December 2020
Letter from the Rector

Dear Friends:           
"While they were there the time came." Another version says, "And it came to pass. But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in here heart."
Luke 2: 6,19

Her role nearly unthinkable. Mary approached it with great emotion and awe. At first, she simply stood perplexed, at what would be, then sat amazed at the child's coming and the confirmation from hosts of heaven as well as shepherds, and learned foreigners.

She pondered the words of the Angel and the testimony of the shepherds. As the story of Jesus unfolded before her, she treasured each piece in her heart.

Mary knew that she had been the site of holy miracle, the habitation of divinity. In that small space of the womb, finite as it is, Divinity lived for a while. Cloistered in that little space, nurtured by his mother, through the gift of her body infinity and divinity grew.

I recall with much emotion the birth of our own now adult children, and in more recent times the birth of our grandchildren, participating in their dwelling in the womb.
Yet somehow, the God man Jesus, even though restricted to the finite little space of the womb, grows in grace and becomes for us the infinite epitome of divinity.

And so, it is that it came to pass, with these simple words, God introduces the greatest miracle of history. The birth of Jesus did not just happen. It runs like a golden thread through the writings of the Hebrew Scriptures, especially through the prophets, as we hear from the book of the prophet Isaiah.

"For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace"
....and it came to pass...God's simple way of telling us that the divine plan of salvation includes Caesars, innkeepers, census-takers, shepherds, angels, each God-picked for a role in the drama of Christmas!

....and it came to pass, is indeed God's way of saying that you too have a role to play in Christmas, you were in mind when God planned Christmas. You were in mind on that Holy night thousands of years ago. You were in mind. God's extraordinary way of God expressing God's love for you.
In a letter to all in the community of the Holy, a couple of years go the then superior, Brother Robert Sevensky, a dear friend and mentor, writes on prayer...and he concludes in this way:
"All real prayer leads to a silence where another voice, God's voice, may speak. The silence may last but a second, but it is always time enough to catch an imitation or hint or rumor of something much, much greater than ourselves which lies closer to our own hearts than we do ourselves. The door is always there. And it is always open."

Today God speaks, let's pay attention to the One whose name is Jesus! 

Jenny, our children and grandchildren join me in wishing you and your family a holy a happy Christmas.
Fr. Alan

 Sermons are available on our website under the worship tab.
Click HERE.

  • Holy Eucharist Rite II at 9:30 am
  • Monday: Morning Prayer at 9:30am 
  • Wednesday: Noonday Prayer

Christmas Eve, Mass at 5:00pm

Christmas Day, Mass at 9:30am


 We invite you to take note of the following practical arrangements:

Given the increase of Coronavirus infections in our area and the tristate, please note that only 30 people may sit inside the church to keep the appropriate social distancing. If you are on site and the church is full, you are welcome to sit in your car and listen to the live audio broadcast.

You are welcome to come into the church at the time of communion
to receive the sacrament, if you so wish.
  • Live podcasts of the services will be broadcast 
  • Wear masks at all times
  • Sanitize hands before services, during, before receiving communion and when leaving
  • Always keep safe distancing
  • The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated; the people receiving in one kind only (the host)
  • Details of how to receive communion will be explained during mass
The Virtual
Advent Giving Tree

We at Saint Mary the Virgin have a wonderful tradition of the Advent Giving Tree, each year the children in Sunday School create ornaments with a gift label which parishioners fulfill.

This year with Covid-19 we will be having a VIRTUAL Giving Tree so please see sign up link below.

If you are able to donate this year, we thank you so very much for giving graciously. We also thank those that have already donated to our wonderful charitable partners.

Some of the wonderful organizations are asking for virtual donations while others organizations are requesting for physical items.

For the physical donations they may be dropped off to:
Ludovica Douglas at 560 Washington Ave. Pleasantville, NY
phone number 203-448-0831.

There will be a table on her front porch for contact-less drop off. Please be mindful of deadlines when signing up.  Thank you so very much!

CLICK HERE to sign up!
Monken Hadley Night
Advent Program
A Discussion on the Monken Hadley Visit in 2019

Sunday, December 13, 2020 12:30-1:30pm (via Zoom)

Fellowship and "virtual tea" from 1:30- 2:00pm

Last November an inspiring theatrical and dramatic multi-media event called 525 LIVE was staged in our sister church of St. Mary the Virgin in Monken Hadley, North London. This was to celebrate the 525th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Church in 1494 and raise money for the Church House Hall Restoration Fund. It also supported Noah's Ark Children's Hospice.  

Bringing together dramatic lighting, music, video and live theater into a stunning Son et Lumiere, a team of world-class creative and technical professionals from the Church and locality told the story of the history and heritage of the Church and the local communities of Barnet, Monken Hadley, and Hadley Wood.

It was created and produced by Bill Morris, who also produced the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Torch Relay and Live Sites.

We would also like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of support Bill received from his son Charles, his wife Katie, and Tim and Anne Fitzpatrick, all of whom we were thrilled to be able to meet during our visit.
Durrie Golding, Mary Dierdorff, and Chris Maxfield had the opportunity to travel over to England and attend the Gala Son et Lumiere 525 LIVE event.

The event culminated in the rare lighting of the signal beacon
that sits atop the Church tower. (photo above)
To enjoy the Son et Lumiere show, click the link HERE
(The show runs about 100 minutes and has a couple of parts.)

Durrie, Mary and Chris invite you to gather on a Zoom call
to discuss the show and give highlights of their unique visit.

Sunday, December 13, 2020: 12:30 - 2:00pm
Discussion and photographs from 12:30-1:30pm
Fellowship and a "Virtual Tea" from 1:30 - 2:00pm

Zoom link HERE.
Meeting ID: 916 8118 0954
Passcode: 937601
  They look forward to  VIRTUALLY gathering together with everyone.
Warden's Corner
News from the Church Warden, John Priscantelli

Stewardship Sunday December 6th
Every year brings it challenges and 2021 will be no different. We embark on a year that, much like 2020, has a lot of uncertainty. We thank all who pledge and do it willingly from their hearts. We thank those who willingly give of their time. We hope everyone can continue to do so.

In order to maintain St. Mary's as a beacon of goodness, a place of worship that has its arms open to everyone, we need your pledge. Here we accept everyone, invite everyone no matter their religion, race or beliefs. All are welcome at our services, all we ask is to be respectful, keep an open mind and an open heart.

This is my third year in the position of asking you to pledge. Please continue to do so willingly with your heart. We need your pledge to maintain what we have and hopefully to grow. As mentioned there is lot of uncertainty going forward. Help us to meet this uncertainty with your pledge. Every dollar helps, every dollar counts, please pledge!

Dierdorff, Wesolowski moving on, a farewell on December 6th
It is with a sad heart that we say goodbye to Mary, Bob, Daniel and Teddy. Their dedication to the parish, their tireless volunteering and their spirit are a part of St. Mary's fabric and will be sorely missed.

I can't think of another family that is so well liked and respected. I only hope that they will drop by from time to time and bring their cheer and their spirit with them. We wish them luck in their new Connecticut home and hope that they find much happiness there. If we
know Mary I'm sure she has already found a new Episcopal parish to attend and bring the joy and happiness to it that her family brought to St. Mary's. We all bid you a fond farewell knowing that we will see you again, not as frequently as we do now but from time to time. Mary, Bob, Daniel and Teddy - St. Mary's will always be there for you and with you. Best of luck!
Vestry Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes are available on bulletin board outside of Parish Hall office or by contacting Rich at
Meet the Parish

A Farewell to the Dierdorff/Wesolowski Family

It is so sad to say goodbye to the Dierdorff / Wesolowski family, who've shown such exemplary participation and devotion to St. 
Mary's since they joined 21 years ago. Although we will miss them terribly, we wish them the very best in the next chapter of their lives as they move to Watertown, Connecticut.

If you are able, please come to church
on Sunday December 6th to celebrate their
wonderful dedication to St. Mary's and wish them well. 

Mary Dierdorff and Bob Wesolowski moved to Chappaqua from Manhattan in January 1999 with 
their young sons Daniel and Teddy. While commuting into Manhattan for work, Mary 
had noticed this beautiful old stone church on the hill in town and was very pleasantly surprised to discover it was an Episcopal Church. After hearing Joel preach one Sunday, they realized they'd found their spiritual home. 

Mary, a cradle Episcopalian and her husband, Bob, raised as a Catholic, wanted to raise Daniel and Teddy as Episcopalians. Mary started teaching Sunday school in the fall of 1999 and continued until 2015, eventually teaching all age groups. To help build a connection with church, Mary encouraged her sons to serve as acolytes, which they did very regularly until they went away to college. They even continued to serve during college at Christmas midnight mass and in the summers when they were home. Mary also served on the vestry for eight years, and chaired the Strawberry Festival for several years, participated on altar guild and serving as a LEM. She also served on the rector search committee. The boys and Bob were actively involved in A-Home clean-ups, Midnight Runs, parish clean-ups, painting the rectory and a special favorite activity of theirs over the years was assisting at the Strawberry Festival.

Daniel is a test engineer at the outdoor car equipment company, Thule, in CT. He is living with his parents during the COVID crisis. Teddy lives in Torrington, CT, and works with commercial clients at an insurance company. He met his fiancĂ©e, 
Jackie Ferrell, in Chappaqua and they started dating while at Greeley. She is a speech language pathologist and works at a skilled nursing facility in CT. They postponed their September 2020 wedding until next year.  
Mary and Bob are able to move closer to their sons in Connecticut since Mary retired from a 42+ year career in banking, most recently 13 years at a French bank, BNP Paribas. Bob is semi-retired, still involved with his business, Caring Habits, Inc. They forward to more normal times and the opportunity to create new routines and meet new people in retirement.
The SMTV Annual Meeting will take place early in 2021 on a date yet to be determined. Following advice received from the Diocese, in compliance with New York State health guidance regarding public gathering, the 2021 Annual Meeting will be conducted virtually.  Planning for this change from our traditional practice of "in person" meeting has just begun, and follow up email notices will be sent to all registered parish members as soon as possible as various details are finalized.
In addition to reviewing a year of unique challenges and planning for our
future, four vestry positions will be subject to election:

Junior Warden, Buildings and Grounds;
Worship and Music;
Newcomers and Membership; and Outreach.

Nominations should be communicated either to the Parish office, the Vestry at or Rich Juzumas, Vestry Clerk. 
Calendar Notes/Special Events:

December 6 - Stewardship Sunday & Farewell to Dierdorff/Weslowski Family
December  13   - Monken Hadley Zoom Presentation 12:30pm (see link above)
December 20  - Christmas Pageant Via Zoom at 4pm (see link below)
December 24 - Christmas Eve Mass at 5pm
December 25 - Christmas Day Service at 9:30am

January 2021 -  ANNUAL MEETING Date TBD
January 2021-    Trivia Night - Date TBD

Don't miss the Community Bulletin Board below & memories of Fall Auction Dinners!

Deacon's Corner
News from Deacon Shiane

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season.

With all that is going on in our Nation, I want to remind us of the tremendous importance and calling we have to continue to be a people of Thankfulness!

As shared in 1 Chronicles 16:34 "Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever."

Here at St. Mary's we continue to have conversations about how to shrink the racial divide.  This is a once a month conversation session via zoom with parishioners from other churches. 

Please feel free to submit poems, inspirational saying, etc., that have touched you.

Continue to stay safe. Peace!

Deacon Shiane

God's Gift To Me

You are my sunshine.
You are my shining star.
Everything I'm not,
You are.

You make me laugh.
You make my heart smile.
Everything you do
Makes life worthwhile.

You give lovingly.
You always have cheer.
Everything you are
I hold dear.

You are so sweet.
You are so very kind.
Everything I cherish,
In you I find.

You are a blessing.
You are an angel I see.
Everything about you
Is God's gift to me.
By:  Kerry DeVore

God Is Love
And so what is Love?
Love will find you when you are lost,
when you are bound he will free you.
When you are ill, he will heal you,
when you wander far, he will call you,
Surrender to him, in him you are safe.
O defectors, he waits even for you,
You know him, see what you do.
He feels your trouble, your pain.
You child, wherever you've been,
he has also been.
Your loneliness, has been his,
your tears have been his.
He knows the dark - where you feel him not,
he was there - even in the dark.
You called him, yet you didn't listen,
shush, be still now, Listen.
Hear him, turn and face him.
He always was, and will always be,
yours for the asking, for you and me.
Be not afraid of the Love that you most need.
That which you say hurts and betrays,
was not love, the imitations are many.
What is real awaits you, in him you are real.
What you seek in Love, is there for you,
Service in love will bring your true desires.
What is not gentle, what is not caring,
what does not prove true, are not of love.
Be sure - these things are not of Love.
In your darkest being, he will stay.
Let any who says they are of Love,
and do not have love's qualities,
be told of Love. They also can know him.
By:  Whitley Bay Tyne & Wear England

Church School News
Grades PreK-7th

FROM COLEEN MACGREEVEY, Director, Church School

Beginning THIS SUNDAY, December 6th
This fall, we were able to hold Church School in a socially distanced way.  We began outdoors for many weeks but moved inside as the weather changed.  While we have been so happy and fortunate to be in person, given the rising number of Covid-19 cases, we have decided to PAUSE having indoor class starting 
THIS SUNDAY, December 6th.  Instead, we will be having a Zoom class for all children who are interested on Sundays at 9am.

Please use THIS LINK 
Meeting ID: 797 2615 0442 and Passcode: X7rcjd

DECEMBER 20th at 4pm via ZOOM

The annual Christmas Pageant will continue in a new way this year.  It will be held on Sunday, December 20 at 4pm over Zoom.  More details to come as the date gets closer, but we joyfully look forward to "gathering" together to hear the Christmas story and sing together to celebrate the birth of our Lord.  

If you interested in participating, please let me know (link to my e-mail) so I can give you a reading section to share (rather than specific parts, we will be sharing the Christmas story in a narrative format).  We are inviting both children and adults to participate.

Please use THIS LINKMeeting ID: 768 5114 4005 and Passcode: nYv6nQ

This challenging year, St. Mary's will offer a Confirmation class. 
Fr. Alan, Deacon Shiane and several parishioners will teach various topics including Sacraments in action, the Bible 101, Christian ethics/social Justice responsibility, the reality of living, and outreach.
We will begin the year with a special Confirmation commitment zoom on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 3:30 pm.  All parents and sponsors should plan to attend this first meeting.  
After this zoom session we will meet monthly via zoom, on Sundays at 3:30 in preparation for Confirmation in late May/June (exact dates TBD).
Please contact Deacon Shiane at 914-441-9360 or e-mail at,  for more information 

Coming in January 2021
All are welcome!   See sign-up info below.

This has been rescheduled due to the other upcoming events:
Monken Hadley presentation (Dec. 13) and the
Virtual Christmas Pageant (Dec 20th)

The church will be repairing one of the stained-glass windows. The wood is rotting where there was a prior leak. Is there anyone in the parish who can provide scaffolding? The window is at second floor level opposite the labyrinth.

Please contact Andrew Tustian, Warden, at
Come Aside to Light a Candle
Our votive candle stand adds to the beauty and esthetics of our sacred space. It provides all an opportunity "to light a candle," as we seek to bring light and hope to our world. 

It is my prayer that many will use this as an opportunity to "come aside," and pray for healing light for our nation, our world and our loved ones.
St. Mary's embraces Outreach. It is an integral component in the mission of our church family.  We provide financial support, services and donated goods to those in need close to home and on the other side of the world. 
In fulfilling our outreach mission, we enhance the sense of community within our church family - and we enrich ourselves.  We make connections not just with each other, but also with those we help.

Dear Friends,


Neighbors Link cannot hold its traditional holiday market, at which parents are able to select presents to give to their children. In order to still empower the parents to select presents for their children, Neighbors Link will be giving the parents Target and Kohls gift cards, so that the parents may do their own shopping.

If you would like assistance in participation, please contact Denise Hanchet at  Denise would be happy to purchase the gift cards and drop them off for you if you would like to send her a check.  All gifts for this drive are due no later than December 7th.

For more information about Neighbors Link, please see

Thank you!

We also continue to work with these organizations:

Interfaith Food Pantry in Pleasantville
They are participating in a Go Fund Me Drive: CLICK HERE
that has been partnering with local restaurants to provide hot meals through the Pleasantville Pantry. (This Go fund Me Drive also contributes food to Hope's Door and Neighbors Link.) Please consider making a monetary donation via the link above.

For more information about these organizations click on these links:

Helping our Hospitals
Northern Westchester Hospital has created a dedicated COVID Emergency Fund to help purchase medical equipment and supplies. Learn more here.

Helping Hour Children's Center at Bedford Hills
1. Hour Children website, and click their "Donate" Button, specifying that the donation is for "Operation Neighborhood"

2. Write a check to "Hour Children". Please earmark "Operation Neighborhood".  Checks should be sent to: Hour Children 36-11 12th Street, Long Island City, NY  11106. 

3. If you prefer to donate specific items rather than money, please go to the Amazon Wish List named Operation Neighbor with the requested items, which are all consolidated and located on one link:
Items should be shipped to:  
The Parenting Center at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
247 Harris Road
Bedford Hills, NY 10507
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Deb Rigano: 914.804.6470.

*SMTV Organization of the Month is designed to raise awareness
of the Outreach Organizations that SMTV supports.
Community Bulletin Board

Special Announcements about our Parish
Please send submissions to by 26th of each month

There is a donated mini fridge is the parish hall.
Contact if you want it!

Wishing you peace, love, health and happiness this Season!
The Church of SMTV Info

Click Link to see December Calendar.

Click Link to listen to past Sermons.

An UPDATED DIRECTORY (August 2018) has been posted to our church website.  (Located in drop-down under Parish Life.)

Click Link to see Updated List of  Staff & Vestry  Members.

Office: 914-238-8751
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
191 S. Greeley Avenue
Chappaqua, NY

Office Contact:
Tel: 914 238-8751


Chappaqua, New York


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 due by 26th of month to:

Mary Ann Bayer