February-March 2017

Dear Friends,

The new year has gotten off to an excellent start. Our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Andrew M.L. Diestche worshiped with us, as we hosted a service for all those in the diocese who are involved in the anti-trafficking movement. We also had a visit from 60+ members of the Church Club of New York.

In addition, Incarnation received a generous and unexpected legacy from the estate of Deb Berthel. Deb was in a nursing home in the North Bronx for many years; Incarnation staff and parishioners were often her only visitors for weeks on end. She was a very brave soul who bore immense suffering. We are honored by her gift.

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Among the new programs this year is Renewal Works. More information on Renewal Works will follow in a separate letter by email, with hard copies made available in the Narthex and Parish House.

Another initiative will also break some ground here at Incarnation. On March 3, we will host an art exhibit in the Church. The exhibit will feature 14 Stations of the Cross, each by a Brooklyn artist. Noted Brooklyn artist and former parishioner Anders Knutsson is the curator of the show, which opened a couple of years ago in Brooklyn and has been displayed elsewhere in the U.S. but never before in Manhattan.

The exhibit will open with a reception from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., in the Assembly Hall. The artists and the public will be invited to attend. The art works will be on display throughout Lent, and we will use them for a traditional service of Stations of the Cross on Friday, March 24, at 6 p.m.—a wonderful traditional liturgy that is particularly appropriate for Lent since it centers on the last events of Christ’s life.

Other activities for Lent will be announced.


At the Coffee Hour on Sunday, February 12, we will thank Rodica and Mihail Georgescu for their many decades of service to Incarnation. Mihail was our Sexton before he retired; Rodica also worked for the church in various capacities. Both continue to be active in volunteering for many parish activities, and they each serve every week in the office. We should all be grateful for the Georgescus!


The next meeting of the Men’s Group will be on Monday, February 13. One of our members, Joseph Basset will discuss contemporary Japanese religion, based on his recent visit to Japan. We meet from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Refreshments will be served.


After a really good first meeting, we are off and running. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, February 15, at 7 PM, in the Parish Living Room. We will discuss Wicked City by Beatriz Williams.


Before Lent begins, we will enjoy our customary Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. The supper will be served in the Parish House from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m, on February 28. The supper is open to members and friends of the parish. The suggested donation is $10 for adults; this year, children are free. Volunteers are needed to assist with set-up, serving, and clean-up. Please email adannhauser@churchoftheincarnation.org to volunteer.


Ash Wednesday brings more visitors into our church than any other day of the year. Adrian and I will be in the Church to offer ashes throughout the day; clergy from the nearby Church Pension Group will be assisting us. We will have celebrations of the Eucharist at 8:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.; there will be hymns and organ music during the 12:15 service.

Every Lent, I remind members of Incarnation of the duty of every Christian to make plans for our eventual passing from this world. These plans should include filling out a healthcare proxy and a living will so that your designated relative or friend can make medical decisions for you in the event that you cannot make them yourself.

Also, be sure that you have an up-to-date will for your material estate. Your will and other last wishes should be recorded and kept in a location outside of your apartment and accessible to your heirs. Our Treasurer, Michael Linburn has written a clear and concise guide to making these decisions. The booklet is available from the parish office and includes information on including Incarnation in your will. Through planned giving, we help assure the continuing witness and work of the Church and other institutions that have sustained and nourished us during our lifetime.

Every year, we also remember with gratitude those who have recently made bequests to Incarnation. This year, Legacy Sunday will be observed on March 12.


The Church Wardens of St. Vedast-alias-Foster would like you to know that the Bishop of London has been pleased to appoint the Rev’d Paul Kennedy to be the Priest in Charge of Saint Vedast and Chaplain to the Moot Community at Saint Mary Aldermary. Paul is currently the Rector of the East Winchester benefice, in Hampshire, and Area Dean of Winchester. He comes to us with more than 20 years’ service in ordained ministry, and is leaving Winchester after eight years as their parish priest. He is married to Paula, who is a teacher, and they have three adult sons. Before ordination, Paul was trained, and worked, as a chartered accountant here in the City. Paul will be joining us immediately after Easter, which we are all looking forward to.

I look forward to meeting with Fr. Kennedy when I am in London next week to represent the Diocese of New York at the farewell service for the Bishop of London.


***Susanna and George Zachariah, who welcomed Zara Violet Zachariah on December 8. Mother and daughter are both well.


If you are interested in joining the Episcopal Church or you would like an overview of the Anglican understanding of the Christian faith, you are welcome to attend our Confirmation/Inquirer’s class. This year, the class will be held on all the Wednesdays in March, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., in the Parish Dining Room. Our annual Episcopal visitation will be on April 2. Bishop Allen Chin, Suffragan Bishop of New York will be with us to preach, confirm, and celebrate the Eucharist.


During the season of Epiphany, we celebrate the manifestation of God in Christ, who came so that he might be with us in every moment of our lives. Where do you find God in each aspect of your life — your professional life, your social life, your family life, and even your financial life? Consider what God might be calling you to give to support and sustain God’s work through the Church. If you have made a financial commitment to Incarnation for 2017, thank you! Please let us know if you need envelopes to make weekly gifts in the form of cash or check, or if you need help setting up a recurring gift online. If you have not yet made a 2017 commitment, we ask you to join with the many households that have. Fill out a pledge card at church or make a pledge online through the church website.


Mission and Service

Incarnation’s anti-trafficking group continues to advocate for child trafficking awareness training for hotel employees. We are reaching out to hotels as well as legislators, and we recently met with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s staff. Join us at our next anti-trafficking group meeting on Thursday, January 26, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to learn about our advocacy efforts and discuss additional ideas for how we might continue to engage in the fight against human trafficking.

Over the past year, we have deepened our relationship with Moravian Open Door, a transitional housing facility for homeless adults, through volunteerism and fellowship. I hope to schedule another event in the very near future and welcome your input. Please let me know if you are interested in helping to plan future volunteer opportunities with Moravian Open Door, and we will find a time to get together with their Executive Director.

Children and Families

Family Friday is back! Parents and children of all ages are invited to the Parish House on Friday, January 27 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. for “The Gospel According to Pixar: Monsters Inc.” We’ll start with a pizza dinner and assembly of toiletry kits for the homeless. Then kids watch Monsters Inc. while adults discuss the spiritual themes in the movie. Youth are welcome to watch the movie, join the discussion, or play ping pong and other games in the Assembly Hall. Contact me to RSVP. Cost is $10 per family.

I’m happy to announce that we have started a new Christian Parenting Group, which meets every other Thursday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Parish House. Our next meeting will be Thursday, February 2. Please be in touch with questions. For those parents who can’t attend the meetings, I’m happy to discuss our readings and other resources that we’re using to help us along the spiritual journey of parenthood as we seek to raise our children as followers of Jesus.


During January, February and March, 20s/30s are meeting on the second Sunday of the month in the Parish House for Common Table Theology. We come together from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. to cook a simple meal and then gather around the dinner table for spiritual discussion. Our January gathering was a total success with lively conversation and tasty tacos. Join us on Sunday, February 12, as we cook up an Italian meal and take up the topic, “Romance in the Bible.” Let me know if you can come, and be sure to save the date for our final gathering of Common Table Theology on March 12!

Women’s Group

The next Women’s Group meeting will take place Tuesday, February 7 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Parish House. We’ll hear from parishioner Dawn Harris about women’s health throughout all phases of life. Dawn is a certified doula, women’s health coach and advocate. She will cover such topics as how to identify hormonal imbalances and the right questions to ask your health care provider, and how natural supplements and the right foods can improve your quality of life. Please join us for this evening of feminine balance and wellness.

The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser


***Liz, Colin, and Ava Westcott-Pitt came by recently. Liz says that she has been following Incarnation on Facebook, and she was very impressed that we had 14 children in this year’s Christmas pageant! The Westcott-Pitts now live in Dublin, where Colin has a new job.

***Adora Akwuba recently gave birth to her second child, Adaeze Kierra Fofanah. Mother and daughter are both doing well.

***Former Sunday Associate, the Rev. Lucia Ballantine wrote to say that she has just retired from her church in Duchess County.


***Uche Akwuba, Master of Ceremonies, Padmini Abeywickrama, Altar Guild chairperson, Jacquelyn Carson, Head Usher, and all the chalice bearers, readers, acolytes, altar guild, and ushers who helped with the Christmas services.

***Those who decorated the church, and to everyone who gave so generously for the Christmas decorations and music and for the Christmas Fund, as well as the many parishioners and friends who participated in or donated to Operation Santa.

***Laurie Mygatt and everyone else who worked so hard on the Christmas Fair. Thanks to the many donors and workers—especially Monica Quinn Culoso, who chaired the Silent Auction.

***Ed Curtin, for all his care for Deb Berthel.

***Parish leaders who submitted reports for the Annual Meeting. Copies of the reports are available in the Parish House. Let me or the Treasurer, Michael Linburn know if you would like a copy of the 2017 Budget.

***Susan Ridgeway, for arranging the lovely reception for the Church Club of New York and for inviting Incarnation parishioners to attend.

A happy New Year to you and those you love.


The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

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