to which it is matched, ‘St Agnes’, is also heard Sunday in an organ setting by 20th-century Belgian composer Flor Peeters.

The petition ‘Savior, abide with us, and spread / thy table in our heart’ is rather like that at the end of another hymn we sing Sunday, ‘Blest are the pure in heart’ [656]: ‘give us a pure and lowly heart, / a temple fit for thee’. Another prayer, not for Christ’s presence but for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, constitutes the text of the Offertory anthem at 11:15, William Wordsworth’s translation of a sonnet by the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti, as set beautifully by 20th-century American composer Jane Marshall. As the text is not printed in the service booklet, it is offered here:

The prayers I make will then be sweet indeed,

if thou the spirit give by which I pray;

my unassisted heart is barren clay, 

which of its native self can nothing feed;

of good and pious works thou art the seed

which quickens where thou say’st it may;

unless thou show us then thine own true way,

no man can find it! Father, thou must lead.

Do thou, then, breathe those thoughts into my mind

by which such virtue may in me be bred

that in thy holy footsteps I may tread;

the fetters of my tongue do thou unbind,

that I may have the pow’r to sing of thee

and sound thy praises everlastingly.

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Flip Flop to the World

Donations are accepted through Aug. 31.

Donate $1 new flip flops to orphans in Haiti. Drop off flip flops in the colorful barrel located in the church lobby. Email Kimberle Smith a photo of yourself donating and your photo will be sent to the children with your donation!

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Classes and Events for Newcomers

Newcomer Gathering

Sunday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m., Vestry Conference Room
Newcomers to St. David’s are invited to learn more about the church and meet others who are exploring our offerings! We will serve a light breakfast so please register by July 27.

Newcomer Classes

Sept. 12, 19, and 26, 10 a.m., Vestry Conference Room
This set of classes will give newcomers the chance to meet others who are exploring the church and learn some basics of both St. David’s and the larger Episcopal Church. Week One- Getting to know each other (includes short tour of the building). Registration opens July 30.

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Creation Care Fair

Sunday, Oct. 3, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – The Environmental Guild invites everyone to celebrate our stewardship of God’s creation, with Master Gardeners to answer your questions, sustainability information, a visit from Barking Dog Ranch, news about our bees and a silent auction – bid on gift certificates from local eco-friendly businesses, artwork, other items and – new this year! – a 3-night stay at a 3-bedroom Port Aransas condo (retail value $1,000)!

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Music Notes | Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Eric Mellenbruch Associate Director of Music and Organist

This Sunday’s Offertory anthem at the 11:15 Eucharist, like last Sunday’s Communion anthem (‘King of glory, King of peace’), consists of a poem by George Herbert set to music and found in the Hymnal 1982 (there are two others in that book). Herbert, a 17th-century English priest-poet generally grouped with the ‘metaphysical’ poets Donne (Herbert’s godfather), Marvell, and Southwell, was himself a musician and perhaps set some of his own poems, several of which refer to music or are self-referential in that regard.

The poem of praise beginning ‘Let all the world in every corner sing’ is headed ‘Antiphon’, and indeed this line and next – ‘my God and King’ – form an antiphon, or refrain, to the two stanzas.  The stanzas themselves are straightforward exhortations to praise God, excepting the last couplet of the second stanza, which may bear some explanation:

but above all, the heart

must bear the longest part.

It is likely that ‘the longest part’ refers to a cantus firmus, or pre-existing melody, upon which much Renaissance polyphony was built, and which usually appeared in longer note-values than were used in the other voices of a piece of music. If heaven and earth, and the Church which spans both, can and must be loci for the praise of God, nevertheless, Herbert suggests, the human heart is the locus classicus for such acclamation: there must lie the pre-existing melody, the throughline, of divine praise around which external adoration – in glorious polyphony! – may be built. 

‘Antiphon’ has been set to music several times, perhaps most famously by Vaughan Williams in Five Mystical Songs (all settings of Herbert poems, one of which, ‘The Call’, is found in simplified form in the Hymnal). The present setting [Hymn 402] was made by Erik Routley, a 20th-century English Congregationalist minister and a scholar and promoter of hymnody. The verse is fairly conventional, though quite skillful: its second phrase is a sequential repetition of the first, pitched a third lower, while the ascending four-note motive found in these two phrases is extended across the third and fourth phrases into an ascending scale spanning a whole octave before descending once again. The antiphon, set in the often dramatic key of B-flat minor, makes a strikingly declamatory contrast to the placid verses (which are in the parallel major key), and is harmonized slightly differently in each of its three occurrences. The whole is as powerful as it is brief.

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