Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Thanks so much for everyone who contributed to a joyous Homecoming Sunday. How wonderful it is to reconnect! In addition to our faithful members, there were a number of new people, family members and friends, that added to the celebration. We commissioned our Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors, our RenewalWorks Team, and all of our many volunteers—acolytes, altar society, greeters, readers, faith friends, farmers market, outreach committee, Sunday school teachers, penny social, officers, vestry—and marveled at just how many people give of their time and talent to Saint John’s. And what a fabulous luncheon we had following! Thanks to everyone who brought delicious dishes and desserts for us to feast on. It was spectacular! Thank you for the excellent and abundant food and wondrous hospitality!
On September 21st, we celebrate the feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Matthew was a tax collector who, when Jesus said, “Follow me,” just got up and left his business. This courage to follow Jesus and give up what we think is safe to follow what we think is risky may actually be the most important decision we make in our lives. Following Christ is frightening—but it is also a new life that is actually worth living.
I am touched that our Episcopal Bishops have just signed a joint letter in support of not ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Their powerful letter to the President was published in the NY Times today (see below). We pray for these “dreamers” and continue to pray for all immigrants and refugees.
We have started a program this fall called RenewalWorks that encourages all the members of the congregation to take an anonymous Spiritual Life Inventory. This is not about numbers and figures, but about our hearts and souls. This survey takes about 20 minutes or so, and is accessed on-line https://www.research.net/r/RenewalWorks2110 or in paper form. We only have until midnight October 1 to input all of the data, so if you are filling out a paper copy, please deposit them in the box on the back table in the Narthex, or on the table in the hallway by this Sunday, Sept. 24. We will have the paper surveys at Coffee Hour on Sunday, so you can fill them out right there, if you wish! Also, if you need help in filling out the form on Sunday, Vestry members will be happy to assist you.
Once all the surveys have been completed, our RenewalWorks Team will be given the results and guidelines for deeper discussions about new opportunities and programs for spiritual growth at Saint John’s Getty Square. For more information, feel free to contact me, Tara Seeley (RenewalWorks Facilitator), Jen Longley (RenewalWorks Communicator), or our RenewalWorks Team (Samuel Akhtar, Linda Brown, Carol Craft, Debbie DeBride, Aaron McKinney, George Morrison and Carrie Parkey). This is an exciting venture and we hope and pray that you will be part of it!
I began the Saint John’s Children’s Choir on Wednesday, September 20 from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. with the help of Jurhee Hong and Shelley Henderson. What a wonderful group of children we have! They can actually sing!! This choir will meet every Wednesday, and is open to children grades 1 through 5. A snack is provided. I am teaching them some sight-singing, basic music notation, as well as learning and memorizing some wonderful songs about God’s love. It’s not too late to join!
If you are interested in joining the Order of Urban Missioners, a spiritual support group for lay and ordained people working in urban settings, please contact me (email@example.com). Our Service of Covenanting will be held at our church, Saint John’s Getty Square, Yonkers, on Thursday, 28 September at 6 p.m., The Right Rev. Allen Shin, preaching and presiding. The description of the Order and the dates for the fall of 2017 are listed below.
Please spread the word about our Saint Francis Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, October 7 at noon in the parking lot in front of the Church Door. Also, this Saturday, September 23 at 10:30 a.m. in the same place, I will be blessing a dog and a cat who are very ill.
Please don’t forget to make a donation to Episcopal Relief and Development to help those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, as well as the devastating earthquakes in Mexico. The loss of life and property has been immense. Your prayers and donations, no matter how small, are desperately needed.
Our new year has begun at Saint John’s Getty Square with much love and joy. May you have the courage to follow Christ in new ways!
In Christ and with love,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota