From the Rector: Whole Attitude
I spent the last days of my vacation in Austin, Texas, just a few blocks from the center of the Whole Foods empire. Their flagship store is a third again larger than their Columbus Circle store here in Manhattan. It’s a great store. There’s more of just about everything there. Cold beer is kept in an imposing walk through aisle called “Beer Alley.” Fresh shrimp from the gulf that I’ve never seen at their store here were on sale at a good price. Within twenty-four hours I was back in New York in line at my local store, again at Columbus Circle. It was clearly a “Whole Foods” but it was also very clearly in Manhattan and not in Texas.
Example: When I asked in Texas if the store sold the New York Times, a cheerful, smiling employee insisted on walking me to the other side of the store to show me exactly where they were. I grew up in the south and part of me is used to saying and hearing “sir” and “ma’am” and I heard it over and over again in that store. It’s a little different here in New York City, of course. But clearly the store at Sixth and Lamar in Austin sets the tone for Whole Foods, no question about it.
In the next few weeks you will be reading and hearing a lot about stewardship at Saint Mary’s Time Square. Our mission and ministry need increased support to move and continue to grow. I am more convinced than ever that Saint Mary’s has a mission of unique significance in the Episcopal Church. This congregation has had great clarity about its purpose since its inception. Saint Mary’s has always been about the renewal of congregational worship. Here, worship leads us deeper into union with God and to service in his name. We offer God and each other the very best we can every day of the year. This costs money. And as Jesus said, where our treasure is, there is our heart.
Locally, being a member of Saint Mary’s means you are part of a community that has the privilege of worshiping in this extraordinary place with all the riches of the tradition of the Church. It means there is always one or more members of the clergy on duty. When you are in the hospital you are visited, daily whenever possible. When there is a wedding or a funeral, you don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen. There are classes for learning. There are new opportunities for service. And there are signs of growth in every area of our common life, most importantly, ministry to children.
If you are a local or national friend of Saint Mary’s, it means being attached not only to your local church community but you know when you are able to be at Saint Mary’s you are just as much at home. This is part of your family too – we try to be the relative that you really want to visit and eat with! If your local parish doesn’t have the resources or commitment (let’s be frank) to observe Holy Days, you can still say your prayers and know that Saint Mary’s is at God’s altar. And when you visit New York and need a priest, you can call in confidence on the parish clergy. Many of our national friends know that here they will find priests who themselves are penitents. They will not need to make an appointment for confession. There are regular hours.
One of our sympathetic correspondents observed that Saint Mary’s is a place where prayer is more important than issues. I think that is true. It is also a place where all can unite in prayer even if we disagree about other things. Here we do agree that all members of Christ’s Body are welcome to his home and to his table. And again, this costs money.
After a lifetime of being a Christian and after twenty-two years of ordination, I don’t begin to understand why some people give and some people don’t. Many are so incredibly generous, and frankly, I just have to wonder why some who have so much give so little. This has been true wherever I have been, lay and ordained, Baptist and Episcopalian.
Some of you may recall the sermon preached at my institution as rector by the Reverend John McCausland, vicar of Holy Cross Church, Weare, New Hampshire. We were classmates at Nashotah House Seminary. I still recall a conversation with John. We were back at Nashotah for our tenth anniversary. John said something like, “The liturgy in seminaries should reflect the very best thinking about worship.” At Saint Mary’s we strive to offer our best not only at the altar but in every part of our common life. That’s only going to continue to be possible if more of us offer the best gifts of money that we can for this work. Saint Mary’s is special because we try to let God take charge of all of our life, including our money. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Richard and Doreen who are hospitalized, for Patty and Betty Ann who are gravely ill, for Derek, Jeanette, Matthew, Kamil, Donna, Lloyd, Mikhail, Deborah, Anita, Erika, Rosemary, Rich, Lou, Michelle, Charlton, Virginia, William, Mary, Virginia, Tony, Ibo, Penn, Gilbert, Robert, Gloria, Marion, Mamie, Rick, Henry, Thomas, priest and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Marc, Joseph, Timothy, Christopher, David, Timothy, Nestor, Freddie, Derrick and Christina, and for the all who suffer as a result of the hurricane and flooding, and especially for those who mourn . . . GRANT THEM PEACE. . . September 21: 1976 Harold E. Pim; September 23: 1969 Rosie Matilda Flemister Erwin.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . Father Mead will be the celebrant and preacher for the 9:00 AM Mass, and Father Gerth will be the celebrant and preacher at the 10:00 AM Sung Mass. The 11:00 AM Solemn Mass will be the first Solemn Mass celebrated by Father Bill Franklin, who is to be ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, September 17, 2005. Father Mead will be the celebrant and preacher for the 5:20 PM Mass . . . On Saturday, September 17, Father Mead will hear confessions and on Saturday, September 24 Father Beddingfield will hear confessions.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Adagio C-dur für Glasharmonika, KV 356 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). The postlude is Präludium quarti toni, BuxWV 152 by Dietrich Buxtehude (c. 1637-1707). The cantor this Sunday is Ms. Ruth Cunningham, soprano. The solo at Communion is Ms. Cunningham’s setting of Divine Love, a poem by her sister, writer Elizabeth Cunningham. Robert McCormick
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Many thanks to all who made possible such a wonderful Solemn Pontifical Mass on Holy Cross Day. It was a great privilege to have our Presiding Bishop with us as celebrant and preacher . . . Much needed contributions for the victims of Hurricane Katrina can be given through the Saint Mary’s Hurricane Transition Fund or Episcopal Relief and Development at www.er-d.org . . . Thanks to all the church staff and all the volunteers who made Homeless Connect NYC at Saint Mary’s so successful last Tuesday. Preliminary statistics show 113 people came through for services, 36 people applied for benefits for the first time, 26 people obtained identification cards (which will help them obtain services) and 19 people saw the medical staff (aided by our own Dr. Andrew Smith). More statistics and pictures will follow soon on the Saint Mary’s web site . . . The Gift Shop Renovation Sale continues this Sunday in Saint Joseph’s Hall during Coffee Hour . . . Flowers are needed for the church on Sundays, September 25 and October 10. The cost of providing flowers is $200.00. To reserve a date please contact the parish office . . . Progress continues on the renovation of Saint Benedict’s Study in preparation for the children’s Sunday School which will begin on Sunday, October 2 . . . The Board of Trustees will meet in the rectory dining room on Monday, September 19 at 7:00 PM . . . Attendance Last Sunday 215, Holy Cross Day 199.
SPIRITUALITY AND READING GROUP . . . This Sunday, September 18, the group meets to discuss God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It by Jim Wallis. The group meets from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. If you can, bring a bite to eat and something to share.
New look for the our email Angelus . . . Those of you who get the Angelus by email will have noticed the new and improved version delivered into your inbox last week. We have worked hard with ACS Technologies to get an email program that would allow people to sign up online, give us a nicer looking newsletter and coordinate our mailings between our database and our email list. We are the first client for this new program which will give us many opportunities to communicate more effectively. . . If you would like to receive this new and improved Angelus by email please contact Sandra Schubert – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website and sign up right there – www.stmvirgin.org.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION. . . Poetic Devotion: Surveying the Christian Lyric in English, from the 17th century to the present with Professor Rebecca Weiner meets on Thursday evenings September, 22 and 29. This class will focus on reading and reflecting upon the work of numerous poets such as Donne, Herbert, Vaughan, Blake, Rossetti, Tennyson, Browning, Eliot, Sitwell, Auden and many others . . . On September 20 and 27, Father Mead’s Tuesday Night Bible Study will read the Letter of James. Both of these classes meet in the Parish House Third Floor Conference Room from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM . . . All weekday classes currently meet in the Parish House Third Floor Conference Room from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
SUNDAY SCHOOL & NURSERY CARE . . . Beginning on October 2, we will offer nursery care every Sunday and on greater feast days. Nursery care will be available from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Sundays and for the duration of the Solemn Mass on Major Feasts in the Nursery (down the hallway from Saint Joseph’s Hall). In addition to regular nursery care, Sunday School will be held most Sundays of the year from October 2 through Pentecost. Sunday School will begin at 10:00 AM and will end at 10:45. For more information please visit our website or contact Father Mead.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690
Tuesday John Coleridge Patteson and his Companions, Martyrs, 1871
Eve of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist 6:00 PM
Wednesday Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
Sunday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass,
5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Mass
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:15 PM Mass,
6:00 PM Evening Prayer, 6:20 PM Mass
Saturday: 11:30 AM Confessions, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:15 PM Mass, 4:00 PM Confessions,
5:00 PM Evening Prayer