Parish Newsletter

April 2019

Dear Friends,
Before I describe the upcoming Holy Week and Easter services, I want to be sure that everyone receiving this Parish Letter is aware that I will reach the mandatory retirement age for the Episcopal Church on my 72nd birthday, which is December 7, 2019. Thus, at some time before then, I will be leaving Incarnation; I should be able to set an official retirement date later this spring.
After 34 years, this will mean quite a change in my living quarters and in my life. While I look forward to retirement, I will be grateful for your prayers as I prepare for this transition!
In the meantime, there is very good news about the interim arrangements, which I will let the Senior Warden share.
We are happy to announce that the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser (our current Associate Rector) has accepted the position of Interim Rector at Incarnation. She will take up this position when the Rev. Douglas Ousley retires, later this year, and she will serve for the next year, while we form a search committee to find a new permanent Rector for the parish.
Adrian has already made a big contribution to Incarnation in her time here, and we all feel having her as Interim Rector will provide much needed continuity and support for the parish as we transition from the Rev. Douglas Ousley’s long tenure. It is a real pleasure to have Adrian take up her first Rectorship at Incarnation, and we appreciate her service and commitment to our parish life.
–Jonathan Vaughan
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Now for the upcoming events of this holy season.
Palms will be distributed at all three services on Palm Sunday, April 14. We begin the eleven o’clock service with a long procession; later in the service, there will be a dramatic reading of the Passion Gospel. There will also be special music and a silent recessional in darkness. Those in attendance receive palms to take home.
On Maundy Thursday, the Eucharist will be celebrated at 12:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., with the ceremonial “stripping of the altar” at the conclusion of the evening service.
This year, we are reintroducing the Maundy Thursday Vigil that we held in past years. The Vigil will begin in the Chapel of the Nativity after the stripping of the altar. If you wish to come later, you can enter via the Parish House, 209 Madison Avenue; refreshments will be served there until the Vigil concludes at 10:00 p.m.
On Good Friday, April 19, beginning at noon, there will be readings, music from choir members, and the traditional prayers, incorporated into the Good Friday Liturgy and communion. Also, we will hold a service of Stations of the Cross on Good Friday at 2:00 p.m. The church will remain open that day until 3:00 p.m. for prayer and meditation.
The Easter Eve Vigil and Eucharist this year will again be held in conjunction with our former Chapel, the Church of the Good Shepherd. Good Shepherd’s Interim Priest, the Rev. Mark Hammell will preach at the service, which will be held at Incarnation and will begin at 6:30 p.m. on April 20.
After the early service at 8:30 a.m., the principal service of Easter Day at 11:00 a.m. presents music and scripture to celebrate the resurrection life of Christ in which we all share. Childcare is available and, after the service, there is a Coffee Hour, an Easter Egg Hunt, and the Easter Brunch. These events are described in more detail below. There will also be a special reception following the 5:00 p.m. Candlelight Communion.
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Please post the enclosed flyer that lists all the Holy Week and Easter services in your building or pass it along to friends. And if you know any neighborhood children who might enjoy the Easter Egg Hunt after the 11:00 a.m. service on Easter Day, please invite them to join us.
This year, we are returning to a private room at Slattery’s Midtown Pub on East 36th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues. The buffet menu includes a choice of tasty entrees, one drink, and dessert. You’ll also get an Easter gift from the parish.
To make a reservation (adults: $30, children: $20), call the Parish Office at 212 689-6350 or email me at Family and friends are of course welcome, but you are urged to make advanced reservations, as seating is limited.
Enclosed is a form for those who wish to make donations for Easter flowers or music, either in thanksgiving or in memory of loved ones. Please return the form and donation to the Parish Office as soon as possible so that we know how much money we can spend.
Children are invited to our annual Easter Egg Hunt after the April 1st 11:00 a.m. service; come to the Godly Play room. There will be baskets available, but your child is also welcome to bring his/her own. Children are also very welcome at our Parish Brunch on Easter Sunday.
Music at Incarnation in the coming weeks includes compositions spanning fifteen centuries, from the Exultet chant of the Easter Vigil to a Passion anthem by the late English composer Kenneth Leighton. There will be solos and duets from the wonderful singers of the Incarnation choir. On Easter Day the full choir will be joined by strings, in music by Haydn and Handel. Underpinning much of all this will be Incarnation’s lovely Aeolian-Skinner organ.
May this music contribute to a deeper sense of what it means to be baptized into Christ’s death, and risen with him.
–David Ralph
***Laurie Mygatt, who organized our popular Shrove Tuesday Supper.
***The late Candice Earley Nolan for a bequest from her estate. Candi attended Incarnation in the 1980’s before marrying and moving to Arkansas. She was a lay reader and well-known for her role in the television show, All My Children.
We will meet from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m., in the Parish Living Room on Monday, May 6. Drinks and snacks will be served. Speaker and topic to be announced.
Mission and Outreach
Our Lenten Linens Drive continues until Easter Sunday. We are collecting 40 new bath towels and 40 new twin sheet sets for the residents of Moravian Open Door, a transitional housing facility for homeless adults. So far, we have received 25 bath towels and 23 sheet sets! Thanks to everyone who has donated. Please note that we cannot receive used items.
Twenties and Thirties
20s/30s are invited to the Parish House on Palm Sunday, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., for a discussion about “Food and Faith.” From the importance of saying grace, to whether or not there will be food in heaven, we’ll talk about the spiritual significance of eating. We’ll begin our evening with a screening of Group member Zi Khumbala’s new TEDx talk on the role cooking has played in his life’s journey. And, of course, we’ll have something to eat!
Children and Families
Upcoming offerings for children center on Palm Sunday and Easter. All children are invited to lead the Palm Sunday procession into the church on Sunday, April 14. If your child would like to participate, please gather at the back of the church at 10:45 a.m.
On Good Friday, April 19, the Youth Group will meet in the Parish House from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. We’ll hide Easter eggs for the children’s hunt on Easter Sunday and then have a time of spiritual reflection over a pizza dinner.
Women’s Group
The next meeting of the Women’s Group will be Holy Saturday, April 20, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. We’ll decorate the church Easter, which involves placing beautiful spring flowers throughout the sanctuary just in time for the Great Vigil of Easter. We’ll meet in the church to decorate at 4:00 p.m. and then move to the Parish House for a time of reflection and to enjoy a light dinner. For those who can stay, the Easter Vigil begins at 6:30 p.m. Please RSVP to me.
–The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser
Save the date for our fourth annual Parish Retreat at Incarnation Center in Ivoryton, Connecticut. The retreat begins with dinner on Friday, September 20, and concludes with a mid-morning service of Holy Eucharist on Sunday, September 23. This year’s retreat will be led by the Rev. Dana Stivers, Associate Executive Director and Chaplain of Incarnation Center. The theme of this year’s retreat and other program details will be included in the next newsletter.
Our former organist, Levente Medveczky died on February 24, following seven months of treatment for abdominal cancer. His funeral was in Hungary; I spoke at a memorial service at the Mormon Church on March 30. Levente was just 28 and leaves behind his parents, three brothers, and his fiancée.
May Levente rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon him.
Our next meeting will be on Monday, April 29, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. We will be discussing Mark Helprin’s Ellis Island. Refreshments will be served.
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At this time of year, we have lots of visitors. I hope that you will greet them as best you can to make them feel welcome.
On behalf of the Incarnation staff, I want to wish a spiritually fruitful Holy Week and a joyous Easter to you and to those you love.
The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley
Enclosures (via U.S. mail):
List of Holy Week and Easter services
Donation form for Easter flowers and music

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