March – April 2016

Dear Friends,
I begin with a description of the liturgies and events of Holy Week and Easter. Palms will be distributed at all three services onPalm Sunday, March 20. We begin the 11:00 a.m. service with a long procession; 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 2017. The Eucharist will be celebrated Monday and Wednesday of Holy Week at 12:15. Maundy Thursday the services will be at 12:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., with the ceremonial “stripping of the altar” at the conclusion of the evening service. On Good Friday, March 25, beginning at noon, there will be readings, a sermon by the Associate Rector, music from the women of the choir, and the traditional prayers, followed by the Good Friday Liturgy and communion. The church will remain open until 3:00 p.m. for prayer and meditation, with prayers offered at fifteen-minute intervals. The Easter Eve Vigil and Eucharist this year will again be held in conjunction with our former Chapel, the Church of the Good Shepherd. Good Shepherd’s Rector, the Rev. Erika Meyer will preach at the service, which will be back at Incarnation and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

After the early service at 8:30 a.m., 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 more detail below. There will also be a special reception following the 5:00 p.m. Candlelight Communion.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.


I would like to share some musical highlights coming up at Incarnation. And, I would like to invite you to experience Palm Sunday and Holy Week here. The pieces I have programmed will take us from the Sunday of the Passion to Easter Day. Easter will have special meaning for those who observe the events of the entire week – I hope you can be part of it.

Palm Sunday, March 20, at 11:00 a.m.: Weelkes: Hosanna to the Son of David;Mendelssohn: O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden(choral fantasy on the Passion Chorale);Victoria: O vos omnes

Maundy Thursday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m.: Adoro te devote (sung by a soloist from the choir)

Good Friday, March 25, at noon: Heinrich Biber: Ciacona (solo violin); Bach: St. Matthew Passion, “Erbarme dich” (countertenor and violin)

Easter Vigil, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. Telemann: “Ich weiss, dass mein Erlöser lebt” (“I know that my Redeemer lives”) for tenor solo; Vierne: Scherzo (Symphonie 2); Bach: Toccata in E, BWV 566

Easter Day, March 27, at 11:00 a.m.: Music for strings, choir and organ. Vivaldi: Concerto in E major, “Spring;” Schubert: Gloriaand Sanctus from Mass in G; Haydn:Die Schopfung: “Vollendet ist das grosse Werk” (“Achieved is the glorious work”);Vaughan Williams: O Taste and See; Mozart: Ave verum; Widor: Toccata (Symphonie 5)

Looking forward to a glorious Easter, and to making music here at Incarnation!

Matthew Lewis


The Parish Easter Brunch will once again be held at the 5th and MAD Restaurant (formerly, The Galway), just a few steps from the church at 7 East 36 Street. The buffet menu includes a wide selection of tasty items, along with a choice of one brunch drink.

To make a reservation, send your check (adults: $25, children: $12) to the Parish Office or give it to me after church on Sunday. Family and friends are of course welcome, but you are urged to make advance reservations.


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.


Children are invited to our annual Easter Egg Hunt after the March 27th 11:00 a.m. service; come to the 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.


***Laurie Mygatt, who organized a very pleasant Shrove Tuesday Supper.
***Sandy von Benken and her large Hospitality Committee team who put on the reception for Bishop Stacy Sauls and the confirmands. We officially welcome to our parish: Charles Stanley (confirmed); Maryann Caliri, Stanley Grochala, and Susan Sasso (received) and Nadezda Shchegoleva (reaffirmed baptism).


We will meet from 7:00 until 8:30 p.m. in the Parish Living Room on Monday, April 4. Drinks and snacks will be served.

Joe Basset will lead off a discussion of the topic, “Have the banks gone crazy?” He’ll refer the phenomenon of some banks now charging clients to keep their money. All men are welcome to join us.


Mission and Outreach

March has already been a busy month for Mission and Outreach at Incarnation. The youth recently met to make sandwiches for the residents of Moravian Open Door, and we look forward to exploring many more ways of serving their community. We also held our spring Senior Resource Day, when members of the congregation offer one-on-one tech assistance to seniors in the neighborhood. Senior Resource Day participants and parishioners alike heard from a guest speaker on life-time planning documents (wills, powers of attorney, etc.) – a great opportunity to learn about getting our houses in order!

Incarnation is also continuing to explore human trafficking as an area of mission and ministry. A group of Incarnation parishioners will meet on Sunday, April 3, at 1:00 p.m. to discuss ways that we can engage the fight against human trafficking as a community of faith. Please let me know if you would like to join the discussion.

Twenties and Thirties

On Thursday, March 31, the 20s/30s Group welcomes Rabbi Neal Kaunfer and members of his synagogue. We will meet from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for a joint workshop on the Book of Proverbs entitled, “Till the Soil of Your Soul” (Prov. 12:11). This is a parish-wide event held in the Parish House. We hope all will take part in this opportunity for Jewish-Christian dialogue. You will learn how these ancient wisdom teachings apply to modern times and reflect on ways they take shape in our spiritual lives.

20s/30s are invited for an overnight spiritual retreat to Holy Cross Monastery, April 16 – 17. We will worship with the brothers of Holy Cross, meet with one of them for group spiritual reflection, and spend time together thinking about life purpose and personal identity in Christ. Cost for transportation, accommodations and meals is $135. Please contact me with any questions and RSVP by March 15 so I can finalize the number of rooms with Holy Cross.

Women’s Group

The next meeting of the Women’s Group will be Tuesday, April 5, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Parish House. We will hear from guest speaker Carey Davidson, Founder of Tournesol Wellness (just around the corner at 26 E. 36th St.), about holistic ways of caring for the mind, body and spirit. Refreshments will be served.

Children and Families

We recently introduced “Good Deed and Bible Memory Verse Cards” for children ages 3-10. Children do six good deeds, recite the Bible verse on the back of the card from memory, and get a prize. Then they receive a new card with a new verse to memorize. Children can pick up a card in Sunday school or directly from me. Soon they might be able to quote more Scripture than our adult parishioners!

Upcoming offerings for children center on Palm Sunday and Easter. All children are invited to lead the Palm Sunday procession into the church on Sunday, March 20. If your child would like to participate, please gather at the back of the church at 10:45 a.m.

In preparation for the Easter Egg Hunt on March 27, Incarnation youth will gather on Holy Saturday, March 26, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. to stuff and hide the Easter eggs for the little ones. We will also have some spiritual reflection and plenty of snacks. Please let me know if your youth would like to participate.

The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser


Our next exchange visit to our linked parish in London, St. Vedast-Alias-Foster, will be May 6-10. All are very welcome to join the group for worship, fellowship, and an insider’s perspective on that great city. Details are in a flyer available in the Parish House, or contact Ann or Ted Rast,, 212 363-0422.

We have a nice group already signed up but there are a few more places available to stay with St. Vedast parishioners. If you are interested, let the Rasts know immediately.


We could use a few more office volunteers to answer the phone and Parish House door during the week and to help with office work. Please let me know if you can take a three-hour shift on a weekly basis or occasionally. We also could use a notary public from time to time.


The Vestry has formed a new group honoring those who are remembering Incarnation in their wills. Incarnation wouldn’t be here had we not received generous bequests over the decades, and we will likely need additional gifts in the future. If you would like further information, speak to our Treasurer, Michael Linburn or me.


I’m planning a new monthly lecture series to take place after the Coffee Hour. I’m asking parishioners in various occupations to speak about how their faith impacts their work life. I already have signed up a doctor and a journalist. We’ll start in the spring and continue in the fall.

Finally, if you would like to comment on your personal spiritual journey and how you ended up at Incarnation, we are looking for additional testimonies for our web site.
On behalf of the entire staff, I want to wish a joyous Easter to you and to those you love.

The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley, Rector
List of Holy Week and Easter services
Donation form for Easter flowers and music

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