From the Rector: Welcome, Father Smith!
The Reverend James Ross Smith has joined the parish clergy staff as one of our two curates. He has served here for almost a decade as an “assisting priest” and as an “assistant.” At Saint Mary’s there are often priests associated with the parish who are on the roster in some capacity because of their commitment to Saint Mary’s and because of their availability to help the regular parish clergy with the liturgical schedule. But “rector” and “curate” are terms used at Saint Mary’s for the full-time parish clergy who are the pastors of the congregation. This Sunday, December 9, 2007, on his eighteenth anniversary of ordination, we will welcome formally Father Smith as a curate of Saint Mary’s. He will be celebrant and preacher for the Sung Mass at 10:00 AM and the Solemn Mass at 11:00 AM. The Bishop of New York, of course, is delighted and has approved the appointment.
Father Smith was born and reared in Buffalo, New York, as one of five brothers. Raised a Roman Catholic, he attended parochial schools and Buffalo’s Jesuit High School. He studied theater at Cornell University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in fine arts. He moved to New York in 1977 to work as an actor and stage manager. He then worked as the editor of the program magazine at Lincoln Center. He was received into the Episcopal Church in 1983, graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1987, and, after completing Anglican Studies at the Yale Divinity School, he was ordained both deacon and priest in 1989. He was ordained in this diocese and has always served as a member of the clergy of the Diocese of New York. Jay lived in New Haven until 1996, undertaking doctoral work at Yale in the study of early Christianity and working as an assisting priest at Christ Church, the Anglo-Catholic parish near the Yale campus. His dissertation research is on the Easter letters of Saint Cyril of Alexandria.
Father Smith’s partner, José Vidal, is an architect and has been an active member of Saint Mary’s for several years. He is one of the founders of the parish’s Visual Arts Program. They will be moving into the fourth-floor apartment in the Parish House some time in January. Father Smith’s title is “Curate: Assistant for Parish Life and Outreach.” Continuing to “learn the ropes,” he has worked closely with Father Mead and has begun to take on some of Father Beddingfield’s responsibilities. He is working in the areas of outreach, stewardship, parish life, evangelism and new membership. He is also teaching in the Christian Formation program and will be leading a three-week series on the Creeds in the beginning of January 2008.
I am very blessed as the rector of the parish to serve with colleagues like Jay and Matt who bring so many gifts to parish ministry and who share a deep sense that they have been called here to serve. The commitment of my clergy colleagues to Christ, to the Church and to this parish strengthens the life and call of all of us. Many of you already know of Jay’s special gifts as a pastor and teacher. (I hope we will be able to find room for his library!) And many of you know of his warmth and his genuine joy. These are among the gifts that he brings to us that will help us respond to Christ in our life as a community with new purpose.
I hope it may be possible for many of you to be with us Sunday for the Sung Mass or the Solemn Mass so that you can express to Jay personally our thanks for accepting this call. It’s great, Father, to have you here as one of the curates of Saint Mary’s. Stephen Gerth
2008 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . To date, we have received $377,692 in commitments for 2008, or 75.5% of our goal – three fourths of the way! We have $122,308 left to go. Included in the tally so far are almost $37,000 in commitments from new pledgers, and returning pledges are averaging 11% higher than 2007! Thanks to everyone for the generous response, and we look forward to hearing from the rest of you soon. Note that the pledge form can now be filled out Check it out! Steven Heffner, treasurer
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Daisy, Mel, Daniel, Amy, Roland, Wayne, Lois, Terry, Mary, Jane, José, Jack, Gert, Ana, Kevin, Gloria, William, Gilbert, Rick, Carl, priest, Thomas, priest, and Charles, priest; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Steven, Andrew, Patrick, Brenden, Christopher, Marc and Steve; and for the repose of the soul of Linda Blum . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . December 10: 2001 Helena M. Handy; December 11: 1870 Sarah Elizabeth Murray; 1962 Carol Elizabeth M. Irwin Hollister; December 12: 1961 Jeanette Bolton, 1962 Martha R. Townroe; December 14: 1952 Amy Florence Nicholas, 1997 Edward David Miller; December 15: 1989 Mrs. Lorel D. Brownell Britt; December 16: 1959 Emily Cooper Campbell, 1996 Viola Douglas.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Reminder: This Sunday at 10:00 AM, Bishop Grein’s class on the Parables of Jesus meets in the Mission House . . . The Advent Quiet Day is Saturday, December 15. Please speak to Sister Deborah Francis for more information . . . You can help decorate the church for Christmas on Saturday, December 22, Sunday December 23, and on Monday, December 24. Please speak with Dale Bonenberger or MaryJane Boland if you can help one or more days! . . . We are very happy to announce that we have received Letters of Transfer for Dorothy Nathan and Donna Muslin. Please welcome these new members to the parish . . . Thanks very much to all the acolytes who worked so hard at the rehearsal and “tune-up” last Sunday. Your dedication to this ministry is much appreciated . . . Father Mead will hear confessions on Saturday, December 8, and Father Smith on Saturday, December 15 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 251.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . This Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude is Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland by Dietrich Buxtehude (c. 1637-1707). The postlude is Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa Sine Nomine by Alexander Agricola (c. 1446-1506), a Franco-Flemish composer who is often compared to the better-known Johannes Ockeghem. His works feature long, complex lines and abundant use of imitation between voice parts. Agricola first came to prominence as both a singer and composer while working as a young man in Italy. The motet at Communion is the four-voice Ad te levavi oculos meos by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) . . . The recital at 4:40 PM is by two students from the Juilliard School Pre-College Division, Sarah Bolluyt and Anthony Rispo . . . A favorite Advent hymn of many is On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry (tune: Winchester New), sung at the Offertory at both the 10:00 and 11:00 AM Masses. It has been a part of Episcopal hymnody since 1871. The text is an eighteenth-century Latin office hymn. The tune, originally a German chorale, was given its English name in George Whitefield’s 1754 Divine Musical Miscellany and called Winchester New to distinguish it from another tune, Winchester [Old]. Robert McCormick
THE GIFT SHOP . . . We invite you to visit Saint Mary’s Gift Shop. In addition to Saint Mary’s mugs, T-shirts, sweatshirts and caps, we also carry Christmas cards, art objects, crosses, rosaries and CDs produced by several of our very talented choristers. One new item is New York Polyphony’s CD I Sing the Birth. We are also selling gift cards designed to support the parish’s Honduras mission. Come and browse, come to support the work of the parish, or just come to say hello! José Vidal
BRING A FRIEND TO CHURCH . . . Advent and Christmas are very special times here at Saint Mary’s. If you’ve been thinking about inviting a friend to church, this is a good time to do it: perhaps Bible Study with Bishop Grein at 10:00 AM, followed by Solemn Mass and Coffee Hour, or Evensong & Benediction at 5:00 PM, followed by a brief reception; or if you know families with young children, perhaps the Family Service on Christmas Eve, December 24, at 5:00 PM. There are a number of different ways to introduce friends, colleagues and acquaintances to the parish. J.R.S.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH to everyone who donated gifts to AIDS Action International (AAI). Everything was safely delivered to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine for AAI’s annual Saint Nicholas Celebration on Tuesday, November 27. Father Rand Frew, AIA’s director, was very impressed with Saint Mary’s efforts and expressed his gratitude. J.R.S.
SUNDAY SCHEDULE CHANGES IN THE NEW YEAR . . . Beginning with the first Sunday of the New Year, January 6, 2008, the Sunday morning schedule will change. The 9:00 AM Mass will be a Sung Mass and the 10:00 AM Mass will be a Said Mass. The Solemn Mass will continue to be at 11:00 AM. Sunday School for all will be at 10:00 AM. The purpose of the change is to make it possible for more to take advantage of our Christian Education offerings on Sundays and to go to either the 9:00 AM Sung Mass or the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass. Morning Prayer will continue to be sung at 8:30 AM and Solemn Evensong & Benediction will continue at 5:00 PM.
With Father Mead’s leadership, the renewal of the classroom space in the Mission House is almost complete. (We are already using the large room on the second floor – and we are working on some names for the new classrooms to propose to the trustees.) “Saint Benedict’s Study” has already become “Saint Benedict’s Nursery.”
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Second Sunday of Advent
Monday Advent Weekday
Tuesday Advent Weekday
The Eve of the Dedication of the Church
Wednesday The Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church
Thursday Lucy, Virgin and Martyr, c. 304
Friday John of the Cross, Priest and Friar, 1591 Abstinence
Saturday Advent Weekday
Eve of the Third Sunday of Advent
Sunday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 9:00 AM Mass, 10:00 AM Sung Mass, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 5:00 PM Solemn Evensong and 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.
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.