Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas from NOLA!

My brother is safe in Uganda! They will continue on to Nairobi tomorrow but they are out of danger. Many thanks for your prayers and support. Looking forward to seeing all at our festive Christmas Eve Mass!


Dear St. Thomas' Family:

My brother Ken Kauffman and three others serving in South Sudan have decided they must leave due to the ongoing military conflict, but at this point they must leave by car. They are headed to Nairobi, Kenya, because they can stay free of charge at another compound there for awhile. They hope to return to South Sudan in January. The road is long (700) miles, rough and plagued with banditry, so they will travel only by day. Your ongoing prayers are most appreciated.

Deacon Bette

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Please pray...

Dear St. Thomas' family:

My brother Ken currently serves as a missionary in South Sudan. He is in charge of maintenance on the compound of a Bible translation organization in the city of Juba.

If you have been hearing international news, you probably know that military conflict has broken out in South Sudan. A few days ago, the fighting was in Juba. It has moved into the distance, but the situation is not good. The map below, which I got from the BBC online, shows you what the fighting is about. No surprise there!

The organization he works for has decided to evacuate all of its people except Ken and four others. Here is his latest update and prayer request:

"Last night the rebels in a town called Bor were able to capture an ammo dump that had tanks, trucks, and a lot of heavy artillery. It breathed new life in them and now we don't know what's going to happen. If they head for Juba we will all have to go, but if they go another direction we'll stay. The reason we want to stay is because with someone here we can better assess when it's safe for others to return. If we all have to go it might be years before anyone can come back. If this blows over they could be back within a month or two. It is my opinion that the work here is worth the risk and I want to do all I can to support it. Please be in prayer for S. Sudan, all those that left, and those of us who are still here. This is very painful for everyone. A very sad aspect of this is that this latest development could very well just be an exercise in a lot of blood letting that doesn't accomplish anything. So very sad!

I would love to hear from anyone who wants to write, it is suddenly very lonely here.

In Him, Ken"



Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bishop Jake to Visit St. Thomas'

Join us on the Third Sunday of Advent for Bishop Jake's visit. The Bishop will celebrate Holy Eucharist and preach at our usual time of 10:00 a.m. We will be joined by some of the folks from St. Alban's for confirmation and a wonderful parish potluck lunch will follow. The Bishop will also meet with our vestry to hear all the great things St. Thomas has been doing. Don't miss this special day!

Christmas Caroling

Join us at the Cagle's home at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 15 - The Third Sunday of Advent for caroling with the youth - All ages are invited. Be sure to dress for the weather. This is always a fun event! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December Newsletter

December's newsletter is available on the sidebar at the right. The calendar can be found in the newsletter and at the Calendar tab above.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bishop Jake on God's Great Story

The Inconspicuous God

Life makes sense.  Sometimes.  But if we’re really honest, we have to admit that there are plenty of times that we’re just holding our breath and trusting that something will come of this mess, or we feel so much joy that we worry that it has to end sometime, or things are coming at us so quickly that they’re kind of a blur.
Zhang Xiaogang's "Writing"
When my parents were getting a nasty divorce, when I married Joy, when our baby girl was facing open heart surgery, when I got my mom out of the morgue, when I was consecrated fourth Bishop of Western Louisiana, life had lots of loose ends needing to be tied up.
The funny thing about life is that we live it looking for a happy ending that we will never get to read.  Life as we live it is always an unfinished story.  To keep turning the next page in that story, we have to have some reason to believe that the story really will come together.  Really will make sense.  Our lives will have meant something.
Some voices in the world tell us to believe in ourselves.  They insist that we are the author of our lives.  Jesus tells us something different.  God believes in us.  God is writing us into his story even now.  (more)