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The Newsletter of
By Father Dean
The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor once said about this time of the year, when we “pivot” between Advent’s John the Baptist and Christmas’ Jesus, “Well, John the Baptist keeps putting the ax to the root of the tree, and Jesus keeps putting that ax back down.” While John the Baptist yells “You brood of vipers,” Jesus follows the tradition of Zephaniah, who said, “Sing aloud, O daughter Zion, shout, O Israel… the Lord has taken away the judgments against you.” Or, as Paul would say years later, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, ‘Rejoice.’ The Lord is near. So don’t worry about anything.”
And yet, how can we rejoice when we see, daily, the horrors or terrorism, and the fear that pervades our world this season? Maybe we need to re-define what “rejoice” means.
To “take joy,” is not a conditional activity. It does not depend on outward conditions. If that were so, our “joy” would be somewhat nervous, always afraid of something from the world coming in unexpectedly and ruining the emotion.
As Bishop Dan Brown puts it, the joyful believer “rejoices in God when calamities happen… the God who will get him through this.” And so, faithful rejoicing happens “in the midst of disasters, when we rejoice the most that God is God, that God is bigger than anything that can happen to us, and that God loves and creates, heals and restores, forgives and redeems.”
And so, may we all have a Joyful Christmas Season, and may that Joy pour forth into the new year!
Congratulations to the four parish members who were elected to 3-year positions on our Vestry on December 13: Frank Adams, Marilyn Hunter, Phil Spessard, Stephanie Yucius.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.
"It is said that cats can see in the dark, but this CAT can’t!"
To be honest, we don’t know if you have completed the CAT survey or not because each person’s answers are anonymous. But, if you haven’t already, please shed some light on your experiences at St. Catherine’s. It will only take15 to 20 minutes of your time. For your convenience, the link to your CAT is provided again below. PLEASE DON’T KEEP US IN THE DARK!
Go to this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/StCatherinesMarietta — or you can find the survey link on our website www.stcatherines.org (click “Parish Survey” on the home page at the bottom of the “Quick Links” section at the lower left). Note: This survey is for adults -- youth and children will have separate opportunities to provide their input.
If you have any questions please contact the Nominating Committee at nominationsstcatherines.org. Photo by Sally Paris.
With our sincere gratitude,
Your Nominating Committee
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 please bring your friends and family as wel.
Please bring a (1) a finger dessert to share, and (2) an ornament with your household’s name(s) on it for the Christmas tree in the atrium. We will begin at 5:00 PM to decorate the church, parish hall, youth house 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. No RSVP is needed, see you there!
Join us to go to Emmaus House (near Turner Field in Atlanta) early 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 St. Catherine's parking lot. Please sign up on the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin or contact Gina Baumann, tabby257aol.com, 770-841-1356, for carpool time and all the details.
Young Families Ministry is sponsoring a "blessing bags" outreach project. Instead of the Christmas shoeboxes, we are providing much needed toiletries, undergarments, pajamas and a small toy or book for homeless children in the Family Promise program. Plastic zip bags and a shopping list are available for pickup in the foyer with collection ongoing until Sunday, December 20. For more information, please contact Molly Banko at mdbankocomcast.net.
Desserts requested for 5 pm service – A festive cookies & punch reception will follow the 5:00 pm Family Christmas Eve service. We invite you to donate cookies or other finger desserts, please bring them to the Parish Hall, prepared and ready to serve, prior to the service. (Please note that there will not be a reception following the 10:30 pm Festival Eucharist).
Help with clean up after the reception would be greatly appreciated, please contact Jennifer Massey, massey.jmgmail.com, 404.375.8327.
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 Interim 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 “Sweeping The Hearth,” this year's 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:
By Amma Susan
Our adults' inquirers class, The Journey, begins January 3, 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 sign up now on the Opportunities For Ministry form in your bulletin or contact Amma Susan ammasusanstcatherines.org or 770-971-2839. The first six sessions will meet Sunday mornings starting January 3 during the Church School hour. There will be one Saturday morning in-house retreat on February 13. The remaining ten sessions will meet Sunday mornings from 10 to 11:30 am. Childcare will be available.
Please check your monthly email statements to make sure you are up-to-date on your pledge to St. Catherine’s. If you are behind for the year, the church will credit payments received by December 31 toward your current pledge unless marked otherwise. Payments received/postmarked after December 31 will credit toward your 2016 pledge.
Summary of January – November 2015 financials
If you have not already done so, please return your Estimate of Giving card as soon as possible. The budget approved by the Vestry each year is based entirely on anticipated revenues.
If you have any questions about the numbers above, please let me know at rebeccahdevaultgmail.com. Thanks!
Thank you to everyone who has sent their 2016 pledge! The church has received 205 pledges to date [December 15] for the coming year. About 40 pledges are still outstanding. We’re excited about the growth of our church this year and every pledge is very important to be received now!
If you have not yet returned your Estimate of Giving Card (pledge) for 2016: 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 2016. Thank you for your prayers and support of St. Catherine’s ministries and missions.
Tuesday, December 29, 3-7 pm
The holiday season brings the excitement of sharing and receiving heartfelt gifts. This year, share a gift that can help save lives – a lifesaving blood donation. So donate blood in the holiday season and give something truly meaningful. And in thank you for your donation during our December blood drive all donors who sign up in advance will receive a limited-edition long-sleeve Red Cross holiday T-shirt!
The drive is Tuesday, December 29 from 3 to 7 pm in the Parish Hall. Reserve your time - and your shirt - by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or go online to www.redcrossblood.org with Sponsor Code STCATS. Please note that appointments are not required, all donors are welcome at the event. Help is also need for greeting donors, setup and clean up, contact Jennifer Massey, massey.jmgmail.com, 404.375.8327.
--> Save time with Red Cross’ RapidPass!
The Red Cross has a new feature called RapidPass which allows you to complete the pre-reading and donation questions online from the comfort and privacy of home or office, reducing the time spent at the blood drive by up to 15 minutes. Please note that RapidPass must be completed only on the day of the drive. If you leave the printed pass behind or can’t show it on a mobile device at the drive, you will just need to complete the questions again. RapidPass does not take the place of scheduling an appointment so be sure to reserve your time slot as above. How to use RapidPass:
Flowers and Candles 2016
Our church flowers and altar candles are entirely supported only by your direct sponsorship of these ministries, and we thank you! The 2016 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. Flowers are $60 per vase and candles are $20 each.
If you signed up for 2015 flowers or candles, please send your payment to the church office by December 31 if you have not yet done so.
Sunday, January 24 - Worship at 7:30 & 10:30 am
St. Catherine’s Annual Parish Meeting will be held on January 24 at 12:30 PM following our 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 Interim 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 15
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 Friday, January 15. Contact Rose if you would like a copy of last year's report for your group or ministry.
Saturday, February 6
The 2016 annual Valentine Dinner, Dance and Auction will be held on the evening of February 6. This is always our biggest fundraiser for our Youth program and we thank you for your support. Proceeds will go to defray costs of the Youth Pilgrimage which will take place in summer 2016.
Ticket will be $35, and ticket sales will be held before and after each church service starting on January 3 until January 31 (or until tickets are sold out). Seating will be limited, so be sure to get your tickets early! For further information, contact Youth Director Sally Paris, sallystcatherines.org, or Susanne Muckerman, readersuebellsouth.net
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 2015. Contact Sally or Susanne as above for information and forms.
St. Catherine's mugs will be for sale between services on December 20 in the foyer. The mugs are available in green, and now in purple, too! The mugs are $6.00 each, and feature our logo (created by Jason Snape) and the blessing "Life is short and we do not have much time...". Proceeds will benefit Invitation Ministry and our newcomer events. You also may contact Susan Heuke or Bettye Harris.
Join us in the new year
By Tom Snead
Any men who are interested, we would love to have you join us, the 14 loyal learners, 6 men on Thursday evenings or 8 men on Friday morning (including one using Skype from Charlottesville, Virginia). For information contact Tom Snead in The City or tom.sneadearthlink.net.
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 at St. Catherine’s
This concert series and our future concerts are made possible and kept affordable by the generous contributions of many music lovers. Become a “Friend Of Music At St. Catherine’s” and help enhance the musical and spiritual life of our community. All contributors will be acknowledged in the concert programs and invited to a an exclusive “Friends” reception. Gifts in any amount are welcome. Please make checks to St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church and designate it on the memo line for “Friends of Music.” Donations are tax deductible. Thank you!
Continuing through the end of the year we’re trying something a bit different. Announcements are BEFORE THE SERVICE BEGINS—at about 10 minutes before the opening hymn. This applies to all our service times. The Vestry Person of the Day will read the announcements and then, after a moment of quiet to “collect ourselves” and prepare for worship, we will begin the service at the regular time.
A suggestion by Father Dean: I invite you to make a discipline of arriving at church 10 minutes early, not simply to hear the announcements but even more importantly, to quiet your soul and prepare yourself for worship. When this time is over, we’ll reflect on this practice, and see how it worked! “Prayer is sitting in silence until it silences us” — Richard Rohr
By Eleanore Pearson and Diane Sanders
Thank you St. Catherine's for all your prayers, cooking, hosting, staying overnight, setting up and taking down, and doing laundry for all eleven of our Family Promise guests for the week of November 29-December 6. We are happy to announce that our family with the five children received the keys to their apartment last week! They will be in their own home for Christmas. In our two years of existence, Family Promise of Cobb County now has fifteen families who have successfully completed the program and are living independently.
We are so thankful for Eleanore Pearson and Diane Sanders’ capable and dedicated leadership of Family Promise at St. Catherine’s! Eleanore and Diane have served as Co-Volunteer Coordinators of this program for two years. It is now time for them to transition their positions to the most capable hands of Barb Selby and Linda Scott. We look forward to Barb and Linda’s leadership, and we so appreciate the hard work and continued willingness of all our St. Catherine’s volunteers serving in this important ministry.
-> Next hosting week: February 21-28, 2016
This Christmas, and year-round, you can honor friends and loved ones by giving an entire community the opportunity to not only survive, but thrive with Episcopal Relief and Development’s Gifts for Life. You can make a lasting impact with symbolic gifts ranging from medicine for children in need, to farming animals and tools that help families earn an income and improve their nutrition. Gifts for Life catalogs are available for pick up at church, or you can get information and donate online at www.episcopalrelief.org/what-you-can-do/gifts-for-life. All gifts are matched by generous donor—if one goat is ordered, two goats will be given to help fight poverty that exists so much in many parts of the Anglican world. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Episcopal Relief and Development and their ministry to “heal a hurting world.”
By Jeff Harris and Daniel Mikkelsen
The Vestry began the December meeting with Eucharist in the church, followed by the formal meeting. It was noted that 192 ballots were turned in during the vestry election and the four parishioners on the ballet were elected.
There were three main topics early in the meeting including: general discussion to an article on Capital Campaigns, an update from the Chair of the Rector Nominating Committee, and a presentation and subsequent motion with respect to the Master Planning Committee.
Bill Lee provided an update from the Rector Nominating Committee and indicated there has been a 60% response by the parish to the survey. The goal is 100% response. The Nominating Committee will share the responses with the Vestry at the January meeting and with the parish at the Annual Meeting on January 24.
It was noted that the Vestry and the Rector Nominating Committee are required by the diocese to attend a session of “Dismantling Racism” training. The next session to occur at St Catherine's is targeted for January 9 and it was noted by previous attendees to be a very powerful experience.
Senior Warden Tom Blackstock indicated the Master Planning Committee has developed a charter geared toward providing continuity and process for developing initiatives from the six ministry teams and the preschool that fall outside of the operating budget. A motion was put forward and successfully carried to formalize the charter for the Master Planning Committee with the chair to be appointed by the Vestry.
Discussion was held regarding Parish Announcements by the Vestry Person of the Day continuing before the 8:45 and 11:15 service following Advent. The decision was to continue the current process for the next few weeks following Advent.
By Pat Pepper
Advent is a time of waiting and preparing for the arrival of Christ to be born. What does that mean for you? My hope is that it is something more than “hitting the mall.” Below are some wonderful opportunities for you to give as little as one hour per month. Is this helping to prepare for the arrival of Christ? Yes, by all means! These and many others are available:
Fellowship Ministry needs (contact Jennifer Massey massey.jmgmail.com or Shirley Childs sechildsbellsouth.net):
Outreach Ministry needs:
Interested in finding your purpose for ministry? Contact Pat Pepper, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministry, 770.971.1269 or volunteerstcatherines.org to get connected!
Celtic Advent Evening, December 9
Photos by Jan Potter, see them full-size at CelticAdvent120915.
Christmas Pageant, December 13
Thank you to Caroline Brennan and her helpers for leading this year's pageant, and great job by Erin Donoghue directing the chimes! Photos by Jan Potter, Bill Ivey, Maureen Donoghue. See many, MANY more below in this newsletter, and full-size in the albums at ChristmasPageant2015, Christmas Pageant 2015 and ChurchPageantReh121215.
Seen around St. Cat's
Photos 1, 2 & 3 -- Altar Guild at their holiday party (photos by Connie Bergeron); More photos by Bettye Harris; See lots more in the album at Advent 2015.
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:
Letters have been received from the following to acknowledge gifts from our parish:
The Cathedral Book Store, located at the Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, NW Atlanta, GA 30305 since 1949, offers a wide choice of Bibles, religious books, general books, and children's books as well as a great selection of gift items, music, jewelry, cards, and church supplies. Free parking. www.cathedralbookstore.org
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.
ALL MEMBERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES: Tom Blackstock; Josh England, Jennifer Buckalew’s cousin; Lucas Elgie, Emma Markette’s brother; Zach Hurley.
OUR NATION AND ITS LEADERS: Barack, our president, Nathan, our Governor, and members of Congress.
DECEASED: Nancy Riley, friend & neighbor of Tille Carter and Paul & Karen Manno
BEFORE SURGERY: Ron Brannock
FOR THOSE IN NEED OF PRAYER: Marilyn May, Pat Baldwin, Phil Spessard, Bruce, Tom Nichols, Bill Holman, Lyda Bennett, Toby Hopper, Gay & Dara, Paul Westin, Mary Alice, Ken Lively, Arthur Loewy, Tamra Conklin, Marina, Shelby Bennett, Bill Woods, Alan Certain, Sis Eastland, Barry Dillard, Julian Gardiner, Raymond Higgins, Brandon Long, Jim Weigel, Ron Brannock, Jack Fahey, Adelyn Grace Keown, Bill Fambrough, Elizabeth Keely, Libby Taylor, Anita Gardner.
ANNIVERSARIES: (12/21) Tom & Ann Snead, (12/23) Chris & Jan Potter, (12/26) Oscar & Peggy Price (12/27) Meg & Larry Boyd, Donald & Anne Clark (1/8/16) Beth & Daniel Goldman.
BIRTHDAYS: (12/19) Andrew Hutton,(12/20) Liana McLean, (12/21) George Alexander, Pat Tarentino, Bob Olliffe, (12/23) Steve Tuemmler, Michelle LaGarde, Noelle Mace, (12/24) Eleanore Pearson, Holly Griffin, (12/25) Al Jones, Ben Martin, (12/26) Karen Kraeger, (12/27) Vera Bibbings, Missy Worden, Phillip Hutton, (12/28) Ron Bergeron, Milo Thomas, (12/29) Nat Whitlow, Katherine Sherwood, (12/30) Steve Vavra, Nadine Pope, Julie Johnson, Julie Stone, Caroline Spessard, (1/1)Carol Fey, (1/4) Stan Dickson, (1/5) Celia Bowers-Dean, (1/6) Tim Braman, Stephanie Yucius, (1/7) Martha Bowden, (1/8) Michael Goodstone, Lucas Brennan, Gabriella Nienaber.
PARISH CYCLE OF PRAYER:
PRAYER FOR OUR RECTOR SEARCH: Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on St. Catherine’s, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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.
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.
Please hold these dates:
By Youth Director Sally Paris, sallystcatherines.org
Join us after the 10:30 am service this day for brunch, 12-2 pm. Please invite any St. Cat's youth alumni you know! We would love to see all friends again during the holiday season!
Breakfast Casseroles needed: Your donation is kindly requested of a breakfast casserole to help feed the 40+ expected for our brunch. Please bring it to the kitchen, clearly marked for “Youth Alumni Brunch,” before or after the one service at 10:30 am this day – or if you are going to be away, you may put it in the freezer in the kitchen any day (marked for Youth Alumni Brunch) and we will gladly heat it up for serving then. Thank you!
This year we are having an additional Youth Sunday on January 3. Contact Sally now since spaces are being assigned. Youth will acolyte, read, preach, provide music... anything you can think of!
DYC is a retreat hosted at Camp Mikell on the second weekend of January every year. This conference is for all youth grades 6-12. Every parish represented at the conference must send an adult chaperone for the weekend. The theme of DYC changes yearly, but it is always an exciting weekend that integrates music, worship, and fun! Get information and register at www.eycdioatl.org/dyc.html.
This coming summer the diocese is sponsoring two mission trips: atlSERVE (for middle school/Rite 13 age youth) and Birmingham (for high school/J2A, YA and Seniors). Get information and registration links at www.eycdioatl.org/event-information.html if you are interested in participating in any of these service-oriented Diocesan activities.
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 and photos are due Wednesday 2 days before the publication date, by midnight. Please submit items 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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