St Michaels Episcopal Church
All churches have their norms or “ways things happen”
A bit about what St. Michael is like:
*We dress Austin casual.
*Everyone is encouraged to wear a name tag. Name tags are available in both the north and south entryways.
*Children are definitely welcome at all services. We do have a nursery for the youngest ones, as well s a cry room for infants. All Sunday school children are included in the celebration of Holy Communion (the Eucharist).
*All baptized persons are invited to receive Holy Communion – learn about baptism here.
*Standing and kneeling are both acceptable postures during the prayers and while taking communion.
*Light refreshments are served in the north entryway or in the courtyard after the 9:00 and the 11:00 a.m. services. You are encouraged to linger and meet new friends. On the First Sunday of each month we offer a delicious Taco Breakfast between services (10-10:50 a.m.)
Interfaith Hospitality Network
What is IHN?
IHN is a weekly rotating network of churches that provide overnight housing for homeless families in Austin. Foundation for the Homeless oversees the program (which it also calls Family Promise) and actively supports the families in looking for permanent housing. IHN is unique in Austin in allowing families to stay together and has around a 90% success rate.
How is St Michael’s involved?
We host families at St Michael’s twice a year and also help with two sessions at our partner church, Westlake United Methodist.
How you can help
Dinner Host: Dinner hosting lasts from 5:30 to 8:15 pm and needs two volunteers. You will be provided with a tasty meal and have a chance to visit with some wonderful families. Children are always welcome. Overnight host: two adults stay overnight in the church sleeping on very comfortable air mattresses (please bring own bedding). The families usually retire very early so it’s a great chance to catch up with a friend. Safeguarding God’s Children training is required for all host duties and can be provided
Provide Food: main courses, salad, veg/side dishes and dessert for our families and hosts, Help with move in to make classrooms into bedrooms, move out to rerun the rooms to classrooms, driving to the day center, laundry and various other things
For more information
See the IHN section of the Foundation for the Homeless website here, and see families who have been helped by IHN on YouTube and a testimonial from a family who came to St Michaels For any information on IHN or Safeguarding God’s children training, contact Nicki Cain.
Hebrews 13:2. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Parishioners from St. Michael’s share worship and a meal with our homeless neighbors at Trinity Center in downtown Austin. Volunteers help by welcoming neighbors, setting up for worship, or being part of the kitchen crew. If you would like more details please contact Caroline Kibler. Note that volunteers must be at least 11 years old.
St. Michael's Garden
The St Michael’s garden, located outside of room 8, is a vegetable garden tended by St. Michael’s parishioners. The garden benefits the St. Michael’s food pantry, Neighbor2Neighbor (a program which serves the low income neighbors of St. James Episcopal Church) and Manos de Christo care, education, food and clothing to low income Austinites). See what the garden is all about on this youtube link
We are looking for volunteers to water once a week, and for volunteers to deliver the produce twice a month. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Beth Michaels or Gail Reid. or sign up on our monthly calendar
Workday with St. Stephen’s School
St. Michael’s Community garden welcomed over two dozen young women from St. Stephen’s School on April 8. They came to work and work they did! Our garden beds were fertilized, compost was added, mulch was put down. Weeds were pulled around the perimeter of the fence. Gravel was shoveled and hauled to fill in and level our walkways in the garden. We can’t thank them enough for the work they accomplished. Blessings to each of them. Many thanks also go to Karen Moody and Lesley Margerrison for helping and especially to Beth Michaels who organized and oversaw the workday with Alix Lacelarie-Kautz and Virginia Talley from St. Stephen’s School.
Spread the Harvest
St. Michael’s Community Garden is now a participant in the Sustainable Food Center’s Spread the Harvest program. It is a unique gardening and food-sharing program, which helps children and adults in Central Texas to grow healthy food for themselves and their families and to share with friends, neighbors and food pantries. Being a member entitles us to free seeds, vegetable and herb transplants, and 1 cubic yard of compost a year. This is a big to help us. In March, Beth Michaels shoveled almost a cubic yard. Kudos to Beth and all her hard work and dedication to St. Michael’s garden.
St. Michael's Food Pantry
What is the St. Michael’s Food Pantry?
SMEC Food Pantry is a place where hungry people near Westlake can come in and take some non-perishable food (and some fresh food from the St. Michael’s garden, when it’s in season) home to feed their families. Currently we are feeding between 80 and 90 people each month – about a third of those are hungry children. Due to costs, we only let each family visit our pantry once a month, and only take home 2 bags of food and no more than 4 cans of canned meats. Why so little? Because that is all the food our food pantry has available to give. IF WE HAD MORE FOOD, we could let our hungry neighbors visit more often – they say they wish they could!
Where is St. Michael’s food pantry?
There are shelves in the church office at StM-360 that hold the non-perishable food items. We have a small refrigerator there to hold any fresh food from the garden. Once a week, volunteers take inventory of the non-perishables and prepare an order for HEB. Our parish associate sends the order to HEB and then a few days later, our volunteers pick up the order and stock the shelves for our clients. The Food Pantry is available to clients from 10-3 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
How YOU Can Help
Support our monthly food drives– on the first Sunday of the month we have a food drive – this months (May 3) is canned fruit. Bring all donations to the church entryway
Financial Donations – Prayerfully consider your financial support of the food pantry. You can drop a check in the offering plate, designating it for the food pantry any time, or there will be a dropbox for you to make financial donations on Food Pantry Sundays.
Food Donations – Bring food EVERY WEEK if you can remember. Adding a few cans for others in need will really help the food pantry patrons. Be attentive to periodic requests. There will be a monthly appeal for specific items.
Pray for our ministry and for our hungry neighbors.
For More Information Do you have other ideas? If so, contact Elizabeth Cotter
Habitat for Humanity
Would you be interested in participating in building a house? Wednesdays and Saturdays are the two days that non-regular volunteers participate. Skills necessary: Painting a board, hammer 4” nail into 2×4, assembling kitchen cabinets, installing exterior siding, windows and doors. If you don’t possess any of these skills, perhaps you can assist with making lunch? Want more information? contact Tom Bray
Mobile Loaves and Fishes
Drive a Senior
Help someone stay independent and stay connected (it is essential for healthy aging). It is easy to lend a hand and there is no long-term commitment. Choose the times and location that work best with your busy schedule. Arrange your drives from your computer or by phone. Meet some nice and appreciative new friends. Too busy to volunteer an hour or two a week? Consider making a donation to DriveaSenior.org a nonprofit network that has the expenses of personnel, office equipment, programming, recruiting and training volunteers. This volunteer program also offers seniors help with handyman services. To learn how to get involved, go to: DriveaSenior.org or contact Glenda Forgan
Prison Outreach Letter Writing
We meet in the church office 2-4pm every 2nd and 4th Sunday; guidelines, pens, paper, envelopes, and stamps are all provided. Your letters matter! Come and write to a prisoner, come and write to a Warden, come and write to your legislator, come and have fellowship with us, all are welcome here. For more information please contact Kaitlyn
Bunny Cowan, one of our parishioners, is an associate missionary with SAMS, The Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders. She regularly visits Honduras as part of her ongoing work with Holy Spirit Episcopal School in Tela. SAMS is a missionary community that works with the worldwide church in a variety of ways. For more information speak to Bunny or read about SAMS on their website: samsusa.org
Capital Area Food Bank
1500 N Capital of Texas Hwy
Austin, TX 78746-3320