I don't know when I learned to use the word 'pastel' as a negative comment, but I have used it that way for years (along with the word 'beige'). I am making this public confession because I think I now understand the pastel colors in a way I never did before.
Two Sundays ago when I was in Naples, Florida I watched the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico with friends on the beach. It was awesomely beautiful. I now understand pastel. They seem so right to me for Florida; they seem so beautiful. The colors are absolutely related to the beauty of creation. They are God's colors. I might continue to use the word 'beige' as a negative comment, but pastel is permanently off my list.
Last night there was a glorious liturgy at Saint Mary's. The Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, was celebrant for the Solemn Mass for the Feast of the Presentation. The Bishop of Louisiana, the Right Reverend Charles E. Jenkins, was preacher. Our own Vicar Bishop for New York City, the Right Reverend E. Don Taylor, was in choir. Saint Mary's was at its very best last night in many and profound ways.
The liturgy was offered with reverence, with love and with that particular glory that is possible in one of the great Christian spaces for worship. The numbers of people in the parish community who gave themselves to making the evening happen are great. Last night the elements of our common life came together in a way that helped me to see Saint Mary's in a new way.
For one thing I was not celebrant or preacher for the evening. Of course I was vested and in the procession, but I didn't really have to think about anything. Chuck Carson and the other MCs had everything under control. The sanctuary was beautiful. The incense seem especially fragrant and abundant. The music, organ and choral, was strong and glorious. It is hard not to be moved by the worship of the Church when it is done with love and understanding.
Father Breidenthal and I walked side by side. As we were passing behind the altar we turned to each other and we both had big smiles on our faces that said to each other, "Isn't this wonderful?" And it really was. This parish at worship had so palpably entered that particular moment of "rite" - when Christians are in the world but not of the world and ordinary chronological time is overwhelmed by a sense of eternity. It was a night like my night on the beach. It was a night when the Spirit helped me see this parish community and our Episcopal Church community - for indeed our Presiding Bishop in his person represents our church in a most particular way - more profoundly. Our Christian community seems to me to be made not by humankind, but by God. Like pastels on the beach our Church at its best is entirely the work of the Creator.
It hardly seems possible to me that a whole year has passed since I became your rector. Daily I am thankful for the blessings of this call. I thank you for your prayers and your support. I can hardly wait for Sunday to come. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST…Your prayers are asked for Olga, Helen, Jack, Margaret, Margo, Shirley, Clara, Samuel John, Hannah, Keith, Yamily and Dawn and for the repose of the soul of Chelsea.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . February 7: 1954 John H. Von Runneau.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: 2 Kings 4:8-37, Psalm 142, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23, Mark 1:29-39 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant: Father Breidenthal, Preacher: Mr. Lawson, 10:00 AM Celebrant and Preacher: Father Shin, 11:00 AM Celebrant: The Rector, Preacher: Father Miller, 5:00 PM Celebrant and Preacher: Father Shin . . .. On Saturday, February 5, Father Gerth will hear confessions . . . On Saturday, February 12, Father Gerth will hear confessions.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Your prayers are asked for the repose of the soul of Chelsea Morrison, a student at Millbrook School who was killed in a car accident last week. Pray for her and for all who mourn.
FROM THE PARISH REGISTERS: JANUARY 2000 . . . The following persons became members of the parish and of the Episcopal Church when their names were recorded in the canonical Register of Baptized Persons: Dale Francis Bonenberger and John Floyd Beddingfield. John was also confirmed by Bishop Taylor on January 25. A Letter of Transfer was received for Ryan Edwin Lesh from Saint Paul’s Memorial Church, Charlottesville, Virginia, and a Letter of Transfer was sent to Saint Bartholomew's Church, St. Petersburg, Florida, for Charles Stewart Burgess, Jr.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The brunch for the Annual Meeting last Sunday was prepared and served by Kathy Chase and a dedicated crew. Those serving included Clint Best, Jon Bryant, Sean Cassidy, Howard Christian, John Delves, Jim Dennis, Stephanie Felshin, Gloria Fitzgerald, Patrick Higgins, Barbara Klett, Michael Merenda, Ric and Susan Miranda, Ann Sokolowski and Robert VanVleet (and his guests!). To all who made the day so wonderful, thank you! . . . Thanks are due to so many for the great liturgy and the great reception afterwards. We know these things just don't happen without a lot of love and commitment. We will name some names in next week's Angelus! . . . Canon Garrison had surgery on his foot Monday for a broken bone. We expect it will be a few weeks before he is back at the altar. Please keep him in your prayers . . . Additional copies of the annual report are available from the parish office. Please call if you would like one . . . The Right Reverend Robert O Miller, retired bishop of Alabama, was with us for the 9:00 AM Mass last Sunday. Bishop Miller often attends this Mass and it is always good to have him with us . . . Many thanks to Father Charles Whipple for the repair of the base of one of our lectern torches . . . If you are interested in being received or confirmed at the Easter Vigil, please speak to one of the parish clergy as soon as possible. Bishop Griswold will be with us at the Vigil as celebrant and preacher . . . Attendance Last Sunday 144, Candlemas 257.
THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION SUNDAY . . . Sunday, February 6, is Theological Education Sunday in the Episcopal Church. By happy coincidence the Reverend E. Charles Miller, Michael and Joan Ramsey Professor of Historical and Ascetical Theology at Nashotah House, will be in New York doing research. He will be our guest preacher at the Solemn Mass. Father Miller grew up in New York and was graduated from Saint Hilda and Saint Hugh's. He is a 1982 graduate of Nashotah House Seminary and received a D.Phil. from Oxford University. He has been at Nashotah since 1996 after serving parishes in the United States and England. He has known Saint Mary's for years. The Rector was in the class behind Father Miller at Nashotah and both served parishes in the Diocese of Dallas upon graduation.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION THIS WEEK . . . The Catechists Training Course starts on Saturday, February 5. It meets from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM . . . The Rector's Class is beginning a new topic: Holy Baptism. The class will be reading together Aidan Kavanagh's The Shape of Baptism; the book is available in the parish bookstore and during class on Sunday. The group meets from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM in Saint Benedict's Study. You are most welcome to join us . . . "Journey in Faith", our basic adult formation program, meets with Father Allen Shin on Sunday from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM in Saint Benedict's Study . . . On Wednesday, February 9, Father Thomas Breidenthal's class, "Householding and Holiness: Christian Ethics and Life Together", meets in Saint Benedict's Study from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
Gifts Received this Week for the work of the Parish
in Loving Memory of
Helena Kuo Kingman.
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 8:30 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 Sixth Week after the Epiphany
Thursday Saint Scholastica, Religious
Friday Our Lady of Lourdes
Saturday Of Our Lady
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.