FROM THE RECTOR: SUMMER READING
A few weeks ago I picked up my copy of The Oxford Movement: Twelve Years: 1833–1845 by Richard William Church (1815–1890). The edition I have was published in paperback by the University of Chicago Press in 1970, and it was still selling when I got to graduate school there in the fall if 1976. I had been attending the Episcopal Church in college. I would soon become an Episcopalian at the local Episcopal parish in Kenwood and was active with the group at Brent House, the campus Episcopal chaplaincy.
It was an exciting time to become an Episcopalian. Picking up Church’s book reminded me of my convictions for Christ and the church. I have had few spiritual experiences in my life that have shaped me more than my first confession. (And I still remember trudging a mile through unplowed sidewalks to get to it.) Three years later a priest asked me, “When are you going to do something about your vocation to the priesthood?” A year after that I was a postulant from the diocese of Chicago and a student at Nashotah House.
Church entered Oxford as a student in 1832. When he became a fellow of Oriel College in 1838, what became the known as the Oxford Movement was underway. John Henry Newman (1801–1890) had been a fellow at Oriel since 1822, Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800–1882) since 1823. John Keble (1792–1866) was a tutor there from 1818 until 1823. He returned to Oxford as professor of poetry in 1831. Keble’s sermon, “National Apostasy,” delivered at the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, where Newman was vicar, on July 14, 1833, has been regarded as the beginning of the movement. Church was dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, from 1871 until his death in 1890.
The editor’s introduction for the Chicago Press edition says that Dean Church wrote “from knowledge and from the heart” (page xxi). Richard Church was 23 when he became a tutor at Oriel; he had been at Oxford while it all started. He was a friend of Newman. Perhaps one reason I found the book so powerful at age 23 is that Church’s writing does indeed speak to Christian conviction—something that can stir the heart and mind, especially when a person of any age is moving to a new and deeper relationship with Christ. Church was a successful and well-liked dean of St. Paul’s. I’m glad that I had the book to read in 1976.
Dean Church had great respect for the men he knew who were led to teach and live with fresh convictions that came to be called the Oxford Movement. His relationship with them was more than just personal friendship and admiration; it was also the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that Paul spoke of in his Letter to Philippians:
Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. And I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. —Philippians 4:1–3
In 1800, only eight persons presented themselves to receive Holy Communion on Easter Day at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London (Davies, Worship and Theology in England , 638). I suspect tickets may have been needed for the principal Easter Day services this year at St. Paul’s—to the great surprise of many, the cathedrals of England are doing well. I think you and I are not called to be naïve about the work or challenges of our time—or the continuing and costly struggle in many places to be Christian. But I think you and I can be proud to be Episcopal Christians and to have confidence that the Holy Spirit is at work in our time and in our church. —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Julie, Carolyn, Jean, Barbara, Juliana, Margaret, David, Dolly, Sandy, Walter, Sharon, Penny, Heidi, Catherine, Sally, Donald, Sam, Burton, Toussaint, Dennis, Arpene, Takeem, Sidney, deacon, Yamily, priest, Horace, priest, Paulette, priest, Gaylord, priest, Harry, priest, Louis, priest, and Russell, bishop; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark and Nicholas; and for the repose of the soul for Dunstan, SSF . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . July 3: 1909 Mary Adelade Mandeville; 1911 Alice Boss; 1941 Mathilde Ford; 1960 Marie Reacousia.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Monday, July 4, Independence Day, Federal holiday schedule: the church opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 2:00 PM. Only the noonday services are offered. The parish offices are closed . . . On Wednesdays, the daily 12:10 PM Eucharist is a Sung Mass; on Thursdays the daily 12:10 Eucharist is a Mass with Healing Service.
MUSIC IN JULY . . . When Dr. David Hurd and I began conversation about the open position here, he had already made a commitment to play Sunday mornings at Christ Church, Greenwich. He wanted to keep that commitment, and I certainly wanted him to do that, too. This Sunday, we welcome Stephen Rumpf as guest organist. Originally from Wabash, Indiana, Mr. Rumpf is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He has performed extensively in France, Canada, and the United States. He has made New York City his home since 1973. He will play How Fair and How Pleasant, Op.18 #3 by Marcel Dupré (1837–1924) and Chant Pastorale by Théodore Dubois (1886–1971), and Prelude in C Major, (9/8) BWV 941 by J.S. Bach (1685–1750). Our cantor on Sunday is Sharon Harms, a member of the parish choir. During the ministration of Communion, she will sing Pie Jesu from Messe de Requiem, Opus 48, by Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924). S.G.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Father Jay Smith will be on vacation from Monday, June 27, until Sunday, July 31. While Father Smith is away, if you need to add a name to the prayer list or if you have questions about stewardship, outreach, or hospitality, or if you would like to make a donation to the Homeless Ministry, the Flower Guild, or the hospitality ministry, please contact the Parish Office. For pastoral matters, please contact Father Gerth or Father Pace, or call the Parish Office to leave a message . . . Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, who teaches at Borough of Manhattan Community College, is on sabbatical. She will be away through the summer and early fall. We expect her to return on All Saints’ Day. We hope she has a restful and profitable time away . . . Altar Flowers are needed for the following Sundays: July 17, 24, and 31; August 21 and 28; and September 4 and 18. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Parish Office . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 190; Saint Peter and Saint Paul 63.
A GENTLE REMINDER . . . As you have read in countless church bulletins, “Our costs do not decrease during the summer months. There are still bills that must be paid.” We urge all those who have made financial pledges to the parish to do their best to stay current with their pledge payments in order to prevent cash-flow problems. We are grateful to all those who continue to support Saint Mary’s so generously.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS . . . Friday, July 22, Saint Mary Magdalene, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Monday, July 25, Saint James the Apostle, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Friday, August 5, Eve of the Transfiguration, Mass 6:00 PM . . . Saturday, August 6, Transfiguration, Mass 12:10 PM . . . Monday, August 15, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . In anticipation of the inevitable arrival of colder weather, we are collecting warm clothing (coats, jackets, scarves, hats, and gloves). We are also collecting packets of socks and underwear, jeans and T-shirts (useful all-year round), and dress shirts (useful for job interviews). All of these will be distributed here at the parish to those in need. Please bring donations to the parish kitchen on Sunday or contact Father Jay Smith or Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B. Sister Monica and parishioners Clint Best and Grace Fernandez have been organizing the clothing in recent weeks in order to expedite distribution . . . We continue to collect nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, the Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s Church, 423 West Forty-sixth Street. —Jay Smith