Summer at Saint Mary's
Twenty-seven people signed the guest book last Sunday at Saint Mary's. Church attendance was only 142, and that includes counting the clergy several times and adding the attendance at Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. Eleven of the twenty-seven are potential members geographically.
This was on a warm but not too hot summer Sunday. Although we had one excellent soloist, the full choir was not present. We had a modest complement of altar servers. There was an ordinary coffee hour afterwards. And again, as happens almost every Sunday, someone spoke to me about becoming a member of the parish.
One of the principal reasons people tell me they want to talk about joining Saint Mary's is the way they are received by members of the parish. I want you to know this because I suspect many members of the parish don't realize how crucial their ministry of hospitality is.
There will always be changes in life. Despite human unease with this reality, it is true and the examples of this are obvious and commonplace. You and I do have a great deal of choice about how we change. And you and I have a choice about how Saint Mary's will change. The future will be affected by the way you and I receive guests. It does not seem inappropriate to me in my role as rector to ask how you and I value the presence of newcomers to Saint Mary's. It also seems appropriate to remark that they are coming during the summer.
No parish can ever be a perfect place, but individual Christian communities can learn to use and rejoice in obvious ways to the gifts Christ has given them. No individual will ever be perfect in this life, but individuals can grow in their response to God's gifts. Saint Mary's was built to be a Christian community for many people. We are in the middle of one of the greatest metropolitan areas of the world. People are coming. I think there are more than 142 people in Manhattan alone who need and want a Christian community like Saint Mary's.
I am told that Saint Mary's was not built to be used in the summer months. What we know as Saint Joseph's Hall was the Saint Francis Chapel. Before there was a gymnasium on the third floor of the parish house (now a theater), there was an airshaft. Saint Francis was designed to be the summer church. The main church was built for the fall through the spring only. Well, the airshaft is gone and so is the Saint Francis altar. I'm not sure it occurs to any newcomer here during the summer months that church was a nine-month only activity. I wonder what Saint Mary's might be like if we planned really to be "open" twelve months a year? Stephen Gerth
PARISH PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty in Kosovo and for Walter, Dennis, Eileen, Maxine, Edward, Mary Ann, Margaret, Scot, Shirley, Mark, Dorothy, Warren, Karen, Victoria, Frank, Florinda, Myrian, Charmaine, and Rodney, priest.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . July 30: 1986 Edith Collins.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: 1 Kings 3:5-12, Psalm 119:129-136, Romans 8:26-34, Matthew 13:31-33,44-49a . . . 9:00 Celebrant & Preacher The Rector, 10:00 Celebrant & Preacher Father Shin, 11:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher The Rector, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher Father Shin . . . On Saturday, July 24, Father Shin will hear confessions. On Saturday, July 24, Canon Garrison will hear confessions.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . We were delighted to receive the announcement that Yamily Bass-Choate will be ordained deacon on Saturday, July 31, in Meridian, Mississippi. Yamily is Father Choate's wife . . . Walter Morton wants to thank his friends who supported him with their prayers, calls and cards during his recent hospitalization . . . Eileen Sorensen stopped by the office on Wednesday after Mass. She is doing very well and we hope she may be back with us very soon . . . Remember, Mother Paulette Schiff and her husband, Walter Schiff, will be with us this Sunday. It will be good to have a chance to wish them Godspeed . . . The parish web site looks really great. Phil Burgess, thank you! The URL is www.stmvirgin.com . . . We had a letter from Chris Kamm who is at Parris Island. It's tough, but he's hanging in there! . . . Father Shin led a parents' meeting last Monday evening to make plans for the beginning of the church school in the fall. It looks as if we will have two groups of children to work with . . . Father Shin and the Rector are also working on the adult formation program for persons who wish to become Christians and for persons who wish to prepare for reaffirmation of their baptismal vows . . . The July-August issue of AVE is out. It was worth waiting for! You will enjoy the photographs from Corpus Christi . . . There was a good crowd for Evening Prayer last Wednesday, but the congregation disappeared to attend Father Shin's class. Mass could not be said. Someone was here and did ask for his confession to be heard! . . . Flowers are needed for the altar several Sundays in August. If you would like to give or to learn about giving them, please call the parish office . . . Remember: The Assumption, that is, August 15, the Feast of Saint Mary the Virgin, falls on Sunday this year. Our principal service will be the 11:00 AM Sunday liturgy with, weather permitting, the procession of the image of Our Lady of Walsingham through Times Square . . . Attendance last Sunday: 142.
NON-LITURGICAL CRISIS . . . I've hurt one of my knees. As we go to press, it's better. But as of today I am unable to genuflect. It started hurting while I was coming down the stairs on Tuesday morning for Morning Prayer. Kevin Farley, in fact, had to help me up when I came into church and tried to genuflect. Again, it's better today, but my guess is that it might be a week or more before it's back to normal. At this point I ask only that you not worry too much about my knee. Let me reassure you I am for genuflections! I am not one of those priests who thinks a bow will do or that words alone are all that is helpful. S.G.
MORE THINGS TO DO . . . The parish clergy want to make a special effort to be in touch with persons who should be on our list of shut-ins. If you know someone who should be receiving Holy Communion and is not able to come to Mass please write a note for the parish office and we will try to get this organized . . . The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament has sent in a request for the list of members of Saint Mary's group. George Blackshire has asked the Rector to pull together a meeting. When would be a good time? Please speak with George or Father Gerth . . . The Prayer Book definition of membership in the Episcopal Church changed with the adoption of the new book in 1979. Then, the canons of the church were changed to recognize the change. Parishes are now supposed to keep a "register of baptized persons" in addition to the registers of baptisms, confirmations, communicants, marriages, and burials. It's going to be a big job!
Worship at Saint Mary’s
The Holy Eucharist
On Sundays Mass is said at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. A Solemn Mass is offered at 11:00 AM. Monday through Friday Mass is said at 12:15 PM and 6:15 PM. On Saturdays Mass is said at 12:15 PM.
The Daily Office
On ordinary Sundays Morning Prayer is said at 8:40 AM and Evening Prayer at 4:45 PM. Monday through Friday Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30 AM, the Noonday Office at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM. On Saturdays the Noonday Office is offered at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 5:00 PM.
The Reconciliation of Penitents
Confessions are heard on Saturdays between 11:30 and 12:00 and between 4:00 and 5:00. Appointments can also be made with members of the parish clergy for the Reconciliation of Penitents at other times.
The ordinary Fridays of the year are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
The Calendar of the Ninth Week after Pentecost
Monday Saint James the Apostle (transferred)
Tuesday William Huntington, priest
Thursday Saint Mary and Saint Martha
Friday William Wilberforce, abolitionist
Saturday Saint Ignatius of Loyola
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector, The Reverend Allen Shin, curate,
The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.