FROM THE RECTOR: A DIFFERENT VISION
Saint Mary’s was organized with a particular purpose and vision. The founding rector, the Reverend Thomas McKee Brown, wrote a short history for the cornerstone of the first church, which was laid on April 6, 1868, just east of what was then Longacre Square, at 228 West 45th Street—two pictures of this church are now on display in Saint Joseph’s Hall. These two paragraphs are worth quoting in full:
The designs are worthy of the Architect, well pleasing to the Trustees of the Church, and when executed will be an ornament to the city, and we all pray, a useful means and blessing to the neighborhood—and honor to the Name and Glory of Almighty God.
The Rev. Flavel Scott Mines, is to be the Associated Priest in Church, with the Revd. Mr. Brown, who enter upon the work, not only with the intention of preaching the comfortable Gospel of Christ, and of ministering the Holy Sacraments to His people, but also, of restoring to its proper place and importance the Worship of God—the rendering 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. (Newbury Frost Read, The Story of St. Mary’s [New York, 1931], 17).
The first lay and clergy leaders of the parish were very much a part of the emerging “Anglo-Catholic” movement. The term “Anglo-Catholic” was first used in 1841 in the title of a series of books published in Oxford, The Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology. Since its founding, Saint Mary’s has been part of the broad stream of what was also called, “Catholic Churchmanship.” One might ask, “What does “Anglo-Catholic” mean for Saint Mary’s today?” My own answer would begin, but not end, with us being a parish church where the doors are open to all seven days a week and the regular services of the Church are offered daily.
It is worth noting that the first volume of The Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology begins with Christmas Day sermons by Lancelot Andrews (1555-1626). Andrewes was one of the great preachers of his day and was able to teach and to help move men and women closer to God—in these sermons he did so by showing how close God was to them. I believe our presence, our ministries and our worship in this place derive their meaning from this conviction about Christ dwelling among us. It’s not about the ceremony and what happens at the altar; it’s about Christ’s Body, how it is born, nurtured, and cared for.
This Sunday, May 6, the annual meeting of the congregation will be held following the Solemn Mass in Saint Joseph’s Hall. Reports on our ministries will be given. Two delegates and two alternate delegates to the diocesan convention will be elected. On the first Sunday in May, before the final hymn of the Solemn Mass there are stational prayers at the Shrine of Our Lady—May is the month of Mary in Western tradition. It’s a happy day to celebrate God’s love for us in this place. I hope very much you may be able to be here—and if not, wherever you are on Sunday, to pray for this work and witness with thanksgiving. Stephen Gerth
THE BISHOP OF NEW YORK, the Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk, announced on Tuesday, May 1, that he will retire on February 2, 2013. The Right Reverend Andrew M.L. Dietsche, bishop coadjutor, will become bishop of the diocese and will be installed that Saturday at the cathedral. There will be opportunities to express our thanks for his ministry to this parish, to our diocese, and to the wider Church. The leadership and support of our bishops has been so important to the life of this parish since its beginning. We can be thankful and proud of the work they have done in the past and, by God’s grace, we look forward to the new work that he will call us to through our new bishop. S.G.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Pearl, Joseph, Jan, Andrew, Jananie, George, James, Al, Gail, Helen, Joyce, Wayne, Betty, Gerald, Arpene, Sharon, Chandra, and Dorothy; for Patrick, who is gravely ill; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Elizabeth, Nicholas, and Matthew . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 6: 1879 James Paul; 1899 Hester Ashbury and Alice Traubman; 1921 William Henry Sutton; 1924 Henry William Lein; 1938 Charlotte Dobbin; 1991 Elmer Lee Hennig.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . The Adult Forum will meet on Sunday, May 6, at 10:00 AM, in the Mission House. Father Jay Smith will resume his series, “What Do Episcopalians Believe?” . . . The Annual Meeting of the Congregation follows the Solemn Mass on Sunday, May 6 . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will meet on May 9 at 6:30 PM in the Mission House after Evening Prayer. The class will not meet on May 16 . . . Father Stephen Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, May 5. Father Jay Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, May 12.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . The Right Reverend Richard F. Grein, XIV Bishop of New York, will preach at the Solemn Mass on Ascension Day . . . The Rector will be away from the parish from Monday, May 7. He returns to the rectory on Saturday, May 12 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 241.
GIFTS FOR ASCENSION DAY HOSPITALITY AND FLOWERS are needed. Depending on the type of foods that are ordered, hors d'oeuvres for receptions on the greater festivals generally cost between $400 and 500 dollars, beverages about $250. Flowers for the church are ordered and prepared by the volunteer members of the Flower Guild. A donation of $200 is asked. You may contact the finance office, the rector or the curate if you have questions about these ministries or to make a donation. Thank you!
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude before the Solemn Mass is Andante in F, KV 616, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). The Vidi aquam is performed to a setting by Joseph Gruber (1855-1937). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Missa brevis C–dur, KV 220 (“Spatzenmesse”) by Mozart. The Mass takes its nickname, “Sparrow Mass,” from the “chirping” musical figure heard at the opening of the Hosanna in excelsis sections of the Sanctus and Benedictus. At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the motet Laudate Dominum from Vesperae solennes de confessore, KV 339, by Mozart, with its famously elegant solo for soprano voice . . . Please join us on Sunday evening at 5:00 PM for Solemn Evensong & Benediction. The service is preceded by a recital at 4:40 PM, performed by Michael Hey, The Juilliard School, New York, New York. The preacher at Evensong is the Reverend Stephen Gerth. The final service of Evensong during the current academic year will take place on Trinity Sunday, June 3. James Kennerley
MARK YOUR CALENDAR . . . Wednesday, May 16, Eve of Ascension Day, Solemn Evensong 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, May 17, Ascension Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Noonday Prayer 12:00 PM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Mass 6:00 PM . . . Monday, May 28, Memorial Day. The parish will observe its federal holiday schedule.
AIDS WALK 2012 . . . The Saint Mary’s AIDS Walk team is in action again, our seventh year in a row, walking in the 27th AIDS Walk New York on Sunday, May 20. Our team will raise money, and most of us will walk on Saturday, May 19, in order to be in church the following day. We are small but successful: in 2011, there were only 10 of us, we raised over $16,000, and we ranked 32 among 3,641 teams in the Walk! We need your help to do even better this year. Join our team or contribute to our team by clicking here. To join, click on “Join our Team.” To contribute, in the Team Members box next to our picture, click on “General Team Donation” (if you prefer to write a check made out to AWNY, you can give it to Father Smith or to MaryJane Boland). Team members raise money from their friends and colleagues. Ask questions of our team by e-mailing the team leader MaryJane Boland or speak to her or Father Smith on Sunday. The date of the Walk is fast approaching and we still have a ways to go to meet our goal. We invite all members and friends of the parish to support this ministry and to be generous. Every donation counts and helps us to meet our goal!
SUNDAY ADULT FORUM . . . On May 6, 20, and 27, Father Jay Smith will continue his series, “What Do Episcopalians Believe?” The class will not meet on Sunday, May 13.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY CLASS . . . The class, which is reading the Letter to the Hebrews will meet on May 9 and 23 at 6:30 PM. The class will not meet on Wednesday, May 16. On May 23, the final class of the 2011-2012 academic year, the members of the class will share a potluck supper. All are invited to join us for these final classes—and for the potluck! Jay Smith
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We continue to collect non-perishable food items for the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Please consider making a regular donation to the Food Pantry. Look for the basket in the back of the church or in Saint Joseph’s Hall. You may make a cash donation as well. If you would like more information about how the Food Pantry works or if you would like to volunteer, please speak to Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., or Father Smith . . . Father Smith resumes his Book Sale on Sunday. All proceeds are used to benefit the Food Pantry and others who are in need.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . Illuminated: The Art of Sacred Books. April 6–September 3, 2012. At the Rubin Museum, 150 W. 17th Street, New York, NY 1001. Phone: 212.620.5000. “[This exhibition] explores the aesthetic and technological approaches used in creating and adorning sacred books from a variety of cultures [while] presenting Tibetan sacred books in a broad cross-cultural context. Among featured objects are several never before displayed illuminated Tibetan manuscript pages and complete books dating as early as the thirteenth century written in gold and silver on dark blue and black paper of various sizes in the traditional Tibetan book format.”