News­let­ter

April 2024
News­let­ter April 2024

Dear friends in Christ,Greetings in the name of our risen Lord Jesus Christ, and Happy Easter! I pray that your celebration of the resurrection has been a joyous time of thanksgiving.It was a great blessing to gather in our sanctuary these last few days, as together we commemorated the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. I express my gratitude to all our church members who helped to lead our services of worship, by offering special music or accompaniment, reading the Scripture lessons of the Passion, teaching our children, lifting up prayers, and providing for altar decorations and Holy Communion.With this newsletter we share information on upcoming events and worship services in the life of the community. I pray that our celebration of Easter will newly inspire you to engage in Christian worship and fellowship, and find ways to love and serve others in the name of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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March 2024
News­let­ter March 2024

Dear friends in Christ,In this season of Lenten prayer and repentance, I pray that you and your loved ones are well and blessed.As you will note in this newsletter, the month of March is filled with a number of special worship services and congregational events.In worship on Sunday 10 March, we will hear the word of God preached by our District Superintendent, Pastor Stefan Schröckenfuchs of the Fünfhaus Gemeinde. Following worship, Pastor Stefan will lead us in our Charge Conference, the annual meeting of the congregation, to which all are invited.The following Sunday, 17 March at 10:30, we will celebrate a special joint worship service with our fellow Christians from the Fünfhaus Gemeinde. Joining us for worship shall be members of the UMC Central Conference Executive Committee who will be meeting in our building during the week. Our guest preacher shall be Bishop Stefan Zürcher, the newly elected bishop for our episcopal area. We ask ESUMC members and friends to bring a finger food to share during the fellowship hour after worship.On Saturday 23 March, all are invited to participate in "Growing Together: A Study of First Corinthians," a spiritual retreat to bless our Lenten journey, to be led by the Revd Dr. Robert Kinney and sponsored by the ecumenical English-speaking community in Vienna. ESUMC is the host for this event; details can be found below.Following the celebration of Palm Sunday on 24 March, the month concludes with Holy Week: solemn services of worship on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, culminating in the celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday 31 March.I warmly invite you to participate in these worship services and events throughout the month. In the meantime, may God bless you and your loved ones as you continue your Lenten journey. I pray that your spiritual disciplines in this season--fasting, Scripture reading, prayer--shall bring you closer into communion with God, who has pledged to be with us and never forsake us. May this truth give us assurance and hope, and the courage to confess our sins and receive God's great gifts of forgiveness and salvation.Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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February 2024
News­let­ter February 2024

Dear friends in Christ,Greetings from Bogota, Colombia! As a missionary of our United Methodist Church, over the past few years I have had the reponsibility and blessing of helping to organize and lead gatherings of my fellow missionaries serving in different regions around the world.In 2023, two such gatherings were held, in Mozambique and Cambodia. In recent days, missionaries serving in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East have gathered in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, for a week of worship, fellowship, renewal, and small group discussion. We give thanks to God for the 36 missionaries, plus their family members, who have come together for this time of spiritual growth. Please keep me and my fellow missionaires in your prayers.We give thanks to God for Jerry Barton, who will preach and lead worship at ESUMC on Sunday 4 February. I will return to Vienna on Saturday 10 February, just in time for our congregational Talent Show! (See below for more information, please bring a finger food to share, and be in touch with Marilyn if you wish to share a talent during the evening.) As a reminder, Holy Commuion will be celebrated on Sunday 11 February. Our observation of Lent begins with a service of worship on Ash Wednesday 14 February at 18:30.Below please find articles and highlights about upcoming worship and fellowship events. I pray God's blessings on you and your loved ones, and look forward to seeing you upon my return to Vienna.Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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January 2024
News­let­ter January 2024

Dear friends in Christ,I wish you a happy and blessed new year! It has been a joy to gather with you in the last weeks as we have prepared for and celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to all who made our Advent and Christmas services such a blessed time of worship.And I pray that the start of the new year finds you and your loved ones in good health and Christian spirit. May God continue to bless you in this new year, as together we recommit ourselves to a new year of loving and serving God and others.In this month's newsletter, you will find articles about ongoing and new ministry programs in the community, including ways in which we shall strive to fulfill our commitment to Creation Care. We thank you for your support of these initiatives, and your feedback and encouragement is always welcome.Lastly, we give thanks to all who have pledged your financial, volunteer, and prayerful support for our ministry in 2024. As of the start of January, a total of 24 Estimate of Giving forms have been received from members and friends of ESUMC. We thank you all for your continued support of our ministry. Based on your levels of giving, our Finance Committee shall draw up a church budget for 2024.If you have not yet submitted your Estimate of Giving for 2024, you may pick up a form in the fellowship area in church, or make your statement of support online via this dedicated link:ESUMC 2024 Estimate of Giving FormMay God's blessings and peace be upon you all in this new year of worship, praise, and service!Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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December 2023
News­let­ter December 2023

Dear friends in Christ,Blessings and peace to you! As we enter into the holy season of Advent, I encourage you to prepare your hearts and minds for the coming of our Lord Jesus, the light of the world, born in the city of David.In this newsletter, you will find a listing of the special services of worship in the coming weeks, including our Children's Christmas Pageant, a Service of Lesson and Carols, and our Christmas Eve service of candle lighting and Holy Communion. And please mark the date of Saturday 9 December; from 14:00 to 17:00, the children shall hold their final rehearsal for the Christmas pageant, and all are welcome to help us decorate our Christmas tree in the sanctuary.On our Events page below, you will also find details of the holiday bazaars sponsored by Christ Church Vienna and the UN Women's Guild.I also want to thank those of you who have already submitted your Estimate of Giving form for 2024. We are thankful for the financial and spiritual commitment you have made to support our congregation in the coming year.If you have not yet submitted your Estimate of Giving for 2024, you may pick up a form in the fellowship area in church, or make your statement of support online via this dedicated link:ESUMC 2024 Estimate of Giving FormI give you thanks for your faithful support of ESUMC, and pray God's blessings upon you and your loved ones in this holy season.Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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November 2023
News­let­ter November 2023

Dear friends in Christ,Greetings and peace to you! It was such a blessing to gather in worship on Sunday to celebrate our annual Harvest Festival. Members and friends representing nations around the globe joined us for a service of music and song and dance, Scripture reading and prayer, and the giving of our offerings in support of God's mission in the world. We offer a special thanks to Marilyn Brandl for organizing and leading the music for the day, to John Kojo Ampia-Addison and our African Singers and Drummers for their spirited musical offerings, and to Lorraine Welch-Haslinger and Franz Haslinger for their leadership in decorating the altar and arranging our worship and fellowship space. We thank God for all our volunteers who made the day such a blessing.Looking ahead, November is Stewardship Month at ESUMC. Throughout the month, we will be reminded of the many gifts and talents we have received, and how God is calling us to share our talents with others, to God's glory. I invite you to read Delia's article below, participate in our "coin collection" this month, and prepare to make your annual Estimate of Giving in support of ESUMC in 2024.Also below you shall find articles on upcoming events for our young families and young adults, an update on our commitment to creation care, and other news from the congregation.May God's blessing and peace be with you!Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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October 2023
News­let­ter October 2023

Dear friends in Christ,Greetings and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus!It is season of great blessings for the ESUMC community. This fall, we are receiving new members into our congregation, including children being brought forth for baptism and adults preparing to make their profession of Christian faith and commitment to our church. We have raised funds for missions in our own community and others in need far beyond our walls; below please see Marilyn's expression of thanks for the generosity of our congregation. We are launching new ministries with our children, youth, and young adults. God has blessed us richly, and the harvest is plentiful.In that spirit, join us in worship on Sunday 29 October as we celebrate Harvest Festival! We shall gather in worship to sing and dance, offer prayers, rejoice with special music, and make our offering to God in thanksgiving for God's goodness. And following worship, we shall gather for a congregational meal, with food and drink from around the world prepared by our members. Please plan to join us in worship on this festive day (in your traditional dress, if you wish!), and bring a bounty to share with others. And in advance of the day, we invite volunteers to come to church on Saturday 28 October at 14:00, to help to begin to prepare the sanctuary and fellowship area for our Sunday celebration.Lastly, we continue to request your references for a single room to rent (in a shared apartment, student housing, etc.) in Vienna for up to €500 a month, starting immediately. If you can offer or refer to such housing, please contact the church office at esumc@emk.at.In this season of thanksgiving, may you be mindful of the many blessings of God.Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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September 2023
News­let­ter September 2023

Dear friends in Christ,Greetings and peace to you all! It was a blessing to be reunited with you in our service of worship this past Sunday. I am thankful to you all for your support and prayers as I concluded my period of mission itineration in the US. It was an honor for me to spend five weeks traveling in the US, visiting local congregations in four different states, sharing the story of our ministry here in Austria, and receiving inspiration from the faith witness of the local congregations I visited.On behalf of ESUMC, again we offer our special and heartfelt thanks to the Rev. Dr. Tom Garrison for leading worship and preaching the gospel over these last weeks. Pastor Tom is a true friend of our congregation, and a faithful brother in Christ who joyfully shares his spiritual gifts with our community. Pastor Tom, thank you for your friendship and Christian ministry!In this edition of our monthly newsletter, you shall read of a number of ministry programs and activities that shall begin in the coming weeks: our annual congregational BBQ and potluck (see the photo from last year, below), the resumption of Sunday School for our children, a short course for prospective ESUMC new members, a series of conversations about creation care and our climate, and a new Bible study series.I invite you to take part in the life of our ministry and offer your spiritual gifts, for the building up of our one body in Christ.Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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August 2023
News­let­ter August 2023

Dear friends in Christ,Greetings and peace to you from New York, where I am in the midst of my period of itineration, visiting local congregations in the US to share stories and images of our ministry in Vienna. You can read more about my visits below.We give thanks to God for the Rev. Dr. Tom Garrison, who continues to lead worship services at ESUMC through Sunday 20 August. To mark his first month of ministry with the congregation, Pastor Tom offers below a few words of encouragement. Pastor Tom, we thank you for your ministry!Yours in Christ, Pastor John+ + + + + + +Summer brings a number of people going on holiday or traveling for different reasons. This summer is no different, and Pastor John's visit to churches in the US has allowed me to be with you a few weeks. Over the years it has been a blessing to me to be of service to ESUMC. I would like to thank Pastor John and the church for inviting me to lead the congregation in worship during these 8 weeks. It is my feeling that the final act of grace is being gracious, and that is what I have experienced from this congregation. I enjoyed our time in July and look forward to the first 3 Sundays of August. It is my prayer that Pastor John has been successful and wish him a safe trip home. Yours, Pastor Tom

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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July 2023
News­let­ter July 2023

Dear friends in Christ,Greetings and peace to you, and welcome to the new ESUMC newsletter! Starting in July, our regular e-newsletter will come to you in this new format, with links below to news from the congregation, upcoming events in the life of the community, and a list of worship services. We hope you enjoy this new layout.As I prepare to travel to the US to begin my mission itineration, I wish to thank you all for your prayers for my safe travels, and for the warm welcome you extended to Pastor Tom Garrison during our worship service last week. Beginning this Sunday 2 July, Pastor Tom will lead our services of worship, and will be available to the congregation for pastoral care.You shall be in my prayers over the next weeks, and I shall stay in touch via our newsletter!Yours in Christ, Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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March 2023
News­let­ter March 2023

Dear friends in Christ, Yours in Christ,Pastor John

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John Calhoun

Pastor

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