Thursday, December 1, 2016

From Mother Vicki

1 December 2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We are halfway through the first week of Advent. In this darkest time of the year, the single flame of one candle makes a difference.  Advent literally means “arrival” or “coming”.  We Christians are preparing to celebrate the First Coming of Jesus as an infant at Christmas, as we also wait in expectation for Christ’s Second Coming.  The season, therefore, holds together the tension of “already” with “not yet.” We move from darkness to light, from hope to joy, from Advent to Christmas and then Epiphany.

We have begun a new Bible Study Class that will be meeting on Wednesday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. in the Library.  Please join us.  We will be looking at the lectionary texts for the next Sunday and discussing what they mean.  You never know.  What you say may end up in my sermon!

Today is our final Thursday event, our Christmas Flea Market in the parking lot and parish hall.  Please stop by and enjoy the fun!

Tonight, Thursday night, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Rectory my husband Bob is beginning rehearsals for the Saint John’s Festival Choir to sing at the 9 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve.  Please let Bob know if you are interested in joining (bobsirota@me.com) or just show up!  We already have a core group of 12 but can always use more.  The rehearsal schedule will be decided at this first rehearsal.

The Vestry has a Leadership Retreat with The Reverend James Lee Burns this Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9:30 a.m. (coffee and donuts at 9) until 3:30 p.m. in the Guild Room. We are grateful that the Episcopal Diocese of NY is supporting us in this important conversation as we continue to look to what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do and be in the months and years ahead.  If you are not on the Vestry, please hold us in your prayers.  If you are interested in running for a position in the Vestry at the Annual Meeting in February, please let me or one of the current Vestry members know.  These are important leadership positions that help shape the conversation and ministry of Saint John’s. The current Vestry members and Officers are printed on the back of the bulletin.

Our Christmas Pageant has its first meeting this Sunday, December 4th at noon!  Please join us in the Sunday School Room if you are interested in taking part.  We need lots of help with the Christmas story, and I gather we have great costumes for actors and actresses of all ages!  Our first rehearsal will be on Sunday, Dec. 11 at noon.  Our Final Dress Rehearsal will be in the Sanctuary on Saturday morning, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon.  Our Christmas Pageant forms an important part of the 10:15 a.m. Service on December 18th, the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

Don’t forget the penny social this Sunday at 12:30 p.m.!  This is a great and fun way to prepare for stuffing Christmas stockings.

I am sad to report that member Raymond Arthur Karaman died on Monday night at the age of 85.  His wife Collette told me that he was an altar boy here in the 1930’s, and that he loved Saint John’s Church.  We will be celebrating a Funeral Mass for him on Monday, December 5 at 2 p.m. in the Church.  Please pass the word on to those you know who may wish to be present.

In this season of expectation, please join us as we listen to the prophetic voices from ages past and re-remember our deepest yearnings for God, the God of hope and peace.

Advent blessings and love,

The Rev. Dr. Victoria R. Sirota


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