Thursday, October 19, 2017

From Mother Vicki

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,

This week we rejoice in the healing gifts of Saint Luke the Evangelist who was known to be a physician.  In the Gospel of Luke, we have the most inclusive representation of the followers of Jesus, as well as the most glorious hymns that we still use in our liturgy including the Magnificat (sung by Mary), the Gloria (sung by the angels to the shepherds), and the Nunc Dimittis (sung by Simeon).  Luke understood the healing power of music and the healing power of Jesus.  We are grateful for this wonderful Gospel that includes the beautiful story of Jesus’ birth that we read on Christmas Eve.

The Funeral Service for Joseph B. Walsh (6 March 1941-22 August 2017) at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine was just beautiful on Monday night.  We had a wonderful representation of people from Saint John’s Getty Square.  The Great Choir in the Cathedral was packed and spilled over into the Crossing.  It was touching to see dear Don Lundquist and family, as well as Joe’s colleagues from the medical community, family, friends, church members, and members of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.  Bishop Andy Dietsche gave a beautiful sermon and spoke glowingly not only of Joe and all of his gifts including his medical service in Jerusalem, but also of Don Lundquist’s great contributions to the Cathedral and Diocese.  Our own Canon Claudia Wilson read the Gospel. Thanks be to God for a life so well lived.  Joe will be sorely missed.  We continue to hold Joe and Don in our prayers.

We have received the results of the Spiritual Life Inventory for our RenewalWorks Program that so many of you have taken.  Once that information has been processed, our RenewalWorks Team will be holding deep discussions about where we are, with an eye towards where the Holy Spirit might be calling us. For more information, feel free to contact me, Tara Seeley and Carrie Parkey (RenewalWorks Facilitators), Jen Longley (RenewalWorks Communicator), or our RenewalWorks Team (Samuel Akhtar, Linda Brown, Carol Craft, Debbie DeBride, Aaron McKinney and George Morrison).  This is an exciting venture and we thank you for your help and support. 

This Sunday, October 22 we will have Jonelle Ward with us from the Alzheimer’s Association who will be able to answer questions about this particular kind of memory loss and what to look out for in each other and those we love.

Please spread the word that we are offering a Yonkers Basics program led by our own Dr. Jen Longley and Anthony Johnson on Saturday, October 28 from 10 a.m.-noon in the Library, with babysitting available across the hall in the Sunday School Room. This is an excellent offering sponsored by the Yonkers My Brothers’ Keeper program that encourages all adults (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends) who have contact with young children ages 0-3 to engage them in speech, song, counting, sorting, etc.  This kind of early encouragement makes a huge difference in their development.  Babysitting provided!

Looking ahead, we will be praying for all who have died in the last year on Sunday, November 5, All Saints Sunday.  We will also be baptizing one adult. If you know of anyone else who might be interested, please let me know so that I can meet with them and/or their parents.  Our new Children’s Choir will be singing at the 10:15 a.m. Service on November 5th for the first time.  You won’t want to miss this!

Please add Saturday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. to your calendars!  This will be Our Fundraiser for Saint John’s featuring an excellent string quartet playing the music of Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven.  The concert will begin at 7 p.m. with Sparkling Cider, Wine and Cheese at 6 p.m.  Invite your friends!  More information to follow.

I commend to you the wonderful sermon that Bishop Dietsche preached on Saturday, Oct. 7 in a special service at the Cathedral for all who have been impacted by the hurricanes in the Caribbean, and especially in Puerto Rico.  By pulling together the disasters that have recently occurred, the Bishop puts his finger on the angst that we all are feeling and reminds us that we are people of hope and faith. 

I must say that my husband Bob Sirota and I were totally floored by the outpouring of love last Sunday as Bob’s birthday was celebrated after the Service.  Bob told me to tell you, “Thank you for your loving generosity last Sunday.  Thanks to all who shopped, cooked, planned and decorated for my birthday.  And thanks to everyone who gave me cards.  It was really wonderful!”  This was a fabulous feast.  There were many different kinds of rice and chicken, fish, plantains, vegetables, pasta, green salad, Jell-O with pears, corn, a beautiful pie, brownies, a birthday cake with the notes for “Happy Birthday” in the icing (an incredible offering from Velma Crichton), and balloons with music notes all over them.  What a joyous gathering!  Thank you from both of us!

Dr. Joe Walsh was a physician, a brilliant eye doctor with compassion and love for all people.  In Bishop Dietsche’s sermon, we heard of the kind service Joe did in Jerusalem for Palestinian Christians, Moslems and Jews with eye problems.  Saint Luke the physician understood the connection between Christ’s love for us and his healing grace.  May we all be healers in this sin-sick world.

In Christ and with love,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota


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