News for 16th March

Sunday 19th March…
Baptisms, confirmations, Holy Communion, Sunday School for the under and over 9s, bring & share lunch … and a visit from the Bishop, which is making the Vicar nervous.

From the Vicar:
Whenever the Bishop comes I get a bit nervous. Not because I am afraid of the Bishop. Indeed the Right Reverend David Hamid, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese in Europe, is the nicest man you could ever want to meet. And I’m not afraid because I worry that I will do something wrong in planning or performing the liturgy (Although it is fair to admit that the liturgy changes a lot when the Bishop comes, we cannot just fall back into “routine” habits). In anycase, I trust our ministry team under all circumstances…. Our music department at the present is top-notch! Our readers are excellent. We have ready and willing young people who have agreed to serve as acolytes. We have ushers who know their duties, and assisting clergy who make my life feel truly blessed. Why then do I feel nervous? I hate to say it so boldly, as some may think I intend it unflatteringly, which I indeed do not. I am nervous because of you. You, O blessed laity, the people of God. You make me nervous in theory. Please do not be turned-off by what I am saying. I can explain.

Whenever the Bishop comes we have either baptisms or confirmations, and sometimes, like this coming Sunday, both. With each family involved in one of these sacramental actions, come extended family, friends, and even friends of friends. It has happened in the past that some family having a baby baptized will tell me that they have invited 40 people. Well, that is 50% of our regular attendance in a church building that only holds 100 comfortably.
I did once, and I am not proud of it, warn the regular congregation the week before a service that we would be very crowded, and almost gave permission for them to absent themselves from the service, if they were not connected in some way to the baptism. This was a mistake.
Ever since that time, many years ago, it seems that this warning of over-crowdedness has been remembered and practiced more faithfully than anything else I may have preached or taught. I fear that well-meaning people have taken it to the next step, thinking to themselves that it would be an act of hospitality for them to stay home, thus making pew-space for some of the visitors. Please, dear people of God, do not fall into that trap. Don’t go there! Stop this thinking. I repent of ever having given permission to stay home on the day when the Bishop comes! I am penitent and beg you to return to the right-thinking attitude of joyful anticipation that our Bishop is coming to worship with us,… all of us.

So this coming Sunday, I hope to see all of you at church. Yes, we will have some visitors, but not so many that we need to ask for volunteers to stay home. I would rather say that we may need sit a bit closer together…. but that is a good thing. We have one baptismal family, whose extended family do not live in Germany…. so no big crowd from them. And 3 of the 5 confirmands have no family living in Germany. So no great influx of visitors from them either. I believe it is safe for you all to come and worship with our Bishop, to hear his sermon, to join him in blessing these people, our brothers and sisters, in their new stage of Christian growth and life. I believe you should say yes to your desire to partake of communion in the circle which includes Bishop David. (and to stay for the bring and share, finger food, lunch afterwards.)

Here is a deal: I will promise not to be afraid of you absenting yourself, if you promise not to be afraid of a crowded church. May God bless us with a throng of souls singing songs of praise, a crowd of congregants communing in unity, a cluster of children seeing the church alive and full of energy, a full fellowship of fine fellows freely following in the footpaths of our faithful fathers and mother from generations past. Have no fear. It will be a joyous day. And do try to arrange your schedule so that you can stay after church to join in the fellowship Reception for the honourees, the Bishop, the newly baptized, and those newly confirmed.

Your brother in Christ,
Ken +

P.S. Those staying for the fellowship after church are reminded that they are asked to bring little nibbles (finger food) to add to the buffet line. Sweet or savoury… all things are welcome. K+

Easter Week
Palm Sunday… 9th April – Palm Procession as part of the Sunday service… starting outside, weather permitting
Maundy Thursday… 13th April – Evening service in the Anglican Centre… 7 p.m. Footwashing and Altar of Repose
Good Friday… 14th April – 2 services…. 12 noon in the church, and 7 p.m. in the church or Anglican Centre, depending on the Old Catholic’s schedule.
Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil Service… 15th April at the Leonhardskirche…. probably at 21:00 as in years past.
Easter Day… 16th April – Early “Sunrise” Service….7 a.m……Big Service….. 11:30 a.m. followed by Easter Feast and Egg Hung….. Easter in Ulm…. 17:30

The Annual General Meeting 23rd April 2017
Mark your calendars now for this important meeting.  At this meeting we will elect the leaders to take us into the next year. The wardens and council need to be elected, as well as delegates to the CAECG.
In order to qualify as a voter, you must be “enrolled.”  To enrol yourself, fill in an enrollment form.  It is just that simple.  Here is where you can download an enrollment form Please return the form to Frances or by e-mail to webmaster@stcatherines-stuttgart. Make sure you are on the electoral roll so you can vote.
Also, do not forget to sign up to bring something for the AGM Lunch. Heather is coordinating the lunch, which will be a simple sandwhich affair, she has a list of items the council would like people to donate – if you would like to help please e-mail Heather on agmlunch@stcatherines-stuttgart.de. Thank you.
And certainly, do not forget to think about who you would want to represent you on the parish council. Who will run for Warden?  Who should be our delegates to CAECG?
The AGM is important!

Are you missing Eric? One of our wardens has been absent for a couple of weeks due to rehersals for a play he’s performing in at the Theaterhaus in Stuttgart. If you’d like to see him perform here are the details. http://www.theaterhaus.com/theaterhaus/index.php?id=1,3,103child Scroll down to ACTS – KLARHEIT 26-28th March

The “Subscribe” Button…. did you push it yet?  We are changing the way our Newsletters are sent out.  In order to do it in the best and most efficient manner we are asking everyone, Everyone! to go to the St. Catherine’s website and subscribe.
On the front/home page, fill in your name and email address and push the “Subscribe” button found on the right of the screen. After doing this make sure you click on the link in the e-mail you receive to confirm your subscription.
Thank you for your cooperation in this.  K+

Pledges and tithes are still being collected for those who are new or who may not have been able to do it yet.  With AGM coming it is vital to have the best and more accurate figures of expected income for the making of the expected budget for 2017. Since we get nothing from Kirchensteuer, the C of E, or any other subsidies,… we depend on one another to supply what is necessary to keep the church afloat. Completing a stewardship form is the easiest way to indicate to the treasurer how much you might be able to give, and allow the budget to be drawn up.
Please don’t be afraid to ask, if you would additional information about the ministry of the church when making your pledge decision.

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