Advent … the start of a new Church year

2nd Sunday of Advent: Toy Collection Sunday

Please note that this coming Sunday, we will collect the toys for the children of the Frauen Hilfe Zentrum (I don’t think that is the exact right name, but it is similar, basically a place where women in need can go with their children.) Bring new or nice used toys to be presented at the altar for blessing. We can make many children happy with simple things. They do not need to be wrapped. Just avoid puzzles with 1000s of pieces which could fall over the floor,… or board games. The place we are helping is a counseling centre where the children will play with the toys while their parents are in with the counselors. Many of the toys will go home with the children, such as dolls, cuddly bears or plastic trucks. Kids are kids world-wide so you know already what sort of things to bring. May our preparation for the Coming of Christ be always linked with our sharing joy with others.
We will also be holding our fourth older children’s sunday school class – those aged 9-13 will continue to find out more about St. Paul and his travels.

From the Vicar: A confession……Oops! I forgot

As the parish council prepares the proposed budget for 2017, we appeal to all the members of the church to consider their Christian Stewardship, especially financial stewardship. If you have already set up a bank transfer, or filled out a pledge which continues to represent your desire to support and advance the church, you can just let it roll over into the coming year. If your situation has changed and you need to reduce or increase your bank transfer or pledge, this is the time to do it, so that the treasurer can anticipate a reasonable income for the budget.
If you are new here, and have never set up a bank transfer, or know nothing about filling in a pledge form, I would like to talk to you personally about how this can best be done.
Two weeks ago I invited anyone wishing to know more about this, to stay a few minutes after church,… and several did. We had a nice Q&A time, so that they could get on board with their own donations to the operations of the church. Last Sunday, I intended to do it again,… but… oops! I forgot to mention it. Simply forgot to ask people to stay after for the Q&A.
This Sunday, I will try again. I hope not to forget. (and now 200 subscribers to this newsletter can be prepared to remind the vicar Ed.) It is an important part of any church’s vitality that the people who are part of the church have a chance to be informed about how the money comes in, where it goes out, and can we survive another year? The generosity of many, many good Christian Stewards during this last year has gotten us to the end of the year with just a very small deficit. Thus we are not doing a “crisis” stewardship campaign,… but this rather more relaxed approach. I believe that God will move the hearts of the right people to do the right thing so that the good works of worship, fellowship, outreach, and education we have at St. Catherine’s can continue. If you ever have any questions about Kirchensteuer, tithing, how much to give, or how to get tax credit against your donations, we have several people qualified to talk to you and give you answers. Just ask.

Many opportunities for Lessons and Carols…..

If you have ever attended one of our Christmas Lessons and Carols services, you will know why we put so much time and effort into each year’s service. It is a brilliant time of great singing, Scriptural readings about the coming of the Messiah and the birth of Christ, and the fellowship which comes from being together in worship. Each year seems to get bigger and better. So big that several years ago we moved our service into the big Lutheran Church down the street: The Leonhardskirche, where we have been welcomed by their council in a spirit of ecumenical friendship. It is thought of as one of our most important opportunities to introduce Anglican style worship to a whole city full of people who might otherwise never experience such a thing. For our own members it is a grand tradition of worship. For visitors it is an opportunity for witness and welcome. For all it is fellowship and outreach, using the collection taken to support any number of worthwhile projects over the years.
The Stuttgart Lessons and Carols is not the only one around. Here are the others. If you cannot make our service on the 11th, perhaps you could attend one of these:

  1. Kempten….. 4 Dec….. 1600 in the Old Catholic St. Mary Magdalene Church
  2. Stuttgart…. 11 Dec… 17:00 in the Ev. Leonhardskirche. ( come early to get a good seat.)
  3. Tübingen…. 14 Dec….19:00 in the Stiftskirche in the heart of downtown Tuebingen.
  4. Ulm….. 17 Dec…..Satuday, at 16:00 in the Chorraum of the Haus der Begegnung in downtown Ulm.

All these services are free, fun, inspiring, and a great opportunity to invite your friends, German or otherwise, who like to sing. May God bless all our Christmas carol services with a seasonal joy which reminds even those with the coldest hearts why God is so good and why we so gladly dedicate ourselves to His service.

4th Sunday of Advent…….Our Children’s Nativity Play….All Children Needed! And Grown-ups too.

As in past years, we will present the play during the Sunday morning worship service… in lieu of the sermon. Any and all the children of the church, as well as visitors are welcome to throw on a costume from our vast collection of costumes and take part in the tableaux. It is all very relaxed and stress-free for the kids. How better to learn the story of the birth of Christ, than by doing it through play. On Saturday, 17 December, in the morning, we will bring out all the costume bits and pieces, and divide the more major roles, so that the children can learn how to wear them. We may also do a walk through… but not too much. Just so the kids feel comfortable. As families arrive for church on the morning of the 18th, the children will sit with their parenents, in costume, until time for the play to begin. After the play is finished, they may choose to take off or leave on their costume, as they see fit. And the service will continue into the Holy Communion portion of the liturgy. It is always fun, often inspiring, and full of the spirit of the season. If you know you wish to take part please contact – this will help with the planning.

Acolytes, Ushers, Readers, Harmony Singers, Cookie/ Biscuit bakers, and Hospitality helpers…..

We need all sorts of willing workers to make our Christmas services work. Whether the Lessons and Carols, or one of the Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day liturgies, I would really like to know if you are willing to take on a duty. We have so many visitors that having our regulars step up to fill these roles really makes it much nicer.

What would you most like to do?

  • If your answer is to sing… Anna M. who is coordinating the choir rehearsals.
  • If you answer is to read a lesson, please contact Eric J. who is coordinating the readers.
  • If your answer is to be an acolyte, please contact the vicar.
  • If you would like to help with hospitality or ushering the collection, please contact Jackie W.
  • 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.

And thank you in advance for whatever you can do. K+

The Wednesday Night Bible Study Group

will be taking a holiday break to allow all the members to participate fully in the many holiday activities around town. They will begin again in January. Would you like to get on the mailing list for the Wednesday Bible Study Group? If you, you will get a weekly reminder with the reading of the week sent out in advance so that you have time “to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest’ it before the discussion begins. Please let either the webmaster or the vicar know of your interest. Thanks.

Men’s pub night

As it seems that many of our regulars cannot make tomorrow we are re-scheduling Pub Night for the 15th December. Same place, same time, but 2 weeks later,
Hope to see you all there!

Women’s Group

We were pleased to have Ken back with us at our last meeting and we also welcomed Ute Proctor from Urach.  We enjoyed the special Earl Grey Tea Ken had brought back from the Tea Shop in Harrogate. Our lively discussions ranged from the Presidential election in the US to sexual harassment and women’s rights! Our next meeting will be on Thursday, 15th December 2016 from 10 until 12 in the Anglican Centre. Take a break from your Christmas preparations and join us for a cup of tea and a chat. Looking forward to see you.
Alison Seyerle

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