Who wondrous things that done, in whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mother’s arms hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.”
Hymn 397, words Martin Rinckart; tr. Catherine Winkworth
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I am asking you to support the great work of Saint John’s Episcopal Church. This has been an amazing year in the life of our parish. In September we joyously celebrated the 325th Anniversary of our founding with the visitation of Assistant Bishop The Right Reverend Mary D. Glasspool in the morning, an historic tour of the church, and then a Gala Luncheon at the Riverfront that included accolades and citations from Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, City Council President Mike Khader, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and State Senator Shelley Mayer. The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche, Diocesan Bishop, wrote a stunning letter commending us on our rich history. And at the luncheon, we were blessed with a brief history of our church in word and photos by our youth, and the performances of the Advanced Choir and a Jazz Ensemble from the Young At Arts program, an after-school program run by Christ Church, Bronxville. The conversation continues for an exciting new possibility for young people in Newell Hall, once The Sharing Community moves into a bigger and better location. You should know that we are working very hard to ensure that homeless services in Yonkers will be improved by this move, and that Yonkers City and Westchester County Department of Social Services work together in a much healthier and productive way than they have in the past. We have great hope and joy in what the Holy Spirit is doing with us at this moment in our rich history! And we are incredibly grateful for everyone who volunteered to help make our 325th Anniversary an outstanding and wonderful day and who generously donated to help restore our Clerestory Windows.
At our most recent Vestry meeting, I asked the Vestry why they come to Saint John’s Church. The answers included for fellowship, growth, community, refreshing, for the music, for its history, to connect, to pray, and for help with holding on to a spiritual path. Vestry members pledge because they care about this building and everything we do with it, because they want to keep the church in excellent condition, keep it warm throughout the chilly winter months and keep this an inspiring place in which we can gather, rejoice, worship and mourn together. Our Church is not only a community center, but it is our spiritual center, the place in which the Holy Spirit blesses and guides us in our lives. The theme for our Diocesan Convention this past weekend was “Becoming Beloved Community.” That is who we are and why our support of Saint John’s Church is critically important in this time of fear, anxiety and anger.
We need your help if we really wish to be the hands and feet of Christ in Getty Square. Yonkers is changing and growing--experiencing a real renaissance. In order for us to continue changing and growing, we hope you will consider pledging this year if you have not in the past, increasing your pledge if you can, and offering your stewardship of time and talent by volunteering to help out in all the ways that send out Christ’s love to members, neighbors, friends and strangers.
We have enclosed a pledge card where you may indicate what new or continuing ministry you would like to be part of and what your monetary pledge for 2019 will be. Let us know if you would like envelopes. Please place your pledge card in the offering plate so that we may pray over them. Our official Stewardship Sunday will be December 2rd, the First Sunday of Advent.
May we thank our God for all the gifts we have been given with all that we have, our hearts and hands and voices!
Yours in Christ,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota, Priest-in-Charge