December 2016

Dear Friends,

As the holidays approach, you may be interested in the enclosed flyer which lists our principal services of the season. You may also want to post the flyer in your building or pass it along to a friend. Please tell friends who have children about the Pageant and the Family Service. You might also let them know that the church Nursery is open every Sunday of the year, staffed by a professional attendant, and that the Sunday School always welcomes drop-ins and visitors.

It often happens that people randomly attend a Christmas worship service and find themselves beginning an unexpected spiritual journey. Even if you yourself plan to be 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.


Hello, friends! I’m happy to share some details of upcoming music events here at Incarnation. Hopefully, there is something for everyone.

Sunday, December 11 at 5:00 PM – Christmas Lessons and Carols
This annual event features music for strings, choir and organ.
Vivaldi: Concerto for Strings in G minor, RV 157
Choral music of Holst, Warlock, Hassler, Bach, Joubert, Billings and Rutter.
Traditional carols sung by all.
Followed by the Parish Christmas Party in the Assembly Hall, with popular carols.

Saturday, December 24 – Christmas Eve
Our service starts an hour earlier this year.
Music for strings, choir and organ.
9:30 PM – Preparatory Music, including soloists from the choir and strings.
Music of Corelli, Bach, Daquin and Fauré.
10:00 PM – Christmas Eve Festal Eucharist, with sermon by the Rector.
Music of Praetorius and Haydn, with carols arranged by Willcocks and Rutter.

As always, making music at Incarnation is my great pleasure. I look forward to seeing you!

Matthew Lewis

The uniquely Anglican blend of traditional Scripture and special music at Lessons and Carols, 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 are also happy to offer a Children’s Eucharist on Christmas Eve for the second year. This brief, informal service for families will take place at 5:00 PMand will include a children’s homily, a simple Eucharistic prayer, and a few favorite Christmas hymns.


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 byDecember 18th, 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 from the Fund are made in confidence through the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.

You can use the enclosed form and return envelope to make gifts to Christmas decorations, Christmas music, Operation Santa, and the Christmas Fund. You can also request offering envelopes if you have not pledged yet; those who pledge receive envelopes automatically.


Mission and Outreach
Operation Santa is back with a new look this year. We’re still purchasing, wrapping and shipping presents to children and families in need. We’re just spreading this annual Christmas service project over 12 days so you have more opportunities to get involved.

  1. We’ll start with a trip to the Farley Post Office (421 8th Ave. at 31st St.) on Thursday, December 8, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. to sort through letters written to “Santa.” Our goal is to amass a collection of letters that ask for necessities, such as winter coats, shoes and smaller gifts. Let me know if you can help.
  2. Letters will be made available at the church on Sunday, December 11. Pick up a letter at Coffee Hour or the Parish Christmas Party following Lessons and Carols. Shop for the child who wrote the letter. You are welcome to let the church wrap, pack, and ship the presents you purchase. Just bring them by the Parish House in time for our wrapping and packing party.
  3. All are invited to help wrap and pack presents purchased for Operation Santa on Monday, December 19 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Children of any age can make Christmas cards.
  4. Packages will be shipped from the Farley Post Office on Tuesday, December 20. Please let me know if you can help take packages to the post office at any time during business hours, especially if you happen to drive an SUV!

Go to our Outreach page on the church website 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 on the Upper West Side for a Caroling Party on Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00 p.m. It’s time to warm up your vocal cords with mulled wine or apple cider and then belt out some Christmas favorites! RSVP to me for exact location.

Women’s Group
Members of the Women’s Group are invited to see Martin Luther on Trial, a divine comedy that wrestles with matters of God and conscience, at The Pearl Theatre (555 W. 42nd St. at 11th Ave.) on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. We have a limited number of tickets for $50.50 each. Please let me know if you would like one.

Children and Families
Children are invited to participate in a short Christmas Pageant during the 11:00 a.m.service on Sunday, December 18. Youth are invited to help as stage managers. There will be one rehearsal from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 17 in the church. Please let me know if your child would like to participate 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! Children will also make Christmas cards for Operation Santa–a great hands-on mission opportunity for kids.

The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser

Please come to decorate the church for Christmas on Friday, December 16, beginning at 6:00 PM. After the decorating is completed, you’re also welcome to come to a reception in my apartment. No need to RSVP.


Please note that while we will have services at 8:30 and 11 on Christmas and New Year’s Day, there will be no 5 PM service on either Sunday.


***Beth Dannhauser for the gift of a large television for the Assembly Hall.

***Conor Devlin, who spent some of his summer vacation keeping the Incarnation Office open.

***Our other current office volunteers: Ginny Bubaris, Marjory Crumpacker, Srimeli DeMel, Edward Gaweda, Mihail Georgescu, Rodica Georgescu, and Thomas Grischkowsky. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. They offer a warm welcome to visitors and callers, and they perform many tasks necessary for the smooth functioning of our parish.

Two of our most active and loyal volunteers, Rodica and Mihail Georgescu will be honored on February 12, which we are calling, “Georgescu Sunday.”

Another volunteer, Tom Grischkowsky is assembling a list of birthdays of parishioners. Please let me know yours if I don’t know it already. (No need to include year of birth!)

THANKS ALSO TO:***Julie Noll and other workers for organizing the Consecration Sunday Luncheon.

***All who volunteered for our November Senior Resource Day.


The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held on Sunday, January 8, 2017, at 12:30 PM, in the Assembly Hall. Leaders of parish organizations are reminded that annual reports of their activities during 2016 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.


The former rector of our link parish in London, the Rev. Dr. Alan McCormack, now Dean of William Goodenough College in London, will once again preach at Incarnation on Sunday, January 15, at 11 AM.


Members of The Church Club of New York will be attending our 5 PM Candlelight Communion on Sunday, January 15, following a visit to the Morgan Library. After the 5 PM service, they will also host a reception in our Parish House and invite all parishioners of Incarnation to attend as their guests. There is no charge for Incarnation parishioners to attend the reception. For further information, contact the interim Executive Director of the Church Club (and member of Incarnation) Susan Ridgeway at (212) 828-7418 or by email at


This winter, we will begin experimenting with Renewal Works, a congregational development program sponsored by the Diocese of New York. If you would be interested in joining the team for the program, which includes meetings from mid-January to mid-May, please speak to Adrian or me.


There was an enthusiastic response to the idea I floated last summer of starting a book club. Many Murray Hill neighbors as well as parishioners indicated their interest.

We thought we would start with a congenial mystery, the first in a series by the Canadian author, Louise Penny, entitled Still Life. We will also spend some time at our first meeting discussing possible books to read in the future. This organizational meeting will be in the Parish House on Wednesday, January 18, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Incarnation will provide refreshments in return for a free will offering. No need to RSVP but let me know if you have any questions.


Our third program in this series will consider ethical and spiritual issues involved in working in the entertainment industry. Tory Nagle and Kim Rideout will speak about their long acting careers on Sunday, January 29, at 12:30 PM.

* * * * * *

I have been invited to represent the Bishop of New York at the farewell service for the Bishop of London, the Rt. Rev. and Rt. Hon. Richard Chartres on February 2. I will also preach at our sister church of St. Vedast and then help them to celebrate the Feast of St. Vedast on February 6.


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 six 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 or Lutherans 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 22. Please let me know if you think you would like to be part of this class or if you have any questions about it. Bishop Allen Shin, Suffragan Bishop of New York will officiate during his first confirmation visit to Incarnation on April 2.

* * * * * *

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.


The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

Leave a Reply