As promised: “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” – I have now just returned from this joyful celebration. The diversity of representation among clergy and lay folk was every bit as broad as it was last year. What a microcosm of the world Stuttgart seems to be. I have often been quoted as saying that we at St Catherine’s are an international faith community and so we are, but our members don’t represent half of the nations and churches at this ‘Day of the Worldwide Church’. Now the sermon today held two surprising points which I will share with you:
- First the reminder that ‘grenzlos ist der Heilige Geist’ – we worship and celebrate a Holy Spirit who sees and recognises no boundaries.
- Secondly our songs that we sing in worship, that tell the story of who we are as children of God, that proclaim our faith, these are to tunes that people cannot march to – but they are set to tunes that are great for dancing to.
The cultural as well as faith diversity connected very well with the sermon we had from Dr Howard Perry yesterday at St Catherine’s on Pentecost in its invitation to embrace, rather than shun or reject, diversity. This embracing of diversity not only enriches, it challenges prejudices and narrow (or lazy) forms of thinking, it also stands as a prophetic alternative to some of the right wing populism sweeping our globe and most especially in established democracies.
If you are interested in reading more on this theme I can recommend – Identity: Contemporary Politics and the Struggle for Recognition: the Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment by Francis Fukuyama. I know at least 2 members of St Catherine’s have read this and if more would like to we could follow that up with a discussion evening…… let me know.
There were plenty of other nuggets in that sermon which is on our website Sermon_Pentecost for our own reflections on what difference Pentecost makes to our discipleship, the way we live and think and pray.
You can see visual examples of our vibrant and diverse congregation in Jim Palik’s recent aerial photos, taken outside St. Catherine’s after the service http://jpalik.com/StCatsAerial-A4Cat/
– those recently bereaved and those marking anniversaries of bereavements and those needing to make end-of-life decisions
– 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
– we stand too with the Christians in Sri Lanka, in Nigeria, in the Middle East
for the next few weeks I would like the St Catherine’s family to learn this blessing please (SST – children too !)
The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. NUMBERS 6
(If you find it easier to learn verses set to music, try the Lord Bless you and keep you by John Rutter)
= Bible Study – Wednesday 12th June @ 19.30 in the Anglican Centre as usual
= Men’s Pub Night – Thursday 13th June @ 19:00 at Biergarten im Schloßgarten, given the changeable weather, please drop an e-mail with your mobile number to email@example.com if you plan to come and if a last minute change of venue is necessary we can let you know.
= Women’s Group – Thursday 20th June – 10:00 in the Anglican Centre.
= Sunday 23rd June – a visit to former chaplain Rev. Michael Naidu after church, anyone wanting to join please e-mail or phone Christopher Sloan FECeV@stcatherines-stuttgart.de
= our next joint bilingual service AK/AC is on Sunday 30th June @ the usual time of 11.15 which means we will be providing refreshments for 2 sets of people – cake bakers and makers please bear in mind, thank you.
= Ladies’ Evening Group – Tuesday 2nd July from 19:00 – Trollinger please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us.
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 – please give names to Kara for anyone starting school this September so they can be included in our special starting school service.
= 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 ?
gifts or occasional help sought please:
- technical support especially for ‘Apple’ / iMacs
- donations of colouring pencils for the boxes in the back of church. Please give these to one of the Sunday School Team.
- do you play an instrument – our much loved organist is allowed holidays or enhancement
- ‘Catering Coordinator’ for our hosting of the chaplains and lay reps (40-50) from all Germany FR 13. / Sa 14.09.19 (this is now in the hands of Eric and Alison so please register interest to help with them or Kara)
offers of help to email@example.com or speak to Kara
we welcome those new among us and pray they will soon feel at home at St Catherine’s and we have this week said farewell to some ‘short termers’ and pray for safe returns home !
some new faces and also some baptism families to join us for their special day on 21.07. and 22.09. and 27.10.
our Chaplaincy Safeguarding Officer is Katy Kefferpütz who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any queries or concerns or feedback
– 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
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