FROM THE RECTOR: OPEN DOORS—THE CAMPAIGN FOR SAINT MARY’S
Every capital campaign needs a name. We have one: Open Doors. As our leadership team approached the campaign, a consistent theme in many conversations with members and friends of Saint Mary’s is the importance of our doors being open seven days a week. Right now, the main doors of the church are overshadowed by a sidewalk shed. The 47th Street doors need a ramp to make our church accessible to more people. Roofs and roof drains need updating. Restrooms need to be made new. Basic, fundamental, work. The response so far can be described with adjectives like energy, optimism, enthusiasm, and excitement about parish’s future here by Times Square.
The cover of our campaign brochure shows our main 46th Street doors open for the station before the doors on Palm Sunday after the procession has returned from Times Square. I had almost forgotten how beautiful the main entrance of the church is. The shed has been up far too long.
SAVE THE DATES: The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, XXV Presiding Bishop will be with us for the Solemn Mass on our patronal feast, the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, at 6:00 PM. The Right Reverend Allen K. Shin, bishop suffragan of our diocese, will be with us on Candlemas, Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at 6:00 PM to celebrate our work. It’s going to be a busy winter at Saint Mary’s—and a wonderful one.
For some time now, a campaign leadership team has been spearheading the effort and working with consultants from the Episcopal Church Foundation. A campaign video is being readied to be shown at the reception following the Mass on December 8. Printed materials are in production. Sr. Monica Clare has blessed us with her experience and gifts in graphic design and photo editing. There will be lots of people to thank before this is over.
We have been working also with some of the finest architects who specialize in the conservation and renewal of buildings like ours, Michael Devonshire, Lewis Gleason, and their colleagues at Jan Hird Pokorny Associates. The proposed ramp must be right and look right because the exterior of our church is landmarked.
We are beginning to solicit some advanced gifts. I have been enormously encouraged by the sacrifice people feel called to make to ensure the future of this parish. It really is unthinkable that Saint Mary’s Times Square won’t be here in the future. It’s going to take sacrifice from everyone who cares. That’s the way this work of God’s kingdom gets done: not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.
On December 8 we will hear Simon Whalley play his first organ recital as organist and music director before the Solemn Mass at 5:30 PM. Those who have gotten to work with him already and those who have heard him as organist and as a choral conductor know what I mean when I say his coming to us marks a new era for music at Saint Mary’s. He is a composer too. For the record, given the magnificent hymns for All Saints’ he played them magnificently. (I can hardly wait for the hymns on Christ the King Sunday—November 22.)
After the Solemn Mass on December 8 there will be a words of welcome when we get to Saint Joseph’s Hall. We will have a special sound system set-up so that people in the hall and people in the aisles of the church by our hall will be able to hear. We will make it work. After the welcome, we will show the short campaign video—thank you so much to Clark Mitchell and Steven Heffner for spearheading this project. There will be time for food and fellowship.
The last capital campaign was the restoration campaign that paid for the repainting of the church in 1997. It’s now time to address infrastructure and accessibility issues. I am confident we will be seeing new scaffolding on the front of the church very soon, the kind we want to see: the scaffolding for the workers to restore the façade of church where we are privileged to gather for worship and from which we go out to serve others in the name of the Lord. —Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Susan, Ivan, David, Rick, Martha, Willy, Lisa, Sally, Barbara, Nargis, Sam, Albert, Peggy, Maxine, Jean, Quinn, Mala, Mark, Gerry, Kenneth, Heidi, Rasheed, Catherine, Babak, Mazdak, Trevor, Takeem, Arpene, José, Pamela, religious, Sidney, deacon, Lawrence, deacon, Paulette, priest, Gaylord, priest, and Harry, priest, and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Matthew. . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 8: 1882 Isabella Bissell; 1992 Edna Chaney.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Eugene Edward Kline, the father of parishioner Susan Kline Martin, died in Pennsylvania on November 2. A graveside funeral service was held at Letort Cemetery, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on November 5. Please keep Eugene, Susan, her husband Ivan, the Kline family, and all who mourn in your prayers.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
STAFF NOTES . . . I am delighted to announce that Linda Lees, who has been assisting in the finance office for two years, became the office manager of the parish on November 1. She has extensive administrative experience in cultural and academic institutions. Because of this and her church experience, as the parish leadership and I began to think through a successor to Aaron Koch, we realized we wanted Linda to stay. The parish is presently seeking a part-time bookkeeper to assist her in the office. Linda is an active member of the Congregation of St. Saviour at the cathedral, where she has served as a verger and usher for many years. Please join me in welcoming her to her new position. —S.G.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . Stewardship packets were mailed on Friday, October 16. We’ve already received a number of pledge cards during the past three weeks. We invite you prayerfully to consider your commitment, including your financial commitment, to Saint Mary’s for 2016. We reached our goal last year, and we are determined to do that again this year. If you are able to do so, please return your pledge card to the Finance Office as soon as possible; or think about placing your pledge card in the offering basket on Sunday morning. This can be a powerful and prayerful way to make this particular commitment to God and to the Body of Christ gathered here. If you have questions about pledging, please contact a member of the Stewardship Committee, MaryJane Boland, Steven Heffner, or Marie Rosseels.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Wednesday, November 11, 6:30 PM, Saint Joseph’s Hall, Wednesday Night Bible Study Class . . . Saturday, November 14, 8:00 AM–5:00 PM, 239th Annual Diocesan Convention at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. The parish clergy will be in attendance. The parish’s lay delegates are Brendon Hunter and Mary Robison. Alternate lay delegate, J. Grace Bruni, will also attend the Convention . . . On Saturday, November 7, confessions will be heard by Father Jay Smith. On Saturday, November 14, confessions will be heard by Father Jim Pace.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . David Conrad, the partner of Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins underwent surgery this week. He is now recuperating at home. Parishioner Barbara Klett is continuing physical therapy at Amsterdam House, across from the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, following surgery on her right shoulder . . . Please keep Barbara and Paulette in your prayers . . . On Thursday, November 5, Father Gerth gave a talk on liturgy to the Connecticut Episcopal Clergy Association at Christ Church, Stratford, Connecticut . . . Father Paul Burrows, retired rector of the Church of the Advent of Christ the King, San Francisco, who has been a weekday celebrant and regular worshiper here since moving to New York, has been appointed the representative for the president of the House of Deputies to the Standing Liturgical Commission on Liturgy and Music . . . Altar flowers are needed for the following Sundays: November 15 and 22, and December 13 (Rose Sunday). If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office . . . The Rector will be away on behalf of the parish from Saturday, November 7, until Friday afternoon, November 13. He will return to New York in time to attend Diocesan Convention . . . Attendance: All Saints’ Day 227; All Souls’ Day 116.
FROM THE ORGANIST & MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . Of the many moments of significance in the history of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, none equals the years 1553–1560 for its musical life. At the start of this period the maestro di capella was the Netherlandish Orlande de Lassus—his period in Italy explains why he is sometimes published under the name Orlando di Lasso—and in 1555 the post was assumed by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525–1594), who came from his post at the Sistine Chapel. He had had to leave that position because in September of that year a more rigorous enforcement of the ban on married musicians working in the “Cappella Sistina” came into effect. Within a few years, then, two of the three most impressive musical figures of the late sixteenth century (the third, of course is William Byrd [1540–1623]) were working in the same church in Rome. The music for this Sunday opportunely brings these composers together. Palestrina’s Missa aeterni Christi munera follows the pattern of the composer’s Counter-Reformation style by employing a mostly syllabic response to the text with occasional moments being given freer, more melismatic material; the opening of the Sanctus and the third syllable of excelsis, for example, are agreeably embellished. The Lassus motet is his second setting of this jubilant psalm text. We heard the first, more ornate, version last month on the twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. —Simon Whalley
ADULT EDUCATION . . . Sundays, November 8, 15 & 22 at 10:00 AM, The Succession Narrative: 2 Samuel 11-20; 1 Kings 1-2, led by Father Peter Powell. Father Powell writes, “This series will ask the question, ‘What does it mean to be faithful when one has power?’ The Succession Narrative has much to say to Christians who live in a nominally Christian society . . . What does the Bible have to say about being faithful when one is in the majority and does not belong to an oppressed minority? . . . This year, both on most of the Sundays in November and during Lent, we will explore the story of the transfer of power from David to Solomon during a time of disunity and political stress. Examining this history may help us to think about our own situation during this particular moment of discord and political polarization” . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class continues on November 11 at 6:30 PM, in Saint Joseph’s Hall. The class will continue its reading of the Book of Isaiah beginning at 43:25 . . . Sunday, December 6, seminarian Matthew Jacobson will discuss the image of Jesus as Good Shepherd in early Christian art . . . Sunday, December 13, Father Jay Smith will discuss the Icon of Christ Pantokrator (“Almighty” or “All-powerful”) . . . January 10 and 17, Canon Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of General Convention of the Episcopal Church, will lead the class in a discussion of Episcopal polity and governance. (This will be a very useful class for those preparing for Confirmation or Reception, as well as for those who want to learn more about what our church believes and how it works.) In this series, Canon Barlowe will address such topics as the workings of General Convention, legislation passed at this summer’s convention in Salt Lake City, the role of the Presiding Bishop in the Episcopal Church, and the mechanism for electing a Presiding Bishop in our church.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We continue to collect nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, the Food Pantry at Saint Clement’s Church, 423 West Forty-sixth Street . . . The Saint Mary’s Book Sale continues on Sunday mornings. All proceeds are used to serve those in need, at Saint Mary’s, in our neighborhood, and beyond . . . Need help finding food or know someone who does? Call 1-800-5-HUNGRY (Why Hunger Hotline, Monday–Friday 9:00 AM–6:00 PM EST) or 1-866-3-HUNGRY (USDA National Hunger Hotline, 8:00 AM–8:00 PM EST).
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . October 18–November 22 at The Theatre at Saint Clement’s, 423 W. Forty-sixth Street (Between Ninth and Tenth Avenues), New York, New York, The Hummingbird’s Tour: “1970, Northern California. Three opinionated siblings in their sixties (an Episcopalian, an agnostic and a seeker of everything under the holy sun) along with their ancient childhood nanny, are thrown into a philosophical comic frenzy by an unexpected guest bearing mysterious predictions . . .” Off Sides Entertainment & On Your Way Home Productions are offering members of The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin discounted tickets ($30.00). Tickets can be purchased online. RLW is the discount code.