Thursday, October 11, 2018

From Mother Vicki

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Michael.  Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming.  Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints on light.  Amen.
May his soul, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This week we are mourning the sudden death of our member Michael Block, 48 years old.  Michael was a dear man, beloved by everyone he met. He joined the Saint John’s Festival Choir this year, and was faithful in his attendance and presence, his voice blossoming in the last nine months into a powerful bass baritone.  He sang with the Choir at our 325th Festival Eucharist on September 23rd and was at the Gala Luncheon.  He was kind to everyone, and smart, funny and wise in a very deep way.  Anthony and Debbie have been in conversation with his 86-year-old father.  There will be a Funeral Service at Saint John’s in early November. Stay tuned for more details.  In the meantime, I imagine the heavenly choir inviting Michael to join, and Michael responding with an expression of surprise and delight. Please hold him, his family and friends in your prayers.

This Saturday is the Episcopal Diocese of New York’s 3rd Annual Global Mission Fair held at Church of the Heavenly Rest (Fifth Avenue & 90th Street) from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  A number of us will be present to celebrate Father Gideon Jebamani and the SGDF grant that we have helped sponsor to help educate the children of scavenger workers in India.  We are honored to be part of this wonderful endeavor.

Thanks to all who turned a low Homecoming Sunday (just two weeks after our 325th Celebration!) into a high Sunday with a magnificent feast in the Library and three cakes as we honored Jurhee Hong’s last Sunday as our Organist.  We will truly miss her and wish her all the best in her new life in Seattle.  It was also wonderful to commission all of our incredible volunteers who do so much in so many different ways to help this Church be the hands of feet in Christ in Getty Square. Thank you!  And let us know if you are interested in considering a new volunteer position.  We can always use more help!

If you are interested in a deeper relationship with Christ, you may wish to consider joining The Order of Urban Missioners, a spiritual support group for lay and ordained people who would like to join people from other churches and make a more serious commitment to serving others in the city.  I helped found the Order in Baltimore in 2000.  This is the tenth year for the Order in the Diocese of New York.  Our Service of Covenanting will be held on Wednesday, October 17 at 6 p.m. in Saint John's Getty Square, with The Right Rev. Allen K. Shin as our Celebrant and Preacher.  Monthly meetings are in the Guild Room on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m., ending with a Service of Holy Eucharist at 12:30 p.m. in the Lady Chapel. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Mother Vicki (914 969 2969; mothervsirota@gmail.com).

The Saint John's Festival Choir sang wonderfully for our 325th Anniversary (!), and will be singing again on All Saints' Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 10:15 a.m.  In preparation, the next rehearsals will be on Thursdays, October 18, 25, and Nov 1 at 5:30 p.m. in the Church.  All who love to sing are welcome!  Please let us know if you will be joining us (mothervsirota@gmail.com; bobsirota@me.com).

Also, if you or a family member or friend are interested in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, please let me know. All Saints’ Sunday Nov. 4 is an appropriate Sunday to include baptisms.  This is one of the most joyful sacraments in the Church!

On Saturday, October 20, Zhaleh Mahootian is coordinating a project for her Girl Scouts Gold Award that involves restoration of the area around the Van Cortland Family Vault where The Reverend Luke Babcock, the pastor of Frederick Van Cortlandt and one of the earliest rectors of Saint John's is buried (he was the rector here during the Revolutionary War).  If you would like to help out, please let me know.  The clean-up will be on Saturday, October 20th from 2-4 p.m. in Van Cortland Park.

Also looking ahead, please mark in your calendar a special evening devoted to Interfaith Conversation.  On Wednesday, October 24, we will be hosting the Sisters of Shalom Shalem at 7 p.m. in the Guild Room for coffee, dessert and conversation. This is an organization of Jewish and Muslim women who are devoted to learning more about each other's faiths. We are thrilled that they would like to share a conversation with us about their religions.

Our Organist this Sunday will be Jason Slayden, who has been a soloist for us on a number of festive occasions.  Thanks Jason for sharing your gifts with us!

Don't forget our Farmers' and Flea Market as well as Thrift Store on Thursdays.   The fruit and produce are wonderful and there are great bargains in our Thrift Store.  It’s not too late to donate fall and winter clothes, as well as kitchen goods!

May God bless us that we may appreciate all the people who join with us singing your praises, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.

Blessings and love,
The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota

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