15 November 2017
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Saint John’s Episcopal Church has a rich history and a significant place in the life of the city of Yonkers. The longer I am here, the more I can see and feel the gift of our presence--tolling the quarter hours, embracing the community with food from our Thursday Farmers’ Market and clothing from our Rummage Sale, providing a joyful neighborhood Penny Social Event once a month, throwing open our doors for Mass on Sundays and Wednesdays, supporting our Spanish speaking AA program with evening meetings three times a week, supporting the Sharing Community by providing the space for people to congregate before their Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, supporting LGBTQ Youth with a place for the Center Lane Thanksgiving Celebration, supporting the Boy Scouts Troop 4 with their Monday night meetings, welcoming all to our coffee hours after church services, and so much more. We provide a holy space for prayer and worship in the middle of Getty Square. This building has stood here since 1872. There have been faithful believers gathering here even before the Revolutionary War. We are a significant piece of the fabric of this city.
At our latest Vestry meeting, I asked the question, “Why do you come to church here?” Here are some of their answers:
I attend St. Johns’ because I feel very welcomed here and enjoy participating in many things. It is a beautiful church.
I come to St. John’s to grow in my faith and to share God’s love.
I feel loved and supported here. God is with us here.
I come to St. John’s Church because it has been my home church for many years. I believe that God has kept me here for His purpose, to help spread His word.
I feel that St. John’s Church was the beginning of spiritual seeds for my family over 300 years ago and when I am in church I feel the ages and it enforces the depth of my spiritual well-being.
I attend St. John’s because of the welcoming atmosphere of the family that I have found—my spiritual family and deep, close, loving nurturing relationships.
I come to St. John’s because it is a place where everyone is accepted. People care about each other no matter what they look like, how much money they have or where they come from
Then the question was, “Why give money here? Why pledge?” Here are some of the responses:
I give to demonstrate my gratitude for the generosity and graciousness I have received, supporting the Church (Body of Christ, Group who have gathered in Christ’s name) and its mission!
I pledge to support the Church financially to keep the doors open for generations to come.
The reason I give (or pledge) is because I am grateful and thankful for what the Lord has blessed me and my family with.
I give to St. John’s as a small way to share all the many blessings God has shared with me.
I give money to St. John’s because I know it is necessary for it to run. The people of this Church have fought for the underdog and I know it is necessary to provide money to keep things going.
We pray that you will feel moved to support your church with your 2018 pledge of time, talent and treasure. The list of opportunities for service includes volunteering as an acolyte, reader, greeter, usher, Sunday School teacher, member of the altar guild, choir, finance, fundraising, property, or landscape committees, vestry member, helping with the Farmer’s Market, Penny Social, coffee hour, etc. Let us know what is moving your heart. How generous has God been with you this past year? Can you give more of yourself? Can you raise the amount of your monetary gift?
We are blessed when we have the courage to step out on faith. That’s what our predecessors did who founded this church. We stand on their shoulders.
We have enclosed a pledge card where you may indicate what new or continuing ministry you would like to be part of and what your monetary pledge for 2018 will be. Let us know if you would like envelopes. Please place your pledge card in the offering plate so that we may pray over them. Our official Stewardship Sunday will be December 3rd, the First Sunday of Advent.
Thank you for your faithful service and generosity of spirit. God loves a cheerful giver! May you be blessed with the mind and heart of Christ in this season of giving.
Yours in Christ,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota
Saint John’s Getty Square