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Join us on Saturday, May 16, for our church-wide Family Reunion + Baptism. The festivities will get started at 11am, with lunch at noon, baptisms at 2pm, and games and live music throughout the day. This is a great time to catch up with some old friends, meet some new friends and hear about what God is doing as we pursue being a church for the city.

Family

Family Reunion + Baptism is a chance for us to gather as an entire church family and celebrate what God’s been doing in individuals and communities in our city.

Live Music

We will have several talented individuals and groups from our Austin Stone family playing throughout the day, so bring your camping chairs or favorite blanket and enjoy some music in the sun. Lineup coming soon.

Food

In classic family reunion-style, we’ll have great food!

  • We’re having BBQ from Iron Works BBQ: Turkey and Brisket, Beans, Potato Salad and all the fixings, plus Iced Tea and Water
  • Cost: Individuals-$7, Families of 2 adults and 4 or less children- $17, Families of 2 adults and 5 or more children- $27. (Children 10 & under eat free.) We encourage you to purchase your tickets in advance online (No tickets needed for entry, just for food.)
  • Purchase food tickets

Fun

We’ll have a host of games and other fun activities for kids and adults alike. Here’s some of the stuff we’ll have out there:

  • Inflatables and Bounce Houses
  • Playground
  • Sport fields for running and playing
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Rockwall climbing
  • Basketball

Location

Family Reunion + Baptism will be at First Evangelical Free Church (EV Free) at 4220 Monterey Oaks Blvd., in Southwest Austin near the Mopac/290 interchange. Check out directions and location information here.

Baptism

Want to get baptized at Family Reunion on May 16th? Sign up for the class (Sign ups close on May 10th.)

Before May 16th: You need to sign up online and attend one of our baptism classes. The classes are offered on April 26th, May 3rd and May 12th.
Day Of:  On May 16th, please check in at the “Baptism Registration Table” in the Main Registration Area near the chapel. You and the person baptizing you will receive a free lunch. Lunch starts at noon.
At 1:30pm, everyone getting baptized and those baptizing them will gather in the chapel to pray together and go over these logistics.
All you need to bring is: your bathing suit with a dark shirt and shorts to wear over it, a towel, a dry set of clothes to change in to, your friends / family. We’ll have a time of fellowship and prayer before the baptism so be sure to get there by 1:30pm!

A photo from last year's baptism

We Suggest You Bring…

  • Your family, friends, neighbors, missional community
  • Sunblock
  • Bug Spray
  • Camping Chair or Blanket
  • Any sports equipment you may want to use (frisbee, soccer ball, etc.)
  • Extra Water
  • Camera/Video Camera
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The following is a post from Jason Kovacs on The ABBA Fund Blog.  I hadn’t thought much about the recession in terms of abortion or adoption, but this post is definitely convicting.

The Chicago-Tribune recently reported that as a result of the economy providers of reproductive services say they are fielding more calls from distraught women facing difficult decisions about pregnancies they didn’t plan and can’t afford. Further,

More women are struggling to afford contraception and that, in some cases, they are risking their physical and emotional health by delaying abortion procedures for weeks as they seek a way to pay the cost.

One married woman told the Tribune she and her husband made the painful choice to end her pregnancy because they could not afford a third child. But the family’s insurance doesn’t cover abortions, and not until her 14th week could they pull together enough money to pay.

Abortion rates have been declining for years, and experts said it is too early to know if the nation’s financial woes will change that trend.

But Planned Parenthood of Illinois says that in January it performed the highest number of abortions in its history. (The agency has a policy against disclosing the actual numbers.)

Other articles are reporting similar findings. As the economy worsens abortions are on the increase.

I think the implications for the church are massive. We have an opportunity to stand up and save lives or swim with the current of our culture of self-preservation. There is no difference here between the women who are killing their babies because they don’t believe that they can afford to raise them and Christians who think they have no responsibility in caring for these babies. The root of both is selfishness.

That said, the article does share some good news. Calls to adoption agencies and pregnancy resource centers have increased as well.  Just this week I received two emails about the need at adoption agencies for adoptive couples because of this increase.

Will God’s people stand up and volunteer to meet this increased need at their local pregnancy care centers? Will Christians refuse to allow finances to hinder them from stepping out and adopting these children whose mothers are placing for adoption? Will the church open its doors to the children in foster care?

I love to dream of the day when we could fill the Washington Mall with a million Christian families who are willing to adopt every baby being considered for abortion and every child waiting in the State foster care system. I can’t help but think we need to get started on this. All it will take is one couple at a time. One by one. One church by one church getting a vision.

The Tribune goes on to mention the National Network of Abortion Funds, whose members raise money to help women pay for abortions. They say calls to state and local affiliates from women seeking financial assistance have increased from 50 percent to more than 100 percent in recent months. Calls to the national office, which provides referrals, have almost tripled from a year ago, said network Board President Toni Bond Leonard.

Until reading this I did not know these organizations existed. I am not surprised but freshly reminded that the need for ministries like ABBA Fund, Caroline’s Promise, Shaohannah’s Hope and the many other organizations that raise money to help families adopt is greater now than ever!

In conclusion, Steve Trombley, President of Planned Parenthood of Illinois said, “These economic hard times are forcing people to make the tough decisions and ask scary questions of themselves. Should I pay the mortgage or put food on the table for my family? Can I pay for basic health care and necessary medication? Can I afford to have another child?”

Those questions should never have to lead to abortion! We should have enough money, support, help to provide an alternative, no questions asked! O Lord, have mercy on the women in these situations, the babies in their womb; and move your church with mercy like never before to provide the alternative and help they need.

May it not be said that the church was simply wise during this recession with how it spent its money and did ministry. May it be said that the church spent more and gave more and did more than ever before because they knew the value of life and the reality of eternal life!

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