From Father Shin: Pilgrimage to the Land of Morning Calm
Still high from the smells and bells of the Assumption Mass and barely having said our good-byes, Amelia Rochester-Nagy and I left the church in a frenzy, got into a limo, and went straight to John F. Kennedy airport. The limo ride was just long enough to calm us down, for we were about to take a “trip of our lives.” We were headed to Seoul, Korea.
Whenever I travel out of country, I feel as if it’s all a dream. The feeling of being displaced not only from familiar physical surroundings but also the move out of a familiar temporal reality helps make the whole experience surreal. Maybe it’s due to the fifteen-hour flight across a continent, over an ocean and then suddenly landing in an unfamiliar place. Reality breaks in, nonetheless: the constant cry of a baby nearby and the airplane seat’s discomfort, molding my body into the shape of a cooked shrimp.
Jet-lagged and tired from the long flight, we arrived in Seoul on Thursday morning. It was hot and muggy, the temperature in the 90’s. But the hospitality that our group of twelve American teenagers and seven adults received soon made us forget about the heat and the insecurity of the new environment. This was hospitality beyond our expectations. The kids were taken in by different
families and stayed in homes for the first few days. A common reaction from the American kids was, “Wow, they spent a lot of money on us!”
Leaving the host families, the next few days were spent at a camp with Korean youth. There we spent a day working at a retreat center by putting up a stone wall and a signpost for the center. Sweating next to each other, side-by-side, moving rocks and lumber, and completing such a tangible project brought everyone closer together. The participants’ names were engraved on the signpost for posterity. Our time together, basketball games in the mud and a bonfire at night all worked to bring the young people to truly experience what it means to be one in Christ. Long distances dissolved into a common faith and joy.
The youth also shared with each other a common Anglican heritage. They worshipped at the Cathedral in Seoul. They visited Kang-Hwa Island off the western coast, where the Anglican missionaries first began their evangelization. The first Anglican mission church on the island was built not in western style but in the traditional Korean architectural style, yet incorporating all the important Anglo-Catholic elements. The first Anglican missionaries to Korea were products of the Oxford movement, and this heritage is seen today in that the Anglican Church in Korea remains largely an Anglo-Catholic province.
After work and worship, we were also taken to tour various historical and cultural sights. And of course we shared another great commonality on the very last day: we went shopping to our hearts’ content. I was impressed that the American youth did pretty well with Korean food-- bravely and eagerly trying various foods, including the infamously hot kimchi. Occasional excursions to McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, I am sure, rounded out the transcontinental cuisine.
“The Land of Morning Calm” seems hardly an appropriate nickname for Seoul, since the whole city feels like one gigantic Times Square. Half the population of Korea lives in or near the city of Seoul. With high-rise buildings and out-of-control traffic of cars and people, one really has to go out of one’s way to find any sense of calm. We did find calm, although only briefly, and that at the camp in the countryside. I think everyone was impressed and surprised by the reality that Korea is not an underdeveloped country and that people’s lives in Korea bear little difference from our lives in the United States.
This pilgrimage was a project forged two years ago from a mission partnership between the Diocese of New York and that of Seoul. It was a timely development, in that it coincided with the Lambeth Conference. These partnerships are important for Anglican Communion, in that we lack the worldwide structure of the Roman Church or the evangelical fervor and interconnectedness of the Protestant Churches. Without exposure to one another, we can lose a sense of the global church and fail to experience true communion. More and more I am surprised and impressed by how much we share and have in common with Anglicans worldwide despite differences in culture and language. Next year a group of Korean youth will visit New York and Saint Mary’s. I hope you will look forward with me to reciprocating with the same hospitality and warm reception that our youth received in the Diocese of Seoul.
There is always so much to reflect upon and talk about after such an intense and compacted trip. The stories will continue to be told, and I’m sure that Amelia has her own stories and reflections, for her experience was certainly slightly different from my own. Returning by way of another long, fifteen-hour flight, we were glad to be back home-- if not for the old grind, at least for the comfort of our own beds. Thank you for your prayers and the other ways in which you showed your encouragement and support. Allen Shin
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Adaline who was born on September 6, for Ann who is to have surgery and for Olga, Helen, Shirley, Dawn, Mary, Lucille, Frances, Eleanor, Carl, Harold, Frank, Deborah, Eleanor, Stephen, Nettie and Allen.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 35:4-7a, Psalm 146, James 1:17-27, Mark 7:31-37 . . . 9:00 AM Celebrant & Preacher: Father Breidenthal, 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 September 9 by Father Shin . . . Confessions will be heard on September 16 by Father Gerth.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Reminder: On Friday, September 15, the 20s & 30s group are invited to a Shabbat service at the Brotherhood Synagogue. Please speak with Father Shin for details . . . On Sunday, September 10 the ushers will have a luncheon meeting at 1:00 PM . . . The next session of the Catechists Formation Course for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will be on Saturday, September 16 . . . Robert Eikel is rowing in the 2000 I-Lan collegiate regatta in I-Lan, Taiwan against teams from Germany, England, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States . . . Philip Burgess has resigned as a trustee of the parish . . . As we go to press, $12,375.50 has been received for the restoration of Saint Joseph's Hall. We think at least $20,000.00 will be needed to do a first rate paint job and to provide for modest decoration . . . If you can spare three to four hours a week on Thursday’s to help with the folding, posting and mail labeling of our weekly newspaper the Angelus, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the parish office at 869-5830. Also volunteers are needed to fold and staple the Sunday bulletins which are usually done on Friday evening or Saturday . . . There is a picture of Christopher Kamm's promotion to corporal (downloaded from an e-mail to Father Gerth) on the bulletin board in Saint Joseph's Hall. Chris is in the Marine Corps and is stationed in Japan . . . Our catechumenal formation program, Journey in Faith, begins on October 8. Look for the brochure at church or speak with Father Shin if you are interested . . . Attendance last Sunday 167.
NOTES ON CLERGY AND SEMINARIANS . . . The parish rejoices with our seminarian, Richard Lawson, and with Katherine Lawson upon the birth of their daughter, Adaline Elizabeth, on September 6. Mother and daughter are fine . . . We will be welcoming Jennifer Reddall as a new seminarian this fall. Jenni is from the Diocese of Los Angeles and is in her second year of seminary. Welcome Jenni! . . . Father J. Barrington “Barrie” Bates will be joining us as an Assisting Priest. Father Bates is a doctoral student at the General Seminary . . . Father Figueroa is back in New York to teach and he is back at Saint Mary's. Father was in Puerto Rico during July and August.
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 Thirteenth Week after Pentecost
Tuesday John Henry Hobart, bishop
Wednesday Cyprian, bishop & martyr, & Eve of Holy Cross Day
Thursday Holy Cross Day
Procession & Solemn Mass 6:00 PM
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Saturday Ninian, bishop
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, The Reverend J. Barrington Bates, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.