From Mother Vicki
Matthew 25:31-40 NRSV
21 November 2020
Dear Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This last Sunday in Pentecost and last Sunday in our Liturgical Year is Christ the King Sunday. The liturgical color changes from green to white. We look to Christ's Coming in Glory and are reminded again of how our relationships with each other and care for each other have everything to do with our relationship with Christ. We cannot say that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul if we do not love our neighbors as ourselves. We are all connected.
On Tuesday night, the Vestry made the difficult decision for Saint John's to remain closed on Sunday mornings for an indefinite period. As you know COVID-19 cases are on the rise in a frightening way, hospitals are reaching capacity, and indoor gatherings are super spreaders. We are erring on the side of caution. This breaks my heart but it is the right decision for now and stems for our loving care for each other. Please stay safe! You are precious.
We sent out our Stewardship Mailing last week. The statements of “Why I give” from Vestry members are very moving. Our building may not be open on Sunday mornings, but we are still walking through this trying time together, holding our hands virtually. Christ is our guide. If you can mail in your pledge cards this week, we will bless them on Sunday, November 29, Stewardship Sunday. Thank you for your loving care for Saint John's and our ministry together.
Please join us by clicking on the link below for our LIVE STREAMING SERVICE from Saint John’s Church this Sunday, November 22 at 10 a.m. Our opening hymn is Hymn 494, "Crown him with many crowns,” and our final Hymn 433 “We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing” is preparing us for a very different Thanksgiving this year—fewer people around, but hopefully more gratitude for all that we have been given that we have taken for granted. Peter Walsh, Jr. is our lay reader for Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24, Psalm 95:1-7a, Ephesians 1:15-23, as well as our Litany of Thanksgiving and Prayers. The Gospel reading is Matthew 25:31-46.
We will follow the service with our Zoom Coffee Hour at 11:30 a.m. using the link below. It means so much to see you in person, even if you only have a little time!
Please let me know if you have names to add to our prayer list or would just like a pastoral conversation ( ; 914 969 2969). Please continue to hold in your prayers The Rev. Canon Claudia Wilson (thanks be to God for her successful surgery!), Aida Carino, Anthony Giannone Sr. (in the hospital), Linda Brown, Karen Marchewka, Ruby Dixon, and Shelly Henderson, among many others. We continue to pray for all who have COVID-19, for the over 253,000 Americans who have died from the virus, and for ALL who have died unjustly because of racism and prejudice, including indigenous peoples. We also offer thanksgiving for our military who have fought to protect those liberties that we hold so dear, and we pray for President Trump and President-elect Biden, and for all of those who have been elected and reelected for a new era of compassion and zeal for justice.
Thanks to those who have made a donation to help pay for the tuition for a deserving young woman from the lowest caste in India, Angel Geetha Rani. Barbara Karsten writes, “Angel is one of the scavenger children or known as the untouchables. The tuition is $1000.00 - 1100.00 a year. We can't change a lot of things, but we can change one life. Thank you in advance. Barbara” If you are interested in helping out, please send checks in any amount to: “Saint John’s Church.” On the memo line, please add: “Tuition for Angel,” and mail to St. John’s Church, 1 Hudson Street, Yonkers NY 10701.
Please join us for our Advent Book Club! We are reading a wonderful book by Rowan Williams Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2014). The dates of this Zoom course, which can be accessed either by computer or phone, are Monday, Nov. 30, Wed. Dec. 2, Wed. Dec. 9 and Wed. Dec. 16, all from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. You can purchase this on your own ($10 paperback on Amazon or less as an audiobook), or, if you wish, I can purchase it for you. If you are interested in Baptism, Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church, reading this book is a great way to start. Please email me if you are interested in joining us! ( )
The last lines of the last verse of "We gather together" are: "Let thy congregation escape tribulation: thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!" May God continue to bless us and guide us through this great pandemic--this tribulation, and may we continue to praise and thank God for the gift of life!
Blessings, prayers and much love,
The Rev. Canon Victoria Sirota
; cell phone 443 257 9963