December 10, 2020
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 12
9pm - Compline

Third Sunday of Advent, December 13
10am - Holy Eucharist (in-person and livestreamed)

Tuesday, December 15
5pm - Evening Prayer

Wednesday, December 16
10am - Holy Eucharist (in-person and livestreamed)
2pm to 6pm - Sloatsburg Food Pantry is open (see below)

Thursday, December 17
5pm - Evening Prayer
From the Rector
Dear Parishioners and Friends,

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:4-6

The third Sunday of Advent (the “pink candle” Sunday) is properly called Gaudete Sunday because of the passage of scripture referenced above. In the celebration of the traditional Mass, the service begins with an Introit, or “entrance”, which consists of sentences of scripture and a snippet of a psalm, usually sung to Gregorian chant. This loosely corresponds to the entrance hymn in our Anglican tradition.
And while Gregorian chant is truly awe-inspiring, my personal favorite choral setting of this passage comes to us from the English composer Henry Purcell, and dates to c. 1682. You can listen by clicking here. We can never have too much English Renaissance music in church!

The point of the day, obviously, it to rejoice in the ever-closer advent of Our Lord. As we remember his first coming as a baby in Bethlehem, we also prepare joyfully for his final coming in glory. How can we be joyful, though, in the midst of so much suffering? The theologian Henri Nouwen described the difference between joy and happiness. Unlike simple happiness, he said, joy is "the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing – sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death - can take that love away."

Let us rejoice, then, in the knowledge that our Lord and savior Jesus Christ loves us completely and without condition. And as we prepare for Christmas, let us strive to love others—and ourselves—as he loves us.

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 some in-person services on Christmas Eve and 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.

The 9pm service on Christmas Eve and the 10am service on Christmas Day will be open to in-person worship; please sign-up in advance here to attend services in-person.

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 Request
Does anyone have a car [ideally an SUV] that they no longer use or need? If your answer is 'yes' then please consider donating it to St Mary's-in-Tuxedo. You may qualify for a tax deduction while supporting a great cause!

Billy Saul, long time garbage collector for Tuxedo Park working for Sterling Carting, was severely injured in September 2019. He has been unable to work since. He and the family, Teresa, his wife, and four children, are having some financial hardship. Currently, he has no transport as his Ford Explorer (2002 vintage with 215,000 miles) is no longer working and he couldn't afford to get it repaired. St Mary's and friends offered to pay for the repair if a garage would pick it up, assess the problems and send an estimate. However, the garage has stated categorically that the frame has safety issues and it is beyond repair.

The Saul family live in a relatively rural area of NY State where public transport is sparse. Please can someone help? Contact me, Sue Heywood  201 248 0742 or the Rector, Father Rick 917 658 6314 if you have questions or can offer a vehicle. If the donated car needs some work on it, St Mary's Outreach would seek donations from friends and organize its repair.

Thank you!
Sue Heywood, St Mary's Outreach Chair
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
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 Harrison Bush in thanksgiving for Dennis Francis. Happy Birthday Dennis!
Stewardship Appeal
On Sunday, November 22, we celebrated the harvest and gathered in all of your gifts to bless for the coming year. We gave thanks 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 watch a parishioner testimonial here, along with 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