Thursday, November 8, 2018

From Mother Vicki

From Mother Vicki
A Prayer for Veterans Day
Gracious God, we give thanks for military men and women, both from the past and present, and for their courageous service and sacrifice to our country and its people to secure the blessings of life, liberty, and justice for all.  May our remembrance be a timely reminder that our freedom was purchased at high cost and should not be taken for granted.  Give us resolve to labor in faithful service to you until all share the benefits of freedom, justice, and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This Sunday, the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, marks the 100th Anniversary of the armistice between the Allies and Germany on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month that ended the fighting of the first World War, “the war to end all wars.” First called “Armistice Day,” Congress changed it to “Veterans Day” in 1954 after World War II and the Korean War in order that this day would honor American veterans of all wars.

We are grateful to all who have served and who currently serve our country in the military.  This week of political elections is a powerful reminder of the importance of our participation in the democracy and freedom that have been “purchased at high cost.” May we never take these benefits for granted.

Our Senior Warden, Deborah and DeBride and I will be your representatives at our Diocesan Convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains this Friday and Saturday, November 9 and 10.  This important meeting of clergy and lay delegates from across the Episcopal Diocese of New York includes workshops, reports, worship, the Bishop’s address, and voting on diocesan committees and resolutions.

Thanks to all who volunteered to help with the beautiful Memorial Service and Reception for Michael Block on Saturday, November 3, at 10 a.m. We had no idea how many people would attend.  The fact that there were over one hundred and fifty was a real testimony to Michael and his loving and kind heart.  We were gratified to be able to hear of his kindness to so many others and to share our grief over his passing.  Thanks to Anthony Johnson and Deborah DeBride, his neighbors and our members, who did so much to help make this service and reception beautiful.  May Michael rest in God’s peace.

Thanks also to everyone who sent in donations in honor of All Saints Sunday.  It is always poignant to read the list of those who have died in the last year, as well as those great souls who have gone before us in years past.  And I must add that it was an absolute joy to baptize one-year old Rylee Alberga in her beautiful white dress, whose mother and dear sisters and brother sponsored her beautifully on this great day.

Next Thursday, November 15th is our last Farmers’ and Flea Market for the season.  Don’t forget to join us!

With prayers for peace,

The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota

Thursday, November 1, 2018

From Mother Vicki

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1
“The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God”

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

On Saturday, October 27, a gunman entered a synagogue during a service of worship and shot and killed eleven members of the congregation.  We are struggling to comprehend these shocking murders, this outrageous desecration of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and these horrible acts of antisemitism and hatred of “other.”  The hate-filled rhetoric in our country has fueled this particular kind of cowardly and senseless violence.  We are horrified by the murder of eleven loving and generous congregants who were praying and worshipping together.  We offer our prayers and condolences to their families and friends, and to our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world.

On Saturday, November 3, at 10 a.m. we will be celebrating the life of Michael Block, our beloved congregation member who died at age 48 on October 8.  And on Sunday, we celebrate all of the saints with prayers for those who have died in the last year, as well as the Baptism of one-year old Rylee Alberga.  Sorrow and joy mixed together.

The beauty of our profound conversation with the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom from a week ago still resonates.  This interfaith conversation with faithful Jewish and Muslim women felt blessed.  When we join with others who are different from us and share our beliefs in a loving God with honesty, kindness and openness, something happens that is holy. This must be what heaven is like.

Please read the attached letter from our Diocesan Bishop Andrew ML Dietsche condemning these shootings and reminding us of the power of love.  Please pray for those who have died, that they may rest in God’s peace, and continue to spread the Divine Love that you have come to know with this weary and battered world.

With prayers for peace,
The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota

From Diocesan Bishop Andrew ML Dietsche

October 29,2018
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

All good and well-meaning people in America and across the world are horrified and heartbroken over the mass shooting that took place at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend. This may have been the largest assault on American Jews in our history, and has happened at a time when there remain many among us, including some of the victims of Saturday’s massacre, who lived through and can remember the Holocaust in Europe of the 1930s and 1940s. Vicious, violent anti-Semitism has been a continuous dark current through western culture century after century; it has erupted in some of the most horrific chapters of our history, and some of the most extreme campaigns of human brutality; and, on Saturday we were reminded in the most painful way that this sheer evil continues to reside in the deep pathology of American religious, racial and ethnic hatreds.

Every community of faith, and the larger society around us, are recoiling at this violent crime of religious hatred in our midst. Everywhere are prayers for the dead and wounded, for the bereaved, and for a shattered community. The people of Tree of Life, and of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, will know, I am certain, the compassion and love of the much larger body of people who feel the deep wound of this violence alongside our Jewish brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh. To all of them this diocese extends our love and grief and the embrace of our common humanity. And the rich fabric of constant prayer.

But this terrible act came at the end of a week when we saw some fourteen or more bombs sent through the mail to political leaders and the news media. That those bombs brought no loss of life is a grace, but the fact of them, sent by an extreme far-right politically motivated attacker, has shaken the foundation of a country preparing right now to exercise the sacrament of its democracy.

Something essential and needed in our common life is coming undone. Some foundation upon which we believed we stood is crumbling. Some thread, by which we were bound together, has been cut, and we are falling away from one another into warring camps and tribal divisions. I have had vestry persons in our parishes tell me that their congregations are so divided that “we can’t even talk to each other anymore.” At church! Everywhere is the fear that those treasured democratic values and bonds of community by which we have ordered our common life across our differences, by which we have endured and survived crisis upon crisis throughout our history, may now be spinning away from us. Who are we actually? And what may we become?

In the face of such a societal crisis, and in this vacuum of political leadership, it is more important than ever that we, the church, be the church. That we choose the gospel witness. We must make now, as ever, no peace with evil, and continue our conviction in the love of God for all people through our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the generosity and freedom and equality and compassion and welcome that this love of God requires of us. These principles must inform everything we do as a church: when we are being pastors and caregivers to one another; when we pray for those who do not pray for us; when we pray for the victims of hate; when we are reaching out to the least, the last and the lost among us; when we are learning in interfaith commonality the thousand faces of God; when we stand as one in advocacy for racial and ethnic and gender and LGBT equality; when we come before the altar to receive the absolving, reconciling love of God in Christ and then turn to this broken world to make our peace. And, too, when we look across the political and cultural divide and extend ourselves for the possibility of something new. To invite, beckon and call those whom we might otherwise name adversary or opponent or enemy into the enfolding love of communion. That we may make every sacrifice for the sake of the Kingdom. So that we may be repairers of the breach. This is what our Presiding Bishop meant in his royal wedding sermon: “love is power.” The power to transform. That simple proclamation, which galvanized the world, is our hope for the world; that the love of God, and the powerful expression of it in your life and mine, may make all things new.

With every good wish, I remain
The Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York

All Saints Sunday

On Sunday, November 4th we will be celebrating the Feast of All Saints, a time when we remember those great souls who kept the faith throughout history, as well as our beloved family members and friends who have died, especially in the last year. This communion of saints surrounds us and serves as a reminder that we are part of the Body of Christ that exists now and extends back through time and space and forward into Eternity. 

Penny Social Sunday

Penny Social this Sunday at 12:30.

Turn your clocks back!

Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour Saturday night!

Announcements, Calendar and Intercessions

Weekly Service Schedule
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I and coffee hour
10:15 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite II and coffee hour
12:05 Eucharist & Healing Service. Light lunch follows. Bible Study 1:30 PM
Saint John’s Church Office hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 AM-1 PM; 2 PM-4 PM

Weekly Events
Mondays, Troop 4 Boy Scouts, 6:30-8 pm
Thursday Farmers’ & Flea Market 7 AM to 4 PM
Spanish AA, 7 pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

Sunday November 4 Festival of All Saints with Holy Baptism. Daylight Savings Time ends
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I
10:15 AM: Rite II Eucharist with music and Saint John’s Festival Choir
Sunday, November 4, 12:30, Penny Social, in the Guild Room
Monday, November 5, 6:30 PM, Executive Committee meeting,
Wednesday, November 7, 12:05 PM Healing Eucharist, Light Lunch follows, 1:30 PM Bible Study
Thursday, November 8, 7 AM to 4 PM, Farmers’ & Flea Market
Friday & Saturday November 9 & 10, Diocesan Convention in White Plains

Sunday November 11 25 Pentecost (Proper 27)
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM: Rite II Eucharist with music
Monday, November 12, Veteran’s Day Holiday. Church office is closed
Wednesday, November 14, 12:05 PM Healing Eucharist, Light Lunch follows, 1:30 PM Bible Study
Wednesday, November 14, 6:30 PM, Vestry, Guild Room
Thursday, November 15, 7 AM to 4 PM, Last Farmer’s Farmers’ & Flea Market
Saturday, November 17, 9:30 AM Order of Urban Missioners, Guild Room. 12:30 PM Service of Holy Eucharist, Lady Chapel

Sunday November 18 26 Pentecost (Proper 28)
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM: Rite II Eucharist with music
No Wednesday Eucharist/Healing service or Bible Study
Thursday, November 22 Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble, Gobble!
Church office will be closed Thursday and Friday

Sunday November 25 Last Sunday of Pentecost
The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson, preacher
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM: Rite II Eucharist with music
Wednesday, November 28 12:05 PM Healing Eucharist, Light Lunch follows, 1:30 PM Bible Study
Thursday, November 29, 6:30 PM, Eucharistic Ministers, Church Office

The flowers this morning are offered to the Glory of God and in memory of the Johnson, Mead and Tatham Families by Vera Johnson.

Volunteers needed! We are looking to grow our Service Minister roster. Would you be willing to serve as a greeter? Usually you are asked to come 15-minutes early to greet people, give out bulletins and welcome them by answering any questions. Greeters also bring the elements to the Altar for the Holy Eucharist and take the collection. Usually you would serve every few weeks. Please speak to Mother Vicki if you have any questions or would like to serve.

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. 

November Birthdays: Mary Owens, 5-Nov;  Leah Henderson, 6-Nov; Linda Brown, 7-Nov, Karen Heidgerd, 8-Nov, Joshua Maldonado 9-Nov,  Gabriel Swift, 9-Nov; Mary Owens, 11-Nov; Zenobia Beckley, 11 Nov; Leila Cole, 12-Nov

We thank you, Lord, for all the blessings of this life, especially the baptism of Rylee Janiyah Alberga and for the marriage of Christianna Piwinski (Angie’s daughter) and Paulo Varrenti.

We pray for and give thanks to God for our 325th Anniversary as a parish, 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. Please bless our vision with compassion and love, so that this Congregation may 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: Helene Wright, Ruby Dixon, Joan Smith, David Kesslinger, Carol Shoemaker, William Sheridan, Neil Parkey Emmanuel Baptiste, Sr. Carolyn Darr, Elyse Gierlich, Denise Edwards, Phyllis Jackson, Kevin Kidd, Tom Cacavio, Stephen Kubasek, The Rev. Leonard Klein, Laurie and Kyle Stewart, Mary Kowalski, Ival Debride, Anthony Muranelli, Harriette Forster, Eve Shepard, Cecile Davis, Beverly Anthonyson, Corey Belinski, Bernice Walder, Sal Bah, Antoinette Forster, Hope Mackey, Mamazane Xulu, Fatima Mishk, Kimberly DeShon, Shelley Henderson, Naomi Henderson, Aida Carino, Liliana Moschetta, Tom O’Connor, Monica Harmon, Beverly Sims, Ralph Tremonte, and The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson. We pray for Anthony Johnson as he continues his diaconal discernment, for immigrant families who have been separated as they cross over into the US, for tighter gun control, for those in war-torn countries, for those impacted by volcanoes, Hurricane Michael, wild fires and flooding throughout the world, and for our President, our country, our first responders, all refugees and immigrants especially the children, and our military.

We pray for those who have diedfor the Johnson, Mead and Tatham Families in whose memory today’s altar flowers are given by Vera Johnson,Joan Andrews, Angelo Martinelli, Eugene Peterson, Peter Higgins, Ken McKait, Linda Baldanzi, and Michael Block, for those who were killed in Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, for all those the world over who have died from war, terrorism, and natural disasters, 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.