FROM THE RECTOR: MORE SUMMER AT SAINT MARY’S
Grieg Taber was rector of Saint Mary’s from 1939 to 1964. It was a great era for New York and for Saint Mary’s. Father Taber was a widely known preacher and confessor in the Episcopal Church. One can follow his work in the parish newsletter, AVE, that was published monthly during his tenure except for the summer issue. That issue covered July, August and September. In those days each of the priests—there were always three—took one month off. (It sounds like a lot, unless you know what their schedule for the rest of the year was like.) There were slightly fewer services in the summer months in those days, but no one would describe that schedule as “light.” It did reflect the reality of how people live in New York. I didn’t appreciate until I moved here in 1999 that summer really does begin in New York in late June and end in late September.
Summer is a time when lots of people are away. That said, it is also a time for a great deal of work for the coming academic year at the parish. Christian Education, music, and preaching schedules, to name three things, need to be set. A number of cleaning and maintenance projects are always undertaken. All of the work is scheduled around staff vacations. To me, it doesn’t feel like a slow season. I learned my first summer in New York that if you don’t work as hard in the summer as the rest of the year, you will never catch up once the fall arrives.
Father Jay Smith has just about finished the Christian Education schedule through Lent. James Kennerley is working on the music list for the year. I’ve got the fall preaching schedule almost complete—two slots left to fill. I’ve been in touch with Bishop Frank Griswold who will be with us for the Solemn Mass on All Saints’ Day—and with some potential guests for some of the greater festivals in 2013. Deacon Mary Jett will be ordained priest here on October 3. She’s been helping with many projects—including the sorting of books from the old parish library. Before I leave for a week of vacation at the beginning of September, she and I will get at least the first six months of the 2013 liturgical calendar up on the web.
The Stewardship Committee has begun work on the Campaign for 2013. We are ready to have our architects for the conservation of the façade begin their work. Steven Heffner, Thomas Jayne, Robin Landis and I have been meeting with a development officer to help us organize for more than just a capital campaign. Until the great recession began in 2008, the budget was on course to be balanced. We sense the time is right to re-evaluate that goal and get back on track.
Recently, New York City has had a number of days and nights when the humidity and temperature have been very moderate—really nice summer days. I love all of the doors of the church being open this time of year and beckoning passersby to come in. I really enjoy summer days when the windows can be open in the rectory day and night—even the somewhat-less-than-fresh air and sounds of midtown Manhattan can make me feel as if I’m on holiday even when I am working there in my study. (Many may not know that mounted police still “park” their horses in the basement of the parking garage immediately opposite the rectory. Oddly enough, even though I live in the middle of the city, I’ve grown accustomed to hearing the sounds of horses when the rectory windows are open.)
I am still basking in the glow of our wonderful celebration for the Assumption of Mary on August 15. It’s an evening when the liturgy and music seem especially grace-filled—and I think many of us sensed that this year. My colleagues and I were able to greet many friends of the parish who were able to be with us. It was great to learn of the joys many people have had since we saw them last. There have been sicknesses, deaths and births of course—and one can’t honestly avoid the reality of learning of joblessness that continues to impact the lives of so many members of our local and wider community.
As September begins, it will slowly feel busier at Saint Mary’s. This year there are three Friday nights when we will have Sung Masses at 6:00 PM—September 7, Eve of the Nativity of Mary; September 14, Holy Cross Day; and September 28, Eve of Saint Michael and All Angels. The fall season for us starts with the return of the parish choir on Sunday, October 7. All of this is to say that the fall will be upon us soon enough and there are still many days and weeks of this season to enjoy the providence of God’s love for us. Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Jananie, Noël, Ilia, Sharon, Chandra, Linda, Phillip, Ben, Autumn, Sandor, Elise, Janet, Rita, Robert, Janice, Casey, Angeline, George, Anna, Barbara, Joseph, Arpene, Joyce, and Panteleimon, priest and religious; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Elizabeth, Nicholas, and Matthew; and for the repose of the soul of Dorothy Awe . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . August 26: 1898 Nathan Hatfield Carswell;1916 William H. Fiske, Pauline Ashfield Bunker; 1952 John Cole McKim, priest; 1956 Edmund Porteous.
A SPECIAL PRAYER REQUEST . . . Brother Emil Denworth, F.M.S. asks that we keep the Marist brothers who continue to live and work in Syria, often near the front lines of the conflict, in our prayers which we gladly do.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Dorothy Awe, the mother of parishioner Rick Awe, died on Thursday, August 16, after a long illness. Please keep Dorothy, Rick and their family, and all who grieve in your prayers.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Friday, August 24, Saint Bartholomew the Apostle, Mass at 12:10 PM & 6:20 PM . . . Father Stephen Gerth will hear confessions on Saturday, August 25. Father Jim Pace will hear confessions on Saturday, September 1. If you do not see a priest in the church at the appointed times for confession, please speak to the sexton on duty and he will call the priest on duty; or you may call the parish office ahead of time to make an appointment.
HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We are hoping to receive donations for the reception on November 1, All Saints’ Day. Please contact the parish office. We are also happy to receive donations to support our hospitality efforts on Sundays! Thank you to all who have made contributions to this very important ministry!
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Jananie Nair and her daughter Noël are now at home and are doing well. Bob Picken and Rita Johnson continue to recuperate at home following surgery. George Taitt is undergoing rehabilitation therapy and expects to return home in early September. Gerald McKelvey is continuing to do physical therapy while living at his home in Upstate New York. Please keep our fellow parishioners in your prayers . . . Special words of thanks to Sr. Laura Katherine, Deacon Jett and Wayne Mahlke for cleaning the high altar on August 14. You can see them in action on the parish Facebook page . . . Donations are needed for altar flowers for the following days: Sunday, October 28; All Saints’ Day, November 1; and the following Sundays, November 11, 18, and 25. If you would like to donate flowers on one of those dates, please contact the parish office . . . Father Gerth will be on vacation and away from the parish, September 1 through September 8. He returns to the parish on Sunday, September 9 . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 191.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude before the Solemn Mass is Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 731, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750). The cantor is Paul Hopper, baritone. At the ministration of Communion, the musicians sing the motet Hilf mir, Gott (“Save me, O God”) by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767). Telemann, who is often said to be the most prolific composer in history, was a contemporary of, among others, Handel, Bach and Vivaldi, and was the most renowned of those individuals during his lifetime. He held several important positions, culminating in that of music director at the five largest churches in Hamburg (1720–1767). He composed several canons for equal voices, where each voice part sings identical material, only one starts after the other. I will improvise a verset (a short passage of organ music, in the style of Telemann) as a centerpiece to the two sung sections. James Kennerley
THE ORDINATION OF A PRIEST . . . The Board of Trustees, at its meeting on Monday, August 20, voted unanimously to call the Reverend Mary Julia Jett to serve as an assisting priest here at Saint Mary’s following her ordination. The ordination will take place on Wednesday, October 3, at 6:00 PM. The Right Reverend C. Franklin Brookhart, bishop of Montana, will be celebrant. The Reverend Canon John G.B. Andrew, OBE, DD, rector emeritus, Saint Thomas Church, New York City, is the preacher.
A CALL FOR DONATIONS . . . The Inpatient Detoxification Program at St. Luke's Hospital is always in need of Bibles (editions with both the Old and the New Testaments), new basic personal items (especially t-shirts, socks, and small backpacks or totes), and ink pens for journaling (bank pens, hotel pens, all are fine). If you are willing and able to help, a box will be available in St. Joseph's Hall on Sunday mornings. If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Mary Jett at email@example.com.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We are beginning now to gather toys and other gift items for children of all ages. They will be donated in November to the New York Foundling Hospital and AIDS Action International. Donations can be left, with a note on them explaining what they are for, in the parish kitchen or you may give the items to Father Jay Smith . . . We are also receiving donations of small- or medium-sized luggage to be used by children in foster care. The luggage is given to the Foundling Hospital. Please speak to Father Smith . . . 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 contact Sister Deborah Francis, C.S.J.B., or Father Jay Smith.
HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE . . . Father Matthew Mead, rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Granite Springs—who served here as curate from 2004 to 2009—will be leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land June 28 to July 8, 2013. The pilgrimage is open to anyone, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the Holy Land with a great group of Episcopalians. Please feel free to contact Father Mead at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be information about the pilgrimage on the table in Saint Joseph’s Hall on Sunday morning.