Dear friends, sisters, and brothers,
As we step into a new year and mark the completion of my initial three months as your chaplain, I wish to articulate my aspirations. Rooted in the belief that the Church is a community of faith, a gathering of believers called by God, devoted to worship and commissioned to serve, I present the following aspirations as my Wishlist for the members of our community in St. Catherine’s Anglican Chaplaincy, Stuttgart.
- to actively participate in worship services, engage in prayer and meditation, and cultivate a personal and communal connection with the divine because the Church is foremost a worshipping community.
- to partake in the Eucharist regularly, recognizing its significance in fostering unity among believers and commemorating the central message of Christianity because the Church is fundamentally a Eucharistic community.
- to contribute resources, and to support the church financially, ensuring its self-sufficiency because the Church is a self-reliant community.
- to actively engage and contribute time and talents, participate in events, volunteer for various roles, and contribute to the community’s vibrancy and growth because the Church is an active and dynamic community.
- to embrace, participate, and encourage others in sacramental practices such as baptism, confirmation, marriage, and other rites that hold spiritual significance because the Church is a sacramental community.
- to engage in continuous learning, initiate and attend religious education classes, and actively participate in teaching and learning because the Church is a teaching community.
- to honor the baptismal covenant and renew it each year, demonstrating commitment, trustworthiness, responsibility, and accountability because the Church is a covenanting community.
- to seek and provide pastoral care, express concern for the well-being of others, and actively engage in spiritual growth while offering emotional and practical support to one another, demonstrating empathy, and actively contributing to the well-being of all because the Church is a pastoral and safeguarding community.
- to collaboratively articulate and establish the vision, mission, and goals of the chaplaincy, and to assist the chaplain in navigating towards their attainment, recognizing that the Church is a pilgrim and journeying community.
I am earnestly praying and hopeful that each of us acknowledges and embraces our connection to St. Catherine’s chaplaincy as a collective community. Let us endeavor to comprehend, embrace, internalize, and actively live out the nine aspirations listed above, with the shared goal of nurturing the growth of our chaplaincy and contributing to the greater glory of God.
Wishing you and your family a meaningful Christmas filled with joy and warmth, and a New Year ahead that unfolds with exciting journeys and blessings for our chaplaincy.
Yours in Christ,
+ Antonio Ablon
1 January 2024, Stuttgart, Germany