News from Saint Thomas: week beginning March 3

Dear Friends,

Where will you be on Sundays in March and April? We have begun Lent, a time of preparation for the most sacred week of the Christian year: a week so holy that we call it HOLY WEEK. I encourage you to commit to regular Sunday attendance during Lent so that, as a community of faith, we experience Lent as a pilgrimage to the Cross and to Easter.

There are many devotional and study opportunities during Lent. These are summarized in a handy folded card available at the church, and you can find them on the website. This year we are recommending a Lent book by an Anglican spiritual giant in the mystical tradition, entitled, Lent with Evelyn Underhill.

Lent begins today, Ash Wednesday. The choir will sing twice during that day and will sing the beautiful setting of Psalm 51, Miserere mei, Deus, to the haunting music of Allegri. The clergy are available to hear confessions and give absolution and to give spiritual advice during the day. The Ash Wednesday schedule is below.

Finally, I am delighted to tell you that we have two guest preachers during Holy Week – Bishop Richard Chartres, the recently retired Bishop of London, and Mother Elaine Farmer, a retreat conductor and author from Australia; there are more details below.

“The creative spirit of God is redemptive and cherishing love; and it is as friends and fellow workers with the Spirit, tools of the Divine redemptive action that Christians are required to live. “You are the body of Christ,” said Saint Augustine to his communicants. That is to say, in you and through you the method and work of the Incarnation must go forward. You are meant to incarnate in your lives the theme of your adoration. You are to be taken, consecrated, broken and made means of grace; vehicles of the Eternal Charity.” Evelyn Underhill – from The Mystery of Sacrifice.


Your priest and pastor

Save the Date: Founders’ Day, March 3

The Centenary Celebration of the Choir School is approaching. It will have been 100 years since the founders, the Reverend Ernest Stires, Dr. T. Tertius Noble, and Mr. Charles Steele, opened the school on March 3, 1919.

As part of our celebrations, we will welcome the Reverend Dr. David Cobb (Acting Director of Contextual Education, the School of Theology, the University of the South, Sewanee) to be our preacher at the Solemn Mass at 11am. At our Solemn Evensong, our preacher will be the Bishop of New York, the Right Reverend Andrew M. L. Dietsche. An organ recital will follow given by several recent choristers, with a reception for Choir School Alumni and members of the Duffie-Noble Guilds.

For more information, please follow this link.

Lent at Saint Thomas Church

March 6-April 13, 2019

This Lent, St. Thomas’s Church invites you to share in a rich array of opportunities to discover where God seeks to meet you through our Lenten worship program, study and education, as well as times for quiet reflection and pilgrimage at other churches in Midtown. Please join us as we make our way through the pain and sorrow of Good Friday to encounter the new life and sustained hope of the Easter dawn!

To learn about the complete schedule of Lenten seasonal offerings, please follow this link.

Evening Theology Class with Jeremy Waldron

On Wednesday March 13 at 6:30-8pm in Andrew Hall, Professor Jeremy Waldron will conclude his popular series on “Biblical Justice,” focusing mainly on the concepts of judgment, justice, and social justice in the writings of the prophets. Everyone is welcome.

(The Saint Thomas Church Bookstore and Gift Shop has ordered the following books in relation to this course: Walter Houston, Justice: The Biblical Challenge and Enrique Nardoni, Rise Up O Judge: A Study of Justice in the Biblical World. These books are for background reading; the class will not assume familiarity with them.)

Ash Wednesday March 6

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. – Genesis 3:19

Services on Ash Wednesday

8am The Ash Wednesday Liturgy (Said)

12:10pm Solemn Liturgy of Ash Wednesday (Choral)

5:30pm Solemn Liturgy of Ash Wednesday (Choral)

8:30am-6:30pm Imposition of Ashes

Confessions on Ash Wednesday
In the Resurrection Chapel and the rear of the Chantry Chapel

11 am – 12 pm Fr. Spencer
From the end of the 12:10 pm liturgy until 2 pm Fr. Spencer
3:13 pm – 4:15 pm Fr. Moretz & Fr. Bennett
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm The Rector & Mo. Mallonee

Introducing our Guest Preacher for Holy Week: the Right Reverend Richard Chartres

We look forward to welcoming Bishop Chartres to Saint Thomas Church as our guest preacher for several services throughout Holy Week.

Richard Chartres first visited New York in the early 1980’s as Chaplain to Archbishop Robert Runcie. At that time Canon John Andrew, of blessed memory (who was himself a former Archbishop’s Chaplain), was Rector of Saint Thomas.

Subsequently, Richard Chartres became the parish priest of St. Stephen’s Rochester Row in the Diocese of London. At the same time he served as Gresham Professor of Divinity and co-authored a history of Gresham College.

In 1992, he was appointed Bishop of Stepney, one of the areas of the Diocese of London and was later translated to the Bishopric of London itself in 1995. He served the Diocese during a period of substantial growth for 22 years until his retirement in 2017. He remains Dean of HM Chapels Royal.

During his tenure as Diocesan Bishop, he fulfilled various national roles. He chaired the Church Commissioners who administer the historic assets of the Church of England. He was also Chair of the National Church Buildings Division, and founding Chair of “Shrink the Footprint,” the Church’s environmental campaign. He has also been the Archbishop’s envoy to the Orthodox Churches.

Most significantly, twelve years ago he participated in the founding of St. Mellitus College, which has made a large contribution to the increase of the numbers of ordinands in training. The number entering training this year nationally in the Church of England exceeds the total for any year since 1963.

After retiring from Parliament as a member of the Lords Spiritual, he was, unusually, re-appointed as a Life Peer, and is currently active in the legislative work of the House of Lords.

Richard Chartres is now an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese in Europe, and in his home Diocese of Salisbury.

He is married to Caroline and they have four children.

Introducing our Guest Preacher for the Three Hours Devotion on Good Friday: the Reverend Elaine Farmer

The Reverend Elaine Farmer, our preacher for the Three Hours Devotion on Good Friday, April 19, 12pm – 3pm, is a priest of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn and an internationally active scholar, teacher, and author. She was ordained in 1993, among the earliest women ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Australia. She has served in several parishes, taught homiletics and ministry formation, and been Associate Editor of
St Mark’s Review, Australia’s oldest theological journal.

She has preached in Anglican dioceses in Australia, New Zealand and in the United States, and preached in 2018 at Westminster Abbey. She has been a keynote speaker at various Australian and international conferences.

A book of her sermons, …And the Angels Held their Breath. Sixteen Reasons for Exploring the God-Option (Australasian Theological Forum) was translated into Bahasa Indonesia by the Jesuits and given episcopal imprimatur. She was also a contributor to Don’t Put Out the Burning Bush, a book on preaching and worship also published by the Australasian Theological Forum.

Elaine now lives in Canberra with her husband, Bill, whose diplomatic career which included appointments as Ambassador to Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia. They have two children and six grandchildren.