12th December 2017

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DECEMBER EDITION

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God grant you the light of Christmas,
which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas,
which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas,
which is justice;
the belief in Christmas,
which is truth;
the all of Christmas,
which is Christ

Wilda English

Photo: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann (Creche at Michaela Kirche)

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From the Pastor's Desk...

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What Does Christmas Mean?

Dear Church Family,

 What is Christmas? Wrapping the answer into a simple and up to date context: it is a birthday party! A birthday party for Jesus! And like every person whose birthday is celebrated, Jesus’ birthday meant to be celebrated!  

 Preparing for this kind of Christmas celebration can be a lot of work, especially for families with children and for moms. There is many things to do and accomplish before the big day and we are not exempt from it. We are around the town buying gifts, sending greeting cards, decorating our homes, cooking and cleaning up afterward. Do we actually enjoy the meaning of Christmas?  

 Who is this guy whom we celebrate? Just asking, because out there we have Santa Claus, Rudolph, angels, a baby boy, and who knows what else based on our cultural backgrounds. Unfortunately, Jesus is barely mentioned, although He is the reason for the season! 

 Then what do we celebrate? Making it through another year? Being home with family? A big Christmas bonus from our job? All the shopping opportunities? Or are we not celebrating anything but just trying to survive?

 If we are ready to allow God to move our hearts, we can easily see what the purpose of Christmas is! God has wonderful news for the world and for all of us today! That good news is really a reason for us all to rejoice and celebrate!  

 The good news of Christmas is worth celebrating for three reasons.

 1. First, it is personal! Let us open our Holy Bible for guidance in this matter. Luke 2:10-11 tells us by an angel: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” 

 The angel declared: "I bring you good news.” It is positive and inspiring. It is for you and for me and for everybody! In God’s eyes it does not matter who we are, what we've done, where we've been, or where we’re going - this news is undeniably for all of us!   

 2. Secondly, it is about love! Christmas is a time to celebrate that God loves us! The “center of the Bible” as we theologians call it, is John 3:16 “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” It is Jesus’ explanation of why God sent him to the Earth. We call it “incarnation” meaning embodiment. 

 For us, the reason for Christmas is that God loves us so much that He came to earth as a human so that we could all get to know Him and learn to trust Him and love Him back. 

 3. Thirdly, it is about joy! Our capacity for joy is the evidence of God's love for us. The Bible says in Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 

 God could have made the world for us tasteless, colorless, and silent. However, He did not! He also created us so graciously. Every one of us is an original creation, a loved individual, a person who is known by our name. God enjoys watching the world and us. He want us to be happy, content and joyful every day! He wants to provide us “everything for our enjoyment.” 

 The baby born in Bethlehem did not stay a baby. He crushes the picture on the wall that He is just a helpless newborn in His mother's arms. If Jesus had never grown up to do what He did, He would have no power to transform our lives for the better! He paid for every sin we ever committed  by dying on a cross for all of us. This is the Good News!

 When next time we see a Christmas picture about a baby, remember Jesus with outstretched arms on the cross! Remember, Him saying to us: "I love you this much!”

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Gábor

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Capturing the Moment

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November Highlights!

5 November 2017

Above: Anne Peschek, who has been a VCC member for over 40 years, is joined by her daughter, Martina, and her cousin, Carol Bell, from Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. Below: Former VCC member in the late 1960's, Alice Prewett, returned for a visit with her son Scott, daughter Sherri and son-in-law Mark! Alice was also a choir member and sang with the choir on this Sunday. VCC's Moderator, George Philip, presents Alice with the book: The Vienna Community Church, International Ecumenical Life in Vienna written by VCC members Heinz and Louise Pickart.  

Photos: Courtesy of Maurine Mellinger and Anne Storey

 

12 November 2017

Above: Special music sung by Chanda Rule-Bernroider; Below: The VCC Choir lead by Cassandra McConnell.

Photos: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

19 November 2017

Above: Dainis Michel leading the VCC Praise Band in "Take My Life";  Below: flowers donated by VCC member and  Board Clerk, Maria Ciliberti 

Photos: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

International Buffet held at the VCC Meeting Point after the 19 November Service

The Second of the International Buffett series commemorating the American Thanksgiving, which falls on the penultimate Thursday of November. 

Photos: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

Lighting the Candle on communion Sunday

26 November 2017

Above: Young volunteers lighting the Advent Candle and little flower, Isabella sitting next to the flowers donated by her parents, Bettina and Euripedes; 

Special Music sung by VCC Member and former Choir Director, Soprano Sandra Nel and accompanied by guitarist, Francis Montocchio performing "Mary, did you know?" Many of you may remember that Sandra organised an evening concert last October at the VCC, in which she, together with Tersia Potgieter, premiered their newly released  Being Loved CD. Sandra donated 1/2 of the proceeds to the VCC. Sandra has recently performed at the third Herbstemotion Benefit Concert in Aachen, Germany, which raised funds for the Aachen Hospice Trust.

Photo: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

Above: Marlene Sippl, Souwanit Sonnbicher and Mary Geissler adorning the entrance!

Photo: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

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Faith, Fellowship & Music

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Sunday School

Sunday School and nursery care follows the Children's Sermon every Sunday, except Communion Sunday.If you are a parent and would like to volunteer, or have any questions about teaching the Sunday School or assisting with the nursery care, please contact the Christian Education Chair, Linda Bednar: christianeducation@viennacommunitychurch.com

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Daily Devotion Link

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Prayer Group

 

For where two or three gathered in my name, there am I with them” 

Our Prayer Group has started as we seek God’s vision, guidance and will for our church and also to become more dependent on Him in our individual and family lives, respectively. We would like to keep in our prayers those who are sick, suffering, hospitalized or have spiritual needs and requests for God. See What's Coming Up below for the next gathering. Please contact the Prayer Group for further information. We are very much looking forward to having you with us.

Pastor Gábor

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The Adult Bible Study meets on the last Monday of each month at 7pm, and is currently looking at Romans.

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Bible+ is usually held on the first Monday of every month and explores themes of Chrisitianity and how it impacts and relates to Christians living in contemporary times. The Host is Dr. David Nolland. For information on the January Bible+, please see What's Coming Up? below. 

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Film Night is held every month under the auspices of the VCC Circle of Film, Art & Music, hosted by VCC members Maurine Mellinger and Mickela Moore. Film Night, and features arthouse and thought-provoking films. For details on our next film, see What's Coming Up? below.

If you are a film buff and would like to help out, please contact Maurine.

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VCC College & Career Group

The  College & Career Group meets up at the VCC Meeting Point every Thursday evening at 7PM. Join us for dinner and Bible study - free from formality. Fun, discussions and fellowship!

You can contact either one or both of the Hosts: Francesca or Katrin, for more details.

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Women's Ministry

The Women's Ministry, held on a monthly basis at the VCC Meeting Point, is hosted by Marie-Thérèse Hartwig, and explores themes about women in the Bible. The next Women's Ministry will be held in January 2018. For information about the upcoming Women's Ministry, please see What's Coming Up in the January edition of the Voice.

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Let's Do Lunch

Welcome to our autumn lunches on the last Friday of each month!

Should you wish to be on the mailing list please let me know on: nd.schimscha@aon.at or 0686 2120 896. Don't forget to give me your details so that you can be easily contacted!

The next Let's Do Lunch will be  in January 2018..  

Nita

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Praise Band

VCC's PRAISE BAND ministry is to expand our already existing wonderful and outstanding church choir and music with music that speaks to younger generations. Psalm 96:1 commands us: Sing to the Lord a new song;sing to the Lord, all the earth. If this is your calling at the VCC, then please contact Pastor Gábor!  

Photo: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann 

 

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VCC Choir

VCC Choir Sings

The VCC Choir which rehearses every Sunday in the choir loft starting from 11:15. If you would like to join the VCC Choir or know of a musician or singer who would like to guest with us, please contact Choir Director, Cassandra McConnelll or Music Chair, Keri Johnston.

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WHAT'S COMING UP?

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Prayer Group

The Prayer Group has chosen a topic for each day's prayer as follows:

Monday:      Pastor
Tuesday:     Leadership
Wednesday: Membership
Thursday:    Music and Choir/Band
Friday:        Church Programs
Saturday:    Outreach
Sunday:      International - those who are persecuted

Our next monthly meeting takes place this coming Sunday - 3 December 2017 - at the VCC Meeting Point at 2PM/14:00. In the intervening time, all requests and communication should be sent to: prayer@viennacommunitychurch.com

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Bible+

The next Bible+ will be on Tuesday January 9th at 7pm at the Meeting Point. Please note that the December meeting has been cancelled.

Bible+ 9 January 2018 - Faith and the Enlightenment

The Enlightenment was a period of dramatic transition away from absolute authority and fixed dogma to individual liberty, religious tolerance, and scientific progress. Reason began to replace “blind” faith, the individual to replace the community. What was gained and what lost in this transformation? You are invited to a coffeeshop meeting of some of the most important 17th and 18th century protagonists to discuss these developments.

 

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College & Career Group

The weekly Thursday meetings of the College & Career Group alternate between Bible Study and a relaxed meal together or other planned activity.

Photos: Courtesy of Katrin Karshat

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CMAF Film Night

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VCC Christmas Potluck

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Women's Ministry

The next Women's Ministry will take place in January 2018  at the Meeting Point. Watch out for more details in the next edition of the VCC Voice.

Marie-Thérèse Hartwig

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Let's Do Lunch

The November Let's Do Lunch took place on Friday, 25 November 2017.

Details of future meetings will follow in due course. Please contact Nita Schimscha for details.

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Adult Bible Study

The next Adult Bible Study takes place on Monday, 18 December 2017 at 7pm the VCC Meeting Point and continues with the study of the Book of Romans.

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VCC News & More

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Motto for the 2017 - 2018 Church Year 

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Show Your Appreciation!

If you appreciate someone who has done something special for you or the VCC,or touched you in some way, please take the time to say THANK YOU!

Fellowship Chair, Anne Storey, would like to extend her most heartfelt thanks to all who made the 19 November 2017 International Buffet successful: Special thanks go to Maurine Mellinger, whose major contributions included not only a turkey and several other dishes but also plenty of energy and good ideas. And kudos to  Linda Bednar for turkey breasts and a whole range of baked goods. Savannah Scott jumped in right from the beginning and helped throughout. And what would we have done without Sheila Philip's expertise and organisational skills. But many thanks are also due to all the numerous other friends who generously contributed delicious dishes and helped in absolutely every way.

Property Chair, Mickela Moore, would like to thank Rick Sue for repairs made at the VCC Meeting Point and to the College and Career Group for raising the funds to purchase a new computer at the Meeting Point and an especially BIG THANKS  to Bernhard Bair for setting everything up.

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Bible+ Highlights

The 7 November Bible+ was an interactive workshop in which Choir member and Personal Development Consultant, David Corcoran, gave tips on delivering a well read Scripture reading that gets across the message. The Editors consider it a must for those wishing to hone their speaking skills. If you would like to know a bit more about what we did, please follow these links 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_jHNitYvy43JoF1xtwTjQrD9q632cWm2

http://viennacommunitychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Reading-Aloud-in-a-Church-Setting.docx 

Photos: Courtesy of Mickela Moore

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College & Career Group Highlights

Thanksgiving Dinner held by the College & Career Group at the VCC Meeting Point

Photo: Courtesy of Katrin Karschat

For the fruit of vine and tree
For the bounty of the earth
For the produce grown in dirt
For those whose hands make it food
We give thanks.
 
Poem and photo by Sheila E Philip
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Wienerwald Kammerensemble Advent Concert

 

Wienerwald Kammerensemble Advent Concert

The Wienerwald Kammerensemble  Advent Concert, under the direction of VCC and choir member, Anne Rothgeb-Peschek, was  held on Thursday, 30 November at the Fuhrmannhaus Festival Hall in the 14th District. 

 

 

 

Performing were:

Anne Peschek                                    VCC Choir member

Susanne Erner-Feiertag                     Soprano (VCC choir member)

Martina Peschek                                Mezzosopran (has guested at the VCC)

Helmut Pohorec                                 Bass

Special guest Richard Fuller             World renown Forte pianist

 

 

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VCC Board 

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VCC Board Update December 2017

Dear VCC Friends,


On Sunday 12 November, immediately following the worship service, we had our
autumn/fall congregational meeting. The primary purpose of this meeting was the
approval of the budget for 2018 and the appointment of the auditors to review the
finances for 2017. Both items were approved unanimously.
On Sunday 19 November, we had a North American Buffet at the Meeting Point during the Fellowship hour. This was the second in a series of international buffets. In keeping with the tradition of Thanksgiving, this buffet was based on variations of turkey as the main item, together with the appropriate accompaniments. It was again a wonderful event that highlighted the fellowship aspect of our Church life and of sharing a meal. Thanks again to all the ladies (and gentlemen), who contributed in terms of time, talent and resources towards making this event a success.

George Philip, Moderator

Photo: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

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VCC Board 2017-2018

Please pray that God guides the VCC Board in making the decisions that grow our church in the direction that God wants the VCC to go.

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MEETING POINT

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No less that 3 Thanksgiving dinners and 24 other events or meetings were held at the VCC Meeting Point in November. Many of us cannot imagine the VCC without the VCC Meeting Point! Many thanks to Rick Sue for making a much needed repair ahead of the Fellowship Thanksgiving Lunch held at the Meeting Point on 19 November.

Mickela Moore, Property Chair

With the initiative of the College and Career Group and the hard work of Bernhard Bair, the VCC Meeting Point now has a modern computer and software available for all to use.

Organising Meetings or Events

VCC has an attractive and functional location to organise meetings and events. If you would like to organise a meeting or fellowshop event in the VCC Meeting Point for a one off or a regular event, such as an exhibition, jewellry show, exercise class, or rent it for a personal event, for example, a birthday party, meeting, etc... please contact me on: property@viennacommunitychurch.com.  You can pick up brochures with rental information at the VCC Meeting Point.  

Mickela Moore, Property Chair

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AFCU VCC TEAM

Left to right  AFCU/ VCC Capital Funding team members: Rev. Jack Hustad, Katie (Kathryn) Koob, Helen Hustad, Walt Deitrich, Masa Matasushita, VCC S&F Chair; and Rev. Dr. Jim Wiberg. Not shown are: Luray Wiberg and Pat Deitrich.

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Happy Birthday & Blessings to the

December Born! 

Happy Birthday

              

BERNROIDER Kite      

GEISSLER  Mary     

STOREY Anne   

XIN  Yue/Cindy              

BEDNAR  Kurt      

 

 

 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

Jeramiah 29:11

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Speedy Recovery

For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds," says the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:17)

Pray for all those in our congregation or their family members who are in need of healing. 

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Become Part of the VCC Family!

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Are you Interested in becoming  part of our international, inter-denominational, VCC family? For more information, please contact the Membership Chair, Sita Weinrich, on: membership@viennacommunitychurch.com

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Austro-American Society Events

Please check the programme by following this link: http://www.oag.mov.at/en/content/home

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Christmas in Vienna

If you are new to Viienna and would like to have an overview of the Christmas traditions and events in English, please follow this link: http://www.visitingvienna.com/entertainment/christmas-in-vienna/

INSIDER TIP!

A-cappella-Adventkonzert

Friday,15. December 2017 at 19:30  - Peterskirche, 1, Am Graben

Saturday,16 December 2017 at  16:30 - Pallottikirche, 13, Auhofstr. 10

Sunday, 17 December 2017 at 16:00 - Schubertkirche, 9, Marktgasse 40

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Urban Living

Sunset in front of the Great Basin/Big Pond at the Belvedere Palace in the 4th District. Below: Commemorating All Saints' Day is the tomb located at the famous Central Cematery where all Austrian Federal  Presidents since 1945 are buried

Photos: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

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Supporting the VCC

The VCC has been a self-funded Church since its founding in 1957.  All donations help support our ministry and we thank you for each one. You can contribute to the General Fund or the Capital Fund that will assist in paying off the loans to purchase the VCC Meeting Point.

To make a bank transfer:

IBAN: AT 082 011 128 753 849 700  BIC: GIBAATWWXXX

US Taxpayers may make a tax deductible donation to the VCC by either writing a check out to the American & Foreign Christian Union (AFCU) with VCC General Fund or VCC Capital Funding Appeal on the Memo line and place it in the offering basket, or alternatively, write the check to the AFCU and send to the AFCU Treasurer, 2885 Sanford Ave, SW #29934, Grandville, MI 49418, U.S.A.. You can also make a donation over the AFCU online platform.

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Submissions & Editorial Guidelines 

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Editorial

We would like our readers to look forward to reading the VCC Voice every month and to feel informed and enlightened.  If you have any comments or something special that you would like to share, please send your submission to: 

 voice-editor@viennacommunitychurch.com

Deadline: 25th of every month, together with your contact details in case we have to clarify something with you. Font size should be Arial 12 point. Photos should be preferably landscape and sized to 680 x 360.  Please provide a descriptive  title for the photographs, including name(s), occasion and date. 

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