Thursday, May 9, 2019

From Mother Vicki

The Reverend Canon Victoria R. Sirota

Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Easter
O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads;
who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns,  one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is always Good Shepherd Sunday.  Our Psalm is Psalm 23.  Many may remember this psalm from the King James Version that they might have memorized as a child.  It begins with:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his Name’s sake.

I love this reminder that God lovingly cares for us, knows that we are human and knows that we need our times of rest and restoration.  Our Lord will also lead us on the right path if we choose to pay attention and allow ourselves to be led.  It’s funny how stubborn we can be sometimes, ignoring the signs that we need to take a break, or forgetting to ask God’s help in discerning the right thing to do in a complex situation.  I love Anne Lamott’s reminder (and the title of her 2012 book) that there are really only three kinds of prayer: “Help, Thanks, Wow!”  “Help” works just fine when we’re not sure which way to turn.  And if you think you may miss God’s little sign to you of what direction to take, ask to be hit over the head with it so you don’t miss it.  That’s not cheating!

Thanks to all who helped with our wonderful May Penny Social last Sunday. It was a successful fundraiser and everyone had a terrific time!

Don’t forget to put our NY Landmarks Sacred Sites Open House on your calendar: Saturday, May 18 from 2 – 5 p.m.  Invite your friends from far and near!  Our Parish Historian Angie Piwinski will give a fascinating Guided Tour of Saint John’s Episcopal Church beginning at 2 p.m.  We are also thrilled that our wonderful musician and organist Jason Slayden, a world-class tenor, will give a vocal recital in the Sanctuary on Saturday, May 18 at 3 p.m. with pianist Gloria Kim. This will include The Holy Sonnets of John Donne by Benjamin Britten.  A suggested donation of $20 for this part of the afternoon will go to the artists.  At 4 p.m. we will have light refreshments with the Open House continuing until 5 p.m.

Also, on Saturday, May 18, our congregation member Deborah Holcombe will be exhibiting her inspired work as part of the Yonkers Arts Weekend May 18-19 from 12 – 5 p.m.in her studio in the YOHO Artists Open Studio at 540/578 Nepperhan Avenue.  And the beautiful art work of congregation member Philip Feller is part of a new exhibit at Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, 29 Warburton Ave, that can be viewed as part of Yonkers Art Weekend on Sunday, May 19 from noon to 4:30 p.m.  Wow! So much talent in Yonkers!

We have at least one Baptism on Pentecost Sunday, June 9th at the 10:15 a.m. Service of Holy Eucharist.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you know of someone who would like to be baptized on this great Festival Sunday (mothervsirota@gmail.com; 914 969 2969).

“Yay, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou are with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”  In this beautiful Easter season, the words of Psalm 23 remind us that God is with us all the time. As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15: “Where. O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

That’s another “Wow”!
Easter blessings and joy,

The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota

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