Thursday, May 17, 2018

From Mother Vicki

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for Pentecost
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This Sunday, May 20th, is Pentecost Sunday and marks the end of the Liturgical Season of Easter as well as the birthday of The Church.  Red is the color of the day!  After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples waited in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost literally means “50 days,” and is our celebration of the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples fifty days after Jesus Christ’s Resurrection from the dead.  Our reading from the Acts of the Apostles describes the Holy Spirit as making a sound like the rushing of wind and appearing like tongues of fire on the disciples’ heads.  Everyone heard these fishermen from Galilee speaking in their native tongue, quite a feat for this little band of Jesus’ friends!  This is no longer a sect within Judaism.  This is the beginning of a new idea, of a religion that embraces Jesus Christ as Lord and does not care about one’s tribe, lineage or culture.  All are invited by the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus’s Gospel message of love.

We are trying something new this year at the 10:15 a.m. Festival Service of Holy Eucharist.  For our very first reading, we will have people read it in five different languages at the same time: English, French, German, Hindi and American Sign Language.  Yes, it will be pretty wild!  But we hope it will remind us all of the tremendous power of God to break through to people in surprising ways.  Pentecost changed everything! Everyone felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Both choirs will be singing at the 10:15 a.m. Service, along with our wonderful tenor soloist Jason Slayden.  The Saint John’s Children’s Choir will be singing “Spirit Song”, and the Saint John’s Festival Choir, assisted by Mr. Slayden, will be singing Calvin Hampton’s “A Repeating Alleluia,” as well as Harold Friedell’s lovely “Draw us in the Spirit’s Tether.” In addition, our soloist will also sing “If with all your hearts ye truly love me” from Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Our second class of “Via Media” (“The Middle Way”) is on Monday evening, May 21st.  This is a great group!  It is not too late to join.  If you are struggling with your faith, the Bible, doctrine, and/or the Episcopal Church, this is a safe place to find out more and ask questions.  Each session includes a video, handouts and group discussion.  Seven more classes will be offered on Monday nights with the next one in the Library this Monday night, May 21st from 7 – 8:30 p.m. (see below for specific dates).  This is also preparation for adults who might be interested in Confirmation, Reception or Reaffirmation with Bishop Mary Glasspool in September.  Please let me know if you are coming (mothervsirota@gmail.com; 914 969 2969).

Our Vestry meets next Thursday, May 24th at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall.  Please hold us in your prayers as we continue to consider questions that directly connect with our understanding of God’s call to us in this place and at this time.  And as we continue to pray for this Congregation, for the Sharing Community, for the City of Yonkers, for Westchester County and New York State social services, and for the homeless, tourists, and residents of Yonkers, may we remember that the Holy Spirit is more powerful than we can imagine, and that we can count on this Advocate to inspire us with new resolve, new energy, and new ideas for this wondrous city!

Pentecost blessings and joy,

The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota

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