It is with great joy that we anticipate the re-opening of our church for regular Sunday celebrations of the Holy Eucharist after being closed almost every Sunday since March 15, 2020. Starting this Sunday, June 13th, our 9:30 am Sunday services will be hybrid – in-person and via Zoom.
Here are our protocols right now:
ALL ARE WELCOME, regardless of vaccination status.
Only those serving behind the altar rail (clergy, lectors, etc.) will be visible to the cameras streaming the service. The congregation in the pews will NOT be on camera.
Everyone must wear a mask in church, regardless of their vaccination status. Wearing masks allows us to sing and have increased capacity.
Based upon New York State guidelines, we are allowed to be at 50% capacity at this time. That means 55 people inside the church total. Based on past summer attendance and the services we have already had in the church, we do not believe at this time we will need people to pre-register to attend church.
Any singing, including by vaccinated members of our choir, will need to be done with masks on.
Lectors and clergy who are vaccinated will be able to speak with masks off when they are at the altar, Officiant’s seat and lectern.
Bulletins will include the entire service (including music).
The Peace will be shared contactless except for with those who are in the same household.
Communion will be only in one-kind (bread only).
Pre/post-Church conversations should take place outside.
Our priority in reopening the church is the health and safety of our members while maintaining the integrity of our worship. We are entering a new phase of being together as a community while there is still a pandemic going on. We request that you bring any questions or concerns about our protocols and worship directly to the Rector and Wardens.
We are all returning after having had very different experiences of the pandemic. Some of us feel more comfortable than others. Our protocols are determined first by the New York State Department of Health and our Bishop. It is the responsibility of our Rector, in consultation with our Wardens, Vestry and other health professionals within our community that we determine how we adhere to these guidelines within our own context. We know the guidelines are always shifting, however our space does not change. Due to the size of our church, we may need to adhere to wearing masks longer than others, for example.
Please be patient with us as we move ahead. We know there will be bumps in the road! It is very important to all of us that we maintain the opportunity for those who desire it to worship with us remotely. It will take some time to get that at the quality we know we can provide.
We look forward to moving into this next chapter of our common life together as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
After a year off, JuneFest is back – though in mini form due to the ongoing pandemic.
Support St. A’s by shopping our plant, bake and tag sales Saturday (June 5) and Sunday (June 6) from 10am to 5pm. The donations are rolling in, the plants are potted and delicious recipes are being baked!
We also have some fun raffle items to win!!!!
Donations may be dropped off on the porch of the Parish House. We are accepting:
Children’s Games & Gaming Systems
Sports & Exercise Equipment, including bikes
Cookware and small appliances
PLEASE NO GLASS, CERAMICS, CAR SEATS, CRIBS or CLOTHING.
WHERE: Zoom (see link and connection information below)
Join us for a Christmas Eve Festival of Christmas Lessons and Carols. We will hear readings from Holy Scripture and sacred music as we celebrate the saving work of God and the miracle of the Incarnation in the birth of the Christ Child.
Music offerings will include music from our “A St. A’s Christmas” album and new recordings from St. A’s Virtual Voices.
Please invite your friends and family to join us for this wonderful service. All are welcome!!
Meeting ID: 303 597 2920 Passcode: 1857 One tap mobile +16465588656,,3035972920#,,,,,,0#,,1857# US (New York) +13017158592,,3035972920#,,,,,,0#,,1857# US (Washington D.C)
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WHAT: Drive-thru, Socially-distant Birthday Party for Jesus
WHEN: Christmas Eve, December 24th @4PM
WHERE: St. A’s Church Lawn
How do we celebrate birthdays pandemic-style? With a drive-thru birthday party!! Join us for a quick festive celebration of Jesus’ birthday! We will have decorations set up! Party favors to give out!
What do you bring to a Birthday Party for Jesus?
Your voices – “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear [behind a mask, of course]!”
Happy Birthday signs to show us or put on your car windows.
Birthday Cards for Jesus! We will collect these.
Birthday Presents for Jesus!! (Here’s his gift registry from the Croton Caring Committee. Gifts given to Jesus will be given to families in our village receiving assistance from the Healthy Start Program! We need: Cereal, Oatmeal, Pancake mix/syrup (one of the major Elf food groups), Breakfast Bars, etc.
How is this going to go down?
Please arrive at St. A’s in your cars just before 4pm. We will have folks helping you find parking spots to line up in front of the Church.
Depending on weather and what is permitted to keep us safe, we will either participate from our cars or scattered around the lawn, masks on, singing a couple of songs and saying some prayers.
Families will be invited to bring up their cards and presents for Jesus and given a goodie bag.
I can’t be there at 4pm on Christmas Eve! Can I still participate?!!!
YES!! We have a bin on the Parish House porch (next to the Christmas Tree) where you can drop off food donations! When this Christmas storm passes, we will put our festive nativity back out. But for the safety of the Holy Family, we let them in the Parish Hall until the rain stops.
Starting in November 2020 we will engage in holy scripture in a new way. We will become scribes and write the Gospel of Mark as we read it. We hope this will be a new way for us to encounter the Bible as we engage our senses in a different way with God’s word. This practice will continue into January. Whether you use a pencil and notepad, your computer, or fancy pens with a dedicated journal, we hope you will share your journey with us. There is no right or wrong way to do this! This schedule helps with a pace of no more than 10 verses per day. Slow down or charge ahead! Post pictures of your verses on our Facebook page and Instagram account. #gospelsbyhand #stacroton
An Unofficial Letter from Bishop Assistant Mary D. Glasspool
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In this issue: Church and State
What I wouldn’t do to be a fly on the wall (a fly who could be in multiple places at the same time) to listen to a host of sermons this Sunday! What a gift of a Gospel Lesson! (And I, too, will be preaching, so I will have to tame my own excitement.) Giving to Caesar (or “the emperor” – but Caesar is so much more delicious!) the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s can be expounded in so many different ways and certainly seems to be low-hanging fruit right now.
For the early Church, the task of interpreting Jesus’ statement: Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s was an ongoing one. How is the Christian to relate to political structures? If the church can at times support and at times must resist the state, the answers are never simple nor are they final. The struggle resumes with every new situation.
From this wrestling Jesus was not exempt. In fact, in his decisions he was, finally, alone – because both church and state conspired against him. It was both the political and the religious leaders who did him in. One can hardly imagine a heavier demand: called upon to obey God, not simply in the face of political wrath but without the support of the community of faith. But it still happens.
If we think this passage provides us a basis upon which to argue any aspect of the separation of church and state – we’re wrong. We’re wrong because, like Jesus, we’re always left with that struggle in how we live out our lives. The issue of the relationship between church and state was a very real issue in First Century Palestine – and it is today – and it most probably will always be a living tension. What we can learn from this Gospel Lesson lies in learning from Jesus, himself. Jesus was not concerned with politics – he was concerned with justice. He didn’t want to bring the kingdom of God into Roman-ruled Palestine. He wanted Roman-ruled Palestine to help bring in the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ vision was not just another version of political and cultural organization, supplanting the Roman state with a Jewish state, or even, 1800 years later, a United States.
Jesus weaned people away from the spirit of power and awakened them to the power of the Spirit. Jesus wanted to wake people up to the possibility that there was so much more available to them: more love, more joy, more justice, more power – through a right relationship with God and neighbor. Give to God what is God’s does not imply a separation of church and state. It is a radical mandate for a re-evaluated life and a renewed creation.
The truth is that the church, itself, is in danger of perceiving Jesus as the Pharisees did. Like the Pharisees, we still sometimes think that Jesus had some kind of hidden agenda that we should be able to co-opt for our own benefit. We’ve tried to make Jesus into a liberal or a conservative, a Marxist or a Capitalist, a Baptist or an Episcopalian, a rebel or a dreamer. But Jesus was none of these. What Jesus was and is, is the living Son of God, the Christ, the Savior – and that is a category which lies far beyond the scope of any political correctness.
It wasn’t a well-rehearsed script. It wasn’t merely for the purpose of political exposure or power. It was truly for the purpose of risky dialogue and engagement with humanity. Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross, didn’t conquer death and rise again, doesn’t offer us redemption and eternal life so that our pet agenda can get passed at next week’s Long-Range Planning Meeting. Jesus came and lived and struggled and loved and ministered and died and rose again to show us a way of life beyond the strictures of both institutional politics and institutional religion. That Way, that Truth, that Life, is Jesus, himself.
St. Augustine’s Annual Wreath Sale is coming to you early this year! Due to the pandemic, supply chains are affected in new ways and we need to get our orders in ASAP.
Please below you will find the wreath sizes and pricing. Please contact Eileen Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-772-0113 to place your order. You can also contact our office at 914-271-3501 and speak with Myrlin Valerio to place an order.
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR ORDERS BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9th.
Orders will be available for pick up or delivery on Saturday, December 5th.
12” Plain $18 12” Decorated $20
14” Plain $20 14” Decorated $22
18” Plain $30 18 “Decorated $35
24” Plain $50 24” Decorated $55
30”Plain $65 30” Decorated $75
36” Plain $90 36” Decorated $100
12” Boxwood $25
If you prefer to fill out a paper order form, you can download it below and drop it off at our office in the Mailbox on the back door of the Parish House.
This summer our Bishops announced that all parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of New York would be invited to participate in a holy conversation about racial justice while reading Ibram X Kendi’s book How to be an Antiracist. Addressing racism, white privilege and white supremacy requires a great deal of work that we cannot do alone. The most successful efforts in dismantling injustices in our society have historically required people of faith on the front lines.
St. Augustine’s will read this book together in September (schedule below). On October 22, we are invited to join an online event with Ibram X. Kendi.
If you want to participate in St. A’s reading group, please email Mother Jenny at email@example.com.
We will gather via Zoom on September 3rd, 17th and 24th at 12 pm and 7 pm for an hour-long guided discussion. Schedule of reading is as follows:
September 3rd: Chapters 1-6
September 17th: Chapters 7-12
September 24th: Chapters 13-18
A message from our Bishop and more information about this program can be found on the Antiracism Committee website: Click Here.