Letter from the Rector
"Breathe on me Breath of God fill me with life anew."
Hymnal # 508
Nkosi had lived with AIDS all his life.
At the very tender age of 12, Nkosi died after being in a coma for a couple of months.
Nkosi was one of the thousands of children who had AIDS living in South Africa.
He fought valiantly, and spoke passionately, touching the hearts of doctor's scientists and presidents alike.
He championed the cause of telling the world about AIDS, as too many children in Asia, Africa the US around the world are born HIV+.
The Nkosi's of this world teach us and challenge us to serve a world in need, where we know no person by the coat that he/she wears, rather by the heart that Jesus sees.
At Pentecost, while we celebrate the birth of the church, we also celebrate and birth into our world a spirit of RENEWAL, COMPASSION and ACCEPTANCE.
Pentecost coaxes us to hear the rumblings outside, as proclaimed in the scriptures, moving us beyond our comfort zones, into a world where we can be used to change the face of the earth.
Our Baptismal covenant affirms this Pentecostal imperative:
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.......Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
We respond.....I will with God's help!
In his book, "An African Prayer Book," Archbishop Desmond Tutu, my dear friend and mentor, encourages us to be Pentecostal people: "Wonderfully, God created us because God wanted us, not because God needed us. We were loved, that is why we were created. God created you because God loved you. You do not therefore need to do anything to earn or deserve God's love. You do not need to impress God so that God will love you. God already loves you and will love you forever and ever. There is nothing you can do that will make God love you less. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. God's love for you is infinite, perfect and eternal. Tremendous stuff."
Recently I wrote to Archbishop Desmond, as I was preparing for the Zoom conversation, with Deacon Shiane and Alex Fitzgerald, asking him for a word for our time. He wrote:
"I think you could challenge them to think of what they want to share at this time. It could be the last time they have such an opportunity.
We pray God's strength and support for you all and send you our warmest greetings.
Much love and blessings,"
You see, Pentecost tells us that as the beloved of God, we can join God in the work of renewing the earth, renewing our congregations, renewing our city. Pentecost tells us that we are living flames looking beyond doubt and fear. Pentecost tells us that we can beat the evil of hatred racism or discrimination.
Pentecost tells us that we should reach out to ALL God's people in order to bring healing and reconciliation to a world that knows too much darkness, selfishness and judgment.
Pentecost tells us, that, however challenging at times, there is a place and a space for all at the table.
Pentecost tells us that we, though still sinners, have received the lavish gifts of the Spirit, as the marked and sealed of Jesus.
Pentecost tells of Peace, coaxing us to be true instruments of God's Peace in God's world.
Pentecost recalls the words of Jesus as the wounded healer, "Peace be with you."
Pentecost epitomizes the hope of new life, as we encounter the breath of God filling us with life anew, empowering the marginalized, the poor and the oppressed.
Pentecost will rekindle within each of us the fire of God's love, in order to renew the face of the earth.
On August 28th 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: "I have a dream........" Today nearly 57 years later, we have the responsibility to demand that it is no longer a dream. It is our right and should be our reality.
May God help us in our day, to continue the hard work of restorative justice, ending racism and bigotry, as we become tireless in our endeavors to respect the dignity of every human being.
With my prayers and God's peace!
Sermons are available on our website under the worship tab. Click
- Holy Eucharist Rite II at 10:00 am
The "Re-Opening" of SMTV
God willing, and failing any further unforeseen circumstance, the intention now is to have the first service at the
altar (behind the church) on
July 19, at 10.00 am. WEATHER PERMITTING.
We will follow
important safety guidelines as outlined below.
Please know that services will continue to be broadcast indefinitely on Sundays at 10.00 am, Mondays at 9.30 am and Wednesdays at noon.
Starting on Sunday July 19,
public worship will resume at Saint Mary's
See the latest letter from Bishop Dietsche,
Bishop Dietsche has expressed his concern and care about reopening too soon, and that he wants all to know that he supports our decisions. He has reminded us that we are taking first steps, not final steps, encouraging us to do it cautiously, conservatively, and carefully, and that we are not returning to normal worship
We are beginning worship with restrictions.
We invite you to take note of the following
and summer schedule.
- Mass at the outside altar on July 19, weather permitting
- If raining, we will do the usual audio broadcast via spreaker.com
- 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
- Please bring your own chairs along
- 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
- Mass at the outside altar behind the church on July 26 at 10.00 am
- Morning Prayer at the outside altar/or in church on August 2, 9, 16,23,30 at 10:00am
- Mass IN the church on September 6, at 10.00 am
- Details of post Labor Day arrangements will follow in due course
- Live podcasts of the services will also be broadcast during July and August. And beyond, as may be prudent
The church building will be regularly disinfected.
Two anonymous donors have kindly gifted the church with a votive candle stand, in loving memory of Timothy Vernon.
This gift will not only add to the beauty and esthetics of our sacred space, it will indeed provide all an opportunity "to light a candle," as we seek to bring light and hope to our world.
To this end, the church will be open on Wednesdays from 11.30 am - 3.30 pm, for prayer and reflection, starting on July 1, through July 29 (not during August). Starting up again on September 9.
Please sanitize your hands with the hand sanitizer at the back of the church as you enter
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.
News from the Church Warden, John Priscantelli
I hope you are upset as we are about the injustice and violence that our country condones towards people of color. We have never had to deal with the discrimination that some people experience every day.
I am thankful for the leadership of St. Mary's and of the New York Diocese during these trying times.
I know the pain runs deep for many regarding racism and social injustice. I hope we can all move forward with a better understanding of how systemic racism can directly and indirectly affect the lives of both people inside and outside of our parish that we care about.
We owe a debt of gratitude to three parishioners for their efforts in obtaining federal and Diocese funds that will help us through this pandemic.
Rick Romeo spearheaded an effort to obtain over $32,000 from the federal paycheck protection program. His background as a tax attorney was invaluable. This amount is forgivable. Dave Aplin provided constant support in this effort as well as his financial expertise. Rich Juzumas helped with his helpful insight and legal expertise. Truly an incredible joint effort.
In addition, Dave was also able to secure $37,000 (corrected from Financial Update sent on 6/9) of aid from the Diocese from a und that was established by the Trinity Church in New York City. Many thanks to Dave for his extraordinary effort.
These funds are obviously a major help. They will help us to overcome the potential cancellation of this year's fundraisers ( the Strawberry Festival and Auction Dinner).
Please bear in mind that we still need your annual pledge. This is the financial lifeblood of our church. We cannot maintain our current staff and services without it.
Please do not forget to fulfill your annual pledge.
Meet the Parish
The Sobers Family
Wayne and Yvonne moved to Chappaqua in September 1974 from the Bronx, NY. At the time, the age of their three children were 10 (Loren), 3 (Julian) and 5 Mos. (Stephanie). All of the children were confirmed at St. Mary the Virgin and graduated from the Chappaqua Schools. The highly rated reputation of the Chappaqua schools was a major reason the family moved to Chappaqua.
It was always Wayne and Yvonne's preference to attend their local episcopal parish. However, when they downsized and moved to White Plains in August 2000, their ties to SMTV were so strong that they didn't want to break them.
They officially became parishioners at SMTV in the Fall of 1975 after Wayne completed his official obligations as Warden and Building Committee Chairmen at St. Luke's E.C. in the Bronx. It was there that he successfully led a project that raised more than $300,000 to expand that church's seating capacity.
At St. Mary's, Wayne has served on the vestry, including two terms as a Warden; he currently serves as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and Usher. Yvonne has served as co-chair of the Strawberry Festival, has been a member of the alter guild and, in the past, helped to organize St. Mary's 'Attic Treasures' sales. Both of their sons have served as acolytes.
Wayne and Yvonne have been married 50 years. "SMTV is a warm and welcoming parish and we look forward to seeing it succeed in acquiring and embracing more of the town of new castle residents as members."
Congrats Graduates of 2020
Our first "Drive By Car Parade"
The important 2020 milestones of moving up, graduations and confirmation did not pass without recognition from the St Mary's community. The times may be uncertain, but our admiration and appreciation for our youth is steadfast.
On Saturday, June 20th parishioners and family gathered
at a social distance to celebrate our young people
with cheerful waves, signs with words of wisdom and tooting horns.
Thank you Dana Fenlon for coordinating this beautiful and heartfelt event!
A special shout out to the class of 2020!!
(Thank you to Sophia Childs for the photos)
8th grade Grads
Julia Aram (Confirmand)
Cole Fitzgerald (Confirmand)
Charlie Hayes (Confirmand)
9th grade Confirmand
Hannah Fetzers (Confirmand)
High School Grads
Will Dionne, Jack Fitzgerald, Eddie Arana-Ortiz
Charles Allen/ Wesleyan
Jacob Bayer/ SUNY New Paltz
Adam Bayer/ Syracuse
Graham Hanchet/ Carleton
Katie Dionne/ NYU
Liam Fenlon/ MIT
Lyle Paskowitz/ Johns Hopkins
Christopher Kumaradjaja/ Columbia University
Masters of Fine Arts
Jackson Dammann/ Manhattanville
Blessings to the lives and achievements of our young parishioners!
Send Reflections and Thoughts
On Sunday, June 7th The interfaith council together with the HGHS Black Students Union and ENOUGH, in collaboration with Town of New Castle Holocaust and Human Rights Committee, the New Castle Police Department, and the New Castle Community Media Center planned a vigil around the recent racial events.
Click on link above to view this powerful, act of solidarity. We were lucky to have Alex Fitzgerald speak on the outrage of injustice and impacts of systemic racism on behalf of SMTV.
We are living in unprecedented times and amidst distressing events. You are welcome to submit to Father Alan your reflections and thoughts, as many of our young parishioners have done recently. It is clear this is a challenging time and many question of basic values in the environment at HGHS and in Chappaqua.
We hope to continue to have more discussions about how we can come together as a community to support those who suffer from a broken system of racial inequality and make meaningful progress.
News from Deacon Shiane
Some Favorite Things
I miss you all, and I know in my heart that this too will pass, and we all will have learned things we could not have possibly learned had we not gone through this storm together. I miss you and I love you all.
In the mean time, I have some favorite things that make me smile. I am hoping Parishioners will also share some of their favorite inspirations from quotes, poems, shows/movies or jokes. Please send me your contributions to Shiane.email@example.com.
I continue with a few more of mine.
"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."
Maya Angelou's "Touched by An Angel"
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of loves light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
Examination of Faith
When Mommy told me that the little baby growing in Margie died last night, I was surprised and angry.
I prayed to You, God
I prayed every night and
I prayed every day and
We all prayed that this Sweet little baby would live.
When Mommy told me that The Baby died, I said,
"Then our prayers didn't work!
God didn't listen! God didn't make a miracle for the baby!"
Mommy said that You always listen to our prayers, but sometimes Your answer is not what we were wishing for, and "prayers are not "wishes". She said that maybe letting the Baby come into Heaven as such a tiny angel was a miracle.
There are miracles every single day except we don't always notice them, because we were hoping or wanting for something different from what we got.
So God, Thank You for all the miracles You give to us each day.
And thank you for listening to all of our prayers. And even though I am sad about Margie's baby, I am not angry with You.
By: Mattie J.T. Stepanek
NOT EVERYTHING IS CANCELLED
Sunshine is not cancelled
Spring is not cancelled
Love is not cancelled
Relationships are not cancelled
Reading is not cancelled
Naps are not cancelled
Devotion is not cancelled
Music is not cancelled
Dancing is not cancelled
Imagination is not cancelled
Kindness is not cancelled
Conversation is not cancelled
Hope is not cancelled
God's Love is not cancelled
Last line by: Deacon Shiane
Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
It is the courage to continue that counts
by: Winston Churchill
Jesus a Pilgrimageby: James Martin, SJ
On Earth as it is in Heavenby: Warren W. Wiersbe
Hunter KillerActors: Gerard Butler and Common
God's CompassActors: Karen Abercrombie and TC Stallings
The Ultimate GiftActors: Drew Fuller and James Garner
The Lord's Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
No one Like Our God by Lincoln Brewster
Greetings from your Parish Administrator
While strolling through the grounds of St. Mary's, which I am wont and blessed to do, I came across this brave little violet peeking out of the stone wall of the Memorial Garden.
Imagine the strength and persistence it must have taken to do that! It spoke to me of faith, grace and courage during these difficult times!
I hope you are all healthy and happy, and wish you a glorious June!
Newsletter Co-Editors Announcement!
From the Communications Commission
A wonderful mother daughter team has volunteered to move forward as Co-Editors of The Bell!
Blair Childs and her daughter Sophia are eager to learn new skills and assist St. Mary's Communication Team. They continue a long tradition of dedicated Bell Editors.
Sophia is a Sophomore at Horace Greeley... and
is interested in getting experience with publications and graphic design.
Via Zoom meetings, MaryAnn Bayer, will assist and train them with Constant Contact program, format and templates and continue to help them as they work on the Fall 2020 issues!
|Vestry Meeting Minutes
Meeting Minutes are available on bulletin board outside of Parish Hall office or by contacting Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Calling All Cooks
The Good St. Maryans
The Christian way teaches us to care for one another, but when someone needs help, we are often at a loss how to best assist. Whether it is celebrating a new addition to the family, honoring those whose lives have passed or extending a hand while healing, the Good St. Maryan's is here to support the parish community through life's steps and missteps.
Over the years, the Good St. Maryan's, led by
Beverley Streeter and Dina Painter, has quietly, discreetly and lovingly extend a hand with meals and rides. I have been the grateful recipient of meals after the birth of my daughter, Catherine, and after the death of my mother, and like others, I will never forget how helpful the meals were or the kindness that was expressed the extra care the Good St. Maryans took to make allergy-safe meals.
If you have the time and talent to make an occasional dinner to share, then please sign up for this committee. When there is a need, you will be asked to participate on a specific Meal Train, an organized meal giving around a significant life event for a member of the parish. You will get a link to the specific Meal Train either from within mealtrain.com or via your personal email which has a unique web address which acts like a key for entry to your Meal Train. For example:
. Only those who have this unique address are able to participate. Your Meal Train information is not public. To participate, you will click on the 'Volunteer For This' button next to a preferred date/activity and follow the instructions. There will usually be some specific information about time for delivery, food allergies and meal preferences to help you plan your meal. In addition, you can see what other volunteers are making so that you can ensure some variety for the recipient.
Our dinners will help ensure that the parishioner (and family) will have healthy, homecooked nourishment and give them strength. Please do not expect or plan to stay and visit or eat with them.
If you would like to sign up to volunteer for the Good St. Maryan's, please contact Dana Fenlon at
If you have a need or know of a family who is struggling in any way and needs pastoral care, please contact Fr. Alan.
Church School News
FROM COLEEN MACGREEVEY, Director, Church School
We miss seeing everyone's smiling faces every Sunday!
Our weekly lessons continued through May in the weekly e-blast - while I miss seeing everyone in person, I hope you have enjoyed some religious education structure to your weeks. I will continue to send the Gospel lessons through the summer.
While we won't be able to close out the school year together, I hope you have a wonderful, unique summer and can't wait to hear all about it in the Fall!
We will be announcing details of a Fall start-up soon.
Class met via live stream ZOOM
Congrats to our Confirmands, the first Confirmation class to have done three sessions via classes via Zoom.
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.
During these uncertain times, St. Marys continues to remain available to deliver food to those in need.
Coupled with the Vestry Outreach ministry, headed by Bob Nesbit, our young Parishioner, Alex Fitzgerald recently sent out this plea via Facebook.
Hello, my name is Alex Fitzgerald and I am a junior at Horace Greeley. This pandemic has caused great shifts in my daily life and of those in our community. For many of our neighbors food insecurity is currently on the rise as jobs become more unstable and certain items grow more difficult to attain. From a young age, I have volunteered at the Interfaith Emergency Food Pantry of Pleasantville and recently received news that, although they are fairing better than some other pantries, they are in dire need of various food products. I ask you all to please consider opening your pantry doors or Target grocery list to donate to the pantry.
In order to lend a hand, I am collecting food for the distribution next week. The following items have been the most challenging to receive from Feeding Westchester so if you are willing, it would be greatly appreciated if while you are ordering or in the store buying food, you throw in some additional groceries for the pantry. I will be collecting donations at my house and will deliver them before next week's distribution. Please private message my mom if you would like my address to drop any food. Thank you for your time and note that any donations, large or small, are very much appreciated by our neighbors in need.
From Helena Terilli, one of the directors of the Interfaith Emergency Food Pantry, outlining the current need for a food drive:
With the exception of fresh produce, our pantry has not been able to order food from Feeding Westchester in the last 4-6 weeks. They require us to order a mixed pallet (fresh veggies, frozen food, dry goods) which doesn't work for our pantry for several reasons: 1. transportation of pallet 2. receiving fresh veggies a week before our distribution 3. receiving many items that we know are not popular.
To Feeding Westchester's credit, larger pantries can take advantage of these pallets and this may work out really well for them. Also, FW has mobile pantry trucks visiting all neighborhoods in Westchester.
While your donation to FW serves the greater need, your contribution of food to Alex serves our local pantry.
Needed Food Items:
Shelf-stable milk (not chocolate)
White rice (1 or 2 lb. bags)
Canned vegetables (especially corn)
Dried beans (in bags) black, lentils, red beans
Please email my mom a
f you would like to drop any food at my house.
Per a recent notice, we are also partnering with Chappaqua Interfaith Council, First Congregational Church, Chappaqua and Emanuel Lutheran Church in Pleasantville to create and collect masks. See more details HERE.
Contact SMTV Outreach Coordinator, Bob Nesbit at Bob@nesbitpartners.com for more details.
*SMTV Organization of the Month is designed to raise awareness
of the Outreach Organizations that SMTV supports.
Special Announcements about our Parish
Please send submissions to SMTVBell@gmail.com by 26th of each month
Alert: FOR YOUR SAFTEY
Not long ago several unlocked cars with keys in them were
stolen from Devoe Road in Chappaqua.
More recently an unlocked car with keys in was stolen on
Paulding Drive in Chappaqua and several unlocked cars (no keys)
on Paulding and Kitchewan had things stolen from them.
Reminder and note of caution:
Don't leave valuables in your cars.
Lock your car. Take your keys.
If there are any other SMTV parishioners with news to share, please let us know at
The Church of SMTV Info
Click Link to listen to past
An UPDATED DIRECTORY (August 2018) has been posted to our church
. (Located in drop-down under Parish Life.)
Church of St. Mary the Virgin
191 S. Greeley Avenue
Tel: 914 238-8751
THE CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN
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.