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
St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church, Marietta, Georgia
December 6 - 19, 2014

The Wheel archive page

St. Catherine's home


Clergy Letter

Christmas trees/greens
Lessons & Carols
Vestry elections
Advent & Christmas
  Quiet Evening
  Eucharist & study
  Holiday outreach
  Music/decorating donations
  Christmas pageant
  Craft fair
  YF movie night
  Seniors Christmas lunch
  Hanging of the Greens
  Emmaus elves
  Christmas receptions
  Christmas fund
  Open House
  Advent/Christmas calendar
Blood drive
The Journey
Pledge report
Year end/new year
Flowers & candles

Family Promise
Mentoring youth
Save It Forward
Coats for Cobb
Elizabeth Inn
Op. Christmas Child
ERD challenge

Congrats Joyce
Ecumenical Thanksgiving
Interfaith Immersion
Volunteer Corner
Oak Tree memories
Seen around St. Cats
Ministry focus

Pottery sale
Christmas concert
Live nativity
Health tips


Fr Jim questions
Rite13 movie night
Tacky sweaters



12/6 – Stephen Minister training;
Christmas trees/greens pickup

12/7 – Christmas trees/greens pickup;
Giving Tree adult items due

12/7 – St. Nicholas celebration;
Advent Festival of Lessons & Carols

12/9, 16, 23 – Advent Eucharist & Study

12/10, 17 – WNL, Marriage series

12/12 – Vestry election absentee ballots due;
Advent Quiet Evening

12/13 – Christmas Pageant rehearsal;
Rite13 movie night

12/14 – Vestry Elections;
Seasonal donations due;
Giving Tree kids’ gifts due;
Christmas Pageant;
Craft Fair;
Young Families Movie Night
Youth Alumni Homecoming

12/18 – Seniors Eucharist & Lunch

12/21 – No Church School;
Hanging of the Greens

Christmas schedule

See below for complete calendar



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Blessed are the Peacemakers

Matthew 5:9

By Amma Susan

The overarching theme of my sabbatical leave this year was “Building Bridges of Peace” between people of different faith traditions. This theme was forged out of my deep longing for healing of the painful divisions that cause fear and mistrust between people of different spiritual traditions and that deafen ears to hear Christ’s call to “love God and our neighbor as ourselves.” Last week I joined twenty people from St. Catherine’s on the second of two Interfaith Immersion Weekends, parish activities associated with my sabbatical theme. Pierce Hale and Jan Swanson did an amazing job in organizing this event for us. We met with the following leaders of various faiths: Dr. Ben Johnson, Kemal Korucu, Imam Plemon El-Amin, Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Brother Shankara, Manhar Valand, Tsondue Semphel, and Kameelah Luqman. In addition to experiencing the sacred spaces of the Mosque Al Farooq, the Masjid of Al Islam, Temple Sinai, the Vendata Center Chapel, The Riverdale Hindu Temple, and the Geshe Loseling Buddhist Monastery, at each sacred space we were given the opportunity to learn about each of these faith traditions, to interact with members of their congregations and to enjoy delicious meals associated with their culture.

After lunch on Sunday, the last day of the immersion weekend, we were invited to share two things: an “ah-ha moment” and a something that stretched or challenged us in the Interfaith Immersion Weekend. The sharing was rich and varied. One recurring observation heard was that we have more in common with other faith traditions than we had previously realized. When my turn to share came, my “ah-ha moment” was a realization of how much culture influences the various paths to God in these faith traditions and how many things each tradition shares in common. I like to think of myself as an open-minded person, so I was surprised how much my experience of The Hindu Temple pushed me outside of my comfort zone and challenged me. It was difficult for me to get past the various statues in the shrines where people were worshipping, which our guide referred to as icons of the different aspects of one God. These statues made me uncomfortable, as they looked like idols. However, as I reflected on this, my thoughts turned to the Christian icons that grace one wall of my office. It occurred to me that perhaps the Hindu icons serve the same purpose as my icons, not as idols to be worshipped but as windows to God, the One who is worshipped.

Forty-five members of St. Catherine’s have now participated in the two Interfaith Immersion Weekends. It is my hope that, like me, these faithful Christians have gained a deeper appreciation of and some new perspectives on the treasure of their own faith, while also gaining a respectful understanding for some the different paths that others have found to God. Perhaps they, like I, have come to realize as we listened reverently this weekend that the deep hunger for God and for peaceful connection is not a Christian desire or a Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist desire. It is a holy human desire. I hope that we can continue to find ways that will bring us closer to one another, as individuals and as faith traditions, building bridges of peace.

Shalom, Salaam. The deep peace of Christ be with you.

Christmas trees & greens pickup

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!

Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 7, 5 pm

What a wonderful start to the holiday season! Join us at 5:00 pm in the sanctuary for the story of Salvation in dramatic readings and glorious music. Please bring your family and friends, no admission or tickets. The nursery will be open.

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. This is the second program in St. Catherine’s Concert Series 2014-2015.

Vestry Elections

Sunday, December 14 at all services

The slate of candidates is announced for our upcoming Vestry election. We are very grateful to these parish members who have stepped forward to be willing to serve us in 2015. The election will be held at all worship services on Sunday, December 14. We will elect four new members to three-year terms from the slate of candidates listed below. Absentee Ballots — If you will be unable to attend worship this date, absentee ballots are available in the church office (call 770-971-2839) and are due in the office on Friday, December 12 by 5:00 pm.

We are very thankful for the service of our members who have represented us on the Vestry this year. Our Vestry for 2014: Tom Blackstock (Jr. Warden), Eric DeLaBarre, Steve Diffley*, Susan Heuke*, Jeff Harris, Bill Hutton, Susan Jenkins, Hans Kraeger, Elizabeth Lopez (Sr. Warden)*, Daniel Mikkelsen, Rod Pope, Tad Travis* [* denotes member retiring at end of 2014].

Vestry Candidates

Jason Gardiner

Years at St. Catherine's: 9
Activities, positions held at St. Catherine's - Habitat for Humanity, Technology Committee, Chancel Choir, and Director, Jubilate Choir.
Occupation - Senior Director of Network Engineering and Operations for DirecPath, an Internet service Provider
Biographical Information - I started out I the restaurant industry (and still enjoy cooking), but for the past 20 years have worked in the technology field. I have built and managed networks for the Department of the Army, Washington Dulles Airport, FAA, Coast Guard, and Sprint.
I have been an Episcopalian since I was 6 and was confirmed at 12. We regularly attended church at Christmas and Easter throughout my youth. After the death of my brother when I was in college, I grew apart from the church for a time. After the birth of my daughter Jennifer, we started going to church again, but it wasn't until we came to St. Catherine's that I began to understand. I have grown spiritually during my time here and have developed a deeper understanding of the gifts God has given us as individual and as a family in hi church. Ministry is something I gladly do in thanks for the abundance of love I have been given. It is here that I present myself as candidate for the vestry, to provide my operational insight and continue serving with gratitude.

Bill Ivey

Years at St. Catherine's: 13
Activities, positions held at St. Catherine's - Convener, Communications Ministry Team; Content Manager and Writer, St. Catherine's Facebook page; "Mr. Soundman", Jubilate Choir; Adult Education; past Ministry Fair coordinator; Co-founder, Sunday Morning Men's Bible study.; Building Committee, consulted on acoustics and sound systems.; layreader. Two past terms on Board of Directors, MUST ministries. Recipient of the St. Catherine's Cross in 2014.
Occupation - President, Bill Ivey & Company. Designs and produces corporate meetings, conventions, trade shows and other events for both local and national clients.
Biographical Information - A native of Virginia, I was raised near Orlando, Florida where I earned a degree in Communications from the University of Central Florida. I also hold a certificate in Education for Ministry from Sewanee. My wife Tinka and I have lived in East Cobb for over 30 years and have raised two daughters here. Over the past 13 years, I have been involved in several different ministry areas and leadership roles.
St. Catherine's has been such a loving and supportive place for us that the call to serve on out vestry seems natural and a good fit. I will strive to listen to the needs of the congregation and to make decisions necessary with God's help.

Beth Sandoval

Activities - Greeter, office help (Thursday afternoon helper), Sunday morning counter, Chancel Choir member, involved in Habitat for Humanity for over 6 years.
Occupation - Currently Domestic Goddess and my husband's Financial Advisor. Previously receptionist for dentist & financial company. Retail (on the floor and in office), taught country dance lessons and water aerobics for seniors.
Biographical Information - I enjoy getting to know people. I enjoy also working behind the scenes as in office help and counting.
I am not sure what to say as far as gifts I might bring except another opinion, or thought. I value St. Catherine's for the congregation and for those who are there to guide us spiritually. I know that being a vestry member is a commitment to St. Catherine’s that I may not have explored before, but I am willing to attempt to the best of my capabilities, to St. Catherine's, and all of those who make up St. Catherine's.

Natalie Whitlow

Years at St. Catherine's: 23 years +
Activities/Positions held at St. Catherine's - Youth Director, J2A Leader, Co-leader, adult Christian formation, Journey mentor, Emmaus Project, Vestry, Stephen Minister, Youth mentor, Daughters of the King, Family Promise - dinner preparation and companion, Jubilate Choir, and various outreach activities
Occupation - Social Worker - I am currently employed by Cobb County Department of Family and Children Services. I have worked in foster care for the last five and a half years. Before becoming a social worker, I was Mom (with miscellaneous jobs) and before that, I was a business analyst in information technology.
Biographical Information - I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I attended The Church of the Holy Cross, an Episcopal Church, and the foundation of a nurturing community of family and friends. This foundation launched me into a life away from Pittsburgh - first to New York, and then to Georgia. In the process, I married, had two children, a daughter Marilyn and a son Nathaniel. The marriage didn't last, but my relationship with St. Catherine's remained a constant in my life from the time I discovered this wonderful community until now. I bring to the task of vestry member a wealth of experience, wonderful relationships, a deep and abiding faith and spiritual practice and love of St. Catherine's.

Journey through Advent and Christmas

Advent Quiet Evening: Friday, December 12

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 two 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: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel","Silent Night, Holy Night", "O Little Town of Bethlehem", and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

Simple refreshments will be provided. Bring your friends and neighbors and spend some time reflecting on the power of this season. The evening will be led by Father Jim.


Advent studies and resources for everyone

  • Tuesday morning Advent Eucharist & Study through December 23 – On Tuesday mornings during Advent we celebrate an early morning Eucharist at 7:00 am, followed by a brief study at 7:30 am. We finish promptly at 8:00 am so that you can be on your way to your day’s responsibilities. Our study is While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent by Mary Lou Redding.
  • “Great Expecations: Preparing for the Birth of Christ” - Our annual booklet of reflections on the seasons of Advent and Christmas written by our own St. Catherine’s parishioners is available at church, and you can even receive these reflections emailed directly to you each day throughout the season! Sign up now and/or read the complete collection on our Advent Reflections page at
  • Resource table – Visit our resource table in the foyer throughout Advent with materials for all ages.


Holiday Outreach

  • Secret Santa items - due by Sunday, December 7: We are collecting scarves, slippers, hankies, socks, soap, shampoo, cologne, shaving cream and razors, gloves, billfolds, decorative items, costume jewelry, watches for the Emmaus House Secret Santa Shop to be held on Sunday, December 15. After the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service, children visit the Secret Santa Shop to buy gifts for their parents and grandparents. All items are priced at 10 cents. Please deliver these donations for Secret Santa to the Giving Tree by Sunday, December 7.
  • The Giving Tree - due by Sunday, December 14: St. Catherine’s parishioners buy gifts for the Emmaus House Children’s Christmas Festival on the morning of December 24. Beginning November 23, we will have a tree with ornaments set up in the church foyer with suggested gift ideas for the 700+ children who come for the festivities on Christmas Eve morning. These gifts should be returned to St. Catherine’s no later than Sunday, December 14 to be taken to Emmaus House. Suggestions for the Giving Tree – We are asking that you shop for boys and girls ages 9 to 16 years. Some suggested gifts include: portable CD players with batteries, back packs, sleeping bags, books, videos, socks, gloves, sports equipment, watches, CDs, sunglasses, playing cards, cologne, and manicure sets. A more complete list of suggestions and instructions can be found at the Outreach table in the foyer. Once you have bought a gift, we ask that you (1) wrap the gift, particularly for gift cards (but not if it’s too hard, like a football), (2) attach the tree ornament securely to your gift and (3) deliver the gift to the Giving Tree at St. Cat’s by December 14.


Seasonal flowers and music donations due by Sunday, December 14

Each year we invite all to donate money for decorating our church for Christmas and for special music at Christmas Eve services. We remind you to insert your donation in the brown envelopes in your pews or send to the church office. Please be sure 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.


Christmas Pageant – Sunday, December 14

The annual Christmas Pageant is on Sunday, Dec. 14 at the 8:45 am service. All children are invited to participate.

The rehearsal will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, Dec. 13 in the sanctuary.


Holiday Craft Fair – Sunday, December 14

A group of parishioners will present a craft/art fair 10 am to 1 pm in the Parish Hall on December 14 so we can all “shop local” this holiday season. Crafters & artisans are wanted, if you are interested please contact Rebeccah Devault at or 404-277-6356.


Young Families Movie Night – Sunday, December 14

All Young Families (with kids 12 & under)! Join us at 5:30-7:30 pm in the Parish Hall for a Christmas movie in the Parish Hall. Cookies and a hot chocolate station will be provided. Kids and the "young at heart" are welcome to wear their pajamas and bring along a blanket to relax. Contact Amy Mikkelsen for more information,


Seniors Adults Eucharist and Christmas Lunch – Thursday, December 18

All senior adults are invited by The Rev. Jim and Joan Nixon and The Rev. Susan Johnson to be our special guest for a Eucharist and Christmas Luncheon at church on Thursday, December 18 at 11:00 am. Please let us know you are coming by Monday, December 15 by calling the office at 770-971-2839 or contact Ginney Linstrom, Special entertainment will be provided by the four-year-old-classes of St. Catherine’s Preschool.


Hanging of the Greens – Sunday, December 21, 5-8 pm

As Advent draws to a close and the joy of Christmas is just around the corner, we gather to decorate the church for Christmas. This is always a special time filled with laughter, joy, and a little labor. We can use every hand! This is an evening for every member of the congregation, and your friends and family as well (nursery available for little ones during the work time).

Please bring (1) a finger dessert to share, and (2) a family ornament to place on the big tree in the atrium. We will begin at 5:00 PM to decorate the church, parish hall, youth house, atrium, and outside. At 6:30 we’ll break for supper, then we’ll return to a decorated and candle-lit sanctuary to sing carols and play the bells. We’ll finish the evening with dessert. See you there!


Be an elf at Emmaus House Christmas Festival – Tuesday, December 24

Join us to go to Emmaus House (near Turner Field in Atlanta) on the morning of Christmas Eve, December 24, to be "elves" escorting activities and distributing presents to 700+ smiling faces at their annual Christmas Festival. It’s a wonderful activity, guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit! We will carpool from the church parking lot. Please sign up on the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin or contact Gina Baumann,, 770-841-1356, for all the details.


Christmas Eve Receptions

Foods requested – Festive receptions follow the 5:00 and 11:00 pm Christmas Eve services. We invite you to donate finger foods for these receptions, please bring them to the Parish Hall, prepared and ready to serve, prior to the service you attend this night.


Special Christmas Fund

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. 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.


Rector's Open House

Father Jim and Joan Nixon invite you to a
Christmas Open House

Sunday, December 28,
5:00 to 8:00 PM

at their home
at 2700 Bennington Drive, Marietta
No RSVP needed

While we love children, we have found that
this evening is not a time they enjoy, so
adults only, please


Calendar of activities - Advent and Christmas

* - nursery available

  • December 7 — * Advent 2:
    * St. Nicholas celebration (during Church School);
    * Advent Lessons & Carols 5 pm
  • December 9, 16, 23 — Morning Advent Eucharist and Study, 7 - 8 am
  • December 10, 17 — * Wednesday Night Live - dinner 6:00-7:00, program 7:00-8:00 pm
  • December 12— Advent Quiet Evening, 7-9 pm
  • December 13— Christmas pageant rehearsal 10:00 am
  • December 14— * Advent 3:
    * Christmas Pageant at 8:45 service;
    Vestry Elections at all services;
    Christmas decorating/music donations due; Giving Tree ingathering for children’s gifts;
    Youth & Alumni Christmas Party 4-6 pm;
    Young Families Christmas Movie Night 5:30 - 7:30 pm
  • December 18 — Senior Adults’ Eucharist & Christmas Lunch 11 am - 2:30 pm
  • December 21 — * Advent 4 (No Church School);
    * Hanging of the Greens, 5-8 pm
  • December 24 — Christmas Eve —
    Emmaus House’s Christmas Festival in Atlanta;
    * Family Christmas Eve Eucharist and Festive Reception – Worship procession begins 5:00 pm
    Christ Mass and Festive Reception – Music prelude with string ensemble, choir and organ 10:30-11:00 pm; 11 pm — Worship procession begins
  • December 25 — Christmas Day — one service, 10:30 am
  • December 28— * First Sunday of Christmas —
    One service ONLY at 10:30 am (music by Jubilate), no Church School or breakfast;
    Rector's Open House 5-8 pm
  • January 4 — * Epiphany Sunday celebration — regular worship schedule, Church School resumes

Office schedule — The church office will be closed for the holidays on these dates:

  • Tuesday through Friday, December 23-26
  • Wednesday, December 31 and Thursday, January 1

Blood Drive Tuesday, December 23

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 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,, 404.375.8327. Thank you!

Adult Inquirers class begins January 4

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, 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.

WNL, Marriage study each week

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.

"Dearly Beloved... A Study of Marriage" continues during the WNL program time. 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?Led by Father Jim.

Estimate of Giving (Pledge) update

The Stewardship Committee is pleased to announce these updated figures. The number of pledges for 2015 which have been received at latest report (December 2) is 210, and the total dollars pledged is $743,425. 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 Please return your card in the alms basin or to the church office as soon as possible. Your pledges are needed now as we are in the budgeting process for 2015. Thank you for your prayers and support of St. Catherine’s ministries and missions.

End of Year / New Year

  • Donations to the church for 2014 must be postmarked no later than Dec. 31.
  • Please turn in invoices and requests for reimbursement for 2014 expenses by Dec. 31.
  • Annual reports will be due from all ministry teams and committees by January 11! Now is the time to start thinking about annual reports. We will gladly accept them early. We really want to have all groups and ministries included in the report which will be distributed at the Parish Annual Meeting on January 25. Please send yours by email to

Flowers & Candles 2015

Our church flowers and altar candles are entirely supported by your direct sponsorship of these ministries, and we thank you! The 2015 schedule is now available for you to sign up to dedicate altar flowers or candles in memory of thanksgiving for a loved one in the coming year. Note that sponsorship of any date is not limited to one or two persons, please choose the date(s) which apply to the persons or occasions you wish, and you may also partner with others to sponsor a date.

--> And, please remember if you signed up for 2014 flowers or candles, send your payment to the church office by December 31 if you have not yet done so. Flowers are $60 per vase and candles are $20 each.


Family Promise - next hosting date Dec. 28 - Jan. 4

Time to sign up! St. Catherine's will next host Family Promise from December 28, 2014 to January 4, 2015 and many volunteers will be needed! Roles include meal preparation, meal and overnight hosts, setting up or taking down the rooms, or laundering linens at the end of the week. Kroger gift cards are welcome from anyone who would like to donate to help with the meal costs. Please sign up on the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin or contact Eleanore Pearson, or Diane Sanders,

Family Promise of Cobb County (FPCC) is part of a national Family Promise organization to bring shelter, meals, and support services to families without homes. This network of 13 hosting and 2 supporting local congregations hosts families in the program with lodging, meals and caring hospitality on a weekly rotation. During the daytime the guests are transported to the FPCC Day Center where they receive case management services to pursue housing, employment and care for pre-school children, while their school-age children attend public school.

Next training class Tuesday, December 9

Training is required if you are in position of interacting with the guests. It is available every 2nd Tuesday of the month -- next training is December 9 at East Cobb United Methodist Church, 7-9 pm. Contact or Camilla at 404-556-5465 to participate. And please be sure to let Diane or Eleanore know when you attend this training or if you need more information.

Be a Youth Mentor

By Hale Sanders

If you would like to help youth grow and improve their confidence, St. Catherine’s mentoring program needs you. We are expanding our program to include youth from the Family Promise program.

Young people need connections with many adults, not just their parents, in order to grow emotionally and spiritually and to make better choices in their lives. Adult members of St. Catherine's receive training to be mentors and friends to teens. The youth and their mentors meet every two weeks in casual surroundings to talk, plus have group events such as bowling, rafting and hiking three or four times a year. If you would like to learn more, please sign up on the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin or contact Hale Sanders, 678-472-1839,

Help “Save It Forward” win award

For those of you who have a Facebook account, Alive Ministries (Save it Forward couponing food pantry) has been nominated for a Wal Mart foundation award. Seventy-five winning food pantries will receive $20,000 for improvements. St. Catherine’s supported Alive Ministries in November as part of our Day of Service with your shopping and volunteering.

To vote, go to the following website and log in with your Facebook account. You can vote once per day through December 12. It takes less than a minute (scroll to bottom of page - type in “Georgia” in the search bar, and Alive Ministries is one of the first choices to pop up). Please pass it along to anyone you think might be interested. Let's support this great organization!

Outreach items collection: Coats for Cobb

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.

THANKFUL for Elizabeth Inn dinner volunteers

by Connie Bergeron & Tracy Buckalew 

We are thankful to Daughters of the King for October 28 and Great Volunteers on November 28 at MUST! Daughters of the King sponsored and served dinner for 70 guests and MUST staff on October 28, in addition to their dinner coverage earlier this year on April 28.  We especially appreciate DOK volunteers Marilyn Hunter, Carol Eskew, Barbara Perry, Janet Livingston, Mary Lou Shannonhouse, Sheila Bishop, Shirley Day, Linda Snape, Michael Paris, Linda Carter, Juliet Stone, Margaret Shaw, Ann Snead, Natalie Whitlow, Elizabeth Lopez, Sally Powers and Nancy Denton for their generosity and commitment to serve others.

Nov. 28th, the day after Thanksgiving, found St. Catherine's volunteers bringing a delicious dinner to guests at MUST/Elizabeth Inn.  Providers of food for the November 28th dinner included: Lisa Johnston, Sally and Mark Moore, Margaret Wilson, Stan and Dani Dickson, Karen Manno, Carol & Bunny Starr, Emily Gale, and Connie and Ron Bergeron. It was a wonderful wrap up to Thanksgiving and a terrific evening.

Nov. 28 servers pictured left to right included: Lisa Johnston, Janet Livingston, Carol Starr, Bella Hutto, Bunny Starr, Ron Bergeron and Connie Bergeron. (Photo by Bella Hutto)

Special thanks to Fred Massey and Williamson Brothers Barbecue for the great value on barbecued chickens that are a big hit at The Inn!

St. Catherine's provides dinner at the Elizabeth Inn shelter on the 28th of every month, year round. If you would like to volunteer to help with the next dinner on Sunday, December 28, please email Tracy Buckalew at

Operation Christmas Child success

By Molly Banko

A BIG thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Operation Christmas Child outreach project! Thanks to church and preschool families, we were able to send 91 gift-filled boxes, which will be used to make Christmas brighter for needy children all over the world.

Matching gift challenge for Episcopal Relief & Development

In honor of Episcopal Relief & Development's 75th Anniversary Celebration, a group of generous donors has pledged $750,000 in matching funds for this organization's 2014 Matching Gift Challenge. Any donation to the organization between October 30 and December 31 will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to the total match amount. This includes contributions through Gifts for Life, Episcopal Relief & Development's alternative giving catalog, and monthly donations scheduled during the Challenge period. The matching amount for all donations will go to the 75th Anniversary Fund, which enables the organization to respond to needs where they are greatest. The overall fundraising goal is to secure $7.5 million to support programs that touch the lives of more than 3 million people in nearly 40 countries.

To have a gift matched, simply make a donation between now and December 30. Please go to to donate online, or call 1.855.312.HEAL (4325). Gifts may also be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.


Parishioner elected to Diocese committee

Congratulations to parishioner Joyce Hendricks for being elected to the Diocese of Atlanta Standing Committee for a three year term. Thank you for all you do!

Ecumenical Thanksgiving Celebration 2014: Peace Begins with Me

Thirteen area faith communities including St. Catherine’s gave thanks and prayed for peace at the 10th Annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Celebration, held at Temple Kol Emeth. St Cat’s was well represented in the service participants and in the audience. Thank you to the great volunteers and congregations that made this event possible!

The complete service was recorded and you can watch it online: (the program begins at 4 1/2 minutes into the recording so you may wish to skip forward on startup).

Interfaith Immersion Weekend

Twenty-four St. Catherine’s parishioners attended our second Interfaith Immersion Weekend on November 21-23. They visited Jewish, Hindu, Bhuddist and Muslim congregations around Atlanta to listen to faith leaders and partake of worship services and foods of the culture. We found that the message is similar in each place: Love one another.

Photos by Jan Potter – see lots more full size at Interfaith1Nov2014, Interfaith2Nov2014 , and Interfaith3Nov2014.


Volunteer Corner: Christmas giving

By Pat Pepper, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministry

Have you started your list of what you are giving to others for Christmas? What does your list look like? Have you thought of giving your personal gifts of time, your own spiritual gifts?

Do you like to cook? The families that come to us through Family Promise would be a great way for you to give a meal, or a plate of cookies for the visits that St. Nicholas makes to our Sunday School classes. What about your gift of organization? There are many ministries at St. Catherine's that would benefit from this needed gift.

Do you like to dig in the dirt? Spend time with the youth? Is your gift sitting on the floor and telling the children about the stories of Jesus? Or listening to the children as they share their vision of Jesus?

So many gifts you can give and you will not need wrapping paper or a big red bow. Stop and listen as we wait during this time of Advent. God is coming and God is good. That is our expectation. God will be revealed to us once again. Be expectant, keep awake—you have so much to give.

With deep gratitude for you!

Memories of our Great Oak Tree

From the Wednesday Night Explorers group:

  • I am going to miss the Great Oak because we had Easter Egg hunts there (Willow Riney)
  • My favorite part about the tree was when I was chasing my sister around the tree (Ann Davis)
  • I remember when someone hung lights in the tree, and the tree was so beautiful and cheery (Emily Travis)
  • I remember picking leaves off the tree (I had to jump because I wasn't tall enough). Another great memory is having Easter Egg hunts under the tree (Lauren Travis)
  • I will always remember looking up on a sunny day and seeing a wonderful sight through the leaves (Connor Pyburn)


The Sentinel
By Swiss Britt, November 2014

It stood like a comforting inviting sentinel.
A huge Oak with mighty limbs reaching out to me.
Here I am it silently spoke, its leaves murmuring,
Come to me and rest under my branches. Feel the cool shade in the heat of the day.
I came and rested.
Its leaves rustled in the wind in spring and summer.
They sheltered us all from the soft rain as Jubilate played and we sang.
It sang its ancient song of praise with us as its branches swayed in the breeze raining water droplets.
I heard its song in wonderment.
The chickadees and nuthatches joined us as the wren burbled its own joyful refrain.
Fall’s golden leaves softly fell down upon us.
They crunched under our feet, anathema to our faithful grounds keepers.
They spoke of death for a season,
they spoke of protection from the cold for the small critters living in its shadow.
They whispered to us that life would not end in the cold.
That our life would not end in the grave.
Spring's new green laughed with the warm air and again
I heard its ancient song as the new fire was kindled.
The ancient oak has worshiped with us; it has sheltered the grieving,
it has reveled as children laughed in its shade scattering rocks in the labyrinth,
it has shared our joys and sorrows.
Our Lord’s gift to us for a season.

Photos by Maureen Donoghue, Jason Gardiner, Bill Ivey, Bettye Harris

Seen around St. Cat's

Advent wreath making on November 30

Photos by Jan Potter, see lots more full size at Advent2014

Do you know about these ministries?

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:

  • December 8-14: Chancel Choir — This week we celebrate the life and work of Chancel Choir, our adult singers and youth past the age for Choristers. This choir sings for 11:15 service, September through May, plus special services. Rehearsals are Wednesdays 7:15-8:30 pm and Sundays at 10:30 am. Sight-reading ability, while helpful, is not required. Please come for a rehearsal any time during the year and give us a try! To find out more contact Director Brian Williams, 678.461.9656,, or ask any choir member.
  • December 15-21: Fellowship Committee — This week we celebrate the life and work of the Fellowship Committee. This group plans a variety of fellowship offerings, plus receptions in conjunction with many events at church, all to build community and provide opportunities for fun and fellowship for adults, youth and children. The committee also oversees the kitchen and Parish Hall activities and supplies. Many hands are needed to help plan and carry out these events, and new ideas are invited. For information please contact Shirley Childs 404.217.3558, or Jennifer Massey, 404.375.8327,


Parishioner's pottery show and sale Dec. 6-7

Parishioner Mel Paris will hold his Annual Pottery Show and Sale on Saturday, Dec. 6, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday, Dec. 7, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. All pottery is microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. The sale will be held at 2937 Gant Quarters Circle, Marietta, GA 30068, 770-509-0161.


Christmas concert at St. Paul’s Dec. 14

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta, invites you to their 11th Annual Christmas Concert “Festival Sounds of the Season” on Sunday, December 14 at 6 pm in Sisters Chapel, on the campus of Spelman College. The concert features The St. Paul’s Choir with special ensembles The Men’s Chorus, The Women’s Chorus, The Handbell Choir, Chamber Singers & Voices of Praise, along with special guest musicians from The Atlanta Symphony & Opera Orchestras. General admission tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at


Live Nativity at St. Teresa’s Dec. 19 & 20

St. Teresa’s Episcopal Church’s gift to the community… Come see and hear the story of the Nativity at the Live Nativity 6-9 pm on Friday, December 19 and Saturday, December 20, featuring live animals including a camel! Outdoor presentation held every 30 minutes. Free parking and admission, and complimentary musical entertainment & refreshments. Also on Saturday at 7 pm "Community Messiah" will be performed. The church is located at 5725 Fords Rd., Acworth, For more info, go to or call 770-590-9040.


Health Tips - from our Congregational Nurses

  • Is it my appendix?
    Do you know the symptoms of appendicitis? According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, symptoms include pain to the right of the navel (beginning near the navel and moving down to the right), or worsening pain in the same area associated with moving, deep breathing, coughing or sneezing. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting or abdominal swelling. Anyone with symptoms of appendicitis needs to see a doctor immediately. Source: National Institutes of Health
  • Good vs. bad pain during exercise
    It’s not unusual to feel a little stiff and sore during exercise, especially at the onset when your body is gearing up. Soreness that appears after a hard workout is not uncommon either. This mild discomfort or “good pain” occurs with muscle building and should be short-lived. “Bad pain” is the kind that may signify an injury. It may be near a joint, become more intense during the workout, won’t go away after you stop, and/or limits your motion. Avoid exercising through bad pain, and when in doubt, seek medical attention. Source: John Hopkins Medicine

Provided by HealthStart,


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, 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, David Gooder, Althea Dillard, Pat Hazlin, Marti Graham, Catherine Ransdell, Carol Bowser, Tara Nesbit, Gail Cook, Dave Banko, Kathryn Burgher, Charlene Schever, Georgene Schnorf, Camden Bradbury, Jody Peligrino, Nancy Arrington, Sybil, Jeff Martin, Susan Martin, Katrina Williams, Polly Schadt, Graham Schadt, Mike Harris, Bill Hutton, Elaine Krupp, Carroll Mitchell, David Lewis, Jamie Smith, Elspeth DeLaBarre, Tristan Patterson, Stephen Kruse, Denny Waldron, Genie, Amanda Hwang, Mary Lou Shannonhouse, Ken Litton


FOR THE DECEASED: Terrance Hwang, son of Daniel Mikkelsen’s co-worker

FOR THOSE CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS: (12/6) Christina McLean, Alysia Bowers-Dean, Reese Maier, Hannah Beyer; (12/7) Peggy Towery, Luke Mikkelsen; (12/8) Chris Jones, Macyn Alexander; (12/9) Gene Carter, Sebastjan Hutton, Megan Goldman, Ian Goldman; (12/10) Ann Snead, Barbara Perry, Nicky Muckerman, Megan Shannonhouse, Marie Hale;(12/11) Bobbye Greene, Margaret Caudle, Elaine Krupp; (12/12) Chris Kiefer, Lee Stuart, Glady Ragan; (12/13) Terry Sheehan, Ben Frost, Jr.; (12/14) Ken Denton; (12/15) Jennifer Massey, Kevin Manno; (12/16) Vann Bartlett, Mike Moran; (12/17) Mary Bess Peterson; (12/18) Riley Yucius, Jennifer Tear; (12/19) Catherine Boyd, Christopher Nesbit, Andrew Hutton, Elisha Elias

ANNIVERSARIES: (12/18) John & Fran Brooks

BIRTHS: Leah Brooke Christian on 11/25 to John & Laura Christian, grandparents Paul & Karen Manno.

(12/7) Oscar & Peggy Price; John, Virginia & Christian Pumpelly; Stephen, Harriett, Connor, Bryce & Christina Pyburn; Eric, Courtney, Glady & Jackson Ragan; Shelley Ransdell & Carol Eskew
(12/14) Mike, Meg & Thomas Reeves; Laurie Remter; Rebecca & Willow Riney; Fleming Rowell; Robbie Roy, Risa, Reese & Mandy Maier

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.


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.

St. Catherine's Calendar

Hold These Future Dates:

  • Sunday, January 25 – worship services 7:30 and 10:30 am, Parish Annual Meeting at 12:00 pm

Holy Baptism next scheduled dates

Sunday, January 11
Please contact the church office for information and the customary booklet about Holy Baptism.

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.

Saturday, 12/6 Saturday, 12/13


Stephen Ministry Training
Tree/Wreath pick up


Pageant Rehearsal
Rite 13 Movie Night
Sunday, 12/7 Sunday, 12/14


Holy Eucharist
Holy Eucharist
Church School
  / St. Nicholas Celebration
Holy Eucharist
Tree/Wreath pick up
Lessons and Carols


Vestry Elections
Holy Eucharist
Holy Eucharist
  / Christmas Pageant
Church School
Craft Fair
Holy Eucharist
Murray Funeral
YF Movie Night
Youth Homecoming

Monday, 12/8 Monday, 12/15

Amma Susan's day off
CGS Catholic
CGS Catholic Dinner
Men’s Book Study
Women’s Bible Study
Boy Scouts Troop 713


Amma Susan's day off
Women’s Bible Study
Kneeler Group
Stephen Ministry
Boy Scouts Troop 713

Tuesday, 12/9 Tuesday, 12/16


Eucharist & Study
Morning Prayer
Staff Meeting
Finance Meeting
Fellowship Meeting
Outreach Meeting
Radio Club
Youth Ministry

Eucharist & Study
Morning Prayer
Staff Meeting
Vestry Meeting
Wednesday, 12/10 Wednesday, 12/17


Executive Committee
Bible Study
Dr. Sweeney
WNL Dinner
WNL Program
Chancel Choir


Bible Study
Preschool Puppet Show
WNL Dinner
WNL Program
Chancel Choir

Thursday, 12/11 Thursday, 12/18
Preschool Program
Caring & Caring Ministry
HR Committee
Preschool Program
Seniors Eucharist & Lunch
Preschool Staff Party
Friday, 12/12 Friday, 12/19

Fr. Jim's day off
Women’s Bible Study
Advent Quiet Evening
A.A. Women’s Meditation


Fr. Jim's day off
Women’s Bible Study
WHS Chorus Party
Church Staff Party
A.A. Women’s Meditation


By Youth Director Mike Peterson, 770-971-2839,

Click here for the Youth Calendar online


Father Jim at WNL December 10        

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!


Rite 13 Movie Night Saturday, Dec. 13

All Rite 13ers (7th and 8th graders) are invited to join us on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 6 to 10 PM in the Youth House for a fun night together that will feature pizza, a movie (The Princess Bride), a Bible scavenger hunt with prizes, and a good time hanging out with your fellow Rite 13ers. There is no charge for this awesome evening. Please email Tanya Bowers-Dean at if you plan to come (and we hope you do)!


Youth Christmas Homecoming Party - Sunday, Dec. 14

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!


Tacky Christmas Sweater Contest at WNL on Dec. 17

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 or wherever else you might find a delightfully atrocious Christmas sweater and rock it at Youth Group that night!


All 9-12 Graders - Come to Winterlight

Are you in 9th-12th grade? Do you enjoy things that are AWESOME?? Would you like to meet lots of other cool people your age from all over the country? Does a weekend never feel long enough for a youth conference? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then Winterlight is right up your alley. Winterlight just might be the best youth conference, nay, the best week of the year, and I want you to be part of it! There's no better place to ring in the New Year than the Kanuga Conference Center in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina! Ask anyone who has been to Kanuga, and they’ll give you an earful about how it will change your life! Take a look at the link below or contact Mike for further information. Remember, confidential scholarship is available and Mike can talk to Kanuga on your behalf to lower your rate if needed. If you want to go, we WILL make sure that you are able (promise!).

Wheel schedule:

Next publications:

  • December 19
  • January 9
  • January 23

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

Editor: Karen Manno
Contact: or 770-973-8668

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Copyright 2014 St. Catherine's Episcopal Church
571 Holt Road, Marietta, Georgia 30068