|The Reverend Canon Victoria R. Sirota, Rector|
Collect for Independence Day
Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Happy 4th of July! As we celebrate our Independence from England 243 years ago, it is astonishing to realize how deeply imbedded our Saint John’s Parish was in this struggle for freedom. Our Anglican Rector during that time, The Rev. Luke Babcock, was imprisoned from 1776-1777 and released because his health was in a terrible state. He died soon after. According to various sources, his wife had been a spy for the Yankees. Our 1759 church, the southern wall of which is still part of our 1872 building, was used as a hospital for both sides during the Revolutionary War. We worship on ground that witnesses to this extraordinary history.
What strikes me today is how difficult it is to hold together differing viewpoints. Our political system has become so emotionally charged that it is easy to forget to pray for each other. On this Fourth of July may we rejoice in the freedoms for which many of our predecessors have died and pray for the continued care and concern for all people that has been a hallmark of this country.
Our prayers continue for The Sharing Community as they combine with Westhab Inc. and look forward to a renewed presence in Yonkers. We are grateful for their ministry over the last 36 years, 22 of which has been in our former Sunday School building Newell Hall. Change is always difficult. Prayers for us as well as we re-imagine new possibilities for this property.
Thanks to all who attended our beautiful Candlelight Concert last Friday, June 28. It was a wonderful event, and we are grateful to Ben Larsen, cellist and Julie Nah Kyung Lee, flutist, for their terrific performance.
The Farmers’ Market begins again next week on Thursday, July 11. Thanks to all who help to organize and run this wonderful community offering. It is not too late to volunteer to help out or to donate gently used clothing and kitchen goods for our thrift shop. For more information, please contact George Morrison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
“America! America! God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”
Blessings and love,
The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota