From The Rector: Retrenchment
The Board of Trustees at its meeting on November 17 reworked the operating budget for the remainder of 2008 and made decisions shaping the operating budget for 2009. The collapse in the United States equity markets in September and October cost Saint Mary’s approximately 1.2 million dollars. This was money the trustees had set aside two years ago to fund deficits in the annual operating budget as we continued our steady growth to a balanced budget. The trustees have made substantial and difficult cuts in personnel and program to keep the parish on a prudent path. None of these cuts would have been made if the financial situation were not what it is.
The lay staff of the parish has been reorganized. The trustees eliminated the full-time position of administrative assistant, the half-time position of bookkeeper and the part-time finance office assistant. We will be seeking one person as office manager/bookkeeper. We have already said goodbye to our administrative assistant, Sandra Schubert, and our finance office assistant, Andrea Poropatich. Our bookkeeper, Vince Amodei, has graciously agreed to stay on through December 17 to assist us with the transition in the finance office.
On Sunday, November 23, I met with associate organist Robert McDermitt and with the parish choir to tell them that the music budget for 2009 will be halved from the 2008 level. Robert’s position will be eliminated. A special gift has helped us maintain music already planned through the end of December. There will be especially glorious music at the Solemn Mass on the patronal feast, Monday, December 8, and at the two Christmas Eve Masses. Robert too has graciously agreed to be with us until Christmas. But from Sunday, December 28, the 9:00 AM Sunday Mass will be a said celebration. Right now our singers are working together to see what we can do to keep music strong at Saint Mary’s. We’ve heard Robert and the singers love for Saint Mary’s through music so many times. I can’t begin to thank them enough for their efforts.
On Monday, November 24, we wrote to those who had applied for the position of music director and organist to let them know that we have ended a national search for a new person. By very happy coincidence, our interim musician James Kennerley has proven himself more than up to the job and has been willing to accept the permanent position with a much reduced, for the moment, professional choral program. When James was hired to be the interim musician it was with the understanding that he would be a candidate for the permanent position. He is a musician with many, many gifts and I am very glad he has accepted the position. James and I will be meeting with some members of the choir to reorganize for the new year and to think about how we can continue to make great music for worship at Saint Mary’s.
The trustees began their meeting on November 17 with a time of sharing what we value at Saint Mary’s, community, worship, opportunities for service to others, open doors, great music. We quickly listed a great many things that go into making up our common life. No decision or cut was made because we sensed we or anyone working here was doing anything wrong. We will continue to reflect on how to be good stewards of the mission of this parish and of the gifts so many have given to make our mission possible. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Patricia, Katherine, Samuel, Lucien, Russell, Troy, Frank, Brooke, Stephen, Donna, Laura, Madeleine, Marc, Janelle, Joanne, Olga, Jennie, Gloria, William, Gert, Mary, Terry, Daisy, Rozalind, Connie, Rick, Robert, PRIEST, and Charles, PRIEST; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Christopher, Curtis, Timothy, Benjamin, Marc, Keith, Dennis, Terrance, Steven, Patrick, Andrew, and Brendan; your prayers are also asked for the repose of the soul of Joseph . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 30: 1894 Thomas Smith; 1911 Mabel Cromis Smith; 1917 Sarah Fotteral Harriman; 1919 Elizabeth Carswell; 1920 Marian Nold; 1921 Cornelius Gallagher; 1932 Kenneth Kind; 1970 Sarah LaBosse.
STEWARDSHIP MATTERS . . . 2009 Stewardship Campaign Update: as of Sunday, November 23, we have received pledges from 76 households, including eight new pledges, for a total of $240,989.00 in pledged gifts. We are grateful to all who have made pledges to support Saint Mary’s and its ministries; we acknowledge with gratitude that 44 households have been able to increase their pledge this year and 7 households have been able to maintain their giving at 2008 levels, impressive statistics in these difficult times. Please continue to pray for the success of the Campaign; if you have questions, or if you would like us to send you a pledge card, please contact Father Smith.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass this Sunday is the chorale prelude on Wachet auf, ruft uns die stimme, BWV 645, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Bach developed the “chorale prelude” genre extensively through his many compositions for the organ and other instruments. The setting of the ordinary is Mass for Four Voices by William Byrd (c. 1540–1623). Byrd was one of the finest English composers of the Renaissance; he cultivated many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard and consort music. His three Masses (for three, four and five voices respectively) were published during his lifetime through a monopoly granted to him and colleague Thomas Tallis by Queen Elizabeth I. Many argue that it was the high favor in which Byrd was held by the Queen that allowed him to publish so much music for the Roman Catholic tradition at a time when many were being persecuted for refusing to accept the Protestant Reformation and England faced the threat of a Spanish invasion. The postlude is Le Monde dans l’attente du Sauveur (“The world awaiting the savior”) from the Symphonie-Passion by Marcel Dupré (1886-1971). Starting life as an improvisation on Philadelphia’s Wanamaker Store organ, it features sharp contrasts between light and dark, using the full range of our magnificent organ . . . The Saint Mary’s Singers rehearse this Sunday, November 30, from 3:00 to 4:30 PM, and then sing for Solemn Evensong and Benediction at 5:00 PM. The Singers will also rehearse on Sunday, December 7, 3:00 to 4:30 PM; however, there is no rehearsal on Sunday, December 14. If you would like to join the choir, please come to any of our rehearsals – no audition necessary! James Kennerley
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Thursday, December 4, 8:00 PM, Vox Vocal Ensemble: Christmas Spectacular . . . The Adult Education class will not meet on Sunday, November 30. The class will resume on Sunday, December 7, at 10:00 AM . . . Members of the Sunday School are invited to make an Advent Wreath on Sunday, November 30 at 10:00 AM . . . The Reverend Mitties de Champlain preaches at Evensong on Sunday, November 30. Mother de Champlain is vicar of Saint Clement’s Church, West 46th Street, and Trinity Church Professor of Preaching at the General Theological Seminary . . . Thursday, November 27, Thanksgiving Day, Said Mass at 12:10 PM; the Parish Office is closed and the church will close at 2:00 PM . . . Sister Laura Katharine will lead an Advent Quiet Day on Saturday, December 6, from 10:15 AM to 3:30 PM . . . The Saint Mary’s Guild will not meet on Saturday, December 6 . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, November 29. Father Mead will hear confessions on Saturday, December 6.
COMING EVENTS . . . Sunday, December 7, Adult Education, 10:00 AM, Part 1 of 3,: “Through the Smoke: What Does It Mean to Be Anglo-catholic?”; Sunday, December 7, 6:30 PM, Legacy Society Reception . . . Monday, December 8, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Sung Mass at 12:10 PM and Solemn Pontifical Mass at 6:00 PM, the Right Reverend Jeffrey D. Lee, bishop of Chicago, celebrant and preacher . . . Wednesday, December 10, 8:00 PM, Clarion Music Society: Bach Christmas Cantatas . . . Saturday, December 13, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra concert . . . Christmas Eve, December 24, 4:40 PM Carols for Congregation & Choir; Sung Mass 5:00 PM; Carols for Congregation & Choir 10:30 PM; Solemn Mass 11:00 PM . . . Christmas Day, December 25, Solemn Mass & Procession to the Crèche 11:00 AM . . . Sunday, December 28, Christmas Lessons & Carols 5:00 PM
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The parish office will be closed on Friday, November 28. The church itself will be open and the services will be on the regular schedule . . . Thank you to Sister Deborah Francis, Sister Laura Katharine, Dick Leitsch, Steve Potanovic, and Andrew Smith for their help in the office this week . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, December 1, at 7:00 PM . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 347.
RECEIVING “THE ANGELUS” BY EMAIL . . . “The Angelus” is a vital communication tool that keeps us in touch with both members and friends around the country and, indeed, around the world. We don’t want to lose this opportunity to keep in touch, but postal costs continue to rise. Last week we spent nearly $75.00 on postage for the newsletter. If you receive the newsletter by mail and can make a donation to defray the costs of postage, we would appreciate it; and thanks so much to all those who have already “subscribed” to the newsletter and have sent us a donation.
ADVENT AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Christian year begins four Sundays before Christmas Day with the First Sunday of Advent. The most visible signs of Advent are the liturgical colors, the absence of flowers for most days during these weeks and the singing of Kyrie eleison in place of Gloria in excelsis on Sundays. As is our custom, at the Solemn Masses until Lent we will use Eucharistic Prayer B. Prayer B’s proclamation of salvation history emphasizes Christ’s incarnation and makes it especially appropriate for Advent, Christmastide, and the Season after the Epiphany. Some of the loveliest entrance chants are sung during these weeks, notably the chant appointed for the First Sunday of Advent, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; my God I put my trust in you,” is about the best prayer for the beginning of the year one might make. S.G.
The Calendar of the Week
SUNDAY The First Sunday Of Advent
MONDAY Saint Andrew The Apostle (transferred)
TUESDAY Advent Weekday
WEDNESDAY Advent Weekday
THURSDAY John of Damascus, Priest, c. 760
FRIDAY Clement of Alexandria, Priest, c. 210 Abstinence
SATURDAY Nicholas, Bishop, c. 342
Eve Of The Second Sunday Of Advent
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Sung Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Sunday School, 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 4:40 PM Organ Recital, 5:00 PM Solemn Evensong & Benediction.
Childcare is available from 8:45 AM until 12:45 PM every Sunday.
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 Wednesday 12:10 PM Mass is sung. Thursday Masses normally include anointing of the sick.
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.