Thursday, March 7, 2019

From Mother Vicki

Collect for the First Sunday in Lent
Almighty God whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. 
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This Sunday, the First Sunday in Lent, we remember Jesus and his temptations in the wilderness by Satan, a vivid way to begin our Lenten Journey as we prepare for Holy Week and Jesus’s painful journey from Gethsemane to Golgotha.  This season of devotion and changes in habit (whether giving up or adding something to our daily routine) can be a blessed time of increased prayer life and meditation.  We are offering a course on three Thursday evenings (March 21, April 4 and 11) from 6:30 – 8 p.m. in the Church Office on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s “The Way of Love.”  This course will provide gentle help with your Lenten routine and practice.  Please let me know if you are interested in joining us (mothervsirota@gmail.com; 914 969 2969).  Please feel free to come for the entire course or just an individual session as your schedule allows.
It is with deep sadness that we announce that this past Sunday, March 3rd, we found out that long-time member John Afionian had died that morning at age 80. The family requested that I officiate at a small private Burial Service at Whalen and Ball on Ash Wednesday morning, followed by his burial in Mount Hope Cemetery.  Prayers for his two daughters, Diane and Carol, his family and all who mourn his passing.  He was a faithful attendee at our 8 a.m. Sunday Service.  We will miss his regular presence in the front row.  May dear John rest in God’s peace. 
On Shrove Tuesday we celebrated Mardi Gras with a delicious Pancake Supper, thanks to Chefs Chris Canty and Bob Sirota, as well as our terrific Hospitality team including Ival DeBride, Mary Owens and Deborah DeBride.  We were blessed with plain and blueberry pancakes, butter, maple syrup, bacon, sausage, strawberries and whipped cream.  What a lovely time we had with grown-ups and children feasting on this last day before Ash Wednesday.  After the meal, we placed a pan with our palm branches in a pile of snow and watched them furiously burn, turning into ashes for the next day.  
On Ash Wednesday our services at noon and 7 p.m. included the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Eucharist.  Thanks to all who volunteered, including members of our faithful Altar Guild (Helen Hutchinson and Linda Brown), Eucharistic Ministers (Anthony Johnson and George Morrison; Deborah DeBride and Denise Hackl), as well as Greeters and Readers (Deborah Holcombe, Tara Seeley and Edith Williams).  The Lenten hymns were beautifully played by Jason Slayden.  We are also grateful to The Rev. Canon Tom Orso who was a wonderful help with priestly duties at the noon service.  A number of new and old Yonkers residents joined us as well as members from other Yonkers Episcopal churches.
Healing prayers continue for The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson who thankfully was able to come home the day after her Monday surgery.  We are grateful to God for excellent surgeons and angels who continue to watch over her.

Don’t forget that we spring forward this weekend and lose an hour of sleep!  We gain, however, an hour of daylight at the end of the day.
May Christ help us as we struggle with ur own individual temptations.  May our Lenten Pilgrimage be blessed in wondrous ways!
Lenten blessings and love,
The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota

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