May – June 2016

Dear Friends,
It is far in the future but we are planning already for Christmas 2016, and some staff members have proposed moving the “midnight mass” from 11 PM to 10 PM. We want to have another family service like the one we introduced last year but perhaps a bit later—like 5 or 6 PM instead of 4 PM. I know we’ll never find a perfect time for everyone, but if you have thoughts or preferences, please let me know.
Ann Churchill died April 11 at the age of 77, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis; her funeral and interment were in the church on April 23. Ann was Assistant Treasurer of the Church for many years and served on the Board of Incarnation Center. Her other activities at Incarnation were numerous and are listed in the homily I gave at Ann’s funeral, which is now posted on the parish website. Ann will be much missed and I know you will remember her in your prayers.

Our new Lecture series on Christianity in the Workplace begins on May 22 with a talk by Gretchen Morgenson. Gretchen is a member of Incarnation who served on our Vestry; she is a financial columnist for the New York Times and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Her talk at 12:30 in the Assembly Hall will be followed by a discussion that will conclude around 1:15.

The second talk in the series will be on Sunday, September 18; Dr. Susan Regisford, an anesthesiologist will discuss how her faith affects her work in the operating room. Susan recently published an article about her work in the Episcopal New Yorker.


As members of the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program, Incarnation will be holding an Open House on Sunday afternoon, May 22, from 1 to 5. Stop by if you would like to greet visitors or if you have friends who would like to see the church. Refreshments will be available.


The choir season comes to a close on Trinity Sunday, May 22. During the summer, soloists from the choir sing for the Sunday 11:00 AM services. I always enjoy these Sundays – a wonderful opportunity to hear individual singers from our choir.

St. George’s Choral Society will present a Summer Festival concert here on Saturday, June 18 at 7:00 PM, featuring Brahms’ Ein deutches Requiem. This concert is free to the public, so please, bring friends!

As always, it is my great pleasure to make music here at Incarnation. After many years, we still find ways to make things feel like new. This past season we presented many choral works that I hadn’t done before, along with others that are in our repertoire. I look forward to more music, new and familiar, as we look ahead to next season.


Dr. Matthew Lewis


Supper groups are now being formed; they will begin this summer. If you haven’t already signed up, please speak to me right away.


Mission and Outreach

Over the past several months, Incarnation has been exploring human trafficking as an area of mission and ministry. I am pleased to announce that we now have a newly formed anti-trafficking group! The group’s first major initiative is reaching out to hotels in the neighborhood to let them know about the importance of training their staff to spot the signs of sex trafficking. Hotels are a primary sight for forced prostitution, so employees are uniquely positioned to identify a potential trafficking situation and alert authorities. Please keep this burgeoning advocacy ministry in prayer and let me know if you’d like to join our efforts.

Our spring Senior Resource Day was the biggest yet, and we are gearing up for another one this summer. On June 19, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., members of the congregation will offer one-on-one tech assistance to help seniors in the parish and the neighborhood navigate the Internet, email, video chat, Facebook, smartphones, laptops, and tablets (such as iPads). Incarnation member Dr. Shiny Mathewkutty Jabbari will offer free blood pressure screenings throughout the event. Volunteers are needed—and there is much to do that doesn’t require tech savvy. Please let me know if you would like to volunteer or sign up to receive tech help.

We are continuing to develop our relationship with Moravian Open Door and will be cooking breakfast for the residents who live there on Saturday, July 23. Please save the date; details to follow in the next newsletter.

Twenties and Thirties

Gardening is a life-nurturing and a spiritual activity that allows us to connect with God in connecting to creation. 20s/30s are invited to join the Garden Committee to work in the church garden on Saturday, May 21 at 10:00 a.m. Afterwards, we’ll head tobrunch at Ethos Taverna (495 3rd Ave.); cost is generally around $20. Let me know if you can join us for gardening, brunch, or both!

Last summer, the 20s/30s Group enjoyed a fantastic evening at Madison Square Music, an outdoor concert series at Madison Square Park. Details of this summer’s lineup will be released soon, so 20s/30s get ready for another free concert with plenty of snacks and young adult fellowship on the Oval Lawn. Stay tuned for details.

Children and Families

Incarnation is excited to introduce a new event for families in the parish and larger community. On Friday, June 3, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., families are invited to the Parish House for “The Gospel According to Pixar: The Incredibles.” We’ll start with a pizza dinner. Then kids watch The Incredibles while adults discuss the spiritual themes in the movie, including takeaway points to raise with children. Youth are welcome to watch the movie, join the discussion, or play ping pong and other games in the Assembly Hall. Please RSVP by Wednesday, June 1. Cost is $10 per family.

We continue to offer “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. Our intention is to foster loving acts of kindness and encourage children and families to memorize Bible verses that can be drawn on in good times and in bad, providing comfort and confidence throughout their lives. The process of trying to memorize something makes it a part of you. Ask me for a card and help build your child’s spiritual foundation.

The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser


I have asked the new members of the 2016 Vestry to submit biographies for this Parish Letter:

***Jacquelyn Carson has been a member of The Church of Incarnation since 1995; was presented for Confirmation by Reverend J. Douglas Ousley on March 24, 1996; and was Confirmed by Suffragan Bishop of New York Walter D. Dennis. She began serving as an Incarnation usher under Basil Elliott and became The Church of The Incarnation Head Usher in 2015. She is serving her first term on the Vestry and is also a member of the Incarnation Anti-Trafficking Committee. Jacquelyn was born and reared in Cleveland, Ohio, then moved to New York City to attend college. She earned a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Journalism from New York University. Jacquelyn is a Market Specialist for Sisley Paris – a luxury skincare market leader. She is also CEO of Jacquely Affordable Luxe, a start-up affordable luxury lifestyle firm.

***Susan Ridgeway grew up outside of Columbus, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Communications and also has a certificate in Intensive Television News Production from New York University. Susan’s early career included writer/producer positions with the NBC and CBS affiliates in Columbus, and three years as Director of Marketing and Promotion for WDCA-TV in Washington, DC. Since moving to New York, Susan has held Marketing and HR positions with Big 4 Professional Services firms KPMG and Deloitte. Susan has been a member of Incarnation since 1993 and has been involved with Sunday School, Stewardship, Ushering, and previous Vestry service, among other activities. She is also on the Board of Incarnation Camp and Conference Center. Susan enjoys traveling, dining out, movies and opera. Susan currently lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Fun fact: Susan attended college with Matt Lauer of NBC’s ‘Today Show’.

***David M. Wardrop is a newly elected vestry member who has been attending services at Incarnation since he and his wifeEmmy were married at the church in 2011. David is a Senior Vice President at UBS where he manages investments for wealthy families and institutions. Originally from Arizona, David attended Northwestern University in Chicago before moving to New York. David, Emmy, and their dog Eloise live in the West Village.


I am in the process of paring down the number of books in my library. Some of those I am giving away are on display in the Parish Living Room. Feel free to take any that interest you.


Summer brunches for the parish resume on June 12; we will go Dutch-treat to a local restaurant. You don’t need to reserve in advance. Additional brunches will be held on July 24 and August 28.


During the month of May, we transition from Eastertide into the season of Pentecost. Pentecost was originally associated with the Jewish festival that began when the first fruits of the harvest were presented to God. Pentecost for Christians is a celebration of the “first fruits” of the resurrection: the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is the power of God made known in the spirit of Jesus. Recognized by its fruit, the Holy Spirit is manifest in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

This Pentecost, our Vestry suggests that you celebrate the power of the Holy Spirit at work in your life through the gift of generosity. How is your stewardship practice a reflection of giving God the first fruits of your life and labor?

  • If you have not yet made a 2016 commitment, we ask you to join with the many households that have.
  • If you find, like the city blooming outside, that your resources allow you to grow in giving, please consider this mid-year opportunity to increase your commitment through the rest of 2016.

Fill out the pledge card at church or make a pledge online through the church website. Many thanks!


***The Jabbari family for providing a wonderful luncheon for the parish, following the baptism of their daughter, Aria.

***All those who answered the Incarnation2020 questionnaires. The Incarnation2020 Committee is preparing a comprehensive report of the results of the questionnaires.

***Basil Elliot’s sister, Noreen Pryor, who gave a generous gift to the church from Basil’s estate.


As we plan for a few recreational events for the summer months, we welcome your suggestions. Already suggested: a game night, a play-reading, a discussion of financial issues, and a film.


The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

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