News for 23rd March

What a super Sunday!
Thanks to all the helpers for the weekend visit of the Bishop.  Both services on Sunday, the one here and the one in Ulm, were joyous and wonderful events.  All of the participants did a great job in their various duties.  The acolytes, singers, musicians, readers, confirmands, newly baptized, assisting clergy, the cooks and providers of the refreshments, table movers, dish washers, ,… all of you did great things in small ways which brought our worshiping community into a very harmonious liturgy and party.  Thanks to all!  Lots of photos were taken.  Keep watching on the church website to see some of the best.  (Photos of the Confirmation and Baptism

Holy Week and Easter Schedule of Services

  • Palm Sunday: April 9 11:15 a.m.  [Blessing of Palms, Passion Gospel and Communion]
  • Maundy Thursday: April 13 6:30 p.m. In the Anglican Centre, Olgastrasse 56  [The Feast of the Last Supper with the Washing of Feet]
  • Good Friday: April 14 12 noon & 7 p.m.  [Passion Gospel, Veneration of the Cross and  Communion from the Reserved Sacrament]
  • Easter Vigil April 15 9:00 p.m   [beginning at Leonhardskirche and finishing at Katharinenkirche]
  • Easter Day : April 16 7:00 a.m. (Early Sunrise Service)
  • 11:30 a.m. (Festival Eucharist) followed by a Celebration Lunch and Easter Egg hunt… in honour of the Risen Lord.]
  • April 16, 5:30 p.m. in Ulm, followed by an Easter Feast Supper

Annual General Meeting.…. 23 April…. Important Election for Wardens and Council Members, as well as delegates to the Deanery Synod and the CAECG.  New budget for 2017 will be presented.  —after church ends, after a quick and efficient sandwich lunch…All members and visitors are welcome to attend.  All enrolled members are eligible to vote.  How to enroll?  An enrollment form will be included in the service sheets for the next few weeks to fill out at church, or you may enroll using the blank form found on the church website…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.

Don’t take it personal….. The vicar has not blocked you from his Facebook page….. He was hacked and his Facebook page was blocked by the Facebook security team… who closed down the account while all is being sorted out.  He hopes to get it all back soon.  In the meantime, please contact him by email, or telephone.

From the Vicar: the hardest thing I have ever done….

This is, I believe, the hardest thing I have ever done…. and I have done a lot of hard things in my life.  But I have never gotten good at saying good-bye.  And while the good-bye won’t be for several months yet, I need you all to know that I have notified the bishop, the archdeacon, the Wardens, the Council, and now you, ….that I will retire from full-time ministry this summer, and return to Texas.  No, I am not being called to another job somewhere else.  No, I am not sick or newly diagnosed with some disease.  No, I am not angry.  And no, I am not being pressured to leave by anyone.  I have been thinking about this for several years, knowing that retirement would be inevitable.  The only question was how to do it in a way best for the on-going ministry of the church and best for me.  So many factors, tangible and intangible have gone into this decision.  I believe that now is the time for both the St. Catherine’s Church and me to make the transition into the next phase of our shared ministry in Jesus Christ.  While I make this announcement now excited about my life as a retired priest, I do so also with a heavy heart, knowing that it will mean leaving behind a life filled with blessing and spiritual friendship, more than I ever expected.  I got here in 2006 with an agreement from the PCC that I would stay 3 years, (and more if possible.)  I didn’t expect to stay 11 years,  But believe it or not, 6 June 2017 will be my 11th anniversary as vicar of St. Cat’s.  And I have no regrets.  And I have so many wonderful memories.  And I have so many great plans to continue being part of the life of this place as I watch from some distance, and make return trips to Europe as often as I can.  I may retire from being vicar, but I will not retire from praying for, working for, and loving all that God is doing here.  That all being said, I have, after a careful, prayerful, and long contemplated process, come to this decision.  And the Bishop has accepted my retirement.

Attached to this letter, is a copy of my Letter of resignation I wrote to Bishop David.  Please read it.  And know that it is from my heart when I say that all my years here have been a great blessing to me, as I have witnessed the presence of God in this place and in this congregation.

K+

News from former Warden, John Thompson John was officially installed on the 12th of March 2017 as a Verger at his Episcopal Church in Petersburg, Virginia, USA. Even while here at St. Catherine’s he joined the National Guild of Vergers of the American Episcopal Church.  He says that all around the ceremony he kept thinking about St. Catherine’s Church, where his liturgical seeds were planted.  Congratulations John!  Well done!

On Sunday, 12 March 2017, a historical event in Saint Stephen’s Episcopal in Petersburg, Virginia happened when a Verger was commissioned.

Mr. John Thompson, a Fellow of the Guild of the Episcopal Church was commissioned a Verger by The Reverend Father Willis R. Foster, Rector and assisted by Mr. Charles Palmer, Senior Warden.

Mr. Thompson is a retired Navy Chief Religious Programs Specialist and a current  Department of the Army civilian assigned to the Combined Arms Support Command, Fort Lee, Virginia.

Since the early days of the church, laypersons have been commissioned to assist the clergy in the conduct of liturgy. The position of verger was developed in Medieval England where the verger served as the “escort and protector of the procession.” They walked before clergy, deans or bishops as they processed within the precincts of the church or cathedral. They carried a large mace or virge, used to dissuade animals or unruly people from disrupting the procession. Today the verger typically assists the clergy in liturgy planning and helps in overseeing the preparations and execution of worship services.

This new ministry is a continual extension of the St. Stephen’s mission to meet the needs of the Church and community.

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