Thursday, January 16, 2020

From Mother Vicki

The Collect for the Third Sunday in Lent
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; 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,

Grace to you and peace!  Our Collect for Sunday is particularly apt, reminding us that “we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves.”  And so we ask to be defended from all adversities—those that may happen to the body and those “evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul.”  May our fears and worries not run away with us at this difficult time in the life of our nation and of the world.

That said, we are making a number of changes in order to be more proactive in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.  Therefore, I ask you please NOT to come to church if you are feeling ill, or if you are particularly vulnerable physically.  We will still be open, however, for those who wish to come.  Thank you for your good response on Sunday to our changes in behavior with each other to make this a safer place.  Because we love each other in this time of the coronavirus, we have suspended our traditional way of passing the peace during our worship services so that we are limiting our ability to pass on germs.  We are staying in our own pews and either putting our hands together and bowing to each other or waving.  This will feel uncomfortable for a while, but if we do it lovingly, it will be a gift.

Please also remember to wash your hands often and keep using a hand sanitizer.  Probably most important is to stay home if you are feeling ill.  Please call the church office (914 963 3033) if you would like to be placed on the prayer list.

In addition, we have decided to partake of the bread only at communion.  Because so many of us use intinction which Bishop Dietsche is asking us not to do, we feel that it is less confusing to simply suspend drinking from the common cup for the present.   

The Technical Assistance Panel from the Urban Land Institute cancelled on Tuesday night because of the restrictions on travel for the panel members by their businesses.  We are praying that they will be able to come in the near future.

This coming week there is no “Via Media” Class and no midweek Healing Eucharist, lunch and Bible class. Prayers for the filming of an episode of City on a Hill, which is using our space.

Please note that due to health suggestions from different sources as well as discussions with other clergy, we have decided to cancel the Saint John’s Children’s Choir rehearsals as well as The Saint John’s Festival Choir Rehearsals in preparation for Easter.  We are still planning special music with soloists for Easter Sunday.

This is a trying time, but we trust that God is in the midst of us.  Prayers for us all in this Season of Lent.

Lenten blessings and love,


The Rev. Canon Victoria Sirota

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