The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9.6-7
St. Catherine’s, as an international church, has a fairly high turn-over of members.
Students come for a while, as do those on international contracts with one of the big Stuttgart firms and indeed any linked to the American military presence based locally. Others come and go for a variety of reasons. In all of this clergy, or at least Chaplains, also come for a while. However much they immerse themselves in the life and ministry of the church, however much they invest of their time and themselves, sooner or later the time comes to move on. For both church and Chaplain such change is at once difficult but also a tremendous opportunity.
When the current chaplain moved to Stuttgart from the UK (April 2018) she moved from a four bedroomed vicarage which was a family home. She offloaded (against donations to charity) around 60-70% of her possessions to be able to fit into the apartment that was found for her here in Stuttgart-Süd.
The upcoming move will be back to the UK because that is where her two adult children are and it will be to an apartment much smaller still and this requires a further reduction of possessions, once again against donations.
Those of you who know me well will not be surprised that 2 of my passions are hungry children and the environment. Of course I could just send all my belongings that are not returning to UK to the tip / landfill / spermüll … via an Entrümplungsfirma … BUT – lets see if we can’t, with a bit of imagination and good will, manage more.
- half the work books will go to the UK and the other half have gone into the Chaplaincy Library in the Anglican Centre. These have been catalogued and will be managed by the qualified librarian in our midst.
- well over half the non-work books will find their way onto the next book sale.
- clothes will go / have gone to the refugee programme KleiderKammer and spare bedding also.
- some furniture items and electrical items have found and are awaiting transport to new homes.
- the Mac will be donated to the church office.
Still needing a home (to avoid landfill) are
- washing machine
- 3 armchair type things
- desk with storage (bureau) – which has been my work desk for over 30 years !!
- IKEA type shelves
- 3 big and robust shelf units which currently take up a whole wall in my lounge
Photos available on request
Everything else, the small stuff, will appear, at some point(s) in time, on the Sundays* when we have coffee after church and people can make donations either in cash or an IOU. And here I refer you to the logo at the top of this musings. Several, possibly many, of you know I use this app ShareTheMeal to pay for children to have meals – mostly but not only in Yemen.
So far the fund has already paid for 214 meals to be donated. Let’s see how many more children we can feed through the down-sizing of the Chaplain’s ‘stuff’ and how we can minimize what ends in landfill by your willingness to give a new home to some of these things.
What you don’t want the Entrümplers will !
May you be blessed – certainly ‘fed’ children are blessed and so is our planet in its own small way.
In the turbulence of our own lives and the unsettled waters of the world today let there be new birthings of your spirit.
(prayers from the Iona Community)