March 2019

Dear Friends,
In 2017, Incarnation’s Spiritual Development Committee had the idea of instituting a new section in the Sunday leaflet. The section would offer practical advice about how to apply Christian faith to everyday life.
We have just republished 66 of these Spiritual Tips in booklet form. The booklets are available in the church and parish house; let me know if you would like us to mail you a copy.
I want to thank all the contributors from the Incarnation Parish Family and Barbara Clark, who edited the text. We hope that these reflections will be especially helpful as part of your Lenten devotions.
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 March 5. 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 welcome to assist with set-up, serving, and clean-up. Please let Adrian or me know if you would be able to help.
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. 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.
We will have the usual Sunday discussions in Lent from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. in the Parish Living Room. This year, Adrian and I will look at the Presiding Bishop’s new program, The Way of Love and will also look at a new program on the Bible. (There will be no 10 a.m. Adult Class during Lent.)
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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 late Treasurer, Michael Linburn wrote 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.
Mike established the Incarnation Legacy Society for those who intend to remember Incarnation in their wills—as he did. Let me know if you wish to be included.
Every year, we also remember with gratitude those who have recently made bequests to Incarnation. This year, Legacy Sunday will be observed on March 31.
The class began on February 20 and will continue until the end of March. Even those already confirmed who want a refresher course in the Episcopal Church and its beliefs and practices are welcome to attend.
Mission and Outreach
The Anti-Trafficking Group recently started a new outreach project in partnership with ECPAT-USA, a leading anti-trafficking policy organization. Among other things, ECPAT-USA provides free workshops for middle and high school students. We are reaching out to NYC schools to let them know about the importance of teaching children about sex trafficking and to advocate for these workshops on healthy relationships, cyber safety, and trafficking prevention. Please let me know if you’d like to be involved in this effort. There are hundreds of NYC schools and we will take all the help we can get!
During the season of Lent, we will be holding a Lenten Linens Drive for the residents of Moravian Open Door. Our goal is to collect 40 new bath towels and 40 new single sheet sets so all residents will receive new linens. Please note that we cannot received used items.
20s/30s Group
On Sunday, March 3, the 20s/30s Group will meet at Coffee Hour and then head to brunch in the neighborhood. Let me know if you can come. I’m also taking restaurant recommendations.
Women’s Group
The Women’s Group will meet on Tuesday, March 12, in the Parish House from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. In the spirit of Lent, we will take up the question, “Did Jesus have to die?” Come learn about varying theological viewpoints on this issue and determine for yourself whether the cross is a necessity, or just a symbol, of redemptive grace. Refreshments will be served.
Children and Families
You may have noticed the Stations of the Cross in the sanctuary have come down. That’s because we’re making room for a new set. On Saturday, March 2, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, families are invited to the Assembly Hall “turned art studio” where children of all ages can paint the Stations of the Cross. The Stations, also known as the “Way of the Cross,” depict 14 scenes from the last events of Christ’s life. I’ll spend a little time teaching about the Lenten tradition of praying the Stations, and then we’ll get to painting. We’ll also have refreshments of coffee, juice and breakfast treats. RSVP to me. The artwork will be used in a special Stations of the Cross worship service on Wednesday, April 10 at 6:00 p.m. and again on Good Friday, April 19 at 2:00 p.m.
The Christian Parenting Group continues to meet every other Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the Parish House. We are currently in the middle of a series on developing boundaries with children.
Youth Group will meet on Sunday, March 31, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Dinner will be served.
The next meeting of the Men’s Group will be on Monday, March 4. I will begin a discussion of the topic, “Why Socialism? Why Now?” I’m hopeful that Adrian might join us for part of the meeting to give us a perspective from the new generation that is reviving socialist ideas.
We meet from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
***Uche Akwuba, Master of Ceremonies, Padmini Abeywickrama, Altar Guild chairperson, Ted Harrison, Head Usher, and all the chalice bearers, readers, acolytes, altar guild, and ushers who helped with the Christmas services.
***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. Once again, we raised over $8,000.
*** Members of the 20s/30s Group who volunteered at the Xavier Mission Food Pantry.
***All who donated food, prizes, and their time at our bingo night with Moravian Open Door.
***Maria Georgescu for leading the Women’s Group in a painting workshop.
***Asmita and Steve Szycher on the birth of their daughter, Arya on November 28.
Planning has begun for the Incarnation parish visit to our sister church of St. Vedast in London on May 11–14. Travelers can find their own accommodations or may be able to stay with members of St. Vedast. Of course, you are welcome to come earlier or stay longer. At the moment, we plan a dinner with the parish on the Saturday night, May 11; a festive coffee hour after the Sunday morning service; and a tour of some kind on Monday, May 13.
Dana and I plan to go and I have been asked to preach on May 12. Please let me know if you’d like to participate.
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Finally, let me remind you that the Bishop of New York, the Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche is coming to visit Incarnation. Like Halley’s Comet, visits of the Bishop of New York are rare. We see the chief officer of our large diocese once every six years if we are lucky.
The Bishop had to change the date of this visit from March 31 to April 7, but he is looking forward to being with us and joining us for a special coffee hour on that day.
As always, I send my best wishes to you for a holy Lent.
The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

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