Fellowship for the Feiertage

It’s May and that means in Germany there is a public holiday nearly every week. If you are at a loose end on either of next holidays 21st May or 31st May why not join Kara to explore the environs of Stuttgart … suggested activities include
– walk from centre to Teehaus im Weißenburg Park (Bopser)
– walk from centre to Tschechen & Söhne Biergarten (top of Karlshöhe)
or if wet
– the Mercedes museum
Exact departure times and place to be confirmed. Please let Kara know (chaplain@stcatherines-stuttgart.de) if you are interested.

This Sunday we will celebrate the Feast of Pentecost at St. Catherine’s, 11:15 as usual.
On Monday there is the opportunity to celebrate Pentecost in an ecumenical-multinational manner at the Stiftskirche. Monday 21st May – 11:00 “Herzliche Einladung zum Gottesdienst am Pfingstmontag, dem Tag der weltweiten Kirche”
Hymns for Pentecost Sunday
O thou who camest from above
Come down O love divine
Come holy ghost our souls inspire
There’s a spirit in the air 

Tuesday this week began the ‘holy month’ of Ramadan.
It follows a weekend of so called IS related news certainly in Indonesia and also Paris, as well as escalating conflict and violence in Israel/ Palestine.
And yet I will pray this month, as I do every year
– for peace in the Muslim world especially in the Middle East
– for the resolving of differences between different branches of Islam
– for poverty and other social injustices which fuel unrest
– for our Muslim neighbours – at work and in school, in the flat next door……

I have been involved in some wonderful Christian-Muslim projects in the UK.
– Exchanges between schools.
– Homeless people being fed every night in community centres for the whole month.
– A space for real friendship and neighbourliness.
Here in Stuttgart I see too an invitation ‘Ramadan: Stuttgarter Muslime laden ein’ – it’s more for the culturally curious rather than the needy and desperate, one evening rather than the daily invitations so common now in the big cities of England, but still !!

It is the nearest observance to the Christian period of Holy Lent that exists in another world faith.
It is called the Holy month because financial giving to charities or the needy, giving of hospitality to family, neighbour and stranger alike, are all requirements alongside the discipline of fasting during the daylight hours. The fasting alone, often attempted even by children younger than the required age, should command our respect, given how hard it actually is. It is a deeply spiritual discipline.

Ramadan ends mid June with a big celebration. In that sense the annual calendar of periods of reflection and times of celebration has parallels with our own annual pilgrimage through the Christian calendar.
I commend the Muslim world to your prayers.

Women’s Group
Our next meeting will be on Thursday, 24th May from 10 until 12 in the Anglican Centre. Please note that this is the FOURTH  Thursday, and not the usual third, as I am on holiday in May. Hopefully we will be able to repair the hymn books this time. Last time we couldn’t get into the church to collect them.
The coloured tape is there, sponsered by Ken, so just bring some scissors. See you there.
Alison Seyerle

Booksale our Annual English language, second-hand booksale will take place on Saturday 16th June, along with our traditional bakesale. Susanna and Naomi are beginning to put together a team of helpers please e-mail booksale@stcatherines-stuttgart.de if you can help set up, take a shift at the book sale, pack away, serve coffee, sell or bake cakes … or have any other talent to offer. Thank you.

 ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ campaign
For those who haven’t heard about it, Thy Kingdom Come was started by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2016, and has developed into an international, ecumenical campaign involving, among others, the Roman Catholic and Methodist churches.
We are invited to pray between Ascension and Pentecost for more people to come to know Jesus Christ and for the coming of God’s kingdom, with the hope that in so doing we will deepen our own relationship with Jesus, enrich our prayer lives, and consider what God might be calling us to do in our churches, our homes and in our own lives.
There are all sorts of resources available to be used over this ten-day period, including three different guidance booklets for nine days of prayer between 11 and 19 May which can be found here: https://www.thykingdomcome.global/search/resources?tags=2&theme_id=28
I found that the Methodist one was particularly lovely (especially the artwork)
Other ideas include praying for five friends (https://www.thykingdomcome.global/resources/9) and for praying Morning and Evening prayer during this period (https://www.thykingdomcome.global/uploads/resources/12928_TKC_Morning__Evening_Prayer_Booklet_V4_16pp.pdf).

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