The profile of the Paramount Building in Times Square has recently lost the sky as its background for me and for everyone else who was used to looking at it from the northern end of the square. New York is very much in a building boom right now and even someone who has lived here only one year sees much that was becoming familiar evolving and changing.
Many of you probably saw the PBS documentary on New York. Twice it showed a film taken sometime after the completion of the church building in 1895 and the installation of the crucifix on the façade of the church in 1909. The short film clip showed something of a sweep of buildings along our block of West 46th Street. It seems to have been taken from a building taller than the church just a few blocks south of our block. Already on the eastern edge of our block we are not the only large building. But the western end of our block and the northern part of what we now call Times Square appears to be a New York neighborhood.
We can expect New York and the immediate and wider community we serve to continue to change. I don't think Saint Mary's needs another mission. I am convinced that Father Brown's original descriptions of the mission of this parish remains relevant for ourselves and for the various communities we serve. In an often quoted passage in his Short History Father wrote,
We enter upon this work, not only with the intention of preaching the comfortable Gospel of Christ, and of administering the Holy Sacraments to His people, but also, of restoring to its proper place and importance the Worship of God -- the rendering of Adoration to Him as a congregational and ceremonial act--, (made beautiful, majestic and impressive by all the outward adornments, which are called the Beauty of Holiness, springing from the heart-love, within); but which in later times have been forgotten.
The worship of God is this important because it is the particular way in which the mystery of humankind encounters and unites with the mystery of God. Life is the gift of God himself and our use, service and enjoyment of this gift comes from God's will for our lives and this world. Saint Mary's will continue to be the place where the Body of Christ is honored and adored "in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar" and in the hearts and lives of his People.
PRAYER LIST…Your prayers are asked for Olga who is hospitalized and for Jack, Margaret, Margo, Shirley, Julia, Clara, Daniel, Samuel John, Hannah and Helen and for the repose of the soul of Stuart, bishop . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . January 17: 1967 Letitia Fidelia De Souza; January 17:1998 John Zippler Headley; January 21: 1977 Edward Parker Amos.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . The Right Reverend Stuart James Wetmore, retired bishop suffragan of the Diocese of New York died on December 29, 1999. He served as bishop suffragan from 1960 to 1987. The Requiem Mass was held at Grace Church, Millbrook, on the Epiphany, January 6, 2000. His ashes will be interred at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in March. Pray for Stuart, bishop, his widow, Frances, and for all who mourn.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . John Delves' mother, Olga Delves, has a fracture in her pelvis. She is doing very well and as we go to press she is scheduled to be moved to a rehabilitation unit. Please keep her in your prayers . . . At long last, the painting of the nursery is underway! . . . Another Bishop! We are delighted that our own Vicar Bishop for Manhattan, the Right Reverend Don E. Taylor, will also be with us for Candlemas! . . . Monday, January 17, is Martin Luther King Day and the parish will observe its ordinary federal holiday schedule. The parish office will be closed. There will be one service only, Mass at 12:15 PM . . . Father Shin is at the monastery of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Wednesday evening, January 12, through Saturday afternoon, January 15, for retreat . . . Eighty-one pledges for $139,117 for the 2000 Operating Budget are now in hand . . . The Music Search Committee meets this Sunday following the Solemn Mass . . . The Cursillo Community will hold an Ultreya on Friday, January 21, at 7:00 PM at St. Ignatius Church on West End Avenue at 87th Street. All are welcome . . . Altar flowers are needed for Sunday, January 23. If you would like to donate flowers or to learn about how to do this, please call the parish office. Flowers may be given in thanksgiving for God's blessings. Donations are appropriate for anniversaries and birthdays as well as in memory of the beloved departed . . . Attendance: Epiphany 184, Last Sunday 158.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION THIS WEEK . . . The Rector's Class on "The Liturgical Act" meets on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM in Saint Benedict's Study . . . Father Shin's class, "Journey in
Faith," meets on Sunday following the Solemn Mass from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. (This class is designed for persons who are new to the Christian faith and for persons who want to do an exploration of the foundations of Christian belief and practice.) . . . Father Breidenthal's class on "Householding and Holiness: Christian Ethics and Life Together" meets on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM following the evening Mass.
THE CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD . . . Programs do cost money, but the purpose of charging money for programs is not for SMV to make money but to be able to offer programs that will enrich our life and work together. I believe that we should offer programs for children as well as adults and that we should expect families with children to be as much a part of the common life of this community as any other demographic designation we might wish to use. In order to make a place for children we are renovating our nursery and making provision for the very best catholic Christian formation there is. If you are a member of Saint Mary's and would like to attend one or more sessions of the Catechesis training please speak to me. I want to sign you up. In my last parish most of the people who ended up working in this ministry were not parents of young children but committed members of the congregation who discovered that Christ the Good Shepherd was inviting them to fall in love again in this service. And I never made it clear in my materials that in my last parish where we offered training for this course most members of our own parish attended for free or at half-price, depending on particular circumstances. What is important is that the ministry has leadership and support. I am confident of my ability, of our ability, to raise what is needed for children's ministries and other ministries we choose to develop here at Saint Mary's. Course brochures have been mailed. The first course meeting is on February 5. Come once if you think you might have any interest in this ministry. We will worry about details later. S.G.
EPIPHANY THANK YOUS . . . Many thanks to Ann Sokolowski for being chairman for the Epiphany Parish Supper. It was just great. Ann did a lot of the work ( ! ) but she did have help too. She brought her daughter, Michelle, and her neighbor, Lucy Carrick, to church and put them to work. Jim Dennis was an important part of the team along with Owanah Anderson and Clint Best. Kathy Chase and Barbara Klett stayed late to wash wine glasses. And I am sure there are others who should be thanked too because this kind of effort doesn't happen without the support and participation of many people. To all who helped, thank you for giving us a wonderful evening. S.G.
THE ANNUAL MEETING . . . The Annual Meeting of the congregation of Saint Mary's will be held in Saint Joseph's Hall on Sunday, January 30, 2000, following the Solemn Mass. We expect the meeting to begin at 12:45 PM or shortly thereafter. All reports to the congregation from parish organizations must be in writing and must be submitted to the parish office no later than Monday, January 24, to be included in the report packet which will be distributed at the meeting. The voting members of the congregation, that is, those persons whose letter of membership in the Episcopal Church is at Saint Mary's, who are regular attendants at worship and who are givers of record to the parish in the previous year, will elect the parish's delegate to the diocesan convention to be held Friday evening, June 2, and Saturday, June 3, at the Hudson Valley Resort and Conference Center in Kerhonkson, New York. Brunch will be served during the meeting of the congregation.
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 Third Week after the Epiphany
Monday Antony, Abbot (Federal Holiday. One Mass only at 12:15 PM.)
Tuesday Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle
Wednesday Wulfstan, Bishop
Thursday Fabian, Bishop & Martyr
Friday Agnes, Martyr
Saturday Vincent, Deacon & Martyr
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.