Dear Friends,

Before I describe the services and events of Holy Week, I want to repeat an important announcement that I made at the services on March 8:

The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser has accepted our call to be Associate Rector of Incarnation, beginning July 15. Adrian is currently completing a two-year assignment as Rockefeller Fellow north of us on Madison Avenue, at St. James Church. A native of Mississippi, she is a graduate of Duke and Yale Divinity School; she also has a degree from Vanderbilt Law School and worked for the Wall Street law firm, Fried Frank.

Adrian will be in charge of youth and women’s programs and will share in the other ministries here as past assistants have done. She, her husband Jess and her six-year-old daughter, Calloway will move into an apartment in the Parish House. I know you will enjoy welcoming the Dannhausers to our parish family.

* * * * * *

Now to the liturgies and events of Holy Week and Easter.

Palms will be distributed at all three services on Palm Sunday, March 29. We begin the eleven o’clock 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 2016.

The Eucharist will be celebrated Monday to Thursday in Holy Week at 12:15 p.m. On Maundy Thursday evening, April 2, ,at 7:00 p.m., we will return to a previous custom of celebrating the Eucharist in honor of the Last Supper and then having a ceremonial “stripping of the altar,” which foreshadows Christ’s passion. There will also be a time to remain in the darkened church for prayer and meditation.

On Good Friday, beginning at noon, there will be readings, a homily by the Seminarian Assistant, music from the women of the choir, and traditional prayers, followed by the Good Friday Liturgy and communion. The church will remain open until 3:00 p.m. for prayer and meditation. Prayers will be offered at fifteen-minute intervals.

The Easter Eve Vigil and Eucharist this year will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd, which was once the Chapel of the Incarnation. Good Shepherd’s rector, the Rev. Erika Meyer will preside and I will preach. Refreshments will follow at Good Shepherd.

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.


With the winter we’ve had, I am certainly looking forward to spring, and all that goes with it! Here are some music highlights coming up at Incarnation:

***Sunday, March 29, Palm Sunday. Choral music of Weelkes, Poulenc and Victoria, with augmented choir.

***Sunday, April 5, Easter Day, music for string, choir and organ. String music by Mozart and Dvoràk, and the Mass in C by Schubert, along with choral music by Haydn and Mozart – a very classical and spring-like program!

***Also, on Sunday, April 26 at 3:00 PM, St. George’s Choral Society will present Honegger’s dramatic poem, “King David.” This piece was composed in 1921, and incorporates many musical styles, including Baroque, jazz, and modern – even poly-tonality. The narrator is WQXR host Terrance McKnight. This is a rare opportunity to hear this incredible piece, in its original orchestration. Tickets are $25.00, available at the door or through the website:

Wishing you all a meaningful Holy Week, and triumphant Easter season,

Matthew Lewis



The Parish Easter Brunch will once again be held at the Galway Restaurant, 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: $24, children: $12) to the Parish Office or give it to me after church on Sunday. Family and friends are of course welcome.


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 April 5th 11:00 am service; Ellen Gardner is in charge of the event. We will gather in the newly refurbished Nursery and 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.



The 20/30s group with Church of Incarnation has two exciting events happening this month:

March 14th, 9am-12pm: Volunteering at the Moravian Open Door, an organization committed to provide transitional housing to the homeless.

  1. March 21st, 3pm: Black Iron Burger. Andrew Ousley has kindly invited us to join his monthly burger club. Come and join us for some great burgers, beers, and laughs! Below is a more detailed description of this great event!

Please let me know if you plan to attend one or both of these events!




The Women’s Group will meet on Wednesday, March 18, at 7 pm. A light supper will be served.

We will make plans for the spring and summer, and we will also hear a presentation from the girls and boys of our Sea Scout troop. Please email me at or call the church office if you would like to reserve a place. All women are welcome.



***The ushers, AG acolytes, readers, chalice bearers and all who supported Christmas services and the Christmas Pageant and Fair. Thanks also to everyone who made donations for Christmas decorations and music, the Christmas Fund, the Spire Restoration—in addition to your annual pledges.

***Ellen Gardner and all who worked on the farewell Ginger Day luncheon—the largest lunch crowd in many years.

***Laurie Mygatt, who organized a successful Shrove Tuesday Mardi Gras Supper.

***Robert Galloway and his large team who put on the reception for the retired Bishop of Rhode Island and the confirmands.


We will meet from 7:00 until 8:30 p,m., in the Parish Living Room on Monday, April 13, and Monday, May 11. Drinks will be served, and topics will announced, following our next meeting on March 16. [If you receive this message in time, the topic for that meeting will be: “The Differences between the Christian God and the Muslim Allah.”) All men are welcome to any of these meetings.


***Sondra L. Carter is a native of New Jersey. She attended Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, campus as an undergraduate. In 1980, she received her medical degree from Rutgers University Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey. A resident of Manhattan since 1985, Dr. Carter now works with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Disease Intervention Services.

***Lance Eckel is a Managing Partner of Butchers Hill Capital, a Pennsylvania-based venture capital firm that invests in emerging, high growth businesses. Prior to his work in the securities industry, Lance was an economist and policy analyst for the Government of Canada. He is a graduate of McGill University (Montreal) earning both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Economics. Lance has been the Director of the Investment Committee for the Church since 2004 and resides in Princeton, NJ with his wife and two children.

***Sandra von Benken writes: I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and, after traveling and studying German and French in Europe for 3 years, I returned to Cincinnati where I received a BA from the University of Cincinnati in German Language and Literature. I was given an Assistantship and taught German at the university for one year after which time I decided to change directions completely, move to NY, and pursue the dream of my life — ballet. I studied for 20 years with David Howard (taking classes with many of the most famous dancers in America) and supported my artistic life working as a legal secretary/assistant. My last position was as personal/legal secretary to John Campaign, the owner of Graham, Campaign PC, a boutique trademark firm. I joined the Church of the Incarnation several years ago, happily serve on the Hospitality Committee, and am very honored to now be on the Vestry.


This Parish Letter is distributed in both paper and electronic versions. The respective advantages are obvious: a physical letter is more likely to be kept and consulted while an email is easier and cheaper to produce and distribute. Some churches have moved entirely to email. Please let me know if you have thoughts one way or the other.


***Shiny Mathewcutty Jabbari, Jedd Katrancha, Juliana Katrancha, Curtis Vance, Christopher Vincent, and James Vincent who were confirmed by the retired Bishop of Rhode Island, the Rt. Rev. Gerilyn Wolf on March 8.


***From Liz and Colin Westcott-Pitt, who just moved to Amsterdam: “Please let everyone know we are thinking of them and even though we have left, Incarnation and the people we have come to know will always be in our hearts and prayers. Liz and Colin”


Emily Nagle died on November 23, at the age of 93, following a long illness. For many years, Emily attended church on occasion with her daughter-in-law, Tory Nagle, and she was a faithful supporter of the Christmas Fund.

Dr. Uche Akwuba Senior, father of our Master of Ceremonies, died on November 23. He was in a nursing home in Brooklyn. Dr. Akwuba attended Incarnation in the 1980’s and ‘90’s. His funeral was held at Incarnation on December 6.

Mimi Boyd McWilliam died on December 21, 11 days before her 100th birthday. Before going in a nursing home a few years ago, she was a very active member of Incarnation, serving on the Vestry and assisting with many activities. Her funeral will be on Tuesday, April 14, at 11 a.m., in the church, with a reception following.

Deborah Berthel died on February 6, at the age of 65. Deb had many illnesses in the last fifteen years of her life. She became unable to walk or read and she could speak only with great difficulty. Nevertheless, she was regularly visited by our clergy, and her affairs were managed for years by Incarnation’s general counsel, Edward Curtin.

Our condolences go out to family and friends of all of these departed souls. May they rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them.

* * * * * *

Following is the blessing I wrote for Suffragan Bishop Allen Shin. We climbed to the top of the steeple just before the scaffolding was finally removed, after two years.

Dedication of the Restored Steeple–Church of the Incarnation

January 7, 2015

Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for the completion of our work of restoration of the steeple of our church. We are grateful for the careful labors of the workmen and their supervisors, for the wisdom of our architects, and for the generosity of many donors. We are especially thankful that we were able to accomplish more work than we originally expected we could do.

Now, as we ask your blessing upon the fruits of our labors, we also pray that the spire be a symbol of renewed faith and purpose in this place, so that we can continue to be good stewards of this building and faithful ministers of your word and sacraments.

Bless this building and all who worship here in the Name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit+ Amen.

* * * * * *

Finally, here is an email I recently received, which reminds us of the effect our work has beyond our parish community.

Dear Reverend Ousley,

This time last year, on Advent Sunday, we were privileged to join you at your 8.30 am Eucharist. My wife and I, visiting from England, were spending a few days In New York (our first time) and, for us, sharing worship with you on that December morning was one of the highlights of our visit.

We have often spoken of our time experiencing a bit of ‘real’ New York life – and in such good company. If, one year on, you were able to pass on our good wishes to your congregation, we would be very grateful. You are often in our thoughts.

And, much like the drawing on your web site, the Church of the Incarnation may long have been overtaken in physical stature by the surrounding buildings of New York but, where it matters – spiritually, it is surely the tallest of buildings in your great city.

With all good wishes for Advent and Christmas from “across the pond”,

Marian and Rowland Myers

* * * * * *

As I prepare for my 31st Holy Week at Incarnation, I want to wish a joyous Easter to you and to those you love.


The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley







Leave a Reply