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
Last night [November 20] on the campus of Florida State University there was a shooting in the school library. This morning as we begin our day, three students are injured and the gunman dead. Listening to NPR report on the incident, as I prepared for the day, they interviewed the local sheriff who assured the reporter and those of us listening that this was an “isolated incident.”
Whatever happened in that library in Tallahassee, Florida last night—it was NOT an isolated incident. And to believe so or to perpetuate such a position is to ignore the epidemic of school shootings that grips our nation. Since the horror of Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 there have been 73 incidents of school shootings taking the lives of 81 persons and injuring an additional 82. This is over three school shootings a month on average. This number should appall us as people who follow the One who calls us to love our neighbor! Take a look at the data in Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States.
What happened in Florida last night was not an isolated incident. It was another incident in a string of shootings to which we’ve become numb. Our Preschool now looks like an armed camp with locks on every door possible but we are not outraged at the reason why we must install such locks. I hear more “alarming” reports of the spread of flu throughout our Preschool or within our homes than I hear about the spread of violence through our society and more specifically through our schools.
I am tired of it! And until people like me and you stand up and say we demand better mental health services and gun control in this country the series of school shootings is going to occur and sadly it’s going to touch our lives here in East Cobb when we least expect it. At Diocesan Council the local chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was present. I’ve just joined the local chapter (for us guys they have a Dad’s group) and after I write this article I intend to send them money from the Clergy Discretionary Fund to support their work. Take a look at them at www.momsdemandaction.org. Consider joining if they speak for you.
I invite you to join me. We have got to start somewhere to put an end to this senseless violence. For those of you who might think this article crosses the line of the separation between church and state, I remind you of three statements we make on a regular basis at St. Catherine’s...
Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
A blessed, happy and safe Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones from the people of St. Catherine’s.
The Stewardship Committee is pleased to announce these updated figures. The number of pledges for 2015 which have been received at latest report (November 20) is 205, and the total dollars pledged is $737,340. It is so wonderful to see the Holy Spirit at work in our lives!
If you have not yet returned your Estimate of Giving Card (pledge) for 2015, you may obtain an Estimate of Giving (pledge) card at church in the pews, or print one from our website at www.stcatherines.org/forms/EstimateOfGivingCard.pdf. Please return your card in the alms basin or to the church office as soon as possible. Your pledges are needed now as we begin the budgeting process for 2015! Thank you for your prayers and support of St. Catherine’s ministries and missions.
"Dearly Beloved... A Study of Marriage" continues each Wednesdays through December 17, 7:00 - 8:00 pm (no class during Thanksgiving week, Nov. 26). What does it mean to be married? What makes a marriage Christian? What is the role of the church in marriage? In a rapidly changing culture in the United States, what values does the church hold as indispensable to marriage? How can the church continue to speak to people about relationships, faithfulness and life in Christ? Come be part of our Wednesday Night Live programs (dinner is 6-7 pm if you can join us then). Led by Father Jim.
Wednesday night dinner and programs continue each week with food, fellowship and learning for children, youth and adults. Dinner is 6:00-7:00 pm, followed by programs 7:00-8:00 pm. You are welcome to come for either or both. Dinner prices $7/adult, $3/child (maximum $25/family) -- be sure to make your dinner reservation each week on the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin, or contact the church office by Tuesday.
Thursday, December 4
Come join us in the Parish Hall for Ladies' Night Out Kick off the Season Dinner on Thursday, December 4, from 6:30 to 9 pm! We will have a Most Fabulous Christmas Outfit contest, so break out your holiday sweaters, hats, light up jewelry, etc.! Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. The main dish and drinks will be provided.
Also, a representative from The Noonday Collection will be with us. Noonday's jewelry and accessories are hand-crafted by over 2,000 artisans in over 10 resource poor countries. A great opportunity to get some unique Christmas gifts while learning about this wonderful company that helps artisans out of poverty. To pre-shop, go to www.susanpaa.noondaycollection.com.
Hope you join us for an evening of fun! For questions please contact Maureen Donoghue, georgiadonoghuescomcast.net.
Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 & 7
Your preordered Christmas trees, wreaths and garland will be ready for pick up at church on Saturday, December 6 (10 am to 2 pm) or Sunday, December 6 (1 to 2 pm). Thank you for your support of our Youth Program!
—> NO CHURCH SCHOOL this day
Join us in the Parish Hall on the first Sunday of Advent, during the Church School hour to make an Advent wreath for your home. Foam wreath forms, candles and greens are provided (no charge). This is always a special time for families and friends to gather and create their own symbol of Advent to be used throughout the season to anticipate with joy, hope and patience the coming of Christ. We offer this time as a community event and so we encourage everyone – children, youth, and adults to gather with us to anticipate this season. We can always use people who are willing to "tutor" one of our younger members in the making of the wreath or simply to be present to experience the joy of the first wreath or most creative one.
Special ceramic wreaths available -- Parishioner and potter Mel Paris will have a limited number of his hand-made ceramic Advent wreath bases available for sale ($25) to make your wreaths if you are interested. A table will be set up in the Parish Hall this day to make your purchase.
What a wonderful start to the holiday season! Join us in the sanctuary for the story of Salvation in dramatic readings and glorious music. You’ll hear fellow parishioners enact dialogues by the biblical figures of Eve, Abraham, Miriam, David, Isaiah and his wife, Malachi, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary of Nazareth, and the Shepherds abiding. Our Chancel Choir and Choristers will offer musical responses tailored to each reading. The nursery will be open.
Please bring your family and friends, no admission or tickets. This is the second in St. Catherine’s Concert Series 2014-2015. Our Series will continue in 2015 with these stellar events: The Lopez-Tabor Duo - Saturday, January 17; Coro Vocati - Saturday, March 28; and The Chamber Singers of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Choir - Saturday, May 2. All concerts in this year’s series are free, no tickets needed. You can also support our series by becoming a Friend of Music at St. Catherine’s: please make checks to St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church and designate it for “Concert Series” in the memo line. Gifts in any amount are welcome.
"Rejoice! Reflections on Four Seasonal Hymns" — Whether it's memories of caroling, Christmas pageants, or Christmas Eve services, the hymns of Christmas are some of the most evocative parts of the season for many of us. They refocus our spirits and remind us of the holiness and mystery of God's incarnation. On December 12 beginning at 7:00 PM we invite you set aside 2 hours to gather in the quiet of the sanctuary and reflect on the season of Advent through the words and music of four of our most favorite seasonal hymns. We will reflect on the history behind these carols and encounter the rich wording anew. Focusing on the ways in which words and music can speak to the core of our experiences, we will spend time in reflection, conversation, and simple enjoyment of these beloved hymns. These four hymns will be examined:
Simple refreshments will be provided through the evening. Bring your friends and neighbors and spend some time reflecting on the power of this season. The evening will be led by Father Jim.
Our tradition for Advent is to gather each Tuesday morning throughout the season to celebrate an early morning Eucharist at 7:00 am followed by a brief study at 7:30 am focused on the themes of the season.We finish promptly at 8:00 AM so that you can be on to the day’s responsibilities. We meet on four dates this year: December 2, 9, 16 and 23.
Our study will be While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent by Mary Lou Redding. Sometimes we struggle to believe we’ll experience anything new as Advent comes around. What could we possibly learn that we haven’t seen or heard before? If you’re looking for an Advent study of a different slant, While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent offers new ways of connecting the story with your own questions of faith and approaches an all-too-familiar narrative from perspectives we may have missed. You’ll read about biblical figures mentioned in passing in the “original” Advent. Somewhat surprisingly, Tamar, Ruth, Mary, Zechariah, Elizabeth, and the Magi asked questions that resonate with contemporary Christians. Join us for worship at 7:00 am followed immediately by fellowship and study using this resource.
A special annual tradition at St. Catherine’s is our booklet of reflections on the seasons of Advent and Christmas written by our own parishioners. Look for this year's collection, "Great Expectations: Preparing for the Birth of Christ," which will be available for pickup at church and also available on our website in time for the start of the season on November 30.
You may also receive these reflections emailed directly to you each day throughout the season! Sign up now on our Advent Reflections page at www.stcatherines.org/reflections/advent.htm. (If you previously subscribed to one of our reflections series you will automatically receive the Advent series, no need to sign up again).
Each year we invite all to donate funds for decorating our church for Christmas and for special music at Christmas Eve services. Please insert your donation in the brown envelopes in the pews (or send to the church office) -- remember to write in or on the envelope your name and who you would like your gift to be remembered in thanksgiving or memory of, by Sunday, Dec. 14 to be listed in our Christmas bulletins.
Each Christmas our parishioners give to create a Special Christmas Fund, used for members of this congregation who have suffered in any number of ways, to support them at a time of year when limited resources are painfully evident. Last year we distributed nearly $8,000 to some 12-15 families making their holiday season something more than they ever imagined.
The Rector, in consultation with the staff, makes the decision as to how this fund will be used. If you would like to give to this fund simply write a check to St. Catherine’s and clearly mark it for the “Special Christmas Fund.” Any amount is gratefully accepted.
The resource table will be available in our foyer beginning November 30 with a variety of Advent study materials for children, youth and adults. If you are interested in exploring our list of titles for those available on Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook please look for these publications:
Sunday, December 14 at all services
This year we will elect four new members to three-year terms on our Vestry. The slate of candidates will be announced on November 30, and the election will be held at all worship services on Sunday, December 14. If you will be unable to attend worship on election day, absentee ballots will be available in the church office (or call 770-971-2839). The absentee ballots must be returned to the office by Friday, December 12 at 5:00 pm.
Our adults' inquirers class, The Journey, begins January 4, preparing adults new to St. Catherine's or the Episcopal tradition for church membership or adult baptism. The Journey is an opportunity to explore your questions about the faith and the church, to learn about St. Catherine's and the Episcopal church, to gain spiritual tools for your faith journey, and to discern where God may be calling you to use your spiritual gifts, all while getting to know others at St. Catherine's in a small group setting.
Please contact Amma Susan, ammasusanstcatherines.org or 770-971-2839, if you have any questions or want to sign up. The first six sessions will meet Sunday mornings starting January 4 during the Church School hour. There will be one Saturday morning in-house-retreat on February 21. The remaining ten sessions will meet Sunday mornings from 10 to 11:30 am. Childcare will be available.
A group of parishioners is looking for artistic/crafty parishioners for an event to be held Sunday, December 14, from 10 am to 1 pm in the Parish Hall so we can all "shop local" this holiday season. If you are interested participating please contact Rebeccah Devault at rebeccahdevaultgmail.com or 404-277-6356.
Add it now to your holiday calendar!
Check your schedule: our next blood drive is two days before Christmas. The holiday season is a very slow time for blood collection so your donation this day will be extra-important! You can sign up for your time slot now by going to www.redcrossblood.org and enter our code, STCATS.
Help is needed for set up, clean up, and greeting donors, if you can volunteer some time this day please contact Jennifer Massey, massey.jmgmail.com, 404.375.8327. Thank you!
Your Vestry voted last night [November 18] to remove the great oak tree in front of the church. It was not an easy decision but a necessary one. Last month a stress fracture was discovered in the main trunk where last year's cut was made. Upon further inspection, our arborist wrote this...
[Photo, right - our tree in full bloom prior to damage last year]
The tree has served us well and leaves us with fond memories of playful afternoons, shady coffee hours, and shelter from the rain and snow. It has been the source of much about us that is "great oak" centered and thus will be remembered anytime we see our church banner, speak of the Great Oak Endowment Fund, gather to sing and dance with Jay Memory on an evening "under the oak," or a myriad of other "great oak" references that mark our life together.
It is hard to tell exactly when the tree will be removed but it should happen before Christmas. In the coming weeks, I invite any who wish to tell us of your fondest memory of the "great oak" to be included in our newsletter. Simply share your memories with me or with our Wheel newsletter editor [see below]. It is too soon to answer the question, "will we replace the tree, and if so with what" but be assured there are the beginnings of that conversation. If you have ideas, I would personally welcome them with joy and hope for the future of that space. In the meantime I offer this prayer by the Rev. Chuck Currie...
In Christ's love,
Your stories & pictures wanted: Now is a great time for us to share stories and pictures of the tree via Facebook and in this newsletter. Please feel free to add yours, send them to myself at fatherjimstcatherines.org or to our newsletter editor at karenstcatherines.org.
The following is the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which applies to all who use the St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church network or local area wireless technology (Wi-Fi) to connect to the internet or exchange data. This policy is also published on our website at www.stcatherines.org/policies/:
St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church (St. Catherine’s) is committed to maintaining a quality network environment. As a consequence certain uses of the network are restricted by the following acceptable use policy.
The networks of St. Catherine’s facilities may not be used for any of the following at any time.
St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church reserves the right to restrict or terminate service in the event of an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) violation. St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church also reserves the right to take action on abuse which is not specifically named in this AUP at the sole discretion of St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church. Use of the St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church's systems and network constitutes understanding and agreement of this policy. Any and all legal expenses incurred by St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church resulting from failure to follow AUP guidelines will be borne by the person responsible for the infraction.
The Giving Tree and more!
By Nancy Denton
Emmaus House is one of a number of Outreach Ministries that St. Catherine’s supports. Emmaus House is a center for community life in the Peoplestown neighborhood just south of Turner Field. Grounded in the Episcopal tradition, Emmaus House provides education, opportunity, assistance, and advocacy in partnership with our neighbors in Peoplestown. For more information about Emmaus House please go to their website, www.emmaushouse.org . The following are opportunities listed below that are available to be a part of this coming Advent season.
If you have any questions about these Outreach opportunities, please contact Nancy Denton, ndenton3aol.com or 770-428-6058.
Sunday, November 23
Stop by on November 23 in between services to purchase your Thanksgiving bake sale items from parishioner Chandler Sherry. Pies and Hummingbird Cakes are available for advance orders now (also available day of sale): Pumpkin Chiffon or Key Lime Pie ($10); Derby Pie (Chocolate/Pecan) $13, Hummingbird Cake $25. Other items available on sale day will include cupcakes, cookies, breads and more goodies! For more information or to order please contact 770-815-5299 or ChandlerCatherineSherrygmail.com.
All proceeds will benefit the Fragile Kids Foundation “Birthday Bash” program. The Fragile Kids Foundation helps medically fragile children and their families with equipment, medical supplies and other support that they cannot afford and which is not covered by insurance. The Birthday Bash Basket Program, which Chandler oversees, collects all types of birthday party items for these children. For more information visit www.fragilekids.org.
Looking to volunteer over the holidays? St. Catherine's will be hosting our Family Promise guests from Sunday, December 27 to Sunday, January 4. Watch for announcements and sign-up sheets coming in early December!
Family Promise training class: the experience
As one of our parishioners wrote after her most recent training class...
"[The class was] Low key, comfortable setting, and very well organized materials and flow to the evening. Everything is common sense, but a lot of it would not BE obvious without having it being pointed out. I really enjoyed the great balance of history and purpose of the program, as well as the practical organizational details of how Family Promise works with guests, and some specifics about Family Promise of Cobb County. Just enough information to make a volunteer feel comfortable and know what to expect when volunteering, without overload that makes eyes roll to the back of one's head. Great to be able to see the Day Center and understand the role it plays in the program, too."
Family Promise volunteer training is required to interact with the guests, and is available every second Tuesday of the month -- the next training is Tuesday, December 9 at East Cobb United Methodist Church, 7-9 pm. Contact trainingfamilypromisecobbcounty.org or Camilla Worden at 404-556-5465 to participate. And please be sure to inform Eleanore Pearson, elerichbellsouth.net or Diane Sanders, dianesanders3198att.net if you attend this training or if you need more information.
FPCC wins award
(Photo, right - Fred Massey, Fr. Jim, Hale Sanders)
On November 6 Cobb Collaborative held its 21st annual Human Services luncheon and Family Promise of Cobb County was the recipient of the Bill Hanson collaboration award. We are so honored to have been recognized in only our first year being part of the Cobb solution to homelessness. 5 of the network congregations (St. Catherine's, Pilgrimage UCC, St. Andrew UMC, Covenant Presbyterian, and Unity North Atlanta) were represented at the luncheon.
Time to clean out those closets! We are collecting new and used coats for Coats for Cobb during November, all sizes, to be distributed to those in need in our county in early December through MUST Ministries. Please bring donations to the Outreach collections area across from the Parlor.
St. Catherine’s provides dinner at the Women’s Center of The Extension on the third Sunday of every month. If you would be interested in serving a meal, contact Connie Bergeron about scheduling at connieatlbergerons.net. We typically prepare food in advance and bring it to The Extension to serve 20-25 people at 7:00 pm. Multiple people can team together to split up the parts of a meal. We eat with the ladies, and then they handle all cleanup. While the time commitment on our part is not huge, the impact of witnessing the strength and resolve of these women is lasting. For more information about The Extension and their wonderful work, go to www.theextension.org.
By Harriet Pyburn
We had 34 volunteers participate at 2 work sites during our Parish Day of Service on Saturday, November 15. It was a great day of fellowship and service and was a great chance to learn more about amazing organizations in our area and the good they do. A few highlights are below:
1) 11 adults worked the morning shift (9 am - 11 am) at Books for Africa in Smyrna —
There were about 40 people at this site, so we worked with St. Cat's folks as well as new friends. Our job was to sort books into categories, setting aside books that would not qualify for this mission (and which are recycled into the Books for Africa packing boxes). The warehouse was dark and cold, but everyone seemed to really enjoy the experience and appreciate learning more about this organization and the good they do.
2) 23 people worked the afternoon shift (1:00-3:30pm) at Save it Forward in Marietta (12 adults, 2 youth, and 9 children)—
Save it Forward started on Rhonda's dining room table, extreme couponing for families at her new startup church in South Cobb. It is now an organization that serves almost 200 families monthly at 15 schools in Cobb County. The families are identified by school social workers. The food comes from food drives as well as the couponing program that we participated in over the last few weeks (you pick up a shopping list and coupons they have selected and you shop for $6 or less. many items are steeply discounted through sales, coupons and coupon doubling).
Our job was to pack the monthly boxes for families. During our time there, our group packed 50 of the food boxes. They will also receive toiletry bags and refrigerated items in their monthly pickup.
This was a great experience, as many of us had already shopped for the organization (using their coupons) over the past weeks. It was also great to offer something that children could attend.
3) We also did collections for both organizations prior to the Day of Service. We took a nice sized bag of books to Books for Africa. In addition, the Save it Forward reception was incredible. Over 3 weeks, we distributed 50 shopping envelopes (with shopping lists and coupons inside). I am estimating that we purchased $300 worth of groceries (probably a $750 value since everything was half off and often had coupons as well).
Thanks to all of our volunteers to making this day a success. If you have any feedback on the Day of Service or know of a great organization in our area that you would like to see highlighted in a future Day of Service, please contact Harriett Pyburn, harriettspyburngmail.com.
By Tad Travis
Greetings to every member of our St. Catherine’s family. As we enter into the last weeks of 2014, the Vestry thought it wise to update you on our year-end budget.
At the November Vestry meeting, we learned from the Treasurer (see article below in this newsletter) that we will likely see a gap equal to 3% of our planned revenue for this year. A gap of that size compared to our $800,000 budget may not seem like much, but it means that that we have to make unpleasant choices. Sometimes this means that we have to suspend funds for Outreach, including reneging on promises made to external charities. For example, when faced with the same gap last year, we did not fulfill our cash pledge to MUST Ministries. If you saw this national news article in May, then you already know how important MUST is to addressing the poverty that is so close to us.
The Vestry is fully aware that need can affect our church family unexpectedly. If your circumstances do not permit fulfilling your pledge, we hope you would inform Parish Administrator Rosemary Wolfe or Father Jim, who will treat this with the highest confidentiality and discretion. But if it is in your power to catch-up any shortfalls in your 2014 stewardship pledge, then please consider doing so soon, so we can fulfill all of our promises.
By Steve Pyburn, Treasurer
Click chart to enlarge
Contrary to prior months, I’d like to focus this month’s update solely on pledge revenue. As you can see in the chart, October was not a great financial month for us. October’s pledge revenue was only $42k, which is the lowest October we’ve had since 2009. We have now dropped ($15k) below the 2014 year to date budget—a 2.5% shortfall. Based on our trend, our year end pledge revenue could be ~$25k short of budget. This will make it very difficult for us to end 2014 without a material deficit.
Last year, many parishioners who were going to fall short of their pledge notified Father Jim or Parish Administrator Rosemary Wolfe about their financial situation. As a result, we were able to notify our Ministry Teams and reduce spending by ~$13k to help maintain a balanced budget by year end. This year, however, we have not received the same level of notification. As a result, we have no basis to reduce Ministry Team spending. Naturally, we’d certainly prefer for everyone to fulfill their 2014 pledges. But if you cannot do so, can you please notify Father Jim or Ros so that we can plan accordingly? We promise to keep this information confidential. As always, let me know if you have any questions about any of these numbers.
By Beverly Fambrough, Memorial Garden Committee Chair
Our survey on the expansion of the Memorial Garden closed out at midnight on October 31 after running 60 days. We had 121 responses. This represents approximately 20% of the members of St. Catherine’s who participated. THANK YOU for your participation. The members of the Memorial Garden work group would also like to thank Susannah Campbell who volunteered to design the survey and format the questions that were posed.
Our lead-off question asked the fundamental question as to whether or not the membership desired to continue the practice of offering a dedicated space for the interment of cremated remains of congregation members. Fully 96% of the respondents felt that this is a practice we should continue. Given this congregational mandate we would like to share the results of some of the more pertinent responses to the survey.
In answer to Question 2, 83% of our congregational respondents plan to be cremated while 10% said they were unsure at this time.
Question 3 – approximately 55% desire internment in the St. Catherine’s memorial garden, while approximately 27% are unsure or undecided at this time.
Question 4 - regarding the location of the expansion, approximately 78% preferred expanding the memorial garden forward toward the upper parking lot, to the corner of Amma Susan’s office. Though we did not make it clear in the survey questions, some parishioners preferred to expand at the rear of the Memorial Garden. We currently have county easement constraints at the existing memorial garden’s right rear corner and would be unable to expand in that direction. These constraints are further complicated by the substantial earth fill requirements to negate the sharp drop off behind the existing memorial garden rear wall.
When asked what option plans (A, B, C and D) the respondents were mostly evenly divided between option A (continued earth burial) and option C (both earth and outdoor columbarium) and option D (earth burial with potential future columbarium). These results tell us that 3 of the 4 options should be explored and cost estimates obtained which we shall do.
It became clear from the survey comments that there is a level of frustration on the part of the membership, due to space constraints, at being able to enter the memorial garden walls to attend an internment service. Any expansion plan under consideration would provide a remedy to address this issue, though not completely in every instance.
One very interesting outcome to Question 29 of the survey was the fact that approximately 61.5% of respondents would like an evening seminar on wills, advanced directives, funerals and disposal of remains. This will be referred to the appropriate ministry team for future implementation.
Because of the depth of the survey questions posed, the team will continue a detailed analysis of the response and report to the congregation at a future date. More specific potential cost estimates will be included in the next report. Thank you again to those who participated as we value your input and opinions.
In the spirit of giving this Advent season, we invite you to give of your time to one or more of the Advent celebrations we have at St. Catherine's. These activities are the Advent Wreath Making Sunday, St. Nicholas Sunday and the Christmas Pageant. On the bulletin board by the name tags you will find sign up sheets with opportunities for you. Please check it out and see if you have time to offer to these wonderful programs that we all enjoy! Your contribution is greatly appreciated!
A volunteer's reflection: Is St. Catherine's offering opportunities?
By Lisa Spessard
Is St. Catherine's offering opportunities? Yes, we are. An opportunity to be part of something magical. An opportunity to join with others to become the body of Christ.
When my family joined St. Catherine's back in 2004, my first experience with volunteering was being asked to be an assistant in the Young Lambs atrium within the Catechesis program. We had been members a short time and I had a 2-year-old. Would I have time? Would I be good at it? What was Catechesis anyway? I said yes, and my experience was so positive it led me to Level 1 Catechesis training, which helped grow my own faith, which led me to wanting to help more which led me to Vestry, which led me to leading VBS, which led me to organizing the 50th anniversary celebration, which led me to Altar Guild...
See how it begins? And where it goes? Once you INVEST in one area of St. Catherine's, you begin to see how your service makes a difference in the entire life of the church. And it goes on and on and you want it to. At first, you may be afraid that you won't have time. You may be afraid that you aren't smart enough or savvy enough or religious enough. You may be afraid that you won't do it right. But you'll figure it out and you'll be better for it.
It's time for some new faces to shine at St. Catherine's. We need you.
Every person has their own set of talents and skills and passions and strengths and weaknesses. We are limited as to what we can do individually. But, when we come together as the body of Christ doing his work for the benefit of everyone, something magical begins to happen. We are serving together to make a difference and we become stronger for it.
But, that can't happen when people don't step up to serve. Whether it's bringing food to the Advent Wreath making (only two people have signed up at press time) or assisting in the atrium because your child is benefitting from the experience and you want to say thank you (you don't have to have any training) or helping with the Christmas Pageant or baking bread or taking out the trash. IT ALL MATTERS. Everyone and every little thing you do MAKES A DIFFERENCE in the life of the church.
If you have not taken the opportunity to volunteer or want to try something new, I encourage you to make this YOUR year to do it. We need your smiling face and willing heart. You won't regret it. I promise.
By Bettye Harris
Thank you to everyone who attended, helped host, invited guests or donated goodies to our Newcomers Coffee on November 9. We had a very fun event and were blessed with an excellent turnout including 12 newcomers. Thank you for helping us welcome our visitors and newcomers each and every Sunday. The Invitation Ministry team will hold another welcoming coffee for newcomers on February 15, 2015.
Photos by Jan Potter -- see lots more full-size in the album at Church110092015Newcomers.
Following are some reflections from St. Catherine's delegates to the council on their experience.
The Marietta Convocation really raised the bar when they hosted the 108th Council of the Diocese of Atlanta at the Marietta Convention Center. Combined with the new energy from the Diocese and Bishop Wright, the venue and activities arranged by Fr. Jim and Fr. Rob Wood provided a spirited and spirit filled Council. The work of the Council – ministry and mission breakouts, voting on resolutions and changes to Canon Law and committee activity reports – was greatly enhanced by spirited singing, youth led worship, a golf outing and the Friday night dinner dance Gala. St. Catherine’s was well represented on the dance floor and in the very strong youth presence. We have begun the process of finding “The New Purpose” for the Diocese with an energetic and enthusiastic spirit. —Tom Hunter
Enjoyed the council very much. It was to the point and the speakers were brief but informative. I believe the Bishop’s message was for a kind of evangelism that I can get behind: one on one to show others what Christ was talking about. I do hope the young ones stay with the church but I also hope they will not forget the traditions of the liturgy and music. I stuck my head into a few meetings and that part of council has not changed: people passionate about their beliefs but also respectful of other opinions. I liked the Bishop’s manner of addressing us as equals. I have much respect for Bishop Rob and that was confirmed this weekend. — Steve Diffley
I was most impressed by the joy and celebration that seemed to take center stage this year. From the songs during worship, the voices of the Diocesan Youth, and the Friday night Gala, it was clearly evident that there was a "purposeful exuberance" in the air. I think that it clearly filled our hearts and souls to go forth and spread the good news that the Diocese of Atlanta is growing and changing with the renewed example that St. Catherine's has always represented. — Marilyn Hunter
As a first time participant in Diocesan Council, I was blown away by the Bishop’s leadership and the energy that was devoted to worship and spirit-filled dialogue amongst clergy and laity. The Holy Spirit was surely present while the business of our Diocese was being conducted. The youth participation was awesome and St Cat’s delegation, led by Father Jim and Amma Susan, was acknowledged not only in the business meetings but on the dance floor! I am grateful for the opportunity and was humbled by the entire experience. I look forward to participating in the widening of the circle even further in our Diocese. — Carol Eskew
I have been to seven of the last nine councils. None has been as uplifting and engaging as this one. The services were a bit non-traditional but all seemed engaged in the prayers and singing the music. It was especially nice to have extra activities to enable us to fellowship with others from around the Diocese. Thanks to Father Jim for putting together the gala. It was a huge success. — Joyce Hendricks
Photos by Scott Lummus, and Bill Monk for the Diocese of Altanta - see lots more in his albums at https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums?banner=pwa
Photos by Bettye Harris
In our Parish Cycle of Ministries, we celebrate the life and work of these ministries in the upcoming weeks. Please read on to find out about each and consider if you’d like to become involved:
Dear St. Catherine’s,
On behalf of myself and my family, please accept my thanks for all the wonderful attention given to me during my recent surgery and recover. The blessing from all of you are too numerous to begin to count. The emails, phone calls, cards, visit from Amma Susan and food from the Sonshine committee—all have nourished our bodies as well as our souls. Healing and recovery have been a bit slower than I had hoped for but each day shows a little progress and I am looking forward to getting back fully into life again.
The Work of Our Hands Artists’ Market will celebrate its 12th anniversary from November 20 – 23 at the Cathedral of St. Philip located at 2744 Peachtree Road in Buckhead. This acclaimed market features over 70 local and regional artists offering fine art, folk art, and crafts, including paintings, glass, fabric and wood art, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, and many other handmade and original gifts in a variety of price ranges. Admission to the market on Friday, November 21 through Sunday, November 23 is free and open to the public. Hours are Friday and Saturday 9:00-5:00 and Sunday 8:30-1:30. For more information go to http://workofhands.com/.
The Georgia Festival Chorus presents its annual Christmas concert on two dates: Sunday, November 23, 7:00 PM at McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church, and Thursday, December 4, 7:30 PM at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church. Concerts are free with open seating. The Georgia Festival Chorus serves the spiritual needs and ministers to local audiences and the greater global community by singing a repertoire of classical, contemporary, spiritual and traditional sacred choral works. Several members of St. Catherine’s sing in this well-known community chorus of 100 voices. For information please visit www.tgafc.org/?page_id=33.
For the nineteenth holiday season, The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany presents an exhibit of nativity scenes from around the world on Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30 and from Wednesday, December 3 through Sunday, December 7. Over the years, the exhibit has grown to over 300 crèches. From the elegant to the eccentric, the birth scenes are sculpted in materials ranging from carved wood to volcanic ash. In the narthex and gallery, there will be a special exhibit of nativity scenes that highlight the differences between the birth story as told in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. Each nativity is accompanied by scriptural quotes and hymn texts. Additional birth scenes will be exhibited in the Parish Hall. Admission: $5.00 for adults; $4.00 for Seniors & Students, Children under 12 free. For a brochure of times or more information contact Epiphany at 404.373.8338 / infoepiphany.org or visit www.epiphany.org.
If you have a name to be added to the Prayers please fill out the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin, or contact the church office, 770-971-2839, stcatsstcatherines.org. Names will remain on the Prayer Chain list for one month unless indicated for a longer period.
FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES: Tom Blackstock; Josh England, Jennifer Buckalew’s cousin; Lucas Elgie, Emma Markette’s brother
FOR OUR NATION AND ITS LEADERS: Barack, our president, Nathan, our Governor, and members of Congress.
FOR THE SICK: Lenny Campbell, Carol Eskew, David Gooder, Erwin Jung, Kerri Huitt, Marc Krouse, Olivia Glenn, Althea Dillard, Elizabeth Darden, Holly Griffin, Pat Hazlin, Marti Graham, Nancy Burnaugh, Catherine Ransdell, Carol Bowser, Bob Geer, Tara Nesbit, Gail Cook, Dave Banko, Kathryn Burgher, Charlene Schever, Celeste McDermott, Mathew, Denis Waldron, Maria Ortiz, Kelly Dugan, Laura Berry, Matthew Keel, Richard Stamper, Ann McCarthy, Katie Rohert, Georgene Schnorf, Camden Bradbury, Jody Peligrino, Nancy Arrington, Sybil, Jeff Martin, Julie Brannock, Betty Partridge, Debbie Bruner, Susan Martin, Katrina Williams, Polly Schadt, Holly Krupp, Graham Schadt, Mike Harris, Tolbert Williams, Jay, Rachel, Joe & Bella Mitlo, Bill Hutton, Elaine Krupp, Carroll Mitchell, David Lewis, Jamie, Susan, Jake & Spencer Smith, Elspeth DeLaBarre, Tristan Patterson, Stephen Kruse, Denny Waldron
BEFORE SURGERY: Martha Bowden
FOR THE DECEASED: Lewis Gunter, John Fiol & B.J. Elarbee, friends of Barbara Cordery; Kimberly Blythe
FOR THOSE CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS: (11/22) David Carter, Barbara Cordery, Marcia Markette, Lauren Travis, (11/23) Claire Harrison, Jada Ellis, (11/24) Pam Phillips, Clark Remter, Emily Dini, (11/25) David Shannonhouse, (11/26) Evan Austin, Mike Reeves, (11/27) Barbara Barrington, (11/29) Alex Morris, Alex Roberts, (11/30) Greg Beyer, (12/2) Gina Baumann, Bill Lee, (12/3) Peggy Price, Mahala Scott, Chandler Massey, Shelly Taylor, Eric Hollis, (12/4/) Katie Carswell, Taryn Nienaber, Wendy Beyer,(12/5) Michael Smith, Phillip Roberts
ANNIVERSARIES: (11/27) Carla von Hoffmann/Rod Deutscher; (12/1) Jim & Donna Stephens; (12/2) Phil & Lisa Spessard; (12/4) Ginny & Scott Lummus
FOR OUR PARISH CYCLE OF PRAYER:
We love to recognize birthdays and wedding anniversaries for everyone in our parish! We have a year-round calendar to pray for these special dates, send birthday cards, and publish in our bulletin and newsletter. Would you like your birthday or anniversary included in our remembrances? Please send names and dates to us using the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin, or contact the church office.
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:
Holy Baptism next scheduled dates
Sunday, January 11
Two-Week Look Ahead
Below are the next two weeks of events and activities, correct as of publication date. For the entire up-to-the-minute parish calendar, go to Calendar.
By Youth Director Mike Peterson, 770-971-2839, Mikestcatherines.org
Please pray for all of our St. Catherine’s youth and adults who will be at the Happening Conference this weekend as candidates (first-time participants), running the weekend on Happening team, and supporting on Celebration team. James Owen is attending as a candidate, on Happening team we have Marshall Jones, Nathalie Gratas, Elizabeth Blackstock, Mark Boutilier, Abby Baumann, Erin Donoghue, Sofi Jones, Mary Alice Barrington, Susan Jablonski, Ellis Kilgore, Allen Jablonski, and Keith Dumke, and on Celebration team we have Katie Barrington, Alex Butler, Emily Dini, Jeanette Dini, Deelee Freeman, Sofi Jones, Claudia Kilgore, Mason Lewis, Alex Roberts, and Jason Snape.
In what has become a delightful annual tradition, Father Jim will be joining us at Wednesday Night Live Youth Group on Wednesday, December 10 and will be answering any questions you have for him. There is a question box in the Youth House where you can anonymously write down any question you’re longing to hear Father Jim’s answer to. Want to know why priests wear those funny collars, what it means when we say that communion bread is the body of Christ, whether Adam and Eve had belly buttons (think about it), why Jim loves Julia Roberts so much, why it sometimes feels like God isn’t answering your prayers, or what Father Jim’s favorite pizza topping is? Write it down, put it in the box, and join us on Dec. 10 to hear Father Jim’s answers to those and all sorts of other questions!
All current and former St. Cat’s Youth (that means YOU) are invited to a Christmas Homecoming Party in the Youth House on Sunday, Dec. 14 from 6-8 PM. Come out and welcome back our beloved former St. Catherine’s Youth alums as they return home from their various exciting spots on the globe! Snacks and beverages will be provided, but feel free to bring your favorite snack to share. Spread the word to any St. Cat’s Youth alums you know!
During our final WNL Youth Group meeting of 2014 on Dec. 17, we will be holding a contest to see who has the “best” tacky Christmas sweater. Will anyone be able to unseat Chandler Sherry, our reigning champion of tacky-sweateritude? Go ahead and hit up thrift stores, your grandparents’ closet, Bill Cosby, or wherever else you might find a delightfully atrocious Christmas sweater and rock it at Youth Group that night!
Thanks to Mary Alice Barrington, who represented St. Catherine’s at the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Celebration on November 20. This event brings together people of all faiths to celebrate together. Mary Alice helped prepare and take part in presenting a youth prayer written by young people of many different faiths. Thank you, Mary Alice!
The Wheel is published two times per month on Fridays. All editions are in electronic form (HTML) posted on our newsletter page and distributed by email to all members subscribed to the "Parish Announcements" email list. Printed copies of each newsletter are available for pickup at church in the foyer, in the wall rack near the welcome table. We welcome contributions of articles and photos of interest to the parish. Articles are due Wednesday 2 days before the publication date, by midnight. Please submit articles via email (below) or to Editor Karen Manno's mailbox at church.
The Wheel: get every issue!
Does everyone in your family receive The Wheel, St. Catherine's newsletter? Is everyone subscribed? Email is a primary means for our parish communications. You may sign up on on our Subscription page. Or you may send the names and 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
Editor: Karen Manno
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Copyright 2014 St. Catherine's Episcopal Church