Summer 2017

Dear Friends,

On July 11, I was surprised to receive the following from our Director of Music.

Dear Doug,

I have decided to accept the position of organist/director of music at the Church of St. James the Less in Scarsdale. This is a full-time job that offers a number of opportunities for me near my home in Westchester County. After 24 years at Incarnation, I have given this careful consideration.

For the past 12 years I have coordinated 5 regular jobs: Incarnation, Temple Israel, Juilliard Pre-College Division, Westminster Choir College, and St. George’s Choral Society. I’ve enjoyed the diversity and challenges of these projects, but have been hoping to consolidate. The position at St. James will allow me to do this. For example, I will not return to Westminster Choir College in September so I can focus on the needs of St James.

I plan to continue directing St. George’s Choral Society and hope we can continue to be an outreach of Incarnation, performing concerts here as we have in the past.

My years at Incarnation have been truly wonderful, most notably working with you. I’ve learned so much since I started in 1993 (my first Episcopal church position!), and you and the people at Incarnation have been so supportive. I’ve been given liberty to try new things and have had such encouragement from everyone. I will miss so many aspects of Incarnation!

But my move to St. James the Less is a move to a bigger job: managing multiple choirs, the installation of a new organ from Germany, an organ recital series and a chamber music concert series. I welcome these challenges at this point in my life. It is an enthusiastic parish that appreciates and supports music, much like Incarnation.

Sunday, September 3 will be my last Sunday at Incarnation. It would be great to see Incarnation friends there. I am happy to help with the coming transition in any way I am able.

With thanks for many great years,

Matthew Lewis

* * * * *

It is of course with great regret that I have accepted Matthew’s resignation. The organist-rector relationship is often fractious; happily, Matthew and my quarter-century of joint service has been harmonious in every sense of the term.

In fact, there is probably no longer organist-rector tenure in New York City–or perhaps even within the Diocese of New York. How many Sundays I have looked forward to his cheerful presence, and how much I will miss him.

As you all know, Matthew has produced an extraordinary range of great sacred music, accompanied as always by flawless playing of our instrument—which has been markedly upgraded during his tenure and under his supervision. He has attracted superb professional singers to our choir, including many who could have earned more money elsewhere but chose to serve at Incarnation so they could work with Matthew.

Fortunately, Matthew will be back on occasion to conduct the St. George’s Choral Society, and we may hope he will also be a guest organist and recitalist at some point. In the meantime, we will offer a celebratory farewell at the coffee hour on his last Sunday, September 3.

We also have one more opportunity to learn from his depth and breadth of knowledge and musical expertise. Matthew will be offering a presentation and demonstration of the organ on Sunday, August 27 at 12:30 p.m. Please join us in the chancel.


I have appointed a small committee of parishioners to advise me in making an appointment of an interim organist and a permanent replacement for Matthew.


I also regret that we have said good-bye this summer to Jacquelyn Carson. Jackie served our parish for many years, most recently as Head Usher and a Vestry member. She has decided to relocate for a couple of years to live with her daughter in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Ted Harrison will take over the Head Usher duties, assisted by Michael Livschitz.

Thanks for all your help, Jackie, you did a great job for us. We look forward to your return to NYC in 2019!


We are planning another weekend at the Incarnation Center in Ivoryton, Connecticut. We have September 22-24 reserved, and we invite everyone in the parish (youngest to oldest) to participate.

Organized by the Associate Rector and led by the clergy, the program will include two spiritual formation sessions for adults and youth with concurrent activities for children, many opportunities for outdoor and indoor recreation, and plenty of time for rest and worship. Go to to learn more about Incarnation Center and what all the campus has to offer, including swimming, hiking, and more.

The retreat begins with dinner on Friday, Sept. 22, and continues through lunch on Sunday, Sept. 24. Cost of the retreat is $185 for adults and $85 for children ages 4-13, plus transportation costs. The train to Old Saybrook is not expensive and camp officials will pick you up at the station. Please contact the Rector for more information or to reserve your spot; a $50 deposit is required.

A bonus to this retreat is that you get to see first-hand the historic and most substantial outreach project of the Church of the Incarnation. Incarnation Center is located on 740 acres of Connecticut woodland; it has its own private lake. The rooms are simple but comfortable with shared bathrooms. The food is terrific; it will amaze you. The price for a country weekend can’t be beat.


The Book Club is enjoying a summer break. Our next meeting will be on Monday, September 25, from 7:00 to 8:00. We will be discussing Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout.


Don’t forget that you can receive the weekly Eminder by giving us your email address. It’s a short and sharp spiritual resource and calendar of events produced by our Associate Rector.

A Vestry member has pointed out that you can also receive the Forward-Day-by-Day devotional guide via email (as well as in pamphlet form in the front of the church.) Go to: The cost is only $10.00 per year.


Occasionally, we have parishioners who are hospitalized or who are confined to their apartments. While Adrian and I visit these folks regularly, there are occasions when they would appreciate the company of fellow members of the parish. Our Church Family Committee provides visitors in these situations. We also occasionally are asked to visit shut-ins who are not members of the parish but live in the neighborhood.

If you would be available from time to time to join this ministry, please let me know.


***The Rev. Amanda Kucik and her husband, Terry Robertson announce the birth of Angus Kucik Robertson on July 19. They are all doing well!

***The Rev. Deacon Robert Zito recently was appointed a professor of business law at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. He and his wife Dana Cole are moving to New Paltz, NY. We wish them Godspeed!


Twenties and Thirties

Incarnation 20s/30s are headed to the ballpark. On Tuesday, August 15, we’ll join other Episcopal young adults from around the city at Yankee Stadium for the Mets-Yankees game. Tickets are $30 each, and we have a limited number available. Let me know if you can come!

Children and Families

Vacation Bible School returns for children ages 3-10 and will run 9:00 a.m. to noon, August 14-18. This year we’ll be venturing into the Maker Fun Factory, where children will discover through biblical teaching, music and activities that they are created by God and built for a purpose. All children ages 3-10 are welcome to participate. The cost is $100 per child; maximum of $200 per family. Please contact me with any questions, and register your child at Please also be in touch if you’d like to volunteer to help with VBS. Volunteers are needed the week of and also the week prior.

The Rev. Adrian Dannhauser


***All the parishioners who helped label 2,000 bars of soap with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number for our S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) Project, and those who are delivering the soaps to neighborhood hotels.

***All who volunteered at our BBQ and board game event at Moravian Open Door.


“I am not a believer, but I still go to services at the church around the corner from my apartment, the Church of the Incarnation, not far from where I’m walking now. A free show. A museum, practically, with work by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Something to do, and some people who know me. My son, Johnny, learned to play the stately and formidable Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ there.”

This quotation comes from a lovely new novel by Kathleen Rooney entitled, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk. The novel was recommended to me by the Rev. Amanda Kucik, a former Associate Rector of Incarnation. (See above.)

Ms. Rooney’s character is not entirely positive in her comment on Incarnation, but the remark does give an indication of how people sometimes see our church: great art and music, formal liturgy–lots to see and hear. On the other hand, the idea that we are a “museum” isn’t entirely complimentary! We may hope that we aren’t just preserving relics of the past, and we will want to look forward to the future and to whatever ministry God is calling us to.

But still, Lillian Boxfish reminds us that we have a local presence to numerous people who are not on our membership rolls. We have a duty to preserve our building, to present the finest worship we can, and to be open to those who are walking by.



The Rev. J. Douglas Ousley

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