This year my Advent ‘rosary’ became very nearly a Christmas one. Allow me to explain myself. An Advent ‘rosary’ is known to most of you as that thing whereby you cut coloured paper into strips and make a paper chain ! I do the same but as I make the links I pray.
So this year I began to pray for those who we at St Catherine’s said farewell to this year – Natasha, Jeff, Maureen and Claire and Joe, also Balan and there are others who have left our church and found fellowship elsewhere. I prayed next for those who I know have been bereaved this year and will be missing someone this Christmas – here I can’t give names because of confidentiality. Next I prayed for those who members of St Catherine’s have asked to be on my Prayer List – especially those who are long term ill or struggling. Then there were those who I have not seen for a while. Next came children, which did leave some links for those who I know are far away from family this Christmas, perhaps even for the first time ….. that prayer chain is hanging up at the Anglican Centre and suspended from it you’ll see a number of stars. The stars include one for Eva (from Ulm) and Daniel (from the Old Catholics) who have died in this past year or so. There is also a star for each person someone has told me they will be missing this Christmas (regardless of when they died).
as we welcome Christ the Prince of Peace in our midst, we pray for:
- peace in our world and especially in those places that has experienced violence this past year
- peace among those who daily live with fear
- peace in the communities in which we live and work
- peace in our church which has had its own storms this year which continue to challenge us
- peace in our homes and our hearts
- and God’s strength and courage to be peacemakers and bridge builders
Epiphany Sunday 5th January – Eucharist – @11.15 bring an apple !!!! (children join us in church
Newsletter for December/January – Newssheet_December
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in the land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.”
Isaiah 9 v. 2
Now the ‘Lessons and Carols’ service is sadly behind us for this year: Ongoing ways of ‘serving’ / ‘worshipping’:
• pray for the projects we will be supporting this year – which you can still do even if you are away on your travels already or even if you don’t live in Stuttgart but have a link with St Catherine’s
• a last chance to support the ‘giving’ this year – please make any further transfers by Sunday 5th January. Account details can be found here bank transfer Please clearly mark your donation “Christmas giving”.
A reminder of the projects
1) CAFÉ- STRICH- PUNKT
This association seeks to support young people in particular difficulties, often in very practical ways. This requires funding and also those able and willing to do voluntary work. The support can be online or in real time. The need can be as immediate as being homeless, or as long term as relationship-based support e.g. bridge building back into families. There is street work and consultation, drop-in and medical help and advice, plus more than can be listed. This is very local work that, we as good neighbours, have supported for a long time. http://www.verein-jugendliche.de/home/
Alongside the local support, we support at least one project that is global. At the Gospel Concert this year we helped raise 1600€ towards the building of a well in rural Yemen. Tonight we turn our focus towards the Internal Province of West Africa. The work is ‘managed’ under the Anglican Umbrella of the six dioceses in that region, in partnership with the Mission Organisation USPG which has a long standing history there. This approach combines resources and expertise in the local context, with the transparency of established, world-wide organisations.
Three countries in this region were hit by Ebola – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone. Though the pandemic has waned, there is work to be done, not only in follow up, but also in anticipation and preparation, should Ebola return. Churches are key agents in rebuilding health facilities such as hospitals and clinics, with training of new staff and the provision of medicines and salaries for staff. Beyond such basics there are countless further areas of rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by Ebola – such as supporting those who are now vulnerable because they are orphans or widowed or have lost their livelihood and the means of financial independence. https://www.uspg.org.uk/worldwide/ipwa/