Gospel Concert, Book Sale, and a note from the vicar about what makes an event really special …

 The American German Gospel Concert… This Sunday 7th May, 17:00 Leonhardskirche.
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.

Book Sale  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 booksale@stcatherines-stuttgart.de or Naomi Billard cakes@stcatherines-stuttgart.de.
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!

From the Vicar:

“Special Events”… This is a time of year when it seems I am going from one “special event” to another.  Each week brings another opportunity to stress out over a once-per-year fund-raiser, or a seasonal liturgy, or a one time off thing.  I like these events because they keep me on my toes.  They require me to be creative and inventive.  But over the years, I find that these special events are feeling less and less “special”.  Sure, the Gospel Concert remains an exciting chance to meet talented performers and do great fund-raising for important causes.  Sure I like being able to work together with the International Church of the Nazarene, our partners since the beginning in this Gospel Concert venture.  Sure, when it is over I feel very proud of the success of the event.  But….

Sure, I love the Book Sale/ Bake Sale/ Flea-market event we have coming up on the 13th of May.  I love seeing people from far and wide come to rejoice over our English language book offering, and taste our delicious baked goods.  I likewise find myself sorely tempted to buy too many little “dust-catchers” from the Flea-market.  It is a great way to raise money, build community, and meet new people.  But…

But…. are they really “special?”  This is not a comment about either of these events.  It is a question which rises up inside me, asking what does it mean to be special?  I find myself answering the question more and more from the priest point of view, rather than from the institutional point of view.  The church as institution sees these things as special because they are uncommon.  They only happen once a year.  And they raise money, something we are always needing.  Does that make them special?  The priest side of me thinks otherwise. I do not want to equate irregularity and special-ness.  For me as vicar, the more special things are the things we do regularly and often…. things we do frequently because they are so important that we cannot only do them once per year.  With this thinking, I find that the most special thing we do is our Sunday morning Eucharist.  So special we do it over and over and over again.  We just can’t get enough of it.  We find Christ present among us in this holy sacrament, making it so very special.  We can never get enough of the presence of God.  The most special things of life are those things which make God present.  Seeing you on Sunday morning feels more special to me than making a lot of money at a concert. Sharing communion with you is more special than selling you a book.

So maybe Special Events are only special when they are connected with those things truly special in divine presence.  So here is my special prayer for all our special events…. intended to make them even more special in an especially holy way:  May God be with us as we sing our Gospel songs.  May Christ be at the door greeting all who come to buy books.  May the sweetness of the cupcakes be exceeded a thousand fold by the sweetness of our salvation in Jesus.  May our special life together at St. Catherine’s Church, bring the presence of God to each of us and to all who live around us.  May every day be special.  Amen.


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.

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