From the Rector: Father Beddingfield Accepts Call
All Souls’ Church, Washington, D.C. has called the Reverend John Floyd Beddingfield to be their rector. Father has accepted the call. The Bishop of Washington has given his permission. I want to invite you to join me in thanking John for the great work he has done as a member and then as curate of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. His last Sunday with us will be August 19 when he will be celebrant and preacher for the 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM Masses. A reception to honor him and his partner Erwin de Leon will follow the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass. His first Sunday at All Souls’ will be September 9. I could not be more happy for him – or more proud.
John was one of the first people I remember meeting at Saint Mary’s. At the time he was a serving member of the clergy of the Presbyterian Church. He had sensed for a while a call to ordination in the Episcopal Church and was, quietly, a regular member of the Sunday evening congregation at Saint Mary’s. He was already preparing for a transition through study at the General Theological Seminary. He needed a parish home. In God’s providence, Saint Mary’s became that parish home and, almost unbelievably, the place where he would first serve in the Episcopal Church.
The parish has been greatly blessed by John’s ministry among us. There will be time to tell stories and to celebrate the journey we have had. I will look forward to John returning to be a guest celebrant and preacher for one of the greater festivals of the year in the not-too-distant future.
One of the things about the position of rector within the parish community is that the rector eventually hears almost everything. Over and over I have heard the strongest words of appreciation for the gift we have been given to have John with us. It’s very unusual for someone to serve in the parish that sponsors him or her for ordination. It is a testament to John that it is hard to imagine anyone who could have been more useful to the work of the parish than he has been. He is an extraordinary person and an extraordinary pastor and priest.
John was ordained deacon at the Cathedral in March 2003. But it is his vesting at his ordination to the priesthood on September 20, 2003 that I remember so vividly. John chose to be vested with the chasuble and stole from our Marian set of vestments. It was just so very clear that day that he was truly called to the priesthood of this Church. I sense the appropriateness of the call to Washington on so many levels.
I will be meeting with the Executive Committee of the board of Trustees next week to begin to organize the search for a new senior curate. One of the gifts John has brought to us was his history as the pastor of two congregations in the Presbyterian Church. As I begin my own reflection about what kind of priest we need as a senior curate, I think we need to look for a priest who has already served as a rector and feels called to serve on a clergy team as the next work in his or her life. In the meantime, Father Mead and Father Smith are still with us! And I know we can look to both of them to help as we seek to know and call the priest the community needs at this point in its life and ministry.
Please join in wishing John and Erwin all the best in their life and ministries in the new parish. Erwin, too, has been very much a part of our common life. He has served as a reader, usually at the 10:00 AM Mass, and is part of the Visual Arts Committee and of the team that has renewed the gift shop in such an extraordinary way. We are going to miss them both. Mark Sunday, August 19, on your calendar. Details for the celebration will be forthcoming very soon.
Finally, I am not ashamed to write that I am going to be very sad about John’s departure very soon. No member of the parish community has been more helpful to me as your rector. I could not have had a better colleague than John Beddingfield – and he’s been a colleague in a real sense since my first month as your rector. I could not be more happy and proud to know him and to be thankful for the work he has been called to do. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Henry, Pamela, Joan, Hilyard, Charles, Virginia, Daisy, Joseph, Marcia, Ana, Kevin, Gert, Gloria, Ray, Tony, William, Eve, Virginia, Mary, Gilbert, Rick, Suzanne, Henry, priest, and Charles, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Steve, Fahad, Patrick, Brenden, and Christopher . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . July 30: 1986 Elizabeth Collins; August 1: 1969 Mabel Upson; August 4: 1996 Harold Anderson Worrell.
I PUBLISH THE BANNS OF MARRIAGE for Michael Joseph Saraceni of New York City and Madeleine Louise Kennedy of New York City. If any of you know just cause why they may not be joined together in Holy Matrimony, you are bidden to declare it. This is the second time of asking. S.G.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . We celebrate with Tyson and Titcha Ho upon the birth of their daughter Aria Magdalene Hokedsi on July 21, 2007 . . . On Sundays Child Care during the 10:00 AM Sung Mass and 11:00 AM Solemn Mass will be available all summer long. The nursery is located next to the Sacristy (down the hallway from Saint Joseph’s Hall) . . . Saint Mary’s Guild will next meet on Saturday, August 4 at the 12:10 PM Mass . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, July 28, by Father Gerth and on Saturday, August 4, by Father Beddingfield . . . Father Mead continues on vacation through Saturday, August 11 . . . Flowers are needed for most of the Sundays in August. The cost is generally two hundred dollars per Sunday. E-mail Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our flower donation form online at http://www.stmvirgin.org/article32741.htm . . Attendance Last Sunday 307.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Prelude No. 1 from Six Short Prelude and Postludes (Set 1), Opus 101 by Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924). The postlude is Chorale Prelude on ‘Croft’s 136th’ by C. Hubert H. Parry (1848-1918). The cantor is Ms. Ruth Cunningham, soprano. Ms. Cunningham will sing her own setting of Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. The music at Communion is Ms. Cunningham’s I heard the voice of Jesus say. Robert McCormick
JULIAN OF NORWICH: A SUMMER SAMPLING . . . Join Father Beddingfield in air-conditioned Saint Benedict’s Study on Sunday July 29, following the Solemn Mass for a discussion of the life and theology of the 14th century anchoress known as Julian of Norwich. Even if you could not attend last week, feel free to join us this Sunday.
FINAL TALLY FOR THE 2007 AIDS WALK . . . The AIDS Walk New York staff has provided us with a final tally for the walk. Saint Mary’s team consisted of 27 “walkers,” in many permutations – those who walked and raised money, those who raised money but did not walk and those who simply walked. There were people who walked Saturday in order to be at Saint Mary’s on Sunday and there were people who walked on Sunday with 45,000 other New Yorkers. There were 5 “gold walkers,” parishioners who raised at least $1,000. The Saint Mary’s team raised a total of $17,074, surpassing our goal by more than $2,000. AIDS Walk New York overall broke all records, raising a total of $6,857,527. Thanks to everyone who supported us with your prayers, your funds and your feet. We look forward to a very successful AIDS Walk 2008!
CALENDAR NOTES . . . This week there are three weekday commemorations, William Wilberforce on Monday, July 30, Ignatius of Loyola on Tuesday, July 31, and Saint Joseph of Arimathaea on Wednesday, August 1. Unlike the Church’s “Major Feasts”, these are all optional observances and this conjunction of commemorations suggests something of the breadth of the Christian calendar and Christian tradition. William Wilberforce, a committed Christian, led as a Christian the campaign for the abolition of slavery in England. It was finally abolished just after Wilberforce’s death . . . The Roman Catholic Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus, a religious order for men in the Roman Church, as part of the Counter-Reformation. Ignatius had a special charism for the personal spiritual life which came to characterize the members of the Jesuit order. His “Spiritual Exercises” have proved fruitful for people across Christian traditions. His inclusion in the calendars of Anglican churches bespeaks the special openness of Anglicanism to the rich traditions of other Christian communities . . . All four gospels recount Joseph of Arimathea burying the body of our Lord. We know nothing really about Joseph except that he offered the Lord his tomb and that he was one who was “looking for the kingdom of God” (Luke 23:51) . . . The New Testament refers to all baptized persons as “saints.” Since the beginning of the Christian era, the martyrdom of so many produced a special regard for men, women and children who had been killed for their faith in Christ. By the time of the Reformation, so many legends (and financial corruptions) had grown up about saints, the Anglican reformers dropped all but those mentioned by name in the New Testament. As time has passed, the presence of the Spirit still working in the lives of the faithful in special ways generally is no longer so very contentious. S.G.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday William Wilberforce, Abolitionist, 1833
Tuesday Ignatius of Loyola, Monastic and Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556
Wednesday Joseph of Arimathea
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. Childcare from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 6:00 PM Evening Prayer, 6:20 PM Mass.
Saturday: 11:30 AM Confessions, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 4:00 PM Confessions, 5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass.