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Sunday 18th June 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the First Sunday after Trinity with parallel Children's Ministry and followed by Coffee Hour
Celebrant: Rev'd Nathanial
Preacher: Jack Noonan

Sunday 25th June 2017 11:00
Sung Eucharist for the Second Sunday after Trinity with parallel Children's Ministry and followed by 'Picnic in the Park'
Celebrant and Preacher: Rev'd Nathanial

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10th December 2010

Dear People & Friends of St. Clement’s,

Just as it is good to start our prayers by thanking God for his goodness & for the answers we have received to our prayers, so I’m going to start this End-of-Week Message by expressing my thanks for a positive response to two of my three requests of recent weeks.

Thank you to Sean Miller who successfully pointed me to a shop in Anděl where I have been able to purchase a new long-armed stapler to replace the previous one which broke some weeks ago.

And thank you to Andrew Kaseme who last Sunday morning presented me with a replacement computer following the upgrading of computers at his workplace. It runs on Windows XP which is a major advance on Windows 2000, the operating system on the current Chaplaincy computer. There is only one slight problem – it is Windows XP that speaks to me in Czech!!! As I understand it, there is no way to make it speak to me in English. However, if there is a technical wizard out there who does know a way of changing it, then please get in touch. Otherwise I shall embark on a steep learning curve……

My unanswered request was for a replacement office chair as a wheel has come off the one in the Chaplaincy office. If anyone has a spare one they are not using & would be willing to donate it to the Chaplaincy, then please get in touch. If it needs to be collected from somewhere, I can happily do that.  

Sunday 12th December – Third Sunday of Advent

I am very aware that this coming Sunday will be the last time many of you will be in Church before disappearing over the Christmas period. Therefore you have not one – but two – opportunities to come to Church!

11.00 am Sung Eucharist The Gospel reading is Matthew 11. 2-11 which is once more about John the Baptist who prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. There will be Sunday School led by Diane Tvaroha and Coffee Hour on the third floor of Klimentská 18 following the service.  

6.00 pm – A Service of Nine Lessons & Carols

An opportunity to hear again the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ and join in the singing of traditional Christmas carols. A small choir will also sing a number of familiar pieces from ‘Handel’s Messiah’. This is an excellent service to invite non-worshipping friends and family to. Have you thought who you might invite to come along with you?

H.K. & Carol Sanford have very kindly offered to prepare mulled wine to be served on the third floor of Klimentská 18 following the service. If others could bring a plate/tray of suitable nibbles to accompany the mulled wine, that would be greatly appreciated.

Then in the following week we have on…..

Thursday 16th December – Ethics at Lunchtime – a joint event of the British Chamber of Commerce in the ČR and St. Clement’s Anglican Episcopal Church

Our second lunchtime discussion will take place at the Zinc Restaurant, Hilton Prague Old Town, V Celnici 7, 111 21 Prague on Thursday 16th December beginning at 12:30. The very seasonable topic for discussion will be “Is Christmas too commercial?”

Everyone is welcome but each person will be responsible for paying the Zinc Restaurant for their own lunch (390 CZK per person for a two course set menu including tea/coffee and petit fours). There is also the need to register to attend so we can tell the hotel how many to cater for. You can do this here; http://www.britishchamber.cz/event-detail/polozka:109/

Alternatively, just drop me an email & I’ll add you to the list. This is another opportunity to invite work colleagues to a non-threatening event – a bit of pre-evangelism as someone described it!

And on

Sunday 19th December at 11.00 am – Sung Eucharist for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

There will be Sunday School led by Lyle Frink and Coffee Hour following the service.

“Are you going anywhere for Christmas?” Yes – Sybille & I have already been asked that rather silly question! Whilst many of you do go back to your countries of origin to be with family and friends over the Christmas period, some of you do remain in Prague. And many people travel to Prague to spend Christmas here. Therefore I will celebrate a Midnight Eucharist on Christmas Eve beginning at 11.30 pm. On Christmas Day, there will be a Family Eucharist starting at 11.00 am.

On Sunday 26th December – The Feast of Stephen, there will be a Said Eucharist starting at 11.00 am. Details of all these services are now on our website www.anglican.cz .

I have been asked by your Church Council, to update you on two important matters via this End-of-Week Message.  

Financial Update

In my message sent out on 22nd October 2010, I reported that,

‘Our Treasurer H.K. was able to tell your Church Council last Sunday that, provided our income in October, November & December comes in as anticipated and we incur no unexpected extra expenditure, we are likely to have small surplus of income over expenditure at the year end’.

Despite explaining elsewhere in what I wrote, that this was in good measure due to additional financial support from the Intercontinental Church Society (ICS), some people have assumed that all our financial issues have been solved. Whilst things are more stable than they were, we still have a long way to go. Let me explain a little more.

In recent years, ICS have contributed to roughly 10% of our running costs. In 2010, this will be nearer 25%. ICS would like this to return to 10% by 2012. Their additional funding was to see us through a difficult period but cannot be expected to continue permanently.

Then there is the first proviso in what H.K. said & I reported.

“Provided our income in October, November & December comes in as anticipated”

This projection was based on anticipated income for the last quarter of 2010. Part of that is what people pledged to give earlier in the year, either by standing order, bank transfer or through the dated envelope scheme. If one or more of those pledges fails to materialise in a month, income obviously falls. The other part of the projection is what is likely to come in as ‘cash collection’, Sunday by Sunday. H.K. based her figures on an average of cash collections since April. But this is inevitably an unpredictable figure, often dependant on the number & generosity of visitors. Unfortunately, we had a number of Sundays in October & November when the cash collection was quite low.

As I promised previously, I plan to give a full report to the congregation sometime in January, once we know what the actual end-of-year figures are and set out a budget for 2011. The Church Council when meeting last Sunday, decided to entitle next year as ‘Towards Self-Sufficiency’. We will be seeking to increase our annual income by at least CZK 100,000, preferably by nearer CZK 200,000.

Once more – a big ‘Thank you’ to everyone who gives – but please don’t stop giving!  

Relationship with the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic

At the Annual Church Meeting in April, a promise was made to report back to the congregation by the end of November, about what was being done to address various concerns expressed regarding the outworking of the Covenant with the Old Catholics by which we legally function as the English-speaking parish in Prague of the Old Catholic Church in the ČR. Several related matters are ongoing – I recently wrote a long letter to Bishop Geoffrey, our Anglican Bishop who visited us at the beginning of May this year, which he is currently considering. But I can report on two matters where progress has been made.

Payroll

Since 1st October, using the services of an English-speaking tax accountant Tomáš Paulus, we are now running our own payroll to pay me. This is working extremely well and is also ensuring that we are fully complying with Czech employment, social security and tax law.  

Constitution

At a meeting of the Synod of the Old Catholic Church in the ČR at the end of September, which both Sybille & I attended, a completely new Church constitution was adopted which will come into force on 1st January 2011. We successfully got included a new clause at the end which states.

Touto ústavou nejsou dotčena ustanovení dohody mezi biskupem Starokatolické církve v ČR a anglikánským biskupem z Gibraltaru v Evropě ze dne 17. 9. 2000.

This Constitution shall not affect the provisions of the agreement between the Bishop of the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic and the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe of 17th September 2000.

In other words, what the Covenant signed on 17th September 2000 says about us being able to run ourselves as an Anglican parish according to the rules of the Church of England, is now enshrined in the constitution of the Old Catholic Church in the ČR.

Finally – couple of dates for the New Year

Our first Shared Lunch of 2011 will be on Sunday 16th January. As part of the proceedings that lunchtime, we will invite you to bring any unwanted Christmas presents so that they can be raffled or auctioned to raise money for St. Clements. So please hang on to the perfume that isn’t you or the jumper that doesn’t fit, & bring it to Church on Sunday 16th January.

The Annual Church Meeting is scheduled to be held immediately following worship on Sunday 27th March 2011. Please put that date in your new diary now!

Once more, that is more than enough from me for this week!

Best wishes

Ricky