DECEMBER 2011—JANUARY 2012
As previously announced, our still-relatively-new Assistant Minister will be ordained to the priesthood on Sunday, December 11, during the 11 a.m. service. The Bishop-in-Charge of the Convocation of Churches in Europe, the Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, will be traveling to Incarnation from Paris to preside at the sacrament, preach, and celebrate the Eucharist.
We are especially fortunate to be able to witness a priestly ordination in our parish church. All ordinations of candidates from the Diocese of New York must take place in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Bishop Whalon has kindly consented to hold the ceremony here in the Rev. Ginger Strickland’s new parish, even though she was sponsored by the American Cathedral in Paris and is canonically resident in the Convocation.
In sum: this is the first ordination in our church in over 30 years. If you wonder what priests commit themselves to, come on December 11. And if you can’t come, please pray for Ginger as she prepares to make the life-changing vows of a priest in Christ’s Church.
* * * * * *
Please note that Ginger’s first celebration of the Holy Eucharist will be on Sunday, December 18, at 11 a.m.
An exciting new outreach ministry will also begin on December 11, beginning after the Coffee Hour, around 12:30 p.m. Details are included in one of three flyers enclosed with this Newsletter. Call Anna Holmgren at 212 473-5166 if you have any questions.
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:
After a busy and energetic fall season at Incarnation, I’m looking forward to Christmas, and all the music that goes with it.
I hope you already have our Christmas Lessons and Carols marked on your calendar (see insert). This year we have a particularly good program, with music for strings, choir and organ.
The service begins with Vivaldi’s “Winter” concerto, from The Four Seasons. We then have music of Holst, Praetorious, Vaughan Williams, and Tavener, along with traditional carols sung by all. This is a great opportunity to invite friends that regularly attend other churches, as we don’t conflict with Sunday morning services.
Christmas Eve begins with the service of preparatory music at 10:30 PM. This year, we have music for violins, choir and organ, including a mass setting by Haydn, and the early work by Buxtehude, “In dulci jubilo,” for violins and choir (a delightful setting of the well-known Christmas chorale).
Looking forward to seeing you at our Christmas services! And wishing you all the best for a wonderful Christmas season and New Year. –Dr. Matthew Lewis
* * * * * *
Our Parish Christmas Party will follow the 5:00 p.m. Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 18. Dr. Lewis and a singer from the choir will lead us in caroling during the party.
The uniquely Anglican blend of traditional Scripture and fine music, followed by the warm celebration provides an ideal occasion to introduce your friends and neighbors to Incarnation.
Following the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, there are the usual Sunday services at 8:30 and 11 a.m. The later Eucharist on Christmas Day features a Visit to the Crèche for the children present. On December 25 and on Sunday, January 2, there will be no 5 p.m. Candlelight Communions.
Please note that the parish offices will be closed on Monday, December 26, and Monday, January 2.
* * * * * *
We have enclosed a flyer listing the principal services of the season. If you can, please post the flyer in your building or pass it along to a friend. You might also tell friends you know who have children that the Nursery is open every Sunday, staffed by a professional attendant, and the Sunday School welcomes drop-ins and visitors.
Every year, people randomly attend a Christmas worship service and find themselves beginning unexpected journeys toward spiritual renewal. Even if you yourself are out of town, let your non-churchgoing neighbors know about the services at Incarnation. One day, they may be grateful that you thought of them.
CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, MUSIC AND FUND FOR THOSE IN NEED
Many people like to make gifts for Christmas decorations and/or music in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving. Please mail your donations to the Church Office by December 20th, along with any names you would like to be listed in the Christmas leaflets. The funds for the decorations and the supplemental music are provided by this appeal.
Another holiday custom at Incarnation is the Christmas Fund. Begun some years ago by Victoria Wood Nagle and members of her family, the Fund helps people within the Incarnation parish family who have financial needs; grants are made in confidence through the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.
A form is enclosed which you can fill out to direct your gifts to any or all of these three purposes.
FROM THE ASSISTANT MINISTER:
The Rector has asked that we as a congregation begin to explore new possibilities for meaningful service in the community. Many of you have shared your desire to see Incarnation grow in this way. If you are interested in outreach or if you would like to begin meeting with a small group involved in prayer and planning, please contact me: email@example.com or 212-689-6350.
Twenties and Thirties
The Incarnation Twenties and Thirties are invited to join the Men’s and Women’s Groups in “Greening the Church” on Friday, December 16. The decorating will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will continue until every wreath is hung and bow is tied. The Rector will host a holiday reception in his apartment afterwards. The next Drinks & Discussion will be on Tuesday, January 31, at 7:30 p.m. Come to the Parish House, 209 Madison Avenue, and we will walk to a local bar for conversation. Our topic: A Code of Ethics for Relationships. If you had to write a rulebook for how we engage with those we hang out with, date, marry, what would you include? First drink—be it a Coke or a beer—is on the church.
Women of the parish are also invited to “Green the Church” on Friday, December 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m. After the decorating is completed, all are welcome at a reception in the Rector’s apartment. On Tuesday, January 24, the Women’s Group will meet at the Parish House at 7:00 p.m. A light supper will be provided. Together, we’ll explore the Dead Sea Scrolls. You might wish to visit the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Discovery Times Square before we meet, but a visit isn’t necessary in order to participate. In February, the women will gather on Tuesday the 28th for a “hands-on” workshop on prayer. You may RSVP for any or all of these events by calling 212-689-6350 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve had a wonderful series of discussions on a wide range of topics at 10am on Sunday mornings. There will be no meetings on December 25 and January 1, but in the new year we’ll be discussing topics from the lectionary text of the week to Eucharistic Presence (led by our seminarian Michael Foley); from T.S. Eliot to the church in West Africa. Please join us!
Thank you to Godly Play storytellers Kim Neufeld, Brian Lamb, and Susan Ridgeway, as well as to doorpersons Jeb Slowik, Liz Westcott-Pitt, Sam Kashambuzi, Aicha Mosha, and Mark Lulka. The children of Incarnation are blessed to have such dedicated, creative, and committed leaders. There will be Godly Play training on Saturday, January 21. Anyone interested in joining in our children’s ministry should contact me.
—the Rev. Ginger Strickland
***Martha and Jan Sabo, who have relocated to the Washington, D. C. area.
***Mimi McWilliam, who now resides in a nursing home in Croton-on-Hudson, in Westchester County.
Although we wish Martha, Jan, and Mimi Godspeed, we do expect to be able to keep in touch with all of them.
Members of the Men’s Group and other men in the congregation are also invited to help decorate the church on Friday, December 16. I hope you’ll come to my party as well.
Our first meeting in the New Year will be on Monday, January 8. One of our members, Greggory Keith Spence will discuss the upcoming primaries and the current political situation in the US. Greggory has taught political science at the New School as well as serving as its General Counsel.
***Please note: Men who attend the 20s/30s meetings are also welcome in the Men’s Group!
***Robert Galloway is now scheduling volunteers to pour coffee on Sundays. Kathy Kehoe Glass continues to advise the Hospitality Committee and Chris Stromee is also helping. Many thanks to Kathy for all her labors—and if you can pour coffee yourself from time to time, let Robert know.
***I have asked John Chadwick to chair the Building Committee—only the fourth head of that committee in the past quarter-century. The retiring chair, Debra Taylor will stay on the committee as vice-chairperson. Thanks to Debbie for her years of service.
LONDON LINK TRIP
A few places are still available for the parish trip to visit our London Link parish of St. Vedast during the long weekend of January 12-16, 2012. Let me know if you are interested.
Looking ahead, I am pleased to welcome back to our pulpit at the 11 a.m service:
***on January 19, our former Deacon, the Rev. Deacon Robert J. A. Zito. Bob is currently the Deacon of Wall Street.
***on February 12, the Rev. Dr. Alan McCormack. Alan is rector of our link parish of St. Vedast in the City of London.
One of our most popular programs has long been the Supper and Brunch Groups. Eight or nine people–couples and singles–meet once a month for a total of four meals in each other’s homes. Parishioners with small homes will be paired with parishioners with larger homes.
Please let one of the clergy know if you would like to be in a group, and if you have a preference for supper or brunch. The first meals will be scheduled for January.
***Theresa Banfield who turned 90 on October 30, in the company of her family, including some of her 6 great-grandchildren. Theresa is a former Vestry member who lives in California but considers herself a “member-at large.”
***Melissa Fogarty, cantor of the Candlelight Communion service, who has a new CD! Called “Despite and Still – Melissa Fogarty sings Samuel Barber.” The CD is available for sale in the office for $15.
***Mr. and Mrs. Mark Rankin, who report the birth of Mason Alexander Rankin on August 16—all are well, including Grandmother Margo Rankin.
***Former Honorary Assistant, the Rev. Dr. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, who appeared in a PBS News Hour segment on her seminary, Claremont School of Theology, which is training pastors, rabbis and Muslim counselors together in an interfaith program.
2012 CONFIRMATION/INQUIRERS CLASS
Every year, a class is held in the winter and spring for those who are interested in the Episcopal Church’s understanding of the Christian faith. The five sessions prepare for church membership those who are from Protestant denominations, people with no religious background who wish to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church, Roman Catholics who wish to be received into our Church, and Episcopalians who wish to renew their baptismal commitment as adolescents or as adults.
Some people who just want to learn more about the Episcopal Church also attend, and long-term members of Incarnation come for a refresher course on the Bible, church history, theology, liturgy, ethics, and prayer in the Anglican tradition. Classes are tentatively set to begin February. Please let me know if you think you would like to be part of this class or if you have any questions about it.
2012 ANNUAL MEETING
The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2012, at 12:30 pm, in the Assembly Hall. Leaders of parish organizations are reminded that annual reports of their activities during 2012 should now be mailed or emailed to me; the reports will be printed and distributed to those who attend the Annual Meeting.
The meeting is open to everyone; if you are 18 years of age or older, a member of the parish and a recorded contributor, you are also entitled to vote.
Members of the Ushers Corps will meet on Wednesday, January 11, to discuss procedures and for refreshments in my apartment. We will begin at 6:30 in the Church.
A NOTE FROM THE TREASURER
Michael Linburn thanks everyone who has already made a commitment to the 2012 Stewardship Program. He also would like to remind everyone who has pledged for 2011 to complete their payments by December 31. Leave him a message at the church number if you have any questions. Anyone who wishes to make a gift of stock before the end of the year should call Michael or me.
Offering envelopes are available at the entrance to the Church for those who requested them; many thanks to everyone who has pledged for 2012. Remember that it is easy for us to arrange for you to pay your pledge electronically; indicate your interest in this means of giving on your pledge card or speak with the Assistant Treasurer, Ann Churchill.
A lay reader and member of our parish, Julie Noll is a film and television producer by profession. On of her recent films, The Music Never Stopped premiered at the Sundance Festival last spring before opening in New York City. The movie explores a father-son relationship complicated by mental disability; it includes a wonderful evocation of the 1960’s.
A previous film night was cancelled when Julie had to go on location in Hawaii to shoot Dog the Bounty Hunter—another story entirely!We have now re-scheduled for Tuesday, February 1, at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation to the Arts Fund; popcorn and other refreshments will be provided.
* * * * * *
On behalf of the Wardens, Vestry, and Staff, I wish you a joyous Christmas and rewarding New Year.
The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley, Rector
Advent and Christmas services flyer
Operation Santa information