I was six years old when the Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells became a priest of the Church. I can remember being six just a little. I had finished kindergarten and was getting ready for first grade at Thoroughgood Elementary School in what is now called Virginia Beach, Virginia. I no longer remember the name of my first grade teacher or my kindergarten teacher. It was a long time ago.
I had dinner with Father not so very long ago. We spent the evening laughing about so much that has affected and continues to affect our lives, things that are particular to being priests and (more laughter) things particular to being rector of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Of course I had a slight liturgical agenda – to find out how Father wanted the liturgy to be celebrated on Assumption.
If he had wanted the Prayer Book liturgy that was used when he was baptized, we would have done that. Instead he insisted that the liturgy be done according to the Prayer Book, the way it
is celebrated today at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. He would not have it any other way. And that tells us a lot about Edgar Wells.
Father Wells articulated for my generation of Anglo-catholics that loyalty to the Episcopal Church is fundamental. In addition to everything else, we are Episcopalians. At its best our Anglican tradition embraces a full and generous expression of Christianity. We carry the burdens of humanity and of faith, confident of God’s continuing presence and his continuing guidance. The signs of God’s abundant love are everywhere.
Tuesday night we shall celebrate many things. Among them the particular gift of Father Wells faithfulness to the priesthood to which he was called. In the rite that was used for his ordination on August 9, 1960 the following prayer, offered on his behalf, was said:
Almighty God, who hath given you this will to do all these things;
Grant also unto you strength and power to perform the same,
that he may accomplish his work which he hath begun in you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I believe the Lord did give Father Wells the will to be a priest and that God continues to give him the strength and power to be a faithful minister of the Gospel. The honor and privilege Tuesday night will be ours. I hope you will be able to be here for the Mass and for the reception which follows. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Olga, Helen, Shirley, Hannah, Dawn, Mary, Lucille, Frances, Eleanor, Carl, Harold, Frank and Deborah.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 15:1963 Rose Macchia; 1971 Elvira Horg Oyx.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Deuteronomy 8:1-10, Psalm 34:1-8, Ephesians 4:25-5:2, John 6:37-51 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant: Father Gerth, Preacher: Richard Lawson, 10:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Shin, 11:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Gerth, 5:00 PM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Gerth. . . Confessions will be heard on August 12 by Father Shin . . . Confessions will be heard on August 19 by Father Gerth.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . A special thank you to Thomas Glenn who is donating six punch bowls to St. Mary’s. Altar flowers are needed for Sunday, September 10, for Holy Cross Day, Thursday, September 14, and for Sunday, September 24. If you are interested in donating flowers in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving please call the parish office at 212-869-5830 . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, August 21, at 7:00 PM . . . SMV computer network update: We are still waiting for a DSL line. It doesn’t seem to matter that we share a block with the headquarters of US Trust, Westpoint Stevens and a major hotel or that we are across the street from Fox News, whose headquarters is in a Rockefeller Center building. We await the fullness of time when high speed access to the internet will be granted the church (or any access, for that matter) . . . As we go to press, $1,420.00 been received for the appeal for painting and repair of Saint Joseph’s Hall. Please make your gifts payable to Saint Mary’s and mark them for Saint Joseph’s Hall Restoration. Thank you! . . . Attendance last Sunday 147.
MUSIC FOR THE ASSUMPTION . . . Louis Viernes’ Messe Solennelle and the Roger-Ducasse Beata es, Virgo, celebrate both Father Wells’ love of French liturgical music and Saint Mary’s historic connection with that remarkable tradition. Adding to the celebratory theme are renaissance pieces for brass and both the Allegro vivace and Toccata from Widor’s Symphony No. 5, a favorite tour-de-force for organists, one which takes full advantage of the unique colors of our French romantic instrument, truly one of the greatest in the world. NOTE: THE PRELUDE CONCERT WITH BRASS AND ORGAN BEGINS AT 5:30 PM. Andrew Adams
A PILGRIMAGE TO THE “LAND OF THE MORNING CALM” . . . Soon after Solemn Mass on August 15, Amelia Rochester and Father Shin will join a group of 11 high school students and 6 adults at the airport. They will leave for a mission trip to Seoul, Korea for ten days. This is a youth exchange program organized by the Diocese of New York and the Anglican Diocese of Seoul. Next year the Dioceses of Seoul will send a group of teens to visit New York. This is more than a leisurely tour. For a few days the group will join a group of Korean youngsters to help with the final stages of creating a youth camp and retreat center in the Diocese of Seoul. This exchange program was borne out of a partnership relationship between the two dioceses established two years ago. The vision of this partnership is to develop a closer connection between the two dioceses across the Pacific Ocean in the Anglican Communion, and to help each other in specific areas of mission and ministry. The Diocese of New York needs assistance and guidance in its ongoing Korean ministry. The Diocese of Seoul needs help with the further training and education of its clergy and scholars, and with its English-speaking congregation at the Cathedral. Please keep Amelia, Father Shin, and the other group members in your prayers as they travel, learn, and grow in faith.
JOURNEY IN FAITH . . . Our catechumenate program, Journey in Faith, is ready for new participants. The first session will be on October 8. This Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is open to those who wish to be baptized, to be confirmed, to renew Baptismal vows or to join the Episcopal Church from another denomination. The program is also certainly open to anyone who simply wishes to deepen his or her own spirituality. It is not too early to begin thinking and praying about whether this opportunity might be for you. It certainly is not too early to talk to friends and neighbors who might be looking for a new spiritual home or might simply wish to explore questions of faith. Allen Shin
RESTORATION CAMPAIGN . . . The parish office is in the process of updating the pledge and donation records for the capital campaign which paid for the redecoration of the church. We expect to begin mailing statements to all who have given (and for whom we have addresses on file) next week. The data are being entered into the new church computer system. Despite our carefulness, errors are always possible. We want to know if the records are not accurate and we will deeply appreciate your help. (The entire database is in the process of being converted. Pray for us.)
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 6:20 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 Ninth Week after Pentecost
Monday Jonathan Myrick Daniels, seminarian
Eve of the Assumption 6:20 PM
Tuesday The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Friday William Porcher DuBose, priest
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.