#reflectionsforthisweek

What a great deal too many Farewells there have been this weekend and indeed recently. Yesterday morning we Anglicans said Farewell to Maureen and Joe and Claire as they return to the States. We wish them every blessing in new beginnings there and give thanks to God for all they shared of themselves with us here at St Catherine’s. Yesterday afternoon we said Farewell to Joachim the Old Catholic priest who has been our ‘host’ and our partner in mission here in Stuttgart. Once again we wish him and his wife Anne every blessing as they too embark on new beginnings and give thanks to God for their time here. On Saturday I said a personal Farewell (at a distance) to a friend who died all too young and all too quickly and pray for blessings for his family as they too embark on a new and different life not chosen, but given, and give thanks for all that this man gave and was. And at least one of our church family has a similar Farewell this week. You too will have your own Farewells …

In August we say a very Happy Farewell to those we are sending on a Pilgrimage to Dresden / Prague / Leipzig and pray that they too will find blessing in all they discover, in their togetherness, in the surprises… we pray for them.

In August many of you will go on holidays, and some will visit families, and that too will bring its welcomes and its Farewells. Bitter sweet. Embracing and Letting Go. We pray, not only for safe travels, but also use the opportunity to remember in our prayers the refugees who have said Farewell to homelands and families and everything known…… may they find a Welcome and a Blessing.

I will also one final time run this piece concerning what I have been calling for a long time in diaries and planning and more recently in the advance notices – Forest Church. To be held on this Sunday, the first of the school holidays – this year on Sunday 28th July.

I am hoping this will become an annual event, and may thus not always be in or even near a forest. I really mean an Outdoor service. Here are my reasons of inserting this into our St. Catherine’s worship calendar.

  • – There is currently much negative news around climate change and pollution and renewable and sustainable agendas. Our children may not be aware of the details but they will hear the ‘tone’ of the discourse. I want to put some positive experiences alongside. I would like them and all of us to enjoy aspects of nature and the countryside as God’s gift for us to not only enjoy but allow it to speak to us, to nurture us.
  • The teaching aspect will have its roots in that positive enjoyment of nature – we are more likely to look after that which we treasure.
  • We will be following in the footsteps of Jesus who did most of his teaching in the Outdoors.
  • Here also is an opportunity for us to learn together across the full spread of the generations more so than is possible in church services.
  • We hope the weather will be kind and why not get out in it.
  • The service and time spent together will also continue to build friendships.
  • For those who don’t like outdoor services – they will have an opportunity to have a Sunday off and enjoy visiting family or to pop into the Anglican Centre for coffee and fellowship there (hosted by Gary and Gabi)

Also !! a few days before this event it will be St Christopher’s who is the Patron Saint of Transportation. So if any of you arrive at Forest Church with or on Bikes / Scooters / Skateboards / Cars / Rollerskates….. I will bless them for the coming year !

Practically:

  • Please get to the Fernsehturm U-bahn stop by whatever mode of transport – car or U15/ U7 (U8 if coming from Möhringen or Vaihingen ?)
  • Please aim to arrive by 11.00 at the latest.
  • Kingstone has car spaces !!
  • We will gather near the Bahn Stop (NOT at the tower itself) and walk to the place in the woods where we will worship together.
  • The service will last approximately 30/35 minutes and include songs (with guitar and possibly flute) and prayers (written by the children) and a psalm and a bible reading and the gathering of some ‘bits’ from the walk to the worship space and some stillness.
  • After the service people can disperse as they like – those who wish to stay on there is the Fernsehturm, toilets, a Spielplatz and a café/restaurant or bring a picnic.
  • by all means bring something to sit on
  • by all means if it’s hot bear this in mind (dress for outdoors and bring water)

#forourprayers

  • we continue to pray for teachers dealing with end-of-year work loads
  • and for all suffering stress in the workplace

#forthehealingofthenations
we pray for those suffering directly due to climate change consequences

#financialupdates
always:
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’
thirdly the next ‘formal’ opportunity to review Planned Giving will be part of our Harvest Celebrations in early October
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 finances@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

#youngpeople
if you accompany a 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 year old to our services – would you please drop Kara an email chaplain@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

#memoryverse
final week for this blessing ( a verse for the summer will appear next week)

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

#timeandtalents

  • whether you have been a member of St Catherine’s for a long time or recently joined us, and would as part of your integration and part of your discipleship offer your gifts of time and/or skills – please catch up with Kara for a chat
  • mentors – befriend and take under your wing one of our new congregation members who are also new to Stuttgart and help them find their feet – please talk to Kingstone or Kara
  • CAECG – any offers of catering / other tasks around FR13./SA14.09. to Alison or Eric please and just to highlight from mid-august you will be approached for contributions

#foryourdiaries

this week:

  • Bible Study – Wednesday 24th July @ 19.30 (this is the last one before the summer break and Bible Studies will resume on Wednesday 4th September)
  • Ladies’ Evening Group also on Wednesday 24th July at Vietwok Stuttgart. e-mail legs@stcatherines-stuttgart.de if you would like to join us.
  • the Leonhardenskirche has an exhibition commemorating the bombing and destruction of both that church and ours 75 years ago – go see the exhibition (open TU-FR 10.00-16.00) which I believe will be there until September

further ahead:

  • there are TWO more baptism dates in the diary – 22nd September / 27th October – 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… and more in the queue…
  • Schulanfänger – names to Kara for anyone starting school this September or changing school
  • Annual Church Picnic – after church on Sunday 8th September details to follow
  • Harvest – hosted last year by West Africa, hosted this year by India – on Sunday 20th October
  • ‘A Harvest of Talents’ – the children (and some adults too please) will lay on a performance evening on Saturday 19th October so get practising – poems / music / reading / reciting / comedy / drama……. what will You bring ?
  • Mini Book Sale – also on Saturday 19th October afternoon only!
  • 2020 trip to Oberammergau: for ticket to the Passion Play (only performed once every 10 years !!) plus one night accommodation estimated at around 400 euros – speak to Christopher Sloan or Eric Jarman sooner rather than later

#comingsandgoings
we welcome visitors among us over the summer – those around for just one Sunday and those visiting for a little longer
we welcome those new among us and pray they will soon feel at home at St Catherine’s
quite a few new faces and also some baptism families to join us for their special day on 22.09. and 27.10.
mentors – befriend and take under your wing one of our new congregation members who are also new to Stuttgart and help them find their feet – please talk to Kingstone or Kara

#worksinprogress

1)we have now done a disability audit:

  • a RAMP is available on request
  • a LARGE PRINT order of service is available on request
  • we are working on the SOUND system – please be patient

2) the organ needs further work and this is not only expensive but also complicated – patience and prayers please

#keepingyousafe
our Chaplaincy Safeguarding Officer is Katy Kefferpütz who can be contacted at safeguarding@stcatherines-stuttgart.de should you have any queries or concerns or feedback

#chaplain@theoffice
Chaplain – most Mondays: 14:30 – 16:00 and most Saturdays: 11:00 – 12:30 and most Thursdays: 9:30 – 11:00
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 NOT DURING JULY / AUG
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 better suits your needs.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT

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.
Evangelische Bank:
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 finances@stcatherines-stuttgart.de

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