A Mother’s Hope
My mother is never more happy than on those rare occasions when her three children are together. This doesn’t happen very often. My mother and stepfather live in Maryland. My sister and her family live in Virginia. My brother lives in Sweden. But when we are together the particular bonds we share are so very apparent. The love and relationship I feel with my sister and brother even when we are apart have become a model to me of the relationship all Christians are born into, through Baptism.
The New Testament speaks of us as brothers and sisters. I think this has tremendous implications for the way we are to live in relationship to one another. And as I write to you on the Feast of the Assumption, I can’t help but think that the Blessed Virgin Mary is never more happy than when she is with her Son, and since we are all members of his body, I can’t help but think that she is very happy when we are in loving relationships with one another and her Son.
For centuries the Church has been all too good at working on relationships between God and individuals. What has gotten lost much too often over the centuries is the relationship of individual Christians to one another. The words of the liturgy and the words of the New Testament do not make sense if the words about our relationship are not true. It simply isn’t normative for members of a Christian community not to know and care for each other or want to speak to each other.
he heart of things. And in Christ – can one repeat Saint Paul’s words too often? – “…in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).
Our parish was founded with a particular sense of the relationship of the Christian community to Christ’s Mother, our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. There is a particular tenderness of the love human mothers have for their children. From the moment her Son told his Mother that the Beloved Disciple was her son and told him that she was his mother (John 19:26-27), the Church has rejoiced in the love Mary has had for all of her children.
It is no accident at all that this congregation was organized on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, December 8, and that its first and its present church buildings were opened on December 8. One of the most promising avenues for ecumenism is the relationship all Christians share through Jesus with Mary. Not only are you and I called to a new level of relationship with each other within our local parish community, but with all our sisters and brothers in Christ. It will make our Lord and our Mother very happy. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Robert and Carl, priest, who are hospitalized, and for David, Robert, George, Eileen, Gloria, Jerri, Myra, Tessie, Marion, Olga, Rick and Charles, priest. Pray for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph, Mark, Ned, David and John. Pray for the repose of the soul of Kirk.
GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 22: 1949 Mattie Myrtle Jones; 1997 Charles Bertram Harmon; August 24: 1959 Mabel Lenora Heyny; August 25: 1983 Arthur Atkinson III; 1990 Eliphal B. Streeter.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Isaiah 56:1-7, Psalm 67, Romans 11:13-15, 29-32, Matthew 15:21-28 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, August 17, by Father Gerth and on Saturday, August 24, by Father Weiler.
NOTES ON MUSIC . . . On Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude will be Prelude on ‘Rockingham’ by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918), and the postlude will be Prelude in C minor, Op. 37, no. 1 by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). The soloist is Miss Michele Kennedy, soprano, and the anthem during Communion is Quia respexit (Magnificat, BWV 243) by J. S. Bach (1685-1750).
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Many thanks to Father Peter Galloway for assisting at the Solemn Mass last Sunday as deacon. Father, it is always a pleasure to have you at Saint Mary’s! . . . The fall music schedule is available at the back table in the church and on the church’s web site . . . A special thanks to those who have contributed toward the restoration of the Mercy Chapel crucifix. The crucifix has been restored and soon will be back in the chapel . . . Many thanks to those who worked so hard to make the Feast of the Assumption so special . . . The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, August 19, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . The Rector will be on vacation from Tuesday, August 20, through Friday, September 7. The Curate and the Assistant will be in town while the Rector is away! . . . Saturday, August 24, is the feast of Saint Bartholomew the Apostle . . . Attendance on Transfiguration 111, attendance last Sunday 178.
PARISH FALL RETREAT: THERE’S STILL SOME ROOM! . . . To date, 23 people are planning to attend the retreat at Mount Saviour Monastery. The Monastery is near Elmira, New York, and is a community of monks who live according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. The community says six daily offices and Mass. More information on the monastery can be found at: www.msaviour.org. The cost for the retreat is $150, which includes all meals and lodging. Those leaving from New York City can coordinate travel together, leaving Saint Mary's on Friday at noon and returning after lunch on Monday. Those interested should see the brochures in the back of the church or contact Penny Byham for more information. Reservations are needed immediately so that adequate space may be set aside. Payment is due in September. Please fill out the reservation form in the brochure and give it to an usher or send an e-mail with the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE THE DATE . . . We are delighted to announce that on Saturday, January 11, 2003, McNeil Robinson, organist and music director at Park Avenue Christian Church and former organist and music director of this parish, will play a recital commemorating the seventieth anniversary of the dedicatory recital of our magnificent organ, Aeolian-Skinner, Opus 891-A. The recital will be at 6:00 PM. More details will be forthcoming. Please save the date!
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Tuesday Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot
Eve of Saint Bartholomew’s Day 6:00 PM
Friday Saint Bartholomew the Apostle Abstinence
Saturday Of Our Lady
The Parish Clergy
The Reverend Stephen Gerth, rector,
The Reverend Matthew Weiler, curate, The Reverend James Ross Smith, assistant,
The Reverend Amilcar Figueroa, The Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, assisting priests,
The Reverend Canon Edgar F. Wells, rector emeritus.