Change of date for Carol Service…

Important – change your diary entry – this year’s Carol Service will be on SATURDAY 16th December – 17:00 at Leonhardskirche. Please help spread the word about the change of date from our usual Sunday evening service.
If you are interested in joining the choir for the service please contact Stephen, choir@stcatherines-stuttgart.de. If you already want to sign up to usher, read or help in any other capacity please contact Eric or Mark the wardens, warden@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

2nd Sunday of Harvest – this Sunday, 8th October, will be the second opportunity to contribute to our Harvest outreach programme. Please ensure all donations are non-perishable and no more than 6 months past their best before date.
Breakfast items will be donated to the Franziskusstube Other items will be donated to the Salvation Army.

Keep praying … our advert for a new vicar is appearing for the second week in The Church Times. Pray for those who will apply for the post, those who will process the applications and all those who will be involved in the interview process (scheduled for late November).

Women’s Group We had a surprise visitor at our Coffee Morning last week – Ken turned up, taking time off from clearing his flat!  It was good to hear about his travels and his plans. Luckily his house, and those of his relatives, were not damaged by the hurricane.  Our next meeting is arranged for Thursday, 19th October from 10 until 12 in the Anglican Centre.

October Ladies’ Evening Group – we’ll meet Monday 16th October, from 19:00, at the Ganesha in Stuttgart West – near the Schwabstrasse S-Bahn. If you’d like to join us please let us know by e-mailing legs@stcatherines-stuttgart.de – new faces and old are always welcome.

Word for the Week

Rev´d Dr. Howard Perry-Trauthig

What is crucial at every Harvest Festival is the attitude that is behind this emphasis on thanks and thankful generosity. A Harvest Festival, however humble it may be, and the readings, ought to motivate us to venture forward into the future with confidence and courage. It is perhaps paradoxical, but a Harvest Festival is more about the future, more about what is to come than it is about the past, about what has been.

When I survey this past year, I see that many persons have missed, have misunderstood what a Harvest Festival is ultimately all about – namely, faith in the future, faith in the God that led the Israelites out of slavery into the promised land.

When I look at so many of the elections this past year, the presidential election in the USA, Brexit in the UK, the success of the AfD in Germany, I see not just lots of voters who are looking backwards, longing for a past that will never come again. I also see individuals who have lost their hope for the future. That is why they want to bring back the past. Insofar that they are Christians, they have also shown that they have not really understood what Thanksgiving is all about. Christians give thanks for the past while striving fearlessly forward towards the Kingdom of God. We do not need to be afraid of the future because the Kingdom of God is coming towards us.

The deeper message of a Harvest Festival, of any Thanksgiving in any form for anything is then: Fear not! Do not be afraid of the future. For the Lord is with you. It gets even better! The Lord is coming to meet you! In its deepest meaning thanks for the harvest is not about what we have harvested. It is about our attitude! It is about our mindset, our way of thinking. Actually, it is much more than this. Thanksgiving in this sense describes a lifestyle.

Fear not!

Have hope!

Have hope against hope!

Look forward to the future –

Look forward to that which is coming.

Do not long for the past and resign yourself to a here and now in which refugees drown and fake news is taken for truth.

In this spirit, with this lifestyle, next year, at the next Harvest Festival, we can once again give thanks for all that we have harvested, for all that we have received, as humble as the harvest may have been. We do that not out of an attitude of fear or anxiety – but because we live a life of hope, because we live a life of Thanksgiving!

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