The Annual General Meeting is upon us … and other news …

From the Vicar:  “Technical” Things you might want to know about the way we celebrate Easter….

Technically speaking, Easter is not a day.  It is a season of the church.  It starts with the Day of the Resurrection, continues on through the various resurrection experiences recorded in the Book of Acts, and alluded to in some of the Epistles. It is still Easter when the Day of the Ascension comes.  And It remains the Easter season all the way through until the Feast of Pentecost.  In fact, all this time amounts to 50 days. 40 days from Resurrection to Ascension, and 10 days from Ascension to Pentecost.  Throughout this whole season the church continues using the white/ gold vestments, additional Alleluias in the liturgy and as much as possible, Easter hymns announcing that Christ is risen.
In the eastern tradition, the season isn’t even called Easter; it is called the Great 50 Days.  So technically speaking, and we were speaking technically already,

  • Holy week is the name for the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Day.  This is not part of the Easter season, but still part of Lent.
  • Easter week is the first week of Easter, meaning those days following Easter Day.  Today, as I write this newsletter, it is Wednesday, the 4th day of Easter’s 50 days.

So on Sunday next the church will still look like and feel like Easter.  We will still be using the gold hangings, the lilies will be back on the altar, the clergy will wear white stoles and chasubles and our songs will contain as many Alleluias as possible.

I hope that you will continue to confuse your friends and co-workers by wishing them a Happy Easter each morning.  They will challenge you that Easter is past, but you, clever as you are, will remember that Easter is not past until Pentecost.  Indeed!  We still have 46 more days to go.  46 more days of joy and celebration that He who once was dead, is dead no more.  He is risen!  Alleluia.

Annual General Meeting 2017

The AGM will take place this coming Sunday following the lunch which follows the conclusion of our church service.  All enrolled members are encouraged to be present and participate in the election of Wardens, Parish Council, and other positions.
We will review the Budget, and check out how 2016 turned out.
Come prepared to nominate someone for Warden or Council member by having cleared it with your favourite candidate in advance.  You may not nominate anyone against his or her will.  But it will be your privilege to help discern the will of God, as to who should be the parish leadership for this upcoming transitional year.

Thanks for great Easter celebration!  All the services, starting with Palm Sunday, and continuing through Holy Week, culminating in the four Easter Services were fantastic, in my humble opinion.  I particularly liked the outdoor portion of the Palm Sunday service. Singing in front of the church for the neighbourhood to watch and hear. It was that same “People notice” feeling of the two services in the Anglican Centre.  There many people passed by on the sidewalk, peeking in through the piles of Refugee clothing to see us inside worshiping, praying, and on Thursday, washing one another’s feet. I am no exhibitionist, but did enjoy the brief moments of interconnection between those who passed by and us who were inside the room.  The flickering candles on the altar, the crowd of people seated; listening intently to the sermon and prayers, and finally the sound of our singing audible outside through the thin glass window, it must have caught the attention of those rushing by. I wonder how many of them wished that they could stop and join in the liturgy. Thanks to all who made the week possible.  Readers, acolytes, chair movers, book distributors, sheet folders, prayers leaders, choir singers, organists, cooks, …all did a fantastic job, allowing the whole congregation to celebrate in a beautiful, safe and welcoming place.
While it is dangerous to pick out specific named workers, I would be remiss not to acknowledge Natalie G, who let me know in advance that she would like to read a lesson on Easter Day.  She read it beautifully even if she had to stand on the step ladder to be high enough to reach the microphone.  She along with the 2 spontaneously selected kids who served as Candle-bearers on Easter Day, decked out in the little cassocks and cottas, help us all to remember that we are not a church with children, we are a church of which children are an integral part.  One last highlight which I would like to mention took place in Ulm, at the Sunday night Easter service…my 4th in less than 48 hours.  There a family presented a tiny baby to be baptized.  Baby Claire was such a perfect little girl.  Even when I poured the rather cool water on her head, she did not scream.  She sputtered a bit, but then smiled a beatific smile as we walked her around the room so that all her new brother and sisters could see her and bond with her.  She won all our hearts.  Again, thanks to all…. K+

Prayers for those who are sick
Your prayers are asked for Walter, husband of Brigitte, who is suffering the after effects of his chemotherapy.  May  he be quickly restored to wholeness and strength.  Amen.

St. Catherine’s Book Sale is coming soon!
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 or Naomi Billard
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!

Our “Welcome back, stranger” greeting goes to Ina L. and her daughter, Ruby R.  …. who attended our Easter Vigil Service on Saturday night.  They, along with the rest of the family attended St. Catherine’s the first several years of the Vicar’s time here, but have gladly kept in touch since returning to the States in 2009.  Wonderful to see you!

Women’s Coffee Morning
Thursday, 20 April… 10 a.m.  Rumour has it that we will have a guest from Bad Urach.  Hope she is not snowed in by the unexpected spring snow storm.

American German Gospel Concert
7 May 2017, beginning at 17:00h in the Leonhardskirche.  No ticket is needed.  Just bring  your friends, come, and enjoy the energy, emotion, and harmony.  This year there will be 6 different singing ensembles from the greater Stuttgart areas, including the Stuttgart Harmonizers, the vicar’s barbershop quartet.  This might well be your last chance to hear him sing in public performance.

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