FROM THE TREASURER: STEWARDSHIP
My name is Charles Randolph Morgan but most people know me as Randy. I have been a member of the Board of Trustees since December 2007 and I am currently our treasurer. I have been asked to discuss stewardship and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to do so.
Stewardship is not some new marketing gimmick created to raise money. Its foundation is in the Old Testament and is based upon the idea that God created the universe and everything in it. God created us and all our abilities (sometimes called our talents) and gave us whatever time we may have in life. Our responsibility is to use that time and those talents just as in the parable of the three servants (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27). Our time and talents have enabled us to create whatever wealth we have and to accumulate material possessions (our treasure). These gifts are frequently referred to as the three T’s of Stewardship – time, talent, and treasure.
The responsibility to use our gifts suggests two corollary duties. First, we must recognize the scope of what we possess and its source. Second, we must decide what we will do with our gifts in the time remaining to us. As in the parable of the three servants, we ultimately will give everything back to God. As the old saying goes, you can’t take it with you.
We recognize the scope of our gifts by taking an inventory. This might be called the “stewardship assessment.” At the end of that process, we return a “measure” of the increase in our gifts to God by giving it away to help our neighbors. The Biblical measure is the tithe or 10% of one’s time, one’s talent and the increase in one’s treasure. One gives a tithe of one’s time and talent by using one’s abilities to help others. One gives a tithe of the increase in one’s wealth, usually defined as one’s income, to others. Practically, one usually makes a stewardship gift by making gifts to organizations that can effectively help others.
When the tithe becomes the subject of conversation, an objection frequently raised is how can one give 10% of one’s income? The usual reaction is that this is too much! Giving 10% of one’s income would be quite a hardship for most people who have not been accustomed to giving at that level. The Church recommends that one begin by increasing the current rate of giving by 1% each year. If the current rate is less that 3%, attempt to start giving at the 3% level. This incremental increase in giving is referred to as “proportionate giving.” Over time one will begin to tithe. When one is giving a percent of one’s income and one’s circumstances change, the amount of the gift changes to maintain the current “portion” commitment.
Once the amount of the gift has been determined, questions arise as to which organizations the gift should be made and how one can make certain the gift is well used. The first question may be answered by saying that the recipient organization should address the requirements of the Law: to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Organizations that are well run and pursue these goals deserve support. Some organizations will be of more interest to you than others. However, all members of Saint Mary the Virgin undoubtedly feel as I do that our Church deserves support and requires some portion of our gift.
The second question is a “trick question.” Society has conditioned us to be wary. However, a stewardship gift must be made without “strings.” We must “let go and let God” in this gift. We should not attempt to control the gift or the recipient because the lesson of stewardship is that we will retain our gifts temporarily and we will give them all up to God at a time of his choosing. If one has chosen the recipient organization well, then control over the use of the gift will be unnecessary. Randy Morgan
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED especially for Margaret, Carol, Mary, Gilbert, Owen, Jim, Alan, Pamela, Robert, Thomas, Edward, Larry, José, Sharon, Daisy, Gerardo, Cesar, Chris, Rolf, William, Gert, Rick, and Emil, religious; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially John, James, Kayla, and Benjamin; and for the repose of the soul of Viola . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 24: 1884 Veronica Corrine Burke; 1885 Celia Ross; 1889 Mary Harburger; 1895 George Griss, Jr.; 1897 Louis N. Glover; 1918 Ella B. Caswell; 1957 Justus Krappe.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Viola Forsberg Smith, Father Smith’s aunt, died on Wednesday, October 20. Please pray for her, for her family and for all who mourn.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, October 23, 8:00 PM (Free Admission), New York Repertory Orchestra . . . Stewardship Packets will be mailed on Monday, October 25. The packet includes a pledge card, a return envelope, a letter from the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, and a fact sheet that addresses a number of frequently addressed questions about stewardship and pledging. On the reverse side of that sheet, there are three extracts from the “Why I Love Saint Mary’s” series. Please give the Stewardship Appeal your prayerful consideration . .. Thursday, October 28, is the Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles. Mass will be said at 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Father Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, October 23; Father Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, October 30.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Bishop is coming, and we need some more gifts to make the reception following the Solemn Pontifical Mass on Wednesday, December 8, special. Please speak with Father Smith if you would like to help . . . Flowers are needed for Sunday, November 7; Sunday, November 14; and Sunday, December 12, Rose Sunday. If you would like to give them, please contact Aaron Koch in the parish office . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 300.
INCENSE AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Kenny Isler, our “incensemeister”, will be here Monday evening, October 25, until Thursday morning, October 28. Kenny lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He maintains active membership “in good standing” at Saint Mary’s! He’s only here a short time, but you can usually catch him at daily Mass or one of the Offices. We are so thankful for his special gifts and ministry. Whenever someone asks where we get our incense, I respond, “We make our own – it’s the very best stuff on earth.” S.G.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN 2011:WHY I LOVE SAINT MARY’S . . . We continue our “Why I Love Saint Mary’s” series. This week we hear from parishioner Thomas Jayne. Thomas was formerly the vice-president of the parish’s Board of Trustees. He writes: As an architectural historian, a preservationist, and a decorator, I am daunted by the maintenance and restoration costs our building entails, but take heart in the fact that we are making steady progress toward preserving and improving the fabric of our building. We continue to mend the roof, our emergency lighting has recently been updated, and there are new Sunday school rooms. I want us to have new kneelers, to have the paintings in the Lady Chapel restored, and to have our remarkable windows preserved. With so much to do, and no easy path to follow, I see each investment in our building as an act of faith, a reminder of the verse from Hebrews 11.1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I believe that Jesus is about hospitality and the possibility of change, and I am certain that our church building is a physical expression of him. That is why I love Saint Mary's; that is why I give our church my time and treasure. Think of it: We offer this sanctuary, remarkably located at the core of Manhattan, to everyone, seventy-seven hours a week. On an average day, more than 400 people of all walks of life, every faith, and with myriad purposes come to Saint Mary’s. When I consider New York City spaces that are also both contemplative and open to all, the only other buildings that come to mind are the New York Public Library, Saint Patrick’s, and Saint Thomas’s. And our church has a certain quiet, unexpected beauty that makes it unique. It is a gift and an act of faith that we keep the doors open. I am most grateful for this chance to support St. Mary’s hospitality and opportunity for change. Thomas Jayne
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude at the Solemn Mass on Sunday morning is Fantasia G-mol, BWV 542, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Mass in C Major by Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839–1901). Rheinberger, an important composer and teacher of the German Romantic period, is known especially for his organ and sacred choral music. This work, composed in 1880, was written over a span of a mere five hours – clearly efficiency was among Rheinberger’s skills. His aesthetic and style is in many ways similar to the great Johannes Brahms (both men wrote music in a classical disposition, as opposed to the freer and “wilder” music of composers such as Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner). At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet How lovely are thy dwellings (a translation of the original German text, “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen”) from Ein deutsches Requiem, Opus 45, by Johannes Brahms (1833–1897). Composed between 1865 and 1868, Ein deutsches Requiem is actually a sacred, but non-liturgical, concert piece. At 4:40 PM, the organ recital is played by Dexter Kennedy, an undergraduate at Oberlin College, Ohio. James Kennerley
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . The Adult Forum meets on Sunday, October 24, at 10:00 AM, in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House. Grace Bruni leads the third part of her four-part series, The Church in England during the Middle Ages through the Lens of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales . . . . Wednesday, October 27, 6:30 PM, Bible Study, Arch Room, Mission House, 2nd floor . . . Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians: Father Peter Powell will lead a three-part series on 1 Corinthians this fall (Sundays: November 7, 14, and 21). The series is designed to be an introduction to this very important letter. During Lent 2011, Father Powell returns and will do a close reading of 1 Corinthians 15. The fall series will be good preparation for the Lent series, but it is not a prerequisite . . . The Adult-Education Class will not meet on Sunday, November 28, the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day. Jay Smith
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, October 23, 8:00 PM (Free Admission), New York Repertory Orchestra. David Leibowitz, music director & Olivier Fluchaire, violin. Program: Roussel: Concerto for Small Orchestra; Piazzolla: Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas; Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 ("The Inextinguishable"). For more information, please visit www.nyro.org . . . Saturday, November 13, 8:00 PM, Riverside Choral Society. Patrick Gardner, conductor & James Kennerley, organ. Program: Britten: Rejoice In The Lamb; Bernstein: Chichester Psalms and other works for chorus and organ. For more information, please visit www.riversidechoral.org.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, October 24, Saint Joseph’s Hall, Book Sale. All proceeds are used to benefit those in need. If you would like to donate books, please speak to Father Smith . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items for the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Please look for the basket in the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . During the month of November we will be collecting toys and other holiday gift items for children and adults. These gifts are then donated to AIDS Action International and the New York Foundling Hospital. For more information, please speak to Father Smith . . . We recently made a donation to the Mendham Borough Library in memory of Matthew Drew Kerr, the son of parishioners Tom and Judi Kerr . . . We often receive news and fundraising appeals from a number of non-profit organizations, including Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York, Episcopal Relief and Development, and UNICEF. Some of those materials will be on the table in Saint Joseph’s Hall on Sunday. We invite you to take a look at them. Jay Smith
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Monday, November 1, All Saints’ Day, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM, the Most Rev. Peter Carnley, O.A., celebrant and preacher . . . Tuesday, November 2, All Souls’ Day, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Sunday, November 7, 2:00 AM: Daylight Savings Time ends (clocks are set back one hour) . . . Saturday, November 13, 1:00 PM, Meeting of Saint Mary’s Guild . . . Sunday, November 21, Commitment Sunday: Offering of 2011 Pledge Cards . . . Tuesday, December 7, Solemn Evensong and Legacy Society Reception . . . Wednesday, December 8, Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM, the Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk, XV Bishop of New York, celebrant and preacher . . . Saturday, December 11, 10:00 AM-3:00 PM, Advent Quiet Day, led by Father John Beddingfield . . . Saturday, December 11, 2010, 8:00 PM & Monday, December 13, 2010, 8:00 PM Voices of Ascension Christmas Concert . . . Saturday, December 18, 2010, 8:00 PM, The New York Repertory Orchestra: Annual NYRO Benefit Concert...and the 100th birthday of Samuel Barber . . . Sunday, December 26, 5:00 PM, Christmas Lessons and Carols.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side YMCA, 5 West 63rd Street, New York, NY 10023: Freud’s Last Session. Box Office: 866-811-4111. From the theater’s website, “[This play] centers on legendary psychiatrist Dr. Sigmund Freud, who invites a young, rising academic star, [Anglican scholar and theologian] C.S. Lewis, to his home in London. Lewis, expecting to be called on the carpet for satirizing Freud in a recent book, soon realizes Freud has a much more significant agenda. On the day England enters World War II, Freud and Lewis clash on the existence of God, love, sex and the meaning of life - only two weeks before Freud chooses to take his own.”
The Parish Musicians
Mr. James Kennerley, organist and music director
Mr. Lawrence Trupiano, organ curator
The Parish Staff
Mr. Aaron Koch, business manager
Mr. Miguel Gonzalez, Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Antonio Santiago, sextons