From Father Beddingfield: Risks and Rewards
For two weeks in June I attended the Summer Leadership Institute at Harvard Divinity School. The program brings together resources of the divinity school with Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government to help church leaders learn more about leadership and management. One of the most eye-opening sessions for me was the segment we had on entrepreneurship. We began with the business school’s definition:
Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity,
beyond resources currently controlled.
A light bulb went off for me when I heard this definition. Thinking about it through the subsequent lectures and discussions, I began to get excited. I began to find the notion of entrepreneurship freeing, challenging and deeply Christian.
I found this new understanding of entrepreneurship freeing because it helped me to see how my own outlook is so often based solely upon “resources currently controlled.” We probably all do this from time to time. At Saint Mary’s we become used to various spaces being used in only certain ways and at certain times. We become used to certain people performing certain duties. Yet when we focus only upon the resources at hand we limit other people, we limit ourselves and we limit God.
What if we were to put our lack of resources on hold for a moment and try to focus on the opportunities before us? The opportunities at Saint Mary’s are many: some have to do with the handful of babies we are seeing on most Sunday mornings. Other opportunities have to do with the thousands of businesspersons who come to Midtown every day. There are opportunities to extend Christian hospitality to tourists. We have opportunities to develop corporate partners for programming and mission and to develop new relationships with our political leaders. We have the opportunity to provide a forum for issues affecting our neighborhood and the world, opportunities to serve the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual restaurant and hotel workers in our neighborhood. Uniquely situated in Times Square we have opportunities to serve the theater community, the poor and the powerful, the hungry and the well-fed, the homeless and those with multiple homes. The opportunities abound.
The challenge for us is to pursue opportunity without feeling overwhelmed by the lack of resources. Though we may not currently have the resources we need, we might have them tomorrow. Or perhaps you know someone who knows someone who can provide resources (and leadership is one resource). The challenge is for all of us to be willing to risk and to take on a bit of entrepreneurial spirit.
As I’ve thought about entrepreneurship over the last few weeks, I’ve begun to realize just how very deeply spiritual it is. Faith (like money) doesn’t grow by simply putting it in a room and locking the door. We mislead one another when we suggest that spiritual growth is a gentle, gradual and natural process. It isn’t. We get faith only after we lose it. Our faith grows only after we have given it away or risked it. Risking what we have, what we believe, and who we are takes us to a place of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ and it is then that he gives us new faith. The Christian life is about dying and rising again, losing faith and finding it, risking and sharing the rewards.
All four gospels contain the story about how thousands of hungry people came to hear Jesus speak. The disciples thought in terms of resources—they had only a few loaves and a couple of fish. Jesus, however, saw the opportunity. Jesus organized the crowd, called in the help of Andrew, and made a miracle.
What is God calling you to risk? How might God be calling you or someone you know to step forward with a new idea, a new plan, or a new ministry? Every Mass at Saint Mary’s serves as a kind of public offering. We need investors. We need risk-takers. Join us as we try to be faithful disciples, risking in the name of One in whom all things are possible. John Beddingfield
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for William and Maggie who are hospitalized and for Lloyd, Mikhail, Deborah, Henry, Charlton, Virginia, William, Mary, Virginia, Tony, Ibo, Penn, Gilbert, Robert, Gloria, Marion, Mamie, Rick, Michael, priest, Hobart, priest, Thomas, priest and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Joseph, Timothy, Christopher, David, Nestor, Freddie, Derrick, Christina and Barbara. . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . July 9: 1991 Blanche Evelyn Preene; July 11: 1981 Pelham St. George Bissell; July 15: 1986 Peter A.J. McGrane, 1989 Allen C. Satterfield, 1989 Robert Fox Davis.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 55:1-5,10-13, Psalm 65:9-14, Romans 8:9-17, Matthew 13:1-9,18-23. . . Father Beddingfield will be the celebrant and preacher for the 9:00 AM. Father Gerth will be the celebrant and preacher for the 10:00 AM Sung Mass the 11:00 AM Solemn and the 5:20 PM Masses. . . On Saturday, July 9, Father Beddingfield will hear confessions . . On Saturday, July 16 Father Gerth will hear confessions.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS of the year are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
CLERGY & STAFF NOTES . . . The Rector will be away Thursday evening, July 7 and Friday evening July 8 . . . Father Mead will be on vacation through Saturday, July 30 . . . Robert McCormick will be away 7/3 PM - 7/18 in preparation for his participation in the semi-finals of the St. Albans International Organ Festival Improvisation Competition (www.organfestival.com), held in St. Albans, England. Sunday, July 3, Robert begins his fifth year as music director and organist at Saint Mary’s.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . We welcome Mr. Kyle Babin, organist of Saint Peter’s Church, Perth Amboy, New Jersey and a doctoral student of McNeil Robinson at the Manhattan School of Music, who will play for the Sung and Solemn Masses this Sunday. At the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Adagio e dolce from Sonate III, BWV 527 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The postlude is Carillon (sur la sonnerie du Carillon de la chapelle du Château de Longport) from Vingt-quatre pièces en style libre, Opus 31/21 by Louis Vierne (1870-1937). The cantor this Sunday is Mr. Geoffrey Williams, countertenor. At Communion, he will sing Laude novella, a medieval Italian lauda (a type of devotional song similar to Spanish villancicos and a later form of the French conductus). Laude played an important part in the religious life of the Italian people from the 13th century until the middle of the 19th. Their origin and early development were closely connected with Saint Francis of Assisi as well as with the many penitential fraternities (flagellants) of the 13th and 14th centuries. Robert McCormick and Geoffrey Williams
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Flowers are needed for Sunday, July 24. The cost is $200.00. Please contact Sandra Schubert in the parish office if you would like to give them for one (or more!) Sundays . . . Wish list – Saint Mary’s needs a donation or resource for used flat files to store our 24” x 36” signs that are posted on the two placards on the 46th and 47th entrances for the church. Currently they get rolled up and stored in the basement and become damaged….Attendance: 241
SPIRITUALITY AND READING GROUP . . . Coordinated by Rosemary Kulp, this group will meet next on Sunday, July 17 from approximately 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM, in Saint Benedict’s Study. Participants are asked to bring a little something to eat and some to share, if possible. The books to be discussed are Madeleine L'Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door. For more information, see the Spirituality and Reading Group flyer in the back of the church or the summer edition of Life at Saint Mary’s.
MOVIE NIGHT AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Join Father Beddingfield in Saint Joseph’s Hall on Friday evening, July 22, after the Mass for movie night. This week we will explore the difference between truth and factuality, mythmaking and storytelling as is portrayed in Big Fish, the 2003 movie directed by Tim Burton. Please bring a few extra dollars if you are able for food so that we can order pizza and soda for everyone.
MORE ON BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR . . . To learn about several people who have overcome limited resources to meet enormous opportunities, check out http://www.pbs.org/opb/thenewheroes/ This site grows out of a two-week series that aired on PBS and offers resources on social entrepreneurship.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, c. 540
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend John Beddingfield, The Reverend Matthew Mead, curates,
The Reverend Ian Bruce Montgomery, The Reverend James Ross Smith, assisting priests,
The Reverend R. William Franklin, assisting deacon,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.