November 21, 2018
This Week at St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo
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Upcoming Calendar
Thursday, November 22 - Thanksgiving Day
10am - Eucharist at St. John's in Arden
Church office and preschool closed

Friday, November 23
Church office and preschool closed

Sunday, November 25 - Christ the King
8am - Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
9:50am - Infant/childcare available and Sunday School begins
10am - Holy Eucharist in the Church with music
11am - Food and fellowship follows in Bentley Hall

Wednesday, November 28
10am - Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
11am - Chapel for Preschool 3's and 4's

Thursday, November 29
11am - Chapel for Preschool 2's
From the Rector
Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Do you remember that old Bing Crosby song that goes, "When I'm worried, and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep"? It is a very American song, focusing on the positive to drive away the negative, always with an eye to a better tomorrow. A cynical person could interpret that sentiment as saccharine and a bit naive, but it is nevertheless a defining part of our character. During the elections, I read a quote from a Russian man who said, "You Americans vote because you think it will make things better. We vote because we don't want it to get worse." I think he is on to something. We know that the world (and indeed our country) are not perfect, but we firmly believe, regardless of political affiliation, that we have it within us to use our actions, voices, and votes to make things  better. 

Much like our Christian character, our national character is such that we want others to share in the blessings of this life with us. We want to help others to lift themselves up and out of poverty. We want to give others the tools we have been given to lead a decent, healthy, and stable life. To be sure, in many places in our country, we can find examples of deep and abiding poverty; places where for generations people have been conditioned to believe that there is no hope for them. We cannot forget these, our brothers and sisters. But elsewhere in the world, the depths of poverty are almost unimaginable by American standards.

Yesterday, as we finished our tour of old town Manila, we were unable to get a car back to our hotel due to a diplomatic visit by the President of China. Riot police stood shoulder to shoulder along his route, and the already traffic-snarled city became even more chaotic. After walking a few blocks out of the restricted zone, we were able to flag down a local cabbie. I wanted to take one of those little motorcycle side car taxis, but Pete refused on the grounds that we might not make it back to the hotel alive. Once in our cab, the driver (who has been at it for 16 years and works all day and night to feed his family of five) deftly wove us through lanes of traffic, around trucks, and just past some pedestrians. (Pete told him that he would make an excellent NYC cab driver, which he took as a great compliment.) Far from the main roads, as we wended our way through various neighborhoods, we got a good look at what life is like for far too many people.

The place that stood out to me the most was an area with many different scrap metal dealers. As we passed the cramped and ramshackle structures, we could see all kinds of life coming and going from their darkened interiors. Fruit vendors and merchants of various sorts jostled for space on the busy sidewalks, naked children could be seen running from house to house, shoeless peasants sat on the ground pounding electrical wires to harvest the copper, emaciated and limping cats and dogs were everywhere. We made it safely back to our hotel and said goodbye to our cab driver, whose mind was blown when he learned that he had been driving a priest all that time. I gave his cab and him a quick blessing.

All of this inspired me to examine myself and to consider how blessed I am. Not like the Pharisee in Luke 18:11 who prayed openly, "Lord, I am thankful that you have not made me like these..." Rather, in a spirit of humility and with an awareness of our common humanity, I desire to glorify God by using what he has given me to reach out in love and compassion to others. The sight of crippling poverty cannot discourage us, but should strengthen our resolve to do what we can faithfully. At St. Mary's, we have a goodly heritage of not only sharing our blessings with others, but also of joining our brothers and sisters on our common journey. I invite you to examine your own lives, and to consider how God is calling you to give of what has been so freely bestowed upon you. Bluntly put, there is no mission without a margin. In this season of thanksgiving, I ask you to consider your generous annual gift to St. Mary's (more info below), that we may glorify God in our time.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Philippines!
Father Rick
November is Stewardship Month
This month, you will hear from several parishioners about the importance of financial giving as a spiritual practice, but also as a practical need. The reality of ministry in a large, historic building with a robust program is that doing these things takes money, and expenses almost never decrease. St. Mary's relies heavily on the generosity of her parishioners and friends to meet our budget. Your pledge is not only a significant part of your spiritual and civic life, but also a valuable tool for helping the parish leadership get an accurate picture of the financial year ahead.

There are many worthy causes out there, and we understand that as engaged citizens you may contribute to multiple organizations. When you do, please bear in mind that the donor base for some high-profile entities dwarfs that of a parish church like us, and that we receive absolutely no outside funding. Your gift to St. Mary's will ensure that the God of Abraham is glorified not only through our worship, but in our deeds. God's word will be preached and heard, and faithful people will be inspired to go out to do his will. The hungry will be fed, the naked clothed, the sick comforted. The sheer amount of good that flows forth from this place is astonishing, and it is all because of you.

From now through Sunday, December 2, please make your pledge or one-time donation to the mission and ministry of this integral part of our community. May God bless you in your generosity.
Thanksgiving Day at St. John's in Arden
A Thanksgiving service will be celebrated at Saint John’s in Arden at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 22. If you have never been, it is a magical little church, tucked into the woods on Arden Road in Harriman, we hope you will join us. Thank you to Father Cromey for officiating at this service while Father Rick is away.

Directions: From the Tuxedo Park gate, turn left on Route 17 and continue north until you see the sign for Arden. Turn right, cross over the thruway, and stay to the left. Continue up the hill, and stay to the right. Pass through the open gate and continue up the hill to the clearing, where you will find the church.
Outreach Update
St Mary’s outreach has been busy, as always. We have helped our people locally and beyond by supporting the Helping Hands ministry to the homeless. Despite a fire in their kitchen, the work goes on, and with winter approaching, your donations are needed. We have also assembled 18 Thanksgiving baskets for families in need in our community. Nationally, we are donating to Episcopal Relief and Development's efforts in addressing the California wildfires. Internationally, we continue our commitment to the Carryou ministry in South Africa. You can read more detail about what we've been doing by clicking here .
Mailing List Updates
It was brought to our attention, just prior to the Progressive Dinner, that a number of community members had not received invitations. We looked into this immediately and found that there were multiple email lists used in the past, and we mistakenly used the wrong one.

Over the winter months, we will be working on organizing our contact information to accurately reflect the community so that an oversight like this will not happen again. We sincerely apologize for this unintentional occurrence.

The Saint Mary’s family is one of inclusion, an extension of your family and of the greater community. Our doors are always open to you all and everyone is welcome. Please let us know the email address of anyone who you are aware is not receiving regular updates.
All are truly welcome at St. Mary's, which is located within the historic gates of Tuxedo Park and serves the entire Tuxedo community. Please tell the gatehouse you're going to St. Mary's, proceed thru the gates and we're on the right (plenty of parking available).
How to contact us...
Office: 845.351.5122
PreSchool: 845.351.2389
Physical Address: 10 Fox Hill Rd, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 637, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987