This Week at St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo
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Upcoming Calendar
All services are being live-streamed on Facebook (you do not need a Facebook account to participate).

Saturday, December 5
9pm - Compline

Second Sunday of Advent, December 6
10am - Holy Eucharist (in-person and livestreamed)

Tuesday, December 8
5pm - Evening Prayer

Wednesday, December 9
10am - Holy Eucharist (in-person and livestreamed)

Thursday, December 10
5pm - Evening Prayer
From the Rector
Dear Parishioners and Friends,

As the days of December go by, our thoughts turn to a visit by a jolly, bearded man. And no, I am not referring to myself. Santa Claus is coming to town!

Before the big night, however, the Church recognizes the Saint who would become “Santa” in popular imagination on his feast day of December 6.

Nicholas of Myra was a bishop who lived in the fourth century A.D. Very little is known about him, except that it is probable that he was a bishop present at the council of Nicaea in 325, and that he was imprisoned and tortured during the Diocletian persecution.

Several pious legends surround him, including an account of him losing his temper and punching a heretic (who hasn’t been tempted to do that?). Another tells of how he helped three girls escape being sold into slavery by their father by secretly leaving sacks of gold in their house to provide for their dowries. He became associated with the protection of children and sailors, and with gift-giving. In England, almost 400 churches were dedicated to him.

Nearly an unfortunate casualty of the iconoclasm of the Reformation, Nicholas nevertheless remained popular in the Netherlands. It is no surprise, then, that he came to New Amsterdam with the Dutch settlers as “Sinterklaas.” He is the patron Saint of New York City.

Father Rick
In Memoriam
It is with great sorrow that I announce the death of Jim Freeman, age 72, on November 25, 2020.

For more than 40 years, Jim was a choir member and lector at St. Mary’s. He was a lover of history, literature, and music, and always drew upon his vast knowledge to impress with an unusual fact or clever pun.

The church was a focal point of Jim's life, and after the 10am service he could always be found holding court in Bentley Hall during coffee hour.

During my sermon last Sunday, I shared some of my remembrances of Jim (here is the video of the service, Jim's remembrance is at 24m44s). Jim's funeral service will take place on Saturday, December 12th, at 2pm -- due to COVID restrictions, please plan to join us online at our Facebook page (you do not need a Facebook account to participate).

May Jim's soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest In Peace. Amen.

Father Rick
Christmas at St. Mary's
Back in April, when we were celebrating the Resurrection with a Eucharist on the lawn with just me and Pete struggling to keep everything from blowing over, our hope was that this would all be over in a few weeks or maybe months.

Here we are, seven months later, and while vaccines are on the horizon, COVID infections are spiking in our country at an exponential rate. No one knows what the future will bring, and while we remain vigilant and hopeful, we must still be prepared for the worst.

Whatever happens, just like at Easter, the life of the Church will go on. We will still decorate the church richly, and plan to engage a string ensemble for Christmas Eve, as well as our vocal soloists and our gifted former organ scholar, who is back home from college. Please consider donating for Christmas flowers and music -- we will make this year's offering as beautiful as anything in the past, and the music will be in memory of Jim Freeman.
While every service will continue to be available online, our intent is to also have in-person services at both St. John's and St. Mary's on Christmas Eve, as well as an in-person service on Christmas Day. However, we are constantly monitoring the local situation, and will do whatever is required to keep people safe. We ask your prayers and forbearance as we navigate these waters. Please know that no one is pleased with these circumstances, and we all want a good old-fashioned Christmas as usual. We will do our best to make this happen.

Given the number of people that usually attend the family service on Christmas Eve and restrictions on using the building for multiple services on the same day, the family service will be entirely online with children participating virtually -- please let us know here if your child would like to participate, and we will coordinate to record their part in advance.

Unfortunately, our champagne toast on Christmas Eve, and Father Rick and Pete's annual Christmas Open House at the rectory, will not take place, but we will be sharing greetings virtually across the community. Please record your own brief Christmas greeting at home in front of a festive scene (in landscape mode) and send it to by December 14th.

On Christmas day, the bells of St. Mary's will ring out hourly with Christmas carols from noon to 6pm. Please feel free to come to the churchyard and sing along!

Father Rick
Outreach Update
St Mary's continues to respond to individual families in our community who are in need of financial or food assistance in an ongoing way. Many are having to ask for help for the first time in their lives and are reticent and embarrassed about doing so. We are grateful to neighbors and friends who contact St Mary's and alert us to the need because we do have the means to assist if we are made aware of a situation.

Due to Covid 19 precautions we were unable to distribute the usual Thanksgiving Baskets, but 41 families received $100 ShopRite gift cards instead, and, working with the Sloatsburg Food Pantry, we made sure that all these families had access to the pantry or received home deliveries of groceries.

We are planning to repeat in mid December what we did at Thanksgiving. St Mary's Outreach is grateful for any donations to help fund this local Holiday Cheer! 100% of donations to outreach go directly to those in need.
We would like to mention a special act of kindness and generosity. Heather Bullard, and her team at Tuxedo Park Events, asked St Mary's to identify a family who would enjoy being donated one of their gourmet Thanksgiving Dinners with all the trimmings. The recipients were overjoyed, loved the food and were touched by the kindness shown to them.

St Mary's Outreach has two completely separate sections financially. Local, and Carryou Ministries in South Africa which supports destitute families and AIDS orphans. All money donated to St Mary's Outreach is credited for local use and those donating to Carryou do so specifically. This Christmas, working with St John's Episcopal Church in Ramsey and parishioners and friends beyond St Mary's, we have been able to send significant funds to Carryou for special food parcels for the 32 families we sponsor, and small stipends for all caregivers and sponsored students. For a December update on Carryou click here.

If you have questions or know of people in need, please contact Sue Heywood at (845) 351-3473 or (201) 248-0742.
The Light of Christ
A sanctuary lamp hangs in the church directly above the tabernacle, where the Blessed Sacrament is kept in reserve. The perpetual light of the lamp reminds us that Jesus is sacramentally present, and calls us to greater reverence for his Body as well as to prayer in his presence.

The glass vigil candles that fit inside the lamp can be given in memory of a loved one, as a petition for some need, or in thanksgiving for answered prayer. Each light burns for an entire week, and the cost is $20. With your donation, please leave a note describing your prayer's intention as well as the week you would like the light to burn. You may donate online or mail a check to St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo, P.O. Box 637, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987.

This week, the sanctuary lamp is given by Maureen, Victoria, & Talbot Love in memory of Jim Freeman.
Stewardship Appeal
On Sunday, November 22, we celebrated the harvest and gathered in all of your gifts to bless for the coming year. November is stewardship month at St. Mary's, a time when we give thanks for the for the time, talent, and treasure that our members give to support the work of the Church here in Tuxedo, and we ask everyone to consider becoming a member and making their pledge for the coming year. Please see Father Rick's video message with more information and share what St. Mary's means to you with our "Why I Love St. Mary's" survey. And most importantly, please become a member and make your pledge for 2021.
How to contact us...
Office: 845.351.5122
Physical Address: 10 Fox Hill Rd, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 637, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987