From Father Mead: What a difference every pledge makes!
My wife, Nicole, was laid off in early November from her job at Redbook magazine. With another baby on the way (due in May!) and our two-year-old son, Liam, rapidly outgrowing all of his clothes, the loss of her salary has been difficult to deal with, but we are doing our best to budget and prioritize. The difficulty of finding a new job in this economic climate is increased due to the fact that she is five months pregnant – it’s difficult to hire someone who is going to take a significant amount of time off in just a few months time. For the time being she is collecting unemployment and seeking freelance work.
Because of the uncertainty, it took a little longer than usual to figure out exactly what our pledge to Saint Mary’s for 2009 would be. When we arrived at Saint Mary’s we made the leap of faith it takes to tithe: 10% flat off the top of our combined salaries. This year the number went down with the loss of over half our income, but the percentage went up a little bit: I did my best to figure out what her unemployment and some potential freelance money will be and added 10% of that to the tithe from my salary. Ideally, she’ll make lots of money, and we’ll have to increase our pledge, but the opposite could also happen. We shall see … and hope and pray too.
I felt bad that we held up our pledge because I knew that the pledge goal set by the Board of Trustees was that much further from being met. I know what is at stake if we don’t make the pledge goal. We have already felt the cuts in staff and program that were necessary to keep the church doing what it does. Those looming next steps will be even more drastic, and I worry that the church might no longer be open every day of the year or that the doors might open a few hours later or shut a few hours earlier each day: first the hours are trimmed, then the church doesn’t open on holidays and Saturdays… it’s a slippery slope, and one I don’t think Saint Mary’s wants to, or can afford to, go down.
By remaining open, we are able to bring people together in ways they would never have imagined. I wonder how many people have become part of life at Saint Mary’s because the doors were open that first time they walked past the church? How many people decided that this was where their heart was after experiencing the visible and audible beauty of a feast day or Sunday Solemn Mass? How many people found our Lord while attending a simple celebration of the Eucharist at a random lunch hour? How many people were inspired for the first time to let their lives reflect the love of God, so obvious in this place so often, by giving time, talent, and money to support the mission and outreach of the church? How many met other people here, in this place, who felt exactly the same zeal for the beautiful news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
I know where my pledge goes. Some of it goes to the Diocese to support mission and evangelism, as well as the infrastructure and leadership needed to offer such outreach. Some of it goes to any number of programs for education, mission, and outreach offered by the parish. I think that’s great, but I’m happiest where the bulk of my pledge goes. Most of it goes directly to keeping this building open and staffed. My pledge makes a difference in the lives of innumerable people because it means that Saint Mary’s will be able to continue to be a place that brings people together and inspires them to do things they would not ever have otherwise done.
The economy has not recovered, and to be perfectly frank, I don’t think anyone really expects things to improve in the near future. So be it. Time for me to cut out the steaks, the shows, and the CDs and concentrate on those things that I know make a huge difference in my life and the lives of the people I love. This church makes a huge difference in my life. It’s where my son was baptized and, God willing, where my next child will be baptized. It’s where I have been inspired by other people to say and do things I never would have thought I could say or that I was able to do. It’s a place and community that I will do whatever it takes to support. I am convinced that anyone reading the Angelus weekly newsletter feels the same way I do.
If you haven’t yet pledged because you aren’t sure how much you can give or you aren’t sure if you can give anything at all, please consider that your pledge, whatever it is, will certainly help to ensure that Saint Mary’s will have the same effect on others that it had on you. If you intend to give and support the parish in ways other than a pledge, please know that every gift is greatly appreciated and always needed, but also know that it is only through pledges that we can ensure Saint Mary’s actually remains a place where those gifts can be put to good use. The budget ensures that the building is open and staffed. The budget is supported by pledges. We are about $80,000 or 16% short of our pledge goal for 2009. We’re almost there, but we’re not there yet. Matthew Mead
SUNDAY PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Joanne, who is gravely ill, and for Anne-Victoire, Timothée, Inez, Diane, Rosanne, Benjamin, Patrick, Rosemarie, Bernadette, Jocelyn, Mimi, Marcia, Richard, Deloris, Mary, Gloria, Samuel, Russell, Stephen, Brooke, Donna, Laura, Margaret, Madeleine, Marc, Janelle, Jennie, William, Gert, Mary, Terry, Daisy, Rozalind, Rick, Emil, religious, Charles, priest, and Stephen, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Christopher, Omar, Curtis, Timothy, Benjamin, Marc, Keith, Dennis, Terrance, Steven, Patrick, Andrew, and Brendan; and for the repose of the soul of Ovidiu . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 25: 1883 Isabella Esmeralda Malvania; 1890 Daniel Lewis; 1899 Johanna Schneiders; 1902 Henry Meyer; 1920 Stanley Matthews, Jr.; 1955 Marie Chibouk; 1969 Rose Ross; 1985 Phyllis Brackett; 1995 Giselle Klopstock.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at Solemn Mass this Sunday is the Prélude sur l'Introit de l'Épiphanie, Op. 13 (1960), by Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa syllabica (1977/1996) by Arvo Pärt (b. 1935). Pärt, whose stark and powerful music has achieved great popularity worldwide, has composed since 1976 in a style he named tintinnabuli (“little bells”). Tintinnabulation, the practice of considering two simultaneous voices as one line (one voice part moves in a stepwise motion, the other outlines notes of the triad in leaps), is what gives Pärt’s music its inimitable sound. At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet Videntes stellam Magi (“When the Wise Men saw the star”) by French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963). The postlude is the majestic Fugue sur le thème du carillon de Soissons, Opus 12, by Duruflé. The Saint Mary’s Singers meet at 3:00 PM this Sunday, January 25, to sing for Solemn Evensong. New members are always welcome. James Kennerley
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Rector began his sabbatical on January 1. He returns to New York at the end of March and to the office on April 1 . . . On Saturday, January 24, Father Smith will hear confessions . . . Sunday, January 25, at 10:00 AM, on the second floor of the Mission House: Father Smith will teach part three of a seven-part series on the Revelation to John. Father Mead will teach part four on Sunday, February 1 . . . January 18–25: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity . . . Father Mead’s class on the Prophets will meet on Wednesday, January 28, at 7:00 PM, after the evening Mass . . . On Saturday, January 31, Father Mead will hear confessions. Confessions are also heard by appointment . . . Saturday, January 31, 2009, 8:00 PM: Columbia University’s Miller Theatre presents, “A Royal Christening and Musical Banquet,” with Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, Parthenia, A Consort of Viols, and the Vox Vocal Ensemble.
WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE . . . that we have concluded the search for our new business manager and have asked Mr. Aaron Koch (pronounced “Cook”) to join the staff. Happily, Aaron agreed and began work on Wednesday. Aaron lives in Morningside Heights with his wife Pamela and his two sons, Benjamin, who is ten, and Garrison, who is seven. Before coming to Saint Mary’s he was the Director of Academic Affairs at Columbia University’s Business School; he grew up in North Platte, Nebraska, received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, in Ames, and a master’s degree from the University of Central Missouri. Aaron is an Episcopalian and is a member of the Congregation of Saint Saviour, at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. A color photo of his son Benjamin appeared on the front page of the New York Times on December 1: Benjamin is an acolyte at the Cathedral and took part in the recent rededication service there. We are very happy that Aaron has joined us and we hope that members of the parish will have the opportunity to meet him soon.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Thank you to all those who dismantled the crèche last Saturday and took all of the Christmas decorations to the basement for storage. A special word of thanks to Dale Bonenberger, who once again oversaw the decoration of the church this year . . . Altar flowers are needed for the following Sundays: February 8, 15, and 22. If you would like to donate flowers for the altars and shrines, please contact Father Mead. There are no flowers on the altar during most of Advent and Lent . . . Sunday, January 25, 5:00 PM, Solemn Evensong & Benediction. The Reverend Jedediah Fox is the preacher at Evensong . . . Monday, January 26, Board of Trustees Meeting on the third floor of the Mission House, 7:00 PM, following the evening Mass (note the change of location). In the Rector’s absence, the meeting will be chaired by Vice President Jim Dennis. Father Mead and Father Smith will attend the meeting . . . Saturday, January 31, 2009, 8:00 PM: “A Royal Christening and Musical Banquet”: Piffaro, The Renaissance Band; Parthenia, A Consort of Viols; and the Vox Vocal Ensemble . . . The Annual Meeting and Mass of the Society of King Charles the Martyr will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2009, at 11:00 AM at Saint Stephen’s Church in Providence, Rhode Island. For more information please contact www.skcm-usa.org . . . Saint Mary’s Fifth Annual Super Bowl Party will be held following Evensong on Sunday, February 1, 2009. The party is a pot-luck centered around Father Mead’s “Abusive Chili.” We will watch the game in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . For those Saint Marians who don’t know anything about football or who think football is a different game called soccer, Father Mead will once again offer a “class” entitled “Football for Anglo-Catholics” before the big game begins . . . Monday, February 2, 2009, The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple: Candlemas, Sung Mass at 12:10 PM, Organ Recital at 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass at 6:00 PM. Father Mead is the celebrant and preacher at the Solemn Mass . . . Tuesday, February 3: The Feast of Saint Blase, the Blessing of Throats is offered at both masses, 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . February 25, Ash Wednesday: Said Masses at 7:00 AM and 8:00 AM, Sung Mass at 12:00 PM, Solemn Mass at 6:00 PM. Ashes are distributed between the Masses throughout the day. Father Smith will be the celebrant and preacher at the Solemn Mass. Attendance: Last Sunday, 2 Epiphany 253.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION & EDUCATION FOR ADULTS . . . All classes meet in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House (133 West 46th Street). Sunday classes meet at 10:00 AM. Coffee and doughnuts are provided. The Wednesday Night Bible Study and other weeknight classes meet at 7:00 PM. Detailed information on upcoming classes is below. All are welcome at every class. Matthew Mead
THE REVELATION ACCORDING TO JOHN . . . On Sundays during Epiphany Season (January 25 & February 1, 8, 15 & 22) Father Mead and Father Smith will lead a class examining the most famous apocalyptic book of the Bible.
THE PROPHETS . . . The Wednesday Night Dinner and Bible Study will resume on January 21, 2009. The class, led by Father Mead, has been studying the narrative accounts of the prophets in the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. We will conclude that portion at the end of January and begin reading prophetic books, beginning with the Book of Amos. A (minimum) $5 donation is requested from all who attend to cover the cost of dinner.
THE PSALMS . . . The Reverend Peter Powell will lead a class on the Psalms in Lent 2009 (Sundays, March 1, 8, 15, 22). Father Powell is the president of the Interfaith Housing Corporation, Westport, Connecticut. He is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and holds advanced degrees from Princeton and the University of the South.
MISSION & OUTREACH . . . Saint Marians are invited to bring non-perishable food items on Sundays and place them in the basket at the ushers’ table in the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall during Coffee Hour. The food is then delivered to the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry on 46th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues. Cash donations can also be made: please write the check to the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and put “Fr. Smith’s Discretionary Fund” in the memo line. (Both diocesan and parish guidelines stipulate that such funds are only to be used for outreach and for those who are in need. They are not used for personal reasons. Here at Saint Mary’s their use is overseen by the Finance Office.) Lightly used clothing may also be donated and should be placed on the table near the Kitchen in Saint Joseph’s Hall. During the winter months, coats and sweaters, hats and gloves are particularly welcome. Thank you to all who continue to give so generously to the Food Pantry! Jay Smith
HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . During this time of belt-tightening and budget cuts, we would like to invite those members and friends of Saint Mary’s, who are able to, 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.) The next planned reception will be on Candlemas, on February 2. If you would like to sponsor that reception, please let me know. Second, you can donate unopened boxes of cookies or other sweets or pastries for use at our receptions on Sunday evenings after Evensong & Benediction. (One donor informs us that he has recently ordered ten boxes of Girl Scout cookies – a two-for-one donation. He is supporting his goddaughter’s Scout troop and the hospitality efforts of the parish!) Third, you can make a cash donation. 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. The only job requirements are a calm and welcoming disposition, a friendly smile, the ability to engage newcomers in conversation, and a willingness to be helpful and to work with others to organize, prepare, and host receptions and other events. Since Saint Mary’s welcomes so many visitors, our hospitality efforts are an essential means of evangelism and church growth. If you are interested, please speak to me and thank you for your help. Jay Smith
STEWARDSHIP MATTERS . . . As of January 19, we have received pledges from 166 households. The total amount pledged thus far is $435,505.00, which is 84% of our goal of $518,970.00. We had a pretty good week, despite the fact that we are well into the campaign and the New Year has begun (thank you to all who sent their pledges in this past week!). We are still waiting to hear from 28% of those who pledged for 2008; and we would like to hear from a number of active friends and members, who did not, or were not able to, pledge in 2008. Our church is an important part of the community and, we hope, an important part of your life. We join in God's love and sacrifice for us by our personal sacrifices for others. Your help is needed. If your financial situation is clearer now that the New Year has begun and if you now feel ready to make a pledge, or if you need another pledge card or have questions, please speak with Father Jay Smith, MaryJane Boland, or Steven Heffner.
THE WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY . . . Some resources on ecumenism: Mary Reath, Rome and Canterbury: The Elusive Search for Unity (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007); Paul Murray, Receptive Ecumenism and the Call to Catholic Learning: Exploring a Way for Contemporary Ecumenism (Oxford University Press, 2008) . . . The Anglican Centre in Rome (www.anglicancentreinrome.org) . . . The Fellowship of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius (www.sobornost.org) . . . Bishop C. Christopher Epting’s Blog (ecubishop.wordpress.com). Bishop Epting is a friend of Saint Mary’s. He is the Program Officer for Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations of the Episcopal Church and is now based at the Partnerships Center in the Regional Office in Omaha, Nebraska . . . Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC) is a “relationship among ten Christian communions that have pledged to live more closely together in expressing their unity in Christ and to combat racism together. CUIC is both an outgrowth of and successor to the Consultation on Church Union (COCU), an organization that worked for more than forty years toward the day when Christians can become more fully reconciled to each other” [Source: http://www.cuicinfo.org].
COME AND SING WITH US! . . . Saint Mary’s Singers is looking for members. We are a group of parishioners and non-parishioners who now sing twice a month at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Times Square. The church has one of the finest acoustics in the city, as well as one of the city’s greatest organs. Why don’t YOU consider taking a break from work on Sunday afternoons to come sing and socialize with a group of Saint Mary’s neighbors, friends, and parishioners? (Trips to the local pubs and restaurants of Hell’s Kitchen immediately follow the rehearsals and performances!) If you are able to match pitch and have a desire to sing, especially some of the great Anglican choral repertoire, why not consider being part of our new choir? We promise that you will have fun! If you would like to join, or just come along for a rehearsal, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. James Kennerley
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. See below for upcoming concerts at Saint Mary’s . . . 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. For more details, please see the current music schedule here . . Saturday, January 31, 2009, 8:00 PM: “A Royal Christening and Musical Banquet,” with Piffaro, The Renaissance Band; Parthenia, A Consort of Viols; and the Vox Vocal Ensemble . . . Saturday, February 14, 2009, 8:00 PM: Songs of Love, Lust, and Lamentation, Vox Vocal Ensemble, George Steel, conductor . . . Thursday, April 2, 2009, 8:00 PM: Music for Double Choir, The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, director.
CHILDREN AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Children are always welcome at Mass at Saint Mary’s. The Rector encourages families with children to sit at the front of the church – so the children can see easily and clearly. Childcare for younger children is available in the Saint Benedict’s Nursery & Playroom which is open and available every Sunday from 8:45 AM until 12:45 PM.
SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN . . . Sunday School for children meets on Sundays during the academic year at 10:00 AM, in the Morning Room (follow the blue signs in Saint Joseph’s Hall to the Morning Room). Sunday School is led by Deacon Jedediah Fox and Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Third Sunday after Epiphany
Monday The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle (transferred)
Tuesday John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, 407
Wednesday Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Friar, and Doctor of the Church, 1274
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
Eve of the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Sunday School & Adult Christian Education, 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 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 heard Saturdays at 11:30 AM and 4:00 PM or by appointment.