Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Brothers and Sisters,

The events of this last weekend in Charlottesville have horrified Americans across our country. The virulence of the "Unite the Right" demonstrations themselves, with the viciousness of language and symbol, was in itself profoundly troubling and dangerous; but when it became the occasion for an instance of domestic terrorism, in which one woman lost her life and dozens of others were injured, we saw Charlottesville hold a mirror before America and reflect back to us an image that covers us in shame. All people of good will, and our leaders, have decried the violence and the loss of life, even as many have struggled to come to terms with the dark ideologies that were the foundation for these demonstrations.

When I wrote the draft of this letter yesterday, our president had not yet made his second public statement regarding Charlottesville, so that when that statement came I was gratified, as we all were, that he had finally named the evil of racism and called out the far-right groups and ideologies whose hate-based philosophies led to the events of Charlottesville and which have been a cancerous current running through American life and history from our beginning. He joined the countless others who in these days have insisted that these hate groups have no part in American discourse, that racism is an affront to Gospel and nation, and that the violent, rage-filled rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis and the Alt-Right are a destructive force that will, if unchecked, undermine the foundation of our common life.

The president's voice was all the more necessary and needed because too many of the white nationalist players in Charlottesville, including David Duke, have invoked the name of the President of the United States to give permission and justification for the white power rally, and to claim him as their champion. Indeed, his campaign signs were carried in Charlottesville alongside the poisonous claims of the Klan and the Nazis and those extolling racial hatred. Too often the rhetoric of the presidential campaign last year allowed this far right radical fringe to believe that Mr. Trump held, or endorsed, or at least accepted as legitimate, the same virulent ideologies. So that while it is with outrage and sorrow that we watched the events of Charlottesville, it was for a great many people no surprise. We are living in a time when the worst and most hateful racist impulses of people have been emboldened - and so emboldened, will relentlessly seek to push us as a people, and as a constitutional democracy pledged to the equality and inclusion of all people, to our breaking point. For the president to continue in his office with credibility as a domestic leader, he must not only distance himself from these forces, but put the full weight and voice of his office and his own character into the repudiation of white nationalism and racial hatred. It is incumbent on every one of us to pray that he and we will come to full understanding of the historic and dangerous hour to which we have come, and rise to the high calling which this hour demands. Those forces which we may in truth say are fashioned of evil itself, and which claimed their day in Charlottesville, may not stand. We must counter with everything we have.

And yet, history lays traps for everyone. The danger for all of us who oppose these racist movements is that when we see the kind of ugly displays that we saw in Charlottesville this weekend we can imagine that racism is their problem, and slide past our own complicity and involvement in the larger patterns of racism - in America and, it must be said, in the Church - which do not wear hoods or raise swastikas and where that complicity and involvement is therefore more insidious, harder to see and know, and therefore harder to root out.

It is not simply the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis and the Alt-Right which we must fight, but the white supremacy which undergirds racism itself. We must never cease to make our deep exploration into the conscious and unconscious patterns of privilege which continue to give unearned rewards and opportunities to white people, while relegating people of color to a lower place and lesser opportunity and unheard voice, and the oppressive burdens of poverty and imprisonment and trampled dreams. Even as we never falter in our protest against the extremism of the racist radical right, we must recognize that that deeper struggle belongs to those on both sides of the line of skirmish, and must finally call all Americans to self-examination, to the repentance that follows true self-knowledge, and to a common commitment to amendment of life and to a renewed covenant. The way we do that as Christians is through baptism, and then through the costs and sacrifices of the baptismal life.

I am gratified to live my life in the Diocese of New York among thousands of believing people who are together committed to overcoming the racism which is still in our midst, overcoming prejudice against the LGBT community, overcoming the barriers to opportunity for women, overcoming rejection of the immigrant and de-legitimizing of those of other faiths. All of this is hard work, and it is not at all finished. But I am convinced that it begins with the overcoming of our own hearts and wills, and the humble self-offering that we make before our God and our Christ in baptism and our acceptance of Christian responsibility. If there is a lesson to be taken from Charlottesville, it is not that evil is simply out there in the world - we knew that - but that the battle is longer than we thought it would be, it is harder than we imagined, and it begins in the human heart.

Every time we bring a new Christian to the font for baptism the whole community is invited to renew our own baptismal vows and covenant. That we may remember who we are and whose we are. Sometimes we slide through the questions of baptism so quickly that I fear we have little time to contemplate the mighty words we are saying, the weight of the promises we are making. Even before we affirm our Christ, this: Do you renounce Satan, and all the forces of wickedness which rebel against God? Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God? Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?

There it is. The evil that besets us from without and the evil that festers within.

With the questions hanging in the air, I look about me at a broken and strife-torn world, I see the failures of community, the hatred and violence that lays waste to everything it touches, I see the suffering of people, I see the sickness within my country and my church, and when I am brave enough to look, within my own self. And because I love Jesus, because I love my brothers and sisters - all of you - and because God help me I want to be a Christian, I can say - I will say - though broken-hearted: Yes. I renounce them. 

With every good wish, I remain,

The Rt. Rev. Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York

Friday, July 28, 2017

From Mother Vicki

July - August, 2017
8:00 AM Holy Eucharist Rite I
10:15 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II with music

Collect for Cities
Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth. Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life. Send us honest and able leaders. Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice, and oppression, that peace may prevail with righteousness, and justice with order, and that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
BCP, p. 825
From Mother Vicki

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson, who has been attending the 8 a.m. Sunday Service at Saint John’s regularly since she retired last year, will be preaching and presiding while I am away from July 30 through August 27 in the air-conditioned Guild Room. I am thrilled that she is sharing her pastoral and preaching gifts with us. She is a daughter of this parish, having been sponsored for Ordination to the Priesthood from Saint John’s while she was working here as a Deacon under The Rev. S. Burtner Ulrich. Canon Claudia will also handle pastoral concerns as needed (917 848 6224). I pray that things will be calm and that all of you will have some time to relax and enjoy the beauty of summertime and the wonderful gift of re-creation.

This September, the Order of Urban Missioners begins its Ninth Year in the Diocese of New York with our Service of Covenanting at our church, Saint John’s Getty Square, Yonkers, on Thursday, 14 September at 6 p.m., The Right Rev. Allen Shin, preaching and presiding. This group is self-selecting, and always just a one year commitment to a deeper spiritual life and prayer connection with others. I helped to found this spiritual support group for lay and ordained people in Baltimore, MD in 2000, and in NY in 2009. The description of the Order and the dates for the fall of 2017 are listed below. If you are interested, please let me know by the end of August so that I can give you further information (mothervsirota@gmail.com).

Don’t forget to check out our wonderful Farmers’ Market on Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Support Saint John’s by checking out our bread table (thank you Carol and Linda), food and coffee station (thanks to Hyacinthe, Marion, Velma and Annie) and Rummage Sale in the Parish Hall (thanks to Helen, Arlene, Carol and Carmen). The fruits and vegetables are as fresh as can be! Thanks to ALL who volunteer (I know there are others I haven’t even mentioned!), those who run the Rummage Sale as well as those who sell bread, coffee, donuts, hot dogs and corn-on-the cob, and especially to George Morrison who does an excellent job keeping everything running smoothly. If you wish to help out, please contact George (georgemcneil170@gmail.com).

Our Parish Administrator, Jan Valentine, will be out for much of August for a surgical procedure and rehab. Please keep her in your prayers. We are grateful to Carol Craft who will answer the phone and keep the office open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Prayers for all of you this summer that there may be moments of quiet when you experience the presence of the Holy One. May God bless you with a compassionate heart and with the gifts of joy and peace.

In Christ and with love,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota

Urban Ministers

John 15:12 (NRSV)

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

The Order of Urban Missioners is a Christian Community of Lay and Ordained People who feel called to urban ministry and believe that a simple rule of spiritual discipline will help them to be faithful to that call. Founded in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland in 2000, with a second chapter begun in the Episcopal Diocese of New York in 2009 by The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota and The Reverend Earl Kooperkamp, the Order of Urban Missioners is a spiritual support group with monthly meetings that include a shared meal, prayers, silent meditation and the Eucharist. Our symbol is a cross within a circle within a square, representing God’s love in the world and within the city block. In addition to our corporate vows as an Order, we covenant in the presence of God and with each other once a year (usually in September) for the location to which we feel called that year and the nature of that call. Our monthly meetings give us an opportunity to share our prayer concerns, struggles and joy as our ministries unfold and our relationships with Christ and with each other deepen.

This past year, the New York Chapter had thirty members from fourteen different churches in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, London (England), and Orange and Westchester Counties.

This year, our Ninth Year of the New York Chapter, our Service of Covenanting will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2017 (PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE) at 6:00 p.m. in Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Getty Square, Yonkers with The Right Reverend Allen K. Shin, Bishop Suffragan, preaching and presiding. 

For those who can, please meet in the Guild Room at St. John’s Getty Square at 5 p.m. to prepare for the service. Following the service, members and friends are invited to Giovanni’s Pizza, 25 Main Street, Yonkers NY 10701 for pizza, salad, soda ($15 each).

Our monthly meetings will be held in the Guild Room in Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 1 Hudson Street (Getty Square) in Yonkers and begin with breakfast at 9:30 a.m. (all members bring one item to share) and conclude with Holy Eucharist at 12:30 p.m. in the Lady Chapel at Saint John’s. St. John’s Getty Square is accessible by train from Metro North (Yonkers Station), or by public buses from the end of the #1 subway line to Getty Square.

Dates for Fall 2017:
Fall Retreat: Friday, September 15 – Sunday, September 17, 2017 at Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, NY 12493

Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: October 14, November 4, December 9, Guild Room and Lady Chapel at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 1 Hudson Street, Getty Square, Yonkers NY 10701

If you are interested in visiting a meeting or joining us this year, please contact:
The Reverend Dr. Victoria Sirota mothervsirota@gmail.com

Ingrid Sletten ingridannsletten@yahoo.com
The Rev. Marie Tatro mtatro@gts.edu
Meryl Marcus, Secretary of the Order merylmarcus@gmail.com


Parish Office Hours for August: Mon. - Thurs. 9AM to 12PM

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

Weekly Events
Mondays, Boy Scout Troop 4 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays, 7-9 PM Spanish AA meetings
Thursday Farmers' & Flea Market, begins July 6- November 16, 7 AM to 5 PM

Church Calendar

Sundays: July 30, August, 6, 13, 20, 27. 8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist Rite I; 10:15 AM Eucharist Rite II in the Guild Room.
We Welcome The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson as our celebrant and preacher through August. Thursdays, Farmers’ & Flea Market, 7 AM-4 PM. Sunday, August 27, Faith Friends Luncheon, 12:30. Monday, August 28, Vestry Meeting 6:30 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.

The Flowers (suggested $50 gift) and the Sanctuary Lamp (suggested $10 gift) can be given each week outside of Advent and Lent in memory of a loved one. You may sign up in the hall or call the parish office for more information.
(914) 963-3033

The Altar Flowers given on August 6 are offered by the Johnson and McKinney families in thanksgiving for Aaron McKinney’s birthday and promotion to Lieutenant in the Yonkers Fire Department.

The Altar Flowers given on August 27 are offered in memory of Christine Cecelia Beaury Engelhart, Cecelia Howell Ziegler, and Leslie O. Ziegler by Barbara Zeigler.

August Birthdays: Annie Davis; 7-Aug; Arlene Tracey, 8-Aug; Yvonne Hamilton-Tuthill, 15-Aug; Carol O'Brien, 18-Aug; Velma Crichton, 22-Aug, Verna Dore, 22-Aug; Denise Hackl,25-Aug

We thank you 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, 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.

Please hold in your prayers: 
Fessenden House that all who have lived there may know your loving care, for Ruth Tatum, Clyde Mahoney, Lisa Osborne, Michael Sperl, Ernst Haering, Bernie Ryan, Shari Mercatante, Ralph Tremonte, Ruth Tatum, Clyde Mahoney, Kevin Kidd, Denise Edwards, Phyllis Jackson, Elyse Gierlich, Lynette Lewis, Michael Hausler, Marie Baptiste, Danielle and Jordan Etienne, Mary Owens, The Rev. Mitties DeChamplain, Samuel Akhtar, Neil DePasquale, Aida Carino, The Rev. Canon Blake Rider, Anetta Giovanna, Nancy Burns, Candra Davis, Jan Thompson, Jay Moses, Thomas O’Connor, Rocco Cacciatore, Richard Brown, Harold Cronk, June Pariott Kniffen, Waine Kniffen, Don Lundquist, Joe Walsh, Peter Walsh, The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson, Wayne Kempton, Lawrence Gilkes. We pray for those impacted by terrorist attacks and for our President, our country, our first responders, and all refugees and immigrants.

Deceased: We pray this month for Christine Cecelia Beaury Engelhart, Cecelia Howell Ziegler, Leslie O. Ziegler, Laura Palm, Tiffany Peterson, for those who have died from drug overdoses in our communities, and for all have died from terrorist attacks, gun violence and other natural disasters throughout the world.

Please note: Names will generally remain on the prayer list for one month. If you would like to add or return a name to the list, please be in touch with the office at 914-963-3033 or by email at parish@yonkerschurch.org. Thank you.

Service Ministers

Service Ministers Through September 3
Sunday July 30, 8 Pentecost
10a Reader 1st Lesson Anthony Johnson
10a Reader 2nd Lesson Denise Hackl
10a 1st Euch. Min Anthony Johnson
10a 2nd Euch. Min Deborah DeBride
Sunday School S Henderson
Greeters E Williams, A Davies
Altar Society A Tracey, M Harmon, M Eich
Coffee Hour M Owens, V Johnson, C Hanchard

Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Romans 8:26-39

Sunday August 6, Transfiguration
10a Reader 1st Lesson Anthony Johnson
10a Reader 2nd Lesson Shelley Henderson
10a 1st Euch. Min Anthony Johnson
10a 2nd Euch. Min Deborah DeBride
Sunday School L Smith
Greeters E Williams, A Davis
Altar Society A Tracey, M Harmon, M Eich
Coffee Hour A Davis, V Crichton, P LaMotey

Exodus 34:29-35
Psalm 99
2 Peter 1:13-21

Sunday August 13, 10 Pentecost

10a Reader 1st Lesson Edith Williams
10a Reader 2nd Lesson Jen Longley
10a 1st Euch. Min Deborah Holcombe
10a 2nd Euch. Min Anthony Johnson
Sunday School D Debride
Greeters C O'Brien, S Henderson, D Hackl
Altar Society A Tracey, M Harmon, M Eich
Coffee Hour V Debride, M Baptiste, A Carino

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105, 1-6, 16-22, 45b
Romans 10:5-15

Sunday August 20, 11 Pentecost
10a Reader 1st Lesson Angie Piwinski
10a Reader 2nd Lesson Vera Johnson
10a 1st Euch. Min Deborah DeBride
10a 2nd Euch. Min Deborah Holcombe
Sunday School L Smith
Greeters C Hanchard, C O'Brien, A Tracey
Altar Society H Hutchinson, Linda Brown
Coffee Hour S Henderson, M Harmon

Genesis 45:1-15
Psalm 133
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32

Sunday August 27, 12 Pentecost 10a Reader 1st Lesson Deborah DeBride
10a Reader 2nd Lesson Deborah Holcombe
10a 1st Euch. Min Deborah DeBride
10a 2nd Euch. Min Anthony Johnson
Sunday School S Henderson
Greeters M Owens, C Canty
Altar Society A Tracey, M Harmon, M Eich
Coffee Hour N Henderson, L Brown, H Hutchinson, D Hackl

Exodus 1:8-2:10
Psalm 124
Romans 12:1-8

Sunday September 3, 13 Pentecost
10a Reader 1st Lesson Denise Hackl
10a Reader 2nd Lesson Chris Canty
10a 1st Euch. Min Anthony Johnson
10a 2nd Euch. Min Deborah Holcombe
Sunday School Deborah DeBride
Greeters E Williams, A Davies
Altar Society H Hutchinson, Linda Brown
Coffee Hour M Owens, V Johnson, C Hanchard

Exodus 3:1-15
Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c
Romans 12:9-21