Ave atque Vale
I met the Reverend William C. Parker the first afternoon I came to New York to interview for the position of rector of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. He, the Reverend Allen Shin and I went across the street to have coffee and to talk at Café Europa. I could tell that he and Allen were very fine people and fine priests. This was not a surprise to me even thought I had only known Saint Mary's from afar.
Father Parker was graduated from the General Theological Seminary in May 1996, ordained deacon in June and started to work, as it turns out, as Father Wells's last curate. At the same time Father Shin began as Saint Mary's assistant. Father Wells taught both of them how to preside at the Eucharist. When Father Wells retired the Board of Trustees asked and received permission for Father Parker to become the parish vicar during the interim year.
Once I was elected rector in early December 1998 questions began to come to me from Saint Mary's even though I would not become rector until February 1. One of the questions that came my way was Bill's relationship with the congregation once I became rector.
Most people in the Church have no reason to know that the relationship of all assisting clergy in a parish church, by whatever title an assistant holds, is tied to the employment of a rector. I once had a phone call in the middle of the night from a friend who is a priest. He had just gotten home from the hospital. His rector had suffered a heart attack and died. Technically the moment that happened my friend was unemployed; he was no longer the curate of the parish church. The next day the vestry received permission from the bishop to rehire my friend as the interim priest; but they were under no obligation to do so.
A priest who serves as curate and as an interim priest almost always moves very quickly to another position, often before the new priest arrives. There are lots of reasons for this. It is the nature of the position. I knew the Board of Trustees would expect leadership from me on this issue so I called senior colleagues to ask what was appropriate where the issue was simply how to provide for the kind of transition that was right for the priest and for the parish. I knew Father Parker was already looking for a job and realized there was a real chance that he would be gone sooner than later. It seemed to me that June 30 would be an appropriate date for Father's service to Saint Mary's to end.
As it turns out the positions where Father senses he may indeed be called will not decide until after June 30 about the future of their congregations. Sometimes there are seamless transitions in life; sometimes there are not. There are a number of options for him at the present time.
I have said to Bill both in writing and face to face that if circumstances were different I would very much have welcomed the opportunity to have him join me on the church staff. I can well understand why Father Wells wanted him as his final curate. I can well understand why the Board of Trustees wanted him as the interim priest.
We will miss his quick wit and ready smile. We will miss his devotion to priestly ministrations. More than one person has told me how much Father's ministry has meant to them when they were hospitalized or needed to see him as a priest. That's really what Saint Mary's expects of her clergy and Father is very much in the best tradition of one of the great parishes of the Episcopal Church.
Some of you may have heard that Father Shin will replace Father Parker as curate. He will begin on July 1. More on that will be in The Angelus next week. But this week I want to say publicly how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to get to know Father and to serve with him if only for a few months. This Sunday, June 27, Father will celebrate and preach the Solemn Mass at 11:00 AM. Afterwards there will be a reception to honor him. I know and you know the parish has been blessed in so many ways by the priesthood of the Reverend William C. Parker. Stephen Gerth
PARISH PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty in Kosovo, for Walter and Dennis who are hospitalized and for Barbara, Edward, Mary Ann, Margaret, Scot, Shirley, Mark, Dorothy, Warren, Karen, Victoria, Frank, Florinda, Myrian, Charmaine, Rodney, priest, and Simon, priest, and for the repose of the soul of Robert.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 2:10-17, Psalm 89:1-4,15-18, Romans 6:3-11, Matthew 10:34-42 . . . 9:00 Celebrant & Preacher The Rector, 10:00 Celebrant & Preacher Father Shin, 11:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher Father Parker, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher, Father Shin . . . On Saturday, June 26, The Rector will hear confessions. On Saturday, July 3, Father Shin will hear confessions.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Remember the marriage of Susan Walmsley and Ricardo Miranda on Friday, June 25, at 4:00 PM. Of course, weddings are public services of the Church and parishioners are most welcome! . . . Walter Morton was hospitalized following what was intended to be outpatient eye surgery on Tuesday, June 22, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Manhattan. As we go to press Walter is in the Medical Intensive Care Unit and is scheduled for a cardiac catherterization. Please keep him in your prayers . . . Dennis Peters continues to improve in rehabilitation. We are very thankful . . . Father Parker was called for jury duty on Tuesday, June 22 . . . The altar flowers on June 27 will be from the wedding. Flowers are needed for the next few Sundays in July. If you would like to give them please call the parish office . . . Chris Babcock will be at the organ bench this Sunday. Our soloist this week is Ed Turner. In addition to the minor propers Ed will be singing "Arise, My Love" by Hundley . . . The July-August 1999 issue of AVE should be in our hands very soon . . . The air-conditioning repairs to the rectory system have been completed. We discovered that the system also provides air-conditioning to the sacristy and to Saint Benedict's study. (Both rooms were originally part of the rectory.) There are two units in the system. One thermostat and unit is for the western side of each floor of the rectory. The other thermostat controls the airflow to the eastern side of the building. It's not zoned by floors but by two sections. Some minor adjustments to the system need to be made, but after a hiatus of twenty years the rectory system is once again working . . . We did not forget "Grant Them Peace" this week; no anniversaries of death occur in the parish register for this calendar week . . . Attendance last Sunday: 148.
PRIDE PARADE . . . Saint Mary's parishioners will march once again this year with the Diocese of New York in the Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade this Sunday, June 27. This is a wonderful witness to the inclusive stand of the Episcopal Church and our stand against violence. It can be a moving experience with plenty of room for fun as well. Those marching will gather after the reception after the 11:00 Mass and walk down to the parade together. Everyone and anyone is welcome to come enjoy the day.
SUMMER BIBLE STUDY . . . Father Allen Shin is going to lead a Bible Study for six consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning July 7 and concluding August 11. The group will meet at 6:15, right after Evening Prayer. The study will be an introduction to Saint Matthew's Gospel. If you would like to know more about the class please speak with Father Shin.
AT PARRIS ISLAND . . . Christopher Kamm is at boot camp. Letters, we are sure, will be most appreciated. In our experience it is extremely important to use the correct form with this kind of letter.
Rec. Kamm, Christopher I.
Plt. 2057, 2nd Bn., Co. "F" MCRD
Parris Is., S.C. 29905-0004
THE MOVIES AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Woody Allen and his film company will be filming at Saint Mary's on Tuesday, June 29, during the day. A short scene will be filmed in the Lady Chapel. As we go to press we think the Masses that day will be offered at the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy. This Tuesday is the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles.
MEMBERSHIP IN THE CHURCH . . . Shortly after I began serving in Trinity Church, Michigan City, Indiana, the question of how one becomes a member of a parish began to come up. That's the kind of thing for which rectors need an answer. I remember checking carefully. The membership rules changed after the new Prayer Book was adopted. The changes are significant. One becomes a member of the Church by being baptized in the Episcopal Church or by having the fact of one's baptism in another denomination recorded in an Episcopal parish's "Register of Baptized Persons." Therefore, it is very easy for persons coming from another denomination to join our Church. I remember some parishioners being excited to learn that new members did not have to wait for a bishop's visitation for new people to become members. I also recall how some people seemed almost to resent the changing the rules. I once got into an ongoing conversation with one newcomer whose friends had brought him to the parish but convinced him that he wouldn't be a full member until he had been confirmed by the bishop. It took a lot of convincing on my part that I indeed did know the rules. There are new people here every week, people who are looking for a new church home. I think it is important that we welcome newcomers and make it easy for them to belong. The Christian journey is sufficiently challenging on its own. S.G.
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 Sixth Week after Pentecost
Monday Saint Irenaeus, Bishop
Tuesday Saint Peter & Saint Paul, Apostles
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector, The Reverend William C. Parker, curate, The Reverend Allen Shin, assistant, The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison, The Reverend Paulette Schiff,
The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.