The journey of Lent – Holy Week – Easter begins next week with Ash Wednesday and will end in June with Pentecost (the birthday of the worldwide church).
On Ash Wednesday, this year as last, – come and join the Old Catholics and Anglicans at a Eucharist with ‘Ashing’ (“Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ”) followed by a Fish Supper in the Gemeindesaal.
On the 6 Wednesdays that follow, there will be the usual Bible Study slot on offer but with a Lenten theme. Even if you don’t usually join this group, might you do so for these 6 weeks this year?
Holy Week will as its name suggests, grows ever more holy as it moves us towards its climax.
Maundy / Green Thursday – a short evening service with or without the ‘foot washing’ in our Centre.
Good Friday – Open House all day, drop in any time and stay as short or as long as you would like to reflect in silence on what is on offer there. Unlike a Good Friday Liturgy, this will be suitable to take children to and converse in hushed tones about what you can see. All Old Catholics and Anglicans will be equally welcome at the Open House in the Anglican Centre or for the Good Friday Liturgy (in German) in church.
Holy Saturday – we begin once again at the Leonhardskirche, process and conclude at St Catherine’s.
Easter Sunday Family Eucharist – For those with stamina we return not much much later for worship and a ‘bring-and-share’ lunch.
(for all the timings and further details – keep your eyes on website and notice sheets)
There are two more things I would like to add to this journey from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost.
In our worship we normally rely very heavily on words – listening to them, joining in with them. The liturgy, the readings, and prayers, even the music…….
Might we on this next stage of our journey once again this year draw in more of the five senses we have been given – sight, movement and smell.
- During Lent – once again the Musings take the form of pictures rather than words, inviting us to reflect.
- During Lent – for the prayers of intercession there will again be a world map on the floor in that big space behind the altar and people will be invited to get out of their seats and pray for a country, an area…… in the stillness!
- On Easter Sunday – I would like us again to waft some incense, which was indeed one of the gifts offered by the Magi to the infant Christ, and is often mentioned as representing both the holiness and the presence, of God. (those of you not new to St Catherine’s will know that we only use incense for the major festivals – Christmas & Epiphany, Easter Sunday & Pentecost and sometimes at our Patronal Festival – and it is always subtle not overpowering, hinting not shouting)
Prayers during Lent traditionally focus on:-
= those preparing for Baptism/Confirmation
= the Wardens plus Council / leadership team
= those looking for forgiveness
= all who are hungry (in all its aspects)
On the last Sunday of April we at St Catherine’s will be holding our Annual Church Meeting straight after the service.
Our current Wardens and Council Members are working very hard in preparation for this to produce the accounts and to write reports on pretty much every area or aspect of our chaplaincy life and work – please pray for them in this extra work.
In preparation for this too there will be official notices given on the website – which is the equivalent of our church door or our church notice board!
One such notice will announce that the Annual Meeting is to be held and tell you when and where.
Another such notice will offer people the opportunity to have their names added to the Electoral Roll (church membership list)
Notice will be given of elections – of wardens and council members – though there will only actually be an election (as in voting) if there are more applicants than spaces. Forms will be made available for nominations in due course.
Along with the official Church of England format announcements, there will be plenty of plain text reminders and explanations of the finer details in the weeks before the meeting, and if you would like more information there are people who can be asked.
Specific vacancies: (roles where it is known that the current holder is not running for re-election):
- Representative to the Council of Anglican and Episcopal Churches in Germany (CAECG) – this is equivalent of our Deanery Synod and involves a 24-hour residential commitment, in March and October, at varying locations around the Germany.
- membership of the church council with whatever skills you have to offer
- Chaplaincy Safeguarding Officer – the person in this role is appointed by the church council but does not necessarily need to be elected to the council. Training is provided. Ideally this is a role for someone who can make a commitment for at least 2 years, someone comfortable reading and dealing with a lot of paperwork (in English) and someone who is a good listener and understands the need for confidentiality.
For more information on any of the above or to express your interest speak to Kara
- for our Council – as they work on the Annual Report and Annual Accounts and indeed as they reflect on a further year of service or a break from it and as others, including those new to St Catherine’s, consider stepping up and take over some of the reins
- for those considering and preparing for Baptism or Confirmation
- for the sick and the dying and for those who care for them
- for us all, as we embark on our Lenten journey as individuals, in families or in groups, as a church and alongside the worldwide church in its countless forms even here in Stuttgart…