December 2021
Christmas Eve Service
& Caroling
Friday, Dec 24 | 5pm

As we welcome in the Advent & Christmas Season of 2021, we have so much to reflect on. We hope you will bring your family, friends or neighbors to rejoice in the Season. This year's Christmas Eve Family Service will be officiated by Rev. Margie Tuttle.

We will begin with the service at 5pm, followed by carols outside the front of the church at 6pm.
Sunday, Dec 19th | 4-6pm
Join us in the Parish Hall for a seasonal gathering and reconnect with Parishioners of all ages.

Many thanks to Dana Fenlon for coordinating this treasured time together. Contact Dana if you have any questions: 914-238-1151 or

This is a potluck event. 
Please use the link below to RSVP and sign up to bring refreshments:

Christmas Pageant
Sunday, Dec 19th
During the Morning Prayer

For this year's pageant, the children will wear masks and the only time they will sing is at the end of the pageant [Go tell it on the Mountain]. We look forward to this annual tradition and welcoming our Sunday School family's guests!
Letter to the Parish
from Senior Warden, John Priscantelli
Inspiring A Path Forward

Dear Parishioner,

What inspires you to keep St. Mary’s a special place to Worship?

Is it the Holy Spirit?

There are some songs that capture this:

Come Holy Spirit
by Bright City

Come Holy Spirit
Fall on us
Burn like a fire
Living flame of love
Come Holy Spirit
Fall on us
Burn like a fire
Living flame of love

And there is a less traditional song:

Holy Spirit Activate
by Caleb Gordon

Holy Spirit activate, let the Spirit activate
Please don't be no castaway, you got a question?Ask away
Might not be a faster way, but all you must do is ask and pray
He'll come through with a lot to say, won't make you move, you choose the way
I can't lose my fight today, I can't put my light away.

We are taught in the Old Testament that “spirit” was used primarily to express God’s power in the world. In the New Testament, Jesus is called the Christ because he is anointed by the Holy Spirit. Catechism states that the church is holy because the Holy Spirit dwells in it, consecrates its members, and guides them to do God’s will. The Episcopal theologian William Porcher Dubose stated that “all God’s operations in us as spiritual beings are by
the word through the spirit”. For me this inspiration from the Holy Spirit inspires me to keep St. Mary’s a special place of worship.

What else inspires me at St. Mary’s to keep St. Mary’s a special place of worship? The list is long but I will highlight the ones I think the most important to me:

• The dedicated positive and energized Parishioners.
• The dedicated Staff.
• The dedicated, creative Vestry.
• The Family theme of our Parish.
• The many parishioners I can call Friends.
• The dedicated Clergy who have been part of the St. Mary’s history.

This is what inspires me. What inspires you?

At this time of pledging please take the time to figure out what St. Mary’s means to you. Every pledge still matters, every dollar, every penny matters. Please find the inspiration to help us continue as the parish you want us to be.
It is your church, our church, please find it within yourselves to give generously and keep our vision alive.
Stewardship Information
As of early December, I estimate we will have approximately 50-55 pledging families for the next calendar year budget. The facts are that many parishioners have moved away and the demographics in our town, as well as the secular nature of the society today, have worked against us.

Everyone’s pledge really matters so when you get your pledge document in the posted mail, please get it back to the parish office as soon as you.

In the future, we foresee the parish being the beneficiaries of special gifts and bequests that will help us to chart a path forward. This will enable us to consider many options when we begin our search for a new Rector.

As mentioned before I am inspired by many things I see in our church that keep me going. I hope you do too. I am hoping you use your inspiration to help keep our Parish vibrant. 

Please make your pledge a priority.

Rector Search Committee
We are still working with the Diocese for our Rector search. At this time there is nothing new to report. We have begun to assemble our search committee to look for a full-time Rector.

New Initiatives
As a Vestry we are trying new things. The website is being updated by Cindy Forrest and Chris Maxfield. This will also include a page advertising the church and parish hall as a destination for weddings and other get-togethers. Alex Eichenberger is helping to set up a mechanism on church communications so that donations can be made using Paypal. We are exploring the possible idea of renting out the Rectory. Mary Ann Bayer has helped us with this.

These positive contributions are appreciated and so helpful.
Vestry Minutes
Meeting Minutes are available on bulletin board outside of Parish Hall office or by contacting Rich at
Letter to the Parish
from Vestry Clerk, Rich Juzumas
To the St. Mary’s Community,

As we approach the end of the year and prepare for the holidays I request that you take a moment to reflect on the value of St. Mary’s in your lives. With the retirement of Fr. Alan our little parish would be rudderless except for the diligent efforts of the vestry to keep the course while also working with the Diocese to find and hire a permanent replacement. You can expect to hear progress reports as warranted.

It has been determined that our 2022 Annual Meeting will be held in person on February 12 in conjunction with the revival of Souper Bowl Sunday. Details will be provided as we approach the date. Vestry offices up for election in 2022 will be Stewardship Warden (John Priscantelli incumbent), Adult Education (Janet Priscantelli incumbent), Communications (vacant), Christian Education (Amanda Fesko, retiring), and Membership & Newcomers (Lisa and Sean Fitzgerald, appointed to fill a vacancy last year). 

Please consider if St. Mary’s is important enough for you to lend your own talents, or those of someone you know, at this challenging time. Nominations can be sent to the parish office or to the Clerk of the Vestry, Rich Juzumas, at
Sunday Morning Prayer
Thank you to Michael Lanzano for continuing to lead us in Morning Prayer during this Advent Season.
  • Holy Eucharist Rite II at 9:30 am
Services are now IN PERSON, but if you need to access our Live Stream at
any time during these services, please click on link above.

Instructions for live streaming:
  • When the service is broadcasting live, you will see the service Episode listed below "Services at The Church of St. Mary...."
  • To listen live, click on the play button (circle with arrow in it) on the left side of the Episode title that has the red LIVE box.
  • If you do not see the Episode with today's date, click on the link again to refresh the webpage.
Open Doors: We have Resumed Worship In the Church
We invite you to take note of the following practical arrangements:
  • Wearing masks at all times
  • Sanitizing hands before services, during, before receiving communion and when leaving; please bring your hand sanitizer along with you
  • Always keep safe distancing
  • No coffee hour, for the time being
  • The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated; the people receiving in one kind only (the host)
  • Details of receiving communion will be explained at the time of celebration

All Services will be offered via Live Stream  

Click here for printable or viewable monthly calendar.

Annual Meeting
Sunday, February 13th
After the morning service
All Parishioners are encouraged to attend our annual meeting. It will include reports from our rector and vestry, including updates on stewardship and budget.

During the Annual Meeting we invite you to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring. See below.
Souper Bowl of Caring
Sunday, February 13th
During the Annual Meeting
We will ask for donations of a pot of soup, chili or baked goods. Stay tuned for the sign up and begin to think of your favorite recipes!
Event in Memory of Penny
We are excited to continue this parish tradition. The Souper Bowl event is in Memory of Penny Vane who cared deeply about local hunger and worked passionately with "Empty Bowls," another grassroots organization with a mission to fight hunger. Our donation to the Interfaith Emergency Food Pantry will be in her honor.
The children are preparing for the Christmas Pageant which will take place on Dec 19th during the service. The children heard the pageant narrative last week. For the next 2 weeks, we will practice the pageant during Sunday School. Dress rehearsal is Saturday, December 18th at 3 pm for 45 minutes at the most. On Sunday, December 19th we ask all the children to arrive at 8:30 am to be ready for the 9:30 service. We appreciate you all getting to church so early.
News Updates for Church School
We are updating our distribution list for the church school weekly blast. If you or someone you know would like to receive the newsletter please contact After this week this newsletter will only be distributed to those that request it. Thank you!
Thanks to everyone who donated food to the pantry for Thanksgiving. Two carloads of groceries were delivered from our parish. The pantry was able to supply a complete dinner to each family that requested it.

The pantry is working on Christmas food distribution and would love our assistance in collecting holiday dessert items. 

Please consider donating any of the following holiday dessert items:

Cake Mix
Hot Chocolate

Donations can be dropped off at the parish hall on Mondays, Wednesdays and/or Thursdays from 9:30am-5pm, on Sundays after the service or at 229 Mill River Road, Chappaqua (leave on top of steps near mailbox). 

**Last day to drop off items is Sunday, December 12th **

Please contact Tirza Santilli @ or text/call 914-275-1650 if needed. 

Food Pantry Website:
Denise Hanchet is coordinating volunteers for Neighbors Link.  For more information on Neighbors Link visit: 
Please contact Denise if you have any questions about this mission: or cell (914) 671-0128
The Giving Tree 2021

The craft during Church School has been decorating ornaments for the Giving Tree. We all had fun with crayons, stickers, and gems. We will continue to make ornaments for the next few weeks.

The Giving Tree is a way for community charities to request specific gifts for their families. There will be a Christmas Tree in the back of the church with ornaments decorated by the Sunday school students. On the back of each ornament is a gift request and the due date. Our generous parishioners kindly fulfill the request and deliver them to different organizations.
There will be a full post in the December Weekly Email Blasts. The Giving Tree is Saint Mary the Virgin's opportunity to help our neighbors. Organizations we have supported in the past through the Giving Tree included A-Home, Neighbors Link, San Andres Episcopal Church, Open Door Family Medical Center, Hope’s Door, and Hour Children’s Center at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.
Please Respond!
What programs and activities would you like to participate in at St. Mary's?
Kindly complete and return the survey (links above or below)
You may do this online or print the survey, fill out and return via snail mail, email or text!
Or CLICK HERE to print survey and return via mail or text.
Dear SMTV friends,

I wanted to let everyone know that at long last Ted and his high school sweetheart, Jackie Ferrell, were married in a beautiful ceremony on a picture perfect weekend in October on Brant Lake in the Adirondacks.

It took much longer than expected to get to this day, and fortunately, it was everything they hoped it would be. As you can see, SMTV's one and only, Joel Mason, officiated. Big brother, Daniel, of course, was Ted's best man.  
Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season. We miss our SMTV family!!
Kindest regards,
Mary Dierdorff
“An early morning walk
is a blessing for the whole day.”
-Henry David Thoreau

@ 10:00 AM

On the Witch’s Spring Trail at the 
Rockefeller Estate in Pleasantville.

Meet in the Key Food parking lot in Pleasantville at 9:45 AM to carpool or car train to the trail.

Contact Janet Priscantelli
or Chris Maxfield
Janet: or Text/Call: 914-484-3980
Chris: or Text/Call: 914-907-9328


The group now meets every
Tuesday at 10:00 AM
Office: 914-238-8751
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
191 S. Greeley Avenue
Chappaqua, NY

Office Contact:

Chappaqua, NY
We are called to be a holy people who witness God's love to the world and serve others.
Our Mission is to provide an environment for worship, learning, and service by encouraging
participation through the effective use of the commissions:
Worship and Music, Christian Education, Outreach, Communications, Parish Life, Finances, and Stewardship.
Submissions for the Bell can be sent to

Mary Ann Bayer, Blair Childs & Sophia Childs