April-May 2014



Dear Friends,

Holy Week is almost here, and I would like to highlight some of the events and services.

Palms will be distributed at all three services on Palm Sunday, April 13. We begin the eleven o’clock service with a long procession that includes Sunday School children; 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 2015.

The Eucharist is celebrated Monday to Thursday in Holy Week at 12:15 p.m. On Maundy Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m., we will hold a powerful service that we began two years ago, “Tenebrae.” Dr. Matthew Lewis describes the liturgy below, which features the men of our choir.

On Good Friday, beginning at noon, there will be readings chosen by members of the staff, 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 by the clergy at fifteen-minute intervals.

The Easter Eve Vigil and Eucharist begins at 7:00 p.m. with the lighting of the “new fire” and the procession of the lighted Pascal Candle into a darkened church. Readings and music unique to this night follow and the service will conclude with the first Communion service of Easter. A reception with champagne and soft drinks follows.

This year, we will be joined by members of the Church of the Good Shepherd, which was once the Chapel of the Incarnation. Good Shepherd’s rector, the Rev. Erika Meyer will preach.

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 detail below. There will also be a special reception following the 5:00 p.m. Candlelight Communion.

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Please post the enclosed flyer 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.


With Easter rapidly approaching, I would like to tell you about some of the music we have planned at Incarnation.

April 13 – Palm Sunday features music of Antonín Dvořák and Harry Burleigh. While living in New York City, Dvořák and Burleigh became close friends. The Incarnation choir will sing a movement of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, and Burleigh’s stirring arrangement of “Were You There?” Burleigh, a successful composer and singer, is primarily known for codifying and organizing spirituals.

April 17 – Service of Tenebrae features music for men’s voices. This moving service by candlelight includes plainsong Psalms, along with works by Martini, Schütz and Asola.

April 18 – Good Friday service at noon with women’s voices. This service includes works by Pergolesi, Walcha and Rossini.

April 20 – Easter Day. Music for strings and choir will be especially festive as we celebrate Easter. Composers include Mozart, Haydn and Vaughan Williams – some Incarnation favorites!

Looking ahead, our contemporary music series continues after Easter, when the choir will present works by Panderecki and Britten, along with some other exciting pieces. The last choir Sunday is May 18, then they go on summer break.

On Sunday, May 4 at 3:00 PM, St. George’s Choral Society presents a spring concert here at Incarnation. The program includes Mozart’s monumental Great Mass in C minor with full orchestra. This is a very exciting piece – you won’t want to miss it! Also on the program is a newly-commissioned work by Venezuelan-American composer Manuel Sosa. “Tabula 1” is an a cappella piece which incorporates texts from the Latin Requiem and the Kaddish prayer from the Jewish liturgy. It is a stirring, atmospheric piece that sounds very new and modern: beautiful and comforting at the same time. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased at the door or by visiting stgeorgeschoralsociety.org.

This summer, in celebration of my 20 years at Incarnation, I have been given extra time off, for research and relaxation. I plan to be away for July and August, but already have things planned in my absence. I look forward to time for study and research, and hope to bring new ideas and refreshed musical energy to my work at Incarnation!

–Dr. Matthew Lewis


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 choice of brunch items as well as a selection of drinks within the price.

To make a reservation, send your check (adults: $24, children: $13) to the Parish Office or give it to Thomas Southworth on your way to the Coffee Hour on Sunday. Family and friends are of course welcome.


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.


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 gather at the back of the church at 10:45 am sharp.

Please also join us at our annual Easter Egg Hunt after the April 20th 11:00 am service. 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.

Looking ahead, please mark your calendars for Vacation Bible School this summer: Monday, August 4, through Friday, August 8, 2013. 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. We are looking for volunteers of all ages!

Holy Saturday Retreat

The Saturday before Easter, April 19, is the date of 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 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 7:00 pm. Please enter the church at 25 East 35th Street, and try to arrive promptly at 2:30 pm, or shortly before. This year, the retreat is open to all – not just the Women’s Group.

Women’s Group

The next meeting of the Women’s Group will be at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, April 29 for a light dinner and a new look at Noah and his ark (with particular focus on the new Russell Crowe film version of the story). No need to have seen the movie before attending.

Twenties and Thirties

On Saturday, April 26, we’ll be joining hundreds of 20s/30s from all over Manhattan for a Trivia Night. Join us at St. James’ Church (Madison Ave. at 71st Street) from 6:00-9:30 PM. The $30 price includes dinner, games, and prizes. The price may seem steep at first, but way less than most nights out on the town, and the bulk of it goes to young adult ministry in Haiti. Please let me know if you plan to attend!

Adult Forum

The Adult Forum/Bible Study will resume on Sunday, April 27. Topics this spring include lectionary texts, the novels of Susan Howatch, and “summer spirituality.”We meet at 10:00 am in the Parish House Dining Room. Coffee and tea are provided. All are welcome.

the Rev. Ginger Strickland


***All who contributed to the Shrove Tuesday Mardi Gras Supper. It was, I believe, one of the best meals and best parish events in recent years.

***Robert Galloway and his large team who put on the reception for the Bishop of New York of the five confirmands.


At our meeting on Monday, April 7, I will begin a discussion of the topic, “Men and Work: Do We Need a New Affirmative Action Program for Men?” Recent studies have shown that women in the upcoming generation are much more successful in obtaining good jobs and advancing their careers than men of the same age. We will discuss this issue and how it pertains to Christian values of work.

We will meet from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m., in the Parish Living Room. Drinks will be served. (Our May meeting will be on May 5: topic TBA.)



*** Janet Loengard grew up in Pennsylvania. She is professor emerita of history at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and continues to work in English legal history. At Incarnation, she has participated in stewardship, outreach, and hospitality. She was elected to the Vestry in 2007 and became Senior Warden in 2010. She lives in Bernardsville, New Jersey, which makes her a church-going commuter.

***Juliana Attwood has attended the Church of the Incarnation since 2005. She has served on the Investment Committee and on the Hospitality Committee. She is an Vice President of Mesirow Financial, a financial services firm based in Chicago. Juliana has been employed in the securities industry for most of her career and markets corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities and other fixed income products to institutional investors. Juliana grew up in Arkansas and attended high school at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. She received a BS in biology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She has an MBA from Booth School of Business (the University of Chicago).She serves on the Centennial Campaign Committee of The Hockaday School.

***John Chadwick has been a member of The Church of The Incarnation since 2002. This is his second term on the Vestry where he serves as the Chairman of the Building Committee. Mr. Chadwick is also Chairman of The Patrons of Park Avenue, the committee that oversees all of the fund raising, maintenance and planting of the Murray Hill Park Avenue Malls. Originally from Oklahoma City, he is a resident of The Seven Park Avenue and is the principal of Interiors By John Chadwick.


***Jack Morse has moved out of New York and now lives with his grandchildren near Toledo, Ohio.

***Barbara Pena Coyle is now in a rehabilitation facility, following some cardiac problems. She enjoys visits from her daughter, Rachel and her grandchildren.

***The Rev. Alexander “Sandy” Webb will be worshiping with us on May 4. He is now priest-in-charge of a large parish in Tennessee.


***Carrie and Matt McKenzie, whose daughter, Madeline Elizabeth, was born on March 12.

***Thomas Grischkowsky, Baird Johnson, Michael Livschitz, Tanya Tesa, and Giovanni Trujillo, who were confirmed by the Bishop of New York on March 16.

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On Tuesday, April 15th at 7:30PM, the boy choir sensation LIBERA will play a concert at Incarnation. The concert follows the extraordinary success of the group’s latest release Angels Sing – Christmas in Ireland, which spent three consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Classical chart this past holiday season, and which was featured in a PBS pledge special with over 900 broadcasts on more than 360 Public Television stations nationwide. The group also visited New York and Los Angeles in December for a pair of major national TV appearances on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Christmas morning edition of NBC’s TODAY. Tickets will be $35 at the door.

Recently visitors will have noticed the dramatic scaffolding and netting that surrounds the tower of the church. The stonework that has worn away or been damaged by weather and pollution is now being removed; work so far has been proceeding well. And the banner designed by Hostos College students last year makes the work site much less of an eyesore!

During the Legacy Sunday service on March 30, I was reminded that substantial seed money for the spire came from two recent legacies that were the gift of Gladys Newbery and Irene Sorrough. Gladys was a long-time parishioner that moved to a seniors’ residence a few years ago. Growing up in an impoverished immigrant family, Irene Sorrough attended Incarnation Camp in the 1920’s. Although she had no further contact with our church as far as I know, when she died last year at the age of 98, she left a generous gift to Incarnation in thanksgiving for her time at our camp.

These are moving tributes to Incarnation’s past ministry, and they encourage us as we build Incarnation’s future.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Holy Week services and at the various receptions, coffee hours, and the brunch. A joyous Easter to you and those you love.



The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley


List of Holy Week and Easter services

Donation form for Easter flowers and music




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