Thursday, May 24, 2018

From Mother Vicki

From Mother Vicki

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect for The First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This Sunday, the First Sunday after Pentecost, we lift up the Trinity.  In our Liturgical Year, which began on the First Sunday of Advent, we heralded the Second Coming of Jesus and then remembered his first coming—his birth, his life and ministry of healing, his death and resurrection, his ascension and his promise that he would send the Holy Spirit to his beloved disciples.  Throughout his ministry, Jesus revealed his close connection with his Father.  He called him, “Abba” which is the equivalent of our “Daddy.”  Last Sunday, we remembered the great gift of the Holy Spirit on his disciples, their ability to speak in the mother-tongues of people from all nations, and the clarity of their being sent out to preach Christ’s Gospel of love and hope.  As we now lift up the Trinity, we are reminded that our God is one God, with three persons., Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Along with this theological concept of three in one and one in three, comes mystery. We cannot reduce The Lord God Almighty--Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier--to an entity that we control.  God is huge.

This is also Memorial Day Weekend when we remember all those brave men and women who have died for our country over the centuries.  In our church, we stand on ground that was a hospital during the Revolutionary War.  Giving one’s life for one’s country is a courageous and noble thing to do.  We are grateful to God for the freedoms that we hold in America and thank God for all who have made the ultimate sacrifice for those freedoms and we thank God profoundly for all who continue to serve this country.  May they be blessed and protected.

And in our Episcopal Diocese of New York, we also Lament this weekend for the ways in which our Episcopal churches over the years were complicit in slavery and the benefits of subjugating a group of people for economic gain and comfort.  When we look back at the ways in which this original sin continues to pervade our culture through racism, exploitation of peoples, unequal treatment and opportunities, and unequal inheritance and economic growth, we are mortified.  May God forgive us for these grave sins.  May we move forward with repentant hearts and with our eyes open, that we may truly work towards real justice and liberty for all.

Thanks to our readers (especially for our first reading of Acts in Hindi, French, German and English as well as in American Sign Language!), to our children and adult choir members, conductor Bob Sirota, tenor soloist Jason Slayden, musician Jurhee Hong, Eucharistic ministers and everyone who helped with our glorious Pentecost Service and who brought food and helped others during our potluck last Sunday.  What a great morning and a terrific feast! The Holy Spirit was powerfully present!

Our third class of “Via Media” (“The Middle Way”) is on Monday evening, June 4th.  This is a great group!  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.  Six more classes will be offered on Monday nights with the next one in the Library on Monday night, June 4th 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).

We ask your continued prayers as we as a Parish 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 God has always been here, and will continue to lead us, guide us, and inspire us with new resolve, new energy, and new ideas for this wondrous city!

Prayers for the gift of time off as we remember those who have died for our country’s freedoms, and prayers for safe travel for those who will be away.  And as we lament our sins of the past, may we work hard to truly make this a country that provides liberty and justice for all.

In the name of the holy and undivided Trinity,

The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota

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