Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from Germany

Nativity play at St Catherine's Stuttgart
We are enjoying our visit to Chris and Abigail in Stuttgart, Germany.  Christmas in Germany is almost polar opposite from Tanzania.  Here there are wonderful Christmas markets all over, with things to buy, beautiful decorations, and a spirit of joy for the upcoming season.  In Tanzania it is all about the birth of Jesus and celebrating his coming in church.  There are no gifts to buy, no cards to send, and warm weather instead of cold.  At Irente Children's Home, the main event of Christmas is the arrival of the bishop and his staff for lunch.  There are no gifts for the children or students, just blessings and good wishes.

Christmas Eve service in Tanzanian Lutheran churches is the Christmas pageant, but starting with the angel's visit to Zachariah and ending with the slaughter of the children in Bethlehem.  Totally different from the Nativity scene that we saw at St Catherine's Anglican Church in Stuttgart.  St Catherine's is an English speaking Anglican parish which used St Catherine's Catholic Church facility.  The scene began, as it does in America, with the arrival of Mary & Joseph at the stable, followed by shepherds, sheep, and Kings.  
The Angel Gabriel visits Mary

King Herod and his soldiers
Tonight we will attend the 8 pm candle light service after a delicious (hopefully) dinner of Roast Tenderloin and Yorkshire Pudding, using Grandmom Mac's recipe (thanks to Maureen, who sent a photo of my hand written copy).  I have not made this in over two years and the oven here is convection…..so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

We wish you all a wonderful, blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.  

Some Christmas angels at Irente Lutheran Church, 2012

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