Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent with two candles on our Advent Wreath, we ask God to help us to listen to the prophets so that we can let go of our sins. Our desire to move away from all that is good, right, just and true gets in the way of a closer relationship with God. Advent is all about clearing away that debris. “Prepare the way, O Zion, your Christ is drawing near!”
Our Saint John’s Fundraising Concert towards the Restoration of our Stained-Glass Windows on Dec. 2 was a wonderful success. The pre-concert reception in the Narthex was beautiful, and lovingly served by Andria McIntosh and Jennie Fletcher, good friends of Linda Brown’s. We are grateful to all who donated food and drink, to all who helped with the concert and all who gave so generously! The string quartet was a marvel. The reviews included “angelic,” top-notch”, “I felt like I was at Carnegie Hall,” etc. Our Sanctuary is terrific acoustically, and with the aisle candles lit, it was a beautiful place to sit and listen to inspiring music on a Saturday night with a good crowd, many of whom had never been in the church before. We are especially grateful to Ben Larsen, who gathered the quartet, and to Mélanie Clapiès, Sheng-Ching Hsu and Maren Rothfritz for donating their services and playing so heavenly. We have much to be grateful for!
Thanks for a successful Stewardship Sunday, and to George Morrison and Jen Longley who shared their views on Stewardship at the two services. It is not too late if you would still like to pledge your time, talent and treasure for 2018. We are dependent on your creativity, good hearts, energy, service and donations. You matter! Pledge cards can be found in the Narthex.
Our Christmas Pageant will take place on Sunday, December 17 during the 10:15 a.m. Service. If you would like to take part (adults and children!), our first rehearsal is this Sunday, Dec. 10 at 11:45 a.m. in the Church with another rehearsal next Saturday morning. Please join us!
Last Sunday’s Penny Social was a fabulous success! Thanks to all who volunteered and helped to make it so. We are also seeing new people from the community. Hooray!
A long-time member William Karaman, who was 92, died last Saturday. His service was in the church today, with burial at Kensico Cemetery. Prayers for his family and friends who are mourning. May William rest in God’s peace.
Our Renewal Works Team has had four very successful meetings and will present our suggestions to the Vestry next Thursday. Please continue to hold us all in your prayers as we look for new ideas and fresh inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
May God help us to prepare a place in our hearts and minds for Christ this Advent!
Advent blessings and love,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota