THE VCC VOICE

 

16th August 2018

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JULY/AUGUST EDITION

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Photo: Courtesy of the American Church in Berlin

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What's in the July/August Edition?

From the Pastor's Desk

June Highlights in Pictures

Tour of the Imperial Pavilion

Brain Food-Holiday Reading List

Summer in Vienna

Moderator's Summer Message

 

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From the Pastor's Desk

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Capturing the Moment

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June Highlights!

Guest Pastor, Aileen Hackl on 3 June 2018, with the Sunday School children

VCC Choir sings acappella

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For June highlights, follow this link:

http://viennacommunitychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/July-VCC-Voice-June-Highlights.pdf

Photos: 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. Details of the new topic will be posted soon.

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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.

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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. We are taking a summer break. Our Film Night schedule for 2018-2019 will be in the September Voice. For details on our next film starting in the Autumn, see What's Coming Up? in the September Voice.

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

Stay posted for the new Women's Morning Ministry, details of which will be forthcoming soon.

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Let's Do Lunch

Welcome to our 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 0680 2120 896. Don't forget to give me your details so that you can be easily contacted!

As you all know we need our generous hosts each month so maybe you could consider signing up with me and share a month this or even next year?

There will be on-going luncheons for the summer months so should you wish to be informed please keep in touch with me. 

Best wishes to you all.

Nita Schimscha; Co-ordinator

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Please check What's Coming Up or the VCC website? for more details.   

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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 or Praise Band Director, Chanda Rule-Bernroider!  

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, Maurine Mellinger-Deroy.

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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

The next monthly Prayer Chain takes place on 3 June 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+ will recommence in September!

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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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Film Night will recommence in September

We have a wonderful roster of films coming up for 2018-2019. Stay tuned for the Autumn schedule which will appear in the September Voice!

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Women's Ministry will reboot in the Autumn

A new format is planned for the Women's Ministry. Please check the Sunday Bulletins or VCC website for the next Women's Ministry at the Meeting Point. 

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Adult Bible Study recommences in the Autumn

Adult Bible Study on the Book of Romans is completed. Watch out for details on the next cycle of Adult Bible Study.

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Ladies Who Lunch Summer Schedule

Ladies Who Lunch will continue throughout the summer according to participants' availability. The Coordinator, Nita Schimscha, will be in touch

SAVE THE DATE! The last  Friday of each month

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VCC News & More

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Vienna in the Summer

From learning German free of charge in parks around Vienna, free concerts, outdoor arthouse films, and exploring the vineyards to swimming in many of Vienna's wonderful public pools or open air lakes and ponds, there is something for everyone in this beautiful metropol. If you would like an overview of summer activities in Vienna, follow this link:

https://www.wien.gv.at/english/

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Summer Reading List Suggestions

 

If you know me at all, you know I have a lifelong love affair with books and reading. In addition to reading them, I love to look at books, talk about books, shop for books. Reading is my chief hobby and source of relaxation, but it is also a spiritual discipline. I read in order to listen for God’s presence, to learn the wisdom of the Spirit, and to be shaped by the way of Jesus.


As summer approaches, I leapt at the opportunity to offer up some book recommendations for AICEME pastors. The non-fiction books are all on my summer reading list, the fiction and alternative choices are ones I’ve already read and can recommend wholeheartedly.
I’d be glad to hear from you about what you are reading and what you recommend as well. Happy Reading!

Biblical Studies
Paul: A Biography by Tom Wright (SPCK Publishing, 2018, 480 pp.)
I returned from our trip to Greece fired up to preach about Paul, and discovered this brand new volume. Wright draws on his considerable scholarly background to write a journalism-style biography of the apostle Paul, with much attention to his historical situation as well as his letters. As of this writing, I am about halfway through the book. Like a preacher, Wright takes informed creative license to imagine Paul and his world, which offers a good and accessible read. I recommend it hand-in-hand with more traditional scholarship, as I know each description he offers would be disputed by someone else. It is still a fascinating and humanizing portrayal of Paul.

Alternative: If you aren’t up for 480 pages, Paul: A Very Brief Introduction(SPCK Publishing, 2017) by John M.G. Barclay does an excellent job of summarizing the basics, including the uses of Paul by later thinkers (Augustine, Luther), in only 88 pages.
 
Church Leadership
Sharing Good News: Handbook on Evangelism in Europe edited by Gerrit Noort, Kyriaki Avtzi and Stefan Paas (World Council of Churches Publications, 2017, 342 pp.)
In the U.S., there are always new and helpful books about people’s changing religiosity, the rise of those with no religious affiliation, and how the church might respond. This book looks at those same questions from the perspective of European church leaders in historic traditions who are passionate about evangelism. The book is divided into four parts, examining the historic and present situation, theological perspectives, current practices and case studies, and the turn toward a missional church identity. I am hopeful to learn more about the context of ministry and evangelism here, and gain insights for my own church’s evangelism work. (If anyone is interested, I would love to host an online discussion about this book.)

Alternative: If you’ve never read Almost Christian (Oxford University Press, 2010) by Kenda Creasy Dean, I can’t recommend it enough. The concept of Moral Therapeutic Deism as the American religion, in contrast to Christanity, is incredibly insightful, especially in understanding the meaning of faith and church for the American members of my church in London.
 
Secular Non-Fiction
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker (Portfolio Penguin, 2018, 320 pp.)
This book claims to point out why some meetings engage us deeply and some do not, then offer guidance about how to make our gatherings more powerful and profound. As church leaders, we hope all our worship services, events and meetings will move people. Perhaps this book will tell us what we already know about how to do that—or perhaps it will reveal why we are not. Either way, Parker and her book are making the rounds of Oprah, TED and the rest, so we should be prepared to talk about it.

Alternative: Brene Brown’s latest, Braving the Wilderness (Vermillion, 2017), claims a similar place. She discusses the meaning of true belonging and the source of courage to stand up for what is right. Both virtues are important topics in Christian life, though she approaches them as a social scientist.
 
Memoir
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown (Convergent, 2018, 192 pp.)
Austin Channing Brown’s book comes highly recommended as a provocative, truth-telling account of growing up black in America, especially within (white) Evangelical circles. Brown tells the story of how she came to love her own blackness, against the racial prejudice surrounding her, even and especially among those who called themselves Christians. As a white woman, I expect this book will challenge and expose my own prejudice and ignorance, so I can repent and learn to do better as both a person and a pastor.
 
Fiction
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013, 477 pp.)
This is one of the best books I have read in recent years. It is an epic love story spanning decades and continents, yet also an incisive political commentary on race, culture, exile, immigration and home—all of which influence our work in international and “third culture” ministry. Ifemelu and Obinze meet and fall in love in secondary school in Nigeria. Life carries them separately to the United States and London, and they are each changed by these other cultures. To be an “Americanah” is to be a Nigerian that has spent so much time abroad that they no longer fit well in Nigeria. We and our congregation members can relate. Adichie is a beautiful writer, this book is magnificent and challenging.

Silence by Shusaku Endo (Picador, English Translation 1969, 267 pp.)
On the surface, Silence is a story about the secret Christian missions to Japan in the early 17th century, and the Japanese Christians that survived persecution. On a deeper level, it is about what it means to profess your faith versus live its values, and what courage and faithfulness looks like when those two things collide. The novel humbles those of us who would enter a foreign culture assuming we know what’s best, confronts us with the cost of our own silence, and probes God’s silence in the face of suffering. Again, it is beautiful prose, even in translation, and touches many of the issues we live with in international ministry.

Courtesy of:  Pastor Jennifer Mills-Knutsen, Senior Pastor at the American International Church in London

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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!

Special thanks to Keri and Tim Johnston for donating many items to the VCC for use in either the Meeting Point or Manse. 

Thank you many times over to Linda Bednar for purchasing foldable tables for the Meeting Point. We now have unform tables for events.

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VCC Board 

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Summer Message 

Dear VCC Members and Friends, 

Our Church is about relationships - our relationship with God and with each other. Pastor Karnes, who has served as an interim pastor at the VCC on several occasions wrote some wonderful words about relationships, which I would like to share:

"Life is a gift without strings from God. We are built to be in relationships. We each connect in our unique ways with different personalities and relational styles but we share in common that need for connection. We need closeness. We need to be accepted and understood. Remember when a friend cared and listened to you about a hurt inflicted on you? You began to feel the healing of that wound and change began to happen in the loving presence of another.

You received a phone call on a day that was special. It was your graduation day or the first morning in your new job. The day you were moving your Mom into a hospice and as you were about to leave the house, a friend called to let you know she was thinking of you. And yes, she’d be home later if you felt like calling.

We are built to be in community. Our lives are completed by relationships. How we see ourselves and others comes from within. Those we love and care for are ever present in our quest of purpose, fulfillment and joy in our day to day lives.

Jesus highlighted the importance of relationships in this way: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them”. We know what He means. We have been there. There are sacred moments as we gather one with another. Relationships lasting or passing, for a life time or a season,  they are precious, all gifts from God!

With the even presence of our Lord let the journey continue,"

Have a wonderful summer and safe travels for those on the road!

Mickela Moore, Moderator

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VCC Board & Fellowship Coordinator 2018-2019

For more information about the VCC Board and Fellowship Coordinator, follow this link:

http://viennacommunitychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-2019-Board-Profile-2.pdf

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MEETING POINT

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Supplies

We hold many fellowship events at the Meeting Point. I would like to thank all of you who donate snacks and drinks to the Meeting Point. We are always in need of toilet paper, paper towels, and beverages (juice and water). Your donations are appreciated.

Euripides Ribeiro, Property Chair

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.  

Euripides Ribeiro, Property Chair

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Letter from the Alumni Coordinator of the Vienna Community Church (VCC)

I would like to introduce myself to you:  My name is Sita Weinrich, and I am the VCC Membership Committee Chair and now also Alumni Coordinator of the VCC.  My role as Alumni Coordinator is to strengthen the relationship between VCC and its alumni members.

I cordially invite VCC alumni members to continue sharing information after they have left Vienna about the impact the VCC has had on their lives, either by writing to me, or the Editor of the VCC Voice (this is the monthly online VCC  newsletter), or to the AFCU Bridge.

In turn, I will keep VCC alumni directly  informed of VCC activities through the VOICE and AFCU Bridge.  I would welcome any suggestions from you as to what you would love to read about!

Sending you many greetings from Vienna,

Blessings,

Sita, Membership Chair and Alumni Co-ordinator

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AFCU VCC TEAM

The attached photo was taken in the garden of Ken Rislov, the host of the AFCU meeting in Tucson. From the left, Ken Rislov, myself, Kate Koob, Helen and Rev. Jack Hustad, Pat and Walt Deitrich. Rev. James and Luray Wiberg  were unable to attend. 

Report from AFCU Annual and Development Meeting in Tucson, Arizona

As the then Stewardship and Finance Committee Chair, I attended the American and Foreign Christian Union (AFCU)’s bi-annual meeting in Tucson, Arizona on13-14 April 2018, almost a year since VCC hosted the AFCU’s annual meeting in Vienna. The AFCU meeting normally takes place in the United States biannually (annual meeting in spring and development meeting in both spring and autumn), but every other year it goes out to one of the three churches in Europe, i.e. VCC, American Church in Paris (ACP) and American Church in Berlin (ACB).

During the one-year period from the last annual meeting to the present, by God’s grace and blessing VCC has made vibrant changes in terms of the numbers in the congregation, variety of outreach programmes, the final year of the capital funding appeal, a substantial increase in monthly giving to stabilize the regular budget. I reported those changes and developments in my presentation. I also briefed the AFCU about how the Presbyterium requirement of  the 2005 Recognition Agreement impacted VCC's members and informed them that a Special Congregational Informational meeting would be taking place on Sunday, 15 April. 

One month after the AFCU meeting in mid-May, AFCU transferred its grants to the VCC bank account in Vienna for the regular budget and the capital funding for the year 2018. The total amount of the grants was Euro 35,000, and the distribution between the two funds will be clarified shortly.

Masa Matsushita, Treasurer

 

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AFCU BRIDGE

If you would like to read the AFCU Bridge Spring Newsletter, please follow this link:

http://viennacommunitychurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Spring-2018-Bridge.pdf

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Happy Birthday & Blessings to the

July and August 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. 

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Condolences

Please continue to pray for those members who have lost beloved family or friends. 

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Become Part of the VCC Family!

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

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Voting in U.S. Elections

Those eligible to vote in US elections are aware that mid-term elections are coming up in November of this year.  Voting registration has become much easier for US citizens residing overseas, primarily with the assistance of the excellent website "Votefrom Abroad".  And for the VCC community, there is a member experienced in assisting first-time overseas voters with any questions they may have. This assistance is provided on a non-partisan basis.
 
Note:  Even if you have voted from overseas in previous elections, a new registration may be necessary, as not all states automatically send ballots.
 
For further information, please contact:
 
Anne Storey          
Tel: 0699 - 1198 6260    
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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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She Rises! 

Inspire Women's 2019 Conference

If you would like to connect, sing and pray with hundreds of inspirational Christian women in a warm, open and loving environment, then register for the Inspire Women's Conference that will take place in November 2019. It was held for the first time in May of this year and was so successful that a second conference is being planned for next year. Pre-registration helps to pre-fund the costs of this wonderful initiative. It is organised by the women at the Vienna Christian Center.

For more information:

www.inspirevienna.com

facebook.com/inspirevienna

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Urban Living

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Vienna is known as a major world city surrounded by a forest and vineyards producing good white wines. Above are photos of Kahlenberg and a grapes vine, which wines you may be drinking in the Autumn!

Photos: Courtesy of Rainer Zimmermann

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Out and About 

WOW Exhibition

Heidi Horton, who collected art only of works that she loved and could admire in her home, amassed an important private collection of cultural importance ranging from artists such as Picasso to Andy Warhol. This wonderful collection can be seen at the Leopold Museum until 29 July. Above are works of Emil Nolde, Andy Warhol and Gustav Klimt.

Photos: 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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If you are a registered subscriber and are not receiving The Voice, please check your Spam and email settings.

In the interest of preventing Spam emails, the Voice Editor will periodically delete email addresses that appear to be Spam. If you suddenly do not receive The Voice, please send an email to: voice-editor@viennacommunitychurch.com.  I apologise in advance for the temporary inconvenience this may cause.