THE VCC VOICE

 

22nd July 2018

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FEBRUARY EDITION

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 “A soul arms itself by prayer for all kinds of combat. In whatever state the soul may be, it ought to pray. A soul which is pure and beautiful must pray, or else it will lose its beauty; a soul which is striving after this purity must pray, or else it will never attain it; a soul which is newly converted must pray, or else it will fall again; a sinful soul, plunged in sins, must pray so that it might rise again. There is no soul which is not bound to pray, for every single grace comes to the soul through prayer.” 

St. Faustina

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From the Pastor's Desk...

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The Blank Check

Dear Friends, 

We are no longer a church that is trying to survive and maintain its membership, but with the help of God, we have become a growing, flourishing and attractive congregation in Vienna! We are regularly visited by many English speaking friends and families and we frequently welcome new members as well! Our Sunday School is growing so rapidly that we have needed to start a second class for our older children. Our Music Ministry now includes a sparkling Praise Band and an expanding Choir! Our Prayer Chain is actively keeping all of us and our families in its prayers. Most recently we reached a Sunday worship attendance of over 100 people!  

What is this if not a miracle? God is great, God is good and “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) The majority of our members want to see our congregation grow, are happy with what we do as we set new goals and new priorities to help the church get to where God wants us to be. “Soli Deo Gloria!”   

However if we want to continue our godly progress, we recognize that it is vital for us to unite for one faithful goal: to give the Lord a “blank check” for our future! There is a wonderful time waiting for us if we all stay together, serve together and strongly believe in the power of the Holy Spirit!

Yes, we would like to sign this humanly unfair-looking contract with God and give Him back the power, obey His will; giving up our own power, our own territory, our own comfort zone, our ideas, plans, dreams, imaginations about the church, our decisions, our own importance and pretty much everything in order to have God on our side!  This is our new contract, this is our “blank check” to the Lord! 

Some people have to have everything figured out before they will step into a new situation or a new contract with somebody else. They have to know every detail, have every base covered, have the whole thing mapped out. But God doesn’t operate that way.  

In 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 we read: “However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ -the things God has prepared for those who love him - these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

Do we want God to take care of us? A new future has already been given to us with the purpose of spreading the good news in the city of Vienna, helping those who are in need, and moving together into a new direction! I believe that with God’s help we can enter into this new life and see what the Lord has prepared and done for us.  

All that we have to do is to believe in Him, obey Him, love Him and each other and keep the “blank check” ready that we have already signed with Him!  

Thank you all of your faithfulness and loving care for the Vienna Community Church and please keep our church in your constant prayers as we move forward under the protection of God!

 

Blessings, 

Pastor Gábor

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Capturing the Moment

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December and January Highlights!

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For December highlights, follow the link:

http://viennacommunitychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Feb-2018-Voice-4.pdf

 

Photos are courtesy of: Maurine Mellinger, Mickela Moore and Rainer Zimmermann

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January Highlights

For January Highlights, follow the link: 

 http://viennacommunitychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/February-2018-Voice-2.pdf

Photos are 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 March.. For information about the upcoming Women's Ministry, please see What's Coming Up in the March 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!

Please check What's Coming Up? for more details.   

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 Prayer Chain takes place this coming Sunday - 4 February 2018 - 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+

MONDAY FEBRUARY 5th at 7 pm

BIBLE+ Hosted by Dr. David Nolland

Maximus the Confessor: A Study in Byzantine Christology

Divine or human, one nature or two? The theology of Christ’s person remains of vital importance in theology, but in medieval Byzantium it was a question of literal life and death, of high political intrigue and high-stakes investment. We will attempt to unravel some of the labyrinthine concepts on the strength of which people like Maximus were variously catapulted to the highest positions in the Empire, tortured and banished, martyred and canonised.

Coming up:

SUNDAY MARCH 11th at 4pm

BIBLE+ special with Anne Peschek and David's Daughters

HEAR MY PRAYER - a Bible Study and concert of the music of King David

Vienna 1140  Jakschgasse 12

David’s Daughters: Charlotte Lowery-Mayr, soprano harp; Anne–Rothgeb Peschek, soprano harp; Martina Peschek, mezzo-soprano recorder

Please RSVP in advance for this special event with David: +43 6776 191 7794 or davidnolland@cantab.net

Also coming up: another chance to participate in David Corcoran's outstanding Bible reading workshop - stay posted for further details!

 

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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 Culture Evening

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CMAF Film Night

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Women's Ministry

The next Women's Ministry will take place in March 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

Information about the February lunch will follow in due course or you can contact Nita Schimscha  for details.

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Adult Bible Study

The next Adult Bible Study takes place on Monday, 26 February 2018 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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New Members

New member profiles left to right:

Edson DORNELES DE ANDRADE: is Brazilian, a PhD student in Anthropology at Vienna University and  he teaches at the Vienna International School

He expects to be in Vienna for 5 years

He is interested in serving the Vienna Community Church:  by teaching, supporting, praying

He enjoys community life.

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Katrin KARSCHAT:  is German, she is Project Manager in “Naturefriends International / ECPAT”

She expects to stay in Vienna “Hopefully for a while : )”

She is interested in continuing to serve the Vienna Community Church:  in the College & Career Group.

She writes:  “I am originally from Germany, spent some time abroad and came to Vienna about two years ago to finish my studies.  Found a job and got to stay.

The VCC and especially the C&C Group have become such a great group of friends, who support each other and celebrate many great things together.”

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Liane and Claudio Ferreiraare from Brazil, US

They are interested in serving the Vienna Community Church:  Liane in Sunday School, Claudio in Choir

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Savannah SCOTT: is American and a scientist

She expects to stay in Vienna until July 1, 2018 (maybe longer)

She is interested in serving the Vienna Community Church in the Choir, Sunday School, and coordinating events.

She writes:  “Hello! I’m Savannah. I’m 22 years old, I just finished my Bachelor’s, and I am in Vienna on a Fulbright research scholarship. I was born and raised in Huntington, NY, but I studied at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. Currently I am living in the 14th district and working/taking classes at TU Technical University Wien.

I found VCC about a month and a half ago, and I immediately felt welcomed. I had a wonderful time working with Anne Storey to coordinate the Thanksgiving buffet and that afternoon has been a huge highlight in my stay so far. I have also been singing in the choir. I love the atmosphere of the church, the community, and the message. VCC was the first place in Vienna where I really felt at home.”

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College & Career Group December-January Highlights

Christmas Dinner and Send Away for Ethan.

January Biblle Study

Photo: Courtesy of Bernhard Bair

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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!

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VCC Board 

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VCC Board Update February 2018

Dear VCC Friends,

The highlight on Sunday 3 December was the Christmas pageant. It was a wonderful event with participation from all the children, the VCC Choir and the Praise Band. Thanks are due to all who organized and participated in the event and made it a success.
On Saturday 16 December, we had our Annual Christmas Potluck and carol singing at the Meeting Point. It was again an event that highlighted the fellowship aspect of our Church life, of sharing a meal and remembering the birth of Christ. It was an enjoyable and memorable event.
On Sunday 31 December, Rev. Elisabeth Kluge conducted the service and the
Baptism of Reshan Rahman. Reshan parents, Suneesha and Robi Rahman, were accompanied by many of their relatives and friends. Suneesha fondly remembered her own Baptism at the VCC back in 1984.
Let me avail myself of this opportunity to wish you all the best for 2018.

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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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

January and February Born! 

Happy Birthday

              

 "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, their family members and friends who are in need of healing. 

Please keep Pastor Lowell Karnes and his wife, Svetlana, in your prayers as they recover from a serious car accident. As many of you remember, Pastor Karnes served as interim pastor at the VCC on several occasions, making a recent visit in September 2017 during Homecoming.

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Condolences

In the last two months, some of the VCC family suffered losses in their family: Jay Norden passed away in early January, Francesca Lim lost her brother in a hiking accident, and Sonja Botha's mother-in-law passed away in late January. Please pray for their families.

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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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Concert in Host Church

The American ensemble Duo Sureño will present a concert of contemporary works by American composers on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at the Reformierte Stadtkirche, Dorotheergasse 16, at 7:30 pm.  Soprano Nancy King and guitarist Robert Nathanson have been performing together since 1999, have toured throughout the United States and Europe and share a passion for the commissioning, recording and performing of new music.  Included in the program will be the world premiere of Open the River by Andrew York along with works by William Bolcom, Jing Jing Luo, and Jeffrey Van.  Joining the duo will be guest artists Helmut Jasbar, guitar, Livia Sellin, violin, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington Chamber Choir, led by conductor Joe Hickman.  In March of 2018 Duo Sureño will release Waking the Sparrows, a CD recording of all new music on the Ravello Recording label.  Several pieces included on the CD will be performed in their concert on Saturday evening.   

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History of St. Valentine's Day

THE LEGEND OF ST. VALENTINE

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the   Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

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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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Urban Living

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Ball Season

There is probably no other country in the world that has a ball tradtion like Vienna. For information about the ball season, follow this link:

https://www.wien.info/en/music-stage-shows/dance/ball-season

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Christmas Window in Vienna

Photos: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

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This too is Vienna!

Photo: Courtesy of Mickela Moore

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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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