Thursday, January 16, 2020

From Mother Vicki

The Collect for The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; 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,

In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus explains to his disciples the importance of keeping the commandments and honoring our relationships with other people. We will not be able to feel God’s love let alone have a relationship with God if we are treating our family, friends and neighbors with disrespect and anger.  In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus clarifies his message even further by saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” He adds, “And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love is at the root of everything.

This year will be an exciting one for Saint John’s Church in Getty Square as we continue to pursue new possibilities for our mission with the Alliance for Renewal at Saint John’s Getty Square and the plans for an Episcopal School for the Performing Arts.  Our Vestry is an important voice in this complex conversation, if you have not yet turned in a nomination form, please think carefully about who you would like to see represent you.  This is the last Sunday to nominate people for Vestry and for Junior Warden.

We are grateful to Senior Warden Tara Seeley and the Class of 2020, Linda Brown, Carol Craft, Deborah Holcombe and Arlene Tracey, who will be stepping down from these positions at our Annual Meeting.  In addition, Peter Walsh, II, who has been an interim member of the Class of 2022 replacing dear Helen Hutchinson, will also be stepping down.  Of those people, the following can still be reelected to the Vestry: Tara Seeley (according to our Bylaws, the Senior Warden may return to the Vestry), Deborah Holcombe (she replaced the unfinished term of Tara Seeley), and Peter Walsh, II.  It is helpful if people who are nominated for Junior Warden are people who are currently on the Vestry, or who have served recently.  The Nominating Committee will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Church Office.  The members of this committee include the Rector, the Executive Committee (Sr. Warden, Jr. Warden, Clerk and Treasurer) as well as one Vestry person (Linda Brown) with an alternate (Barbara Karsten), and one Congregation member (Monica Harmon) with an alternate (Carol Walsh).  Please keep us all in your prayers.

The Alliance for Renewal at Saint John’s Getty Square is the name of our collaboration with people from Christ Church Bronxville and Christ’s Church Rye, who are helping with this new vision for Saint John’s that includes an Episcopal School for the Performing Arts.  The Alliance has received a gift from a Christ Church Congregation member in Bronxville that is providing us with a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) from the Urban Land Institute to help us figure out the complex parameters of our vision. This TAP will be working on site at Saint John’s on March 11 and 12, and provides “expert, multi-disciplinary advice to local governments, public agencies and nonprofit organizations facing complex land use and real estate issues throughout New York State.”  We are grateful for this help with looking at future possibilities.  Stay tuned!

Don’t forget to let me know if you are interested in our youth confirmation class (ages 12 and up) meeting on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. in the Church Office, or our adult Via Media Class to begin on Tuesday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m. (mothervsirota@gmail.com).

We will be restarting our Saint John’s Children’s Choir during Lent, as well as the Saint John’s Festival Choir.  Stay tuned for more information!

And don’t forget our 2019 Annual Meeting to be held on Sunday, February 23 at Noon, our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25 (suggested donation $5 for individuals, $7 for families), and Ash Wednesday services on Wed. Feb. 26 at noon and 7 p.m.

As the collect says so eloquently, dear God, “give us the help of your grace.”

Epiphany blessings and love,

The Rev. Canon Victoria Sirota

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