Thursday, June 14, 2018

From Mother Vicki

Jesus also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

Mark 4:30-32 NRSV

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Happy Father’s Day!  This Sunday we celebrate our fathers for their loving care and wisdom.  It is good that we remember to lift up and honor the role of fatherhood—that of patriarch, protector and nurturer.  Even though no earthly father can possibly possess the infinite wisdom, love and compassion we would like to receive, we are grateful for every moment that our fathers got it right.  And we thank God for the gift of life itself!

The parable of the mustard seed, a section of the Gospel for this Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, has always captured my imagination.  We discussed this in Bible Class on Wednesday and spoke of the necklace that had a little mustard seed in it that some of us had worn.  I remember wanting to “free the mustard seed.”  Edith Williams said that she had done that and actually planted it—but it didn’t grow!

Jesus was talking with farmers and people who bought and sold goods in the marketplace.  They would have paid close attention to the weather and the length and success or failure of the growing season.  Pondering the merits and miracle of a tiny mustard seed would have helped them connect their daily lives and concerns with the message that Jesus was trying to convey—that the kingdom of God is right here, right now and is more powerful and miraculous than they could imagine.

We, too, tend to take things for granted and neglect to notice the miracles happening right under our nose.  This little mustard seed (if it has not been trapped in a pendant!) will grow in the darkness of the soil, receiving needed nutrients and mature into a shrub large enough for birds to nest in it.  When Jesus from Galilee was speaking these words, it was rather inconceivable that his message about the kingdom of God would ever reach anyone, let alone those of us in the 21st century.  And yet the kingdom of God with this message of love is here with us now.  A true miracle!

This Sunday, 17 June, at 11:45 a.m. in the Library we are holding an initial planning meeting for our 325th Anniversary celebration on Sunday, September 23rd.  This is open to anyone who is interested in helping out. Knowing that it is Father’s Day, we won’t keep you too long!  But please know that we are looking for volunteers to help with publicity, fund raising (ads for a booklet), connecting with other Episcopal parishes in Westchester, decorating, planning, etc. Come and join us as we joyfully lift up our incredible heritage of belonging to the very first Anglican parish in this area!

Our fifth class of “Via Media” (“The Middle Way”) is on Monday evening, June 25th from 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the Library (enter through the door closest to the Guild Room).  If you are struggling with your faith, the Bible, doctrine, and/or the Episcopal Church, this is a safe place to explore and ask questions.  The other classes in this course are on July 9 and 23 and September 10.  This is also preparation for adults who are 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).

Vestry members, please don’t forget our important Vestry Retreat led by Canon Claudia Wilson on Saturday, June 30th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.  This is our opportunity to look carefully at our mission and how to connect it with our future life in Getty Square.  Jen Longley has a sign-up sheet for our brunch and lunch together.  Please bring one item to share for 3-4 people.  Coffee, tea and juice will be provided.

Our Farmers’ and Flea Market begins again on Thursday, July 5th from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For those who are helping out, a planning meeting for all will be held on Thursday, June 21 at 10 a.m. in the Guild Room (with coffee and donuts!).  If you would like to volunteer, it’s not too late!  Please contact George Morrison (914 450 5424).

The miracle of the mustard seed and the miracle of being alive.  Thanks be to our fathers and especially to our Father in heaven whose love for us is infinite!Anchor

Blessings and love,

The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota

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