as a former maths teacher it pains me to admit I miscounted !!
I thought I had one more week before I want to switch to musings of a different nature – more to follow…..
the ‘shape’ of our Lenten journey and beyond is outlined below, at least structurally, the spiritual content however is ours to ‘own’ and make something of by which I mean – things are offered during this time; examples in my years of ministry have included:
- Lent Groups – offering some reading or study which is more thematic than a weekly bible study
- Confirmation Group – this practice of offering it during Lent is ancient indeed
- Compline once a week during Lent – a very different style of prayer to our Sunday morning Eucharists
- Visits to other churches (one a week) – to reflect on the formation of Christians in other traditions
- Raising money – Water Aid, Toilets, Christian Aid’s Count your Blessings….. many more…..
(we may offer some of these in years to come)
All the ‘services’ based events are listed below – Ash Wednesday and Holy Week – as much as can be offered – we each need to decide what we want to engage with during this time
- for periods of life there simply can be no participating that takes any time while juggling domestic and professional demands, which is not to say some Lenten discipline cannot be adopted for example on the commute
- I was in conversation with someone a week ago who is taking a break from God in response to some awful suffering seen on the news (to keep it vague) – but processing such things in life is itself a spiritual discipline deepening faith in the long term
- it will not surprise you when I tell you that I do my weightiest reading during Advent and Lent
- it may surprise you to hear that in the big cities in the UK Muslims work alongside Christians during Lent and vice versa during Ramadan to feed the hungry in their communities – Lent and Ramadan have most recently become the major big thing these faith communities have in common
- for the most part if people have wanted to give anything up for Lent – I have left them to it as there is such confusion around what the purpose of this should be (though I am happy to preach on it one year) more sane versions of this have emerged recently with a world hunger / environmental emphasis where we are invited to eat more mindfully eg less or no meat, more sustainable types of fish, shopping items entirely free of plastic packaging, giving up electricity for one hour every day, buying nothing new, using the car less…….
The journey of Lent, Holy Week and Easter begins with Ash Wednesday and will end with Pentecost, the birthday of the worldwide church. So this year @ St Catherine’s:
- For Ash Wednesday – 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. (if you wish to attend the supper please let Kara know asap email@example.com)
- The 5 Wednesdays that will follow, offer the usual Bible Study slot but with Lent theme – even if you don’t usually join this group, might you do so for these 5 weeks this year?
- Some of our sermon slots during Lent will focus on Stewardship and that aspect of our discipleship.
- Holy Week will as its name suggests, grow ever more holy as it moves us towards its climax.
- Thursday – a short evening service this year possibly without the ‘foot washing’.
- 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.
- Holy Saturday we begin once again at the Leonhardskirche and process and conclude at St Catherine’s.
- For those with stamina we return not much much later for Easter Sunday Family Eucharist and ‘bring-and-share’ lunch. (for all the timings and further details – keep eyes on website and Noticesheets)
Three more things I would like to add to this journey from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost.
- We normally in our worship, rely very heavily on words and listening to them, joining in with them. The liturgy, the readings, and prayers, even the music…….
- Might we on this next journey draw in a couple more of the five senses we have been given – movement and smell and sight.
- During Lent – for the prayers of intercession there will 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 silence !
- During Lent – for the weekly Musings there will be instead of words a Picture with or without a couple of hints to help give shape to reflection
- During Easter – I would like us 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. (more details will be given nearer the time but if you have ashma / other problems with incense, please talk to me so we can make sure you are safe)
- we pray for those unwell and for those undergoing treatments and recovering from surgery and those who have injured themselves – for healing and for peace
- we pray for tired teachers and tired pupils all in need of the holiday
we pray this week for the nations in the headlines including the final Brexit dramas which affect not only the Brits but the EU too…. also Nigeria and Venezuela and the US and unrest between India and Pakistan:
and for all who work for peace
again two things this week:
- firstly a big Thank You to all who give regularly or at all
- however we had an update at the most recent Council meeting and we are well behind in our ‘giving’ for where we are in the financial year and something we all need to take responsibility for please for details of how to give regularly to St Catherine’s go to the Stewardship page on the website or look at the bottom of this newsletter and the back of weekly service sheets
- secondly an appeal to anyone who has either experience or a passion for fundraising and grant application to join our finance team – you can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
comes from one of our Isaiah readings this month
“Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord shall be upon you.” ISA60.1
– the Church Council will need from April onwards a new Council Secretary – could this be You ?? (ask Kara what is required in skills and duties)
– the Church Council will need new members from April onwards and a second Church Warden – could this be You ?? (ask Kara what is required in skills and duties)
other gifts sought please:
– technical support
– intercessions – public or private
– healing prayer – private
– Sunday school team will need another person from September
– do you play an instrument – our much loved organist is allowed holidays
offers of help to email@example.com or speak to Kara
we are still in Ordinary time and will continue our series on topics you’ve asked for…..
looking well ahead:
the Annual Meeting will be on Sunday 7.04.19 after the service – please pray whether joining the Council is something God may be calling you to (in whatever capacity)
world day of prayer – 01.03 @19.00 in church
pancake lunch – 03.03. after the service in church side room
Ash Wednesday service and fish supper with AKs on 06.03.@18.30
PINTS (men’s pub night) 07.03. @19.00 Bistro Einstein
Weltgebetstag trifft international Frauentag – 8th March – Stuttgart Rathaus
LEGS (ladies dining out) 20.03. @19.30 Sophies’ Brauhaus
Clocks change sat 30./sun 31.03. – we loose an hour sleep……
we welcome those new among us and pray they will soon feel at home at St Catherine’s
Chaplain – every Monday: 14.30 – 16.00 and every Saturday: 11.00 – 12.30
If I am not there at these times there will be a very good reason !
Chaplaincy Administrator aka the lovely Lauris – every Thursday: 10.00 – 12.00
I am also at the Centre at other times so feel free to drop in – no appointment needed !
Or DO make an appointment if that more suits your needs.
St Catherine’s Anglican Church does not receive financial support from the German government or the Diocese in Europe. We depend on the generous financial support of those that worship with us to support our ministry.
Thank you in advance for your support !
Your contributions may be paid by Überweisung to St Catherine’s Church:
The Friends of the English Church e.V.
IBAN: DE67 5206 0410 0000 4022 22