1. AGM Report
There was a great atmosphere of cooperation in a time of transition as the new Parish Council was elected on Sunday. Howard Perry, Gary Anderton, Alison Seyerle, Susanna Thielecke, Roger Kemps, Frances Buttle, Christopher Sloan, Heather Anderson will serve as members of the church council in 2017-2018. Thanks to all who offer their services to the governance of the parish. Our Wardens were unanimously reelected: Eric Jarman and Mark Cheadle. Deanery Synod members also remain the same: Edeltraud Siebenpfeiffer and Eric Jarman. Lauris Prince-Schroter and Edeltraud were reelected as our ecumenical reps to Frauen der Welt, and ACK.
A Budget of 73,350 euros was presented, but with a fearfully large 7000 euro deficit.
The vicar’s retirement means this budget will need to be amended and a new budget will be presented to the parish council reflecting the new reality. At the beginning of the meeting and at the end, the vicar called upon other ordained members of the congregation to lead prayers, which allowed us all to realize that although the vicar will be leaving, the parish will still have lots of clergy/shepherds hanging about to care for the flock. By 3 o’clock the meeting ended.
A copy of the annual report is avaiable on request by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Flower person sought...The beautiful live lilies on the altar have stayed good for another week, keeping before our eyes a classical Easter vision. Thanks to Gary B, who found them, and to Alison S., who made a donation to the costs of the lilies as a thank-offering for the 11 years that the vicar has been here. Flowers play an important part in the decoration of the church. Our agreement with the Old Catholics is that they generally do the flowers on the big days, and that other months of the year the Anglican and Old Catholics alternate responsibility by month. Before the vicar departs he hopes to find a lay person from the parish who would be willing to take on the volunteer role of coordination with the Old Catholics to keep this joint work going. The volunteer need not be a flower arranger. He or she would simply need to coordinate with the Old Catholics, and keep a list of the weeks when the Anglican are responsible for the altar flowers. On those Sundays the Flower coordinator would seek to provide flowers for the altar one way or another, as he or she best sees fit. If you think you might be a good person for such job, the vicar would like to talk to you. Please contact him soon. The current lilies won’t last forever.
3. The Men’s Pub Night will gather together this Thursday at Calwer Eck Brauerei …. 7 p.m. …. If you don’t see anyone who looks like they are from St Catherine’s, check in with server and ask for the table reserved in the name: Buttle. Anyone is welcome… if you are a man from St. Cat’s who enjoys eating and drinking and talking.
4. The American German Gospel Concert… is less than 10 days away. 7 May, Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. the concert begins. Before and after the concert, a group of volunteers, mostly from the Church of the Nazarene, will be selling baked goods and snacks as an extension of the fund-raising project that is always a part of the Gospel Concert mission. The Nazarenes have asked “…Do any Anglicans want to help out by baking something for the snack table? Cupcakes, cookies, brownies, fudge, etc. will be on sale before and after the concert. No need to sign up, just bring along your things and drop them off at the snack table.
5. Speaking of fund-raisers: Our annual book sale will take place on Saturday, May 13, 10:00 to 16:00 in the church and Anglican Centre. As always, we need lots of helpers to make it all run smoothly: we need people to help set out the books attractively on Friday evening (approx. 18:00-21:00 starting in the centre), and on Saturday, we need friendly sales assistants and cashiers to turn St. Catherine’s into an amazing book store! We’ll try to organize shifts, starting at about 9:00.
There will also be a baked goods sale, organized by Naomi Billard, for which we need lots of luscious home-baked goodies – so if you’re a kitchen god or goddess, get busy! Naomi would also welcome some support in cutting cake and pouring tea on the day.
Finally, when all is over at 16:00, we will need a team to pack the left-overs away again, for next year…
If you would like to be a part of this big fund-raising event, get in touch with Susanna Thielecke email@example.com or Naomi Billard firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if you can’t help on the day, you can assist us in getting the word out – tell all your friends, or take some flyers from the back of church and distribute them!
And finally – make sure you put a note in your diary to come and shop yourself!
6. Baptisms being scheduled… or other sacrament issue for the vicar? As his time is short, please contact him right away if there is anything he can do for you or for someone you know. June already has a baptism day scheduled, and a 1st Communion ceremony. Do you have any special liturgies you would like to discuss with him. Don’t wait.
7. From the vicar: St. Catherine’s Wheel
We had a young member of our church come to the office two days ago to ask about donating some of his items to the Refugee Centre. He is moving back to the States now that his time in Stuttgart is finished. I was happy to tell him how to donate his things. Then I asked him when would be his last Sunday. He rather sheepishly said it was last week. He leaves on Friday. “Oh,” I moaned. “We can’t give you our St. Catherine’s Wheel prayer send-off… and souvenir candle.” He shrugged it off, but I, being the quick-thinking vicar that I am, asked him to wait just a moment, while I went into my office and emerged just a few seconds later with one of our St. Catherine’s Candles in hand. “You can at least have the candle.” I told him. “Oh I am not really interested in having a candle,” he admitted. But when he saw the candle with the red wheel and our church name on it, he changed his mind, and gladly received it. With a few meaningful words, the candle was presented, and he departed.
It’s got me wondering. When I leave, who will give the candle to me? Who will hold the wheel and pray for me as I depart? I want a candle in my suitcase when I fly home. I want to have a little bit of St. Catherine’s Church sitting on my shelf in Texas. As I tell all the recipients of the candle, I promise to light the candle frequently and say a prayer for the continued ministry of St. Cat’s.
A few years back, when our Wheel ceremony was just getting off the ground, I had an American family decline the opportunity to be part of it. “Don’t make us come up front and do that, the mother told me. It will make me cry.” It will probably make me cry, too, on that final Sunday. But I don’t mind shedding tears for the ending of this wonderful 11 years. I am not yet shedding tears, because there is still too much that I need to do before the emotions overwhelm. But when the work is finally finished, and the ministry has officially come to a happy end, I will probably cry. I am prepared for it to happen. I won’t force it, but I won’t avoid it. Maybe we can all cry together on that final day. And then somebody can give me the candle, and someone can say the prayer, and I will tearfully, joyfully, gladly make way …for the next vicar,…. who will take on the task of shepherding such a wonderful and grace-filled flock.
8. Pilgrimage to York. What are you doing 2-6 August? Already there are 12 people signed up for the pilgrimage to York, in England… but more could be added. Here is how it works: You get yourself to York however you like… and stay where you like. (The vicar has already reserved 12 places, 10 of which have been claimed. ) All will meet together on the 2nd of August at the meeting point just outside the front door at 14:00h. The Pilgrimage will begin in the Cathedral of York with both a tour and Evensong. Over the next days the pilgrims will have a boat ride on the river, visit several ruined medieval monasteries, worship in an active nunnery, enjoy a high tea, explore viking archaeological sites and Roman ruins. It will be educational, inspirational, fun, and relaxing. Are you interested in being part of this trip? This is the last opportunity to join the group. After this asking the group will be closed and no more new persons will be permitted to join. There is no fee to join the pilgrimage. Everything is pretty much pay as you go.
9. A New time for the Bible Study... The Wednesday Night Bible Study group has long met at 20:00h, but has decided to try experimentally, 19:30h. Would this increase your ability to come? Or would this prohibit you from studying with the others? Please let your opinion be made known to the vicar.
10. Photos from Easter are available on the website http://stcatherines-stuttgart.de/?p=1045
11. Do you enjoy a party? Attention all friends of the International Women’s Club Stuttgart -THIS IS THE LAST WEEK TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE IWCS 2017 ANNUAL CHARITY EVENT ON MAY 6TH!! If this is the first you are hearing about it, it’s our biggest event of the year and ALL are invited. You do not have to be a member (or even female) to attend this event. Bring your partner…bring your friends…the more the merrier!!…