Letting Go, Moving On
Jesus let go and moved on all of the time during his ministry. He trusted in the ultimate purposes of his Father for him and the world that had been made. Jesus was never long distracted from his work of proclaiming Good News and being Good News for so many that he met. But he didn’t fix everything he might have fixed. There were many hearts who remained unconverted by what he said and did. Jesus continued to follow the call that he had from the beginning to bring eternal life to those who would believe in life, in him.
There is a connection between the way you and I relate to our own lives and to other people and how we relate to God. God cannot take us to new places of joy and peace unless we are willing to move on in our relationships with people we have known. Jesus addressed this in many different ways. If you love only those who love you, what good is that. Forgive and forget. Let the dead bury the dead, but you come and follow me. The Prodigal Son and his Forgiving Father. The measure you give will be the measure you receive. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Reconciliation is not always physically possible with everyone who has sinned against us and against whom we have sinned. Sometimes it is impossible to reconcile with someone who has no interest in reconciling with us. But within our own hearts, understanding the mystery of reconciliation opens doors for us to enter into God’s joy instead of the Devil’s bitterness.
Lent is a time when the Church brings before us the riches of eternal life and reminds us of the choice we have made to believe in that life. It is in some ways the most natural time of the year to try to grow deeper about life and life in Christ, to increase the deep joy of our hearts. More than any other thing, holding on to the evil that we have done or the evil we have endured, blocks paths to greater joy.
This Sunday’s gospel is John’s account of the Feeding of the Five Thousand. The people, however, remained hungry after they were fed because the food they sought was earthly food. Jesus wanted to give them another kind of food, food for eternal life. He fed them and then moved on. The Lord continues to feed us and to call each of us and our community to new places of joy and life. I do not think you and I should ever be unclear, even if we are uncomfortable or afraid, about letting go and moving on in Christ. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Adele who is hospitalized and for Bart, Brett, Nora, Nicole, Jack, Thomas, Sarah, Grover, Annie, Patricia, Paul, Robert, Gloria, Jerri, Margaret, Marion, Olga, Rick, Charles, priest, and Paul, bishop and Walter, bishop, and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Timothy, Patrick, Edward, Keith, Kevin, Christopher, Andrew, Joseph, Mark, Ned, Timothy, David, John and Colin . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 30: 1968 Mabel Helen Arends; April 4: 1987 Clara D. Lewis; 1992: Thelma Bradford Ingersoll; April 5: 1964 Harold Bosworth Libbey.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: 2 Chronicles 36:14-23, Psalm 122, Ephesians 2:4-10, John 6:4-15 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, March 29, by Father Smith, and on Saturday, April 5, by Father Weiler . . . The faithful are reminded that the weekdays of Lent are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord. The Fridays of Lent are also days of abstinence from meats.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday is Rose or “Laetare” Sunday and organ music is permitted. The prelude before the Solemn Mass is Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639, and the postlude is Präludium in e-moll, BWV 548, by J. S. Bach (1685-1750). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa brevis No. 1 by Healey Willan (1880-1968) and the anthem at Communion is Geistliches Lied by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). We welcome the Choral Scholars of Princeton, New Jersey, who will sing at Solemn Evensong and Benediction and a choral prelude at 4:40, featuring music of Parsons, Cornysh and Pärt. The canticles will be sung to the Gloucester Service of Herbert Howells (1892-1983), and the anthem will be Abendlied, Op. 69, No. 3 by Josef Rheinberger (1839-1901). They will also sing O salutaris by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585) at Benediction.
CONCERT BY THE CHORAL SCHOLARS . . . In addition to having the Choral Scholars sing for this Sunday’s Solemn Evensong and Benediction, they will present a concert in the church this Saturday evening, March 29 at 7:00 PM. This fine group is comprised of young professional singers who specialize in music of the Renaissance, Baroque and 20th century. The artistic director and conductor is Geoffrey Williams, and the concert will feature works of Sheppard, Byrd, Gibbons, Palestrina, Gorecki and Tavener. All are encouraged to come, and a donation will be taken at the door.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Congratulations to Mother Rosemari Sullivan who was ordained priest on March 29, 1986! Mother Sullivan’s responsibilities as Executive Officer of the General Convention have kept her from being with us very much. We look forward to having her with us much more after the General Convention this summer! . . . Many thanks to all who made the Sung Mass and the Solemn Mass on Annunciation so special. And what a great reception afterwards! . . . Attendance last Sunday 210, attendance on Annunciation 251.
A TRIBUTE TO MCNEIL ROBINSON . . . Park Avenue Christian Church will have a tribute to honor 40 years of choral and organ music by McNeil Robinson on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:30 PM. The concert will feature McNeil Robinson, several guest organists, choir and soloists. The conductor will be Andrew Adams. A highlight of the concert will be organ improvisation by McNeil Robinson. A special “Champagne Musicale” will follow the concert, with singers from New York City opera, and the concert halls, opera stages, and cabarets of the world offering tributes to McNeil Robinson. Tickets for the concert and musicale are $100; tickets for the concert only are $30 (suggested contribution), and will benefit the worship, music, and arts ministry of Park Avenue Christian Church. To reserve tickets or to obtain more information, call the church office at (212) 288-3246, extension 28.
SUMMARY OF MARCH 17, 2003, BOARD MEETING . . . At its March 2001 meeting, the Board of Trustees: 1. Learned that thus far there are 98 pledges totaling $219,296 for 2003. 2. Approved a letter endorsing the Reverend Robert Rhodes, a seminarian at General Theological Seminary who is assisting at Saint Mary’s, for ordination to the priesthood. 3. Approved an option to purchase “terrorism coverage,” at a cost of $13,760 for the first year, an addition to the property insurance coverage from the Church Insurance Company. 4. Heard a report from Mr. Terry O’Dwyer of the Investment Committee regarding the recent performance of Saint Mary’s investments. 5. Heard of plans for the Triduum. The Presiding Bishop, the Right Reverend Frank Griswold, will preside at the liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday (for the evening service), and the Easter Vigil. There will also be three Deacons for these services, the Reverend John Beddingfield, the Reverend Alexander Graham and the Reverend Robert Rhodes, as well as several priests, including Father Louis Weil, professor of liturgics at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, in California. 6. Discussed the need for extra personnel to handle development and new member ministry. 7. Heard a plea from Miss Gloria Fitzgerald, who asked that people from Saint Mary’s should consider running for diocesan elected offices. Leroy Sharer, secretary
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Fourth Sunday in Lent: Laetare
Monday Weekday of Lent
Tuesday Weekday of Lent
Wednesday Weekday of Lent
Thursday Weekday of Lent
Friday Weekday of Lent Lenten Abstinence
Saturday Weekday of Lent
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend Matthew Weiler, curate, The Reverend James Ross Smith, assistant,
The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priest,
The Reverend John Beddingfield, The Reverend Robert Rhodes, assisting deacons,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.