News from St. Catherine’s

From the Vicar: December is the densest month of the year. There is so much to do, see, eat, and prepare. Even in the church, not only do we have unique and attractive worship services above and beyond the normal Sunday fare, we also set ourselves to focus on others through several outreach projects. Nothing exemplifies the convergence of these two themes like our life together this week. In our annual Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols, we set ourselves to the highest of standards for music and liturgy, and we combine this with a two-pronged effort of Outreach. One prong is the collection of donations to be given away to some worthy cause. The other prong is to proclaim the Good News of the Incarnation of God to the several hundred people in attendance who may not otherwise have a chance to hear this message. We do not know all these people. Are they regular church-goers? Do they come for the scripture or is it just pretty music that draws them? We never know. So in faithfulness with our Lord’s command, we share with them all the love of God, the Grace of God, and a hearty welcome which sets the tone for the heart of the Gospel; we want all in attendance to know and feel that Christ comes to us in love so that we may not fear, but love Him in return. And there are the cookies. And Glühwein. Just when they think it is over, our fellowship reaches out and asks them to linger a while over a cup and be with us, aglow with God’s message of love.

Thank you, dear members of St. Catherine’s Anglican Church, that you take so seriously this call to worship and outreach. Thanks to all who this week will stand ready to sing, read, march, carry, serve, bake, stir, pour, and tidy. We may never be a big church. But that won’t stop us from doing loving things in a big way!
K+

Speaking of Cookies…And baked goods of various finger food kinds….. we need quite a lot for the Post-L&C Hospitality ministry. If you can bake, buy, or bring something, please let Jackie W., know what you have in mind. (bookkeeper@stcatherines-stuttgart.de)

Other volunteers needed as well: Taking the Collection. Getting offering baskets around to 600 people within the time of a song, requires quite a few baskets, and lots of people passing the baskets around. Can you help do that? The Treasurer is seeking helping hands to pass the ‘plates’ at L&C. (Again Jackie W., bookkeeper@stcatherines-stuttgart.de)

A Word to the Wise: Come early to get the best seats for L&C. Don’t wait until 17h00. You might end up standing on the back row. A new area of seating will be available this year….. in the chairs behind the altar…. or should I say between the free standing altar and the original high altar. Don’t hesitate to sit in this area. The front row of this area will be for the clergy and servers, but the other rows behind will offer terrific seating and a fantastic place to hear the music up close and direct. (And easy access to the rest room, should that be a necessity.)

Christmas Schedule
18th December – 4th Sunday of Advent
11:15 – Children’s Nativity Play with service of Holy Communion.

24th December – Christmas Eve
14:00 – Family Christmas Communion
20:00 – Candlelit Christmas Communion

25th December – Christmas Day
11:30 – Holy Communion for Christmas

1st January – New Year’s Day
11:15 – Holy Communion

8th January – Epiphany
11:15 – Holy Communion with visitation from the Three Kings.

Children’s Nativity Play…. is coming up soon. Sunday 18 Dec (4th Sunday of Advent) all the children of the church, are gently encouraged to take a role in our Nativity Play Tableaux. Other than the narrators, none of the ‘actors’ need to speak, memorize, or read. It is a tableaux…..a living picture, so to speak. Mary, Joseph, Wise Men, Star Angel, Head Shepherds, …. these main roles go to our older kids. Lambs, Junior shepherds, angels…. these roles go to the younger kids. Parents and kids for main roles should plan on a quick and easy ‘rehearsal’ and costume fitting on Saturday morning, 17 December, 10:00-11:30. Roles will be designated. Costumes will be distributed, and a simple run through will be done, so that the kids can see that there is nothing to be nervous about. On the day of the play, the older kids are really needed to help lead the little ones find their way to the manger. Please let Jackie know if you would like to be involved, whether you can come on Sunday and what role your child would like to take. nativity@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

Another Outreach opportunity…..Did you forget the Toy Collection last Sunday? It is not too late. A goodly number of toys were collected at the altar last Sunday, but if you still have something you would like to donate, it is never too late to do a good thing. Bring it this week or on Sunday, and it can be added to the things already collected. Thanks.

A Stewardship Reminder: End of year is coming fast. Newcomers, have you gotten a pledge form filled out yet? Do you have any questions you would like to ask? Old-timers…. How are you doing on fulfiling your pledge? If you know your situation has changed, and you simply can’t fulfill it, please just drop a line to the treasurer. We just need to know where we stand finanacially at the end of the year, in order to plan our budget for the coming year. And remember, to get the tax advantages on your German taxes, the donations you make must be received and credited before the end of the year.

Poppy Thanks – I am writing to send you and your church congregation huge thanks for your collection of £79.70 to this year’s Poppy Appeal. I think it is wonderful that you are all doing this and on behalf of the Poppy Appeal, I’d like to express gratitude for your kindness and generosity. The Legion spend s£1.6 m every week on welfare for our veterans, our serving personnel and their dependents and so you can imagine every penny counts!
Kindest regards, Susan Foster. Royal British Legion

Rescheduled Pub-Night – 15th December, and the weather is promising to take a turn for the cold, then I suggest a Gluhwein (Mulled Wine) – other beverages are available – at the Christmas Market in Stuttgart.
Meet at 7pm outside the arched entrance to the market – at the junction of Schillerplatz and Planie: https://goo.gl/maps/LXVhnUkkfhJ2

Ladies’ Evening Group – Tuesday 17th January, 19:00 – Rote Kapelle, Feuersee. e-mail legs@stcatherines-stuttgart.de if you would like to join us.

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