Thursday, October 20, 2016

From Mother Vicki
19 October 2016
Collect for Saint Luke the Evangelist
Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We are so grateful to Saint Luke the Evangelist whose Feast Day was on October 18.  Luke was important to the Apostle Paul’s ministry and wrote The Gospel According to Luke as well as The Acts of the Apostles, the first book of Church History.  Luke was a physician who understood the healing power of Jesus’ ministry, death and resurrection. He also understood the beauty of the early hymns of the Church, and is responsible for the Canticles that we still use today, including Mary’s Magnificat (“My soul magnifies the Lord”; Luke 1:46-55), Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis (“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace”; Luke 2: 29-32). and the Angels’ Gloria (“Glory to God in the highest”; Luke 2:14).

What a glorious day last Sunday was with our Bishop Suffragan Allen Shin.  He spoke movingly to our class of confirmands and those to be received and reaffirmed before the service, delivered a beautiful sermon (I loved his personal musing about sibling rivalry between Esau and Jacob who were brothers!), spoke with everyone at the coffee hour about the new Strategic Plan for the Diocese and answered questions, and then met with the Wardens and Vestry.  His pastoral presence and holy encouragement were great blessings to this place.  Many thanks to Bishop Shin and to the Episcopal Diocese of New York for this wonderful visitation. We are also grateful to God and continue to pray for our newest members, Chris Michel-Karsten, Harve Oostdyk, Marie Lourde Baptiste and Tara Seeley, as well as members Hyacinthe Anthonyson, Judith Basile, Linda Brown, Velma Crichton and Deborah Debride, who were reaffirmed. The Holy Spirit is certainly with us in Getty Square!  And thanks to ALL who helped make the coffee hour so special.  It was absolutely lovely!

This weekend I have been invited to lead a retreat at Christ Episcopal Church in Greenville, South Carolina.  I will be flying out on Friday and returning late on Sunday.  The Reverend Marie Tatro, who is canonically resident in the Diocese of Long Island and who has become a dear friend through the Order of Urban Missioners, will be the Celebrant for our Sunday services.  She is a wonderful priest and preacher.  Please help her feel at home!

Invitations have been sent out for the Service of Rededication and my Installation as your Priest-in-Charge on Saturday, November 12 at 10 a.m. with our Diocesan Bishop, The Right Reverend Andrew Dietsche. We have plenty of invitations, so if there are others you would like to invite, please come to the office and ask for invitations to mail to your friends.

I met Deborah Danner at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, where she sometimes attended Bible classes between the services.  She knit and often wore hats that she had made.  She joined the Order of Urban Missioners last November, although she came to only one meeting.  She made a vow, “…with the help of God to assist, sustain and support the people God placed in my path.”  She struggled with mental health issues.  Deborah Danner is the woman in the Bronx who just attacked a police officer with a bat and was shot and killed.  Please pray for her, for the police officer and for our society, that we may figure out how better to care for and heal those who struggle with mental issues.  May Deborah rest in God’s peace.

In Christ and with much love,

The Rev. Dr. Victoria R. Sirota

Priest-in-Charge, St. John’s Getty Square

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