This Sunday is the Lenten "refreshment" Sunday. Its name "Laetare" comes from the first word in Latin of the traditional entrance song for the day. The text is beautiful in Latin and in English:
Laetare Ierusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. Laetatus sum in his quae dicta sung mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.
Rejoice, O Jerusalem; and gather round, all you who love her; rejoice in gladness, after having been in sorrow; exult and be replenished with the consolation flowing from her motherly bosom. I rejoiced when it was said unto me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord."
The outward signs in the liturgy will suggest to us that the Easter Triduum is near: rose vestments, flowers on the altar, the playing of the organ for more than to support singing. These are signs, not substance. I want to remind you that at the heart of this Sunday is the love of Jerusalem. Despite what Luke says, the City of David is not Bethlehem but Jerusalem. The city beloved by God, by Jesus, above all others. And it is a New Jerusalem that is given to us in the Revelation to John as the image of the eternal heaven where the saints dwell forever in the light of the Lord. "Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and gather round, all you who love her."
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Arthur, priest, who is hospitalized and for Jack, Nolan, Harold, Olga, Carl, Harold, Frank, Eleanor, John, Barbara, Roy, Peter, John, Jonathan, Bill, Melanie, Joe, Elwyn, Shirlah, Joyce, Kerstin, Daisy, Naomi, Madelyn, May, Rodney, priest, and Charles, priest . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . March 26: 1966 Frances Duckworth Young, March 29: 1964 Robert Edward Cerra, 1997: Brice Linville, March 30: 1968 Mabel Helen Arends.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Joshua 4:19-24; 5:9-12, Psalm 34:1-8, Luke 15:11-32 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, March 24 by Father Garrison and on March 31 by Father Shin.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Please Remember: Stations of the Cross and Eucharistic Benediction this Friday at Saint Mary’s at 7:00 PM . . . As we go to press, Father Arthur Wolsoncroft is having surgery today at New York Hospital. He is not expected to be in longer than overnight. Please keep him in your prayers . . . Many thanks to the people who helped to make the reception for new and prospective members at the rectory last week such a success: John Beddingfield, Jon Bryant, John Delves, Jim Dennis, Barbara Klett, Ann Sokolowski and Robert VanVleet. It was a wonderful evening. Slowly but surely Saint Mary's is growing! . . . New computer hardware and software have arrived. Cable modem access for the church offices has been installed and the Rector is hopeful that very soon the parish staff will be online . . . The Music Search Committee has completed its work. The Rector expects to be able to announce an appointment in the near future . . . Attendance last Sunday 203.
SUMMARY OF MARCH 19, 2001, BOARD MEETING . . . At its March 2001 meeting, the Board of Trustees: 1. Endorsed a recommendation of the Mission House Committee (Mr. Gerald McKelvey, Chair, Mr. Robin Landis, and Mr. Michael Merenda) to the Rector to extend for one year the agreement for SafeSpace to use the Mission House for its program for homeless adolescents. The current agreement expires on May 31, 2001, and the recommendation is to extend it until May 31, 2002, to allow SafeSpace to find and renovate new space for its program. 2. Learned that new computers have arrived for the parish complex and offices. 3. Heard that four finalists for the position of Music Director will have auditions in the Church this week, with each of them playing the organ and conducting a group of singers. 4. Heard that a large number of people came in to the Church to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. On Good Friday there will be two separate liturgical services, one at 12:30 PM and the other at 6:00 PM, the second to accommodate people who have to work during the day. 5. Learned that an individual is being considered for the position of Building Manager for the parish complex, and that another person is being considered for a part-time position to assist with the parish database. 6. Learned that we will engage a consultant who will help us with decisions about the use of our buildings. 7. Learned that the Restoration Campaign has entered its final phase. At the end of March, statements will be sent to all people who pledged to this campaign.
AT THE THRESHOLD OF NEW LIFE . . . On Saturday, April 7, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Dr. Ryan Lesh will discuss the process of dying from medical and spiritual perspectives with reference to how different cultures define death. The discussion will also reflect on the Paschal Mystery and how Christians view death and life.
Our Mission House
At its meeting on Monday, March 19, 2001, the Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the Mission House Committee, approved a proposal to offer to allow SafeSpace to remain in occupancy of the Mission House until May 31, 2002, on the condition that SafeSpace provides acceptable assurances that it will move out by that date.
While this proposal, if accepted by Safespace, puts the parish’s future at risk, the Trustees made this offer out of concern for the clients of SafeSpace, a concern arising out of the failure of SafeSpace itself to provide for the future of the program.
As a result of this proposal, SafeSpace will have had two years to find a new home, having had notice from the Trustees on June 20, 2000, that there would be no new lease when the current lease expires.
Saint Mary's has fulfilled its agreement with SafeSpace which provided it for ten years, essentially rent-free, over 8500 square feet of space in the heart of Manhattan to carry out its mission. We are distressed that SafeSpace is unwilling to fulfill its part of this agreement. Despite the planning failures of SafeSpace’s management and their attempt to blame us for them, we have made this offer out of our concern for their clients. We hope that our offer will lead to an amicable resolution of the issue.
Stephen Gerth, president
Barbara Klett, treasurer
James Dennis, vice-president
Leroy Sharer, secretary
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Fourth Sunday in Lent
Monday The Annunciation of Our Lord
Procession & Solemn Mass 6:00 PM
Tuesday Weekday of Lent
Wednesday Weekday of Lent
Thursday Weekday of Lent
Friday Weekday of Lent
Stations of the Cross & Benediction at St. Mary's 7:00 PM
Saturday Weekday of Lent
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.