Transitions occur with new rectors in parishes like ours and not just for the reason that there is a new rector. Almost always the transition to a new rectorate begins with a fresh look at the history of a parish community and fresh thinking about how God is calling the community to move into the future. Since the beginning of my work at Saint Mary's I have been thinking and praying about the future. Music is an area where I think we need to have new leadership, leadership that I have chosen.
As a result, this week I informed Chris Babcock of my decision, effective immediately, to bring on a new music director and organist. It was not easy to make this decision. Chris has made a contribution here, and we appreciate the efforts he has made on behalf of St. Mary's.
As soon as possible I plan to appoint interim leadership for our music program. At the next meeting of the Board of Trustees I expect we will appoint a search committee and adopt a process for defining and filling music direction for our parish community very much like the process used for the search for a new rector.
I want you to know that the decision I made was not made lightly or without reflection on the challenges it would present. I find myself returning to the words that I shared from the pulpit last Sunday which I heard from the board's retreat leader last weekend. Father Charles Fulton, president of the Episcopal Church Building Fund, reminded us of the central doctrine of the Catholic faith, that for there to be new birth and new life, that which was has to die. It is easy to say that in the abstract but it is hard when a relationship is involved. Father also reminded us that we as Christians know how appropriately to grieve and to look forward to new life. No area of our common life is more important than worship. I believe that new leadership will help you and me do the work we are called to do.
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for William, Margaret, Warren, Myrian, Helen, Katherine Rose, Margo and Nettie.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . September 21: 1976 Harold E. Pim; September 23: 1969 Rose Matilda Flemister Erwin.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Jonah 3:10-4:11, Psalm 145:1-8, Philippians 1:21-27, Matthew 20:1-16 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant Father Shin, Preacher Mr. Lawson; 10:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: Father Breidenthal, 11:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: The Rector, 5:00 PM Celebrant and Preacher: The Rector . . . On Saturday, September 18, Father Gerth will hear confessions . . . On Saturday, September 25, Father Shin will hear confessions.
FROM THE CANONICAL REGISTER . . . During the month of August a letter of transfer was sent for Carol Haubois to the Church of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, New York, New York. During the month of August letters of transfer were received for Susan Miranda from Grace Church, Kansas City, Missouri, and for Andrew Thompson from Saint Andrew's Church, Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to those for whom letters of transfer were received, the names of the following persons were inscribed in the Register of Baptized Persons and the Register of Communicants, Ricardo Miranda, Kenneth Wolman, Paul Augustine, Alexander Feldman, Iris Feldman and Christina Hansen.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . As we go to press, William Poston is scheduled to be released from the hospital on Thursday, September 16. We are so thankful for his recovery and his healing. Please keep him in your prayers . . . Kenny Isler, our "incensemeister", is back! We had the opportunity to introduce him to many people during the Solemn Mass on Holy Cross Day. Kenny, your ministry means so much. Thank you! . . . Speaking of Holy Cross, it was a lovely evening because of the efforts of so many. There was a good congregation for the Mass (156) and a good attendance at a great reception following the liturgy. Father Shin seemed to enjoy being at the altar and in the pulpit and it was an honor to have him there. Many of Father's former colleagues at the Episcopal Church Center were here to celebrate with us. We only get in trouble when we name names but special thanks to Jim Dennis for the reception and to Howard Christian for the altars and to everyone else who serves to make possible our worship . . . Many thanks to Kevin Farley, George and Helena Handy and Eileen Whittle for helping with the inserts for the Angelus last week! . . . Canon Garrison writes that three Malawian novices will be clothed at Saint Mary's Convent, Peekskill on Michaelmas Eve, September 28, and an "African Mass" will be celebrated by their bishop, the Right Reverend Jackson Biggers, the bishop of Northern Malawi, on Michaelmas Day . . . A copy of a wonderful article about Saint Mary's and our Assumption Day procession that appeared in The Palm Beach Post on Friday, August 27, has been posted in Saint Joseph's Hall. It was written by a visitor to Saint Mary's that Sunday, the Reverend Stephen Gushee, a member of the clergy, who is the Post's religion writer . . . Attendance last Sunday: 151.
SUMMARY OF SEPTEMBER 13, 1999, BOARD MEETING . . . At its September 1999 meeting, the Board of Trustees: 1. Heard plans for a Stewardship lunch and program that will be held on Sunday October 17, 1999, after Solemn Mass. 2. Heard of a new plan for replacement of the telephones and phone lines in the parish complex, which will save a significant amount of money over what was originally proposed. 3. Formed a Personnel Committee, with Mr. Gerald McKelvey as Chair. This committee, which will consist of members from the Parish and the Board, will formulate job descriptions for all the parish lay positions and will assist the Rector in evaluating the people who hold these jobs. 4. Heard about plans to increase awareness of St. Mary’s in the developing Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. This effort will involve the newly formed Evangelism Committee, which is being chaired by Mr. David Crommett. Mr. Howard Christian is the co-chair of the committee. The Rector has begun plans to host a gathering of people from the local area. 5. Heard that there may be limited access to the area during the New Year’s weekend, especially on Friday and Saturday, when Times Square will have a 26-hour long party to celebrate the Year 2000. This may mean that it will be difficult for parishioners to attend services here on those days, which include the Feast of the Holy Name on January 1. 6. Heard about the duties of the new assisting priest, Father Thomas Breidenthal, who will assist at Solemn Mass on Sundays, as well as say low masses on Sundays and other days and teach classes. 7. Heard an interim report on the status of the Restoration Campaign (the Easter Appeal), which has raised money for the restoration of the interior of the Church, which was accomplished in 1997. A substantial portion of the pledged amount has already been paid, with pledges still coming in. However, it would appear that some pledges will probably never be paid, for various reasons, including pledges from people who have left the parish.
ABOUT EVENSONG & BENEDICTION . . . The Rector asked what has happened to "E & B". Well, the only thing that has happened was that the choir budget has been spent on Sunday mornings for this year. My own personal hope is that we can find a way to have at least a simple service of Evensong & Benediction every Sunday evening of the year. The celebration of Evening Prayer on Sundays by Christians, if I recall correctly, is the second most ancient Christian liturgy, Sunday Mass being the most ancient. How and when we do Evensong & Benediction will be a part of our planning for the year 2000 operating budget and will be a part of the reflection and study we will do in the search for a new music director. S.G.
SUNDAY SCHOOL AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Our Sunday program begins on September 19. At 10:00 AM the Rector will lead "The Rector's Forum" on "The Liturgical Act." The forum will be held in Saint Joseph's Hall . . . Our Sunday School program for children will be held from 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM. Toddlers (to age four) will meet in the nursery with Suzanne Rochester and Amelia Rochester. Elizabeth Crommett and Katherine Lawson will be leading the primary and intermediate classes. This Sunday both groups will meet together in Saint Benedict's Study. Depending on the composition of the groups new locations may be selected . . . The Catechumenal Journey led by Father Shin begins at 12:45 PM in Saint Benedict's. This process is for persons who are thinking about becoming Christians or who want to participate in a process of reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant. This program is appropriate for persons who want to become members of the Episcopal Church as well as persons who wish to join this particular parish community. Information brochure with registration form is now available on the ushers' table. Please sign up and, if possible, let one of the members of the parish clergy know of your interest. (So we can have lunch for you!)
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 Seventeenth Week after Pentecost
Monday John Patteson & Companions, Martyrs & Eve of Saint Matthew
Tuesday Saint Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend Allen Shin, curate, The Reverend Thomas Breidenthal, assistant,
The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison,
The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa assisting priests, The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.