December 2019

Dear Friends,
1
Sunday, December 1, marks the start of the liturgical year and the season of Advent. It is a season for new beginnings, when we make space in our hearts and in our lives for Christ to enter anew. Advent is a time of preparation, and here at Incarnation, we are making preparations in more ways than one.
1
As announced in the last Parish Letter, our beloved Rector, the Rev. Doug Ousley, will retire on Friday, December 6, and give his last sermon at Incarnation on Sunday, December 8, at the 11:00 a.m. service. The Hospitality Committee is arranging a special Coffee Hour in his honor that day, and we hope you will join us as you are able.
1
The twelve months following will be a time of transition, when I will serve as Incarnation’s Interim Priest in Charge before a new Rector is hired. I will share more about what this interim period entails in the next Parish Letter. For now, let us look forward to a season of joyful anticipation with all that December has in store.
1
FROM THE INTERIM DIRECTOR OF MUSIC:
1
“The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season.” This is one of the many passages in the Psalms that looks forward to the coming of a Savior. On Sunday, December 1, as the church year begins, the choir will sing Jean Berger’s anthem based on this text. Advent is the season that bears the message of promise, but also of warning. We are admonished to wake up and stay that way, to repent, i.e. change our way of thinking (Gr. metanoia). The music of the next few weeks will reflect these two themes.
1
December is always a “weighty” month for any church family, but especially so this year at Incarnation. The 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday, December 8, will be one of thanksgiving for the ministry here of Father Ousley. The choir will be augmented by guest singers and there will be special music, including a festive Te Deum by Benjamin Britten.
1
The following Sunday, December 15, is the annual Service of Lessons and Carols at 5:00 p.m. Again, our choir regulars will be joined by guest singers; there will be instrumental music for strings and organ. All are encouraged to continue the caroling at the party in the Assembly Hall after the service.
1
On Christmas Eve, the Preparatory Service of Music begins at 9:30 p.m., the Eucharist at 10:00 p.m. There will be music by Haydn, Langlais, Victoria, and others.
1
I am grateful to all for the kindness and support you have shown me in the past months as your Interim Director of Music.
1
– David Ralph
1
The enclosed flyer lists our principal services of the season. You may want to post the flyer in your building or pass it along to a friend. Please tell friends who have children about the Pageant on Sunday, December 15, and the Family Service on Christmas Eve. 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.
1
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.
1
OPERATION SANTA
1
Each year during Advent, parishioners are invited to select a letter written to “Santa” by a child in need and purchase gifts for that child. This year we are shopping for children living at a nearby homeless shelter.
1
Letters are currently available in the Parish House. You can pick one up over the next few Sundays and also at the Parish Christmas Party following Lessons and Carols. Or contact me if you would like to arrange to pick up a letter during the week; I can also send you one by email.
1
You are welcome to let the church wrap the presents you purchase. Just bring them by the Parish House in time for our wrapping party on Tuesday, December 17, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. All are invited to help wrap presents, and children of any age can make Christmas cards.
1
CHRISTMAS FAIR
1
Incarnation’s Christmas Fair is one of our annual highlights and longstanding traditions. Saturday, December 7, will mark our 77th fair. Please stop by between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Enjoy a silent auction, café in the historic 1870s Parlor, holiday baskets, handicrafts, jams and baked goods. The fair also features crafts for children.
1
There are many ways you can lend a hand to make this year’s Christmas Fair a success:
  • Donate an item for the silent auction. We especially need gift certificates to local restaurants.
  • Give an hour or two of your time for set-up. We’ll be setting up the for the fair between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, through Friday, December 6.
  • Join us for Basket Night on Tuesday, December 3, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., when we assemble gifts baskets for sale.
  • Serve customers and help with logistics during the fair, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Help with clean-up immediately after the fair from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Contact Laurie Mygatt at lgmygatt@gmail.com for more information or to volunteer.
1
MEN’S GROUP
1
The Men’s Group will gather in the Parish House on Monday, December 2, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Join the Rector and our new Interim Associate, the Rev. Rik Pike, for a discussion on “Ministry and Church Vitality in Westchester County.” Rik will outline his five years of ministry up in Bedford, NY and suggest how his Westchester experiences may contain lessons for us all on the current challenges facing the Episcopal Church. Refreshments will be served.
1
WOMEN’S GROUP
1
The Women’s Group continues an annual tradition of taking in a show by the Fellowship of the Performing Arts, whose mission is to produce theater from a Christian worldview. This year we are seeing a staged reading of Animal Farm on Thursday, December 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Theatre Row (410 W. 42nd St.).
1
Join us for this exciting and faithful dramatization of George Orwell’s brilliant allegory and satirical look at how the quest for liberation and equality is corrupted by power and privilege. Tickets are FREE and we have a limited number available. Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like one.
1
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
1
Christian Parenting Group
The Christian Parenting Group continues to meet every other Thursday in the Parish House from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. December meetings will be on the 5th and the 19th. Please let me know if you have questions or would like more information about this small group ministry.
1
Youth Group
The Youth Group will meet on Sunday, December 8, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Parish House. The Rev. Rik Pike will lead the discussion.
1
Christmas Pageant
Children of all ages are invited to participate in a short Christmas Pageant during the 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday, December 15. Members of the Youth Group are invited to help as stage managers. There will be one rehearsal from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 14, in the church. Please email Meredith Huveneers at meredith.huveneers@gmail.com if your child would like to participate so that we can have enough costumes and parts for all.
1
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.
1
Christmas Worship for Families
The Eucharist at 11:00 a.m. on Christmas Day features a Visit to the Crèche for the children present. We are also happy to offer a Family Eucharist on Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m. This brief, informal service will include a children’s homily, a simple Eucharistic prayer, and a few favorite Christmas hymns. We hope families will join us for one or both of these services.
1
20s/30s GROUP
1
All 20s/30s are invited to the Parish House for “Help! How Do I Know God’s Will?” on December 19, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. I will host in my apartment (on the 3rd floor) and the Rev. Rik Pike will lead the discussion. This is a dinner party! Get ready for roast chicken, mulled wine, and plenty of sides and Christmas goodies. The more the merrier, so please invite friends. RSVP to me.
1
CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, MUSIC, AND OFFERINGS FOR THOSE IN NEED
1
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 15, along with any names you would like to be listed in the Christmas leaflets. The funds for the decorations and the supplemental choral and instrumental music are provided by this appeal.
1
Another holiday custom at Incarnation is the Christmas Fund. The Fund helps people within the Incarnation parish family who have financial needs; grants from the Fund are made in confidence.
1
You can use the enclosed form and return envelope to make gifts to Christmas decorations, Christmas music, and the Christmas Fund. You can also request offering envelopes if you have not yet made your pledge for 2020; those who pledge receive envelopes automatically.
1
THANKS TO:
1
***All who volunteered for our November Senior Resource Day.
1
***Our many office volunteers: Mihail Georgescu, Rodica Georgescu, Tom Grischkowsky, Eleanor Flach, Chris Sortino, and Ginny Bubaris. 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.
1
***The Social Life Committee for their help with the Annual Stewardship Dinner.
1
***The Building Committee (Alex Nelson, Kathy Linburn and John Chadwick) as they continue to oversee improvements to the church property in preparation for a new garden in memory of Michael Linburn.
1111
#ADVENTWORD
1
With the season of Advent upon us, the clergy are actively encouraging all parishioners to sign up for #AdventWord, a global, online Advent calendar produced by Virginia Theological Seminary. Click here and sign up to receive daily emails with meditations and images curated specifically for Advent.
1
Now in its sixth year, #AdventWord continues to swiftly grow around the Episcopal and wider Anglican Church. It offers all those who sign up a moment of contemplation each and every day during this expectant and reflective season. If you do sign up, let the clergy know, and later in the season we’ll find time to compare notes.
1
SAVE THE DATE FOR THE RECTOR’S RETIREMENT PARTY!
1
FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN:
1
Since 1985, the Rev J. Douglas Ousley has served as the Rector of the Church of the Incarnation, in Murray Hill in Manhattan. During his tenure much has changed – 34 years is long enough to see changes in the neighborhood, and in the very fabric of the church itself. We’ve seen parishioners and assistant ministers come and go, we’ve enjoyed the cyclical pageantry of Easter and Christmas services, not to mention the Christmas Fair, and we’ve been continually inspired by the beauty of the building and of the music that has poured out of it. Doug has tirelessly worked to maintain the broad church tradition of intellectual curiosity, the musical tradition of Choir and Organ, and the beauty of our landmark church building. He has not only helped to maintain continuity with our history but also, and most importantly, sustained the sense of community that is the hallmark of Incarnation.
1
After so many years of faithful service, we want to invite the parish community, and all of Doug’s friends, to join in a celebration of Doug’s Rectorship on Sunday, January 12, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. We will offer refreshments, and a chance to say a final farewell to Doug in the place he has always been most at home – the Church of the Incarnation, 209 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016. Please join us.
1
You can RSVP by email to office@churchoftheincarnation.org or call the church office at (212) 689-6350 to confirm attendance. You can also make a donation to Doug’s retirement party by clicking here or by check made payable to Church of the Incarnation with “Rector’s Retirement Party” in the memo line.
1
– Jonathan Vaughan
1
On behalf of the Rector, Wardens, Vestry and Staff, I wish you a blessed Advent and truly joyful Christmas.
1
In Christ,
Adrian+
The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser


Leave a Reply