Parish Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As the autumn season begins, I am pleased to give you some details of all that is happening in and around the parish.

The choir has returned and Sunday School and the Adult Forum have resumed. By the time you receive this, we should have completed our first retreat at Incarnation Center in many years.

We will observe our annual fall Homecoming Sunday with a bagel brunch on October 2, following the 11 o’clock service. The luncheon will be simpler this year because we will also soon be offering a catered luncheon for Consecration Sunday, November 13. Since that luncheon will be free, we will ask for modest donations to cover the cost of the October 2 luncheon.

As it happens, I will miss the Homecoming festivities this year. Dana and I will be in Rome, Italy, to visit the Anglican Centre. The Centre is celebrating its 50th Anniversary on October 5. Clergy and laypeople from all over the world will be joining with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis to honor this outreach ministry that promotes Christian unity. My trip is being paid for by a generous foundation grant, which I received through the auspices of an old friend.

You’ll be hearing more about our new stewardship program, “Consecration Sunday” in the weeks ahead. Right now, mark November 13 on your calendars and plan on enjoying a good lunch and hearing a fine young preacher, the Rev. Sandy Keyof Christ Church, Rye, New York. I’m really excited about this program, and I think you will all want to participate.

You might also want to put Sunday, December 4, on your calendar. On that day, we will have, in place of the sermon, an address by the novelist and screenwriter, Andrew Klavan. He is also a leading writer of young adult fiction and his daily podcast is popular with many listeners. After the service, Andrew will sign copies of his new memoir, The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ. Incarnation is prominently mentioned in the memoir because Mr. Klavan was baptized in our church in 2004. In the interests of full disclosure, I will also note that he was the best man at my wedding in 2013!

The programs that the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser oversees have been particularly successful lately, as you will see from her report below.

Mission and Outreach

Mission and service is still going strong with a few new developments to highlight as we enter the fall. Incarnation’s anti-trafficking group continues to reach out to hotels in the neighborhood about the importance of training their staff to identify signs of child sex trafficking on hotel premises. The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association recently learned of this advocacy ministry and ran an article about it in the fall issue of Murray Hill Life (available in print and online – see page 19).

In an effort to continue to raise awareness in the parish and surrounding community, we will host a screening of the documentary Very Young Girls in the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, October 25, at 7:00 p.m. The film follows underage youth as they seek to exit the commercial sex industry and includes startling footage shot by pimps themselves, giving a rare glimpse into how the cycle of exploitation begins for many women. Very Young Girls is co-produced by the founder of GEMS (Girls Educational & Mentoring Services), a Harlem based non-profit that serves girls and young women who have been trafficked for sex. A speaker from GEMS will join us for Q&A following the film. Cost of admission is $5 for GEMS or an item from their “wish list” on amazon.com.

Incarnation has expanded its homeless ministries with a newly created service project — making toiletry kits for homeless clients at the Mainchance Drop-In Center in Murray Hill. The anti-trafficking group has been forming many connections with hotels, one of which gave us a large donation of travel toiletries for this project. At our last FamilyFriday event, held on September 9, children assembled 50 toiletry kits that were delivered to Mainchance. We plan to continue this child friendly service project at future Family Fridays.

Twenties and Thirties

Earlier this month, the 20s/30s Group hosted 30 young adults from parishes around Manhattan with a special worship service at Incarnation followed by a social hour at The Crooked Knife. The Group will gather again Saturday, October 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for Central Park Communion. We’ll tour a few scenic favorites and secret gems in Central Park, followed by an outdoor “Hearty Eucharist” with bread, wine, olives, cheese, and a few more first-century staples. RSVP to me so we know just how hearty to make this Eucharist! We’ll meet at the 72nd Street entrance to the Park off 5th Avenue. A $5 donation is suggested but not required.

Children and Families

Our Sunday School program, Godly Play, is back for children ages 3-10. We’re introducing some new lessons about Saints this year and look forward to helping our children grow into their own sainthood as part of the body of Christ. Children will also receive “Good Deed and Bible Memory Verse Cards” – do six good deeds, recite the Bible verse on the back of the card from memory, and get a prize.

Our acolytes have also returned to assist in the Sunday liturgy. On Sunday, October 9, we’ll have acolyte “pizza and practice” immediately following the 11:00 a.m. service. We’ll gather in my apartment for a pizza lunch and then move to the sanctuary to review and reflect on the ministry of acolyting. All youth and children over 10 are invited to participate.

Women’s Group

The next meeting of the Women’s Group will be Tuesday, October 4, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Parish House. Guest speaker Retta Blaney will discuss the 10 elements of the universal spiritual life – Faith, In the Moment, Listening, Silence, Prayer, Self-Knowledge, Community, Hospitality, Ritual and Transformation – and their importance for Christians. Retta is an Episcopalian, journalist, writing professor and author of Working on the Inside: the Spiritual Life through the Eyes of Actors. Refreshments will be served.

–The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser

CHRISTMAS FAIR DECEMBER 3

Circle Saturday, December 3rd on your calendar. That’s the date of our Incarnation Christmas Fair. Coming up sooner than you think. Please volunteer. And donate saleable items. If you bring them in now, I can sort them and price them at a leisurely pace. Also think about special donations for our silent auction. We can use nice wines, unique “antiques” and housewares, and especially donated meals at local restaurants. Plan to volunteer to help sell things as well from 10 until 6. Many thanks.

–Laurie Mygatt

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

After a restful summer, I am eager to get back to work as another season of church music is upon us. I am grateful to our soloists for their beautiful singing over the summer, and to Cynthia Weinrich, who played the organ. Cynthia’s father, Carl Weinrich, was a very famous organist in the first part of the 20th century. He was particularly known for his many recordings of Bach, and was a leader in the revival of Baroque organ music during the 1930s. He was director of music at the Princeton University Chapel, and taught at Westminster Choir College.

Our wonderful choir is back! I look forward to another year of making music for ourSunday services. Our choir makes this possible every week – such a pleasure!

I plan to do more “after-church talks,” as I did last season. These included talking about hymns and service music: how choices are made, the history of service music (plainchant and Anglican chant, communion settings. etc), and even a description of the history and mechanics of the pipe organ. These informal gatherings proved to be fun and interesting, so watch for announcements.

Looking ahead, please put our Service of Christmas Lessons and Carols in your calendar: Sunday, December 11 at 5:00 PM. This service features music for choir, instruments and organ. It’s a great occasion to bring friends who enjoy Christmas music. Watch for details.

–Matthew Lewis

DAVID BROOKS ON OCTOBER 13

NY Times columnist David Brooks will be discussing the upcoming elections at anOctober 13 benefit for Incarnation Camp. The event will begin at 6:30 pm and includes drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the Princeton Club. Tickets start at $125; call the Camp at860 767-0848 for further information.

FROM A RECENT POST ON MY BLOG:

Since Incarnation has been located on the legendary street of advertisers since 1852, we naturally think in terms of how we as a church are perceived by potential “customers.” What does the Episcopal Church brand say to people who pass by our churches? In the eyes of the average American, what do we stand for? How does our organization differ in values and purpose from, say, the Girl Scouts or the YMCA? And what can we as individuals do to promote our brand?

I have no easy answers to these questions. But I do think that promoting the brand has to begin at the top. In the Church of England, there are many new initiatives intended to promote the growth of parishes: Fresh Expressions, Messy Church, and leadership training, for example.

Granted, the C of E is much more centrally governed than the Episcopal Church. Still, it would be nice to see some new programs from the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council that put our name out to the public and make people want to come through our doors.

INCARNATION IN THE NEWS:

***A recording Dr. Lewis made a few years ago here at Incarnation was featured on the radio program, Pipedreams. (I recommend the program as well as Matthew’s fine recording.)

***The most recent issue of the Episcopal New Yorker has two articles by our Associate Rector concerning the problem of human trafficking. Copies are posted and available if you didn’t get a copy in the mail. If you are a member of Incarnation, you are entitled to receive ENY; if you don’t get it, please let me know and I’ll see that you receive a free subscription.

BOOK CLUB

A number of us would like to start a book club. Right now, we are leaning toward fiction, but we might include non-fiction as well. We would read an assigned book every month or so and then meet in an evening to discuss it. The books would not generally be religious, and the group would be open to persons who aren’t members of Incarnation. The first meeting will probably be after New Year’s. Let the Rector know if you are interested or have ideas.

THANKS TO:

***Brian Lamb, Andy Roberts and the Garden Committee for all their work on the garden and flower boxes this summer. The flowers and plants brought cheer to countless people.

***The employees of our neighbor, the Church Pension Group who painted our fence as a service project.

***Dr. Susan Regisford, for her talk in our “Christianity in the Workplace” series.

***All who gave gifts in memory of Ann Churchill. The gifts will provide a scholarship for a child to attend Incarnation Camp next summer.

***All who participated in our summer service to Moravian Open Door by cooking breakfast, rolling coins, and contributing to our “Make a Joyful Noise!” campaign. We raised a grand total of $1,120.86 in loose change for Moravian Open Door’s breakfast program, which provides a nutritious daily breakfast to their homeless clients.

FROM THE WARDEN OF OUR SISTER PARISH OF ST. VEDAST-ALIAS-FOSTERS IN THE DIOCESE OF LONDON:

Dear Doug,

You have all been in my thoughts, and those of the St Vedast congregation in the past few days, when news of the bombs reached us. We hope that no-one from the Incarnation congregation was in any way affected by the explosions.

As you know, we in London are well used to these situations, but that doesn’t make it any easier to go about our daily routine, but we do. If we don’t then the evil people who do these things win, and that must never be allowed. Please be assured that we stand with you.

You are all in our prayers.

Best wishes, Elizabeth

* * * * * *

By the time you receive this, the Christmas Fair will be only a couple of months away. Bring your items to the Parish House, and start asking your favorite local restaurants and businesses if they will donate meals or goods to our Silent Auction — a big money maker for us.

With a new stewardship program, many guest speakers, and a new evangelism and spiritual growth program coming after the holidays, we at Incarnation have much to look forward to, by God’s grace.

Yours,

Doug+

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley



Parish Newsletter

Dear Friends,
As the holidays approach, you may be interested in the enclosed flyer, which lists 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 who have children that the Nursery is open every Sunday of the year, staffed by a professional attendant, and the Sunday School welcomes drop-ins and visitors.
It often happens that 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.
Now our Organist discusses the music we’ll hear this season.
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:
Last month I participated in the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival. It was an honor for me to be there with so many colleagues, and to play a recital on a very fine Aeolian-Skinner organ in Longview.
You may have noticed a new sound from the Incarnation choir. I am very pleased with the high level of singers we have, including a countertenor for an alto – a first at Incarnation.
With Christmas right around the corner, I’d like to draw your attention to some upcoming events:
Sunday, December 13: Lessons and Carols at 5:00 PM
This annual event is an Incarnation favorite, with strings and choir.
Handel: Organ Concerto in g minor, opus 7
Respighi: Preludio for Strings and Organ
Choral music of Warlock, Praetorius/Vulpius, Billings, Saint- Saëns and Britten, with traditional carols sung by all.
This year we have a cocktail pianist for the Christmas party in the Assembly Hall – great fun, and a good occasion to bring friends to church!
Thursday, December 24: Christmas Eve “Midnight Mass” at 11:00 PM
With prelude music starting at 10:30. Music for strings, choir and organ of Bach, Pasquini, Clérambault and Mozart, as well as the Haydn Kleine Orgelmesse and Victoria O magnum mysterium.
Wishing you all a wonderful Advent and Christmas season, I look forward to seeing you at our services.
Yours,
Matthew Lewis
As Dr. Lewis notes, our Parish Christmas Party follows the Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 13. The uniquely Anglican blend of traditional Scripture and special music, followed by the warm celebration, provides an ideal occasion to introduce your friends and neighbors to Incarnation.
CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, MUSIC AND OFFERINGS 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 more recent custom at Incarnation is Operation Santa, our annual Christmas service project led by parishioner Anna Holmgren. Operation Santa involves purchasing, wrapping, and mailing gifts to children and families in need. This year, Operation Santa will be held on Sunday, December 20, after morning services and throughout the afternoon. Donations to Operation Santa help cover the costs of gifts and postage. Read more about this service opportunity in the Associate Rector’s report below.
You can use the enclosed form to make gifts to Christmas decorations, Christmas music, Operation Santa, and the Christmas Fund–as well as Stewardship pledges to underwrite the 2016 operating budget. If you have any questions, speak to me or the Treasurer, Michael Linburn.
FROM THE ASSOCIATE RECTOR:
Mission and Outreach
Incarnation will once again hold it’s annual Christmas service project, Operation Santa, on Sunday, December 20, from 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. Immediately after coffee hour, we will gather in the Parish Dining Room to respond to letters written to “Santa” by children/families in need. These letters are collected by the Post Office and then made available to Incarnation. You can participate by joining us on the 20th to shop, wrap, and package gifts, all in one afternoon.
If you can’t join us for the whole experience, you are welcome to take a letter to fulfill on your own. There will also be an opportunity to wrap some pre-purchased gifts at the start of Operation Santa, and children of any age can make Christmas cards! You can also help us take the gifts to the Farley Post Office (421 8th Ave.) the following day.
Go to our Outreach page to access a copy of the Operation Santa flyer, which you are welcome to circulate to friends. The more volunteers, the merrier! This is a great opportunity to introduce others to Incarnation and an important aspect of our shared life of faith. Not only are we being “Santa” to someone in need; we are being Christ, manifesting his presence in the world and in the lives of those we serve.
20s/30s Group
To continue an Incarnation 20s/30s tradition, Group member Breandan Ward has invited the 20s/30s to his home in Midtown for a Caroling Party on Tuesday, December 15. It’s time to warm up your vocal cords with some mulled wine or apple cider and belt our some Christmas favorites! We’ll also get a jump on Operation Santa, going through letters and divvying up Christmas lists written by children and families in need. It’s a party, hymn sing, and mission opportunity rolled into one! Please email me for details and to RSVP.
20s/30s are also invited to join in “Greening the Church” on Friday, December 11. 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.
Women’s Group
The Women’s Group is likewise invited to “Green the Church” on Friday, December 11.
Members of the Women’s Group are also invited to participate in a new “Spiritual Conversations” program. Each month, Group members are paired to meet over coffee/lunch for an intentional spiritual conversation based on a selection of discussion prompts. The pairs change each month, and Group members can opt in or out at any time. Email me to sign up!
Children and Families
Children ages 3 to 10 are invited to participate in a short Christmas Pageant during the 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday, December 20. Acolytes and kids 11 and older are invited to help. There will be one rehearsal from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 19 in the church. Please let me know if your child would like to take part so that we can have enough costumes and parts for all.
Following the Pageant, we will have special coffee hour treats and hot chocolate for all Pageant participants and helpers! Families are also encouraged to stay and participate in Operation Santa, a great hands-on mission opportunity for kids.
This year we are introducing a new Children’s Eucharist at 4:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. This brief and informal service for families will include a children’s homily, a simple Eucharistic prayer, and a few favorite Christmas hymns. The homily will involve a flock of stuffed sheep, so please bring any that you have to the service. The bigger the flock the better!
Finally, our Christmas Day service at 11:00 a.m. features a special telling of the Christmas story for children. We hope families can join us for that as well.
The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser

MEN’S GROUP DECORATION AND PARTY
The Men’s Group is also invited to help decorate the church on Friday, December 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. After the decorating is completed, all are welcome at a reception in my apartment. No need to RSVP and friends are invited.
As winter sets in, I want again to thank Brian Lamb, Andrew Roberts, and the rest of the Garden Committee. The fine weather led to our best season ever.
THANKS ALSO TO:
***Julie Noll and Christopher Stromee and their team of cooks and donors and other workers for organizing and preparing the Annual Dinner. It was a joyous and fulfilling evening in every way.
***All the volunteers who made this fall’s Senior Resource Day another meaningful experience for neighborhood seniors seeking to increase their tech savvy. A special thanks to my son, John Ousley, for handling the many RSVPs and to Todd Edelsonfor his presentation on preventing falls.
OTHER HAPPENINGS AROUND INCARNATION:
***My other son Andrew Ousley’s company, Unison Media recently filmed a music video of pianist/composer Conrad Tao in our Assembly Hall. Go to Conrad’s Facebook page, where the church is tagged and you can see the video.
***The Swedish Lutheran community of New York City will hold three Santa Lucia services at Incarnation this month.
***The veteran New Yorker writer Adam Gopnick spoke to the Trollope Society here on October 15; he told of his admiration for the Victorian British author, Anthony Trollope.
***For the first time in many years, Incarnation will hold a weekend retreat at our Incarnation Center in Ivoryton, CT. The retreat is scheduled for September 23-25, 2016; mark your calendar and look for further information next year.
WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST PARISHIONERS:
***Julianna and Jedd Katrancha report the birth on September 28 of Tully Michael Edward Katrancha.
***Cindy and Ronald Bradford report the birth of Flynn Parker Bradford on November 23.
***Shiny and Ali Jabbari report the birth of Aria Faith Jabbari on November 28.
Congratulations to all!
INCARNATION IN THE NEWS:
***A scholarly web site devoted to John LaFarge’s stained glass has recently appeared which refers to our windows and murals. These works are also referenced in an exhibit of John LaFarge’s works in the Boston College Art Museum.

From an email from a recent visitor that I received after the weekend of the Paris attacks:

“I wanted to thank you and the entire congregation for being so welcoming on my first visit to worship this morning. After speaking with members of the congregation and hearing such a wonderful sermon I greatly look forward to attending again. Thank you again for being such a great beacon of hope.”

2016 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 on January 27. Please let me know if you think you would like to be part of this class or if you have any questions about it.
I’m pleased to announce that the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, will be the confirming bishop this year. Bishop Sauls is the administrator at the Episcopal Church headquarters on Second Avenue. He is the former Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky and will be making his first visit to Incarnation on March 6.
2016 ANNUAL MEETING
The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2016, at 12:30 p.m, in the Assembly Hall. Leaders of parish organizations are reminded that annual reports of their activities during 2015 should 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.
LONDON PARISH LINK
The Rector emeritus of our London link parish of St. Vedast-Alias-Fosters, the Rev. Dr. Alan McCormack recently began serving as the Chaplain to the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The Mayor, the Rt. Hon. Lord Mountevans is a member of St. Vedast. His wife, Lady Mountevans participated in our last parishioner exchange.
Speaking of which, one of the Wardens of our sister parish, Elizabeth Batchelor and I discussed a new exchange for 2016 when I was in London in September. A group of 8-12 persons from Incarnation would travel to the UK for a long weekend after Easter. Incarnation would then host a similar group from St. Vedast in the autumn of 2016.
Ann and Ted Rast were in London for the installation of the Lord Mayor; they have agreed to act as coordinators of the visit. If you think you might be interested, let them or me know.
* * * * * *
On behalf of the Wardens, Vestry, and Staff, I thank you for your generous support, and I wish you a joyous Christmas and a rewarding and hopeful New Year.
Yours,
The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley, Rector
Enclosures:
Donation form and Christmas flyer
Vestry-page-001
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christmas flower donations-page-001


Parish Newsletter

PARISH LETTER

SUMMER 2015

Dear Friends,

The E-minder has been on vacation but is coming back soon in a new and improved version. Meanwhile, here is some news for you, either on paper of via email.

CHAMPAGNE AND CAKE

The Spire Restoration Campaign is winding down, though some of us who made two- or three-year pledges will be making additional contributions to the Spire Fund. What hasn’t been covered by donations, outside gifts, legacies, and foundation grants will be made up by these additional gifts and by income from restricted endowment funds. I’ll publish a full financial statement later this year.

Meanwhile, the tower is shining in the spring sun, and on Sunday, June 7, we will be celebrating this tremendous accomplishment with champagne and cake. If you have donated and haven’t received your souvenir stone, you can pick one up at the coffee hour.

Special thanks to the members of the Steering Committee, Janet Loengard, Chris Stromee, and Jonathan Vaughan, as well as to Michael and Kathy Linburn, Sandra Cecchini, and many others who worked on and donated to the program.

MEN’S/WOMEN’S GROUPS

On Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m., members of the Women’s Group and the Men’s Group will hold a joint end-of-the season potluck supper. The theme of the evening will “Missionary Visits of the Apostles,” with food prepared with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern themes. Paul, Peter, James, and others began in the Holy Land and journey as far west as Spain; Thomas is reputed to have gone to India. So you have a lot of choices as to the food and drink for the dinner.

Call 212 689-6350 or email info@churchoftheincarnation.org to let us know that you’ll be coming and what you will be bringing.

“SELMA”

The Women’s Group will sponsor a showing of the film, Selma, on Tuesday, July 28, at 7 p.m., in the Parish Living Room. Popcorn and soft drinks will be provided. The film is open to everyone in the parish, and there will be time to discuss it after the viewing.

NEWS FROM FORMER CLERGY AND PARISHIONERS:

***Former assistant, the Rev. Canon Amy Cortright, was in town recently for a meeting of an alumni committee at General Theological Seminary. Her husband, the Rev. Canon Joe Chambers, has just been appointed a top assistant to the Bishop of Missouri.

***Chuck Beardsley writes from Brunswick, Maine, that he is doing well, despite battling Parkinson’s Disease.

* * * * * *

A recent Murray Hill Neighborhood Association newsletter reports that Murray Hill is “the top U. S. neighborhood for college-educated persons between 25-34 years of age.” According to a real estate blog, this population is characterized by “high proportions of science and technology workers, high levels of education, and high rent.”

* * * * * *

The Adult Bible Study has its last session before the summer on Father’s Day, June 21. The class resumes on Sunday, September 13, at 10:00 a.m.

SUNDAY SCHOOL

The Sunday School year ends on June 14, and will resume in mid-September. Please contact me if you might be interested in helping with the Sunday School in the autumn.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Incarnation’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) will be held Monday, August 10, through Friday, August 14, 2015, and will run from 9:15 a.m. until 12:00 noon each day. The cost is $50 per child. To register children ages 3-10, please call the church office, 212-689-6350. Tell your friends and neighbors about this program, and consider volunteering your time and talent to make the week a success. We need volunteers to lead games, crafts, music, and storytelling; to help with snacks and registration; and to be in charge of groups of five or six children. There are plenty of “behind the scenes” tasks as well. You can volunteer for all, one, or a few of the days.

ASSOCIATE RECTOR

The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser begins her ministry here on July 15 and will be preaching at all the services on Sunday, July 19. On Sunday, October 4, at 11 a.m., we will have a celebration of her new ministry as we have had for former assistants; we will also have a luncheon that day.

THANKS TO:

***Sandy Cecchini for many, many hours volunteering as Parish Administrator, and Ginny Bubaris and other office volunteers for their help this spring.

***Everyone on the Church Family Committee for being so helpful to Tom Southworth and Basil Elliot.

***Our acolytes, who served so faithfully this year: Baird Johnson, Christopher and James Vincent, and Junior Acolyte Kendall Gardner.

***Our Sunday School teachers: Meredith Huveneers, Monica Culoso, Mark Lulka, Kim Neufeld, and Emmy Wardrop.

***Brian Lamb and members of the Garden Committee for all their work in the church garden following the end of the tower repair.

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

Summer rapidly approaches, which means we see the end of our choir season here at Incarnation. Sunday, May 17 was the last choir Sunday. During the summer months, soloists from the choir sing for the 11:00 a.m. services. As I always say, this is a great opportunity to hear our choir members present their solo repertoire. Another great year of music making, and looking forward to many more!

On Saturday, June 13, St. George’s Choral Society presents a free concert here at Incarnation, featuring the Poulenc Gloria and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. The Bernstein piece was written in 1965, so this year marks its 50th anniversary. I hope you can all take advantage of this free concert.

The Senior Warden has informed me of a Vestry decision to make some pretty substantial budget cuts to the music program at Incarnation. I will be working out these details over the coming months, but am confident we will continue to present outstanding music here. I know we will find creative and interesting ways to do this. I am forever grateful to all the musicians we have here, especially for their hard work and artistry.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer! —Matthew Lewis

FROM MARY TALIAFERRO:

The 20/30s group will be attending the 5 p.m. service on June 7th and

then will have a beer tasting at the Parish house next door after the
service. It will be a tasting of the beer we brewed on April 30th…it’s finally ready!

Feel free to bring friends, roommates, spouses etc. Please RSVP to me if you are able to attend. Remember to come thirsty!

* * * * * *

I should mention that, thanks to Andrew Ousley, the beer will be called, “Steeplechaser” and will bear the label of “The Incarnation Brewing Company.”

SUMMER SUNDAY BRUNCHES

We are holding our usual summer Sunday brunches on the last Sundays of the month: May 31, June 28, July 26, and August 30, after the coffee hour. These Dutch treat meals usually cost $15-20, depending on what you order. No reservations needed.

***On March 27, 2015, Barbara Brunger died in Madison, CT, following a long battle with Parkinson’s; she was 77. While Barbara had not attended church in some time because of her illness, she was a faithful member and contributor to Incarnation, as well as a personal friend for almost 40 years. I gave her last rites at Connecticut Hospice and later officiated at her funeral in Madison. Please remember her husband Bill and her children and grandchildren in your prayers.

***On April 12, 2015, Basil Elliot died in a Harlem nursing home, following a heart attack; he was 92. As I mentioned in my April 19 sermon and at Basil’s funeral on 5, he served Incarnation as Head Usher, Building Committee Chair, and Vestry member. He also ordered and paid for new kneelers for the church. He was a great presence in our congregation.

***On May 4, 2015, Thomas Southworth died in an Upper West Side nursing home, following a stroke; he was 94. Tom had been a volunteer receptionist at the church and assistant Head Usher since the 1970’s. Until last autumn, he was in the office six days a week, traveling by bus or subway from his home in the West Side YMCA. He knew everyone and was an inexhaustible source of information about what was happening in the parish. His funeral will be held at Incarnation sometime later in June.

Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

* * * * * *

In May, we were honored to receive a visit from the Bishop of London, the Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres, a Chaplain to the Queen and one of the best-known and most-honored figures in the Anglican Communion

Bishop Chartres was in New York to address the Church Club (open to all New York Episcopalian laypeople). He attended a meeting in the Parish House with clergy from New York parishes linked with the Diocese of London and then dined with New York Suffragan Bishop Allen Shin, the Rev. Dr. Alan McCormack, and others in my apartment.

Speaking of Fr. McCormack, he has just announced that in September, he will become Dean of William Goodenough House in London. Located in Bloomsbury near the University of London, Goodenough provides residences and programs for graduate students.

We will of course maintain our link with St. Vedast-Alias-Fosters, and we wish Fr. McCormack well in his return to academe. This September, I hope to travel to the UK to preach at a service in his honor.

Yours,

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

 

 



Parish Newsletter

PARISH LETTER

MARCH–APRIL 2015

Dear Friends,

Before I describe the services and events of Holy Week, I want to repeat an important announcement that I made at the services on March 8:

The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser has accepted our call to be Associate Rector of Incarnation, beginning July 15. Adrian is currently completing a two-year assignment as Rockefeller Fellow north of us on Madison Avenue, at St. James Church. A native of Mississippi, she is a graduate of Duke and Yale Divinity School; she also has a degree from Vanderbilt Law School and worked for the Wall Street law firm, Fried Frank.

Adrian will be in charge of youth and women’s programs and will share in the other ministries here as past assistants have done. She, her husband Jess and her six-year-old daughter, Calloway will move into an apartment in the Parish House. I know you will enjoy welcoming the Dannhausers to our parish family.

* * * * * *

Now to the liturgies and events of Holy Week and Easter.

Palms will be distributed at all three services on Palm Sunday, March 29. 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 and keep until Ash Wednesday 2016.

The Eucharist will be celebrated Monday to Thursday in Holy Week at 12:15 p.m. On Maundy Thursday evening, April 2, ,at 7:00 p.m., we will return to a previous custom of celebrating the Eucharist in honor of the Last Supper and then having a ceremonial “stripping of the altar,” which foreshadows Christ’s passion. There will also be a time to remain in the darkened church for prayer and meditation.

On Good Friday, beginning at noon, there will be readings, a homily by the Seminarian Assistant, music from the women of the choir, and traditional prayers, followed by the Good Friday Liturgy and communion. The church will remain open until 3:00 p.m. for prayer and meditation. Prayers will be offered at fifteen-minute intervals.

The Easter Eve Vigil and Eucharist this year will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd, which was once the Chapel of the Incarnation. Good Shepherd’s rector, the Rev. Erika Meyer will preside and I will preach. Refreshments will follow at Good Shepherd.

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.

* * * * * * *

Please post the enclosed flyer listing 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.

Dr. Lewis will now discuss the music he is preparing for us.

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

With the winter we’ve had, I am certainly looking forward to spring, and all that goes with it! Here are some music highlights coming up at Incarnation:

***Sunday, March 29, Palm Sunday. Choral music of Weelkes, Poulenc and Victoria, with augmented choir.

***Sunday, April 5, Easter Day, music for string, choir and organ. String music by Mozart and Dvoràk, and the Mass in C by Schubert, along with choral music by Haydn and Mozart – a very classical and spring-like program!

***Also, on Sunday, April 26 at 3:00 PM, St. George’s Choral Society will present Honegger’s dramatic poem, “King David.” This piece was composed in 1921, and incorporates many musical styles, including Baroque, jazz, and modern – even poly-tonality. The narrator is WQXR host Terrance McKnight. This is a rare opportunity to hear this incredible piece, in its original orchestration. Tickets are $25.00, available at the door or through the website: stgeorgeschoralsociety.org.

Wishing you all a meaningful Holy Week, and triumphant Easter season,

Matthew Lewis

 

EASTER BRUNCH

The Parish Easter Brunch will once again be held at the Galway Restaurant, just a few steps from the church at 7 East 36 Street. The buffet menu includes a wide selection of tasty items, along with a choice of one brunch drink.

To make a reservation, send your check (adults: $24, children: $12) to the Parish Office or give it to me after church on Sunday. Family and friends are of course welcome.

EASTER FLOWERS AND MUSIC

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 have to spend.

EASTER EGG HUNT

Children are invited to our annual Easter Egg Hunt after the April 5th 11:00 am service; Ellen Gardner is in charge of the event. We will gather in the newly refurbished Nursery and Godly Play Room. There will be baskets available, but your child is also welcome to bring his/her own. Children are also welcome at our Parish Brunch on Easter Sunday.

20S/30S

FROM MARY TALIAFERRO:

The 20/30s group with Church of Incarnation has two exciting events happening this month:

March 14th, 9am-12pm: Volunteering at the Moravian Open Door, an organization committed to provide transitional housing to the homeless.

  1. March 21st, 3pm: Black Iron Burger. Andrew Ousley has kindly invited us to join his monthly burger club. Come and join us for some great burgers, beers, and laughs! Below is a more detailed description of this great event!

Please let me know if you plan to attend one or both of these events!

Best,

Mary

WOMEN’S GROUP

The Women’s Group will meet on Wednesday, March 18, at 7 pm. A light supper will be served.

We will make plans for the spring and summer, and we will also hear a presentation from the girls and boys of our Sea Scout troop. Please email me at ousleyjd@churchoftheincarnation.org or call the church office if you would like to reserve a place. All women are welcome.

 

THANKS TO:

***The ushers, AG acolytes, readers, chalice bearers and all who supported Christmas services and the Christmas Pageant and Fair. Thanks also to everyone who made donations for Christmas decorations and music, the Christmas Fund, the Spire Restoration—in addition to your annual pledges.

***Ellen Gardner and all who worked on the farewell Ginger Day luncheon—the largest lunch crowd in many years.

***Laurie Mygatt, who organized a successful Shrove Tuesday Mardi Gras Supper.

***Robert Galloway and his large team who put on the reception for the retired Bishop of Rhode Island and the confirmands.

MEN’S GROUP MEETINGS

We will meet from 7:00 until 8:30 p,m., in the Parish Living Room on Monday, April 13, and Monday, May 11. Drinks will be served, and topics will announced, following our next meeting on March 16. [If you receive this message in time, the topic for that meeting will be: “The Differences between the Christian God and the Muslim Allah.”) All men are welcome to any of these meetings.

BIOGRAPHIES OF RECENTLY-ELECTED VESTRY MEMBERS:

***Sondra L. Carter is a native of New Jersey. She attended Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, campus as an undergraduate. In 1980, she received her medical degree from Rutgers University Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey. A resident of Manhattan since 1985, Dr. Carter now works with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Disease Intervention Services.

***Lance Eckel is a Managing Partner of Butchers Hill Capital, a Pennsylvania-based venture capital firm that invests in emerging, high growth businesses. Prior to his work in the securities industry, Lance was an economist and policy analyst for the Government of Canada. He is a graduate of McGill University (Montreal) earning both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Economics. Lance has been the Director of the Investment Committee for the Church since 2004 and resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife and two children.

***Sandra von Benken writes: I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and, after traveling and studying German and French in Europe for 3 years, I returned to Cincinnati where I received a BA from the University of Cincinnati in German Language and Literature. I was given an Assistantship and taught German at the university for one year after which time I decided to change directions completely, move to NY, and pursue the dream of my life — ballet. I studied for 20 years with David Howard (taking classes with many of the most famous dancers in America) and supported my artistic life working as a legal secretary/assistant. My last position was as personal/legal secretary to John Campaign, the owner of Graham, Campaign PC, a boutique trademark firm. I joined the Church of the Incarnation several years ago, happily serve on the Hospitality Committee, and am very honored to now be on the Vestry.

PAPER OR EMAIL?

This Parish Letter is distributed in both paper and electronic versions. The respective advantages are obvious: a physical letter is more likely to be kept and consulted while an email is easier and cheaper to produce and distribute. Some churches have moved entirely to email. Please let me know if you have thoughts one way or the other.

CONGRATULATIONS TO:

***Shiny Mathewcutty Jabbari, Jedd Katrancha, Juliana Katrancha, Curtis Vance, Christopher Vincent, and James Vincent who were confirmed by the retired Bishop of Rhode Island, the Rt. Rev. Gerilyn Wolf on March 8.

NEWS FROM FORMER PARISHIONERS:

***From Liz and Colin Westcott-Pitt, who just moved to Amsterdam: “Please let everyone know we are thinking of them and even though we have left, Incarnation and the people we have come to know will always be in our hearts and prayers. Liz and Colin”

R.I.P.

Emily Nagle died on November 23, at the age of 93, following a long illness. For many years, Emily attended church on occasion with her daughter-in-law, Tory Nagle, and she was a faithful supporter of the Christmas Fund.

Dr. Uche Akwuba Senior, father of our Master of Ceremonies, died on November 23. He was in a nursing home in Brooklyn. Dr. Akwuba attended Incarnation in the 1980’s and ‘90’s. His funeral was held at Incarnation on December 6.

Mimi Boyd McWilliam died on December 21, 11 days before her 100th birthday. Before going in a nursing home a few years ago, she was a very active member of Incarnation, serving on the Vestry and assisting with many activities. Her funeral will be on Tuesday, April 14, at 11 a.m., in the church, with a reception following.

Deborah Berthel died on February 6, at the age of 65. Deb had many illnesses in the last fifteen years of her life. She became unable to walk or read and she could speak only with great difficulty. Nevertheless, she was regularly visited by our clergy, and her affairs were managed for years by Incarnation’s general counsel, Edward Curtin.

Our condolences go out to family and friends of all of these departed souls. May they rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them.

* * * * * *

Following is the blessing I wrote for Suffragan Bishop Allen Shin. We climbed to the top of the steeple just before the scaffolding was finally removed, after two years.

Dedication of the Restored Steeple–Church of the Incarnation

January 7, 2015

Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for the completion of our work of restoration of the steeple of our church. We are grateful for the careful labors of the workmen and their supervisors, for the wisdom of our architects, and for the generosity of many donors. We are especially thankful that we were able to accomplish more work than we originally expected we could do.

Now, as we ask your blessing upon the fruits of our labors, we also pray that the spire be a symbol of renewed faith and purpose in this place, so that we can continue to be good stewards of this building and faithful ministers of your word and sacraments.

Bless this building and all who worship here in the Name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit+ Amen.

* * * * * *

Finally, here is an email I recently received, which reminds us of the effect our work has beyond our parish community.

Dear Reverend Ousley,

This time last year, on Advent Sunday, we were privileged to join you at your 8.30 am Eucharist. My wife and I, visiting from England, were spending a few days In New York (our first time) and, for us, sharing worship with you on that December morning was one of the highlights of our visit.

We have often spoken of our time experiencing a bit of ‘real’ New York life – and in such good company. If, one year on, you were able to pass on our good wishes to your congregation, we would be very grateful. You are often in our thoughts.

And, much like the drawing on your web site, the Church of the Incarnation may long have been overtaken in physical stature by the surrounding buildings of New York but, where it matters – spiritually, it is surely the tallest of buildings in your great city.

With all good wishes for Advent and Christmas from “across the pond”,

Marian and Rowland Myers

* * * * * *

As I prepare for my 31st Holy Week at Incarnation, I want to wish a joyous Easter to you and to those you love.

Yours,

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

www.churchoftheincarnation.org

 

 

 

 

 

 



Parish Newsletter

PARISH LETTER

NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2014

 

Dear Friends,

Before we get to news of the Christmas services and events, here is an important announcement from our Assistant Minister:

Dear Friends,

As many of you are aware, after consultation with the Rector, I have accepted a position as Associate at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ross, California, (about 15 miles north of San Francisco). My last Sunday at Incarnation will be January 25, 2015.

I am looking forward to the opportunity for new experiences and increased responsibility. But the thought of leaving Incarnation makes me very sad. I am so thankful for my three and a half years here with you.

Thank you for supporting me even in the most difficult moments. I have learned so much about patience, kindness, and faith from you. Thank you for being patient with me, and for helping me to learn and grow as a priest.

I am glad to two more months to serve with you and hope to make the transition to the next stage of things as smooth as possible.

With thanks,

Ginger

On January 25, we will have a potluck luncheon to honor the Rev. Ginger Strickland and her rich and energetic ministry at Incarnation. While we congratulate her on her new appointment, we will all be sad to see her go, and we wish her Godspeed.

 

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

Sunday, December 7 at 5:00 PM: Annual Service of Christmas Lessons and Carols

Incarnation Choir, with strings, oboe and organ, including the Concerto in D, by Benedetto Marcello. One of the most beautiful pieces in the Baroque repertoire, this stunning work will be played by oboist, Keisuke Ikuma. Also on the program are works by Britten, Holst, Saint-Saëns and Poulenc, along with traditional carols sung by all.

This service is one of the most popular events at Incarnation – a great occasion to bring friends!

Christmas Eve – Wednesday, December 24

10:30 PM – Preparatory Service of Music, featuring the Incarnation Choir

11:00 PM – Festival Eucharist. Choral music of Bach and Mendelssohn, with carols arranged by Willcocks and Rutter. Traditional carols sung by all. Organ music of Dupré, Vierne and Widor.

Christmas Day – Thursday, December 25

11:00 AM – Family Eucharist, with a soloist from the choir. Organ music of Dupré and Bach.

Matthew Lewis

* * * * * *

Our Parish Christmas Party will follow the Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 7. Dr. Lewis and singers from the choir will lead us in caroling during the party. The uniquely Anglican blend of traditional Scripture and special music, followed by the warm celebration, provides an ideal occasion to introduce your friends and neighbors to Incarnation.

The Eucharist at eleven o’clock on Christmas Day features a Visit to the Crèche for the children present.

* * * * * *

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 who have children that the Nursery is open every Sunday of the year, staffed by a professional attendant, and the Sunday School welcomes drop-ins and visitors.

It often happens that 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.

And note that for the first time in many years, we plan a Christmas Pageant! Further details are below, in Ginger’s contribution.

 

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. Vestry members are also making cookies for shut-ins; if you would like to donate cookies, you can call Janet Loengard at 908 766-1412.

2015 VESTRY NOMINATIONS

The Nominating Committee for the 2015 Vestry has been appointed: Janet Loengard, Gretchen Morgenson, and Elizabeth Westcott-Pitt from the Vestry and Susan Adams, Uche Akwuba II, Stephen Ju, and Robert Torretti from the parish at large. Please give any suggestions you might have for Vestry candidates to a member of the committee before they meet on December 14.

 

 

 

FROM THE ASSISTANT MINISTER:

Reaching Out

 

This year, Incarnation will continue its work with “Operation Santa,” a personal way to give to a specific child or family in need at Christmas. On Sunday, December 14 after the 11 AM service, we will gather in the Parish House. The event will last from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM. The Post Office collects letters from families in need and we will have a selection of letters available. You can participate by joining us on the 14th to shop, wrap, and mail packages; by picking up a letter on the 14th and answering a letter on your own time; by making a donation for gifts or postage; or by joining us at 4:00 PM on the 15th to help us get the boxes to the Post Office. All are welcome to participate – this is a great opportunity to introduce friends to Incarnation. Questions? Please contact Anna Holmgren at 212-473-5166.

 

Some exciting news regarding Senior Resource Day, Incarnation’s outreach program offering tech help to seniors: National Corporation Research, a local business, will be donating food for the hot meal that we serve during the event. In addition, Incarnation is working on a partnership with the Stein Senior Center to receive a grant from the Department of Aging focusing on getting information out about how to prevent elder abuse. Thanks to Incarnation volunteers for building such an effective program! The next Senior Day will be Sunday, January 18, from 1-3 PM.

 

Twenties and Thirties

Group member Breandan Ward has invited the Incarnation Twenties and Thirties to his home for a Carol Party on Tuesday, December 9. Those who attended last year will remember that it was a highlight of the season. For details, please join our 20s/30s email list by contacting me. 20s/30s are also invited to join the Men’s and Women’s Groups in “Greening the Church” on Friday, December 12. The decorating will begin at 6:30 PM. and will continue until every wreath is hung and bow is tied. The Rector will host a holiday reception in his apartment afterwards.

Women’s Group

The Women’s Group is also invited to “Green the Church” on Friday, December 12, beginning at 6:30 PM. After the decorating is completed, all are welcome at a reception in the Rector’s apartment.

Youth and Families

Families with children are invited to have their pictures taken with Santa at Incarnation’s Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 6 from 11 AM-6 PM. Children can enjoy Santa and the playroom while parents get a chance to check out all the Fair goodies and maybe even enjoy some refreshments at our café.

In addition, children are invited to participate in a short Christmas Pageant during the 11 AM service on Sunday, December 14. There will be one rehearsal from 10-11 AM, on Saturday, December 13 in the church. All children from ages 3-10 are invited, and are welcome to bring friends. Please let me know if you plan to come so that we can have enough costumes and parts for all. Acolytes and kids over 11 are invited to help. Thanks to Tory Nagle for directing this year’s pageant. Please contact the Assistant Minister if you’d like to participate. Families are invited to stay for lunch and Operation Santa after the service.

the Rev. Ginger Strickland

 

MEN’S GROUP/PARTY

The Men’s Group is also invited to help decorate the church on Friday, December 12, beginning at 6:30 PM. After the decorating is completed, all are welcome at a reception in my apartment. No need to RSVP and friends are welcome.

INCARNATION 2020

 

The Incarnation 2020 Committee met for the first time on September 30.

Father Andrew Mullins, consultant to Church of the Incarnation, discussed membership and attendance trends, demographics data for 10016 zip code, and implications for growth of the parish.

 

The increase in membership at Incarnation in the past five years runs contrary to national and diocesan trends, which are declining membership and attendance. Father Mullins has performed an analysis of the demographic features of our zip code. The demographic data show that our zip code is young (average age 41 years), affluent, well-educated, and mostly single. While most aren’t very interested in religion, those who are prefer an historic Christian tradition.

 

Understanding the demographics of the 10016 zip code, we can develop ideas for reaching out to our true target audience. Incarnation is a church that is growing and can grow more. In subsequent meetings, the Committee has been developing plans and programs to reach the target audience. Ideas from the parish are welcomed and encouraged. The final meeting of the Committee will be a joint meeting with the Vestry on January 21.

Juliana Attwood

CHRISTMAS FAIR AND SILENT AUCTION

The Christmas Fair will be on Saturday only this year: December 6, from 11 AM to 6 PM. There will be many new features, including the presence of Santa Claus and an expanded Silent Auction.

Also, this year the Silent Auction will be online! Photos and descriptions of silent auction items will be found at www.incnyc.org (look for the link in the bottom left corner) beginning at 11 AM on November 29 – and bids will be accepted by email (ginger@churchoftheincarnation.org) until the Fair begins at 11AM on December 6. Bidding for the Auction will close after Lessons and Carols on December 7

WINTER CLASS

Following the success of our summer class on “Christian Questions,” I propose a winter class of three Tuesday sessions of one hour each. My tentative topic is, “Faith and the Emotions.” More information will follow.

SOUNDS

We continue to work to improve the audio in our church. Please let me know if you ever have trouble hearing readings or sermon or other parts of the liturgy.

THANKS TO:

***Robert Galloway, for getting the Church of the Incarnation listed on the Roosevelt Map that listed sits of special interest to those who watched the PBS series about the Roosevelts.

***Many volunteers this busy fall, especially office workers Ginny Bubaris, Rodica and Mihail Georgescu, and Sandra Cecchini. Tom Southworth has also served many hours, but he is currently in rehab, recovering from a fall.

 

R.I.P.

On November 6, Aileen Vaughan died, following a long illness. Aileen attended Incarnation occasionally over the course of many years with her husband, Roger and her son, Jonathan. Our condolences to her family and friends. May Aileen rest in peace.

2015 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 on February 4. Please let me know if you think you would like to be part of this class or if you have any questions about it.

I’m pleased to announce that the retired Bishop of Rhode Island, the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, will be the confirming bishop this year. Bishop Wolf will be making her first visit to Incarnation. She is an engaging preacher, and I know you will want to welcome here when she arrives on Sunday, March 8.

2015 ANNUAL MEETING

The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held on Sunday, January 11, 2015, at 12:30 pm, in the Assembly Hall. Leaders of parish organizations are reminded that annual reports of their activities during 2014 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.

* * * * * *

Enclosed with this Parish Letter, you will find a letter from our Junior Warden, Jonathan Vaughan. This is the time of the year when we customarily ask for donations for Christmas decorations, Christmas music, Operation Santa, and the Christmas Fund–as well as Stewardship pledges to underwrite the 2015 operating budget. A sixth request is special for this year: to close out the campaign to fund the three-quarter-million-dollar restoration of the stonework on the church spire. (Among recent gifts was a $20,000 donation from Bill and Weslie Janeway.)

I am well-aware that we are asking a lot. On the other hand, I just returned from a workshop on church growth; the leader claimed that Episcopalian leaders lose support because they have “low expectations” of their membership.

I admit to having had low expectations at the beginning of our Spire Campaign; those expectations were surpassed long ago by the remarkable generosity of Incarnation’s parishioners and friends. I now have confidence in your commitment to Incarnation’s ministry to the community and to those in need.

On behalf of the Wardens, Vestry, and Staff, I thank you for your support, and I wish you a joyous Christmas and a rewarding and hopeful New Year.

Yours,

 

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley, Rector

Enclosures:

Vaughan Letter; Donation form; Christmas flyer

 

 

 

 

 

November 24, 2014

 

 

Dear Parishioner,

 

Over the last six months the Church of the Incarnation has undertaken a fundraising appeal, the Spire Fund Campaign, towards the cost of repair and restoration of our tower spire. More recently the parish received a generous promise to boost the spire project fundraising with a special foundation challenge grant.

 

The challenge grant will match every new or increased gift from parishioners to the Spire Fund, dollar for dollar. However, the funds will only be matched if every parishioner makes a gift. Even a gift of $5 will meet this stipulation. If you have not already done so, I especially ask you to participate. Again, all new and increased gifts will be matched by the grant.

 

Last winter small shards of brownstone from the tower spire began to peel off and fall to the street. These small chunks of falling stone are a serious danger to pedestrians and also could damage the roof leading to leaks into the sanctuary. Immediately after this discovery protective bridgework above the sidewalk was installed. Then scaffolding was erected around the tower so that the spire could be evaluated and repaired.

 

While the spire restoration itself is close to completion the fundraising campaign is not. Aside from the challenge grant opportunity, more contributions are indeed needed to pay for the project. Donors of gifts of $100 and above will receive a boxed small brownstone memento as a thank you reminder of the campaign’s purpose. Gifts or pledges of $1,000 and above are acknowledged in a Spire Fund donor book placed by the entrance to the sanctuary. All additional gifts will be greatly appreciated!

 

A Spire Fund pledge card and reply envelope are enclosed. For any questions about pledge payments or special types of gifts, such as gifts of stock, please contact the rector through the parish office.

 

Thank you for your consideration of a new or increased gift for the Spire Fund Campaign while meeting the challenge for parish-wide participation.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Jonathan Vaughan

Junior Warden

 

 



Parish Newsletter

PARISH LETTER

FEBRUARY-MARCH 2014

Dear Friends,

Before I describe the new programs for Shrove Tuesday and Lent, I want to give you the latest news on the Spire Restoration.

The Vestry has signed a contract with Preserv, a well-known building company that works with historic buildings. Some years ago, Preserv installed the handicap access entrance and ramp in the front of the church. The various approvals from the Department of Buildings and the Landmarks Preservation Commission look to arrive more quickly than expected and we plan to begin erection of a new sidewalk bridge and scaffold quite soon.

Generous initial gifts, grants and legacies have been received and we have more than a third of the $550,000 required in hand. The Vestry is now planning ways to raise funds for the rest of the work. Mark Lulka, an engineer from the parish and I are meeting regularly with Preserv and our long-time architects from Jan Hurd Pokorny Associates.

When a stone fell on the Madison Avenue sidewalk on December 28, 2012, I knew we had a big problem. We received bids for the work last year as high as two million dollars—a sum far beyond our means. Now it appears that the work can be completed by autumn—a perfect way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the construction of our church building!

* * * * * *

We begin Lent with a new way to celebrate Mardi Gras, known in Anglican churches as Shrove Tuesday: Incarnation’s first Mardi Gras Potluck. Join us on Tuesday, March 4, at 7:00 PM, in the Assembly Hall. We suggest that you bring something delicious, decadent, and thoroughly un-Lenten! Crockpots are welcome. See the enclosed flyer.

If you do not bring a dish, the cost of admission is $14. Friends attend for free. When you reserve via phone (212 689-6350) or email (info@churchoftheincarnation.org,) be sure to let us know what dish you plan to bring (or that you’ll give $14) and which team you will be a part of (Set Up, Serving, or Clean Up).

ASH WEDNESDAY

Ash Wednesday brings more visitors into our church than any other day of the year. Ginger or I will be in the Church to offer ashes throughout the day, March 5.

We will have celebrations of the Eucharist at 8:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.; there will be hymns and organ music during the 12:15 service.

LENT COFFEE TALK

Ginger and I have also changed the format of our traditional Lenten lectures. This year, they will be shorter, with more lecture and less discussion. They will take place in the Parish Living Room from 12:30 to 1:00. Afterwards, anyone who wishes to discuss the topics can accompany the clergy to a local restaurant for a Dutch treat brunch.

The general topic is “Experience of God.” The individual topics are: “Making room for Experience” (March 9), “Nature Mysticism” (March 23), “Crisis Spirituality” (March 30), and “Experience and Doubt” (April 6).

CONFIRMATION MARCH 16

On Sunday, March 16, the Bishop of New York, the Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche will make his first official visit to Incarnation. He will preach and confirm during the 11 am service; then he and the confirmands will be honored at a gala reception in the Parish House.

FROM THE STEWARDSHIP 2014 CHAIR

How to stretch your Incarnation gift

If you are thinking of selling appreciated stock in order to make a gift to Incarnation, give the stock directly instead. By donating the stock itself, you avoid tax on the appreciated amount. And, you still use the total amount as a charitable gift deduction for calculating income tax. Every brokerage is prepared to transfer shares of stock electronically to a charity. Remember, the stock gift must be made from the brokerage to the charity directly in order to avoid taxation on the appreciated amount. To obtain the church’s bank transfer account number or for related questions, please leave a message at the church office or email to “info@churchoftheincarnation.org“.

 

Christopher Stromee

 

Every Lent, I remind members of Incarnation of the duty of every Christian to make plans for our eventual passing from this world. These plans should include filling out a healthcare proxy and a living will so that your designated relative or friend can make medical decisions for you in the event that you cannot make them yourself.

Also, be sure that you have an up-to-date will for your material estate. Your will and other last wishes should be kept in a location outside of your apartment and accessible to your heirs. Our Treasurer, Michael Linburn has written a clear and concise guide to making these decisions. The booklet, entitled, “ is available at the entrance to the church, or in the Parish House, or via mail or email from the parish office.

Every year, we also remember with gratitude those who have recently made bequests to Incarnation, such as Dusty Pierce and Gladys Newbery. This year, Legacy Sunday will be observed on March 30.

NEWS FROM FORMER PARISHIONERS:

***Anne Perkins writes from New Mexico that she has found a good church and made friends but still misses New York.

***Fran Cobb wrote to me after my wedding; she reminded me that she met her husband, Steve at Incarnation 36 years ago!

***Theresa Banfield writes from Southern California that the eldest of her six great-grandchildren will be graduating from college this spring.

***Faith Abrams writes from Florida after a visit to our church: “No matter how much time has passed, thanks to you, Incarnation feels like home.”

***Rose Petito Evans reports from the DC area that she is recovering from a fall but is now doing fine.

We are so lucky that people stay in touch with Incarnation for decades after they leave New York. Here’s one final comment that was posted on the web site by a former parishioner: “The rites and rituals can be reproduced any Sunday at any church. What makes a service special is the sermon. I left New York more than a decade ago, and missed those sermons since then. Thanks for the pod casts. I plan on being a regular!”

 

MEN’S GROUP

The next meeting of the Men’s Group will be on Monday, March 10; we are one week later than usual because of Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday the previous week.

Our topic will be “Was Jesus married and does it matter?” Ginger Strickland will review new scholarship on Jesus’ marital status and what is at stake in the debate. This issue has generated much press and I’m sure Ginger’s reflections will be of great interest to us. Refreshments from Diet Coke to martinis will, of course, be abundant.

THANKS TO:

***Uche Akwuba, Master of Ceremonies, Padmini Abeywickrama, Altar Guild chairperson, and all the chalice bearers, readers, acolytes and ushers who helped with the Christmas services.

***The Women’s, Men’s, and 20’s/30’s Groups for decorating the church, and to everyone who gave so generously for the Christmas decorations and music and for the Christmas Fund.

***Anna Holmgren and the many parishioners and friends who participated in Operation Santa. Anna reports:

First of all, thank you for your support for year three. It did end up being a smaller event this year. I think having the event on the same day as Lessons and Carols made it hard for some people to attend.

 

Despite that, we sent gifts to about 50 children. I would estimate over 200 gifts.We had about 20 parishioners participate and about8 non-parishioners. This year we also scanned the letters we filled, I’ll forward a sampling in case you want to make them available for people. Let me know if you have any questions.

 

***Laurie Mygatt and everyone else who worked so hard on the Christmas Fair. Thanks to the many donors and workers, we realized nearly $8,000 to support parish work in the year ahead.

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

Christmas was, for me, a wonderful and memorable season here at Incarnation – so many moments that were special! I particularly enjoyed our Service of Lessons and Carols, which featured an extended piece by Philip Glass, and all the wonderful choral music with strings we did that day. I would like to thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm over the past 20 years. I look forward to more Christmases to come!

 

With Epiphany about to come to a close, we are already looking at the season of Lent. I always like to program a big music day for the Last Sunday in Epiphany, which is March 2. That day will feature music of Franck, including his rousing setting of Psalm 150, and the Organ Choral in E major.

 

The First Sunday in Lent, on March 9, will include the Great Litany in procession. This is an Anglican tradition we haven’t done for a few years. I am pleased we will be doing it again. It concludes with a poignant choral “Kyrie” by Jean Langlais.

 

Looking ahead, we will continue with our series of contemporary music. Watch for works of Pendercki and Larry King (former music director at Trinity, Wall Street, and one of the most creative musicians to come out of NYC).

 

St. George’s Choral Society will present their Spring Concert at Incarnation on Sunday, May 4 at 3:00 PM. This will be an incredible concert, with orchestra, featuring the monumental Great Mass in C minor, by Mozart. This work doesn’t get performed often – you will not want to miss it! Tickets are $25.00, available at the door.

 

Wishing you all the best,

Dr. Matthew Lewis

 

TUESDAY MORNING PRAYER AND BREAKFAST

Those wishing to add a special devotion for Lent are welcome to join Ginger and me and a group of parishioners who gather in the Chapel of the Nativity for Morning Prayer at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays. Coffee and pastry follow the twenty-minute prayer service, and everyone is on the way to work before 9:00 a.m. Enter by the side door at 25 East 35th Street.

FROM THE ASSISTANT MINISTER:

 

Outreach

In the last year, Incarnation has hosted 4 Senior Resource Days. Each event has attracted more neighborhood seniors than the last. Attendees, volunteers, and area agencies working with seniors have been enthusiastic and appreciative. We are thankful to Pippa Loengard for serving as lead volunteer for these events and to John Ousley for his hard work.

 

Our next Senior Resource Day will be on Sunday, March 30, from 1-3pm. Incarnation volunteers will offer free technology help; Seniors from the parish and neighborhood should bring their questions about the internet, email, cameras, smart phones, ipads, and so on. A representative of Citymeals on Wheels will offer a short talk and Q and A on Healthy Eating for Seniors. Bethany Medical Clinic will also offer blood pressure screenings, and refreshments will be served. There is no cost for the event, but please RSVP before March 28 to 347 886-6532, or to info@churchoftheincarnation.org. Volunteers are needed; there is much to do that doesn’t require tech savvy.

 

Twenties and Thirties

The next meeting of our Twenties and Thirties’ Group will be on Tuesday, March 11 from 7:00-8:30 PM. Drinks and a light dinner will be available for a free-will donation. The group will meet at the Parish House. Please RSVP by calling the church office at 212-689-6350 or emailing me. We’ll continue the discussion started during our Lenten Series focusing on “Faith and Doubt.”

 

On Saturday, April 26 at 6:30 pm, Incarnation 20s/30s are invited to compete in a 20s/30s Trivia Night at Saint James’ Church (Madison Avenue and 71 Street). Those of us who participated last year had a great time with hundreds of 20s/30s from churches all over the city…but we lost; come help us win. The cost is $25 per person and includes dinner, and all money raised will go toward the Diocese’s work in Haiti. Please let me know if you are planning to attend.

 

Women’s Group

The next meeting of the Women’s Group will be on Tuesday, March 18. We will meet in the Parish House at 7:00 p.m. A light supper will be provided. Our topic will be “Dealing with Disappointment – Where is God when things don’t turn out as we expect?”

 

Families with Children

The children of the Parish (and their friends!) are invited to participate in a special way in the Palm Sunday Celebration on Sunday, April 13. They will lead the procession into the church, waving palms and then head to the Godly Play room for a special Palm Sunday story and feast. If your child would like to participate, please arrive at 10:45 am sharp. Please also join us at our annual Easter Egg Hunt after the April 20th 11:00 am service. There will be baskets available, but your child is also welcome to bring his/her own. The hunt will begin in our newly renovated Godly Play and Nursery Rooms. Families are invited to come check out these refreshed and refurbished spaces for children at Incarnation. Special thanks to Dana Fern Ousley and Ellen Gardiner for their hard work! Children are also welcome at our Parish Brunch on Easter Sunday.

 

Please also mark your calendars for Incarnation’s Holy Saturday Retreat. Please join us for a short retreat focused on ways to step away from the busyness of life and experience God. We’ll meet on April 19, at 2:30 pm, in the church. After the retreat, we’ll have light refreshments then decorate the church before the Easter Vigil service begins at 6:30 pm. Please enter the church at 25 East 35th Street, and try to arrive promptly at 2:30 pm, or shortly before.

 

Looking ahead, Vacation Bible School this summer will be held Monday, August 4, through Friday, August 8, 2014. The program is open for children ages 3-10 and will run from 9:15 a.m. until 12:00 noon each day. Our focus this year will be on exploring Biblical Story through the visual arts.

 

the Rev. Ginger Strickland

 

R.I.P.

On January 9, Barbara Holbrook died of heart failure, following a number of years in a nursing home; she was 91. Barbara and her late husband, John (“Skip”) joined Incarnation in 198 . She was a lay reader, an officer in the Episcopal Church Women, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Ethics in Media Forum for Professionals. in the

Recently, I was also informed that former parishioner, Edith Rae died in November, near her home in New Hampshire. For some years, Edith would travel to New York just to work on the Christmas Fair.

Both women were faithful members of our church who served our community with enthusiasm and commitment.

Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.

NEW PARISH LEADERS

At the Annual Meeting on January 13, Janet Loengard was re-elected Junior Warden, and, and were re-elected to the Vestry. Juliana Attwood was elected to replace Stephen Ju, who reaches mandatory retirement after two full terms. Sandra Cecchini and John Chadwick were re-elected to second terms. Vestry biographies will appear in the next Parish Letter.

and were gain elected delegates to Diocesan Convention

Many thanks to Stephen for his Vestry service, and to all the parish leaders who submitted their annual reports (copies available from the Parish Office.)

* * * * * *

INCARNATION CAMP

Now is the time to think about enrolling your children, nieces, nephews or grandchildren in the Incarnation Summer Camp program. Situated on 700 acres with its own spring-fed private lake, Incarnation has been providing the classic summer camp experience for diocesan young people since 1886. It is the oldest church camp in America and one of the largest.

Our church is the camp’s founding parish, and our Vestry constitutes the Incorporators of Incarnation Center, the umbrella organization for the children’s camp, two day-camps, seniors and adult programs and facilities, and a nature center. I am Vice-President of the Board of Directors, and Ann Churchill and Susan Ridgeway are also members of the Board.

The main Center web site is www.incarnationcenter.org. From there, you can find the appropriate summer program. Scholarships are available for children from sponsoring parishes and also from our parish. Early signup is recommended because the most popular sessions fill quickly.

* * * * * *

All newcomers to Incarnation are invited to a Newcomer’s Brunch in my apartment after the 11:00 AM service on Sunday, March 23. Please let me know if you are interested.

 

PARISH GARDEN

 

Even though the Parish Garden will be partly filled with scaffolding this summer, it will still need some attention from volunteers. Brian Lamb will be stepping down as Chair of the Garden Committee after many years of quite spectacular success. We need a new chairperson and new volunteers—especially, perhaps, folks whose urban dwelling lacks room for them to exercise their horticultural talents. Please let me know if you are interested.

 

* * * * * *

My trip to London with the Bishop of New York was a great success and I will report more about that in the next newsletter. Spending a lot of time with the Bishop and his wife, Margaret in the UK has made me all the more eager to welcome him to Incarnation for his first official visit on March 16. I hope you will invite friends and neighbors to meet Bishop Dietsche, see our newly-restored Parish House, and hear about our work in Murray Hill and beyond.

 

Yours,

 

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

Enclosure: Potluck and Lent flyer

 

 

 



Parish Newsletter

PARISH LETTER

NOVEMBER—DECEMBER 2013

 

Dear Friends,

Our Organist has served with great distinction Incarnation for 20 years—quite a long time for a Manhattan organist. At the same time, he has taught at Juilliard and Westminster Choir College and rejuvenated the St. George’s Choral Society, where he is Artistic Director.

Our first recognition of Matthew Lewis’s anniversary will be on November 24. Dr. Lewis will play a ten-minute mini-recital instead of a postlude at the conclusion of the 11 a.m. service. Then we will all go over to the Parish House for a special coffee hour to honor his ministry at Incarnation.

Here is a preview of what Dr. Lewis has in store for us between now and the end of the year.

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

This has been an interesting and challenging season for me so far, as we have been exploring music by contemporary composers for the Sunday morning services. The choir recently sang the Berliner Messe of Arvo Pärt, and we sang two pieces by Charles Ives that were new to us and very challenging. The choir has enjoyed this new “uncharted territory,” and I have found it an interesting addition to our worship here. Watch for more in the coming months!

As I prepare for what I am told is the first of many observances of my 20 years here, I have planned an energetic program for the morning of November 24, for Christ the King. We will have two works of Rossini: the stirring “Inflamatus” from his Stabat Mater, and the Sanctus from his delightful Petite Messe solennelle. I hope to see you at the coffee hour reception following church that morning.

Our annual Service of Christmas Lessons and Carols will be on Sunday, December 15 at 5:00 PM, featuring music for strings, percussion, choir and organ. Included in the program this year is a captivating and energetic piece by composer Philip Glass: Music in Fifths. This is a “must hear!” It will be played by a string ensemble, with organ and percussion, and I am certain it won’t be heard elsewhere this season. A great opportunity for you to invite friends that may not normally attend church, this program should have something for everyone.

Other works featured in the Lessons and Carols service are choral works by Praetorius, Hassler and Vaughan Williams, along with Renaissance music, and a spiritual with percussion. Of course, a prominent feature of this service is the singing of familiar Christmas carols – one of the great joys of the season. The service concludes with Respighi’s Preludio for organ and strings. I am looking forward to this afternoon of Christmas music!

Our Christmas Eve service is another one of my favorites. An extended music prelude starts at 10:30 PM, featuring our soloists and choir in a variety of Christmas pieces, and a Festival Eucharist begins at 11:00 PM.

On another topic, I have found some interesting bits of information on the organ here at Incarnation. Some of you may know that I teach at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Housed in the library there are the archives of the Organ Historical Society. And, the archivist is Bynum Petty, a retired organ builder who rebuilt the Incarnation organ console in 200, and installed new reed stops in 2009.

Bynum recently discovered a sort of scrap book of an organ enthusiast from the late 19th century. This scrapbook includes recital programs, news clippings and articles, along with other documents related to organs and organ building. Included in this binder are two recital programs from Incarnation. One is from 1883, when Frederick Archer (an English organist) dedicated the new Roosevelt organ. The other program is from 1897, when French organist Alexandre Guilmant dedicated the new Votey organ.

I’ve made copies of both recital programs. They will be on display in the Parish House display case for the next few weeks, along with other interesting organ-related documents. Be sure to have a look!

All the best for a wonderful holiday season,

—Dr. Matthew Lewis

* * * * * *

Our Parish Christmas Party will follow the 5:00 p.m. Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 15. 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. This year, the music by Philip Glass will be a special treat.

Following the 11:00 p.m. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, there is a Eucharist at eleven o’clock on Christmas Day that features a Visit to the Crèche for the children present.

* * * * * *

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 each Sunday of the year, staffed by a professional attendant, and the Sunday School welcomes drop-ins and visitors.

It often happens that 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.

OPERATION SANTA

The Chair of Operation Santa—which was supported by 30 people last year and mailed 100 presents—describes the program for this year:

Incarnation is continuing its work with “Operation Santa,” a personal way to give to a specific child or family in need at Christmas. On Sunday, December 15, after the 11am service, we will gather in the Parish House. The event will last from 12:30 PM to 5:00 PM. (You can come by any time during the day and stay as long or as short as works for you). We will have a selection of letters from children and families that have been collected by The Post Office. We choose letters requesting items such as winter clothing, school supplies or small gifts.

 

You can participate (1) by joining us on the 15th to shop, wrap, and mail packages; (2) by picking up a letter on the 15th and answering the letter on your own time; (3) by making a donation for gifts or postage; or (4) by joining us to wrap gifts purchased by others; or (5) helping us to get the boxes to the Post Office on the 15th . All are welcome to join us – this is a great opportunity to introduce friends to Incarnation. Wrapping paper, snacks, and Christmas music provided. Questions? Please contact me at 212-473-5166.

–Anna Holmgren

PARISH CHRISTMAS TREE

At the suggestion of some Vestry members, we are planning on having a small tree in the Parish House. Each member of the parish is invited to bring an ornament to put on the tree during the coffee hour on Sunday, December 22. The ornaments will be saved and displayed on a larger tree next year. We’ll have special refreshments for the occasion.

2014 VESTRY NOMINATIONS

The Nominating Committee for the 2014 Vestry has been appointed: Jonathan Vaughan, Stephen Ju, and Elizabeth Westcott-Pitt from the Vestry and Susan Adams, Uche Akwuba II, Anna Holmgren, and Jaye Shorter from the parish. Please give any suggestions you might have for Vestry candidates to a member of the committee before they meet on December 8.

FROM THE ASSISTANT MINISTER:

Outreach: Incarnation’s next Senior Resource Day will be Sunday, January 27, from 1-3pm. This new Outreach program at Incarnation is drawing big crowds – volunteers are needed to offer computer help, serve meals, and welcome visitors.

The Incarnation Twenties and Thirties are invited to the home of Breandan Ward, one of our members, for an old-fashioned Carol Party with mulled wine, snacks, and song sheets on Tuesday, December 3. Details will be sent out to the 20s/30s email list. To join this list, please contact me.

20s/30s are also invited to join the Men’s and Women’s Groups in “Greening the Church” on Friday, December 13. 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 and Discussion will be on Tuesday, January 14, at 7:00 p.m. Our topic will be “Faith in the Workplace.” Drinks and a light dinner will be available for a free-will donation. The group will meet in the Parish House. Please RSVP by calling the church office at 212-689-6350 or emailing ginger@churchoftheincarnation.org.

Women’s Group. Women of the parish are also invited to “Green the Church” on Friday, December 13, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and at the reception in the Rector’s apartment. On Tuesday, January 21, the Women’s Group will meet at the Parish House at 7:00 p.m. A light supper will be provided. Our topic for the evening will be “Was Jesus married and does it matter?” – we’ll consider new scholarship on Jesus’ marital status and what is at stake in the debate. You may RSVP to me for this event.

Adult Forum. For Advent, we’ll be discussing British theologian and mystery writer, Dorothy L. Sayers. There will be no meetings on December 22 and 29, but, in the New Year, we’ll be discussing topics from the lectionary text of the week to the newspaper headlines. Please join us!

the Rev. Ginger Strickland

MEN’S GROUP

Members of the Men’s Group and other men in the congregation are also invited to help decorate the church on Friday, December 13, beginning at 6 p.m.; come later if you need to. After the church is decorated, I hope you’ll come to my party as well.

Our first meeting in the New Year will be on Monday, January 6, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. In conjunction with the sermon series I’ll be giving, we’ll talk about “Christian Biography;” specifically, how we portray ourselves. On February 3, we will have a special guest, Donald V. Romanik, the President of the Episcopal Church Foundation.

CHRISTMAS FAIR

Incarnation’s 71st Annual Christmas Fair is an important outreach to our friends and neighbors, a great fundraiser, and a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit. The Fair this year will take place on Friday, December 6 from 11am-4p and Saturday, December 7 from 11am-3pm. Volunteers are needed during the Fair. We also need your help in making up Christmas Baskets at our annual basket night from 6-9pm on Monday, December 1. Finally, we are in search of donations for our Christmas Fair Silent Auction. If you can offer any time and effort please let us know. You can tell us on Sunday morning or email Laurie Mygatt (lgmygatt@gmail.com).

R.I.P.

On October 6, John Hoaglund died of a heart attack in his home in Murray Hill at the age of 64. For years, John was a lay reader at the 8:30 service and participated in the Supper Group Program. A memorial service was held for him at Incarnation on October 29, and many of his friends from the fashion industry attended (including former Incarnation parishioner, Vincent Mignon.) He will be much missed by his twin sister, Joan and other family members as well as by his many friends in New York City.

May light perpetual shine upon him, and may he rest in peace. Amen.

Also planned for in the New Year:

1. IncarnationSocial. This will be a new version of our supper and brunch groups. Everyone interested in the program will be invited to an introductory meal in the Parish House in January or February, hosted by Ginger or by me. Then they can opt to join a group of 8-10 persons for three additional meals in each other’s homes or in the Parish House. Anyone who wants to be in a group can sign-up without going to the introductory meal.

2. Sermon Series. For January and February, I am planning a series called, “Christians.” The sermons will describe persons of faith I have know and give lessons from their lives.

3. Reachout Sunday Brunch. A couple of times a year, we plan Sunday brunches in my apartment or the Parish House for newcomers, allowing them to meet parish leaders.

2014 CONFIRMATION/INQUIRERS CLASS

Due a temporary shortage of diocesan staff, we were not able to schedule a visit from one of the bishops for Confirmation until the autumn of 2014. Anyone interested in confirmation instruction before then should contact me, as confirmations are also held occasionally at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

2014 ANNUAL MEETING

The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held on Sunday, January 12, at 12:30 pm, in the Assembly Hall. Leaders of parish organizations are reminded that annual reports of their activities during 2013 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.

THANKS TO:

**Monica Culoso, Chris Stromee, and many others, for their work on the Parish Dinner.

***Basil Elliot, for the new pew cushions in the Church.

FROM THE STEWARDSHIP CHAIRPERSON:

Our $210,000 stewardship goal from pledges is essential for support of this parishes’ mission for 2014. It will be very helpful in planning for next year’s budget if all pledges are received by Thanksgiving week. If you wish to make a pledge and have not received a pledge card, please call the parish office at 212-689-6350 or pick up pledge materials at the back of the church by the entrance or in the pews. You may also speak with me–I welcome questions about pledging!

Chris Stromee

 

Thank you to all those who have already pledged to Church of the Incarnation’s stewardship campaign. Offering envelopes will be available in church in December for those who need them.

And a very special word of thanks to John Chadwick. How lucky we are that the Assembly Hall and Parish House look so beautiful as the Feast of the Incarnation approaches. The Membership Committee encourages you to tell your friends and neighbors about our services, since many people want to visit churches during this season. On behalf of the Wardens, Vestry, and Staff, I wish you a joyous Christmas and rewarding New Year.

Yours,

 

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley, Rector

Enclosure:

Donation form

 

SUMMARY OF CHRISTMAS EVENTS

Tuesday, December 3: 20s/30s Party

Friday, December 6: 11am-4pm Christmas Fair

Saturday, December 7: 11am-3pm Christmas Fair

Friday, December 13: 6 pm: Decoration of Church and Party in the Rectory

Sunday, December 15: 12:30 pm Operation Santa

5:00 pm Lessons and Carols, followed by Parish Christmas Party

Sunday, December 22: Decoration of Parish House Christmas tree during the coffee hour

Tuesday, December 24: 11:00 pm “Midnight Mass” [10:30 pm: Preparatory Music]

Wednesday, December 25: 11:00 am Christmas Eucharist with “Visit to the Creche” for children.

 

 



Parish Newsletter

PARISH LETTER

SEPTEMBER 2013

 

 

Dear Friends,

 

We have received a lot of media attention since our last Parish Letter. In the late spring, I was interviewed by WNYC radio regarding the proposed rezoning of East Midtown. While Incarnation is outside the area of this zoning, we are penalized financially by having to follow the restrictions of the New York City Landmarks code. It might be helpful, for example, if at some time in the future if we were allowed to sell our development rights to a property not contiguous to ours.

 

More recently, Ginger and I were interviewed by NY1 local news, both live and taped–as well as by a reporter for the free paper, New York Metro. Also interviewed were the students from Hostos College in the Bronx who participated in our contest to design a poster covering for the sidewalk shed beneath our tower.

While on the subject of the media, I would mention that more than 350 people have downloaded Incarnation’s App for iPhone. If you don’t have it, you can get it for free from the Apple Store. It makes it easier to get up to date information on church activities, to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and to read my blog and responses to comments.

 

I also encourage you to read the Eminder and note the little spiritual links that the Assistant Minister provides each week. Password protection now is provided by the way to get access to all past newsletters and eminders. To get the Eminder or the password, contact Ginger or me.

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

I hope you all had a wonderful summer! September is always a month filled with energy and excitement for the coming season. Here are a few dates when there will be special music for the Sunday morning service:

September 15 – Choir returns

October 6 – Music for St. Michael and All Angels

November 3 – The Sunday after All Saints’ Day

As promised, this season will feature contemporary music. Watch the leaflet in the coming weeks for details. Looking ahead, we will have our annual Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 15 at 5:00 PM, featuring music for choir, organ and chamber orchestra. This is a great occasion to bring friends to church!

The new organ keyboards are installed, and are beautiful. If anyone would like to see them, please feel free to come to the organ any Sunday after the organ postlude. To celebrate the new keyboards, I plan to do an organ program sometime in the early part of 2014. Watch for an announcement.

St. George’s Choral Society will also hold its season of concerts at Incarnation. Here are details:

Sunday, November 10 at 3:00 PM. Music for choir, organ and chamber ensemble: Vaughan Williams: Five Mystical Songs, Britten: Choral Dances from Gloriana, Vaughan Williams: Toward the Unknown Region

Sunday, May 4 at 3:00 PM. Mozart: Great Mass in C minor, with orchestra

As always, I look forward to another year of music making at Incarnation!

–Dr. Matthew Lewis

* * * * *

For a very detailed history of the organs at Incarnation, see the following, by Lawrence Trupiano, who provided the new organ keyboard this summer:

http://nycago.org/Organs/NYC/html/IncarnationEpis.html

 

MEN’S GROUP

As we begin the fall season, it’s worth noting that all men in the parish are welcome to meetings of the Men’s Group. There are no dues and there is no need to make a commitment to attend every meeting. Come to those that are convenient and interest you.

Usually we gather on the first Monday evening of the month. Due to holidays and other events in September and October, however, our first meeting will be on Monday, September 23, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Parish House. Beer, wine, and soft drinks will be on offer.

Our Seminarian Assistant, the Rev. William Ogburn, will give us his observations about the Church of England, based on his summer internship in two rural parishes and other church visits.

Our next meeting will be on November 4, and our December meeting will be on the 13th, coinciding with the decoration of the church and our Christmas party. Reservations are not needed for Men’s Group events.

FROM THE ASSISTANT MINISTER:

It’s hard to believe that September marks the end of my second full year at Incarnation. I am grateful every day to be serving with you in this place and very thankful for your support and care.

The Adult Forum will meet on Sundays at 10 AM, beginning September 15. This fall, we will consider some of the lectionary texts as well as some of the writings of British mystery writer and essayist Dorothy Sayers. In the month of November, the Rev. Canon George Brandt, Incarnation’s Honorary Assistant, will lead the forums. Tea and coffee are available, and all are invited to join us.

The Women’s Group will meet at 7 PM, on Tuesday, September 17, in the Parish House. We will be discussing a particularly strange and violent text from the Old Testament, and considering how we can read difficult texts in redemptive ways. Drinks and a light dinner will be served in return for a free will donation.

The Twenties’ and Thirties’ Group will meet at 7 PM in the Assistant Minister’s apartment on Tuesday, September 24. Drinks and a light dinner will be available for a free will donation, and we’ll be discussing the question of relevance: Is Christianity relevant to modern life? Is the Church? Should we even by trying to be relevant? Please join us!

 

This year’s Vacation Bible School in early August was a great success. Twenty-five children attended and had a wonderful time exploring Bible Stories, music, and art. All of the participating families have been invited to our Godly Play kickoff on September 15.

Godly Play, our Sunday School program for children aged 3-10, will begin again on September 15, with a special lesson – all families are invited to attend and learn more about our program. We are glad to have several new volunteers, including some “junior teachers” who have graduated from Incarnation’s Sunday School. In response to requests from parents, one week per month will be focused on exploring the basics of the Anglican tradition such as the Lord’s Prayer and the sacraments.

As part of its Outreach Program, Incarnation will host a Computer Help Session for Seniors from 2-4 PM on Sunday, October 13. We will be offering free computer help and snacks to area seniors. In addition, a neighborhood audiologist will be offering free hearing screenings. Please let me know if you’d like to volunteer!

the Rev. Ginger Strickland

 

 

 

NEWS FROM FORMER SEMINARIANS:

 

***The Rev. Sandy Webb has been appointed Priest-in-Charge of the Church of the Holy Communion in Memphis, Tennessee. He writes, “I am grateful for the grounding that Incarnation offered to my ordained ministry. I shall never forget the chance that you and the Vestry took on me, or the graciousness with which you supported me.”

 

***The Rev. Michael Foley is deacon-in-charge of the French-speaking church, L’Eglise du Saint Esprit, in Manhattan, from August 16 to December 1.

 

THANKS TO:

 

***Janet Loengard for spearheading the project this summer to collect toiletries for Open Door, the halfway house for formerly homeless persons. The response was excellent.

***The twenty volunteers who helped with the Vacation Bible School.

***Allen Cohen for facilitating the Hostos College contest, and Nina Kaminer, CEO of Nike Communications, for the original idea of the project.

***Helen Vaughan and Sandra Cecchini, for their work in setting up the new database.

***Dr. Uche Akwuba II and his ship of Sea Scouts (who meet every Wednesday evening in the Assembly Hall when they are not sailing), for moving dozens of boxes of goods for the Fair to the basement.

***John Chadwick, for supervising the renovation of the Parish House public rooms and the Assembly Hall, and Sexton Enrico Shillingford and his team, to carrying out the work. More on this in a later newsletter.

***Mark Lulka, for preparing options for the Vestry to address the stonework deterioration in the church spire.

* * * * *

Former parishioner, Anne Perkins, sent a nice note from Albuquerque. She is living in a seniors’ residence that is located a mile from her niece’s house. Anne reports that she is content but misses Murray Hill. She sends greetings to all.

 

 

FROM THE STEWARDSHIP 2014 CHAIRPERSON:

Mission and Means: Fall Stewardship Campaign

A Note from the Stewardship Chair

Parishioners at Church of the Incarnation support the parish in many ways. Volunteers who assist with worship services and hospitality, for example, are essential. This sharing of time and talent is a crucial form of stewardship. Our annual fall Stewardship Campaign concentrates on the third component, financial gifts. The Campaign brings into focus the financial underpinnings of all that Incarnation’s has to offer.

 

Of necessity, the Campaign stresses pledged gifts – gifts that are committed in advance to be paid over the next calendar year. Contributed funds make up almost a third of the parish income, and most contributions are, in fact, pledged. At a practical level, the pledge total for 2014 will be the single most critical element for planning next year’s parish budget. At a personal level, the decision to commit to a pledge is a way of expressing the importance to the donor of this particular church and parish community.

 

Of course, all gifts to Incarnation are most welcome and may be given with a spirit of generosity and gratitude equal to any pledge. However, the way we ask for parish support is also part of being good stewards. That is why we put the spotlight on pledging during the Stewardship Campaign, with the belief that a gift commitment is a thoughtful personal commitment.

 

Shortly, every parishioner will receive a letter describing how the Stewardship Campaign fits into the overall framework of our life together as a parish. Enclosed with the letter will be a pledge card and reply envelope. These items also will be found in the pew racks and in the Parish House.

 

For budgeting purposes, it would be very helpful to the Vestry if all pledge cards are returned to the parish office or in the offering plate before Thanksgiving Week. Individual pledged amounts are confidential and are known only to the Rector and book-keeping staff.

 

Watch for Stewardship Campaign updates over the months ahead. Thank you in advance for all pledges and gifts for calendar 2014 at Incarnation!

 

Christopher Stromee

* * * * * *

I would note that more ten per cent of our pledges now come via Parish Pay or standing orders from people’s bank accounts. You can sign up for Parish Pay or learn more about it at www.parishpay.com or by leaving word for our Assistant Treasurer, Ann Churchill, at the Church Office..

CHRISTMAS FAIR

CHRISTMAS FAIR: It’s still September, but it’s time to think about the Christmas Fair Silent Auction. We need good things like restaurant meals to offer, and we need help putting the 2013 Auction together. If you can offer any time and effort this Fall, or on the days of the Fair (December 6-7) please let us know. You can tell us on Sunday morning or email Laurie Mygatt (lgmygatt@gmail.com). Many thanks!

GOODBYE TO:

***Kathy and David Glass, who are now attending a parish near where they live in Riverdale. Among their many activities at Incarnation, Kathy chaired the Hospitality Committee for many years, and David was Head Usher. Their leadership and support will be much missed.

* * * * * *

I hope that you all had a good summer. I was fortunate to be asked to perform three weddings in various places outside the church. I also journeyed to Shelter Island to preach at former Incarnation Deacon Robert Zito’s summer parish, and I was invited to go on patrol one afternoon with officers from the 17th Precinct of NYPD, whom I serve as Clergy Liaison.

Now, along with all of you, I look forward to the pleasures and challenges of our autumn program. And, as always, I am happy to hear new ideas.

Yours,

 

 

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

 

 



Parish Newsletter

PARISH LETTER

SUMMER 2013

Dear Friends,

 

I am very pleased to announce that, with the permission of the Bishop of New York and the consent of the Incarnation Vestry, I have appointed the Rev. Canon George Brandt to be our Honorary Assistant.

 

I have known George since he was an attorney and a member of the first parish I served in the 1970’s. After he was ordained, he held many distinguished positions in the United States and Africa. He moved to Murray Hill after retiring as Rector of St. Michael’s Church on the Upper West Side.

 

Most of you have already met George either when he preached for us or at parish events. We are very fortunate indeed that he has decided to join in the ministry of Incarnation.

 

* * * * * *

In the relatively relaxed weeks of July, Ginger and I are presenting a class on basic Christianity. In four sessions, we will be discussing the intellectual underpinnings and the spirituality of lived faith. This is intended for those who are new to religion as well as for those who might like a fresh over-view.

 

The course is entitled “How Christianity Makes Life Harder and Happier—a short class exploring Christian Faith and Life.” We will meet on Tuesdays: July 9, 16, 23, and 30, from 7 to 8:00 p.m. Sandwiches and fruit will be available before the class for $5; let us know if you would like one. No need to reserve for the class itself.

 

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

“Christmas in July,” when we make crafts, jam and other items for our December Christmas Fair, will take place on Wednesday, July 17, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Please join us—whether you are crafty or not—for all or any part of this evening. Dinner will be provided for volunteers!

 

 

SUMMER BRUNCHES

As in past summers, we will be going every month to a local restaurant for a Dutch treat brunch after the Sunday coffee hour. This year, since we’ll be going on the last Sunday of each month, the next brunches will be on July 28 and August 25.

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

 

June was a busy month at Incarnation! The American Guild of Organists offers professional certification exams every other year, at the local chapter level. These exams are at varying levels, from basic organ skills through ones that require very advanced skills. Part of my duties serving on the Executive Committee for the NYC Chapter of the AGO is that of Competition and Exams Coordinator. This year, 5 applicants from the area applied to take the highest-level exams. I was pleased that we were able to host the exams at Incarnation. This intense week started on June 3, and ended on Friday, June 7.

I’m pleased to say that all went well from the coordinator’s point of view! A special thanks to Doug and Ginger for tiptoeing around during this time, and a BIG thank you to Rico and his crew for doing so much to accommodate everything. Last night at the NYC AGO Executive Committee meeting, I was able to give a positive report on how smoothly everything went, and was thanked by everyone.

By now, you have heard much about the replacement of the organ keyboards, and I’m pleased to say that work is underway. We will have new keyboards by the beginning of September. I am looking forward to the completion of this project! I will express my gratitude in a number of musical ways – watch for announcements.

Larry Trupiano, our organ curator, was able to work some final magic on the keyboards to get us through the AGO exams, but the old ones are definitely on their last mission. I know they will make it through the summer, but it will be great to have nice, new keyboards to play on.

And, St. George’s Choral Society had its first-ever Summer Choral Festival at Incarnation during the first two weeks of June. This culminated in a performance on the 15th, which featured the music of Haydn with orchestra. The major work on the program was the Missa in Angustiis – Lord Nelson Mass. The choir, orchestra and soloists were all excellent. I expect this to be the first of many Summer Choral Festivals here. I hope you will look for announcements for concerts in the 2013-2014 season – this is a very good choir!

Having started at Incarnation in September of 1993, it is really hard to believe how fast the years have passed. My first year here was as Jon Gillock’s (my predecessor) interim organist, and I was hired to stay on permanently in the spring of 1994. There have been so many wonderful events here, and I’ve enjoyed my time more that I can say. The issue of “keeping it fresh” gives me lots to think about, and I constantly try to mix things up: old and new, familiar and unexplored.

With that in mind, I plan to observe my 20 years here by introducing a contemporary component to the music next season. No, not “pop” music, but rather, modern influences that have not really been explored here. There is a wealth of material from around the world that is in this category, including composers such as Panderecki, Schoenberg, and Taverner, along with American greats such as Ives and Copland. And, even more fitting, there are New York composers of sacred music, like Larry King and Calvin Hampton.

I think this will be an exciting addition to the sacred repertoire we already do. By offering plenty of standards and favorites alongside, I believe the coming season will be a great one, offering things that will challenge, invigorate and promote a wonderful worship experience at Incarnation.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer, I look forward to many another year of making music at Incarnation.

Dr. Matthew Lewis

GRADUATION NEWS

 

***Conor Devlin is graduating this Spring from Fordham Preparatory School. He will attend St. Olaf’s College in the Fall. We are thankful for his faithful service as an acolyte, and we wish him grace and peace in this exciting new stage in his life.

 

GOODBYE TO:

 

***Gabriella Taylor and Sven Eenmaa, and their daughters Chloe and Phoebe. Gaby was active in stewardship, career support, and other Incarnation programs.

 

***Sarah and Don Sung and their son, Jackson. Sarah chaired the Silent Auction and Don was a member of the Vestry and the Personnel Committee, among other activities at the church.

Coincidentally, both couples were married at Incarnation, their children were baptized here, and both families have relocated to the Bay area. They will all be much missed.

 

* * * * * *

Postcards from vacation spots and leaflets from churches you visit are always welcome. We post the postcards and read the leaflets for new ideas.

 

FROM THE ASSISTANT MINISTER:

Families with Children

The Sunday School year ended on June 9 and will resume in mid-September. We are so thankful to our wonderful team of Godly Play teachers for their ministry with the children and families of Incarnation

We are looking for new storytellers and other adult volunteers for the autumn. We will provide training and ongoing support as you learn the Godly Play method. Many people are surprised by how much their own sense of creativity and spirituality grow through participation. Please contact me if you might be interested. The time commitment is approximately one Sunday morning per month.

Incarnation’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) will be held Monday, August 5, through Friday, August 9, 2012, and will run from 9:15 a.m. until 12:00 noon each day. Our focus this year will be on exploring Biblical Story through art. The cost is $50 per child. To register children ages 3-10, please call the church office, 212-689-6350. Tell your friends and neighbors about this program, and consider volunteering your time and talent to make the week a success. We need volunteers to lead games, crafts, music, and storytelling; to help with snack and registration; and to be in charge of groups of five or six children. There are plenty of “behind the scenes” tasks as well. You can volunteer for all, one, or a few of the days.

Women’s Group

After a fun combined meeting with the Men’s and 20s/30s groups, the Women’s Group will take a summer break and begin monthly meetings again in September. In the meantime, the Women’s Group is planning a visit to the Morgan Library on Friday, August 2 for an exhibit called “Illuminated Faith : the Eucharist in Medieval Life and Art.” We will meet at the Parish House at 6:45 pm and head over to the Library at 7 pm. The Library is free and offers live music from 7-9 pm on Friday evenings. No need to RSVP.

Twenties and Thirties

On Wednesday, July 31, at 7 PM, the Rector will host the Twenties’ and Thirties’ for a BBQ and theological discussion on his rooftop terrace at the Parish House. Please join us! Please also mark your calendars for a light dinner and discussion on “Laziness: Vice or Spiritual Virtue “at the Parish House at 7 PM on Wednesday, August 28.

Outreach

May’s computer help session for seniors attracted a strong showing from Incarnation volunteers who offered a warm welcome and one-on-one computer instruction to a very pleased group of neighborhood residents. One 80-year-old was delighted to learn how to tweet. We are looking forward to another session from 2-4 pm on Sunday, September 22. We hope to include some neighborhood doctors who are willing to provide free health screenings to seniors. Please mark your calendars and prepare to volunteer!

This summer, we will be collecting toiletries for The Open Door, which provides transitional housing and other help to homeless seniors. New travel– or full-sized toiletries—soap, toothpaste, shampoo, shaving cream, deodorant etc.—can be dropped off in the box in the Parish House between now and the end of July.

Finally, members of Incarnation are collaborating with a class of graphic arts students at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx to put together a series of banners for the scaffolding outside the church. Students participating in the project will get to experience working with a “client”, develop and pitch ideas, and make a final presentation. Members of the parish involved in PR and the arts will offer feedback and professional guidance throughout the process and the students who have the winning idea will win a small scholarship that can be used for books or fees. Please let one of the clergy know if you have experience in graphic art, PR, or related work and would like to participate

–The Rev. Ginger Strickland

NEWS FROM FORMER PARISHIONERS:

 

***Alex Wimbush writes: “We recently moved to Copenhagen and are now in the land of herring, Lego, and Vikings. Ally’s company offered her a great new position here and we jumped at the opportunity to live in yet another country. Ally and I have found an Anglican church – St. Alban’s – and are trying to make seem like home, but still, nothing compares to Incarnation.”

 

***Arthur Johansen died on April 21, at age of 77. Art left Incarnation in 1994 when he and his family moved to New Jersey; he eventually settled in Virginia where his wife, Anne still lives. His daughter, Kathryn lives in DC where she works for the Washington Post. Anne and Kathryn held a memorial service at Incarnation on June 8. Art was a terrific as well as an exemplary member of the Incarnation vestry. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

 

THANKS TO:

 

***Our Tour Guides, who greeted visitors during the Landmarks Conservancy Open House in May

 

***All who helped with the computer class. Thanks to all who volunteered, and particularly to Laurie Mygatt for providing the meal.

 

***Our acolytes, who served so faithfully this year: Ford Diehl, Nathaniel Jameson, Baird Johnson, Eugenie Pron, and Christopher and James Vincent.

***Our Sunday School teachers: Monica Culoso, Pippa Loengard, Mark Lulka, Kim Neufeld, and Emmy Wardrop—and our substitute teachers: Liz Westcott-Pitt and Janet Loengard.

***Helen Vaughan and all who helped with joint meeting of Women’s, Men’s, and 20s/30s Groups—excellent attendance from all three groups!

 

***Laurie Mygatt and the others who put on the splendid reception following William Ogburn’s ordination to the diaconate. It was great to see an old friend, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell, who is now the Bishop of Pittsburgh and who has graciously assigned William to Incarnation for his diaconal training while he completes his final year of seminary.

 

***The Michael R. and Kathleen B. Linburn Foundation for a gift that establishes a fund for repair of the church spire. A gift from the estate of former parishioner, Gladys Newbery is being added to that fund.

 

The legacy from Gladys is also financing an extensive redecoration of the public areas of the Parish House and the Assembly Hall, under the supervision of John Chadwick and the Buillding Committee. In fact, thanks to the work of Sacristan Enrico Shillingford and his crew, the Assembly Hall already looks better than it has in decades.

 

* * * * * *

If you are looking for summer reading, you might visit our lending library on the ground floor of the parish house. Bring a book, leave a book.

 

FAITH STREET INTERNET SITE

We pay a small monthly fee to be listed on this site, and Ginger and I were wondering if anyone has ever come to Incarnation because they read about us on Faith Street?

If you have been guided by this site, or if you simply like it, please let us know.

* * * * * *

As the Vestry continues to consider ways to remedy our stonework problems, you may be interested in the comment that I recently posted the following on the parish blog:

The English have word for churches that no longer function as worship sites; they call them, “disused.” In the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, where I vacationed recently, there are many such buildings in little hamlets and towns that have suffered population decline over the years. Near my cottage, churches have become, respectively, an art school, a law office, a town office, and a residence.

This process can’t help but seem sad to Christians, though it is hardly new. When Incarnation was built in 1864, there were four other Episcopal churches within a couple of blocks. One relocated uptown; the others (including an oddly named Zion Episcopal Church, of which I own an engraving) have all disappeared.

All the more reason to be grateful that our building is still here–and still, day in and day out, used for prayer to our God.

Yours,

 

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley



Parish Newsletter

PARISH LETTER

MAY 2013

Dear Friends,

 

A parishioner recently mentioned that a professional group she belongs to has “bar debates.” These are debates between two people, following college debate rules. Questions are then asked, and the debate concludes with the audience voting which speaker won. The discussions take place in a private room of a bar so that refreshments are easily obtainable.

Following up on this idea, the 20s/30s Group is hosting a bar debate on Monday, May 6, at 7 PM. The Men’s Group, which normally meets on the first Monday of the month will also be attending—and anyone else in the parish will also be welcome.

The topic will be “Is the Anglican Communion Too Progressive?” I will take the affirmative side and the former Archbishop of Australia, the Rt. Rev. Peter Carnley, will defend the progressive stance of the Communion. Archbishop Carnley is a visiting professor of theology at General Seminary and one of the most prominent leaders in worldwide Anglicanism.

The debate will take place in the Galway bar on 36th Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues; drinks will be Dutch treat. Whatever your views about Anglicanism, you are welcome to drop by. We’ll begin the debate shortly after 7, and conclude by 8:15.

* * * * * *

Despite the fact that the weather was still cold, Easter attendance was good, and the music was more glorious than ever. Thanks especially to the Altar Guild, Chalice Bearers, Ushers, Acolytes, Hospitality Committee, and everyone else who contributed extra hours to Incarnation during Holy Week.

The Director of Music has some remarks of his own about the recent services and the remainder of the choir season.

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:

Holy Week and Easter services were wonderful this year, from Poulenc and Victoria on Palm Sunday, to music for men’s voices at Tenebrae, and women’s voices for Good Friday. Easter Sunday featured a string trio for Schubert’s Mass in C, along with music of Dvorak and Cohen.

Looking ahead, the choir breaks for the summer on May 19, when we will have music of Duruflé and Messiaen for Pentecost Sunday. Then for the summer months, we have soloists from the choir for the Sunday services.

As I celebrate 20 years of music making at Incarnation, the Rector and I have been planning things for next season. Watch for special announcements – it promises to be an interesting year!

Dr. Matthew Lewis

THANKS ALSO TO:

 

***Everyone who cooked for the Lenten lunches.

 

***Robert Galloway, Julie Noll, and Helen Vaughan for organizing the reception for Bishop Donovan and the Confirmands.

 

The list of those confirmed and received on March 17, along their sponsors, follows. It was a fun class to teach; they are all to be congratulated.

 

Confirmands Sponsors

Juliana Attwood Susan Adams

Ronald Andrew Bradford Cindy Bradford

Margery Crumpacker Laurie Mygatt

Received Sponsors

Monica Culoso Sandra Cecchini

Daphne L. Richards William Richards

ADDITIONAL VESTRY BIOGRAPHY:

 

***Jonathan Vaughan, Junior Warden: After 20 years as a technology executive in the corporate sector,including senior positions at Prudential Financial and Chase Manhattan Bank, Jonathan founded New Demand as a technology solutions, strategy and consulting firm. New Demand specializes in developing on demand services, with particular expertise in developing cloud solutions integrated with Salesforce.com. Jonathan grew up in England, educated at Winchester and Trinity College Cambridge, and now lives in Morris County NJ. Jonathan and his wife Helen were married at Incarnation in 1993 and have been members ever since. They have both served on the Vestry at Incarnation previously. Jonathan heads up the technology committee, in addition to his role as Junior Warden.

 

* * * * * *

 

For the record, here is a complete list of the 2013 Wardens and Vestry:

 

Janet Loengard (Senior Warden)

Jonathan Vaughn (Junior Warden)

Sandra Cecchini (Clerk)

John Chadwick (Building Committee Chair)

Steve Deihl (Building Committee)

Kimberley Ferdinando (20s/30s)

Robert Galloway (Hospitality Committee)

Stephen Ju (Investment Committee)

Gretchen Morgenson (Assistant Clerk)

Chris Stromee (Tour Leaders Chair)

Liz Westcott-Pitt (Outreach)

THE SPIRE

The Vestry continues to consider proposals to repair the deteriorated stonework on and underneath the church spire. Whatever we decide now, the long-term restoration work will be very expensive. But, as one person remarked to me, “If you have a 150-year-old landmark building, you have to expect to do major work from time to time.”

PLANNED GIVING

Prior to Legacy Sunday on March 10, the Treasurer, Michael Linburn prepared an excellent brochure about planned giving. Copies are available in the church and from the parish office.

As we remembered the names of recent benefactors of Incarnation, I remembered a remarkable group of retired women who were active here from 1980’s up until a few years ago. Almost all of them left money to the church in their wills in order to further the ministry to which they contributed so much in their lifetimes. May we be thankful for their gifts, and may we build on their legacies.

AS OTHERS SEE US

From a letter to me written by a former parishioner:

 

“I have never found a church home that I love as much as Incarnation—-even 10 years after I was there. I miss being there so much. I am still on your membership rolls.”

 

GUEST PREACHER

Looking ahead to May 19, the Feast of Pentecost and the last Choir Sunday, I’m happy to report that we will have as our guest preacher, The Rev. Prebendary Nick Mercer, who is the Vicar General for the London College of Bishops. Prebend Mercer is my counterpart in coordinating the Link Program between the Diocese of London and the Diocese of New York. (“Prebendary” is an English title for some clergy attached to cathedrals—rather like the title, “canon.”)

FROM THE ASSISTANT MINISTER:

 

Please mark your calendars for Vacation Bible School this summer: Monday, August 5, through Friday, August 9. The program is open to children ages 3-10 and will run from 9:15 am until 12:00 noon each day. The cost is $50 per child. Our program focuses on exploring the Biblical story through the arts – music, crafts, painting, and games. It’s not too early to sign up by contacting me! We already have ten children on the list!

 

Tell your friends and neighbors about this program, and consider volunteering your time and talent to make the week a success. We need volunteers to lead games, crafts, music, and storytelling; to help with snack and registration; and to be in charge of groups of five or six children. If you are able and willing to help, in any capacity, please contact me.

Women’s Group

A big thank-you to the women of Incarnation for their work in decorating the sanctuary for Easter during their Holy Saturday Quiet Day!

Our next meeting is on Wednesday, April 24 (moved from April 23) at 7:00 PM in the Parish House. We will have a light dinner and a discussion (with clips from movies) of depictions of Jesus of Nazareth in film.

Women’s Group members are planning a trip to the New York Botanical Garden with lunch and a tour for Saturday, May 11. Attendees can meet at the Parish House at 9:00 AM or meet us at the Garden in the Bronx. Advance signup before April 21 is required. Please contact Sandy Cecchini at Sandycecchini@aol.com or 239-823-8170.. Our May meeting will be on Tuesday, May 14 at 7pm.

Twenties and Thirties

The Twenties and Thirties Group will host a Bar Debate (see announcement above) open to the whole parish at the Galway on May 6, at 7:00 PM. Bring a friend and vote for the winner!

On May 21, we’ll meet for dinner, drinks, and theological discussion at the Assistant Minister’s apartment in the Parish House on Tuesday, May 21 from 7:00-8:30 PM.

Adult Forum

Topics this spring include lectionary texts, the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, and Pentecost. The Adult Forum meets at 10am on Sunday mornings for theological and Biblical discussions. Coffee and tea are available, and all are welcome.

Outreach

Incarnation will offer one-on-one computer help and refreshments to neighborhood seniors on Sunday, May 5 from 2:00-4:00 PM in the Parish House. Our purpose is to help seniors with computer issues so that they can feel confident and connected, as well as to counter isolation with a chance to connect to our community. Incarnation parishioners are invited to attend the session and to serve as volunteers. A flyer is included with this newsletter, and you are invited to share it with friends and neighbors.

On Sunday, June 9, Incarnation will host a short cooking demonstration by a local farmer using fresh, local food followed by a community meal. All parishioners are invited to be a part of this celebration. Our purpose is to invite reflection on questions of Christian stewardship around land and food and to reach out to our neighbors and invite them in to the church. Bring a friend!

Please sign up to volunteer or to attend either of these events by contacting me or John Ousley (ousley.john@gmail.com).

–The Rev. Ginger Strickland

Families with Children

Looking ahead: The Rector invites children, parents, and teachers from Godly Play, our Sunday School program, to celebrate a year of learning with lunch in his home at the Parish house. This will take place after coffee hour on the last day of Godly Play before summer break, June 2. More information will follow.

 

ALTAR FLOWERS

If you would like to donate altar flowers in memory of a deceased friend or family member, or in thanksgiving for a loved one, there are several Sundays available in 2013. Please contact the Rector, Assistant Minister, or Sandy Cecchini in the church office if you might be interested.

OPEN HOUSE

On May 19, Church of the Incarnation will participate in the Sacred Sites Open House organized by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, with our tour guides present to help welcome visitors. Other landmark churches and religious institutions throughout the state will also participate. Please feel free to drop in between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM to enjoy a tour of our beautiful space from one of our guides, and take the chance to explore other neighborhood churches and synagogues as well.

* * * * * *

Finally, I’m really pleased to announce that the Bishop of Pittsburgh has agreed to ordain our Seminarian Assistant to the Diaconate in our church. The Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell will be here on Wednesday, May 19, at 4 PM; Bishop McConnell was a successor of mine as curate at St. Thomas Church in Manhattan, as well as a fellow Manhattan rector. A number of friends of William’s from his home parish in Pittsburgh and from General Seminary will be participating in the service or joining the congregation.

While we know that Wednesday afternoon is not going to be convenient for many of you, bishops’ schedules are also tight and I am very glad that William can be ordained relatively soon in his seminary career and at his Training Parish. Any of you who are able to attend will be very welcome; a reception will follow in the Parish House.

 

 

Yours,

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley