From the Rector: Summer at Saint Mary’s
I have clear memories of parish life being slower in summertime when I was first ordained. I wonder if things are slower anywhere now. Here we busy are preparing for the fall, winter and spring. We are in the middle of a capital campaign. Very soon you will be hearing about a new legacy society to encourage people to remember Saint Mary’s in their wills. Final drawings are being prepared for the renovation of the fifth floor of the Mission House for the sisters. Construction with all of its attendant challenges is on the horizon.
Speaking of the capital campaign, as we go to press we have received $143,275 in pledges for the Momentum Fund. The response has been outstanding and we haven’t heard from many people yet. I had hoped that we would be able to do the four proposed projects for $150,000.00. It now seems that the work in the Mission House may push this total for all of the projects in the direction of $200,000.00.
First, is the renovation of the fifth floor as a residence for two sisters from the Community of St. John Baptist. Religious sisters were a part of the parish community almost since its founding until 1964. The possibility of renewing this part of our heritage is very exciting. The other projects are of a different kind. New hand rails are needed for all of the Forty-sixth Street doorways. We need a new water heater for the church plant and new kneelers for the pews. And we can’t do any of these things without special gifts.
Attendance has been good this summer so far – better than any summer since I have been here. This is especially gratifying since our church is not air conditioned – yet. I don’t expect air conditioning to happen anytime soon, but happen it must if we want to continue to grow in this twenty-first century.
Fr. Beddingfield, Fr. Mead and I have been taking turns on vacation this summer. Father Beddingfield returns to the parish on Wednesday, July 31. Father Mead leaves on July 31 and will return on Monday, August 14. Father Beddingfield will finish his vacation during the last two weeks of August. I will finish mine later in the year.
I’m trying my best to ignore the few actions of General Convention of the Episcopal Church in June which actually affect our common life. I’m not up to speed yet for a full-scale rant on the new Sunday lectionary (something that will affect us). I can’t wait really to tear into a collection of new rites (“Liturgies for Rites of Passage”) and commemorations in another article (something that will not affect us). Can you imagine any adolescent wanting to stand in front of a congregation and draw attention to the biological changes he or she is experiencing? Do you know any five-year old who could care about a Mass to celebrate him or her riding a bicycle? The lectionary revision is a disappointment on so many practical levels, not theological – more to come on this soon. I offer the following – and there’s much more – without further comment from the new “Liturgies for Rites of Passage”:
You move through our lives, O God, like the wind, pushing and pulling us into the adventures of growing up. Our young sister, N., has learned to ride a bicycle, conquering fear, enlarging her world, and tasting new freedom and speed. May the learning of this skill teach her to risk and to trust, to hold on and to let go, as life demands from day to day, and may she be kept safe always. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Meanwhile at Saint Mary’s, we live and worship and witness and welcome in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Daily newcomers discover Saint Mary’s. The open doors of the Church are a very powerful witness, as is the sight of the Church at prayer.
I am trying to do some theological reading – a book Father Smith put me onto, “God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life” by Catherine LaCugna, and a book Father Lesh sent me, “The Revelatory Text: Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture” by Sandra Schneiders.
There are always opportunities in life to move closer to God and to each other. There are always opportunities to serve. As tragedy continues to unfold in the Middle East you can be sure there will be a need for our prayers and our gifts. The beleaguered Christian communities of the Holy Land and others need our help.
This week at Morning Prayer we have been hearing of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites led by Joshua. According to the Book of Joshua, it was not enough for God to have just the men of Jericho killed. Except for Rahab the Harlot (one of our Lord’s ancestors) and her household, everything and everyone were executed and burned – of course, all precious metals were reserved for religious use! At Evening Prayer we have been reading of Saul and David and more fighting. Holy Scripture speaks to us not only as the Word of God but it seems to me to provide perspective on human conflict in our own time – and the absurd and evil notion of fundamentalists of any religious tradition that God is pleased by killing. And it reminds me that God’s love and plan for life for his creation is greater than all of the evil and the ordinary challenges of creation. I believe in God and in his love for all in Christ. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Robert and Gloria who are hospitalized, for Sandra, Daniel, Gloria, Roxanne, Grace, Tony, Michelle, Ray, Isa, Joy, Christine, Danny, Ann, William, John, Laura, Gabriela, Eve, Roy, Deborah, Virginia, Mary, William, Ana, Gilbert, Marion, Jeanne, Joseph, Rick, Thomas, priest and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Fahad, Joseph, Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Christopher, Timothy, Nestor, Freddie, Dennis and Derrick; and for the repose of the soul of Anthony. . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . . July 30: 1986 Elizabeth Collins; August 1: 1969 Mabel Upson; August 4: 1996 Harold Anderson Worrell.
CONFESSIONS . . . Confessions now will be heard on Saturday, July 29, and on Saturday, August 5, by Father Gerth.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . As we go to press, Daniel Craig is scheduled to return this week to Hackensack University Medical Center for treatment. Please keep him in your prayers . . . Recent visitors to Saint Mary’s for weekday Mass include our Vicar Bishop Don Taylor and the Right Reverend Alfred Charles Reid, bishop of Jamaica . . . Flowers are needed for Sundays in August. Please contact the parish office if you wish to give them . . . Attendance Last Sunday 235.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday the morning Masses are played by Mr. Robert McDermitt, associate organist. At the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Prelude in G by William H. Harris (1883-1973). The postlude is La réjouissance from Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351 by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). The cantor is Mr. Geoffrey Williams, countertenor. The anthem at Communion is Hildegard of Bingen’s (1098-1179) Ave generosa. Robert McCormick
CHILD CARE & SUNDAY SCHOOL . . . Child care is offered from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM each Sunday and during Solemn Masses celebrated during the week. Sunday School is offered October through May from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM. Please contact Father Mead for more information.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION THIS FALL . . . October begins our regular programming of Adult Education at Saint Mary’s. On Sunday, October 1, Father Mead leads a class on the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). The RCL is the new three-year lectionary adopted by the Episcopal Church at the summer’s General Convention. It officially replaces the lectionary at the back of the Prayer Book beginning in Advent 2007. . . On Monday, October 2, The Visual Arts program presents “St. Francis: Sermon to the Birds and Hymn to the Sun” by Dr. Pamela Tudor-Craig, Lady Wedgwood. . . . On Sunday, October 8, the Right Reverend C. Christopher Epting leads a discussion on the Anglican Communion and Ecumenical Issues . . . Beginning Sunday, October 22, the Reverend Anne Richards leads a three part class on twentieth century Anglican writers Dorothy Sayers and the Inklings . . . On Tuesday nights throughout October and November, the Tuesday Night Bible Study will read Genesis. . . Visit the Adult Education section of the parish website for more information. Matthew Mead
GETTING STARTED WITH THE DAILY OFFICE . . . We recommend attending one or two of the weekday services as the best way to get an idea of how the Office works. The basic instructions are in the Prayer Book. The heart of the Office is the praying of the psalms and Scripture. If you look in the Psalter at Psalm 1 (page 585), just above it you will see the words “First Day: Morning Prayer.” This is where you start in the morning on the first day of the month. You stop at Psalm 6 where it says, “First Day: Evening Prayer.” Look at The Daily Office Lectionary (page 936). The Church year begins with the Week of Advent 1. It’s a two-year cycle. On the left hand side is Year One, on the right, Year Two. The week of July 31, 2006 is Proper 12. See page 977. For a copy of our parish guidelines on praying the Office, please email or call the parish office.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Ignatius of Loyola, Priest, Monastic, 1556
Tuesday Joseph of Arimathea
Friday Weekday Friday Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass,
5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Said 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. The 12:10 Mass on Wednesday is sung.
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