Thursday, June 21, 2018

From Mother Vicki

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

    Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
    and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?”

Job 38:4-7 NRSV
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Job has been through some very tough times. When he finally confronts God, the Lord actually speaks to him face to face!  This one phrase, “where were you when the morning stars sang together” is, to me, one of the most musical phrases in the Bible.  I can hear them singing for the first time, and I can imagine Job being totally flabbergasted that the Lord God Almighty is talking directly to him!  His impertinence is quickly revealed when confronted by the Creator of ALL that is.  We human beings easily fall into the trap of thinking that we can understand the mind, the plan, the enormity of the One who has Created, Redeemed and Sanctified us.   In Psalm 8, David says, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (v. 3-4) That is the miracle, that God pays any attention to us at all, let alone loves us.

Thanks to all who joined us for our meeting last Sunday about preparing for our 325th Anniversary celebration on Sunday, September 23.  What a terrific meeting we had!  We are working on figuring out the venue, putting in a deposit, and beginning to send out Save the Date notices.  We still need help.  We will meet again on Sunday, July 1 at noon in the Library.   This is open to anyone who is interested in helping out.  We need volunteers in all areas, so please come and join us as we joyfully lift up our incredible heritage of belonging to the very first Anglican parish in this area!

Our fifth class of “Via Media” (“The Middle Way”) is on this coming Monday evening, June 25th from 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the Library (enter through the door closest to the Guild Room).  If you are struggling with your faith, the Bible, doctrine, and/or the Episcopal Church, this is a safe place to explore and ask questions.  The other classes in this course are on July 9 and 23 and September 10.  This is also preparation for adults who are interested in Confirmation, Reception or Reaffirmation with Bishop Mary Glasspool in September.  Please let me know if you are coming (mothervsirota@gmail.com; 914 969 2969).

Vestry members, please don’t forget our important Vestry Retreat led by Canon Claudia Wilson on Saturday, June 30th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.  Canon Claudia has told me that she always starts exactly on time!  So, do come early (8:30 – 8:45 a.m.) to grab a cup of coffee before we begin.  This is our opportunity to look carefully at our mission and how to connect it with our future life in Getty Square.  Jen Longley has a sign-up sheet for our brunch and lunch together.  Please bring one item to share for 3-4 people.  Coffee, tea and juice will be provided.

Our Farmers’ and Flea Market begins again on Thursday, July 5th from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For those who are helping out, a planning meeting for all will be held on Thursday, June 21 at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room (with coffee and donuts!).  If you would like to volunteer, it’s not too late!  Please contact George Morrison (914 450 5424).

I will be at the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida this weekend, attending the world premiere of a composition that my husband Bob wrote entitled “Luminous Bodies” for yMusic and Jeffrey Kahane, piano.  Bob and I are thrilled to be attending.  It is an added bonus that this is our daughter Nadia’s chamber ensemble.  The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson will be the Celebrant and Preacher for both services this Sunday, June 24th.  I am so grateful for her presence and great pastoral and preaching gifts!  We’ll be back on Sunday night.

Let us never forget the gift of life and the gift of a God who loved us into being and loves us still.  Please read Bishop Andy Dietsche’s powerful letter below about the policy of separating immigrant families.  In his postscript, after having received the word that the president is now taking action to reunite the families, he writes, “Again, the world has never more needed the church to be the church, and the life of active faith and witness must be more than reflexive reaction to each new crisis.” May we have the courage to be the church, to love each other and to carry that love into this weary world.

Blessings and love,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota

A Message from The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them (Mark 10:15-16).

I pray that by the time this letter reaches you the hundreds and hundreds of children, including small babies, who have been taken by force from their parents and are currently detained in this country will be returning to their families. People across the political spectrum and faith communities in America are joining in heartbroken and outraged opposition to what may well be the cruelest and least defensible policy decision by an American president and administration in our memory. 

The recordings and photographs of the children are almost impossible for any caring person to apprehend. I left New York late last week to baptize my youngest grandchild, and as we watched my daughter’s happy, carefree children in their safe home she turned to me and said, “I can’t follow this news story. I can’t even open the articles.” Because it does violence to our eyes and ears, and assault and battery to our hearts. It strikes terror. And it is racist. And it is systematic child abuse. 

The human cost of this administration’s policy is being paid by the smallest and most vulnerable among us, and by parents agonizing over their separation from their children. It is an increasing worry that some of these children may never be able to be reunited with their mothers and fathers. Some may be lost forever. Long after this policy is shut down, which it will be, the trauma experienced by these children, even those who are safely reunited, will continue to mark and shape them. That this tsunami of human suffering is being imposed to leverage and further a political end is a pure evil. And it must be named as such. 

“Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?” That question is asked in churches in the Diocese of New York before font and altar at every Baptism, and it speaks directly to the responsibilities of Christians living in a broken country, and calls us to consider the obligations that come with that renunciation. If the things we do and the things we say are not defined and guided by (or are incompatible with) the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and by his Sermon on the Mount, and his new commandment of godly love, then they are plainly unchristian. 

We know that America is as divided today as it has ever been. For a long time we have been driven into political camps by the policies of our leaders and government. We know that faithful Christians may disagree over partisan political philosophies, though we see that we are living in those divisions and participating in them with a greater weight of emotional investment and even hatred than we are used to. We are in trouble as a people and a nation. Yet it will be a mistake for us to look at this treatment of children and imagine that this is just another political debate or even another misguided policy. This “policy” exposes the deep sickness and toxic infestation of human sin. And it exposes a fundamental immorality within this administration. Which we must not forget. 

Today Margaret and I will give some of our money to bring relief to these children, and help for their families. And we will pray for the Episcopal Church as it prepares to gather in Convention in Texas. Right now we have to do anything we can to save the children. And then we must save the Beloved Community. And then we must save the common life we share with all people. So that we may save America. 

"Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, 
so that they may be one, as we are one" (John 17:11).

With every good wish, I remain
The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York
As this letter is going out we are learning that the president is taking action to reunite these families. I am profoundly grateful for that. But this was very much a crisis of his own making, which was entirely preventable. So that now the reunion of families will have to take place alongside the therapeutic care of these traumatized children. Again, the world has never more needed the church to be the church, and that life of active faith and witness must be more than reflexive reaction to each new crisis. May God grace us to come together that we may help one another, and our president and all elected leaders, to rise to the high calling of God and live out those values which are for us Christians the inheritance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Saint John's Parish Picnic

Sunday, July 15th, our 10:15 a.m. our Service of Holy Eucharist will be celebrated outside at the Center for the Urban River at Beczak 
(35 Alexander Street, Yonkers 10701). 

Join us in a Pot Luck Picnic afterwards from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Come see Parishioner Philip Feller's exhibition Monoprints

Sunday's Gospel

Mark 4:35-41

When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Announcements, Service Schedule, Weekly Calendar and Intercessory Prayers

Weekly Events
Mondays, Troop 4 Boy Scouts, 6:30-8pm
Wednesdays, Healing Eucharist, 12:05 PM, Bible Class 1:30 PM
Thursdays Farmers’ & Flea Market. 7 AM to 4 PM
Spanish AA, 7-9pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

If you would like to receive our weekly email blast please email your name and address to parish@yonkerschurch.org.

Parish Sunday Schedule 
Sundays 8:00 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I; 9:20 AM: Bible Study in the Library; 10:15 AM Eucharist Rite II with music

Sunday June 24, 5 Pentecost (Proper 7) The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson, Celebrant & Preacher
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM Festival Eucharist, Rite II
Sunday Bible Study, 9:20-10:05 AM with lay leaders, in the Library
Monday, June 25, Session 5 for Via Media, 7-8:30 PM in the Library 
Wednesday, June 27, Eucharist and Healing Service, 12:05 PM. Light lunch follows. Bible Study at 1:30 PM
Saturday, June 30, Vestry Retreat with Canon Claudia Wilson, 9 AM-3 PM, Guild Room

Sunday July 1, 6 Pentecost (Proper 8) 
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM Festival Eucharist, Rite II
Sunday Bible Study, 9:20-10:05 AM with lay leaders, in the Library
Sunday, July 1, 325th Anniversary Committee meeting, 12 Noon, in the Library
Monday, July 2, final Discernment Meeting, 7 PM in the Church Office
Wednesday, July 4, Office closed for Independence Day. No Eucharist/Healing Service or Bible Study
Thursday, July 5, Opening Day for the Farmers’ & Flea Market. 7 AM to 4 PM

Sunday July 8, 7 Pentecost (Proper 9) 
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM Festival Eucharist, Rite II
Sunday Bible Study, 9:20-10:05 AM with lay leaders, in the Library
Monday, July 9, Session 6 for Via Media, 7-8:30 PM in the Library 
Wednesday, July 11, Eucharist and Healing Service, 12:05 PM. Light lunch follows. Bible Study at 1:30 PM

Sunday July 15, 8 Pentecost (Proper 10) 
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I in the Church
10:15 AM Eucharist & Parish Picnic at the Beczak Center for the Urban River 
35 Alexander Street, Yonkers 10701
Monday July 16, Executive Committee, 6:30 PM in the Church Office
Wednesday, July 18, Eucharist and Healing Service, 12:05 PM. Light lunch follows. Bible Study at 1:30 PM
Thursday, July 19, Farmers’ & Flea Market. 7 AM to 4 PM

If you would like to receive our weekly email blast please email your name and address to parish@yonkerschurch.org.

Would you like to host Coffee Hour? This involves choosing a date and bringing refreshments. Please sign up at the sign up table outside the Guild Room. We have a team each week that can assist you with the details.  

June Birthdays and Anniversaries: Harv Oostdyk, June 28

We pray for and give thanks to God for this neighborhood of Getty Square, for all who live and work here, for all who come here for goods and services, for those who are homeless and hungry, for the Sharing Community, Salvation Army, YWCA and the YMCA, the Yonkers Fire and Police Departments, and all who work to help others. We pray for healing for those who struggle with addictions, and physical and mental disabilities. May we be blessed with compassion and love, and may this Congregation be the hands and feet of Christ in Getty Square. Amen

Prayer of Lament O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family and especially in this Episcopal Diocese of New York as we lament our past complicity in slavery, racism, and the unfair treatment of all peoples; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We hold in our prayers: Anthony Johnson and his discernment committee as they complete the initial stages of Anthony’s diaconal discernment. Stephanie Gaines, Harv Oostdyk, Hope Mackey, Mamazane Xulu, Carol O’Brien, Fatima Mishk, Kimberly DeShon, Shelley Henderson, Naomi Henderson, Aida Carino, Liliana Moschetta, Tom O’Connor, Monica Harmon, Beverly Sims, Clyde Mahoney, Ralph Tremonte, June & Waine Kniffen, Peter Walsh, and The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson. We pray for tighter gun control, for those in war-torn countries, those struggling with volcanoes in Hawaii and Guatemala, and for our President, our country, our first responders, all refugees and immigrants, and our military.

We pray for those who have died: including Nouvellett Francis, Justin Matos, Richard Sandusky, Phyllis who died in Cerrato Park, Joseph McQuitter, James Taylor Pye, and Harold Cronk. For all those the world over who have died from war, terrorism, and natural disasters, especially in Hawaii and Guatemala, and we lament those who have died over the centuries due to slavery, lynching, racism and the unequal and unjust treatment of peoples in this country.

Service Ministers

Sunday June 24, 5 Pentecost (Proper 7)
 8a Reader                              Kenneth Leacock
10a Reader 1st Lesson         Anthony Johnson
10a Reader 2nd Lesson        Edith Williams
10a 1st Euch. Min                  Tara Seeley
10a 2nd Euch. Min                
Deborah DeBride
Sunday School                        Jen Longley
Greeters                                   C Hanchard, C O'Brien, A Tracey
Altar Society                           A Tracey, M Harmon, M Eich
Coffee Hour                             V Debride,  A Carino 

Sunday July 1, 6 Pentecost (Proper 8)
 8a Reader                             George Morrison
10a Reader 1st Lesson        Deborah Holcombe
10a Reader 2nd Lesson       Bob Sirota
10a 1st Euch. Min                 Anthony Johnson
10a 2nd Euch. Min              Deborah Holcombe
Sunday School                     S Henderson
Greeters                                 M Owens, C Canty, Jen Longley
Altar Society                         H Hutchinson, Linda Brown
Coffee Hour                         S Henderson, M Harmon

Sunday July 8, 7 Pentecost (Proper 9)
 8a Reader                             Carrie Parkey
10a Reader 1st Lesson        Debbie Holcombe
10a Reader 2nd Lesson       Shelley Henderson
10a 1st Euch. Min                 Denise Hackl
10a 2nd Euch. Min              Deborah Holcombe
Sunday School                     Debbie DeBride
Greeters                               E Williams, D Hackl
Altar Society                         A Tracey, M Harmon, M Eich
Coffee Hour                         N Henderson, L Brown, H Hutchinson, D Hackl

Sunday July 15, 8 Pentecost (Proper 10) Parish Picnic at 10:15
8a Reader                         Kenneth Leacock
10a Reader 1st Lesson Edith Williams
10a Reader 2nd Lesson Chris Michel Karsten
10a 1st Euch. Min Tara Seeley
10a 2nd Euch. Min          Anthony Johnson
Sunday School                 L Smith
Greeters                           C O'Brien, S Henderson
Altar Society                  H Hutchinson, Linda Brown