Collect for the Feast of All Saints
Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
My heart is heavy this week as we process the murder of eight people, with eleven wounded from Tuesday’s terrorist attack on downtown New York City. We are mourning the deaths of six foreign tourists and two Americans; five men from Rosario, Argentina who were celebrating their 30th high school reunion (Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi), Ann-Laure Decadt from Belgium (31), Darren Drake from New Milford, CT (32) and Nicholas Cleves from the West Village in NYC (23). We pray for their families and friends whose hearts and lives have just been broken apart. We also pray for those who were wounded, and for those who are struggling with the trauma of having witnessed such horror first hand.
This week we gather up these dear souls, as well as all who have died in our All Saints and All Souls prayers. We pray for heroic saints and those not so heroic but very real people—family members, friends and mentors---whom we miss terribly. We are all children of God, and so we pray for each other mightily, that we may be blessed in our living and in our dying.
We will be praying for all who have died in the last year this Sunday, November 5, All Saints Sunday. If names of your deceased family members and friends have not made it into our printed list, there will still be an opportunity during both Sunday services for you to say their names out loud. Please also pray for new member Egypt Allen who will be baptized on Sunday. This is a great moment in the life of this Church and in Egypt’s life! And our new Saint John’s Children’s Choir will be singing at the Offertory in the 10:15 a.m. Service for the first time. We are very grateful to Grace Episcopal Church, Nyack for their junior choir robes (with the help of Jan Valentine!). You won’t want to miss this!
Don’t forget our wonderful and joyous Penny Social this Sunday beginning at 12:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity to have fun, meet neighbors and friends, and help support Saint John’s Church as well!
Our Yonkers Basics program led by Dr. Jen Longley and Anthony Johnson last Saturday morning, October 28 was wonderful. We were delighted with all who came, and are grateful to Jen and Anthony (as well as Alicia DeBride, our babysitter) for their faithful leadership and guidance. We look forward to future events!
Please continue to pray for inspiration for our RenewalWorks Team, as we process the results of the Spiritual Life Inventory from our congregation, and look to our future spiritual growth with deeper insight and greater clarity. For more information, feel free to contact Tara Seeley and Carrie Parkey (RenewalWorks Facilitators), Jen Longley (RenewalWorks Communicator), our RenewalWorks Team (Samuel Akhtar, Linda Brown, Carol Craft, Debbie DeBride, Aaron McKinney and George Morrison) or myself. This process is complex, and I am extremely grateful to Tara and Carrie for the amount of time, thinking and praying that is going into their leadership.
Please add Saturday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. to your calendars! This will be Our Saint John’s Fundraising Concert featuring an excellent string quartet playing the music of Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven in support of the needed repair of our historic stained-glass windows. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. preceded by sparkling cider, wine and cheese in the Narthex at 6 p.m. Invite your friends! Ticket information to follow, as well as how to be listed as a Benefactor or Sponsor.
Join the Saint John’s Festival Choir to sing on Christmas Eve! Bob Sirota will begin rehearsing with all interested singers (sopranos, altos, tenors and basses) on Wednesday, 15 November from 5:45-6:30 p.m. in the Church. The next four rehearsals are all after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13, 20). For more information, please contact Mother Vicki+ (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Bob Sirota (email@example.com).
DON’T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS ON SATURDAY NIGHT. We are blessed with an extra hour of sleep (fall back from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m.), a gift!
As the winter approaches and the leaves drop, we see more sky, stars and heavenly constellations, and are reminded of the awesome beauty and joy of being alive. We also remember those who have gone before us and have left us with profound memories of God’s kindness and love.
May Christ, who makes saints of sinners, raise and strengthen you in all you do that you may help transform this broken world!
In Christ and with love,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota