Thursday, March 22, 2018

From Mother Vicki

Lift Every Voice and Sing II, Hymn 70
I want Jesus to walk with me.
I want Jesus to walk with me.
 All along my pilgrim journey,
Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This Sunday, Palm Sunday, we begin our Holy Week journey blessing our palms in front of the church and joining the crowd over the centuries that has lifted up palm branches and praised Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.  We continue this journey with prayer and song at the Sharing Community, on North Broadway and in front of the church, finally entering and singing, “All glory, laud and honor to thee, Redeemer King!”  For the Gospel, we will read the entire Passion according to Saint Mark.  We will join the crowd as Jesus is mocked and scorned, yelling, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

With this Palm Sunday Service, Holy Week has begun.  The color on the altar is no longer purple, but red.  We are moving towards Maundy Thursday, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and instituted the Last Supper.  The lights are turned down, the altar linens removed, and we hold a Vigil in the Garden of Repose.  The huge Cross is brought into the chancel and next we stand at the foot of the cross and weep at Christ’s pain and suffering, and at his crucifixion.

We were very blessed to have The Rev. Dr. Gideon Jebamani as our Preacher this past Fifth Sunday of Lent. Fr. Gideon, who stepped in as Interim Priest at Saint John’s between Burt Ulrich’s+ retirement and John Hamilton’s+ arrival. He has spent his career as an advocate for the lowest "untouchable" caste of India, and with those in prison.  We are grateful for his loving presence, his beautiful sermon and his reminder that we are to be the “salt of the earth.”

If you would like to make an Easter Flower donation in memory of loved ones, please remember to turn in your donation by this Monday, March 26, with the names clearly written so that we can list them in the Easter Sunday Bulletin.  And if you are not rehearsing with the Saint John’s Festival Choir on Holy Saturday, March 31 at 10 a.m., please join Carol and Peter Walsh to help prepare the church as a beautiful Easter garden.

Easter will be all the more glorious for you if you take the time to be present to the gift of this Holy Week pilgrimage.   “I want Jesus to walk with me.”  May Christ bless you on your journey this year, wherever that takes you.

Some of you have expressed interest in the March for Our Lives on Saturday in New York.  The specific information is listed below, whether you decide to meet with other Episcopalians at the Cathedral at 9 a.m. in the Poet's Corner, or begin with the rally that starts at 10 a.m. at West 72nd Street and Central Park West and march from there at 11 a.m.   This will be a powerful witness.

In Christ and with love,

The Rev. Canon Victoria Sirota

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