A Hidden Light
Some Scripture to Begin:
Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
The other night I met some friends who had come to visit at a restaurant on Ninth Avenue. After eating we went to the garage where they had parked to get their things and started walking back to Saint Mary's. We turned onto 46th Street and as we were approaching 8th Avenue I remarked, "See the 'Comfort Inn' sign. Saint Mary's is next door."
Watching TV. Zapping through channels. Fox News program. Broadcasting from a relatively empty 47th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. Long sweeping view of Saint Mary's in the background. Reporter talking. In the picture, nothing on the 47th Street side identifies us as a church. The one small sign on the 47th Street wall does not even identify us as an Episcopal parish. We keep our door on 47th Street open only for the noon Mass. No sign on street or door to indicate this door is ever open.
I need to identify some leadership to help me do something about visibility, that is, if it indeed is desired to be visible. I have some ideas: Signage on both sides of the church that is attractive, appropriate to the architecture and style of our parish community, inviting and suggests that we are open and welcome visitors. I'm sure other people have some ideas too. We don't only need a few people with experience in this kind of work; we also need a couple people who are good at details and keeping other people on task. Once we have a definite proposal in hand and a plan of action, I will be shameless about begging for funding for it.
I'd like to have the church visible for New Year's Eve 1999. It's the middle of October. Will several people call me this week and tell me you will commit yourself to getting something done so that every photo taken on New Year's Eve on 46th Street and 47th Street, every television broadcast sweeping past our parish home, will show us to the world, the entire world?
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Warren who is to have surgery and for Margaret, Myrian, Maureen, Katherine Rose, Margo, Nettie, Shirley, Thomas and Rich. . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 26: I987 Dorothea Moran.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Exodus 22:21-27, Psalm 1, Thessalonians 2:1-8, Matthew 22:34-46 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Breidenthal, 10:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: Father Breidenthal, 11:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: The Rector, 5:00 PM Celebrant and Preacher: The Rector . . . On Saturday, October 23, Canon Garrison will hear confessions . . . On Saturday, October 30, Father Gerth will hear confessions.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . As we go to press, Warren Olson is scheduled to be hospitalized on Friday, October 22, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Please keep him in your prayers . . . There will be a meeting for the parish clergy and the lay readers on Monday evening, October 25, at 7:00 PM in the rectory . . . Many thanks to Jim Dennis and a whole bunch of folks who helped put on the wonderful brunch "Event" last Sunday. Many thanks also to Liz Crommett for arranging the wonderful musical program . . . Father Shin will be back in the office on Tuesday, October 26, following his holiday . . . This Sunday, October 24, the Rector will be speaking on the liturgy in Saint Benedict's Study at 10:00 AM and Father Breidenthal will be leading the Journey in Faith in Saint Benedict's after the 11:00 AM Mass. We are planning to send out for sandwiches for the class . . . Speaking of Father Breidenthal, this week is the final class of the "Different Faiths" series. Father will be speaking in Saint Benedict's on Wednesday at 7:00 PM on Hinduism. We are extraordinarily privileged to have Father with us. If you haven't heard him teach you are missing a wonderful opportunity. Our next Wednesday evening series, "Marian Devotion & Christian Spirituality," will begin on November 3 . . . A Note from the Organist to the Rector concerning All Saints': "Hymns for All Saints - Yes to your list! -- Tell 'em to strap their birettas on tight - 'cause there'll be a mighty WIND a blowin' from 46th Street!" We look forward to it! . . . We are glad to hear Kevin Farley is attending the national Cursillo Convention in Pittsburgh . . . The MCs and subdeacons will meet on Saturday, October 30, from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM . . . Attendance last Sunday: 138.
WORKSHOP FOR ALL MEMBERS . . . I confess I have not been doing a good job in making clear that the workshop on November 6 about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is about Catholic and Christian spirituality. The morning of the program in particular will focus on the spirituality of the child and how the spirituality of the child shapes the spirituality of a Christian community. It is like a child that all must receive the kingdom of heaven. This is something that is repeated in the Gospels over and over again. Another emphasis of the morning will be on how the kingdom of God grows, not by leaps and bounds, but like a mustard seed. I believe that this opportunity to reflect on some basic elements of Catholic and Christian spirituality is particularly appropriate in a parish community that seems to be hearing a call to grow again. After lunch there will be some particulars about the new Christian formation program we plan to begin using at Saint Mary's in the fall of 2000. You may stay for the whole day or just come to the morning session. Let me be very clear, your faith will be enriched by knowing about the spirituality of the child. You won't be learning about how to be a Sunday School teacher. You will hear about the Gospel. You will wonder why you haven't heard this stuff before. It is an extraordinary opportunity for us to have Rebekah Rojcewicz with us. If you haven't registered, please call the parish office. S.G.
NEIGHBORHOOD PARTY TO BE RESCHEDULED . . . We regret very much that it is necessary to reschedule the party for those who live near the church. The "Hell's Kitchen" party was to be held on Thursday, October 28. There's just a tremendous amount on the calendar right now. The very next week includes major evening Masses for All Saints', Monday, November 1, and All Souls', Tuesday, November 2. The party will be rescheduled at a time that makes more sense!
NEXT WEDNESDAY SERIES: Marian Devotion & Christian Spirituality . . . The series will explore briefly how the tradition of Marian devotion and its theology have developed and evolved, and how Marian devotion has been expressed in art and English poetry. In addition to classes led by Father Shin ("Historical Perspective") and Father Breidenthal ("Theological Themes"), Susan Miranda, a member of Saint Mary's and a graduate student in art history at the City University of New York, will speak on "Marian Devotion in Art." Professor Anna Williams, also a member of Saint Mary's who teaches at the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University, will speak on "Marian Devotion in English Poetry." The class will meet on November 3, 10, 17, and December 1.