St. Catherine’s Bazaar …

… is our annual fundraiser for our outreach projects.

The date for the Bazaar is set for Saturday, 18th November. I know it seems a long way away but time towards the end of the year always tends to go faster than at any other time.  We are planning on having the usual stalls: Flea Market, Christmas items, Preserves, Books as well as snacks, coffee and cakes for sale, raffles, guess the weight of the cake and possibly a scene from a Pantomime for the children.  Of course for all these activities we need lots of helpers to set up the stalls on the Friday evening, man the stalls and help with other areas on the actual day , dismantle everything afterwards so I would be very grateful for volunteers to come forward, even if you can only help out for a short time. Contributions for any of the stalls would also be welcome, especially jams, marmalades and preserves. Do please get in touch so that we can make this event a success.
Alison – bazaar@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

Last Saturday, Rev’d Solomon Benjamin, who has officiated several times at St. Catherine’s in the last few weeks, had his official installation service in relation to his „real“ job at EMS (Evangelische Mission in Solidarität), which in fact he has already been doing since May last year. His very impressive job title is Liaison Secretary East Asia/India and Executive Secretary German East Asia Mission, and his remit covers a huge area, including, of course, India, but also Korea, where his organization is very active in trying to help those suffering due to the effects of the division of the country. In a lovely service, well-wishers from church organizations from all over Germany (including St. Catherine’s), as well as guests from India, asked God to bless and aid him in his important task.
Dear Solomon, may God always be with you, particularly when you travel across the world to your mission countries, and may he also grant you enough time in between to be a regular visitor to St. Cats!

Hymns for Sunday

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.

The next Men’s Pub Night will be on Thursday 26th October at the Rote Kapelle (http://rote-kapelle.de/home.php). The food there is sort of Tapas/Frenchish. As usual we will meet at 19:00. The nearest S-Bahn is Feuersee.
Hope to see you there. I might be a bit late as I’ve a work appointment that runs a bit late.
Cheerio, Darren – for more info e-mail pints@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22.1-14)

This gospel is a parable; it is not something that really happened. It’s to teach us a truth. So, when we hear this story, how do we respond personally? Do we think about ourselves and our fate? Would I have been invited? The chosen? Would I have picked the right outfit to wear? And what about other people. Who else would be invited? Why were they invited? Who put this guest list together anyway?

We know what it feels like to not be included. To not have hospitality extended to us. When we are not invited, we can feel rejected, not wanted. Not loved.

Using this biblical image of the feast, God extends an invitation to attend a banquet. God has planned the menu, bought the wine, set the table, arranged for some appropriate music…but we can refuse to go.

Out of this bizarre story in Matthew’s gospel, I can see that God (depicted as the king) simply doesn’t give up! The invitation kept going out until the dining hall was full, even over-flowing, perhaps embarrassingly so, uncomfortably so, disquietingly so.

Who are the guests? We will wait and see at the final banquet, but we can practice the hospitality of God here and now and include everyone to the feast!

Today we welcome Matthew into the Christian worldwide family. God welcomes young Matthew and all of us. Rich, poor, whatever colour skin we have, language we speak, intellectual or not. All are invited. We are not puppets: it’s up to us to respond.

As Christians, we have accepted the invitation to participate in the banquet…indeed I believe we taste it when we share in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. We come to the feast ready to celebrate with joy, thankfulness and a repentant heart. The guest, who didn’t have a wedding robe on, wasn’t prepared to be open to the celebration! He wasn’t “clothed” with a joyful, repentant and open heart.

As a community of faith, we can support each other through prayer, through listening to each other, through wrestling with the scriptures as to how they speak to us in our daily lives and through acknowledging when we have strayed from being as Christ-like as we could be. We are not always going to be joyful, thankful or repentant.

Thankfully, the invitation is continually being extended. There’s a big party going to happen and we are all invited! How will you respond today?

+Wolfgang

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