From Father Beddingfield: The Good News of Things Falling Apart
One day last week there were plumbers and electricians and workers of various kinds going in and out of the building. They were in the attic; they were in the basement. One company of electricians was beginning to re-wire some of the lighting in the church, high up in the rafters. Another company was installing a new intercom and doorbell system in the Parish House. The plumbers were beginning to replace a faulty valve in the steam system. This Saturday and Sunday they will replace a pipe connecting the church to the main city water connection. Because the city only grants permits for such work over weekends, there will be no running water at church on Sunday, October 22.
The bad news, beyond the inconvenience with the water, is that invoices for all this work (as well as the normal operational expenses for a church that is open seven days a week) are going to come due in the next few months. These repairs were not in the budget.
The good news has to do with why the repairs are being done now. The first item of good news is that our church is blessed with leadership unwilling to defer maintenance costs to a future generation. When there are problems our Board of Trustees faces them head-on. The second item of good news has to do with the vigilance and dedication of the current church staff. One of our sextons noticed that a particular bulb kept going out in the church. When he investigated, he realized that there was a short in the wiring. Rather than wait for the short to cause a fire, he called the electrician and the work is being done to repair the problem. The third item of good news is the overall reason why things keep breaking: because the church buildings are being used!
Lights burn out in the church because Saint Mary’s is open. On Columbus Day there were people who did not realize the church was following a federal holiday schedule, opening a few hours later, and so they sat on the front steps and waited. Their day simply did not feel like it had begun until they had lit a candle and said a prayer at Saint Mary’s.
We need intercoms that work because on any given day there will be a production or rehearsal in the third floor theater, priests who meet with parishioners and potential parishioners in their offices, people approaching the parish office with questions, and Christian education and formation programs taking place in several different locations. Singers come to audition and recitalists come to practice. While the Mission House will soon undergo a fifth floor renovation for sisters from the Community of St. John Baptist, already, two floors are used by Alcoholics Anonymous for their meetings three times a day. Things are flushed and switched and triggered and slammed all day long. Things break and wear out because the building is being used, which is a very, very good thing.
In the weeks ahead we are asking each parishioner and friend of Saint Mary’s to make a financial pledge to the operating budget of the church. This is different from what you might contribute for feast day offerings, the Momentum Fund for capital repairs, or the contribution you might simply drop in the collection plate at Mass.
The fall stewardship campaign asks you to commit to the necessary, difficult, sometimes less-than-interesting aspects of Saint Mary’s. The operating budget is developed based upon the financial pledges that are made. This means that your pledges determine whether the heating bill is paid, whether the toilets are cleaned and repaired, whether current staff is kept, whether the organ is in tune, and whether there is a voice at the other end of the phone when you call. Your pledge determines the quality of life at Saint Mary’s and the scope of our ministry.
As in years past, Commitment Sunday is Christ the King, November 26, 2006. Please pray about your pledge, and whether it is in money, prayers, volunteer hours, or a combination. Please consider the extent to which you determine the future of Saint Mary’s. John Beddingfield
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Mary Ellen, Doreen, Gert, Nicole, Carolyn, Elwood, Chip, Andrew, Audrey, Harold, Robert, Gloria, John, Ray, Sandra, Grace, Tony, Joy, Christine, Danny, Ann, William, Gabriela, Eve, Roy, Deborah, Virginia, Mary, William, Ana, Gilbert, Jeanne, Joseph, Rick, Hilary, Thomas, priest, Louis, priest, and Charles, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Fahad, Joseph, Patrick, Bruce, Brenden, Jonathan, Christopher, Timothy, Nestor, Freddie, Dennis and Derrick . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 23: 1985 Adolphe Barreaux; October 26: 1987 Dorothea Moran.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . No water at Saint Mary’s on Sunday, October 22. This also means that there are no accessible toilets. The public restrooms at the Times Square Visitor’s Center (on 7th Avenue next to McDonald’s) are open from 8 AM on Sunday . . . Movie night is Friday, October 20 at 7:00 PM in Saint Joseph’s Hall. We will be watching Brother Sun, Sister Moon, about Saint Francis of Assisi . . . Thank you to George Handy, Dennis Smith, Eileen Whittle and Esther Kamm for sending out the All Souls’ mailing . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, October 21, by Father Mead and on Saturday, October 28, by Father Beddingfield . . . The Rector will be out of town Tuesday, October 17, through Tuesday, October 24 . . . Father Beddingfield will be attending the Leadership in Ministry workshop in Boston Monday, October 23 through Wednesday, October 25 . . . Attendance last Sunday 341.
LITERATURE AT SAINT MARY’S: THE INKLINGS . . . At 1:00 PM on Sundays, October 22, 29, and November 5, 2006, the Reverend Anne Richards will lead a three-session gathering on The Inklings, the famed literary discussion group formed by Oxford dons C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams, among others. We will discuss the friendships formed in the group and read excerpts from their work. We will also discuss the group’s theological orientations. Please contact the parish office if you would like reading materials for this class in advance.
SUNDAY SCHOOL . . . What do children do in Sunday School? At Saint Mary’s we learn about Jesus! Right now we are reading from the Gospel according to Saint Luke (which is read in church during Year C, beginning Advent 2007). Sunday School meets Sundays from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM in Saint Benedict’s Study. If you would like more information please contact Father Mead.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is an improvisation on ‘Tysk’, God himself is with us, and the postlude an improvisation on ‘Finnian’, Sing, ye, faithful, sing with gladness. The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa brevis by Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1510-1586). Gabrieli, uncle of the better-known composer Giovanni Gabrieli was, like his nephew after him, organist and chief composer at Saint Mark’s in Venice. Both men were very likely influenced in part by Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594), composer of the Communion motet, Ave verum corpus . . . The recital at 4:40 is played by Isabelle Demers, a doctoral student at the Juilliard School . . . Evensong & Benediction is sung this Sunday by the very fine choir of St. Peter’s Church, Morristown, New Jersey. The music includes works of Sumsion, Bairstow and Elgar. Robert McCormick
CONSIDER A MISSION TRIP TO HONDURAS IN JANUARY . . . On Saturday, October 28, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, there will be an information meeting with lunch at Room 105 at Diocesan House on the cathedral grounds. Another meeting will be at Saint Mary’s over dinner on Monday, November 6 at 7:00 PM. For more information please speak with Father Beddingfield.
THANK YOU FROM THE MEADS . . . We would like to say thank you to the entire parish for throwing us a baby shower last Sunday evening. Thanks especially to MaryJane Boland, Heather Kopelson, Susan Miranda and Rebecca Weiner who organized the event. And thanks to Dale for the lovely flowers at the altar and in the hall. It is such a blessing for us to be a part of such a wonderful and generous community. Thanks! Matthew & Nicole Mead
MAKE A BEQUEST TO SAINT MARY’S . . . Many have responded to our appeal to become charter members of Saint Mary’s Legacy Society, which is organized to encourage, thank and recognize persons who make a bequest to Saint Mary’s through a will or making the parish the beneficiary of an insurance policy or a retirement savings account. There will be a special Evensong on December 7, 2006, the eve of our patronal feast, to celebrate the formation of this Society. The Bishop of New York will be our preacher at the service. If you would like to know more about making a bequest to Saint Mary’s, please speak with the Rector or the parish treasurer, Jim Dennis.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Monday Saint James of Jerusalem, Brother of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, c. 62
Thursday Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons, 899
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Eve of Saint Simon and Saint Jude 6:20 PM
Saturday Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass,
5:00 PM Solemn Evensong & Benediction. 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