Saturday, June 13, 2020
Prayers of the People
Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Collect for the Second Sunday after Pentecost
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We are the household of God, and through God's grace we proclaim the truth and minister justice with compassion. These are weighty and powerful words, and they remind us of our profound connection and responsibility to our God, especially in the time of trial.
I am grateful to Bishop Dietsche's Wednesday sermon this week and his reminder of a particularly inspiring quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will. And we shall continue to love you." Dr. King said these words during the Civil rights movement and in the midst of incredible physical threats, violence, beatings, jailings and murders. This man of profound faith walked a road that few have travelled and continues to lead us all to a better place, even years later.
Prayers for our protestors and prayers for our government that a new day in which love prevails may win out. Soul force!
We rejoice with our three high school seniors who are graduating in the next couple of weeks, Alicia, Briana and Elijah! These wonderful young people have been working and studying hard, and we are so proud of their awesome accomplishment. Congratulations! And congratulations to all who are completing studies for the year, who have been working hard at home, and to their parents, relatives, friends and teachers who have helped them complete their studies.
We continue to pray hard for change in our country, for Black Lives Matter, and for compassion and a new understanding of the sins of systemic racism and white supremacy and the energy and courage for systemic change. Thanks be to God for the courage of protestors throughout the country who will not let down on their insistence that this is the time. Please continue to pray for the profound healing that will be needed in order to right those things that have been very wrong.
We are particularly delighted to announce that after much work and labor on the part of Jan Valentine, our Administrative Assistant, that we have a new website! We have been working on this for a full year, and are thrilled with what it looks like. We are still tweaking it, but please do check it out! (stjohnsgettysquare.church). The fact that it ends in dot church will help people to find us among the many, many "Saint John's" institutions throughout our country that include schools, hospitals, etc.
This Season of Pentecost brings together scripture from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and New Testament. We will be using Track 2, which, for this Second Sunday after Pentecost, includes a selection from the Book of Exodus, beautifully read by Elaine Williams, who also offers Psalm 100, a joyous psalm of praise. Chris Canty reads a powerful passage from Romans reminding us that suffering produces endurance, which produces character, which produces hope, "because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit." Our Gospel reading in this Year A is from the Gospel of Matthew.
This Sunday, Jason Slayden will begin with an old favorite, Hymn 685, "Rock of Ages cleft for me," and end with "We shall overcome," the gospel hymn that started out as "I'll overcome someday" and has roots in the antebellum song "No More Auction Block for Me." This song was changed from "We will overcome" to "We shall overcome" by Pete Seeger, and became an important song of protest during the 1960s. There is something about this song that calls us to caring about each other in a much more profound way. Seeger said that when he was singing this at a Lutheran Church in Idaho, an older person, mistrustful of his "lefty politics," asked, "Who are you intending to overcome?" Seeger answered, "Well, in Selma, Alabama they're probably thinking of Chief Pritchett, they will overcome. And I am sure Dr. King is thinking the system of segregation across the whole country, not just the South. For me, it means the entire world. We'll overcome our tendencies to solve our problems with killing and learn to work together to bring this world together." Amen.
We ask your prayers this week especially for Anthony Giannone Sr. and Lynette Lewis who both have been given new medical diagnoses.
Please join us this Sunday, June 14th, for our worship service, which, God willing, will be sent out by email at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday morning. If you know of someone who would like to be on our email list, they can sign up at on our new website stjohnsgettysquare.church or yonkerschurch.org (scroll down and at the bottom of the lighter green column on the right side, click on "Sign up for our Email List"). If you are NOT receiving these emails and had been in the past, please sign up again! It probably means that you hit "unsubscribe" by mistake. As it turns out with this particular system, we cannot unsubscribe you, and cannot subscribe you back again if that has happened.
Please feel free to join us for our Zoom coffee hour, which we are holding on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to about 12:10 p.m.! It is a joy to connect with you! You can always call in even if you can't get Zoom. The link is below.
Prayers for our soul force! Stay safe, dear people of God, wear your masks, and keep the faith!
Blessings, joy and much love,
The Rev. Canon Victoria Sirota
firstname.lastname@example.org; cell phone 443 257 9963