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 Amma Susan
I hope you were able to be in church last Sunday at the 8:45 am service for St. Catherine’s Christmas pageant. This year, for the first time, the pageant was entirely written and produced by four young girls who are mature beyond their years: Sydney Spessard (12), Riley Yucius (11), Amanda Braman (11) and Leah Banko (11). Their story begins with Jesus, as a young child, asking his mother, Mary, to read to him the story of his birth. And so the entire congregation sat at Mary’s feet to hear again the story of Christ’s birth, and with childlike joy delighted in the tinsel and feather-bedecked angels, wooly sheep, regal wise men and a wandering star that led us all to Bethlehem’s manger. There we knelt with Joseph and Mary, in wonder and adoration before the baby Jesus, sleeping in a nest of straw.
From the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she had found favor with God and would bear God’s son, to the littlest sheep led by humble shepherds to the manger, each child in the pageant had a joyous spontaneity that I have never before experienced outside of the little plays my daughter and her friends used to put on in the hallway stage of our home. Children from ages 2 to over 62 then thronged from the congregation to participate in some of that spontaneous joy in the bell choir rendition of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" which ended with a gleeful leap and exclamation from the Rector (woo-hoo!), summing up the collective emotion of the congregation. Spontaneous joy!
“Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the new born King!” Merry Christmas! Woo-hoo!
Congratulations to the four parish members who were elected to 3-year positions on our Vestry on December 14: Jason Gardiner, Bill Ivey, Beth Sandoval, Natalie Whitlow.
The Vestry is at the very heart of our life together. Each of these individuals has offered their time and talents and considerable commitment to this ministry. We are deeply grateful for their generosity.
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!
From all of our clergy, staff, and vestry
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). 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 a light supper. We'll return to a decorated and candle-lit sanctuary at 7:00 to sing some carols and play the bells. We’ll finish the evening with dessert.Please bring a finger dessert to share and an ornament with your household’s name(s) on it to hang on the big Christmas tree in the atrium. No RSVP needed, see you there!
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! To get details and to find out what time the carpools will depart from St. Cat's parking lot, please contact Gina Baumann, tabby257aol.com, 770-841-1356.
Foods requested – Festive receptions follow the 5:00 and 11:00 pm Christmas Eve services. We invite you to donate finger foods for the reception, please bring them to the Parish Hall, prepared and ready to serve, prior to the service you attend this night.
If you or someone you know someone is ill or shut in and will not be able to attend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services, please notify the church office so we may schedule a Eucharistic Visitor to bring communion to their homes.
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.
Check for your Reflection of the Day throughout the season from “Great Expectations,” our collection of Advent and Christmas reflections for each day through Epiphany (January 6). They are written by our own St. Catherine's members, and you can even receive these reflections emailed directly to you each day throughout the season! Sign up for emails and/or read the complete collection on our Reflections page at www.stcatherines.org/reflections/advent.htm.
* - nursery available
Office schedule — The church office will be closed for the holidays on these dates:
Father Jim and Joan Nixon invite you to a
Christmas Open House
While we love children, we have found that
this evening is not a time they enjoy, so
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 right away, 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.
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 at church 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.
Next concert: Saturday, January 17
St. Catherines' Concert Series will continue in the new year with these stellar events. We welcome you to all our concerts and hope you'll bring family and friends as well. All programs are free, no tickets needed and the public is invited.
Be a Friend of Music
You can also support our series by becoming a Friend of Music at St. Catherine’s! If you would like to be a Friend of Music, all donations are welcome. Contributors will be recognized in the concert programs and invited to a reception. Please make checks to St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church and designate it for “Concert Series” in the memo line. Thank you so much for your generosity!
Save the date: February 14
The 2015 annual Valentine Dinner, Dance and Auction will be held on the evening of February 14. This is always our biggest fundraiser for our Youth program and we thank you for your support. Proceeds go to defray costs of the Youth Pilgrimage. With the event falling on Valentine’s Day this year (and thanks to very generous parishioner support), the event will feature a special one-year-only format with a formal, sit-down dinner prepared under the direction of Executive Chef Tracy Melton of the Rose and Crown.
Ticket are $35, and ticket sales will be held before and after each church service starting on January 11 until February 8 (or until tickets are sold out). Seating will be limited, so be sure to get your tickets early! For further information, contact Donna Hutton at dshuttoncomcast.net or Mike Peterson at mikestcatherines.org.
Auction items being accepted now
We are already accepting donations for the fabulous Live and Silent Auctions – items, services, vacation homes, etc. Donations are tax deductible, which you may find helpful now as we come to the end of 2014. Contact Youth Director Mike Peterson for information and forms.
Sunday, January 25 - One worship service at 10:30 am
St. Catherine’s Annual Parish Meeting will be held on January 25 at 12:30 PM. There will be only ONE worship service this day at 10:30 AM. A light lunch will be served immediately following the service, 11:45-12:30 pm, followed by the meeting. The Annual Parish Meeting is a time for the congregation to receive reports from the Rector, Senior Warden, Treasurer, and other organizations throughout the parish. It is a time to reflect on the year past and to explore the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the new year. We hope you will be a part of this most important time in our common life.
Annual reports due January 11
Now is the time to start thinking about annual reports - we will gladly accept them early! We really want to have all committees, groups and ministries of St. Catherine's included in the annual report which is distributed to the entire parish at the Annual Meeting. Please send reports by email to rosestcatherines.org by Sunday, January 11. Contact Rose if you would like a copy of last year's report for your group or ministry.
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 216, and the total dollars pledged is $750,157. 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 are in the budgeting process for 2015. Thank you for your prayers and support of St. Catherine’s ministries and missions.
It's here! 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, elerichbellsouth.net or Diane Sanders, dianesanders3198att.net.
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.
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, halesandersatt.net.
Have you considered how you will give your gift of time?
By Pat Pepper, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministry
The Snape Family has given me permission to share this wonderful story. A child shall lead them...
Congratulations to parishioner Michael Wherry who just completed his Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree at Southern Polytechnic State University. Michael is a new Shepherd with our Invitation Ministry and was a newcomer at St. Catherine’s earlier this year. Great job! (photo by Bettye Harris)
Who knew that the 1,700 year old St. Nicholas (who doesn't look a day over 60!) would be at St. Cat's on December 7 to help us learn about this famous saint? Thank you to the team put a wonderful celebration for us this year! (Photos below by Bettye Harris, Jimmie Owen)
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:
What I believe...
At this time where violence, hatred and mistrust is weaving through the fabric of our world and nation more than ever before, creating a fissure amongst God’s children who in response have developed at times diverged, juxtaposed and like-minded reactions. I believe that....
As God's children we are taught about his love not just for me and for you, but the entire world. Hopefully we think about God at some point in our day. However, what about a radical notion called LOVE? Yes, I said it, I hope I did not offend anyone.
According to Corinthians 13:4-8: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not... I'll leave you alone to read the rest.
Love is powerful beyond measure and can be a catalyst to miraculous cohesiveness amongst God's children but, it also has attributes of inertia in that it does not grow without energy, our energy. Love requires a concerted, focused, selfless effort to grow and survive. It is upon each of God's children to spread unrequited love.
When I think of this, I think of the physicians who despite risk to themselves go to various countries to heal the sick when others shun or abandon them. Let’s also think of our soldiers who with courage and love of this nation fight battles in war-torn countries every day leaving behind their loved ones, sadly sometimes to return in a a flag draped casket. Lastly, I think of those individuals who have such love for their fellow man they choose to take on careers not for the money but for their love of immeasurably changing someone's life. There are so many other examples.
At this Christmas season let us all think more intentionally about love. Father Jim and Amma Susan perform acts of love every day. I think about their sacrifices and praise God for their commitment and how blessed we are to have them.
Be more intentional to your God, families, members of St. Catherine's congregation and even those who we may not understand, those who are different, and destitute. So when the New Year is marked let us think about love in our life.
As Father Jim often recites, life is indeed short so be swift to love... God's Blessings and love at this wonderful time of Advent. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
Provided by HealthStart, www.wellstarhealthstart.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, David Gooder, Althea Dillard, Pat Hazlin, Marti Graham, Catherine Ransdell, Carol Bowser, Tara Nesbit, Gail Cook, Dave Banko, Kathryn Burgher, Charlene Schever, Katie Rohert, Georgene Schnorf, Camden Bradbury, Jody Peligrino, Nancy Arrington, Sybil, Jeff Martin, Susan Martin, Katrina Williams, Polly Schadt, Graham Schadt, Mike Harris, Tolbert Williams, Bill Hutton, Carroll Mitchell, David Lewis, Jamie, Susan, Jake & Spencer Smith, Elspeth DeLaBarre, Tristan Patterson, Stephen Kruse, Denny Waldron, Genie, Mary Lou Shannonhouse, Ken Litton, Amanda Hwang, Ginney Linstrom, Robert Morris, Catherine Moore, Tony, Kyler Seagle, Martha Bowden, Deborah Guy, David, Bella Hutto, Barbara Tuttle
DECEASED: Elaine Krupp; Richard P. Nixon, brother of Father Jim Nixon
FOR THOSE CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS: (12/21) Bob Olliffe, Pat Tarentino, George Alexander, (12/22) Knox Gale, Will Selby, (12/23) Michelle LaGarde, Noelle Mace, James Nesbit, Nathalie Frank, Steve Tuemmler, (12/24) Alexander Dillson, Eleanore Pearson, Holy Griffin, (12/25) Ben Martin, Al Jones, (12/26) Karen Kraeger, (12/27) Deana Cole, Vera Bibbings, Phillip Hutton, (12/28) Ron Bergeron, Milo Thomas, (12/29) Nat Whitlow, John Christian, Katherine Sherwood, (12/30) Nadine Pope, Caroline Spessard, Steven Vavra, Julie Stone, Julie Johnson, (1/1) Carol Fey, (1/2) Carson Gardner, Scott Heuke, (1/4) Stan Dickson, Todd Magill, Katie Martin, Logan McMichael, (1/5) Celia Bowers-Dean, Kell Owen, (1/6) Stephanie Yucius, Tim Braman, (1/7) Martha Bowden, Caroline Gardner, Charles Santivanez, Cameron Hollis, Lauren Hollis, (1/8) Mark Boutilier, Gabriella Nienaber, Lucas Brennan
FOR THOSE CELEBRATING ANNIVERSARIES: (12/21) Tom & Ann Snead, (12/23) Chris & Jan Potter, (12/26) Oscar & Peggy Price, (12/27) Meg & Larry Boyd, Donald & Anne Clark, (12/30) Abbye & David Stooksbury, (1/7) Robert & Laura Turner, (1/8) Elizabeth & Daniel Goldman
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.
Holy Baptism next scheduled date - 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
Important: EVERY J2Aer, Their Confirmation Sponsor, and Parent(s)
The J2A class (9th and 10th grades) will be starting their Confirmation course with a Confirmation orientation on Sunday, January 11 at 6:00 PM in the parish hall. All J2Aers, their confirmation sponsors, and at least one parent should plan on attending. Please contact Mike for further information.
Hey everyone! 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. Get all the details at www.kanuga.org/conference-calendar/conference-calendar-details/winterlight
DYC is a conference planned and led by 10-12 grade youth and adults from the Diocese of Atlanta. The DYC leaders describe this year’s conference this way: “A Retreat of Mythic Proportions welcomes youth in grades 6-12 to Camp Mikell January 2-4 for a weekend of fun and formation! We'll use the movie Big Fish as a model for the retreat, seeking to learn more about our own stories. As one of the movie's characters says, ‘A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories.’ We'll learn what this means in light of the Christian narrative and how it impacts our lives as teenagers. Plus, there's sure to be plenty of hiking, singing, painting, laughing, dancing, and playing! If you've never been to DYC before, this is the year to join us.” If you are interested in attending DYC, please contact Mike.
This summer, we will be taking a mission trip to do some service work and have a lot of fun in the beautiful city of Chattanooga, TN. Many more details will be announced in the new year, but go ahead and mark your calendars!
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 2013 St. Catherine's Episcopal Church