The rock(s) on which the church is built …

On Sunday, those who were in church, received a small stone, a reminder of the sermon and the small part we all play in being the church’s foundation … for those who missed it here is an abridged version of the sermon.

„Who do people say that I am?“ (Matthew 16.13-20)

When Jesus first confronts the disciples by asking them, “Who do people say that I am?”, the disciples respond, “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or another prophet!” But this doesn’t seem to be what Jesus was looking for. He seems to be disappointed in this response. As if the response was nothing new or original or authentic, but was perhaps something that was overused. There was no blood, or feeling, or life in those previous answers. And so Jesus rephrases his question, “No, no… who do you say that I am?”

Eventually, out of the silence, Peter steps forward and calls him Messiah, which is apparently the right answer. An answer in fact, that you and I as readers of Matthew’s gospel already know. The very first sentence reads, “An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah.” But what does it mean to call Jesus the Messiah? Even though Jesus seems satisfied with Peter’s response, Peter doesn’t exactly know what it means to call Jesus the Messiah.

Jesus is going to save the world, but is doing to be backwards. Even though Jesus won’t be the Messiah that Peter is expecting, even though Peter gets it right but still sort of gets it wrong, Jesus still says to Peter, the one who will try to prevent him from being the kind of Messiah he must be; Peter, the one who will deny that he ever knew Jesus three times before Jesus is crucified; to that Peter Jesus says, “Blessed are you, Simon. You are Peter and on this rock, I will build my church.”

And so it is for us. Jesus is going to save the world but it is going to be backwards. We are the rocks on which Jesus is going to build his church. People like you and I. People who stumble to answer the question, “Who do you say that I am?” People who clam up and go silent when confronted with questions about our faith.

And the beautiful part of being a small part of a larger foundation is that what you do matters to God. But also the future of God’s church also doesn’t rest completely on your shoulders, either. We go through this together, helping each other out along the way. God will build his church on you.  But the whole weight of the church does not rest on your shoulders.  We do this together.

Bible study Wed 30 August, 19.30 – we’ll be studying Matthew 16:21-28 in the Anglican Centre as usual.

Prayers for Texas – please keep the people of Texas in your prayers, especially those, many unknown to us but known to Ken, who over the past years have supported the mission of St. Catherine’s.

A prayer for those coping with floods
God of compassion,
you hear the cries of all who are in trouble or distress;
accept our prayers for those whose lives are affected by storms and flooding:
strengthen them in their hour of need,
grant them perseverance and courage to face the future
and be to them a firm foundation on which to build their lives;
this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(from the Church of England’s Online Prayers)

Back-to-school picnic – Sunday 10th September will take place in the Killesberg Park, on the meadow near the fairground. If you paste this dress into your browser, you’ll find quite a good map that has the Sommerblumenwiese on it:
There are toilets near by; just round the corner, by Elise’s Jahrmarkttheater, there is even a stall where you can buy drinks and ice creams. There is also the option for people to go on little excursions to the tower and the petting zoo.
We can hopefully have a picnic (bring your own and maybe a bit to share) and some games, at least football or other outdoor games that people have. Maybe someone with a car has the wooden “Sweden” or “Vikinger” Chess game?
There will be people to lead the way on public transport from Church. If you come under your own steam look out for Van, Heather and family.

Women’s Group At our last meeting, after a cup of tea and a chat, we sorted out the booklets containing the carols and music we use at the Carol Service. For some reason there were two versions in circulation with a different index of carols which caused some confusion at the last Carol Service. So now we can get more copies made so that everybody is able to find the right page. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, 21st September from 10 until 12 in the Anglican Centre. Gary has now kindly given me a key so there is no problem about getting in. I look forward to seeing you there.

Ladies’ Evening Group – The next meeting of the St. Catherine’s LEGS will be on Monday 18th September at Flo Steak and Burger Bolzstr. 10, 70173 Stuttgart (they also have vegetarian and gluten free options)
They don’t take reservations so we will just have to chance it …  but assuming that the weather is good there will probably be space inside. Even if we can’t reserve please let me know if you plan to come so that we can bag enough seats.

Sunday School Teachers’ Planning for the new term – if you are interested in joining our team of Sunday School Teachers or helpers please contact Susanna as we are beginning to plan the autumn term programme for the children.

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