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Parish Newsletter

November 2019

Dear Friends,

On Sunday, October 20, I read the following letter to the eleven o’clock congregation:
Dear Incarnation Family,
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On December 7, I will reach the mandatory retirement age for priests in the Episcopal Church. In anticipation of that date, I therefore submit my resignation to the Wardens and Vestry of the Church of the Incarnation and I respectfully ask permission of the Bishop of New York to retire and begin to draw my pension. My last day in the office will be Friday, December 6. Although officially retired, I will return to guest preach my final sermon at Incarnation on Sunday, December 8, at 11 o’clock.
I am immeasurably grateful to all of you for allowing me to do what I love for so long. I am thankful for the support you have given me and my family as we have all strived to serve God’s Kingdom in this parish.
In particular, I want to thank the Wardens and Vestry for all their work in arranging for my retirement, concluding with the generous investment in a retirement apartment for Dana and me to live in when we leave the Rectory this winter.
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I am also extremely appreciative of the advice and guidance of the Bishop of New York, the Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche during this time of transition. I look forward to remaining active in the Diocese of New York wherever I can be of service.
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Most cheering as I prepare for my retirement is the assurance that Incarnation will flourish under the leadership of the Interim Priest, the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser and the Wardens and Vestry and other clergy and lay people.
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As I look back to my arrival at Incarnation in January, 1985, I think appreciatively of all the people I have served with, including a few folks who were here when I arrived and are still among us, as well as many who have died or who have left New York. I remember all the social and educational events, groups and ministries, and fund-raising and building projects. We have been blessed, especially during years when the Episcopal Church has struggled. We have much to be grateful for.
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With that said, I recognize that there is much still to be done for God in this place. May the Lord bless all of you who are part of today’s Incarnation Family.
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ANNUAL PARISH DINNER—NOVEMBER 1
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As part of our Stewardship Program every year, we have either a luncheon or a dinner for the parish. This year, it’s dinnertime. On Friday, November 1, at 7:00 PM, we will gather in the Assembly Hall to enjoy a BBQ dinner, catered by a great Harlem restaurant. There will also be soft drinks and wine, along with some musical entertainment.
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The dinner is free, but reservations are absolutely necessary so we will know how much food to order. Call 212 689-6350 or email me at ousleyjd@churchoftheincarnation.org.
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I would also encourage you to read the letter below from our Jr. Warden and to fill out a Commitment Card. (Commitment Cards are mailed to parishioners and are available at the church.) We invite you to place your Commitment Card in the offering plate to be blessed on Commitment Sunday, November 10. You may also make your 2020 pledge online.
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VISIT OF STAINED-GLASS EXPERTS
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Incarnation was recently visited by Claire Babet, the owner of the Atelier Claire Babet and one of the leading stained glass restorers in France. Ms. Babet helps to maintain the windows in Chartres Cathedral in France—reputed to be the most beautiful windows in the world—and she is also part of the team with the immense task of restoring Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
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They were referred to Incarnation by stained-glass conservators at the Metropolitan Museum in New York; by the way, the Met loves our windows—we were one of only four Manhattan churches on the list for the French visitors. Needless to say, they enjoyed their visit.
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ALL SAINTS SUNDAY
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Please let me have names of your deceased loved ones whom you would like remembered at the altar on All Saints Sunday, November 3. Mail the names to me at the church address, give them to me on Sunday, or email them to me at ousleyjd@churchoftheincarnation.org
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FROM THE ASSOCIATE RECTOR:
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Mission and Outreach
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Senior Resource Day returns Sunday, November 17 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. We are looking for volunteers who can offer one-on-one tech assistance to help seniors in the parish and wider community navigate the Internet and email, video chat, social media, smartphones, and tablets (such as iPads). Whether you’re a “techie” or simply have a working knowledge of the Internet, we can use your help. Let me know if you are interested in or have questions about serving as a tech volunteer. At 1:00 p.m. we’ll be joined by Carey Davidson, founder of Tournesol Wellness, an integrative and holistic medical center in Murray Hill. Carey will explore the mind-body connection, offering some helpful practices for stress reduction, pain management and emotional well-being. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.
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20s/30s Group
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On Monday, November 16, the 20s/30s Group will gather in the Parish House from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. for “Help! How Do I Read the Bible?” In America, most households have one or more Bibles sitting on bookshelves or bedside tables. And that’s generally where they stay, unopened and unread. Because – let’s be honest – while getting a Bible is easy, actually reading it? Not so much. Come learn some practical tips for engaging Scripture as well as principles for Bible-reading that steer you away from confusion and misinterpretation and toward true understanding of the Living Word. Snacks and drinks (alcoholic and non) will be served.
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Women’s Group
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The Women’s Group will meet on Wednesday, November 6 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Parish House. On the heels of election day, our discussion topic will be “Politics and Relationships.” As Christians, how can we better maintain and create relationships and work towards healthy communities in spite of political differences? This isn’t a conversation about issues, but rather a discovery of how we can disagree and still care about each other and how we can work together when we find agreement. Refreshments will be served.
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Our December gathering of the Women’s Group will be a theater outing. Details coming soon.
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Fall Parish Retreat
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During the month of September, parishioners are invited to a weekend retreat at Incarnation Center in Ivoryton, Connecticut. You can find a photo album with highlights and a re-cap of our 2019 retreat on the church Facebook page. Next year’s retreat begins with dinner on Friday, September 19, and concludes with lunch on Sunday, September 21. Please save the dates!
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— The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser
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MEN’S GROUP
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On Monday, November 4, the Men’s Group will meet in the Parish House from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Refreshments will be served. The topic for discussion will be: “Life in a Large Urban Hospital.”
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We will begin with some reflections from Dr. Jennifer Ellis, a member of Incarnation who recently became chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Bellevue Hospital and associate professor of surgery at New York University.
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On December 2, we will hear a talk from the Rev. Rik Pike, who will soon come on board as Incarnation’s Interim Associate. All men of the parish are invited to these meetings.
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CHRISTMAS FAIR DECEMBER 7
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Circle Saturday, December 7 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 gift certificates to local restaurants. Plan to volunteer to help sell things as well from 10 until 6. Many thanks.
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–Laurie Mygatt
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INSTRUCTIONAL EUCHARIST
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We will have an Instructional Eucharist during the 11 AM service on Sunday, November 17. Adrian will celebrate the Eucharist and the choir and congregation will participate as usual but, in place of the sermon, I will offer a running commentary on the different elements of the service. This event follows a recommendation of the Spiritual Development Committee. I think you will find it interesting and informative.
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R.I.P
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On September 14, Edward Gaweda died from heart failure; he was 60 years old. Edward was a faithful communicant of Incarnation; he volunteered in the office and helped with the Christmas Fair. His funeral was held at Incarnation on September 19.
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Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon him.
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GARDEN RESTORATION UPDATE
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The 35th Street fence has been restored and looks great. There will be some planting this autumn and the garden is expected to be fully ready for its rededication in May of 2020.
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THANKS TO:
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***Our new Social Life Committee, for organizing the wonderful Homecoming Brunch on October 6.
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***Our Sea Scouts, for painting the iron work on the Madison Avenue façade of the church.
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***All who volunteered for Bingo Night at Moravian Open Door.
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The next Parish Letter will come to you from Adrian. I wish you all a joyous All Saints and a happy Thanksgiving.
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Yours,
Doug+
The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley
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Dear Friends and Fellow Parishioners:1

It may all seem a bit abstract when, at this time of the year, you hear from your fellow members of Incarnation about Stewardship.

The likely questions going through your mind may be any of the following. Where exactly do the time I volunteer as well as the dollars and cents go? How does my donation impact what goes on here at the Church of the Incarnation? Does what I contribute matter?

From my time serving on the Vestry and listening to the budget discussions that take place every month, what perspective I can offer you is that every second of time volunteered and cent donated matter greatly to our efforts at Incarnation to give back to our community, between the programs for the youngest of our members (Godly Play) to the most senior (Senior Resource Day).

That said, let us take a step back from the day to day to look at the bigger picture. Incarnation has been here for over a century, and we as its members likely very seldom think about the sacrifices that have been made in the past to provide us with this building. And just as Incarnation has been selflessly bequeathed to us, I feel that it is our duty and responsibility to pass on this gift to our children and our children’s children so that they may also have a home to return to and worship every Sunday.

So please join us in helping to pass along Incarnation to our future members, and thank you in advance for your time and donations once again this year.

Faithfully,

Stephen Ju

Junior Warden

*All are invited to the Parish Stewardship Dinner on Friday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. We’ll enjoy some BBQ and live country music as we reflect together on our renewed commitment to this parish community. There is no cost to attend the dinner, but reservations are required. Call 212-689-6350 or email info@churchoftheincarnation.org to RSVP.

**Enclosed is Incarnation’s 2020 Commitment Card. Join us on Commitment Sunday, November 10, when we commit ourselves and pledge a portion of our finances to Incarnation. You may place your Commitment Card in the offering plate on that day or mail it to the church in advance. You may also submit your pledge online. All cards will be blessed in worship.



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