The Bell
November 2019
Letter from the Rector

Dear Friends:

"O blest communion. Fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.
                               Alleluia, Alleluia!"

Hymnal 287 v.4

"Jesus looked up at his disciples and said:
"Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.

"Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
"Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.

"Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets."

"But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.

"Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.

"Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.

"Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you."

Luke 6:20-31

The Beatitudes challenge me on so very many levels:
  • A challenge to care
  • A challenge to show compassion
  • A challenge to accept all persons as equal
  • A challenge to receive blessing
It is moreover I believe:
  • About being vulnerable, 
  • About risking 
  • About facing rejection 
  • About empowering our sisters and brothers by getting our hands dirty
The saints of God through the ages of ages, the prophets, apostles martyrs, patriarchs, matriarchs have and continually forms and informs my spirit, in our calling to empower God's people for service and discipleship.

Imagine leaving all and following the voice of the Holy One. Imagine saying yes to something you really not sure about or prepared for. Imagine taking to the road as it were, nothing is clear cut, except for an instruction," Go to the land and I will show you ...... go to pharaoh......follow me....cast your nets on the other side.....blessed are you........

Imagine being scared out of your mind...with lots of unanswered questions, being told that you will be the mother of the son of God. For those of us who are A types, this is a challenge to say the least!!!

The beatitudes remind us though, that when God calls, however uncertain, out of sorts...having more questions than responses; when God calls, we are on Holy ground. 

More often than not, as with Moses, Abram, Mary, the beloved disciple, the prophets and martyrs, we learn that the response will always involve risk and often unknown.

As Abraham moved from place to place, recall he built an altar...reverencing the call and mission as holy ground.

So, it is knowing that while our response always involves risk, we can be comforted that we always stand on holy ground

All the saints of old teach us this incredible truth...the only certain thing is that we stand on holy ground

Let the truth be told though the holy ground on which we stand is never always easy.

Jesus stood on Holy ground in the garden as he struggled with the fathers will.  
Mary walked the holy ground of the via dolorosa, as she watched her son carry his cross.

The beloved disciples together with Mary stood on holy ground in the shadow of the cross.

Comforted, yet challenged, as the living saints of God, guided by the spirit of God, as we stand on Holy ground, may we be bold for Christ, in our service, in our proclamation and in our witness.
Fr. Alan                                                                                                       

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

  • Holy Eucharist Rite I at 8:00 am
  • Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:00 am
  • Monday:  Morning Prayer at 9:30am
  • Wednesday:  Holy Eucharist at noon
Wardens Corner
News from the Church  Warden,  John Priscantelli

When I wrote the Warden's  corner piece the last two times I was inspired by music and one of our parishioners. This time I searched for inspiration from music again but instead found it from two of our parishioners.

At our Auction Dinner last week, Britt Hayes and her boyfriend Joe outbid Fran Osborne for tea at Jenny and Father Alan's House. The bidding was spirited! Our auctioneer Eric Dammann promised absolution and had the parish hall rocking for fifteen minutes as the bidding war continued in increments of $25. Britt and her boyfriend were declared winners and my inspiration comes from what they did afterwards.

The tea was for four and they invited Fran and Nick to join them. Truly an unbelievable and an inspirational act of giving.

Secondly, Janet and I spoke to Mark Hanchet about his experience this last fall in the waters off North Carolina. Mark was saved by some surfers from the churning water from the aftermath of a hurricane. Malcolm his son stayed with him through this life threatening experience encouraging him, being strong for him and lastly calling for help which saved him. We have known the Hanchet's for over twenty years, consider them good friends and wonderful people, are thankful for their family and their friendship.

I am truly inspired to write this article by these two acts of selflessness and love.

Our church is truly a place where we enjoy the fellowship of our parishioners, the wonderful and meaningful sermons by Father Alan. Religion is a hard concept for many, an easy concept for some. And it is what brought us together.

As we enter our Stewardship season, I hope you find inspiration to help the church. A letter is being sent out this week to ask for your regular pledge as well as help for the parish hall. We are hopeful everyone responds so we can continue enjoying the fellowship of our parishioners a St Mary the Virgin.
A look back at
Auction Dinner 2019


Click HERE for link to PhotoAlbum from this event!

Meet the Parish
The Lanzano Family
Michael & Susan
and Michael Maurice Lanzano

We Christians have been singing and chanting "Veni Creator Spiritu" since the 6 th Century at least. Our God creates. Whether you subscribe to the vision of creation described in Genesis or the one offered by the Big Bang Theory, it's still creation. And creation never stops. It's an ongoing process that gives meaning to our lives. To some it brings passion, others joy. It doesn't always bring direction or clarity. If you put your trust in the Creator Spiritu you don't always know where you will end up. One of the places we landed in was at St. Mary's. 

My wife, Susan, and my son Michael and I had known Tim Vernon for six or seven years before he became the Music Director at St. Mary's. In fact I think I joined the choir before I had ever attended a service. I had heard that Tim was at St. Mary's and it took me three days to decide to leave my old parish and follow him. And I was not the only one who arrived and stayed at St. Mary's, because of Tim, because of the music we sang and the act of creation that took place every Sunday. That joint act of creation has affected our lives in a profound and indescribable way.  Every Sunday we sang not one but two acapella pieces, sometimes in English, often in Latin. This level of singing is almost unheard of from all volunteer choirs. It only happened once, but after a particularly beautiful sixteenth century motet, the entire congregation applauded. It never happened again, but I'll never forget that moment. We had done our job. We had created that sacred moment when we interacted with the Divine. St. Mary's is a place where the Creator Spirit finds a home. Look at us! Whatever else we may do, we are musicians, writers, dancers, artists, designers, teachers, architects, chefs, actors, gardeners, auctioneers, and, yes, builders. 

What are we three Lanzanos doing now? We are building our house and gardens. I don't mean we are having our house built. I mean we have designed and are constructing our house. Our son is the contractor and responsible for everything from operating the excavators, moving rocks and grading the land to fabricating the entire structure, including milling lumber for our floors, building a fairly complicated manifold for the heating system, and eventually designing and blowing the glass for our lighting fixtures. 

And Susan, in addition to cooking three meals a day for all of us, and spending a few hours every day on her botanical paintings, is the artistic director of landscaping and construction. Not a slab of stone, not a window or door, not a hue of paint goes into the house without Susan's approval. 

My role in this project was to come up with the basic design. We had already completely renovated the previously existing 19 th Century Dutch barn, and I wanted the new house to harmonize with it. We also wanted to use "native materials." We have a saw mill, and we are milling the logs, many from our own property, for our floors and trim. The stone walls and veneer are from the endless supply of dark grey rock under our feet.  The exterior walls are clad with real 1" x 12"rough sawn pine boards. And finally our living room has the feeling of a Dutch meeting house. The celing is more than twenty feet high, and to provide support for it, I needed to review my notes on the building of a medieval cathedral. 

All our major and many of our minor decisions are made "in committee," and as you might imagine, our meetings don't always go smoothly; in fact they are often contentious. We are all strong willed people, and we don't always start out with the same vision. So the process can be difficult, even painful at times, but in the end we come to some kind of agreement and move on to our next step. 

Many of our friends think we're crazy to have begun a project like this at our ages. We often agree! But as long as we are able, we will follow the Creator Spirit. We will sing and paint and build and garden and continue to go to St. Mary's, where we feel at home with the wonderfully diverse and creative group of people who also call St. Mary's home and who open their hearts to all.  We have been parishioners here for twenty-six years during which our friendships have deepened to the point that we consider St. Mary's an extension of our family. It is our spiritual home.
Vestry Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes are available on bulletin board outside of Parish Hall office or by contacting Rich at
Calendar Notes/Special Events:

Don't miss the Community Bulletin Board below !

Nov 16:  Family Fun Night
Nov 17: Youth Group Archery
Nov 24: Confirmation Class 3:30
Dec 15: 5pm Father Alan's 40th Anniversary to Priesthood 
Bishop Dietsche presiding
Dec 15, 21 & 22:  Christmas Pageant Rehearsals
Dec 22: Annual Children's Christmas Pageant

Church School News
Grades PreK-7th
Meets 9:45am, Sundays
Joins Worship Service at approx. 10:45am for communion with parents.

FROM COLEEN MACGREEVEY, Director, Church School


S aturday November 16, 6:00pm in the Parish Hall

Games, pizza, dessert
and more :-)

We need a few volunteers for food/beverage items - please sign up HERE - thank you!
We are looking forward to the 2019 Christmas Pageant at Saint Mary the Virgin, which will take place on Sunday, December 22nd during the 10am service .  We are hoping to enhance our preparations this year by including music rehearsals during our regular Church School time, starting on Sunday, November 17th .

We will have a group class each week for the beginning of Church School (meeting downstairs in the Parish Hall at 10am), and then Peter Frost, our music director, will join us for the second part of Church School.  We will rehearse the songs that will be performed in the Pageant.  We are hoping this additional practice time will allow the children to celebrate the Pageant in an even more joyful way on December 22nd, so we are asking for best possible attendance on those Sundays leading 
up to the "big day"!

Additionally, we will have full Pageant Rehearsal similar  to the past few years:
  • Sunday, December 15th: Pageant rehearsal - 11:15am-12:30pm (in the Church)
  • Saturday, December 21st: Pageant dress rehearsal - 3pm (in the Parish Hall) - followed by our PIZZA PARTY
  • Sunday, December 22nd: Pageant during the 10am service (please arrive in the Parish Hall at 9:15am)
Please reply to  Coleen MacGreevey
if your child/ren is/are participating in the Pageant on December 22nd.

We look forward continuing this St Mary's tradition and to a wonderful and joyous Pageant preparation time with your families!

Our Youth Group plans for fun continue with an  afternoon of archery  on Nov 17 at St Mary's. Join us and try for a bull's eye!

We are also planning a few opportunities to help others in the coming months. J oin us this month on a local  shopping trip for the Interfaith Food Pantry  in Pleasantville.

Click Here for more info about Youth Programs.

Confirmation is the opportunity to make a mature public affirmation of one's faith, commit to the responsibilities of one's Baptism, and receive the laying-on of hands by the bishop.

Confirmation Class 2019 - 2020
We began the year with a special  Confirmation Commitment Service on October 27th.  Confirmands meet monthly on Sundays at 3:30 PM in preparation for Confirmation in spring /early summer of 2020 (exact date TBD).

Our Prayers and Blessings upon this year's class:
Cole Fitzpatrick
Julia Aram
Charles Hayes
Hannah Fetzer

The next class will be in the library on Sunday November 24 at 3.30 pm, the topic being "REACHING OUT."

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.

Blessing of the Animals
In October, to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Father Alan and Deacon Shiane  blessed our beloved pets.

St. Mary's Recycles

Thanks goes to Father Alan for purchasing the bins with signs to clarify what goes where with recycling, and to Cindy Forrest for the wall sign.

Please bring in your used batteries and ink cartridges! (see details below) The kitchen also has bins with clear signs regarding disposal.

Thanks all for participating!
Support St. Mary's Operating Budget
Recycle Ink Cartridges at SMTV

Help us Earn $$

Please contribute your used
inkjet or laser printer cartridges 
from home or work!

We will

Follow these simple steps:
- Place cartridges in the box in the Parish Hall.
-Be sure the cartridge # is visible on the cartridge.
-Careful! No damaged cartridges can be used.
All proceeds will support St. Mary's operating budget!
(If you have any questions contact Janet Priscantelli at
Thanks for your support!
Sunday Lay Ministers
Lectors, Prayers of the People, Acolytes,  'Chalice Bearers' or 'LEMs' 

We are in great need of parishioners to serve at both 8:00am & 10:00am Sunday worship services. 

ATTENTION SUNDAY SERVICE ASSISTANTS: If you plan to sign up as LECTOR, please do so before the end of the day on Wednesday, so that Laurane can send you your Sunday readings and print your name in the Sunday bulletin.

('Chalice Bearers' or 'LEMs')
If you are interested in serving as Lector or Eucharistic Minister during Sunday mass please talk to Durrie Golding or contact her at ddgolding@gmail.comThe SignUp Genius for Service Assistants below.

SIGN UP HERE for SERVICE ASSISTANTS for Sept 2019-Jan 2020.

Please take a moment to see where you or your family members might be able to help out.

Thank you to those who have already signed up. If you have any questions, please email Durrie Golding at or call at (914) 589-3864.

Lectors are lay persons appointed to read the scriptures (Old Testament or New Testament reading) each Sunday from the lectern. They can also lead the Prayers of the People in the midst of the congregation during the service. The term "lector" is from the Latin, "to read." There is no license required for this lay ministry. Young Adults and Teens Welcome too!
Please join us to build an Intergenerational Acolyte  Ministry

There are many different roles available, so everyone is welcome. In particular, we would like to encourage adults to join as acolytes, creating an intergenerational core of servers, since this role is not limited to adolescent or young adults.   
If you have any questions and suggestions please contact  Vincent Kumaradjaja at We offer training and rehearsals before the service.
Community Bulletin Board
Special Announcements about our Parish
Please send submissions to by 26th of each month

Look Back Act Forward
Syracuse University Remembrance Scholars
Adam Bayer, Class of 2020
Steven Berrell w MA, 1988

Adam Bayer was chosen as a 2019 Remembrance Scholar, one of the highest honors at Syracuse University, awarded to Seniors for distinguished scholarship, citizenship and service to the community.

This is particularly meaningful to his mother, Mary Ann, as this pays tribute the students lost in the terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec 21, 1988 over Lockerbie, Scotland.  Adam represented Steven Russell Berrell, a friend of Mary Ann's during her time with all of the students on the Syracuse London Program in Fall, 1988.  (Thirty five of the students on the SUProgram were of the 270 who lost their lives in the attack.)

If there are any other SMTV families with news to share, please let us know at .
The Church of SMTV Info

Click Link to see this month's  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