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Thursday, January 11, 2018

From Mother Vicki


From Mother Vicki


Jesus said, “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Luke 6:27-31 NRSV

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This is a difficult Gospel, the one chosen to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. who died on April 4th 50 years ago.  King insisted on speaking the truth to power throughout his short life.  The decision to go the way of non-violent response to evil cost him.  He wrote in 1960, “In a day when sputniks dash through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, nobody can win a war.  The choice today is no longer between violence and nonviolence.  It is either nonviolence or nonexistence.” (Pilgrimage to Nonviolence, 1960) He understood early on that with the increased capacity to wage war in a way that leads to greater destruction, we are playing with forces which we cannot control and which can only lead to our own annihilation.

King writes in this article for Christian Century about his relationship with God: “In recent months I have also become more and more convinced of the reality of a personal God.  True, I have always believed in the personality of God.  But in past years the idea of a personal God was little more than a metaphysical category which I found theologically and philosophically satisfying.  Now it is a living reality that has been validated in the experiences of everyday life.  Perhaps the suffering, frustration and agonizing moments which I have had to undergo occasionally as a result of my involvement in a difficult struggle have drawn me closer to God.  Whatever the cause, God has been profoundly real to me in recent months.  In the midst of outer dangers, I have felt an inner calm and known resources of strength only God can give.  In many instances I have felt the power of God transforming the fatigue of despair into the buoyancy of hope.  I am convinced that the universe is under the control of a loving purpose and that in the struggle for righteousness man has cosmic companionship.  Behind the harsh appearances of the world there is a benign power.… So in the truest sense of the word, God is a living God.  In him there is feeling and will, responsive to the deepest yearnings of the human heart: thus God both evokes and answers prayers.”

Connecting our belief in God with the trials and tribulations of our individual lives is hard to accomplish.  And yet King is saying that the harder it is, and the more fervent our prayers, the more we will feel the presence of a living God.  In deciding to take up Christ’s work on earth, loving our enemies and responding to the world with generosity and compassion rather than with fear and anger, we open up a channel to a profoundly divine conversation.

This Sunday, January 14th, we will honor The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by using lectionary readings and some of his own writings to spur us on to reconsider how we, individually and collectively, have participated in bigotry, prejudice and racism over the years, and how we may better address our lives as Christians in the future.

Martin Luther King Jr. often said, “Unearned suffering is redemptive.” If we take on the cares and problems of others, which is what this Gospel implies, then, yes, it will cost us, but it willAnchor also change the world.

Epiphany blessings and joy,
Vicki+
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota
Priest-in-Charge

Absalom Jones


Everyone is welcome to attend the Celebration of Blessed Absalom Jones, the first African-American ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church, at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (W. 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue) on Saturday, February 11 at 10:30 a.m.  This Diocesan Service is a festive way to connect with other churches in the Diocese and to honor the hard-won triumph of a holy man of faith despite the incredible racial prejudice and bigotry of late 18th century-early 19th century America.

Announcements, Service Schedule and Church Calendar

Parish Office Hours: Mon. to Thurs. 9AM to 1 PM; 2 PM to 4 PM
Monday, January 15 the Church Office will be closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

Parish Sunday Service Schedule
Sundays 8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM: Eucharist Rite II with music

Sunday January 14, Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM Eucharist, Rite II with music
Sunday, January 14, Penny Social, 12:30
Monday, January 15 the Church Office will be closed for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.
Tuesday, January 16, 7 PM Parish Office,  Congregational Development Commission, Equipping Leaders Subcommittee
Wednesday, January 17, Eucharist and Healing Service, 12:05 PM. Light lunch follows. Bible Study at 1:30 PM
Thursday, January 18, Vestry meeting at 6:30 PM in the library
Saturday, January 20, Order of Urban Missioners, 9:30 AM in the Guild Room

Sunday January 21, 3 Epiphany
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM Eucharist, Rite II with music
Sunday, January 21, Faith Friends Luncheon, 11:30
Wednesday, January 24, Eucharist and Healing Service, 12:05 PM. Light lunch follows. Bible Study at 1:30 PM

Sunday January 28, 4 Epiphany
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM Eucharist, Rite II with music
Tuesday, January 30, RenewalWorks closing dinner, 6:30, St. John’s New Rochelle
Wednesday, January 31, Eucharist and Healing Service, 12:05 PM. Light lunch follows. Bible Study at 1:30 PM

Sunday February 4, 5 Epiphany
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM Eucharist, Rite II with music. The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson, Preacher
Sunday, February 4, Penny Social at 12:30.
Monday, February 5, Executive Committee Meeting, 6:30 PM
Wednesday, February 7, Eucharist and Healing Service, 12:05 PM. Light lunch follows. Bible Study at 1:30 PM
Wednesday, February 7, Saint John’s Children’s Choir, 4:30 in the church
Saturday, February 10, Absalom Jones Celebrated at our Cathedral, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Save the Date, February 25 at 12 PM. Saint John’s Annual Meeting

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. 

Intercessory Prayers

We thank God especially 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 Police and Fire Departments, and all who work to help others. We pray for healing for those who struggle with addictions, and physical and mental handicaps. May we be blessed with compassion and love, and may this Congregation be the hands and feet of Christ in Getty Square.

January Birthdays: Judith Basile, 4 January; Elaine Williams, 12 January; Jane Metzger, 13 January, 
Malik DeBride, 16 January; Deborah Holcombe, 17 January; Marion Eich, 28 January

The Sanctuary Lamp and flowers are offered by Patricia Obrizok this morning in memory of Judy Stekla Baliscak.

Please hold in your prayers: Karen Lorence, Nancy Headley, Deane Prouty, Gloria Woods, Margaret Embree, Gabriel Carino (Aida’s father), Marie Baptiste, Gaetano Vasta, Vivian Hewitt, Victoria King, Melvin Davis, Aaron Cohen, Carol Shoemaker, Ruby Dixon, Chester Evans, Lynette Lewis, Vi & Ken McKay, Felix Benzan, Kathryn Grossman, Roger Ressmeyer, Jeremiah Ortega, Bimla Sager, Agnes DeFeo, Trisha Spina, Beverly Sims, Clyde Mahoney, Lisa Osborne, Ralph Tremonte, Aida Carino, Anetta Giovanna, Jay Moses, Thomas O’Connor, Harold Cronk, Waine Kniffen, Don Lundquist, Peter Walsh, The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson, and Wayne Kempton. We pray for those impacted by earthquakes, shootings, wildfires and storms, and for our President, our country, our first responders, and all refugees and immigrants.
            
Deceased: 
We pray for Valaree Schwab, the 16-year-old junior from New Rochelle who was stabbed, Judy Stekla Baliscak, Priscilla Upton Byrns, Irma Charles, Ione Georganna White Gatch, Ruth Tatham (Vera Johnson’s mother & Aaron McKinney’s grandmother) Rodcliff Indron Parham (cousin of the DeBride family), Prentice Donnelly & Earl Gould (George Morrison’s cousins) and for all those the world over who have died from terrorist attacks, war, mudslides, and other natural disasters.

Service Ministers

Sunday January 14,  Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
 8a Reader                             Kenneth Leacock
10a Reader 1st Lesson        Deborah DeBride
10a Reader 2nd Lesson       Anthony Johnson
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                         N Henderson, L Bown, H Hutchinson, D Hackl

Exodus 3:7-12
Martin Luther King, Jr. excerpts
Luke 6:27-36
Psalm 97: 11-20



Sunday January 21, 3 Epiphany

8a Reader                             Carrie Parkey
10a Reader 1st Lesson        Jen Longley
10a Reader 2nd Lesson       Karen Lorence
10a 1st Euch. Min                 Tara Seeley
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                         M. Owens, V Johnson, C Hanchard

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20
Psalm 62:6-14

Sunday January 28, 4 Epiphany

8a Reader                                  Kenneth Leacock
10a Reader 1st Lesson           Chris Canty
10a Reader 2nd Lesson           Chris Michel Karsten
10a 1st Euch. Min                   Denise Hackl
10a 2nd Euch. Min                 Debbie DeBride
Sunday School                         L Smith                
Greeters                                     C O'Brien, S Henderson,
Altar Society                             H Hutchinson, Linda Brown
Coffee Hour                              A Davis, V Crichton, P LaMotey

Deuteronomy 18:15-20
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Mark 1:21-28
Psalm 111



Sunday February 4, 5 Epiphany

8a Reader                             George Morrison
10a Reader 1st Lesson        Angie Piwinski
10a Reader 2nd Lesson       S Henderson
10a 1st Euch. Min                 Debbie Holcombe
10a 2nd Euch. Min              Anthony Johnson
Sunday School                     Jen Longley                       
Greeters                                C Hanchard, C O'Brien, ATracey
Altar Society                         A Tracey, M Harmon, M Eich
Coffee Hour                         V Debride,  A Carino

Isaiah 40:21-31
1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Mark 1:29-39
Psalm 147:1-12, 21c

About Saint John's Church




A Note about Historic Saint John’s Church

Saint John's distinguished church building was designed in 1872 by the architect William Tuckerman Potter. Part of the earlier 1752 Colonial church is preserved and incorporated in the 1872 church, thereby being one of the earliest examples of historic preservation in America. The original church was funded by Frederick Philipse II, Lord of the Manor of Philipsburg, one of the most important manors in New York State. This architectural fabric is the oldest stone Episcopal Church in New York State.

Saint John’s contains some of the earliest examples of stained glass in America. Our oldest windows date from 1853 and contain elaborate work of English style and are located to the left and right of the main chancel windows. Just above the gallery is the great Rose Window and along the upper sides are the clerestory windows which are stenciled glass with the color painted onto clear glass. Other windows were made in London by Beaton, Butler and Bayne of London and the Tiffany Studios in New York, as well as studios in France, Germany and Italy. All kinds of stained glass techniques are represented.


Though founded by law in 1693, the congregation began work here as early as 1684.  The first project in the parish was the founding of a school in the Mile Square area of Yonkers. This begins a long history of community service. Saint John’s and its parishioners were major contributors in the founding of Saint John’s Hospital. In recent history this parish was instrumental in founding C.L.U.S.T.E.R., an agency to support people in need, and the Sharing Community which has helped thousands make the transition from homelessness to mainstream life and providing relief to the hungry, the homeless, and the poor.

The primary mission of Saint John’s is spreading the Gospel and healing message of Christ's love for the world. In continuing this work, the people of Saint John's Episcopal Church support all who pursue peace and joy through the love of God and neighbor. May God richly bless you, and give you faith, courage and strength.

Friday, January 5, 2018

From Mother Vicki

Collect for The Epiphany
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Happy New Year! What glorious Christmas celebrations we had at Saint John’s in Getty Square! Thanks to everyone who helped out: acolytes, Eucharistic ministers, altar guild, ushers, readers, and the Saint John’s Children’s Choir and Festival Choir who sang on Christmas Eve and blessed us with their joy and radiance.  It was a big deal for our children to stay up that late!  And how lovely to share our beautiful Rectory with everyone on that holy Christmas Evening.

Thanks also to The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson who helped me out tremendously by preaching on the Fourth Sunday of Advent as well as being the Celebrant and Preacher on December 31st.  Despite the brisk weather in Maine, I am grateful for my time away which was restful and restorative.

By the way, our total attendance for the four services—three on Dec. 24th (two Fourth Sunday of Advent morning services and our Christmas Eve Service) and one Christmas Day Service on Dec. 25—was 163!  It was wonderful to see so many new and returning members, friends and families.  God bless you all!

On January 6th, we Christians celebrate The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the revelation by the appearance of an unusual star to the wise men that a new king had been born.  Their courage in stepping out on faith and following the star to find this baby Jesus reminds us to pay attention to the ways in which God’s glory is revealed to us in our own lives and to allow that revelation to guide us on new paths in the new year.  This whole season of Epiphany is about God’s revelation to all people that our salvation is at hand.

As I look to the new year, two things come to mind: the follow-up on our RenewalWorks project and how that will result in new programming and spiritual growth, and the Diocese of New York’s mandate that this is a Year of Lamentation for the Church’s historical participation in racism and prejudice.  This Sunday, January 7th, the First Sunday after the Epiphany, we celebrate The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ by reiterating our Baptismal Covenant which reaffirms our renunciation of evil and renews our commitment to Jesus Christ.  On Sunday, January 14th, we will honor The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in this 50th year since his death, by using lectionary readings and some of his own writings to spur us on to reconsider how we, the congregation of Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Getty Square, have participated in racism over the years, and how we may better address our lives as Christians in the future.

Thanks to everyone who has been so generous with their pledges, Christmas contributions and monetary gifts this year end and throughout the year.  We could not make it without your financial help and support.  There are a number of you who have made financial pledges in the past but have not done so yet for 2018.  It’s not too late! We hope you might still consider letting us know what you plan on giving.  Your 2018 pledge really helps us as we figure out the new year’s budget. And we are eager to find out if there are new ways you might consider volunteering at Saint John’s, ways that might not only help us out, but also help you pay more attention to your spiritual growth and relationship with Christ in 2018.

We send our love and condolences to Vera Johnson whose mother, Ruth Augustus Tatham (she was also Aaron McKinney’s grandmother), died on December 29th at the age of 94.  Her Burial Mass was held on Friday, January 5th with a Wake at 10 a.m. and Funeral at 11 a.m. in Saint John’s Getty Square.  Following the service, her burial will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.
 

Prayers for everyone as we dig out of this snow and allow the light of Christ to be manifest in our lives.

“As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold;
as with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright;
so, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led to thee.”
                                    Hymn 119, words by William Chatterton Dix (1837-1898)

Epiphany blessings and joy,
Vicki+
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota
Priest-in-Charge