FROM THE RECTOR: ENVIRONMENT
Before Stephen Curry started playing for the Golden State Warriors, if you heard someone say, "Steph," one assumed someone was asking for "Stephanie." Steph Curry changed all that. Though I fall asleep before most basketball games are over, I've been using an elliptical cross trainer three mornings a week at my gym. I listen to music and watch closed-captioned ESPN. The Warriors are now up two games in the current playoffs. Curry is a player who makes one believe that no shot is impossible.
On Tuesday, May 14, a Wall Street Journal story caught my attention: "The Golden State Warriors Graduate School of Basketball: What happens when you learn how to play for an NBA dynasty from brilliant professors like Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala? You become Kevon Looney." Green and Iguodala are starters for this team. Looney has only played for this team since being drafted in 2015. Reporter Ben Cohen wrote, "There was something else that Looney learned by not playing for the Warriors that wouldn't have been part of his basketball curriculum if he'd played for another team. 'How to play championship-level basketball,' Looney said. 'Some teams, you're not in the playoffs, and you don't really learn how to win. But here that's all we've been doing. I learned how to win, how to impact a game without having the ball and how to make defensive plays.' "
It was in May 1979, when I was all set to return to the University of Virginia for an M.B.A., that a priest said to me, "When are you going to do something about your vocation to the priesthood?" Evening Prayer readings that week were from the seventh chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews-all about the priesthood of Jesus Christ. By March of 1980, I was a postulant from the diocese of Chicago, visiting Nashotah House Seminary. I arrived just before Evensong, sung daily by the faculty and students. By the end of the service, I knew I wanted to be there. I didn't know that I would be one of the very few priests in the Episcopal Church whose ministry would be shaped by congregations where Daily Morning and Evening Prayer were prayed publicly. In Baton Rouge (three priests), Michigan City (just me), and here, the full-time clergy, except on our days off, are at Daily Morning and Evening Prayer. (In Dallas, Morning and Evening Prayer were offered daily, but the clergy did not attend as a matter of course.)
When Father Matthew Mead, now rector of the Christ Church, Pelham, New York, left Saint Mary's in 2009, I picked up from him "Saint Mary's Lectionary Project." The work on this continues. On our web page, in addition to the section "Bible Lessons for All Services," I've added a link on the opening page service listing, "Readings for the Sunday Eucharists."
We Anglicans speak of Word and Sacrament as, if you will, the environment in which we work on our relationship with God and with others. Engaging the Word, that is Scripture, doesn't have to be overwhelming. Over the years of being in New York, I have become a much happier museum goer because I go to see one exhibit and allow myself to walk through a second --- --- and then leave. That's not a bad way to approach the Bible --- --- a good one, with intellectually honest footnotes. A chapter a day is not a bad rule. And one never knows that when one begins to read, what unexpected grace may be coming. --- --- Stephen Gerth
PS. This is a big weekend for Saint Mary's. Read on about New York City's AIDS Walk on Sunday and about New York Landmarks Conservancy Ninth Annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend.
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Roberto, Barbara, Francis, Paul, Rita, Bryan, Dianna, Beulah, Donald, Cyrisse, Wendell, May, Willard, Alexandra, Kyle, Karen, Susan, Carolyn, Ivy, David, Marilouise, Takeem, Carmen, Emily, and Dennis; for Horace, Rick, Gaylord, Louis, and Edgar, priests; for all the benefactors and friends of this parish; and for the repose of the souls of Stephen Hazel and Rodney M. Hurd . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . May 19: 1881 Percival Courtenay Colley; 1886 Henry A. Sundermeyer; 1910 Harry Murrell, Jr.; 1936 Joseph John Gordon.
IN THIS TRANSITORY LIFE . . . Rodney M. Hurd, the uncle of Dr. David Hurd, died on Wednesday, May 15, after a long illness. He was eighty-seven years old. Please keep Rodney, David, their family and friends, and all who mourn in your prayers.
THE FRIDAYS OF THE EASTER SEASON are not observed by acts of discipline and self-denial.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, May 18, 8:00 PM, New York Repertory Orchestra plays its final concert of the season. The program includes music of Shostakovich, Haydn, and Lalo. Admission is free, but a donation of $15.00 is suggested . . . Sunday, May 19, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Sung Matins 8:30 AM; Mass 9:00 & 10:00 AM; Solemn Mass 11:00 AM; Evensong and Benediction 5:00 PM . . . Sunday, May 19, AIDS Walk NYC . . . Sunday, May 19, 2:00-4:00 PM, Sacred Sites Open House . . . Wednesday, May 22, Sung Mass 12:10 PM . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will meet on May 22 at 6:30 PM in Saint Joseph's Hall. This will be the last class of the academic year. Classes will resume in October . . . Thursday, May 23, Mass with Healing Service 12:10 PM . . . Friday, May 24, Centering Prayer Group, 6:30 PM in the Atrium in the Parish House, Second Floor.
AROUND THE PARISH. . . We hope to receive donations for altar flowers for the following dates: June 2 (Easter 7), June 9 (Pentecost), August 15 (Assumption), and all of the Sundays in August . . . Attendance: Last Sunday 200.
AIDS WALK 2019 . . . On Sunday, May 19, Saint Mary's AIDS Walk Team will once again walk to support those living with --- or at risk of contracting-HIV/AIDS. This year, Saint Mary's Team hopes to be even more successful than last year, when we raised $61,153 and ranked number 6 among all teams.
We invite you to join our Team and raise money with us-or simply to make a donation to Saint Mary's AIDS Walk Team. You can join or donate to our Team online. You may also donate by mailing us a check, paid to the order of AIDS Walk New York (not paid to the order of Saint Mary's), to the Finance Office at 145 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036, or place your check in one of the shrine boxes in the church or in the collection basket. If you have questions, please contact Father Jay Smith or co-leaders MaryJane Boland and Clark Mitchell. We are very grateful to all those who have supported the Team in past years, and we look forward to this year's campaign.
SACRED SITES OPEN HOUSE . . .The New York Landmarks Conservancy will host its Ninth Annual Sacred Sites Open House Weekend on May 18-19, 2019. This year's theme, Medieval to Modern: Celebrating New York's Religious Art and Architecture highlights the broad spectrum of historical periods, faith traditions, and styles of religious architecture found in communities throughout New York State. Saint Mary's will be participating in this event on Sunday May 19, and visitors will be encouraged to take the self-guided tour. We are currently looking for a few parish volunteers to be on hand between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Sunday May 19 to provide directions to our visitors and answer questions they may have.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN 2018-2019 . . . Our campaign and pledge drive began in October 2018, when we mailed packets to 124 households that pledged last year and to 673 households that have expressed an interest in supporting the parish. We also, for the first time, sent a separate appeal to 157 households that have made donations in the past, but have not made a pledge. We have asked those donors to consider making a regular, periodic sustaining donation to Saint Mary's. Once again this year, our goal for the campaign is $425,000. As of Tuesday, May 14, we have received $373,597 in pledges from 119 households, 88% of our goal. We very much hope to reach our goal this year. Please help us to do that. Our needs are urgent. Our mission is clear. We invite your support
FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTOR . . . The musical setting of the Mass in Sunday morning is Messa a quattro voci da cappella by Claudio Monteverdi (1567 --- 1643). Claudio Monteverdi, the great Italian madrigalist, was one of the most important composers to flourish at the juncture of European Renaissance music and the emergence of the Baroque musical art. He was one of the legendary musicians to have directed music at San Marco, Venice, and later in his life was ordained a priest. With his L'Orfeo, written in 1609, Monteverdi became the founder of opera as we know it today. His Vespro della Beata Vergine of 1610 may well have provided a model and an inspiration for the great Passions and oratorios of the later Baroque composers-notably Bach and Handel-that would also stand as monumental pillars of sacred music even to our own day. Monteverdi's Mass for Four Voices was published posthumously in 1650 in a collection which also included psalms and a litany to the Blessed Virgin.
In the collect appointed for this coming Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, we pray to "so perfectly know Jesus to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life." The beloved English priest and poet George Herbert (1593 --- 1633) offered his reflection and prayer to Jesus as the way, truth, and life in "The Call" (The Temple, 1633). Herbert's three-stanza poem points toward "love," its final word, and the new commandment which our Lord gives in this morning's Gospel (John 13). Herbert's prayer-poem has inspired many musical settings. One of the most well-known is from Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), which has been distilled into many modern hymnals. (See 487 in The Hymnal 1982.) The setting of Herbert's "The Call," sung today as the Communion motet, is by David Hurd, organist and music director at Saint Mary's. This setting for four-part choir was commissioned in honor of the Reverend Dr. William Greenlaw and Mrs. Jane Greenlaw in 2008, shortly before Father Greenlaw's retirement as rector of Holy Apostles Church, Chelsea, Manhattan.
The organ voluntaries on Sunday morning are two Praeludien, both in the key of G Major, by leading organ composers associated with German "High Baroque" period. The Prelude is by Nicolaus Bruhns who was born at Schwabstedt. Having received his early training from his father, a pupil of Franz Tunder and organist in Husum, he went to Lübeck in 1681 to study with Tunder's successor at the Marienkirche, Dieterich Buxtehude. During his short life, Bruhns established for himself the reputations of a virtuoso of both keyboard and stringed instruments. He is said to have been skilled in playing trios with two voices on the violin and the third on the pedals of the organ. Bruhns' five extant organ compositions are works of particular spontaneity and imagination. The Praeludium in G is a particularly extroverted piece which features an unusual fugue of six voices, two of which are played on the pedals. The postlude is by Dieterich Buxtehude (1637 --- 1707), Danish by birth, and generally recognized as the most important organ composer in the generation before J. S. Bach. Most of Buxtehude's organ works are thought to date from his earlier years at the Marienkirche in Lübeck, where he served as organist from 1668 until his death. Buxtehude's Praeludium in G is one of his most restrained works in the genre. Rather than being cast in the usual multi-sectional format, this piece consists of two well-defined sections: a free opening section and a stately fugue with brief closing coda. --- --- David Hurd
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION . . . On May 19, Father Matthew Jacobson will lead the Adult Forum in the second and final class in a two-part series that takes us back to sixteenth-century Europe and the controversies between Protestants and Roman Catholics concerning the Eucharist. Father Jacobson writes, "In these last two sessions of the academic year, we will look at a series of sermons preached by Carlo Borromeo (1538 --- 1584) on and around the feast of Corpus Christi in 1583. Borromeo was the archbishop of Milan and an important figure in the Catholic Reformation, also known as the Counter Reformation. We will read Borromeo's sermons with an eye to their historical context, considering Borromeo's central role in the Catholic Renewal. We will also look at some of the writings of Borromeo's contemporary, Richard Hooker (1554 --- 1600), to give us an Anglican perspective on the Eucharist. The class will include time for discussion and reflection on the Eucharist ahead of our own celebration of Corpus Christi in late June. This class will be the final adult-education class of the season. Classes will resume in the autumn . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class led by Father Jay Smith will hold its final session of the season on May 22. The class will hold its annual end-of-year dinner on Wednesday, June 5.
OUTREACH AT SAINT MARY'S. . . Our next Drop-in Day will take place on Wednesday, June 19, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, in the Mission House basement. On those Wednesdays when a Drop-in Day does not take place, we continue to offer our Grab-and-Go days in the former Gift Shop off the church Narthex. On those days, basic, even emergency, items can normally be provided-socks, underwear, toiletry articles, and, in the winter months, cold-weather clothing. Please contact Brother Damien or Brother Thomas, if you would like to make a donation of cash, clothing, or toiletry articles, or to volunteer for this important ministry . . . We continue to receive donations of canned goods and other non-perishable food items for the Saint Clement's Food Pantry. Donations may be placed in the basket next to the Ushers' Table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church.
COMING UP . . . Monday, May 27, Memorial Day: Federal Holiday Schedule . . . Wednesday, May 29, Eve of Ascension Day, Solemn Evensong at 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, May 30, 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 . . . Friday, May 31, The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Sunday, June 9, The Day of Pentecost: Whitsunday . . . Sunday, June 16, Trinity Sunday . . . Sunday, June 23, The Body and Blood of Christ: Corpus Christi
HOSPITALITY MINISTRY AT SAINT MARY'S . . . We hope to receive donations to help pay for the holy-day receptions on Thursday, May 30 (Ascension Day), and Thursday, August 15 (Assumption). If you would like to make a donation, please contact the parish office. The total cost of each reception is around $500.00. We appreciate all donations in support of this important ministry. Any and all donations are always used to make up the deficit each year we normally experience in the hospitality budget. When making a donation, please make a note that it is for the Hospitality Ministry, and we thank you.
AT THE GALLERIES . . . At the New-York Historical Society Museum and Library, Seventy-seventh Street and Central Park West, Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman, May 3-July 28, 2019. From the museum website, "Artist Augusta Savage (1892 --- 1962) overcame poverty, racism, and sexual discrimination to become one of America's most influential twentieth-century artists. Her sculptures celebrate African-American culture, and her work as an arts educator, activist, and Harlem Renaissance leader catalyzed social change. This exhibition explores Savage's lasting legacy through her own work and that of the younger artists she inspired, including Jacob Lawrence (1917 --- 2000), Gwendolyn Knight (1913 --- 2005), and Norman Lewis (1901 --- 1979). Through more than fifty works of art and archival materials, it illuminates Savage's artistic vision, as well as her profound impact on her students and her community.