From the Rector: Recovering Easter
The phrase “radical welcome” is used by some to describe an invitation to join in the life of the Christian community without any requirement other than to be present. In the Episcopal Church, many congregations invite all people to receive Holy Communion whether or not they have been baptized. Frankly, there is something very compelling about that kind of invitation, that kind of grace. I confess that, from time to time, I have found myself thinking: Jesus fed all who were hungry on the mountain. Why shouldn’t we?
One answer is that Baptism and Eucharist are about dying and rising in Jesus, not about the feeding of the five thousand. What brought people to faith in Jesus was not his power to heal or to feed but the Father’s raising him from the dead. Baptism and Eucharist are about Easter. When one strips away all the nonsense we as a Christian community have managed to surround Jesus’ death and resurrection with through two millennia, Christians are those who believe that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.
Baptism is the way you and I participate in Jesus’ death and resurrection; Eucharist is the food that sustains and nurtures the gift of faith we have received. Baptism does not make God love anyone more; Eucharist does not keep anybody from being hungry. Baptism and Eucharist are the gifts of the Holy Spirit to us so that we may continue and grow in Easter faith.
Somewhere around the age of twelve, human beings begin to be capable of abstract and symbolic thought. A younger child does not have this developmental capacity. Just as with adolescence, once this happens to us biologically, we are in a new place and can never go back. The encounter with Good News is very much like this at whatever age it happens.
The writers of the New Testament believed that a hearing about Jesus’ death and resurrection offered men and women a chance to enter a new life, the one God has intended for all since the beginning of time. It was one thing to meet an infant Jesus and then return to the sheep, to visit Jesus by night and then to walk away, or to enjoy bread and fish in abundance on a hillside and then go home. The risen Jesus didn’t go away from anyone. He continued to be with them as he continues to be with us. The Church has never lost its capacity to feed people. I wonder if we can recover our capacity to be clear about Easter faith, recover our conviction that Christ’s death and resurrection opens eternal life for all who believe.
The kingdom of God continues to unfold in the history of creation. You and I are a part of that unfolding of time, of the reign of God over all. By dying and rising, God’s only Son revealed God’s plan for all to come to know him and to enjoy him for ever. I hope that, as you and I continue in this parish community on the journey God has placed before us, it will be clear to all that we are an Easter people with a hunger to bring Easter to others. Stephen Gerth
SUNDAY PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked especially for Carol who is hospitalized, for Nicole, Matthew, Jean Marie, David, Dorothy, Richard, Charisse, Kirk, Jack, Alice, Harold, Marcia, Richard, Mary, Stephen, Brooke, Laura, Donna, Madeleine, Marc, William, Gert, Mary, Daisy, Rozalind, Rick, and Ann, pastor; and for the repose of the souls of Lola Bright and Nancy Lee . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . 1923 Alberta Osbal Krattinger; 1931 Clara A. Prindle; 1965 Shirley C. Carswell.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Anthony Jones’s great-aunt, Lola Bright, died on Monday, May 11. Please pray for her, for Anthony and their family, and for all who mourn . . . James Dennis’s sister, Nancy Lee, died on Tuesday, May 12. Please pray for her, for Jim and their family, and for all who mourn. S.G.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, May 17, AIDS Walk . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, May 18, at 7:00 PM, in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House . . . Thursday, May 21, is Ascension Day, one of the seven principal feasts of the Church year. On Ascension Eve, Solemn Evensong will be sung in the church at 6:00 PM. On Ascension Day, Morning Prayer will be sung at 8:30 AM. There will be Sung Mass at 12:10 PM. There will be an organ recital at 5:30 PM. Solemn Mass will be celebrated at 6:00 PM.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Nicole Mead gave birth to a son at New York-Presbyterian Hospital early in the evening of Wednesday, May 13. The new arrival weighed just over 7 lbs. Both mother and son, and father, Father Matthew Mead, are doing well. As we go to press, Matt and Nicole’s infant son has not yet been given a name. Stay posted, and please keep Nicole, Matt, Liam, and Liam’s new brother in your prayers . . . Carol Selle continues to recuperate at New York-Presbyterian Hospital but we expect her to return home soon . . . Altar flowers are needed for the following dates: June 14 and June 28. Please contact the parish office if you would like to make a donation . . . Father Merz will hear confessions on Saturday, May 16; Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, May 23 . . . Attendance: The Fifth Sunday of Easter 292.
CHURCH SCHOOL . . . Sunday, May 17, 10:00 AM, is the final Church School session until the fall. We are very thankful to Deacon Jed Fox and Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., for working so hard and so effectively this year at this crucial ministry. Thanks also to the parents of the children, who provided advice and much-needed support this year. We are blessed by the lively and creative presence of the parish’s young children and we are very grateful that they and their parents are members of this parish community.
THE REVEREND JEDEDIAH FOX . . . Sunday, May 17, is Deacon Jed Fox’s last Sunday here at Saint Mary’s. Deacon Fox has served as assisting deacon this year and as seminarian for the last two and a half years at Saint Mary’s. He will preach at Evensong at 5:00 PM on Sunday, which will be his final service here at the parish. After graduation from the General Theological Seminary, he will be ordained priest in Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Helena, Montana, on Pentecost, May 31, 2009. Jed has accepted a position at the Church of Saint Michael and Saint George, Saint Louis, Missouri. We are grateful to him for all that he has done here at the parish and we wish him and his wife Mary Beth Godspeed.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass this Sunday is an improvisation on Middlebury, the post-communion hymn. The setting of Gloria is for choir and congregation by William Mathias (1934-1992), and Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei are sung to settings by Ms. Ruth Cunningham and Mr. Kennerley. It costs around $1000 to have the full choir at Solemn Mass, and budget cuts this year have resulted in several Sundays, such as this one, being sung by a single Cantor. Donations to the music program will be very gratefully received. As of Sunday, May 24, the full choir will sing at every Solemn Masses until Corpus Christi. At the administration of Communion, Ms. Cunningham sings her own setting of the hymn “I heard the voice of Jesus say.” The text of the hymn is by Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) and adapted for the Hymnal 1982. The Saint Mary’s Singers will meet next on Sunday, May 24, at 3:00 PM, in order to rehearse and sing for Evensong and Benediction. Trinity Sunday, June 7, is our last Evensong for the year, and will be sung by the combined choirs of Saint Mary’s – a perfect time to try us out! If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com. James Kennerley
HEAR THE DIRECTOR OF THE ANGLICAN CENTRE IN ROME . . . Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church and The American Friends of the Anglican Centre in Rome invite you to a talk by the Very Reverend David Richardson, director of the Centre. The talk, “A Road Not Taken? Ecumenism, The Anglican Centre and Making a Difference,” with time for questions, will take place on Friday, May 29, at 2:00 PM at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, 529 West 121st Street, New York City. Corpus Christi is just east of Broadway, near Union and Jewish Theological Seminaries.
THE AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE performs The Prodigal Son June 1-6 at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, 64th Street and Broadway, Monday-Thursday evenings at 7:30 PM, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2:00 PM. The ballet is based on Jesus’ well-known parable found in Luke 15:11-32. The choreography is by George Balanchine and the music is by Sergei Prokofiev. Church groups of 15 or more can save up to 50% on ticket costs. Call 212-419-1066 for more information.
RITES OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION . . . Sunday, May 31, is the Day of Pentecost. At 11:00 AM the Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, will be celebrant and preacher for the service. Holy Baptism, Confirmation, and Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows will be celebrated. If you are considering being prepared to join the parish community and the Episcopal Church, please speak with one of the parish priests, all of whom would be glad to answer any questions you might have. Jay Smith
MISSION & OUTREACH . . . AIDS Walk 2009: The day has finally arrived! The Walk takes place on Sunday, May 17. A smaller group of Saint Marians, who plan to be at church on Sunday morning, will also walk on Saturday, May 16. For those planning to walk on Sunday: There is a team check-in station along the East Park Drive between 65th Street and 72nd Street. The check-in stations are arrayed in alphabetical order from south to north. 45,000 people will be there (!), but you can enter the Park at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue and walk south, or at 65th Street and Fifth Avenue and walk north, or you can work your way over from the West Side. Look for the members of the Saint Mary’s Team, who will be wearing their blue t-shirts. The Team plans to meet between 9:15 AM and 9:30 AM and to begin the Walk around 9:40 AM. The official start time is 10:00 AM, but we believe the organizers of the Walk will let us start out early. For those planning to walk on Saturday: Please meet up with Father Jay Smith in the narthex in the back of Saint Mary’s at the 46th Street entrance to the church at 10:30 AM. Father Smith plans to leave at 10:40 AM and walk the same route that the Sunday walkers will take the following day. If you need to contact Father Smith please send him an e-mail. If you think that you might be delayed or if you are concerned that you might have difficulty finding the Saturday Team, he can send you his cell-phone number before Saturday morning . . . Please support us as 31 Saint Marians and friends walk to support the struggle against HIV and AIDS this Sunday! As of Thursday, May 14, 2009, we have raised $12,400.00 of our $25,000.00 goal. You may contribute to the Saint Mary's Team by clicking here. If you prefer, you may put a check made out to AWNY in the collection plate or give it to a priest or to the parish team captains, MaryJane Boland or Andrew Smith. To learn more, or to walk with us, please contact MaryJane or Andrew or call the parish office. M.J.B. & A.S. . . . Food Pantry: You are invited to bring non-perishable food items on Sundays. The food is then delivered to the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry on 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues. J.R.S.
HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY'S . . . During this time of belt-tightening and budget cuts, we would like to invite the members and friends of Saint Mary's to consider making a donation to support the parish's hospitality efforts. There are several ways that one can do that. First, you can sponsor a feast-day reception. (We try, when possible, to pay for such receptions through the generous gifts of friends and parishioners.) We now have donors for the reception on Ascension Day. If you would like to sponsor (or co-sponsor) another upcoming reception, please let me know, or, if you would like to plan and host a reception, please contact me. Second, you can donate unopened boxes of cookies or other sweets or pastries – or make a cash donation – for hospitality on Sundays. Checks should be written to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and “Hospitality Fund” should be written in the memo line. Finally, if you feel called to be a server and host at a reception, please let me know. We have had an enthusiastic and generous response to our appeal for help with our hospitality costs and we are very grateful. Thanks to all who have helped with this important ministry! Jay Smith
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saint Mary’s offers a wide variety of concerts each year. In addition to concerts offered by our music department, we also host a number of outside groups who offer concerts in the church . . . Every Sunday, 4:40 PM (October to June, except during Lent): Before Sunday Evensong & Benediction Saint Mary’s offers a weekly organ recital by a visiting musician. Thursday, May 14, 7:30 PM, Organ recital: Chad Levitt, The Manhattan School of Music; free entry. Wednesday, June 14, 7:30 PM, Organ recital: Katie Meloan, The Manhattan School of Music; free entry.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Sixth Sunday of Easter
Monday Easter Weekday
Tuesday Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 988
Wednesday Alcuin, Deacon, and Abbot of Tours 804
Eve of Ascension Day
Thursday Ascension Day
Friday Easter Weekday No Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
Eve of the Seventh Sunday of Easter
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Sunday School for Children (through and including Sunday, May 17), 11:00 AM Solemn Mass, 4:40 PM Organ Recital, 5:00 PM Solemn Evensong & Benediction (through and including Trinity Sunday). 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 include anointing of the sick.
Saturday: 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 5:00 PM Evening Prayer, 5:20 PM Sunday Vigil Mass.
Confessions are normally heard on Saturdays 11:30-11:55 AM & 4:00-4:55 PM.