FROM THE RECTOR: TO GROW UNDERSTANDING
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has its origins in the diocese of New York. Paul James Francis Wattson, S.A., born Lewis Wattson, was still an Episcopal monk and priest in 1908 when he suggested that the week between the January feasts of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (now known by Anglicans as the Confession of Saint Peter on January 18 and the Conversion of Saint Paul on January 25) be observed as a "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity." But by this time Wattson was on his way to Rome. In 1909 his Episcopal religious community, the Society of the Atonement, was received into the Roman Catholic Church. He continued his ecumenical work throughout his life. He died in 1940.
I had the privilege of being in Rome for this Week of Prayer in 2005. The Reverend Dr. Louis Weil had been invited to Rome to give the annual lecture at the Centro Pro Unione, a ministry of the Society of the Atonement. His lecture was called, "Rome and Canterbury: Steps Toward Reconciliation through the Sharing of Gifts." Father Weil had, and has, many friends and colleagues in the Roman Catholic Church. The ecumenical spirit at the Centro was genuine. We and other ecumenical guests were very graciously and respectfully received by everyone we met. The Centro's motto is Ut omnes unum sint ("That all may be one"). Still, all those present recognized that we are not yet "one." I don't expect in my lifetime to be invited officially and openly to receive the Eucharist in a Roman Catholic church.
Many readers will know I do a lot of lectionary work for Saint Mary's for our daily services. Along with that has come a renewed interest in New Testament Greek. It has reshaped my preparation for preaching-thank you, again, Lilly Endowment for funding my study in 2009. I continue to be delighted and surprised by the enormous richness and complexity of biblical texts. I always wish I had more time for study. The standard translations of the Bible in English, and I'm sure in other modern languages as well, too frequently can't or don't convey the normal meaning of the Hebrew and Greek texts.
I wonder, for example, how we would think about baptism if we had grown up hearing the Greek word translated simply by its everyday meaning in the time of the New Testament: "wash" or "washing." I wonder what might happen if the leader of the Roman Catholic Church decided to make the Easter morning gospel not just John 20:1-9, but continue with the rest of the Easter morning story. If he did, people would hear the Risen Jesus saying to Mary Magdalene, "go to my brothers and sisters"-the Greek word here is inclusive-"and tell them, 'I am going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God' " (John 20:17).
I wonder what would happen to the debates about human sexuality and marriage throughout the Church, including our own Episcopal Church, if more Christians were more familiar (and honest) about what biblical texts say and do not say about marriage and sexuality over the course of biblical time. I believe that the Bible continues to invite us to a broader and deeper understanding of the mysteries of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, and of the gift of life that God has given to us.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Barbara, Bob, Greta, John, Carlos, Paul, Bill, Mickie, Jon, Jerry, Mike, Charles, Dick, Eleanor, Wendell, Karen, Eugenia, May, Heidi, Takeem, David, Sandy, Dennis, and George; for Matthew, Horace, David, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, Edgar, and Vern, priests; for Richard, bishop; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark and James; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the souls of David Gordon, Jean Smith, and Anne Richards, priest . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 21: 1929 Jessie Chapman Stewart; 1937 Charlotte S. Willsie; 1977 Edward Parker Amos.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . The Rev. Anne F. C. Richards, a priest of the diocese of New York and the wife of the Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, died on Thursday, January 11, after a brief illness. Jean Smith, the mother of parishioner Barbara Powell and the mother-in-law of Father Peter Powell, died this week after a long illness. David Gordon, the cousin of deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, died this week. Please keep Anne, Richard, Jean, Barbara, Peter, David, Rebecca, their family and friends, and all who mourn in your prayers.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN. . . Our Stewardship Campaign made some progress this week, but we still have a ways to go. As of January 17, 2018, 76% of those who made a pledge to the parish for 2017 have made pledges for 2018. $353,348.00 has been pledged to date. This is 83% of our goal of $425,000.00. All of this is good news. To make a pledge for 2018, please fill out a pledge card and mail it to 145 West Forty-sixth Street, New York, NY 10036; place your pledge card in the collection basket at Mass; or make a pledge online. We are extraordinarily grateful to all those who made pledges for 2017 and to those who have already made a pledge for 2018. To learn more about stewardship or the Stewardship Campaign, please speak to Father Gerth or to a member of the Stewardship Committee (MaryJane Boland, Steven Heffner, Brendon Hunter, or Marie Rosseels, chair).
ALTAR FLOWER DONATIONS REQUESTED . . . We are looking for donors for flowers for January 28, for February 11, March 11, and for other Sundays and holy days in 2018. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office at 212-869-5830.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Sunday, January 21, 2018, The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM, Solemn Mass 11:00 AM, Evensong & Benediction 5:00 PM. We will have a guest choir at Evensong, the Saint Bartholomew's Boy & Girl Choristers, led by Dr. Jason Roberts . . . Sunday, January 21, 10:00 AM, The Adult Forum will meet in Saint Benedict's Study. Sister Monica Clare will teach the class . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will meet on Wednesday, January 24, at 6:30 PM. Father Peter Powell will lead the class . . . Thursday, January 25, The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul: Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . The Centering Prayer Group will meet on Friday, January 26.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The new Saint Mary's 2018 Calendar of the Church Year and the newly designed Smoky Mary's mugs will be on sale on Sunday, January 21, in Saint Joseph's Hall. The cost of the calendars is $10.00, plus tax. The calendar is illustrated with color photographs of the High Altar, decorated with floral arrangements that were designed by the members of the Flower Guild. The commemorations found in the calendar reflect current practice here at the parish. The cost of the mugs is $20.00, plus tax . . . Attendance: Last Sunday: 131.
LIFE IN TIMES SQUARE . . . You are invited to take a look at the website of the Museum of the City of New York. The site includes an interesting section entitled, "From Dazzling to Dirty and Back Again: A Brief History of Times Square". . . In mid-February there will be an unusual calendar clash. This year, Wednesday, February 14 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and one of the busiest days of the year here at Saint Mary's. See "Lent at Saint Mary's" below for more information. This year, February 14 also happens to be Valentine's Day, and love and marriage will once again be on the minds of many visitors to Times Square. Beginning on February 1, and in preparation for the February 14 events, there will be a public art exhibition going on in the Square. Remember: Saint Mary's was in Times Square before it was Times Square. Living and worshipping here presents some challenges, but it is also a fascinating and productive place to do ministry. Don't be intimidated. Come to visit us and bring a friend: Saint Mary's, the Episcopal Parish in and for Times Square.
LENT AT SAINT MARY'S . . . February 14, Ash Wednesday, Mass 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, 12:10 PM, and 6:00 PM. Ashes distributed during the Masses and from 7:15 AM until 8:00 PM . . . Fridays in Lent, Stations of the Cross 6:30 PM, following Evening Prayer, which begins at 6:00 PM . . . Lenten Quiet Day, Saturday, February 17, 9:30 AM-2:30 PM, Saint Joseph's Chapel, Saint Joseph's Hall, and Church. Led by Father John Beddingfield.
A DAY FOR PRAYER, MEDITATION & ART . . . Seeing God in Epiphanytide-Do you have questions about God? Why did Jesus come as a child? Why did the Wise Men visit him? What difference does all of this make for you and for me? Why not try to use art to find some of the answers! Join us on Saturday, January 27, 2018, 1:00-4:00 PM here at Saint Mary's for meditation and art making. No experience required! All materials (and light snacks!) provided. Cost: $50.00. (Scholarships are available). Parishioner Ingrid Sletten will be leading this event. Ingrid has studied art and spirituality for nearly twenty years and is a practicing artist. If interested, or if you have questions, please contact Ingrid at this e-mail address, or speak to her on Sunday morning. Ingrid will be at Coffee Hour in Saint Joseph's Hall, following the Solemn Mass on Sunday, to answer questions and provide further information.
ABOUT THE MUSIC . . . The setting of the Mass on Sunday morning is Missa Petre ego pro te rogavi by Alonzo Lobo (c. 1555-1617). Lobo was one of the most highly regarded Spanish composers of polyphony in his time. He was a slightly younger contemporary and friend of Tomás Luís da Victoria (c. 1548-1611). Lobo served for a time as a canon in the collegiate church of his home town of Osuna. In 1591, he was appointed assistant to Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599) in Seville. Two years later, Lobo was elected chapel master at Toledo Cathedral. In 1604, he returned to Seville as chapel master and served there until his death. His surviving works, published in 1602 in Madrid, include six Masses and seven motets. Missa Petre ego pro te rogavi, dated 1595, is based on Guerrero's motet of the same name, composed for the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Lobo's Mass is for four voices until the final Agnus Dei where the addition of a second soprano part expands the texture to five voices.
The French composer and organist Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) was steeped in liturgical chant from his childhood as a chorister at the Rouen Cathedral choir school. He first entered the Paris Conservatory in 1920, becoming professor of harmony in 1943, a position he retained for nearly thirty years. He is remembered for his lifelong association with the stunningly beautiful church of St. Étienne-du-Mont, Paris, where he was named titular organist in 1929. The first of his Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégoriens (1960) is his setting of the Maundy Thursday antiphon Ubi caritas, sung on Sunday morning during the administration of Communion. This setting, elegant in its expressive simplicity, has become the virtual default choral setting of this text in our time.
The organ voluntaries Sunday will be three of the four sections of the Pastorale in F of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The opening movement is a siciliano in characteristic 12/8 meter. It begins with three imitating voices intertwining over various pedal points. This movement, the only part of the work which utilizes the pedals, modulates and ends in the key of A minor. The second movement is a bright binary movement, as from a keyboard suite, in C Major. The final movement, played for the postlude, is also an energetic binary piece in three voices, both sections of which begin fugally. -David Hurd
ADULT EDUCATION . . . On January 21, at 10:00 AM, in Saint Benedict's Study, Sister Monica Clare, C.S.J.B., will lead the class in a discussion of the Rise of Religious Orders in the Anglican Communion, focusing on the early history of the Community of Saint John Baptist . . . On Sunday, January 28, and on February 4 and 11, at 10:00 AM, in Saint Benedict's Study, Father Jay Smith will continue his series on The English Reformation and the Oxford Movement. The series is the latest offering in our year-long study of the Protestant Reformation, the role of Reformed theology and spirituality in the Anglican Communion, and the sometimes uneasy place of the Reformation in Anglo-Catholic thought and practice . . . Coming up: On Sundays in Lent (February 18 and 25, March 4, 11, 18, and 25), Father Pete Powell will resume his series on the Gospel of Matthew . . . On Wednesday, January 24 and 31, at 6:30 PM, in Saint Benedict's Study, Father Peter Powell will lead the Wednesday Night Bible Study Class. Father Jay Smith will return to lead the class on Wednesday, February 7. He is very grateful to Father Powell for teaching the class this month.
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, February 10, 2018, 8:00 PM, The New York Repertory Orchestra. Program to include: Canning: Fantasy on a Hymn Tune by Justin Morgan;
Martinu: Cello Concerto No. 1, Kajsa William-Olsson, cello; Stenhammar: Symphony No. 2. Admission is free. A donation of $10.00 is welcomed and appreciated. For more information, visit the orchestra's website . . . Saturday, February 24, 2018, 8:00 PM, The Miller Theatre at Columbia University presents New York Polyphony: The Tallis Lamentations. The members of this very accomplished early-music quartet are good friends and members of this parish. For more information, visit the Miller Theatre website.
HOMELESS MINISTRY. . . The family of the late Joyce Liechenstein recently donated a large number of items, including many articles of clothing, for our Homeless Ministry. The items were delivered last Sunday by a friend of Sister Monica Clare, Ilene Sameth. Once here, the bags of clothing were taken to the Mission House by several parishioners, including Colin Sanderson and Cooki Winborn, and two of our homeless guests. Colin has spent time this week sorting the clothing and assembling a particularly ornery set of shelves, along with intrepid and faithful parish volunteers Clint Best and Grace Fernandez. We are grateful to all those who helped with this project. May Joyce rest in peace and rise in glory . . . Donations and volunteers are needed for January 27, our next Drop-in Day and for the many requests for assistance between Drop-in Days. As always, the number of those who are homeless who seek refuge in the church and who ask for assistance increases when the weather grows colder. In order to meet some of those requests, we are hoping to receive donations of the following items: blankets, razors, shaving cream; packs of new underwear for both women and men, in all sizes; cold-weather clothing such as coats, sweaters, thermal underwear, gloves, boots, and sweatshirts. Such basic items will prove to be useful to our neighbors living without shelter . . . Please contact Sister Monica Clare, if you would like to volunteer for this important ministry or if you would like to make a donation . . . We also continue to receive nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, Saint Clement's Food Pantry. Please place those items in the basket near the ushers' table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church.
ANOTHER OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY . . . The Episcopal Diocese of New York has created its own "Caribbean Recovery Fund" to pay for the work that the diocese is proposing, or hopes to support, in the region. This is distinct in nature and purpose from the activities of Episcopal Relief & Development, which directs funds toward the Episcopal Church's broader efforts in recovery. The Caribbean Recovery Fund will be available for individuals and churches in partnership to make requests for specific infrastructure and ministry projects, partnerships, and mission with the Diocese of Puerto Rico and other areas in the Caribbean. For more information, please click here. If you wish to make a donation online, please complete the form on the website.