Our New Easter Online Bible Study / Fellowship Hour Pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and join us for an hour of virtual bible study, prayer, and fellowship. Every Wednesday during Easter we will “gather” on Zoom at 7:30 pm. As we explore the book of Acts, we will see how the news of Jesus’ resurrection transformed the lives of God’s people. To participate, simply go to https://zoom.us/join. When prompted, enter the meeting ID number, 852 7763 8799. In the next dialog box, enter the passcode, smlc2021. It’s as simple as that. We look forward to seeing you online.
A New Possible Option for In Person Small Group Bible Study Recent guidelines from the Center for Disease Control have suggested that those who have received the Covid-19 vaccine may resume small indoor gatherings. As of March 23, Pastor and Jean Boehler will be fully vaccinated. We would like to explore the possibility of hosting an in person bible study once again. If you have received the vaccine or expect to soon, please let Pastor know if you would like to find out more. We look forward to seeing you all very soon.
About the Status of the Traditional Sunday Morning and Midweek Bible Studies One of the things that increases the possibility of becoming infected with the novel coronavirus is when the amount of time spent indoors is increased. That is why for the time being our worship services will be shorter than usual. It is also the reason why, for the time being, our regular bible studies will not be meeting. May the good Lord grant that we can soon return to our regular gatherings.
Are You Interested in Finding Out More about St. Mark’s? If you are thinking about joining this parish, or preparing for Baptism, First Communion, or Confirmation, please speak with Pastor as soon as possible. We hope to start a new formation group called Didache, a word which means “Teaching.” We look forward to hearing from you soon.
With the Closing of Concordia, Our Lutheran College in Bronxville, many lives are being disrupted. Concordia is working with Iona College, the College of Mount St. Vincent, and Manhattanville College to transition our students to new institutions where they can complete their programs. The faculty and staff, however, are on their own to make their way toward whatever their “new normal” might be. This can entail a great deal of financial as well as emotional difficulty.
To address this need, the Atlantic District has created a Care and Comfort Fund. Tax deductible gifts can be made to this fund, which will be distributed among those who face financial hardship due to the loss of their employment. A committee of friends and alumni has been established in order to administer the fund equitably.
If you would like to make a donation to support this important work of mercy, please go to https://ad-lcms.org/ccny-care-and-comfort-fund. May the Lord bless you for your kindness and generosity to others.
Our Mission of the Month for April is Lutheran Social Services of New York, Founded as the Bethlehem Home for Orphans in 1886 by leaders of the Lutheran church, it has been strengthening lives, families and communities for more than 125 years. Today, in addition to caring for children, Lutheran Social Services of New York enables individuals to reach their full potential through its LIFE (Lutheran Initiatives for Enrichment) service programs. The agency helps seniors live independently, provides families for children, arranges safe and affordable housing, maintains hunger prevention centers and provides services for immigrants and refugees. For more information, visit their website at http://lssny.org/main/.
Pastor Needs Your Help… to Help Others Many of our members, friends and neighbors have fallen on hard times. Gifts to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund allow Pastor Boehler to provide a helping hand. Unfortunately, the need has far outstripped the gifts, and the fund has dwindled significantly. Please consider a special gift designated for the Pastors Discretionary Fund, and be an answer to your neighbor’s prayer: “…give us this day our daily bread.”
Free Offering from Arts in Mission – NY Bring in the new year making music! Arts in Mission NY (AIM) has launched the new Animal Friends online video curriculum. To register your toddler for free weekly videos visit artsinmissionny.org. A special instrument kit is available to maximize the fun! This music-making kit can (with a surprise animal sound book) can be ordered through the website. Feel free to contact Dr. Jean (Cantor) if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get to Know Your Church… Around the World Being a part of St. Mark’s is about more than what happens at this particular corner in Yonkers. We are connected to a network of missions and ministries around our region and throughout the world. In the narthex (entryway) of the church are a couple of racks. These contain free publications from around our church body, including the Lutheran Witness (our synod’s monthly magazine) and Reporter (our newspaper). These are for you. Take and read; then pray for and support all the amazing ministries they portray.
Welcome to the season of Easter! But, to ask that most Lutheran of all questions, “what does this mean?” Christians consider Easter to be the “first day.” From Easter comes the practice of worshiping on Sunday morning. It is the first day of the week. It is also the first day of new creation, sometimes called the “eighth day” of the week, for on it Christ restored the image of God in the human and in so doing also brought restoration and renewal to all of creation. The Easter season proceeds from and celebrates this first day. In the resurrected Christ, there is time after the end, life after death, restoration of what was broken, the brightening of what had gone dark. In the fifty days of Easter, Christian communities around the world strive to worship God in a way that illustrates that the body of Christ lives now in the heavenly places and also in the gathered body in the world. Worship is where heaven and earth meet.
The New Issue of Portals of Prayer Is Now Available The April to June issue of Portals of Prayer is now here. This is a resource for daily devotions that is much beloved in our circles. If you haven’t used them yet, please give them a try. You can pick one up in the back of the church in either a pocket size or a large print edition. And don’t forget to take one to share with a friend.
About Today’s Setting of the Liturgy Singing increases the likelihood of viral spread, so for the time being, we will be using a spoken setting of the liturgy and limiting the scale of our hymn singing. The service we are using should be familiar: it is the order of worship we have used in the past when the parochial school children sing on Sundays. The texts themselves, while thoroughly Lutheran in their theology, also reflect a broad ecumenical consensus. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” He is present with all of his grace and mercy whenever we gather around Word and Sacrament, regardless of the format of the liturgy. May his presence today strengthen you in faith, hope, and love.
Video Recordings of a Service of the Word Will Continue Even though we are beginning in-person worship at this point, there are many people who have good reason to refrain from that kind of public gathering. Know that the we will continue to make weekly videos of a Service of the Word, along with a bulletin of that service which can be used for devotions at home.
Daily Morning Prayer Historically, Sunday worship has been structured in two parts: 1) the Word, and 2) the Sacrament of the Altar. The church has an ancient tradition of daily worship known as the Liturgy of the Hours. These daily service are built around two parts as well: Word and Prayer. Psalm 95 serves as a Call to Worship, followed by a hymn. Three psalms give structure to a time of prayer. A biblical reading follows, reading excerpts in order through a single book of the bible. A devotional reading gives us some food for thought. A canticle follows, mirroring the Psalm that starts the service. It is the Song of Zechariah from Luke on weekdays, and a canticle called the Te Deum on Sunday’s and Feast Days. Morning Prayer for every day is available as an audio file on the home page of our website: www.smlcyonkers.org. A number of our members receive it in a daily email that includes some things to watch for as we pray that service together. If you would like to receive these email, just let Pastor Boehler know.
The Flower Chart is in the Narthex. Flowers on the Altar are $30.00 per Sunday.
Stewardship Is More Than Money… It’s Your Talents Have you ever stopped to think that putting your talents to good use is an act of stewardship? God has entrusted each of us with a unique set of abilities. In a culture that idolizes stars and celebrities, it is easy to let a misguided sense of humility make us question what we have to offer. Paul reminds us that, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Perhaps you’re good in the kitchen or are handy with a set of tools. Maybe you are a good listener or have a special place in your heart for people who are hurting. Some are musicians, others teachers, and still others, skilled leaders. The point is that all of the baptized have received the Holy Spirit, not only for their personal edification, but to equip them for lives of service on behalf of others… the “common good” that Paul spoke of. May the Spirit enable each of us to be a good steward of the talents we have receive. Like the old spiritual says, “Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine.” (6)