I am looking forward to the annual meeting of the parish community this Sunday, January 30. A year ago I was in New York on the last Sunday in January but I had not begun work as your rector. At the request of the trustees I did not attend Mass here and I did not attend the annual meeting; I was not unhappy about having the opportunity to worship at Saint Thomas Church and at Saint Bartholomew's Church that day. On January 31 I will have completed a year as your rector.
I am actually writing to you on Tuesday, January 25, from the office of my friend, Father Michael Basden, at Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church in Naples, Florida, where I preached this past Friday night at his institution and gave a workshop on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd on Saturday. I am stuck (shucks) another day because of the snowstorm that is hitting the east coast.
Last night I attended his parish's annual meeting and I could not but think about the opportunity this meeting will present for me to say something about my thankfulness in the call that brought me to this community and to say something about what I think we should be doing to help us discern how the Holy Spirit wishes to lead our community in the coming year.
Of course we are preparing for other things too. On Wednesday evening, February 2, we expect the Presiding Bishop, the Bishop of Louisiana and the Vicar Bishop for New York City of the Diocese of New York will be with us for the Presentation. A great deal of work regularly goes into preparing for solemn Masses at Saint Mary's, but a lot of extra work is going into this as well. Of course there will be a reception for the parish community and those who will join us that evening immediately following the liturgy.
And, on Saturday, February 5, we will be the host parish for the first catechists training course for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. My own excitement about our ability to offer this for ourselves, for interested persons in our region, Episcopalian and Roman Catholic, and for students from the General Theological Seminary was fed by the opportunity I have had this past weekend to share something about this work with a group at Trinity-by-the-Cove. No, we do not have many children in our parish but I believe we should. In addition I think it is extremely important for us to be a center for the best thinking about Christian formation today. Saint Mary's has been at its best in its history when it has led the way.
Those who read this newsletter regularly have been able to follow to a great extent my work and the work of the board this year. We now have a format for the monthly financial report for The Angelus which makes pretty clear the financial challenge the parish faces for the future. I plan to say something Sunday about how I believe you and I should respond to the challenges of the present. I will tell you that I am extraordinarily optimistic about Saint Mary's and the service it will do in Christ's name.
Please come to the Solemn Mass if possible on Sunday. Stay for brunch. Stay for the meeting that follows. Childcare will be provided. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST…Your prayers are asked for Olga, Helen, Jack, Margaret, Margo, Shirley, Clara, Samuel John, Hannah, Keith and Yamily and for the repose of the souls of Daniel and Dorothy . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . February 2:1985 Walter Phelps Warren; 1985 John Doy Woods; February 3:1993 Van Buren Chaney; February 5:1964 Joseph Alexander Steele; 1993 Gerald Dennis Bergstrom.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Psalm 111, 1 Corinthians 8:1b-20, Mark 1:21-28 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant: Father Shin, Preacher: Mr. Lawson, 10:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: Father Breidenthal, 11:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: Father Gerth, 5:00 PM Celebrant and Preacher: Father Gerth. . . . On Saturday, February 5, Father Garrison will hear confessions . . . On Saturday, February 12, Father Gerth will hear confessions.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The Right Reverend E. Don Taylor, vicar bishop for New York City in the Diocese of New York, administered Holy Confirmation on Tuesday, January 25, for John Beddingfield and for Jennifer White, a member of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine . . . Thank you Dennis Smith, Helena and George Handy for your help in folding and stapling the Candlemas program . . . As we go to press, eighty-four pledges that total $145,417.00 have now been received toward the 2000 Operating Budget . . . The painting is close to complete in the nursery! . . . Flowers are needed for the last three Sundays in February . . . Attendance last Sunday: 134.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION . . .The Rector's Class meets this Sunday at 10 AM on Sunday with Father Gerth in Saint Benedict's Study. We are working on "The Liturgical Act" . . . Journey in Faith will not meet this afternoon because of the Annual Meeting and there will be no Wednesday evening class this week, February 2, with Father Breidenthal because of the feast day. "Householding and Holiness: Christian Ethics & Life Together" resumes on February 9.
CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD . . . Registrations are coming in for the course. If you are interested in attending on the first day just to see what it's all about please speak with Father Gerth or Father Shin. This is an extraordinary opportunity for Christian formation, and not just for children.
FEAST OF SAINT BLASE . . . Thursday, February 3, is Saint Blase's Day. The traditional blessing of throats will be offered at the 12:15 PM and 6:15 PM Masses. The blessing is given with prayer and by touching the throat of each person with two candles which have been joined together in the form of a cross. (Note: We are using the current preferred spelling for the name of Blessed Blase.)
Worship at Saint Mary’s
The Holy Eucharist
On Sundays Mass is said at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. A Solemn Mass is offered at 11:00 AM. Monday through Friday Mass is said at 12:15 PM and 6:15 PM. On Saturdays Mass is said at 12:15 PM.
The Daily Office
On ordinary Sundays Morning Prayer is said at 8:40 AM and Evening Prayer at 4:45 PM. Monday through Friday Morning Prayer is offered at 8:30 AM, the Noonday Office at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM. On Saturdays the Noonday Office is offered at 12:00 PM and Evening Prayer at 5:00 PM.
The Reconciliation of Penitents
Confessions are heard on Saturdays between 11:30 and 12:00 and between 4:00 and 5:00. Appointments can also be made with members of the parish clergy for the Reconciliation of Penitents at other times.
The ordinary Fridays of the year are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
The Calendar for the Fourth Week after the Epiphany
Tuesday Saint Brigid, Abbess
Wednesday The Presentation of our Lord
Thursday Saint Blase, Bishop
Friday Saint Cornelius the Centurion
Saturday The Martyrs of Japan
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend Allen Shin, curate, The Reverend Thomas Breidenthal, assistant,
The Reverend Arthur Wolsoncroft, The Reverend Canon Maurice Garrison,
The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, assisting priests, The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.