I shall write something on Pentecost next week – after our own celebrations and after the amazing and joyful and vibrant and colourful celebrations involving the world-wide-church members on Pentecost Monday @ the Stiftskirche
For this week I just want to pull out one single thread from yesterday’s reflections (sermon). Many of you readers are too young for the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 30 years ago to mean much more to you then an historical event somewhere far away.
For me it was a deeply significant and life-changing event. Time wise it overlapped precisely with the beginnings of my training for the priesthood. That iconic photo being recycled this week, of the lone student standing in front of 4 tanks, and the events leading to it and from it were on constant television footage over several weeks. I, like others around me were shocked. And moved. We understood almost nothing, culturally or politically, and thus responded at that most basic of human levels, at gut level. But for me –
– Where was God on that square in those weeks ? It was not sufficient for me to be fobbed off with a reminder that China then was a communist totalitarian state and God had no jurisdiction there. My understanding of a biblical God was different. An abiding God, a present God, a God involved in history directly or through human agency, a God whose image lived in every born person….. a question asked at too many historical traumas, and despite long volumes of books it’s an answer every person of faith needs to walk towards themselves
– Where was prayer in those weeks ? It shifted my ‘Prayers of Intercession’ from lists to forms that started their evolution then during that volcano event, and is evolving still. Glimpses of which I have shared when we have thought about Prayer in our sermon slot. They now begin much less with “Please…..” or even “Please would you……” and much more with “What are you doing there, show me, so I can help pray that into reality…..”. It’s a work in progress. I hope.
– Where was my engagement, my responsibility, as a fellow human being, in those weeks ? Not enough to say it’s all a long way away, it’s a different culture….. I have made it my business over the 30 years since, to never find myself so ignorant. I have therefore read widely and deeply. I read as much political and cultural and sociological and anthropological material as theological. They are all interconnected. This is still my practice now. (currently reading around causes for C21. rise in right-wing populism which lie centuries back rather than in single and recent events)
Enough from that particular journey. Those events so far away 30 years ago, were not traumatic for me as they were for the locals, but out of the deaths during those weeks, something came alive in me and lives still. For that I am grateful.
– we pray for our Muslim colleagues and neighbours and friends as they celebrate Eid this week – marking the close of their ‘holy month of Ramadan’
– we pray too for Welt Hirn Tumortag (brain tumours) this saturday 08.06. – not least because it affects directly at least 2 people linked to St Catherine’s
- we pray for China and those still living in the shadow of the events of 30 years ago
- we pray too for those who have lost confidence in political systems, for those who just don’t care, and for the millions who cannot vote because they don’t have any kind of citizenship
If the write up last week left you curious, please click on the following link to see the pictures of the Shepherd’s Symphony Choir’s performance at the Leonhardskirche.
I hope you like the pictures, Jim
– firstly a big Thank You to all who give regularly or at all and those who make one-off donations too
– secondly there are now hard copy forms available as well as website links for those who want to switch to ‘Planned Giving’
finally too 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 email@example.com
Peace be with you ! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. JOHN 20.21
gifts or occasional help sought please:
– technical support especially for ‘Apple’ / iMacs
– do you play an instrument – our much loved organist is allowed holidays…….
offers of help to firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to Kara
– ‘Catering Coordinator’ for our hosting of the chaplains and lay reps (40-50) from all Germany FR 13. / Sa 14.09.19
= Bible Study – WE 05.06. @ 19.30 in the Anglican Centre as usual
= Pentecost – we will once again be having Incense at the altar during our worship (see my piece on this in February newsletters)
further ahead still:
= there are now THREE baptism dates in the diary – 21.07. / 22.09. / 27.10. – if you are an Adult who has never been baptised please talk to Kara about what that might mean for you and check which date would fit best…..
= Forest Church – we will have an outdoor service on Sunday 28.07. details to follow
= Schulanfänger – names to Kara for anyone starting school this September
= Annual Church Picnic – after church on Sunday 08.09. details to follow
= Harvest – hosted last year by West Africa, hosted this year by India – Sunday 13.10.
= ‘A Harvest of Talents’ – the children (and some adults too please) to lay on a performance evening Saturday 12.10. so get practising – poems / music / reading / reciting / comedy / drama……. what will You bring ?
– we welcome those new among us and pray they will soon feel at home at St Catherine’s – if you would like to receive the news direct to your inbox please sign up via the website.
– some new faces and also some baptism families will join us for their special day on 21st July and and 22nd September.
our Chaplaincy Safeguarding Officer is Katy Kefferpütz who can be contacted at email@example.com should you have any queries or concerns or feedback
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
Arrangements can also be made for those wishing to give from other countries because they no longer live in Stuttgart / Germany – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org