The people of St. Catherine's seek to share in the love that Jesus Christ has for us and the world by welcoming, accepting, nurturing, and serving all people through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We Welcome You!
The Newsletter of
By Father Jim
On my way to seminary and over the several years it took me to find my along the path God had chosen, I enjoyed poetry. I know that some of you might say – “Fr. Jim? Poetry? They don’t go in the same sentence.” But it’s true – I enjoyed (and still do) poetry. There was a certain poet who in particular touched me and through his writing I heard and experienced God in my life. James Kavanaugh was ordained and actively ministered for ten years as a Catholic Priest before attending Catholic University in Washington D.C. He surrendered his priestly collar and doctoral robes to become a gentle revolutionary. Forty years ago he wrote his first poetry book, There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves. The book was turned down by a dozen publishers, only to sell over a million copies. He died in December, 2009.
Katie and Matt gave me his book Will You Be My Friend? for Father’s Day, 1984. One of the poems has always touched me as such a profound description of the human condition we all share:
Saturday, February 12
Entertaining, elegant, and especially, delicious! Join us for the 12th annual Valentine’s Dinner Dance and Live & Silent Auction in the Parish Hall . See the preliminary list of our fabulous auction items in your bulletin on Sunday, February 6!
The night begins at 6:30 pm with bidding on the Silent Auction. We'll serve a formal meal of delicious heavy hors d’oeuvres with a distinctly global flavor. An open bar will be available throughout the evening with beer, wine, and soft drinks. During dessert is the spectacular Live Auction where items such as stays at vacation homes, gourmet dinners, fine art, and overseas trips will be offered. The evening concludes with dancing and music from a professional DJ. The entire night is a great chance to spend time with friends, eat great food, bid on great items, and raise money for the youth. This is our youth program’s largest fund raiser and proceeds go toward offsetting the cost of the J2A pilgrimage trip.
Get tickets by Wednesday, February 9
Don’t miss out! We usually sell out our seating (so please, no walk ins at this event). Tickets are $25 per person, available in the foyer before and after the 8:45 and 11:15 services, or at Wednesday Night Live. Last date for purchase is Wednesday, February 9. For more information contact Mike Peterson at mike.petersonbellsouth.net or 770-971-2839. Thank you for your support!
Auction item donations needed now
We're collecting items for the live and silent auctions at the Valentine's Dinner Dance. Please consider donating an item this year -- past items have included personal vacation homes, sports tickets, gourmet home-cooked dinners, gift certificates, crafts, collectibles, gift baskets, personal services, etc. For information contact Youth Director Mike Peterson, mike.petersonbellsouth.net. Thank you, and remember, donations are tax deductible. See the J2Aer's work to collect community donations below in Youth News.
Silent Auction open to all on day of event
The Silent Auction will be open on Saturday, February 12, from 9 am to 3 pm to anyone from the church or preschool community who would like to bid on items.
Go now to www.stcatherines.org/survey
All of St. Catherine’s – we want to hear from YOU! Ten years ago, Father Jim commissioned the Emmaus Project to discern the vision for St. Catherine’s. Through that planning we continued to “Bloom Where We Were Planted”. With God’s grace we built our sanctuary, renovated the education wing and added administrative offices, built a youth house, developed our vision into a written statement, formed ministry teams, established a more formal staffing structure, grew our Catechesis and youth programs, shared time in liturgy and fellowship, and initiated more community outreach. The work and moments together are too plentiful to list here, but for briefness, we can say it has been a successful outcome to discerning God’s plan for St. Catherine’s. And now in support of our 50th Anniversary, Father Jim has commissioned the Holy Conversations team – a group of 10 parishioners, including Father Jim, tasked with discerning God’s plan for our next steps continuing that vision.
With God’s guidance and yours, we will work together to identify the path for our congregation over the next 3 to 5 years. One of the first steps in this journey is to survey all of our congregation. While a survey is a great way to gather lots of input, you will also have the opportunity to provide your thoughts and ideas face to face at ministry team meetings and two open forums in for early March (see below).
Our goal is to have ALL members of the congregation respond. We ask you to search your heart and ask God for guidance in answering these questions. Do not leave something out of your answer because you may think it is too hard, too expensive or too silly. If it is to be our task, God will provide. Please find a quiet and peaceful moment and prayerfully complete the survey. For anyone who responds to the survey, we will have a live Oak Tree seedling for you to use as you wish to commemorate our 50th anniversary. We anticipate giving the seedlings out in early March.
Please reply online by going to www.stcatherines.org/survey, or pick up a printed form at church and return it to the box in the foyer. (If using the online form your reply is secure and you will not receive any spam or marketing emails as a result.)
Open Forum Discussions coming in March
Who doesn't love to talk and to eat? — Join us for the Holy Conversations Open Forum Discussions. In addition to the survey we are offering an opportunity to vocalize your hopes, dreams, concerns for St. Catherine's future. We welcome your attendance at any of the following forum opportunities. Contact Stephanie Yucius with questions.
By Amma Susan
The Adult Christian Formation Committee’s 50th Anniversary Year Project is St. Catherine’s Interactive Timeline: Memories. In order to know where we’re going we need to know where we’ve been, so we are calling on everyone from our parish to contribute their memories of events that happened at St. Catherine’s from 1961 to the present. The timeline will be on the bulletin board in the foyer at the top of the grand staircase, for the entire month of February. Our collective memories are extremely important to this project, so please make your contribution(s) as soon and as often as you like.
Your memories invited — Here's how:
St. Catherine’s is part of the larger church, so we have placed our timeline within the context of the history of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Those events are written above the timeline. Please date and share your St. Catherine’s memory(s) on the sticky notes provided and place them below the timeline near the appropriate date.
The completed timeline will help us to Rejoice as we Remember what has been and what is now or life at St. Catherine’s, in order that we can pass the timeline on to future generations, to help as we continue to Renew the vision of who God is calling us to be.
February Ministry Focus: Adult Christian Formation Committee
This month as part of our 50th Anniversary Year of Celebration we celebrate the life and work of the Adult Christian Formation Committee of the Christian Nurture and Development Ministry Team. To find out more about their activities please check the Opportunities for Ministry in your bulletin, or contact committee chair Amma Susan or ministry team convener Ellis Kilgore.
Registration for the St. Catherine’s Preschool 2011-2012 year is here:
Please visit our website at www.stcatherines.org/preschool.htm for more information or call 770-971-2839. As always, we appreciate you referring friends and neighbors to our quality program for ages one to pre-K.
Saturday, February 19 – The Tellus Museum
Cats on Wheels is our fellowship group for active senior adults and we welcome you! This month we’re going to the Tellus Science Museum. Tellus is a world-class 120,000 square foot museum located in Cartersville, Georgia. Originally the Weinman Mineral Museum, it was renamed after a major expansion a few years ago. The original collection is still here, as well as many new sights to see in four main galleries. The museum also has 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory with a state-of-the-art 20-inch telescope. Exhibits like an 80 foot-long Apatosaurus and a replica Wright flyer excite and amaze visitors. Dazzling gems and minerals sparkle and glow alongside interactive exhibits demonstrating how the Earth moves and changes. For more information on the exhibits and the facility visit www.tellusmuseum.org.
Please RSVP so that we can plan transportation. We’ll leave the church at 10:00 and return before 5:00. The cost of this excursion is transportation $8.50 and museum admission $12, optional planetarium show $3 additional. Lunch will be Dutch treat in the museum's café. Please fill out the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin or email st.cats.on.wheelsgmail.com.
More activities coming up for Cats On Wheels:
Next meeting Monday, February 21
Our next book is decided! We will read Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri Nouwen. Our book study group is a fellowship-oriented look at our faith with lots of discussion and sharing. Men of all ages are invited to join us to look at what it means to be a man in search of faith. Each month we meet at the home of a member of the group for a light dinner and our study.Please obtain your own copy of our selection to read – whether from the public library, purchase from your favorite source of new or used books, or borrow from a friend.
The men's book study group meets usually on the second Monday each month at 6:30 PM – however in February in honor of Valentine’s Day we’ll meet on the 21st, at the home of Al Jones. Please read from the beginning through “Being the Beloved” for this date. For information about this group and directions to the meeting locations contact Tom Hunter, thunter41bellsouth.net.
By Sally Powers
At the regular Vestry meeting on Tuesday, January 18, your Vestry:
Fridays 6:30-7:30 am
A new Men's Bible Study Group is forming to support all of those men who are in search for continued personal enrichment, but their schedules do not allow them to consistently participate in the evening sessions. These sessions will continue to nurture your relationship with God, your family, and enrich your relationships with others at St. Catherine's, as well as continue to build your spiritual leadership in the broader community. An informational session was held on February 4. Weekly sessions will be held at from 6:30 to 7:30 AM in the Conference Room at St. Catherine's each week for the Winter/Spring series. We will break for the summer and continue the next series in the fall. If you would like to participate, please contact Tom Snead, tom.sneadearthlink.net, 678.795.9508 or Hans Kraeger, hans.kraegergmail.com, 404.512.5124.
Next date: Sunday, February 20
What is TAIZÉ? Taizé is a town in France a few hours south of Paris. This town has come to be identified with the faith community founded there by Brother Roger during WWII. Brother Roger was called to provide a place of sanctuary during the war. He established there a community which continues today, of faith based on service, spirituality and communion. In Taizé, a community prayer service is part of the daily discipline. Many who have visited Taizé long to bring the spiritual mysteries of that liturgy back home with them.
St. Catherine’s is holding a monthly Taizé Community Prayer Service on the third Sunday through this spring at 7:30 pm in the sanctuary, lasting approximately 30 minutes. This form of Prayer Service includes Psalms and Scripture Readings; Music; Reflection; Silent Meditation; and Intercessions. We began on January 16, and dates coming up are:
We invite you to join us in this unique and enlightening liturgy.
A special annual tradition at St. Catherine’s is our booklet of reflections on the season of Lent written by our own parishioners. Won't you consider writing for this year’s collection? You will be assigned a Scripture passage on which to write a brief (1 or 2 paragraphs) meditation. Reflections will be due by Sunday, February 27.
Names are not attributed to individual writings, so only you (and the editors) will know which one is yours! Still hesitant? You can view last year's booklet to see what other contributions have looked like at www.stcatherines.org/reflections/lent.htm. Sign up on the Opportunities For Ministry in your bulletin or contact Karen Manno at karenstcatherines.org.
Next date: Tuesday, February 22
You don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason.
Whatever your reason, the need is constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. In Georgia we must collect 1,300 units of blood daily to meet the needs of our patients and hospitals! And you’ll feel good knowing you've helped change a life.
Please join us at St. Catherine's for our Red Cross blood drives throughout this year: February 22, April 26, June 28, August 23 October 25, December 27. Blood drives are held in our Parish Hall on the dates listed below from 3:00 - 8:00 PM. You can schedule an appointment by going to www.redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code: HOLTRC. For information contact Jennifer Massey, jmmasseyatt.blackberry.net, 404.375.8327
On Sunday, January 9 we celebrated a baptism and the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
Photos by Connie Bergeron
WNL continues with weekly dinner and programs for all ages. Please remember to make your dinner reservation by the Tuesday before each date you'll eat with us -- fill out the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin or contact the church office by 5 pm Tuesday each week you dine with us. Early program time (especially designed for families with young children) 5:00-5:45 / Dinner 5:45-6:30 / Program time (all ages) 6:30-7:30. Prices: $3 children, $7 adults, $20 family maximum.
Our adult program at 6:30-7:30 continues through Epiphany with the video series, Faces On Faith. These remarkable interviews feature some of the twentieth century’s giants of faith, discussion their hopes and beliefs in a relaxed, informal setting. You will be touched by words of faith from some of the late twentieth century’s most prominent writers and religious leaders. Join us for some stimulating and thought provoking conversation. Challenge yourself to look at the many faces and facets of faith and to be open to new ideas. Above all, enjoy the journey!
Coming for Lent:
The Light. The Word. The Bread. Lenten Renewal Experience For Adults begins March 16
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” (James 4:8) This Lent give yourself the gift of time to draw nearer to God. Over four Wednesdays, you are invited to join us in the sanctuary for a prayerful time to reflect and discuss selected scripture that will enliven your relationship with God. Each evening will last an hour from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. The first session on Wednesday, March 16 will focus on The Gift of Relationship; March 23 will focus on The Gift of Mercy; March 30 on The Gift of the Eucharist; and April 13 on The Gift of the Word. In addition to discussion, you will have the opportunity for your own prayerful self-expression through writing, drawing, music, or walking the labyrinth. Materials will be supplied. This special Lenten experience has been designed as a gift to the adults of St. Catherine’s, in honor of our 50th Anniversary, by the catechists of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Tuesday, March 1, 7:00 PM in the Parish Hall
All ministry team members— conveners, committee and group chairs and members—and all those who are interested in ministry at St. Catherine's, please mark your calendar and plan to attend this important meeting. It will be a time to share ministry team plans and needs for 2011.
Saturday, March 5
The next “Safeguarding God’s Children” workshop at St. Catherine’s will be held on March 5. This training is required for everyone at St. Catherine’s who works with children on a regular basis, as well as vestry members and church staff. Pleas sign up on the Opportunities for Ministry in your bulletin or contact Nadine Pope, ronazamindspring.com to assure that ample materials will be available. Please also note that both “Safeguarding God’s Children” and “Safeguarding God’s People” training programs will be offered at the Diocesan Ministry Fair on March 12 for those who need this certification.
Photos by Connie Bergeron
By Al Jones
This annual event will take place Saturday, March 12 from 9 am until 4 pm at St Philip’s Cathedral. I somehow started attending about 5-years ago and have been every year except one. There has always been a very inspirational keynote speaker and a wide variety of workshops which cover many practical aspects of our lives as members of the Body of Christ. There’s a box lunch and opportunities to see many exhibits, to visit the Diocesan Bookstore, and to meet folks from all over.
I’m hooked. I already registered on line, www.episcopalatlanta.org/Content/Ministry_Fair.asp, or you can pick up information and registration forms in the church foyer. I encourage you to look at the agenda and workshops. It’s a great opportunity. Let me know if you would like a ride.
From the Diocese: Join hundreds of other Episcopalians for a full day of fun, fellowship and learning at the 12th annual Diocese of Atlanta Ministry Fair. Choose three workshops from more than 50 topics, including Anglicanism / Christian Formation / Church Administration / Interfaith / Leadership / Music / Prayer & Spirituality / Social Issues / Stewardship / Communication / Church History / Congregational Growth & Development / Health & Fitness / Mission / Outreach Ministries / Worship. This year our focus is health and fitness. The Great Gathering guest speaker will be Peter K, a world renowned speaker, author, health and success coach, nutritionist and physical therapist. Registration is $20 per person includes breakfast snack and lunch.
The trip planned for March 3-8 has been cancelled. For more information about this outreach ministry please contact Sue Jones at 770-565-1013 or 4suebellsouth.net
Save the Date: August 26-28
Revive your body, soul and mind by going on retreat. Re-charge through fellowship, worship, delicious food and plenty of free time. We have reserved Lake Logan Episcopal Center in Western North Carolina. From their website, "Lake Logan lies in a pristine valley near the Blue Ridge Parkway, where visitors soak up the serenity of God’s glorious gifts in a 300-acre sanctuary." Get more information about Lake Logan and see pictures of their beautiful mountain setting at www.lakelogan.org.
The retreat will be for all of St. Catherine’s – adults, youth and children. Details regarding price will be coming soon but mark your calendars! Questions? Contact Father Jim Nixon, fatherjimstcatherines.org or Ginny Lummus, gslummusgmail.com.
By Sue Snape
Thank you to all who helped make Soup for Emmaus a whopping success! Thank you Ralph and Woodie Patrick, Linda Snape, Peter Morich, Molly Banko, Marcia Markette and Roger Motter for your help in the kitchen.
Thank you to all who came and donated cans and money. We collected bags and bags of food donations as well as $470 in donations! Are you curious what you can buy with $470? Let me tell you!
A special thanks to Ralph, who will help me haul all of these bags of food down to Emmaus House.
The generosity of St. Cat's never ceases to amaze me.
A reflection by Lisa Spessard
I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into the sanctuary on January 22 to see the Mark's Gospel LIVE. Two hours of someone reading us the Gospel? I couldn't imagine that my attention could be kept for that long, but I thought I'd give it a try. The lighting was low, the area quiet, the props on the altar minimal....a bench, a piece of gauze, a flashlight, a basket. A man I didn't recognize was standing in the foyer, dressed simply in a black shirt and pair of jeans, and he gave us a quiet nod as we passed.
We sat down on the first row of the second section of seats. Suddenly, the program began and a loud wooshing noise filled the sanctuary. Out came Reverend Joseph Morris. He began to sing in a beautiful voice that filled the sanctuary, and he captured my attention from that very moment. It never strayed.
The first act was over before I could blink. The second act was just as captivating and emotional, and when it ended, I continued to sit still in amazement. I was speechless -- but with many thoughts running through my mind. As we all got up to file out of the sanctuary, everyone seemed to be in that same state of awe and wonder about what we had just seen. There were no words.
Reverend Morris has performed Mark's Gospel LIVE over 200 times all across the world and spent years preparing for it and rehearsing it. He has a unique gift for showing us the human side of Jesus, and he was able to bring the words of the Gospel alive for me and everyone else in the room. As a Catechist, I often talk to the children about what life was like "when Jesus walked on the earth many years ago." It is difficult to place yourself there, but now, thanks to this experience, I have some idea.
This performance is something I strongly encourage you to experience. Reverend Morris has a great website you can view that shows a few clips from past performance, his biography, and a schedule of upcoming shows: www.gospelofmark.us. He lives in Atlanta, so I hope there will be many opportunities in the future for us to see him again.
Many thanks to Steve Diffley and other members of the Liturgy and Music Ministry Team for bringing Reverend Morris to St. Catherine's. It was truly a remarkable experience for me.
An article in February 2011 "Breaking Bread", the newsletter of The Episcopal Church of St. Peter & St. Paul
A year ago, MUST Ministries contacted the Covenant Churches for help in rehabbing two existing buildings on their Elizabeth Inn Campus. The Covenant Churches had built a Food Pantry for them in 2007. MUST now wants to re-purpose two buildings to house a client intake area, clothes closet, food distribution pantry and bathing facilities. (Currently MUST does not have separate bathroom facilities where non-resident guests can shower.) After looking at the buildings, it soon became clear that they were both structurally unsound and one had extensive termite damage. What may have been a project within the financial means of the Covenant Churches soon became a new construction project with a $90,000 price-tag. It was clear that the Covenant Churches could not afford to take on this project without other sources of funding.
The Covenant Churches (plus Kennesaw UMC, Due West UMC and St. Catherine’s Episcopal Churches) recently came together to combine their financial and volunteer resources to build this 50’ x 40’ building on the site of the two existing buildings. This new 2,000 square foot facility will house all the proposed functions, addressing all the needs of the MUST’s clients in one location and the safety of the volunteers working there.
Using the architectural skills of Jan Wisniewski from SPSP and the experience of a recent build of a similar size by the folks at St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church, an initial drawing was presented to the new coalition of Churches. It was priced out at $90,000+. Pledges from the Covenant Churches as a whole as well as individual pledges from SPSP, Mt. Zion UMC, LCR, Kennesaw UMC, Due West UMC, and St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church mounted to $50,000+.
Obviously we are going to need (and are pursuing) additional sponsors (other churches, Blue Linx or Home Depot) and joint fundraisers to reach the $90,000 goal. Donations of professional services will also help reduce our costs. For example, we need the assistance of an electrical engineer, a civil engineer and a cad operator who knows architectural drafting to assist Jan complete our building drawings. Please contact Carol Lade or myself if you or someone you know could help us in this way.
At this point the build start date is uncertain. The churches all would prefer a spring start date and are pushing for that to happen. However, if funding is not secured in time, we would then be looking at late summer or Fall.
What a blessing to have all these Churches working together.
Thank you to everyone who turned out for the Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser at St. Ann's Catholic Church on January 28, proceeds from that event will benefit this build project for MUST.
Thank you to all who have already signed up to provide flowers and candles to adorn our sanctuary this year. There are still dates available to make donations in thanksgiving for or in memory of a person or occasion. Please look for the chart in the foyer or sign up on the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin. And when you've signed up, please remember to submit a check for flowers ($60/vase) and candles ($20) on or before your scheduled date. Your donations are the sole support for these ministries and we appreciate your contributions.
We would like to remind those who might not yet have signed up but are interested, that we invite you to go together with friends or family to sponsor a vase of flowers. The sponsorship for candles or vases of flowers for any date on the calendar is NOT limited to one or two persons or families. Again, thank you for your generosity.
From an article by Director of Music Brian Williams
Why Sing? Why do people sing? Why don’t people sing? Questions similar to these have been and will probably be asked in perpetuity. Those asking the questions are musicians, clergy, educators, behaviorists, scientist and, in many cases, other singers! I have continually asked myself these types of questions over the last 30 years. As a music educator and church musician, specifically vocal and predominately choral, it is my business to have some thoughts on the answers.
Answers and rationales have been explained in universities, lectures, pulpits, books, research studies, PBS documentaries, rehearsals, and websites. Matter of fact, in my doctoral work, there were several classes where the professors seemed to be asking an associated question (Why music?) but had a dilly of a time at being quite that concise! Have you ever heard the adage that music begins where language ends? Well, one writer suggests that singing may have occurred first as a way of providing very subtle communicative ideas regarding feelings during the pre-language, early evolutionary years. To be honest, I really do not know why people started singing…except to say, that if ‘survival of the fittest’ really is in play, then obviously singing is a very desirable evolutionary trait! Singing is everywhere (universality). It requires ‘doing’; energy and time are required. And almost everyone can do it (even if they say they can’t). Amusia or tone deafness occurs in only about 4% of the population. It is heritable or can occur due to brain injury.
So, there you have it. Singing (or something like it) is universal. It is costly in terms of energy and time and ‘everyone’ is doing it. For us professional choral directors, it seems singing is on an upswing. I’m not just talking about “Glee” or “The Sing-Off”... A couple of years ago, the organization Chorus America published the results of a survey that indicated more than 70 million Americans participated in some sort of choral group. Choral singing was by far the most rapidly growing “leisure time” activity for all Americans including athletics!
But this is more than just about choirs. I could probably write an interminable philosophical treatise explaining all the in’s and out’s of how I came to do what I do. I could tell you how I originally wanted to be a basketball coach once I realized that I would not be the next Jerry West or Gail Goodrich. Succinctly, I think I sing because of two reasons: Marcelyn Hobbs made it fun in Cherub Choir at Sweetwater Baptist Church, and because my parents sang. Mrs. Hobbs was the third grade school teacher that all the parents wanted their kids to have. She sang with the ‘Cherubs’ (we weren’t) every Sunday morning during assembly time before Sunday School. Occasionally, we’d sing during the Sunday morning services. I think that was more for adult entertainment rather than as a liturgical aid. Both of my parents sang at church. Once my sister and I got in elementary school, both parents joined the choir. Many Wednesday nights were spent doing homework, crawling under the pews, pinching each other, etc… while choir practice happened. Those two reasons are the foundation upon which much of my life came to be built. Surprisingly simple, huh?
As for why we sing in our services, to learn the history of it, I suggest doing a little work on the Web or the Library. The Bible says the Israelites sang; King David, et. al. sang; Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn; St. Paul exhorted Christians to sing; Catholics incorporated clergy-singing in the liturgies; Martin Luther & the Reformation (to which we can trace congregational singing).
Maybe singing, at least ‘church singing’ really does allow our spirits, our souls, to communicate in a unique way. I know when my choirs at school are really on and those musical or aesthetical moments happen, the ‘feeling’ is obvious on the faces, in the eyes and by the goose bumps. But is this the same thing that happens at church? I don’t think so. From my vantage, the true uniqueness is found in the corporate hymn singing that we do. My choirs at school and at St. Catherine’s learn and practice music, i.e. the mechanics of reading, the techniques of singing including tone, vocal production, blend, diction, expressiveness, repertoire. At St. Catherine’s, we do so in order so that we might more effectively lead to a complete worship experience. However, when WE sing, the big corporate WE that is the congregation in our respective services, WE take on our own persona and character. I hear and see others joining with me and we, by our actions, become singular. We are singing hymns that praise God, that help us learn and remember the doctrines of the church. We are singing songs full of Biblical truths, lifting each other up and building community. Singing the hymns is another step on the path to worshiping God. And, at the very least, as in my case, “train the child in the way he should go.”
You sing; I know you do. At least in the later service, I hear you repeatedly, especially in processions. The more familiar the hymn, the stronger you sing. The pre-service Christmas Eve singing was great … St. Catherine’s is a singing church. I hear you!
I think we need to hear more of you. Not necessarily in the Adult Choir, the Youth Choir or the Jubilate Choir (even though you are most assuredly invited), but you are needed in the services. “I don’t know this song” and “I can’t sing” or “I’m a shower singer” are all justifications for giving in to what we view as inadequacies. I’ll not try to convince you otherwise. What I hope you will do is think about and become a heartier hymn singer. Concentrate on the commonality of corporate hymn singing. You don’t have to be great or even good. Stay focused on the text. Sit closer to the front or in the transepts where the organ is louder. Worship in close proximity to someone who sings out more than you do. Remember that little eyes and ears are looking and listening. Singing hymns is cathartic, active and engaged worship!
During Advent, I’d asked the adult choir to be thinking about these questions. Their responses may enlighten our thinking about why we sing or why we sing in choir:
• Singing choral music brings me joy -- it lifts me up from even the darkest mood, is often moving to the soul and can bring comfort, it brings people together from all walks of life, and is the best way I can help to share God's word.
• Because to me it summarizes Church. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. It fills me with a sense of peace and belonging that I cannot find anywhere else. It is a gift that I freely give, yet there is no cost, no beginning nor end. It is simply there, pure love.
• There's a thing that happens when two or three people are singing the same notes and they are bravely singing out and at the same time listening carefully to the other. The sound is beautiful and it is completely different than the sound of one voice alone. It's not the sound of one voice or the other, it's a third sound neither one owns. It is the musical expression of Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them." and John 3:30 "He must increase but I must decrease."
• Singing is an act of creation. How often in your day-to-day life do you get to participate in the creation of something beautiful?
• We have a lot of fun working together towards a common goal. Because we spend so much time together, we support one another, we laugh together, we rely on one another, we trust each other.
• I sing because our sons sing and I have to be able to talk with them about music.
• I cannot imagine life without singing, although I never wanted to make a career out of it either… I sing for physical pleasure, for the connection with words that enhances the expression of feelings and ideas, and for the discipline of technique… Choral singing is a special subset of this pleasure, because it has the added benefit of fellowship with others… Singing has also allowed me to have a modest double life, which is fun in itself. Most of the people at St. Catherine's have no idea what my profession is; few of my colleagues know that I can carry a tune… Most important I sing because I can't imagine not doing so.
• With a piano playing Mother and a singing Father, I learned to enjoy singing early. Singing the words makes them more important, more relevant, more joyful, and more profound to me. Singing allows the meaning to touch my soul. Singing gives me great joy! When I sing I hear everything better. I love to sing!
• Singing is the way we use our spiritual gifts to glorify God in Music. Through song we can melt the hearts of man.
• I sing for three reasons: 1. To the best of my ability to make a joyful noise to the glory of God. 2. To offer music as a ministry to those in our audience. This alone provides continuity of the word of God through the only medium that is universally understood. 3. I sing because it makes me feel the spirit of God. There is no warmer feeling than when a musical chord surrounds me with all its glory in the choir.
• To me, singing is not just a form of praise but of prayer. Singing touches my heart and feeds my soul.
So, there you are. Singing is something we humans do. It is what we Episcopalians and Christians do! It means many things to many people and we may do it for various reasons but in the end, we do it still. Why do we sing?
I encourage you to join us even more diligently and with greater fervor to experience the joy of singing at St. Catherine’s!
Brian (and the choir)
Note: Hear one of many choral arrangements of the above hymn at www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEi7VaIpG_8
St. Cat’s featured in “East Cobb Patch” Blog
St. Catherine’s parishioner Todd Hudson is a regular contributor to the East Cobb Patch blog. (For those of us not versed in “Internet speak” a blog is a column or journal published online and usually inviting comments and discussion.) Todd publishes his blog there, titled “Faith Matters.” His posting on January 30, “Fighting Our Way To Faith,” includes a conversation with Father Jim. You can read it now at http://eastcobb.patch.com/articles/fighting-our-way-to-faith. Check there also for his previous article, “Faith Without Boundaries,” which talks about the how East Cobb's diverse religious faiths, including our parish at St. Catherine’s, create "communities within the community."
Take a Walk for Hunger
Sunday, March 13
Let’s get ready! Watch this fun video at www.youtube.com/user/ATLCommunityFoodBank#p/a/u/1/w7v_RkPpeik.
Episcopalians from across the Diocese of Atlanta join together each spring with organizations around Atlanta to help hungry neighbors in our communities. Your participation can help the thousands of families who experience poverty in our state. The 2011 Hunger Walk at Turner Field in Atlanta will raise money for Atlanta Community Food Bank and Episcopal Charities Foundation. For all the details go to www.hungerwalkrun.org.
To our dear St. Catherine’s family,
You were truly a blessing to us in 2010 with all of our health issues – Ron’s two surgeries, Julie’s two cataract surgeries and broken arm. There were visits from both Amma Susan and Father Jim, phone calls and cards and many, many meals provided by the Sonshine Committee, especially when the family cook was incapacitated. The warmth of your love, caring and prayers were truly felt.With thanks giving and love for St. Catherine’s and its people,
Julie and Ron Brannock
Dear Fr. Jim,
I am writing with two thank you’s to you and the people of St. Catherine's. First, thank for the anniversary plaque celebrating your 50th. It is wonderful and I have placed it in a prominent place in my office. Second, thank you for your annual report. It is the best I have seen in this Diocese. It actually paints a picture of the ministry of the parish. I am asking your permission to use it as an example in the Leadership Development workshops I do. I have encouraged vestries to find ways to communicate more about the ministry that is accomplish rather than focusing on the money spent.The Rt. Rev. Keith Whitmore, Assistant Bishop of Atlanta
Next scheduled date: Saturday, April 23 (Great Vigil of Easter)
Please contact the church office for information and the customary booklet about Holy Baptism.
FOR THE SICK: Lillian Vu, Vi Pratt, Joe Tarentino, Linda Smith, Jean Wintrow, Ingrid Carmines, Alexandra Pepper, Madison Cox, Alycen, David Madison, Barbara Cordery, Lita DiPietrao, T.P. Hall, Bryan M., Melissa Bryan, Bud Bryan, Lori Brown, Vera Bibbings, Luke McWilliams, Lou Cappiello, Julie Brannock, Arlene Brooks, Rachel Tezza, Clifford Nesbitt, George Lindley, Felicia Murray, Dick Kareken, George Williams, Pat Weills, Ian McLeod, Dave Norton, Ann Correll, Eric Layton, Julia Ann Tinsley, Angie, Courtney Cardona, Annie Walls, Margaret White, Ginny Lummus, Kathryn Webb-Jansen, Jeanne Warman, Althea Dillard, Dallas Ryder, Donna Hale, Sarah Besselieu, Padma Atluri, Kristin, Heather, Victoria Moon, Olivia, James Day, John Bouman, Kathy Chavez, Bill Brinson, Mary Alta Brause, Travis Rader, Elizabeth White, Katrina Williams, Mary, Juliette Jones, Judith Phillips, Liz Burlas, Robyn Fort, Ron Bergeron, James Joly, Bob, Dan, Alex Morris, Russ White, Karen, Mary Ann, The Rev. Bob Abstein, Roberta Abstein, Janis Oxford, Chris Kallas, Tom Carter, Joanne Astolas, Terri Borchardt, Richard Carter, Margaret Cowart, Dianne Blackshear-Wood, Mara Canning, Jenny Ward & baby, Sally Shimell
BEFORE SURGERY: Sharon Parisi, 2/4/2011; Joan Nixon, 2/8/2011; Cary Phillips, 2/10/2011
PARISH CYCLE OF PRAYER: (2/6) Tom & Marilyn Hunter; Deborah & John Hurd; Jacqueline, Zach, Erin & Tegan Hurley; Bella Hutto; Rachel, Matt, Sebastian & Zoey Hutton; (2/13) Matthew, Anna, Olivia & Oskar Iobst; Bill, Tinka, & Elizabeth Ivey, Katrina Castelli; Allen, Susan, Shannon & Austin Jablonski; Bob & Candy Jansen; Susan & Doug Jenkins, Stephanie & Scott Burkholder
BIRTHDAYS: (2/7) Rhiannon Bishop, (2/8) Susan Jenkins, Bronte Taylor, Morgan Haymes, (2/9) Andy Mitchell, Rosemary Wolfe, Claudia Kilgore, Claire Hunkler, (2/11) Kari Nixon, (2/13) Isabel Lopez, Susan Jablonski, Jana Caldwell, (2/14) Katie Ban, (2/15) Pat Brent, (2/16) Tom Heuke, Amanda Braman, Alexandria Walton, (2/17) Chris Sanders, Greg Remter, Jim Mattox, Ken Lewis, James Ellis, (2/18) Elizabeth Ivey, Justin Kerr, jack champion, (2/19) Ana Martin, (2/20) Holly Scheel, Bob Schmitt
ANNIVERSARIES: (2/7) Tom & Shirley Day; (2/10) Chris & Barbara Kallas, (2/12) Karen & Al Maxwell, (2/15) Frank & Ellen Adams
TRANSFERRED IN: Carol Murphy & Anne Elizabeth Parke from the Episcopal Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Marietta; Richard Sjoblom from Christ Episcopal Church, Kennesaw, Georgia
TRANSFERRED OUT: Sallie Sompayrac to the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, Murphy, North Carolina
HELP US HELP YOU
Please let the church know when you or a loved one has a medical procedure, an illness, a life transition, or other special need. We are here to serve you. Please allow us the opportunity to share your experience and offer our support. Simply contact the church office at 770-971-2839. Thank you.
Hold These Future Dates:
Two-Week Look Ahead
Below is the next two weeks of events and activities. For the complete up-to-the-minute parish calendar, go to Calendar.
By Mike Peterson
Happy February! This time of year always finds the St. Catherine’s Youth Group occupied with myriad activities, trips, events, and more.
Merely one week after the J2A Urban Adventure to Nashville, Paul Maxwell, Gaby Sutton, and I crammed my entire sound-system, three people’s luggage, and ourselves into a 4 person car and headed up to Camp Mikell for the diocese of Atlanta’s Senior DYC event. Despite getting [almost] lost and having our car cornered by a pack of slightly frightening and not-at-all-afraid-of-us-or-our-car canines, we made it up safely and had a wonderful weekend exploring our faith, making new friends from around the diocese, singing, playing, hiking, and experiencing everything that youth fellowship is meant to be.
Valentine’s Dinner Dance & Auction
Less than one week after Sr. DYC, LeeAnn Sherry and I accompanied 5 of our enterprising J2A youth to various businesses around Marietta as they politely and resolutely sought out donations for our Valentine’s Dinner Dance’s Live Auction. Though they received a few “no” responses and several “we’ll call you this week” replies, they kept at it and ended up gathering a nice array of various contributions. Our J2A youth are also very grateful to the many parishioners who have offered various items, vacation houses, services, dinners, and more to the Valentine’s Dinner Dance’s live and silent auctions. Many parents, J2A teachers, and other generous parishioners have also been donating their time, energy, and creativity to ensure that this event will be entertaining, elegant, and especially delicious!
I hope that you will have a chance to peruse the insert in the bulletin from February 6’s Sunday service and look over the many offerings that will be auctioned as well as the wide array of culinary delights that will be available. Above all, we all look forward to seeing you at the Valentine’s Dinner Dance for a night of great food, fellowship, music, dancing, live and silent auctions, and a chance to wear your finest formal wear while simultaneously supporting our J2A youth in their effort to raise funds for their youth pilgrimage next year!
Urban Adventure 2011: Nashville
Photos by Mike Peterson and Gina Baumann, see lots more on the St. Cat's Youth Facebook page.
Diocesan Youth Events Coming Up
The weekends following the Valentine’s Dinner Dance present exciting opportunities of their own for the St. Catherine’s youth. The weekend of February 18-20 is New Beginnings at Camp Mikell. New Beginnings is an extraordinary program designed for middle-schoolers that is similar in many respects to the designs of Happening and Cursillo. It has been a few years since St. Catherine’s has been involved with New Beginnings, but I am excited about the opportunity to jump back into it! Any Rite 13 youth interested in the weekend (or their parents) please feel free to contact me at the church or at mike.petersonbellsouth.net. As always, financial assistance is available.
The weekend immediately following New Beginnings is the Happening weekend itself, also at Camp Mikell. St. Catherine’s has been the largest and best represented group for the last few Happenings, and it looks as thought that trend will continue this time around. Please keep all Happening candidates, team, and adults in your prayers as they go through this life-changing weekend!
Spring Break Youth Mission Trip April 3-10
Though this is not the last time I will mention this event, I want to be certain that everyone is aware of our Spring Break Youth Mission Trip to New Orleans. This will occur over spring break (yes, Cobb and Fulton Counties actually have a break at the same time!) from Tuesday, April 3 until Sunday, April 10. We will be working with the Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana’s Rebuild Program, a fine program with which St. Catherine’s has worked several times and by whom your humble youth director was employed for two years before coming to St. Catherine’s. This trip will be a fantastic opportunity to get the people affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita back into their homes after five and a half year while also experiencing the unique cultural gem that is New Orleans. All travel, meals, and five nights of lodging will only cost $150 per person, and financial assistance is available as well. For more details, please contact me! I can’t think of a better way to spend spring break!
Save the date:
For ALL Rite 13ers:
The Wheel is published two times per month. The usual schedule is as follows: The first edition is the eWheel, in electronic form (HTML) posted on our newsletter page and distributed by email to all members subscribed to the "Parish Announcements" email list. The next edition is printed and mailed to all parish families, and also posted on our newsletter page in PDF form. (Print versions may be scheduled in place of online before Christmas and Easter.) Copies of each newsletter are available for pickup at church.
We welcome contributions of articles of interest to the parish. Articles are due the Wednesday 2 days before the publication date, by midnight. Please submit articles to the editor via email (below) or to Editor Karen Manno's mailbox at church.
The Wheel: get every issue!
Does everyone in your family receive this eWheel, the electronic version of St. Catherine's newsletter? Is everyone subscribed? Email is becoming an important means for our parish communications. Just send the email addresses of everyone who would like get their own copy to Karen Manno at the email address below, or note them on the Opportunities for Ministry in your bulletin, or contact the church office at 770-971-2829. You'll receive your online version via email, and you can find all current and prior issues of The Wheel on our website at www.stcatherines.org
If you prefer to receive all your issues by email and NOT to receive any printed copies please check the Opportunities for Ministry form in your bulletin or contact Karen:
Editor: Karen Manno
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Are you receiving CONNECTING, the weekly email news published by the Diocese of Atlanta? Each week it reports on events, classes, conferences, concerts, job offerings, clergy moves and much more from all around our diocese, plus a selection of news items from our national church. To begin receiving CONNECTING, go to the diocesan website at www.episcopalatlanta.org.
Copyright 2011 St. Catherine's Episcopal Church