The Angelus

Volume XI, Number 45

From the Rector: Giving and Growth

Father Jay Smith and I were having coffee a couple weeks ago after Morning Prayer with parishioner and board of trustees member Robin Landis.  At some point in that conversation, Robin remarked that we should concentrate on work that led to increased “giving and growth.”

We were talking about life at Saint Mary’s since Father Matthew Mead left to become rector in Granite Springs, New York.  The full impact of our reductions in staff really hit when Matt left.  Jay and I have been scrambling to get work done.  Business manager Aaron Koch and organist James Kennerley have had more thrown their way too.  Several members have stepped up to take on some tasks.  It’s working – and I think the parish has a real chance to thrive and to live within its means.  However, we’re not going to be able to do that without growth in new members and friends, without help from those who are already committed to our parish’s work and witness, and without help from our wider diocesan community.

Saint Mary’s was founded for the renewal of congregational worship.  Our open doors and our welcome of all whom God brings here to seek him are a generous witness to Christ.  The Episcopal Church really does welcome you at Saint Mary’s Times Square.  Open doors are a sign of welcome.  Parishioners and clergy coming together daily for the regular services of the Church and inviting all who enter to join us go a long way to helping people overcome whatever stereotypes or even justifiable prejudices some have developed because of the failings of the Church in our lifetime and in history.  It is impossible to know how much our church means to the spirits of those who enter.  The opportunity to rest in the beauty of holiness just off Times Square is like a pearl of great price.

This Sunday the parish choir returns and will sing at the 11:00 AM Solemn Mass and, to get the weekly Sunday Evensong season started off in the best way, a quartet from the choir will sing at Solemn Evensong & Benediction at 5:00 PM.  We are in a period in our parish’s history when the music is simply excellent.  Even with our reduced choir budget a few folks are making sure that what we have is right.

This Sunday evening weekly organ recitals return before Evensong at 4:40 PM.  Weekly receptions after Evensong return too.  Our guest preacher Sunday night will be the Reverend Elizabeth McWhorter, rector, Saint Mary’s-in-Tuxedo Church, Tuxedo Park, New York.  I first met Betty at a Mass that wasn’t going well from a liturgical point of view – and it was clear from a few sotto voce comments that we were very much on the same page about things.  Mother McWhorter came to Saint Mary’s in 2007 after serving from 1995 as rector of Saint Patrick’s Church, Washington, D.C.  I’m so honored that she can be with us Sunday evening.

Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins begins Sunday School for our young children this Sunday at 10:00 AM.  At the same time, Father Smith begins the 10:00 AM Adult Forum with the first of a three-part series on “The Episcopal Church in Post-World War II Era, 1945-1985.”

Many things contribute to giving and growth in a parish community.  Of course, God is at the heart of it all.  It is he who sustains us as individuals and as a parish community.  God does use us to invite others into a greater awareness of God’s presence in all people.  I think your presence and mine matter not just for ourselves as individuals, but most of all for those for whom our presence and witness here will help in building up the kingdom of God.  People who love much, give much.  People who are hungry for God, come to be nurtured and sustained by his spiritual food and the fellowship of his table.  Robin was right.  The work of the parish, the work of all of us, is giving and growth.  Stephen Gerth


SUNDAY PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Liz, Carol, Chris, Timothy, Rachel, Rose, Juan Carlos, Martha, Robert, Burt, Alex, Dorothy, Cindy, Margaret, Eva, Allan, Harold, Marcia, Stephen, Madeleine, William, Gert, Mary, Allan, and Rick; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Marc, Omar, Benjamin, Steven, Andrew, and Patrick . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 4: 1916 Isabella Atkinson; 1920 Virginia Wittens Blauchard; 1926 Henry Ammi Dows, priest.


THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Marian Hymn Sing & Oktoberfest: Saturday, October 3, at 6:00 PM . . . The Saint Mary’s Guild will not meet on Saturday, October 3.  The Guild meets next on Saturday, October 10, following the noon Mass.  The Saint Mary’s Guild is the parish altar guild.  For more information, please speak to one of the sisters or to Marie Rosseels . . . On Sunday, October 4, the regular Sunday Schedule resumes.  Please see the parish webpage for full details.  Highlights: Sunday School and Adult Forum at 10:00 AM; Organ Recital at 4:40 PM, Solemn Evensong & Benediction at 5:00 PM . . . Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 PM, Bible Study: The Book of Proverbs, led by Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., in the Arch Room, Mission House, second floor . . . Saturday, October 10, 7:30 PM, Audio Engineering Society Convention Recital: Graham Blyth, organ


AROUND THE PARISH . . . Parishioner Narvel “Jim” Crawford, who lives in Asheville, North Carolina, has been at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, this week for treatment.  Please keep him in your prayers . . . We do not yet have donors for flowers for the following dates: October 25 and November 15 and 22 . . . Hospitality: Please speak to Father Smith if you would like to make a donation (of either food or money) for the Sunday coffee hours or receptions . . . Outreach: we continue to collect non-perishable food items and some clothing for the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry; also, please contact Father Smith if you think you would like to donate toys or other gift items for the AIDS Action International Event at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine on November 17 . . . The American Globe Theatre (AGT), Saint Mary’s resident theatre group, has announced its fall season.  On Monday, October 5, at 7:30 PM, John Basil, AGT’s artistic director will deliver the first part of a three-part lecture series “What Makes Shakespeare Great?”  Part 1 is “Words!” (followed by “Women!” on November 30 and “Sex!” on January 11).  On Monday, October 26, at 7:30 PM, AGT will present a staged reading of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Phone: 212.869.9809 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 249; Michaelmas 119


FROM THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT . . . This Sunday, we are happy to welcome the full parish choir back following their summer break. The choir sings at Solemn Mass on Sundays and many Feast Days, as well as at several services of Solemn Evensong and Benediction.  The prelude this morning is an improvisation in the French Romantic style.  Asperges me domine is sung to a version by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611).  The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa Surge propera by Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599), one of the greatest Spanish composers of the sixteenth century.  Unlike the more famous Victoria, the vast majority of Guerrero’s career was spent in Spain, much of it as maestro de capilla of Seville Cathedral (Victoria also spent many years in Rome).  This setting, a parody Mass based upon an unknown model, is from Guerrero’s second book of Masses, published in Rome in 1582.  At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet “Sing joyfully” by William Byrd (1543-1623). . . . Vincent Carr will give the first of our Evensong recitals, beginning at 4:40 PM.  Mr. Carr is the Associate Organist at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey . . . At Solemn Evensong and Benediction, a quartet from the parish choir will sing the Evening Service for Five Voices by Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623) and Tantum ergo by Victoria. James Kennerley


STEWARDSHIP AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The members of the Stewardship Committee have been meeting over the summer and are preparing to launch this year’s pledge campaign in mid-October.  We need to close the gap between our expenses and our revenue.  Please look for our annual stewardship letter in the next few weeks.  The letter will be accompanied by a pledge card.  As part of the 2010 pledge campaign, the Stewardship Committee plans to continue publishing contributions to its ongoing series, “Why I Love Saint Mary’s.”  Parishioner Grace Bruni has written this season’s second entry in the series.


WHY I LOVE SAINT MARY’S . . . “Unlike many people I’ve met, I did not find Saint Mary’s at all by accident.  When I was living in Philadelphia, I was a member of a parish very much like this one.  When a friend, and fellow parishioner, and I were both moving to New York around the same time, we did a bit of research, all of which pointed to Saint Mary’s, and so I came on Trinity Sunday, 2007.  I was struck immediately, of course, by the beauty of the space and the care taken with the liturgy, but I was also touched by the warmth of the welcome I received.  It was two months before I returned, but when I did, I found that I was able to dive in and get involved immediately.  It is remarkably easy to find something to do at Saint Mary’s, whether as a server or an usher or a reader; by helping with flowers at Christmas and Easter; by helping to provide hospitality at one of the many receptions after special evening services; or by helping out with one of our various outreach projects.  There is always something to do at Saint Mary’s!  But I think the varied ways to be an active member of the parish is a great strength, especially for someone living away from home or family.  Saint Mary’s has, in many ways, become my home and family. Grace Bruni


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN & ADULTS . . . Saint Mary’s Church School will resume on Sunday, October 4, 10:00 AM, in the Morning Room, just outside the Sacristy.  Please contact Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins if you would like more information, or if you are planning to have a child attend Church School on Sunday mornings . . . Adult Education will resume on Sunday, October 4, 10:00 AM. Father Smith will teach a three-part church-history series, “The Episcopal Church in the Post-World War II Era, 1945–1985” (October 4, 11, and 18).  No prior knowledge or experience is necessary. All classes will include a presentation as well as an opportunity to discuss issues and relevant texts . . . On Sunday, October 25, and Sunday, November 8, at 10:00 AM, Prof. Dennis Raverty, friend and neighbor of the parish, will teach a class on the history and theology of icons in the Eastern Orthodox tradition.  Prof. Raverty received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University and his B.A. from the University of Minnesota. At present, he teaches in the Art History Department of New Jersey City University in Jersey City.  Though he has taught courses on the art of a number of different cultures and time periods, including the art of the Byzantine tradition, his specialty is in modern and contemporary art history, theory and criticism.  The title of Dennis’s class is “Icons: A Very Brief History”.  Session one is “Origins of the Tradition in Early Christian Art”; session two is “Iconoclasm and the Triumph of Tradition” . . . October 7, 6:30 PM, the Wednesday Evening Bible Study will resume. The class will be led by Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., and will meet on seven successive Wednesdays, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM, following Evening Prayer. The class will be studying the Book of Proverbs.   All adult classes are held in the Arch Room on the second floor of the Mission House, 133 West 46th Street, east of the doors of the church.


CONCERTS & RECITALS AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The organ concert this Saturday, October 3, has been cancelled; Saturday, October 10, 2009, 7:30 PM (free admission), Audio Engineering Society Convention Recital: Graham Blyth, organ; Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 7:30 PM, Tenebrae Choral Ensemble, Nigel Short, director; Saturday, October 24, 2009, 8:00 PM (free admission), The New York Repertory Orchestra, David Leibowitz, music director & Gretchen Windt, mezzo-soprano; Thursday, October 29, 2009, 1:00 PM (free admission), “Sounds Spectacular” presented by The Choir of Wakefield Cathedral, Thomas Moore, conductor, and Jonathan Bielby, organist; Saturday, November 21, 3:00 PM, Cameron Carpenter, organ; Friday, December 5, 2009, 7:30 PM, “Jubilee Christmas” Annual Christmas Concert presented by the Treasure House Chorale and Orchestra . . . Saturday, December 12, 2009, 8:00 PM, The Miller Theatre at Columbia University Early Music Series: The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips, director; Saturday, December 19, 2009, The New York Repertory Orchestra, Annual NYRO Benefit Concert, David Leibowitz, music director & James Kennerley, organ soloist; Saturday, January 23, 2010, 8:00 PM, The Miller Theatre at Columbia University Early Music Series: Le Poème Harmonique, Vincent Dumestre, conductor; Saturday, January 23, 2010, 8:00 PM, The Miller Theatre at Columbia University Early Music Series: “The Art of the Canon,” Vox Vocal Ensemble, George Steel, conductor; Saturday, February 13, 2010, 8:00 PM (free admission), The New York Repertory Orchestra, David Leibowitz, music director, and Susie Park, violin soloist; Saturday, February 27, 2010, 8:00 PM, The Miller Theatre at Columbia University Early Music Series: “The Birth of the Renaissance: Guillaume Dufay,” Orlando Consort; Saturday, March 27, 2010, 8:00 PM (free admission), The New York Repertory Orchestra, David Leibowitz, music director, and Erin Keefe, violin soloist; Saturday, May 22, 2010, 8:00 PM (free admission), The New York Repertory Orchestra, David Leibowitz, music director & Jennifer Grimaldi, soprano



The Parish Clergy

The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector.

The Reverend James Ross Smith, curate.

The Reverend Rebecca Weiner Tompkins, deacon,

The Reverend John Merz, assisting priest.

The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.


Saint Mary’s Mission House

Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B.

Sister Laura Katharine, C.S.J.B.

The Community of St. John Baptist


The Parish Musicians

Mr. James Kennerley, organist and music director.

Mr. Lawrence Trupiano, organ curator. 


Parish Staff

Aaron Koch, business manager.

Mr. Hector Rojas, building mechanic.

Mr. Mario Martinez, Mr. H. Tony Santiago, Mr. Timothy Zimmerman, sextons.


Questions about the Angelus newsletter 



Sunday: 8:30 AM Sung Matins, 9:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Said Mass, 10:00 AM Sunday School and Adult Forum, 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 of the year.


Monday–Friday: 8:30 AM Morning Prayer, 12:00 PM Noonday Office, 12:10 PM Mass, 6:00 PM Evening Prayer. The Wednesday 12:10 PM Mass is sung. Thursday Masses include anointing of the sick. Holy days as announced.


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 at 11:30 AM and 4:00 PM or by appointment.