May 2013


MAY 2013

Dear Friends,


A parishioner recently mentioned that a professional group she belongs to has “bar debates.” These are debates between two people, following college debate rules. Questions are then asked, and the debate concludes with the audience voting which speaker won. The discussions take place in a private room of a bar so that refreshments are easily obtainable.

Following up on this idea, the 20s/30s Group is hosting a bar debate on Monday, May 6, at 7 PM. The Men’s Group, which normally meets on the first Monday of the month will also be attending—and anyone else in the parish will also be welcome.

The topic will be “Is the Anglican Communion Too Progressive?” I will take the affirmative side and the former Archbishop of Australia, the Rt. Rev. Peter Carnley, will defend the progressive stance of the Communion. Archbishop Carnley is a visiting professor of theology at General Seminary and one of the most prominent leaders in worldwide Anglicanism.

The debate will take place in the Galway bar on 36th Street, between Madison and Fifth Avenues; drinks will be Dutch treat. Whatever your views about Anglicanism, you are welcome to drop by. We’ll begin the debate shortly after 7, and conclude by 8:15.

* * * * * *

Despite the fact that the weather was still cold, Easter attendance was good, and the music was more glorious than ever. Thanks especially to the Altar Guild, Chalice Bearers, Ushers, Acolytes, Hospitality Committee, and everyone else who contributed extra hours to Incarnation during Holy Week.

The Director of Music has some remarks of his own about the recent services and the remainder of the choir season.


Holy Week and Easter services were wonderful this year, from Poulenc and Victoria on Palm Sunday, to music for men’s voices at Tenebrae, and women’s voices for Good Friday. Easter Sunday featured a string trio for Schubert’s Mass in C, along with music of Dvorak and Cohen.

Looking ahead, the choir breaks for the summer on May 19, when we will have music of Duruflé and Messiaen for Pentecost Sunday. Then for the summer months, we have soloists from the choir for the Sunday services.

As I celebrate 20 years of music making at Incarnation, the Rector and I have been planning things for next season. Watch for special announcements – it promises to be an interesting year!

Dr. Matthew Lewis



***Everyone who cooked for the Lenten lunches.


***Robert Galloway, Julie Noll, and Helen Vaughan for organizing the reception for Bishop Donovan and the Confirmands.


The list of those confirmed and received on March 17, along their sponsors, follows. It was a fun class to teach; they are all to be congratulated.


Confirmands Sponsors

Juliana Attwood Susan Adams

Ronald Andrew Bradford Cindy Bradford

Margery Crumpacker Laurie Mygatt

Received Sponsors

Monica Culoso Sandra Cecchini

Daphne L. Richards William Richards



***Jonathan Vaughan, Junior Warden: After 20 years as a technology executive in the corporate sector,including senior positions at Prudential Financial and Chase Manhattan Bank, Jonathan founded New Demand as a technology solutions, strategy and consulting firm. New Demand specializes in developing on demand services, with particular expertise in developing cloud solutions integrated with Jonathan grew up in England, educated at Winchester and Trinity College Cambridge, and now lives in Morris County NJ. Jonathan and his wife Helen were married at Incarnation in 1993 and have been members ever since. They have both served on the Vestry at Incarnation previously. Jonathan heads up the technology committee, in addition to his role as Junior Warden.


* * * * * *


For the record, here is a complete list of the 2013 Wardens and Vestry:


Janet Loengard (Senior Warden)

Jonathan Vaughn (Junior Warden)

Sandra Cecchini (Clerk)

John Chadwick (Building Committee Chair)

Steve Deihl (Building Committee)

Kimberley Ferdinando (20s/30s)

Robert Galloway (Hospitality Committee)

Stephen Ju (Investment Committee)

Gretchen Morgenson (Assistant Clerk)

Chris Stromee (Tour Leaders Chair)

Liz Westcott-Pitt (Outreach)


The Vestry continues to consider proposals to repair the deteriorated stonework on and underneath the church spire. Whatever we decide now, the long-term restoration work will be very expensive. But, as one person remarked to me, “If you have a 150-year-old landmark building, you have to expect to do major work from time to time.”


Prior to Legacy Sunday on March 10, the Treasurer, Michael Linburn prepared an excellent brochure about planned giving. Copies are available in the church and from the parish office.

As we remembered the names of recent benefactors of Incarnation, I remembered a remarkable group of retired women who were active here from 1980’s up until a few years ago. Almost all of them left money to the church in their wills in order to further the ministry to which they contributed so much in their lifetimes. May we be thankful for their gifts, and may we build on their legacies.


From a letter to me written by a former parishioner:


“I have never found a church home that I love as much as Incarnation—-even 10 years after I was there. I miss being there so much. I am still on your membership rolls.”



Looking ahead to May 19, the Feast of Pentecost and the last Choir Sunday, I’m happy to report that we will have as our guest preacher, The Rev. Prebendary Nick Mercer, who is the Vicar General for the London College of Bishops. Prebend Mercer is my counterpart in coordinating the Link Program between the Diocese of London and the Diocese of New York. (“Prebendary” is an English title for some clergy attached to cathedrals—rather like the title, “canon.”)



Please mark your calendars for Vacation Bible School this summer: Monday, August 5, through Friday, August 9. The program is open to children ages 3-10 and will run from 9:15 am until 12:00 noon each day. The cost is $50 per child. Our program focuses on exploring the Biblical story through the arts – music, crafts, painting, and games. It’s not too early to sign up by contacting me! We already have ten children on the list!


Tell your friends and neighbors about this program, and consider volunteering your time and talent to make the week a success. We need volunteers to lead games, crafts, music, and storytelling; to help with snack and registration; and to be in charge of groups of five or six children. If you are able and willing to help, in any capacity, please contact me.

Women’s Group

A big thank-you to the women of Incarnation for their work in decorating the sanctuary for Easter during their Holy Saturday Quiet Day!

Our next meeting is on Wednesday, April 24 (moved from April 23) at 7:00 PM in the Parish House. We will have a light dinner and a discussion (with clips from movies) of depictions of Jesus of Nazareth in film.

Women’s Group members are planning a trip to the New York Botanical Garden with lunch and a tour for Saturday, May 11. Attendees can meet at the Parish House at 9:00 AM or meet us at the Garden in the Bronx. Advance signup before April 21 is required. Please contact Sandy Cecchini at or 239-823-8170.. Our May meeting will be on Tuesday, May 14 at 7pm.

Twenties and Thirties

The Twenties and Thirties Group will host a Bar Debate (see announcement above) open to the whole parish at the Galway on May 6, at 7:00 PM. Bring a friend and vote for the winner!

On May 21, we’ll meet for dinner, drinks, and theological discussion at the Assistant Minister’s apartment in the Parish House on Tuesday, May 21 from 7:00-8:30 PM.

Adult Forum

Topics this spring include lectionary texts, the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, and Pentecost. The Adult Forum meets at 10am on Sunday mornings for theological and Biblical discussions. Coffee and tea are available, and all are welcome.


Incarnation will offer one-on-one computer help and refreshments to neighborhood seniors on Sunday, May 5 from 2:00-4:00 PM in the Parish House. Our purpose is to help seniors with computer issues so that they can feel confident and connected, as well as to counter isolation with a chance to connect to our community. Incarnation parishioners are invited to attend the session and to serve as volunteers. A flyer is included with this newsletter, and you are invited to share it with friends and neighbors.

On Sunday, June 9, Incarnation will host a short cooking demonstration by a local farmer using fresh, local food followed by a community meal. All parishioners are invited to be a part of this celebration. Our purpose is to invite reflection on questions of Christian stewardship around land and food and to reach out to our neighbors and invite them in to the church. Bring a friend!

Please sign up to volunteer or to attend either of these events by contacting me or John Ousley (

–The Rev. Ginger Strickland

Families with Children

Looking ahead: The Rector invites children, parents, and teachers from Godly Play, our Sunday School program, to celebrate a year of learning with lunch in his home at the Parish house. This will take place after coffee hour on the last day of Godly Play before summer break, June 2. More information will follow.



If you would like to donate altar flowers in memory of a deceased friend or family member, or in thanksgiving for a loved one, there are several Sundays available in 2013. Please contact the Rector, Assistant Minister, or Sandy Cecchini in the church office if you might be interested.


On May 19, Church of the Incarnation will participate in the Sacred Sites Open House organized by the New York Landmarks Conservancy, with our tour guides present to help welcome visitors. Other landmark churches and religious institutions throughout the state will also participate. Please feel free to drop in between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM to enjoy a tour of our beautiful space from one of our guides, and take the chance to explore other neighborhood churches and synagogues as well.

* * * * * *

Finally, I’m really pleased to announce that the Bishop of Pittsburgh has agreed to ordain our Seminarian Assistant to the Diaconate in our church. The Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell will be here on Wednesday, May 19, at 4 PM; Bishop McConnell was a successor of mine as curate at St. Thomas Church in Manhattan, as well as a fellow Manhattan rector. A number of friends of William’s from his home parish in Pittsburgh and from General Seminary will be participating in the service or joining the congregation.

While we know that Wednesday afternoon is not going to be convenient for many of you, bishops’ schedules are also tight and I am very glad that William can be ordained relatively soon in his seminary career and at his Training Parish. Any of you who are able to attend will be very welcome; a reception will follow in the Parish House.




The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley


Leave a Reply