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Parish Newsletter

September 2019

Dear Friends,
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Particularly exciting this fall is the new Sunday School class for older students. This is the first time I can remember that we have had two Sunday School classes. Moreover, we have a nursery, junior and senior acolytes, and a youth group. This is a great credit to our parents and to our Associate Rector, the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser.
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DECRIMINALIZATION OF PROSTITUTION IN NEW YORK STATE
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The following post for my Incarnation website blog was written by Adrian and me. I am repeating the account here because the event received some attention on the Internet.
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On Tuesday, July 23, Incarnation hosted an educational forum on Bill A.8230/S.6419, which was introduced last month by Assembly Member Richard Gottfried and Senator Julia Salazar. The bill seeks to fully decriminalize prostitution in New York State. We had a panel of experts who spoke in favor of the bill’s provision to decriminalize people who are in prostitution and against the bill’s other provisions to decriminalize sex buyers, facilitators of the sale of sex (i.e., pimps), and brothel keepers.
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We anticipated and welcomed a large crowd made up of people with varying viewpoints on the issue. Handouts included a detailed legal analysis of the bill. Audience Q&A included reading aloud written questions from both supporters and opponents of the bill.
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Prior to the event, we were alerted to a planned protest by DecrimNY outside our forum. We shared this information with the 17th Precinct, and they arranged for two plain clothes officers to be present in the sanctuary. From what we understand, a peaceful protest gathered outside during the event, and the 17th Precinct responded in a calm manner and in a way they deemed fit, including calling in additional officers.
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When some of the protesters came inside near the end of the event, a panelist and survivor leader was speaking. The protesters were asked to comply with our written policy given to attendees that no protests or disruptive behavior would be permitted inside the church. Those who did not comply were escorted out.
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While those who responded to the protest inside the church acted responsibly, we are deeply saddened that it came to this. The issue of decriminalizing prostitution is an emotional one that involves people who have suffered greatly in many ways. We understand that conversation ensued outside, and that members of the Episcopal Diocese of New York Task Force Against Human Trafficking — the event sponsor — ministered to some of the protesters.
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The Episcopal Church respects the dignity of every human being, is LGBTQ affirming, and seeks to serve the most vulnerable in accordance with the command of Jesus. We are grateful that there is common ground between activists both for and against the bill — decriminalizing those in prostitution — and pray for a way forward that reduces victimization in the sex trade and holds those that do harm accountable.
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R.I.P.
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On July 5, longtime parishioner Jaye Shorter died at the age of 69. Jaye had suffered for years from Alzheimer’s and more recently from breast cancer. She was extremely active at Incarnation, serving as usher, helping with the Christmas Fair, and contributing to our parish life since 1991. Her ashes were interred in the Incarnation Columbarium following her funeral on July 15.
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Rest eternal grant to her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her. Amen.
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Special thanks to Joelle Anderson and other parishioners for helping to care for Jaye when Jaye’s family was unable to do so. If you want up-to-date information on important parish matters such as funerals, I suggest you sign up for the weekly E-minder or check the web site periodically.
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CHRISTMAS FAIR
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As previously announced, we are collecting donations for the Christmas Fair and for the Silent Auction. See Laurie Mygatt or Monica Quinn on Sundays for further information on what we need or for the forms required to secure donations from restaurants and businesses. The Fair will be on Saturday, December 7, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Many thanks!
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USHERS CORPS
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I’m pleased to announce that after two years in North Carolina, Jacquelyn Carson is back in New York and has resumed her role as Head Usher. It’s great to have her back with us. I also want to thank Ted Harrison for filling in as interim Head of the Ushers Corps while Jackie was away.
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FROM THE ASSOCIATE RECTOR:
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Mission and Outreach
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Incarnation’s ministry with Moravian Open Door continues to provide practical help for the homeless while offering spiritual nourishment for MOD residents and Incarnation parishioners alike. The Moravian Open Door Committee will be meeting Sunday, September 15 at 12:30 p.m. to plan for the program year. If you are interested in learning more about this ministry or want to get more involved, please join us. All are welcome.
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Incarnation’s Anti-Trafficking Group has been focused on combating Bill A.8230/S.6419, which would fully decriminalize prostitution in New York State. We hope concerned parishioners will contact bill sponsor Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, in whose district Incarnation is located, to express their views about his efforts to decriminalize those who exploit people in the sex trade. Assembly Member Gottfried can be reached at GottfriedR@assembly.state.ny.us and 518-455-4941. The next meeting of the Anti-Trafficking Group will be scheduled for October. Details to come.
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Save the date for our next Senior Resource Day, Sunday, November 17, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., when Incarnation volunteers offer one-on-one tech help to seniors in our parish and surrounding community. In addition to tech help, our Senior Resource Days also include outside speakers who offer presentations and programs directed to a senior audience. Some of our past offerings have included hearing tests and blood pressure screenings, as well as presentations on fall prevention, tax reform, and end-of-life documents. If you have an idea for a speaker or subject that might appeal to seniors, please let me know.
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20s/20s Group
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On Friday, September 13, the 20/30s will meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Morgan Library and Museum (one block north of the church). Admission is free and a jazz ensemble performs. After the museum, we’ll gather for drinks and discussion about humor as a tool for activism and social change, inspired by one of the Morgan’s current exhibitions, Hogarth: Humor and Cruelty. Let me know if you can come!
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Children and Families
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We have a number of children who have graduated from Godly Play and are moving on to a new Sunday School program for middle schoolers. Graduates will be recognized during the 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday, September 8 with the presentation of Bibles. Congrats to our grads! Also on September 8, we’ll have a pizza and bowling party for Incarnation Acolytes to celebrate and give thanks for their leadership in worship. Acolytes meet me in the sacristy (my office) at noon, and we’ll travel together to Bowlmor Lanes.
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On Saturday, September 14, Incarnation families will enjoy a baseball outing. Parents and children of all ages are invited to Citi Field to watch the Mets v. the Dodgers at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 each, and kids will receive Mets goodie bags at the game. Please let me know if you’d like to purchase tickets; seating is limited.
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Sunday, September 15 marks the return of Godly Play, our Sunday School program for children ages 3-10, which takes place during the 11:00 a.m. service. I’m also pleased to announce our new Sunday School program for middle schoolers, Echo the Story, which will take place from 10:00 to 10:40 a.m. in the Parish House. Youth Group also resumes on September 15, meeting from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month. Our first meeting will center on the difference between trying hard and letting go.
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The Christian Parenting Group returns Thursday, September 19. We meet in the Parish House from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. every other Thursday. We’ll begin by looking at some faith-based materials created by Connected Families in relation to their new podcast series, “What should I do when my child…?” I recommend this podcast for parents with children of any age; learn more here.
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Beginning Monday, September 23, Incarnation will host Music with James, a high-energy music class for children ages 4 months to 4 years. The children sing along, dance, and play instruments with each song. Animal puppets, bouncing balls and a colorful parachute add to the fun. Music with James will be held in our Assembly Hall on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. All classes are drop-in, and parishioners will receive a reduced rate. Go to musicwithjames.com for more information.
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Women’s Group
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The Women’s Group will meet in the Parish House on Tuesday, October 8, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We will discuss the four agreements, made famous by Don Miguel Ruiz in his book of the same name: (1) Be impeccable with your word. (2) Don’t take anything personally. (3) Don’t make assumptions. (4) Always do your best. We will explore how the agreements, which represent wisdom of the ancient Toltec (indigenous people who lived in present-day Mexico), are consistent with modern psychological principles and resonant with the teachings of Jesus and Christian spiritual practice. Refreshments will be served.
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–The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser
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MEN’S GROUP
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The Men’s Group will have our first meeting of the autumn on Monday, October 7, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. I will begin a discussion of “Mind Games: meditation, yoga, and other Christian and non-Christian spiritual techniques.” Refreshments will be served.
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GOODBYE TO:
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***Callie Goodrich, who has moved back to her native Texas.
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FROM THE INTERIM DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:
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For many years Incarnation’s choir has been made up of talented, highly skilled professional singers. I am personally acquainted with an outstanding soprano who sang here in the ’70’s when Thomas Dunn was Director of Music.
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Our current ensemble carries forward this proud musical tradition. Its members are sopranos Jamilyn Manning-White and Martha Sullivan; alto Janara Kellerman; tenor Andrew King; baritone Philip Allen; and bass Matthew Curran. These are versatile artists who appear internationally as soloists in opera, oratorio and musical theater. One is an accomplished composer, another an award-winning piano accompanist and vocal coach.
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While each is a singer with a strong vocal and musical individuality, each can also place that individuality at the service of the others, and of the music. The result is not only a valuable contribution to the worship in this place. In balancing the claims of the individual with the claims of the community, a choir like this one is a model of the ideal social organism.
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These my colleagues have my sincere respect and gratitude.
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–David Ralph
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The choir returns to the 11:00 AM service on September 15 for the start of the program year. We will have a special Coffee Hour that day in thanksgiving for their ministry of music.
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Work on the garden fence and preparation for planting of the new garden has proceeded throughout the summer. We hope everything will be completed in the coming weeks.
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STEWARDSHIP 2020
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The Chairperson of the Stewardship Program this year in Mona Antaramian. You will be hearing more about the program shortly, but you can mark on your calendars the date of the Annual Parish Dinner: Friday, November 1, at 7:00 PM. This year’s menu will focus on barbecue.
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Meanwhile, you can make a pledge or an automatic payment for 2019 through our web site or by contacting me or the treasurer, Lance Eckel.
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The Murray Hill Neighborhood Association will hold their annual meeting and supper at Incarnation on Thursday, October 3, at 7:00 PM.
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HOMECOMING BRUNCH
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On October 6, you are invited to a bagel brunch in the Assembly Hall to celebrate Homecoming Sunday. We’ll provide a variety of bagels and spreads, fruit, coffee, orange juice, and mimosas. Suggested contribution is $10 for adults; $5 for children.
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ST. FRANCIS DAY
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Also on Sunday, October 6, we will be blessing pets in front of the church as usual for St. Francis Day from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Tell your pet-friendly neighbors, as we get many non-church members who bring their animals to church for a blessing on this day.
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GUEST PREACHER
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The priest-in-charge of our sister parish of St. Vedast-Alias-Fosters, the Rev. Paul Kennedy will once again be visiting us next month. He will preach at all services on Sunday, October 20. Paul’s wife, Paula will also be in New York, and there may be others from St. Vedast as well. I hope you’ll be here to welcome the Kennedys on October 20.
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All in all, there’s a lot happening this autumn. And if you have new ideas, we would love to hear them!
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Yours,
Doug+
The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley



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