FROM THE RECTOR: EASTER FORWARD
Joseph Fitzmyer in his commentary on Luke points to a major difference between the accounts in the four gospels of Jesus’ execution and those of Jesus’ resurrection. The former are far longer and more detailed, and there is far more agreement among them about Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. He concludes, “The need for a continuous story of the appearances of the risen Christ neither emerged nor could have been seen as crucial” (The Gospel According to Luke (X-XXIV)  1535). These gospel accounts of Jesus’ death have shaped through time how believers understand the Christ. But if our time were the first generation, I’m not so sure we would not have more to say about his risen life than about his death. I think we live in a time when the fact of Jesus’ life and death are not disputed. What is hard in our time for many is to believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
In writing about the resurrection, Fitzmyer quoted the late New Testament scholar Hans Conzelmann who wrote, “ . . . faith is something that is only possible by faith itself” (1547). How do we come to faith? Luke’s answer is that the Shepherd finds us and rejoices when he has found us and brought us home (Luke 15:1-7). You and I are not lost, but found. This is the resurrection faith our “table fellowship”—in other words, the Eucharist—sustains.
During this Easter Season, I hope it will be easy for us as a community and as individuals to carry forward the faith the Shepherd has given us. During Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum there were many graces of words and deeds that I think confirmed our commitments to the living God—even in the midst of whatever doubts might creep across any of our human souls from time to time.
I wish to thank again our former presiding bishop Frank Griswold for being with us for the Triduum. His words and his presence connect us in a particular way to Christ and to others who live in Christ. We Episcopalians belong to a worldwide Christian community who worship in the tradition of the English Reformation. There is a special excitement when any bishop is with us, especially one whose ministry has touched so many in so many places for so many years. I want also to acknowledge as well the great contributions of the many individuals and groups, and our church staff and clergy, who step forward to make this time so special. Some may not realize how many members of our wider parish community are here with us for these days, not to mention visitors who know and many who have never heard of this parish in Times Square. Thanks to all.
Finally, the first generation of Christians did not have any written New Testament to proclaim Christ. They believed what they had seen. They bore witness with their words and their lives. Luke’s second book, the Acts of the Apostles, and the letters of Paul begin to tell their story. You and I by our words and our deeds carry Easter forward so that all may come to live to God in this world and in the world to come. Happy Easter. Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Eloise, Sharon, Emil, Wayne, Cheryl, Casey, Richard, Christopher, Jane, Scott, Albert, Diana, Kathy, James, Chelsea, Dolores, Eileen, Linda, and Arpene . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . April 7: 1954 Mary E. Johnson.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Saturday, April 6, 10:00 AM, Requiem Mass for Brother Emil Denworth, FMS. The Reverend Matthew Mead, rector, Church of the Good Shepherd, Granite Springs, will preach . . . Sunday, April 7, 9:45 AM, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the Atrium on the second floor of the Parish House . . . Monday, April 8, The Annunciation, 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, Preacher: Bishop Michael Marshall . . . Wednesday, April 10, 6:30 PM, Bible Study Class in Saint Joseph’s Hall . . . Confessions are heard on Saturday in Easter Week, April 6, only by appointment. Father Jay Smith will hear confessions on Saturday, April 13.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Friday abstinence is not observed during Eastertide . . . Gifts continue to be received for our annual Easter Appeal. Your gifts will be used for the replacement of the church sound system, the total cost of which will be $19,000 . . . Copies of Bishop Michael Marshall’s book, Transforming the Power of Prayer: From Illusion to Reality (2011), are on sale in the Gift Shop . . . On Sunday, March 17, we celebrated the one-hundredth birthday on March 19 of parishioner Charles Arthur Schaefer. The choir sang several numbers; the video is viewable here . . . Attendance: Maundy Thursday 175; Good Friday 203; Easter Vigil 223; Easter Day 654.
THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE CONGREGATION will be held following the Solemn Mass on Sunday, May 5, 2013. The meeting will receive reports from parish organizations, staff and the board of trustees. The meeting will elect two delegates and two alternate delegates to serve as our representatives to the annual diocesan convention.
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The setting of the Mass ordinary this Sunday is Missa brevis by Andrea Gabrieli (c. 1510–1586). Gabrieli, uncle of the better-known composer Giovanni Gabrieli was, like his nephew after him, organist and chief composer at Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice. During Communion the choir sings a setting of text from Matthew 28, Maria Magdalene et altera Maria (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary), by Francisco Guerrero (1528–1599). Guerrero was one of the greatest Spanish composers of the sixteenth century . . . On Annunciation, Monday, April 8, I will play the organ recital at 5:30 PM. The Mass ordinary is Mass No. 2 in the Phrygian Mode by N. Richard Austill. “Rick” is an active member of the parish, known to many for his work on the flower guild. He has worked for most of his career as an accompanist to dancers, including the Ailey American Dance Theater. This is the second Mass setting he has composed for Saint Mary’s. The motet is Hymne à la Vierge by Pierre Villette (1926–1969). Born into a musical family, Villette passed the entry exam to the Paris Conservatiore at age fifteen, with the help of Maurice Duruflé . . . Early this summer I will record the complete organ works of Maurice Duruflé. Duruflé’s music has long fascinated me, and it will be a magnificent opportunity to record at Saint Mary’s. Our instrument certainly speaks with a French accent, and the colors are particularly well-matched to Duruflé’s sound world. James Kennerley
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . Adult Forum: The class does not meet on Sunday, April 7. The class resumes on Sunday, April 14, at 10:00 AM, with the final presentation in our Faith and Work series . . . On Sunday, April 21, Dr. Dennis Raverty will make a presentation on The Sacralization of Nature in German Romantic Landscape . . . On Sunday, April 28, Deacon Rebecca Weiner Tompkins will begin a three-part series entitled, Angles of Anglican Poetry: Clerics, Converts, Contrarians, and Crossovers. Rebecca will be discussing the work of Donne, Herbert, Hopkins, Rossetti, and Eliot, among others. The final class of the series, on May 12, will conclude the 2012-2013 adult-education season. Classes will resume in October . . . Wednesday Night Bible Study Class: The class will meet on April 10, April 24, May 1 and May 8. The class does not meet on April 17. The class normally begins at 6:30 PM. However, the classes on May 1 and May 8 will begin at 7:00 PM, following Mass (May 1) and Evensong (May 8). The class will not meet on May 15. The season will conclude on May 22, at 6:30 PM in Saint Joseph’s Hall, with a potluck supper. Classes will resume in October. Father Jay Smith will be leading the class as it reads the Acts of the Apostles . . . Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Class resumes on Sunday, April 7. The final class of the 2012-2013 season will take place on Sunday, May 19. Classes will resume in October . . . I am grateful to all our teachers and presenters who gave of their time and expertise during the 2012-2013 season. It has been an exciting, inspiring, and informative year in our Christian-Education program. I am also grateful to all those who came to the classes so faithfully and participated so enthusiastically. I hope that you will tell your friends about our programs and invite them to try them out. If you know families with children who would be interested in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, please invite them to join us in the fall and ask them to write to me or to Deacon Weiner Tompkins for more information. James Ross Smith
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY’S . . . Electronic versions of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger’s Guide to Free Food and Assistance are available here . . . Stay tuned: AIDS Walk 2013 will take place on the weekend of May 19. We’ll be posting information about the walk—about fundraising, walking, and making a contribution—in the newsletter and on our Facebook page in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact MaryJane Boland or Father Jay Smith . . . We continue to gather warm clothing—socks, coats of all sizes, sweaters, and sweatshirts—and blankets for distribution to the homeless in our neighborhood. Some of those items, as well as non-perishable food items, will be sent to the Saint Clement’s Food Pantry. Please speak to Mother Mary Julia or Jake Miller about our efforts here at the parish. Please contact Sister Deborah Francis for more information about the Pantry’s work . . . Donations to the Bishop Sisk Fund for the Care of Children in the Diocese of New York may be made here . . . The Book Sale in Saint Joseph’s Hall resumes on Sunday morning. All proceeds are used to help those in need.