News from St. Catherine’s

1. The Bazaar Results and thanks:  It was great to learn on Sunday morning that our treasurer, Jackie W. had tallied the tills from the Bazaar and found that we earned over 1500 euros on Saturday! Not bad at all considering the terrible weather. Let’s give thanks to God for lining those rain clouds with silver indeed. The Chair of the event, Pat S., posted on our church Facebook page a note of thanksgivings to all who helped out in any number of ways:

Thank you all for making this year’s Bazaar a very successful event! What an amazing group of folks you are! I hope that you enjoyed it as much TC and I! xoxo Pat

While all this is good, many more items were sold on Sunday afternoon which should bring our total even higher. I wish I could list by name all who deserve the thanks… but hobbling around on my crutches, I was not able to see all the workers. You know who you are… so please, pat yourselves on the back: Good Job! Well done. Amen.

2. Toy Collection: As in past years, on the 2nd Sunday of Advent (4th December) we will collect toys and children’s items to be donated to a local agency which works with children and families in trouble. Any good conditioned used toys, or new toys,… should be brought to the church on 4 December, Advent 2, where they will be blessed and later delivered to the agency. Thank you advance for thinking of the others who might not otherwise have such a happy Christmas.

3. On Advent 3, 11th December, the morning service in the church will be our regular 11:15 service. But at 17:00 in the Leonhardskirche, just down and around the corner, we will be hosting our annual Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols. Nearly every year the big church is packed with those from all over the city who come to sing along on all their favourite carols and hymns. To give them a liturgy in the true richness of our Anglican tradition, we are looking for volunteers to help out as Acolytes, Readers, Ushers, and helpers for set up and take down. Additional helpers are needed to assist at the hospitality table with the Gluehwein and cookies. It is a big production and needs a cast of thousands. Are you coming? Could you help out?

What would you most like to do?

  • If your answer is to sing…..contact Anna M. who is coordinating the choir rehearsals. choir@stcatherines-stuttgart.de
  • If you answer is to read a lesson, please contact Eric J. who is coordinating the readers.
    warden@stcatherines-stuttgart.de
  • If your answer is to be an acolyte, please contact the vicar.
    vicar@stcatherines-stuttgart.de
  • If you would like to help with hospitality or ushering the collection, please contact Jackie W. bookkeeper@stcatherines-stuttgart.de
  • If you don’t want to do any of those, please remember that it is a very important ministry to invite people to attend. Take some of the beautiful flyers at the back of the church and distribute them to anyone you think might be interested.

4. Advent 1 will kick off our new Liturgical Year with the singing of the Great Litany and other great Advent hymns. The altar and clergy will be vested in tradition purple, and the Advent Wreath will temporarily replace the Pascal Candle up front by the altar. For us Anglicans Christmas doesn’t really start until when the sun goes down on 24 December. All that comes before leads us up to the cradle and the manger and the stable in Bethlehem. In recent decades there has been a tendency to start celebrating Christmas earlier and earlier. But how can we celebrate the birth of a Saviour until the time comes for him to be born? The real party times starts on Christmas Day and lasts the 12 Days set aside to be the season of Christmas.

5. An Advent ecumenical education programme will take place next Monday in the Katharinenkirche at 18:30. An ecumentical group of Catholics and Lutherans are coming to find out more about Anglicanism. The Vicar, an organist, and some Anglican friends will attempt to answer the many questions of the guests on the topic: How do Anglicans keep Advent? The vicar is looking for some bi-lingual helpers who can assist with this event. Are you free on Monday evening? Please let him know. vicar@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

6. An Ecumenical Women’s programme, sponsored by the group Women of a foreign origin, have a seasonal party from year to year. This year the party will be in the Katharinenkirche. If you are a woman and would like to know more, please contact Alison S. She can tell you all about this. women@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

7. Stewardship Letter and Pledge form: The Parish Council is taking a low-key approach to Stewardship this year. They have decided that the Stewardship effort should be focused on answering the questions of the newcomers to our congregation, for whom Stewardship, pledging, tithing, may have an unusual ring. Anyone with questions is invited to meet with the vicar following the service on Sunday to satisfy their need to know how it works here. Those who have been faithful stewards for many years…. you are welcome to come along and ask questions, but you are free to go on about your business, continuing the good things you have done in past years. The goal is always 100 percent participation. If your bank transer or pledge from last year is still appropriate … just let it ride. And relax. I expect the newcomers will want to do their part as well in setting up a bank transfer or fill in a pledge form Attached to this message you can find the Stewardship letter, with a pledge form.

7a. Did you miss the Sunday School’s presentation as part of the Stewardship sermon on Sunday? You can admire all the hard work of the children on the website.
http://stcatherines-stuttgart.de/?page_id=91

8. December used to important for me as a time to enter into the spirit of Advent and really look forward to Christ’s Birth. Then I came to Germany. Now December is the month of Lessons and Carols. 4 Dec…. Kempten; 11 Dec….here in Stuttgart; 14 Dec…. Tuebingen; and 17 Dec…. Ulm. If you have friends or contacts in any of those places, please let them know that these English services will be available. For more information on any of them, contact me and will fill in all the wheres, whens, and how longs.

9. It’s Panto time! On November 27 and December 4, NEAT is performing “Snow White – but not squeaky clean!”, an alternative version of the classic fairy tale involving an Indian princess and some media-savvy dwarfs. You’re likely to spot some familiar faces on stage! For more information look at www.neatstuttgart.com.

10. Bible Study: We will meet again to read and discuss the Word of God, tomorrow, 23 November at 20:00 in the Anglican Centre on Olgastrasse.
Next Sunday will be the First Sunday of Advent. I think it would be appropriate to follow the theme of the Sunday by looking back through the Old Testament to find the many places where we can see the foretelling of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. Sometimes they are obscure and sometimes they see quite obvious, but it is surprizing how many instances there are of references to Jesus in the Old Testment. Do you have any favourite prophecies which are meaningful to you? If so, please come prepared to share them as part of the discussion.
As a warning: Wednesday 7 December, the Anglican Centre will not be available for us to have our Bible Study. The Choir will be rehearsing for the Lessons and Carols. Does anyone have a suggestion for an alternative place for us to meet on 7 Dec?
Ken + vicar@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

From the Vicar…..

It is hard for me to believe that this year is nearly finished. I seem to have missed so much of it for one reason or another. But time continues to pass whether one is paying attention or not. I am glad that now my knee is healing so well, I can once again start pulling my share of the clergy weight.  I cannot tell you how grateful I am to the Brigitte, Julie, Wolfgang, Suzie, Solomon, Bishop Surya and all who have helped during my time away from the altar.
Last Sunday I was able to stand at the altar again for the first time since the surgery and boy did it feel good to be back where the heart of my ministry lies. Likewise in Ulm on Sunday night, where we had our annual Thanksgiving Feast for Christ the King. I was able to greet several visitors, but even more joyful was the chance to see some people I had not seen from some while. What a joy! During the Bazaar on Saturday, after a few hours I knew I should go home and rest, but it was so much fun seeing people I hadn’t seen for so long. Clearly this year has taught me a few things…. but the most important is that it is all about community, Communion and living a life in common.
There may have been easier ways to learn this lesson, … but still I am glad to be reminded of this important truth. Over the next few weeks I know I will have the chance to see even more people who I haven’t been able to see for months. I hope you know how important it will be for me to be able to reconnect with you all. I hope that you will feel the same.

Ken +

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