January 10, 2019
Dear People of St. Mary’s,
We have been monitoring the forecast for this Sunday, January 13. Due to the predicted snow fall, we are holding one service at 10 a.m. in New St. Mary’s. Unfortunately, all other church activities including Sunday School, Parish Breakfast, and committee meetings planned for Sunday are cancelled.
Please keep checking the website, Facebook page, email, and phone message for any updates. Please help us spread the word to our parishioners who do not use the internet.
Our primary concern is your safety, so please make the safest decisions for your own well being.
God bless you.
The Rev. David H. May
Weekly Reflection, Sunday, January 6, 2019
By: David May, Rector
My wife Emmy and I have been watching ‘Call the Midwife’ on Netflix. It’s a new discovery even though it aired eight years ago. It’s a wonderful story of an order of Anglican nuns who serve as midwives and care-givers living in one of the toughest neighborhoods of London’s East End in the late 1950’s. In a recent episode, a local constable asks Sister Julienne what had motivated a young woman who had recently abandoned her newborn. Sister Julienne replies that there are only two things that motivate any of us: love or fear.
Of course, we human beings are mysterious creatures and so, who knows why any of us does what we do sometimes! But the clarity of Sister Julienne’s observation is a pretty good place to start.
It’s natural this time of the year to look ahead. And I ask myself, am I looking ahead to what this year will bring with love or fear. Or maybe, even, with a little bit of both. As a part of a self-evaluation for our wardens, I’ve been asked to look ahead and articulate what I see as the important priorities for the people of St. Mary’s in our holy calling to be disciples of Jesus in our world. I can quickly rattle off about a dozen or so things! But more and more, before rattling off that list of things, it’s important to wonder what is motivating us. Do we look ahead with love or with fear? Or a little of both!
The Prophet Jeremiah spoke a most beautiful word from God for those who look to the future. This word came to the children of Israel in exile in Babylon, far from home, who had every reason to live from fear and not love. Jeremiah proclaimed: “Thus says the Lord…For surely I know the plans I have for you…plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me….” (Jeremiah 29:11-13a)
The year before us already feels like a gift from God. And what will we do with this gift that God is giving us? Well, God knows. And so shall we as we learn to live, more and more, from love, and for love.
Weekly Reflection, Sunday, December 30, 2018
By: Ryan Tibbetts, Director of Music
There is a meme that starts circulating around Facebook among friends in my field this time of year that simply reads “Hooray! It’s December! Oh, wait – I’m a musician.” In some respects, it’s a fairly accurate summation of my feelings about this season, as there’s a lot to get done and not a whole lot of time in which to do it. This year, in the span of just three weeks, we’ve had our Advent Lessons and Carols service here, I’ve conducted two performances of the Bach Magnificat and other pieces with one of my community choruses, on top of our regular Sunday services, a wedding, and several funerals – and I’m writing this on December 21, so from my perspective, our three Christmas Eve services haven’t even happened yet!
There’s definitely a lot to do, and I definitely have to brace myself at the start of the month, but at the same time, I really enjoy the seasons of Advent and Christmas, and have since I started singing in choir in high school and got my first real taste of what being a musician in December meant. There’s so much wonderful music written for this time of year – choral pieces, hymns, organ works – and every year is a chance to revisit old favorites and discover new ones. The liturgies at this time of year are also particularly beautiful – our Advent Lessons and Carols service certainly took some work to put together, but being a part of that offering of music and readings was immensely rewarding.
The season also offers reminders of the difference music can make in people’s lives. For musicians, all the concerts and services can certainly be sources of stress, but for congregations and audience members, it’s often an island of repose in the midst of an otherwise stressful month. I was always touched to read survey responses after a Christmas concert presented each year by a community chorus I worked with in Philadelphia where people would write about the importance of that performance as a holiday tradition. Being a professional musician this time of year can certainly feel like a slog, but knowing that the work can offer “tidings of comfort and joy” to others helps to make it worthwhile. So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – now if you’ll excuse me, it’s still December 21 and the organ isn’t going to practice itself!