On the fourth Sunday of Great Lent (22 March) the pastor and faithful of Saint Nicholas Church in Whitestone NY invited guests from parishes of the New York City Deanery to come together to pray an evening Lenten Vespers service, meditate on the call of the Great Fast, and encourage one another. And did they come! The church was full of priests and believers who answered the invitation to fellowship. Archbishop Michael's sermon was a reminder that there is no “cheap grace” and as we look to the Cross we see the great price of love; we are called to respond with hearts made new and lives changed.
While people began to arrive at 4:00 p.m., the last of the guests reluctantly left after 8:00 p.m. having shared in prayer, Lenten hospitality, and Archpastoral guidance. “It was so good to be together,” said Father Joseph Woodill (parish rector). “Thanks be to God!”
One parishioner remarked that inasmuch as “we are all prodigals welcomed to return to God's house -- to our Father's love -- how can we be other than hospitable. God has welcomed us home, how can we be other than a people who welcome others.”