September 2018

Dear Friends,

As I reported in church and via our electronic media, our beloved Treasurer, Michael Linburn died on September 1. He and his wife, Kathleen had just returned from a summer in London, where they celebrated Mike’s 85th birthday.1

Mike and Kathy were the first contributors to the façade renovation, and they have been extremely generous supporters of many other Incarnation projects and ministries. In addition to being Treasurer for a number of years, Mike served on the Vestry and on several committees. He championed successful efforts in recent years to encourage parishioners to remember the church in their wills. The Linburns’ home has hosted a number of Incarnation events over the years.1

Please remember Kathy and their family as well as Mike in your prayers. May he rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon him.
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THE GIFT OF GIVING
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I get many, many requests to make appeals in church for one charity or another. I severely limit the number I agree to, because churches have a bad reputation of focusing too much on raising money.
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Except for the usual Christmas-related options that come in December—and one Incarnation Center option noted below—there will be only two of these appeals in our parish this autumn.
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First, there will be the annual Stewardship Program asking for pledges for 2019. You’ll be hearing more about that in the weeks to come.
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Second, in order to help fund the major ongoing work on the façade of our church, our Associate Rector is running the New York City Marathon on November 4. If you would like to sponsor her, you can contribute through her fundly page or send a check to the church with the notation “Marathon.”
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Our architects have just reported that they believe that the façade work will be completed by Thanksgiving. The scaffolding may come down before that.
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ST. FRANCIS DAY
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Scaffold or no scaffold, we will be blessing pets in front of the church as usual for St. Francis Day on Sunday, October 7 from 3 to 5 PM. Tell your pet-friendly neighbors, as we get many non-church members who bring their animals to church for a blessing on this day.
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I’ve been asked by leaders of the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association to put the following announcement in our Newsletter. I will be one of the speakers. As you may recall, Eleanor Roosevelt was a member of Incarnation.
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Come Celebrate with Us
The 70th Anniversary of Eleanor Roosevelt’s role in the adoption of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Roosevelt House
Thursday, October 11, 5:30-8pm
Roosevelt House at 47-49 East 65th Street, between Madison and Park Avenue.
* Tour of the Roosevelt House
* Exhibit celebrating Eleanor Roosevelt
* Reception
$35 donation per person
Space limited: Reserve Now!
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HOMECOMING BRUNCH
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On October 14, you are invited to a bagel brunch in the Assembly Hall to celebrate Homecoming Sunday. We’ll provide a variety of bagels and spreads, fruit, coffee, orange juice, and mimosas. Suggested contribution is $10 for adults; $5 for children.
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INCARNATION BOOK CHALLENGE
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As we prepare for our Stewardship 2019 Program (mark November 11 on your calendar for the catered Annual Luncheon), the Spiritual Development Committee is challenging members of Incarnation to read a famous book on spiritual growth: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Warren is pastor of the 30,000-member Saddleback Church in southern California. This book has sold 34 million copies and while you may not agree with all of it, you will almost certainly find something of value in it. It is readily available on Amazon and we will have copies for purchase on Homecoming Sunday.
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GUEST PREACHERS AND SPEAKERS
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We have a number of visiting clergy this autumn. First off is the Rt. Rev. Andrew St. John, the rector emeritus of the Church of the Transfiguration in Manhattan. Bishop St. John officiated at my wedding five years ago and is known to many of you. He will be taking the morning services on Sunday, September 23, while I am on vacation and Adrian is at Incarnation Center with the Parish Retreat.
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Then, on All Saints Sunday, November 4, our preacher will be the Rev. Ginger Strickland, former assistant minister here and now associate rector of St. John’s Church in Ross, California. (By the way, if you are free in the afternoon, you can join a group of us from Incarnation who are planning to go to Central Park to watch Adrian as she runs the final stretch of the New York City Marathon.)
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On November 1, N.Y. Times Columnist David Brooks who is an alumnus of Incarnation Camp and a member of our Board of Directors is giving a talk on the fall elections. For further information on this benefit evening, visit the Incarnation Center web site at incarnationcenter.org/an-evening-with-david-brooks. You can register online or call the Center at 860-767-0848.
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INSTRUCTIONAL MORNING PRAYER
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In past years, we have held “instructional eucharists” where in place of the sermon, a running commentary is offered on the various parts of the service. These have been so well received that we are going to offer an instructional morning prayer on Sunday, October 28, at 11 AM. The usual worship service will proceed with choir, and I will offer a running commentary on the service in place of the sermon.
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FROM THE ASSOCIATE RECTOR:
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Mission and Outreach
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Incarnation’s ministry with Moravian Open Door continues to provide practical help for the homeless while offering spiritual nourishment for MOD residents and Incarnation parishioners alike. It was even featured in the August issue of Moravian Magazine, which will soon be available electronically at moravian.org. If you are interested in learning more about this ministry or have ideas for future events, please let me know. Our newly formed Moravian Open Door Committee is meeting Sunday, September 30, at 12:30 p.m., to do some planning for the program year.
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Incarnation’s Anti-Trafficking Group will be volunteering at the GIFT Box in Union Square October 8-20. The GIFT Box is an interactive walk-in sculpture that creatively raises awareness about human trafficking. On first glance it appears to be a wrapped present, but once inside the box, visitors are confronted with stories and statistics about human trafficking. Volunteers help guide individuals through the GIFT Box experience. Let me know if you would like to learn more about serving as a volunteer. Please note that all volunteers must undergo a training from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., on either September 26 or 27.
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Save the date for our next Senior Resource Day, Sunday, October 28, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Physical Therapist Todd Edelson will begin with a seminar on dizziness, falls, balance, and distracted walking (mostly due to cell phone use). Learn more about the seminar here. Then Incarnation volunteers will offer one-on-one tech assistance to seniors in the parish and neighborhood to help them navigate the Internet and email, video chat, social media, smartphones, and tablets (such as iPads). Let me know if you are interested in serving as a tech volunteer.
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20s/20s Group
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Common Table Theology is back! 20s/30s are invited to the Parish House on Sunday, September 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. for a cooking demonstration by 20s/30s Group member Zi Khumbula, a delicious meal and spiritual discussion. Our table topic will be dating and relationships in NYC. RSVP to me. Suggested donation of $10.
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Children and Families
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The start of the program year marks the return of Sunday School and acolyting, including a new group of Junior Acolytes who will serve alongside our Senior Acolytes. We also have a newly formed Youth Group that will meet once a month.
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The Christian Parenting Group starts back up Thursday, September 20, meeting every other Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The Parent and Toddler Playgroup returns Thursday, September 27, also meeting every other Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (alternating with the Christian Parenting Group).
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On Saturday, September 29, Incarnation families will enjoy a baseball outing. Parents and children of all ages are headed to Citi Field to watch the Mets v. the Marlins. (NOTE: Due to the recent announcement by the Mets that this will be player David Wright’s last game, the game is sold out and all of Incarnation’s tickets have been spoken for.)
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Women’s Group
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The Women’s Group will meet in the Parish House on Tuesday, October 2, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. I’ll start us off with an overview of the First Amendment and separation of church and state – two of my favorite topics in law school. Then we’ll discuss the different ways our faith informs our political and civic engagement. Refreshments will be served.
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— The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser
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STUDYING THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS
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Sunday morning Bible Study resumes October 7. Join us in the Parish Living Room from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. for a new series on the Gospel of Thomas, a non-canonical gospel composed of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus. Come see how these sayings stand up to Jesus’ words in the Bible and what some early Christians were claiming in the centuries after his death.
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MEN’S GROUP
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The Men’s Group goes back to its usual first-Monday-of-the-month schedule on November 5. We have our semi-annual pre-election meeting, where we will discuss some of the issues that will be influencing the elections. Among other things, we’ll look at issues particularly relevant to men. We will meet from 7 to 8:30 PM. Refreshments will be served.
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THANKS TO:
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***Everyone who contributed to the “Make a Joyful Noise!” campaign for Moravian Open Door and those who participated in the coin rolling party. We raised $774.23 for Moravian Open Door’s breakfast program.
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SUBSTITUTE ORGANIST
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Our Interim Organist, Levente Medveczky had surgery over the summer and is still recovering. This month, David Ralph, a veteran substitute for us in years past is filling in. Please keep Levente in your prayers as he returns to health.
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Finally, I would like to repeat here some reflections I offered on the parish blog last summer.
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The recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church enthusiastically endorsed the Presiding Bishop’s priorities of evangelism, racial reconciliation, and care for the earth.
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While these priorities are uncontroversial, they are very different. Dealing with racism and the environment will take years of effort and are social issues for non-Christians as well as Christians. Evangelism, on the other hand, is a pressing need specifically for Episcopalians whose ranks have been declining for decades. And if our evangelism isn’t successful, there won’t be any church to care for the environment or work for racial harmony.
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Episcopalians have always found it easier to start a social program than to convince people to join their church. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is pushing the idea that we are members of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement. Whether that rebranding will help us to add to our rolls remains to be seen. Let us hope and pray that it does.
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Yours,
Doug+
The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley


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