FROM FATHER SMITH: ANOTHER STORM & ANOTHER UPDATE
In last week’s edition of The Angelus, Father Gerth gave a report on the state of things here at the parish, in our neighborhood and city, and in the surrounding communities, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. As the rector noted last week, New Yorkers and their neighbors and friends have had to assess how things are going on a day-to-day basis as the situation becomes clearer and more accurate information becomes available. E-mail, the Internet, and the social media have proven to be very helpful supplements to the more traditional media, at least for those of us lucky enough to have access to electrical power and functioning electronic devices. (Indeed, the hurricane and its aftermath made our dependence upon electrical power all too clear; one hopes that post-hurricane assessments of the metropolitan area’s infrastructure will recommend prompt, thorough, and creative improvements in this area.)
As I write, on the morning of Thursday, November 8, 2012, our area has experienced yet another storm, this time a nor’easter. The storm brought snow to Midtown on Wednesday, beginning around mid-afternoon. I suspect that in other circumstances a snowstorm like yesterday’s would have been noteworthy but, for the most part, endurable and somewhat routine. However, with the city’s transportation system still not functioning at 100%, and many in our area still displaced by the hurricane or living without heat or electrical power, the arrival of this new storm was not welcome news. Still, the parish offices stayed open for business throughout the day; all the services were offered; and the storm had no negative impact on our building complex, as far as we can tell. I did think it best to cancel the Wednesday Night Bible Study Class. Since some of the members of the class travel to Saint Mary’s by subway, it seemed prudent to do so. It turns out that there were disruptions on several subway lines during the evening, so I am glad that we made that decision. I have not as yet received any reports from our members or friends of any serious disruptions or ill effects due to this latest “weather event.”
We have, however, received reports from many people during the past week, telling us of the serious impact of Hurricane Sandy on their lives, homes, routines, and communities. A number of parishioners, former staff members, and friends of the parish, who live in New Jersey, Westchester County, on Long Island, or in the city’s low-lying areas lost power for many days. One good friend of the parish took a bad fall on the darkened streets of his Brooklyn neighborhood in the first hours of the storm. He continues to recover. There has been some loss of income due to lost work days. We continue to hear about lengthy travel times, when travel has been possible, as well as gasoline shortages, unheated homes, fallen trees, and damage to homes and other property. We have not received reports of serious injuries or deaths in our wider parish family and for that we give thanks. We continue to pray daily for all those who have been affected adversely by the storm.
It is clear now that the impact of the storm on our area has been significant and it seems likely that the recovery process will be protracted. The issue of housing for those whose homes have been destroyed will surely be one of the most pressing issues that New Yorkers will have to deal with in the coming months. Nevertheless, many Saint Marians have already joined their neighbors in responding to those in need with great generosity, volunteering to distribute food and other supplies and providing shelter and hospitality to those whose homes were damaged or without power.
The Diocese of New York has responded quickly, trying to address a variety of questions and requests for information and assistance. The diocesan communications effort, which has been led by Father Stephen Harding, Diocesan Disaster Response Coordinator, has been helpful. Father Harding has been posting a “Post-Sandy Update” most days on the diocesan website. (Go to the link in the upper-right-hand corner of the website’s homepage.) All the updates have been archived. Those who wish to volunteer are being directed to Ms. Kari Morris. For those who use Facebook, the diocese has created a Facebook page that gives information about volunteering. Yesterday’s update included a link to a New York City website that provides information about opportunities to volunteer and to make donations to aid in the relief effort. Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) continues to receive donations to help in that effort. The diocese is recommending that those who wish to volunteer should contact an “appropriate relief agency.” The names of such agencies are available via the links listed above. The list of volunteer needs and opportunities, organized by neighborhood, is also available here.
We will be collecting non-perishable food items for delivery to affected neighborhoods during the next couple of weeks. Pick-up and delivery are being organized by the Diocese of New York. We encourage all Saint Marians to make an extra effort to bring food items with them on Sunday morning and place them in the basket near the ushers’ table near the 46th Street entrance to the church. Thank you for your generosity.
For those interested in receiving aid following the hurricane, ERD has posted information about receiving assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Mother Julia Jett is also gathering information about getting assistance.
At Mass on Sunday we will read Mark 12:38-44, the story of the widow who puts two copper coins into the temple treasury. We will hear Jesus say, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.” This text is timely and, I think, a useful one for us. I suspect that we will have many opportunities in the coming months to pray about, and try to discern, what it might mean for us to give, not only out of our abundance, but also out of our poverty. James Ross Smith
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Cheryl, John, Dakota, Kristi, Tim, Charlotte, Daniel, Emil, Richard, Joseph, David, Harriet, Sharon, Linda, Arpene, John, priest, and Rowan, priest; and for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Elizabeth, Nicholas, and Matthew; and for the repose of the souls of Lawrence G. Taylor, Robert Castle, priest, and Martin Boler, OSB, priest & religious . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . November 11: 1887 Andrew Charity Garrison; 1895 William Hargraves McFarlan; 1902 Mary Ann Chapin; 1905 Kathleen Rosenbaum; 1911 Anne Baxter; 1912 Jeffery Gretta Kerwin and Mary Curtin; 1975 Elizabeth Brookes; 1980 Ruth Pim; 1982 Edna Pugley.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Lawrence G. Taylor, the stepfather of parishioner Dakota Manuel, died on Saturday, November 3. Please keep Lawrence, Dakota, his family and friends, and all who mourn in your prayers . . . Father Martin Boler, OSB, died on Wednesday, November 7, after a long illness. Father Martin was a Roman Catholic Benedictine monk. He was the prior of Mount Saviour Monastery, Pine City, New York, from October 1969 until June 2008. Saint Mary’s has held a number of parish retreats at Mount Saviour over the years and Father Martin was well known to many Saint Marians, who held him in very high esteem. He was calm, wise, and deeply pastoral. He was infused with an ecumenical spirit. He always welcomed Episcopalians to the monastery quietly, unostentatiously, and warmly. He was a very good monk. Please keep him, his brothers, and his family and friends 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.
ADVENT QUIET DAY . . . Father Jim Pace will lead a Quiet Day here at the parish on Saturday, December 15, 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Coffee and tea and lunch will be provided. If you’d like to attend, please contact Father Jay Smith so he can make plans for lunch. All are welcome.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Sunday, November 11, 10:00 AM: Father Peter Powell leads the second part of his three-part series on Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study class meets on November 14 at 6:30 PM . . . Saturday, November 17, Diocesan Convention, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine (registration begins at 10:00 AM; the Convention Eucharist begins at 11:00 AM) . . . Father Jay Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, November 10. Mother Mary Julia Jett will hear confessions on Saturday, November 17.
PARISH REQUIEMS . . . At the Parish Requiem Masses the prayers will be offered for the departed by the last name of the person making the request, according to the following schedule: Thursday, November 8, Mass at 12:10 PM & 6:20 PM (Last Names N-R); Friday, November 9, Mass at 12:10 PM & 6:20 PM (Last Names S-Z). Donations to our annual All Souls’ Day Appeal are still being accepted with gratitude.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . On All Saints’ Day, Thursday, November 1, Ryoka Clare Aoki and Noël Shreeya Ramona Ford received the Sacrament of Baptism; Timothy Antoine Zimmerman received the Sacrament of Confirmation; and Mark Borghetti was received into the Episcopal Church. Tim is a former employee of the parish and a member of the Church of Saint Edward the Martyr, Manhattan. Congratulations to him and also to Ryoka, Noël, and Mark, the newest members of the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin. Please keep them and their families and sponsors in your prayers . . . We have received a Letter of Transfer for Shirley and Jay Swardenski. We are very happy that they have decided to join the parish. If you have not done so already, please introduce yourselves to them and welcome them to Saint Mary’s . . . Thank you to all those who worked so hard during a particularly difficult week, allowing us to celebrate All Saint’s Day and All Souls’ Day as planned. We are grateful to the altar servers, ushers, and musicians; to those who funded, organized and provided hospitality for the reception after the Solemn Mass on November 1; and to the sextons and the other members of the staff and our volunteers. We are particularly grateful to Bishop Frank Griswold, who was our celebrant and preacher at the Solemn Mass on All Saints’ Day . . . The exhibition of the work of Erick Sánchez,
Genesis: Creation and Decadence, continues in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Flowers are needed for Sunday, November 18; for December 16, the Third Sunday of Advent; and for January 6, 13, and 20. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Aaron Koch . . . The Rector will be away from the parish from Tuesday, November 6. He returns to the office on Wednesday, November 14 . . . Attendance: All Saints’ Day 278; All Souls’ Day 128; Last Sunday 221.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The prelude before the Solemn Mass on Sunday is the Prelude from Prelude, Scherzo and Passacaglia, Opus 41, by Kenneth Leighton (1929–1988). The setting of the Mass ordinary is Mass No. 2 in the Phrygian Mode by N. Richard Austill (b. 1955). The composer, known to Saint Marians as Rick, is a member of the parish. Rick is a 1977 graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, with BFA degrees in both piano performance and composition. He worked for most of his career as an accompanist to dancers. He has accompanied performers at the Drama Department at Carnegie-Mellon, the Pittsburgh Ballet, the Washington Ballet, and for most of New York’s professional dance companies, including the Alvin Ailey School, where he played for fifteen years. He has composed works for various groups, including a very well-received set of pieces for performances by the Penny Hutchinson Dancers in Boston. His motet Panem de coelo was performed at Saint Mary’s for the Feast of Corpus Christi in 2001 and 2002. Rick has been a parishioner since 2000, and has been active with Saint Mary’s Flower Guild.
The Mass was inspired by early Renaissance Mass settings, but, at times, makes use of much more modern compositional techniques such as aleatoric polyphony. Musical aleatory means that the composer leaves a certain amount of the creative process to the performer, providing an outline of a musical phrase or motif in the score. The intention is to create “clouds” of harmony that are almost accidental, and quite astonishing.
At the ministration of Communion, the choir sings the anthem My soul, there is a country by C. Hubert H. Parry (1848-1918). The work, for unaccompanied choir, is taken from Songs of Farewell, a collection of six works published in 1916. Parry is considered to have been one of the leaders (with Stanford) of the English musical renaissance in the 1880s. In 1877, Parry was invited to contribute to Sir George Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, later joining the staff of the new Royal College of Music when it opened in 1883, with Grove as its director. This motet is undoubtedly the most famous of the set. Its simple four-part texture belies its taut motivic construction, organic development, and metrical flexibility, skillfully married to Henry Vaughan’s passionate religious poetry. James Kennerley
VETERANS DAY 2012 . . . This year Veterans Day will be observed on Monday, November 12. The church will be open from 8:00 AM until 6:30 PM and the regular schedule of services will be observed. However, the service of our nation’s veterans will be acknowledged at all the Masses on Sunday morning. For information about organizations that serve America’s veterans, you may visit www.charitynavigator.org and enter the word “veteran” in the charity search field. Charity Navigator rates a wide array of non-profit organizations. A four-star rating is the organization’s highest rating.
HOSPITALITY AT SAINT MARY’S . . . We are hoping to receive donations to help defray the costs of the reception following the Solemn Mass on Friday, December 7. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Aaron Koch in the finance office. We are also always happy to receive donations to cover the costs of our Sunday receptions. Thank you to all who support this important ministry!
2013 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . Because of the inclement weather during the past week and a half, the Stewardship Committee decided to mail the annual stewardship packet a few days later than it had planned. We have been told that because of disruptions in mail delivery in recent days, the stewardship packets have been very slow to arrive at their destinations. We would urge you, therefore, to return pledge cards as soon as you are able. If you don’t receive a pledge card by November 12, but would like to receive one, please contact Father Jay Smith or MaryJane Boland. Commitment Sunday is November 25, the Last Sunday after Pentecost: The Feast of Christ the King. We are very grateful to all those who continue to support Saint Mary’s so generously.
ADULT EDUCATION ON SUNDAYS. . . On Sunday, November 11, at 10:00 AM, Father Peter Powell will lead the second in his three-part series in the Adult Forum on the Letter to the Romans. Attendance at the first class is not required and there are no prerequisites. All are welcome. Father Powell distributes a very useful outline at each class. Copies of the handout from the first class are still available . . . The class does not meet on Sunday, November 25 . . . On Sunday, December 2, 9 & 16, at 10:00 AM, Mother Mary Julia Jett leads a series on the history and theology of the so-called Ritualist Movement in England and America during the mid- to late-nineteenth century. The class will examine, and look beyond, the details of ritual, decoration, and aesthetics, attempting to explore, among other things, how the movement was connected to the Oxford Movement; the controversies, riots, and arrests associated with so-called Ritualist practices; what the strengths and weaknesses of the movement were; what the movement can tell us about our own worship; and the connections the “Ritualists” made between the sacraments and social justice. The class is designed to raise and answer questions about the history and identity of this parish, which has, since its founding, been committed to Catholic renewal within the Anglican Communion.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Thank you so much to all those who have been donating books for the Book Sale. Your assistance and generosity are very much appreciated . . . We continue to gather toys and other gift items for children of all ages. They will be donated this month 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 contact Father Jay Smith if you would like to make a donation.
AWAY FROM THE PARISH . . . 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 an excellent opportunity to visit the Holy Land with a great group of Episcopalians. Please feel free to contact Father Mead for more information . . . Sunday, November 18, 3:00 PM, the Church of the Transfiguration, 1 E. 29th Street, Episcopal Actors’ Guild Memorial Service, to honor all those artists and those working in the theatre and film and music industries who died in the past year.