Chimes May 2019

In this issue

  • A Message from Rev. Gwyneth
  • Easter at St. John's
  • 2019 Easter Appeal - Lifting Up Westchester
  • Update from the Search Committee
  • Outreach Update
  • Gabriel the Archangel Heads to the Restoration Spa for Six Weeks
  • Children's Ministries
  • Parish Thank Yous
  • Good News!
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • Recipe of the Month
A Message from Rev. Gwyneth


New Eucharistic Prayer and Leaflet at 10 AM

The Easter Season (or “Eastertide) begins on Easter Sunday (April 21st this year) and ends seven weeks later on Pentecost (June 9th.) During Eastertide the Paschal Candle is lit for all services, we do not say the Confession, and we say a lot of Alleluias. On Pentecost we celebrate the Holy Spirit coming as tongues of flame to the Disciples. It is a traditional day for Baptisms, and this year it coincides with the Parish Picnic, so it will be especially festive.

During Easter Season, we are using a Eucharistic Prayer from Enriching Our Worship 1 (“EOW”) (1998). EOW provides official (i.e., approved by General Convention) supplemental liturgical texts for the Rite II services in the Book of Common Prayer ("BCP" (1979). One of the guiding principles of EOW is to use only non-gendered language for God. It also incorporates other developments in theology.

After Pentecost, we’ll use one of the Eucharistic Prayers in the BCP, which provides two Eucharistic Prayers for Rite I and four for Rite II, and two Post Communion prayers for Rite II. (On Easter Sunday, we used Eucharistic Prayer D from the BCP, the least used.)

The entire 10 am service is now in one leaflet, with the exception of the hymns. This was done to make the service more user-friendly, especially for newcomers and guests. Many churches do this for the Rite II service. I have learned that if a parish wants to welcome newcomers, then the service leaflet needs to be read from the perspective of someone who has never attended a church service before. Having some of the service in the BCP (where the service does not follow consecutive page numbers), some in an insert, some in a leaflet, and then having to find the service music (music marked with an “S”) in time to sing it – can be confusing, and distracts from the experience of worship.

The Newcomers Committee suggested this as a way to be more welcoming, and the clergy had been thinking of doing this, so the timing worked, especially with the new Eucharistic Prayer.

I appreciate the concern about using more paper, and every church who does a full-service leaflet wrestles with this. We use 1 to 2 more sheets per leaflet. On balance, we have decreased the number of leaflets printed to more accurately reflect how many are used; we have few snail mail communications and are hoping to have fewer. (Sharing leaflets is a way to save paper, but this idea usually goes over like a lead balloon.)

One Service at 9:00 AM This Summer

During the summer, we will have one Sunday service at 9 am. This is something that many churches of our size have been doing for years. Fewer people come to church in the summer, so there are plenty of seats, and people are more likely to come to an early service so they can go out and have summer fun. It also results in an opportunity for people who always attend either the 8 or 10 am service to meet parishioners who attend the other service. (We’ll be doing this July 7 – September 1.)

As always, I encourage you to be open to trying something new. Nothing is set in stone. Part of the role of the Interim is to do things differently so that when the Rector arrives, s/he will have options because the parish will have tried things more than one way.

Rev. Gwyneth

Easter was glorious!

The church was beautifully arrayed for Easter. And can you believe all those boxes of bulletins for all of the Holy Week services? Good thing we had pizza for sustenance.
"This is really embarrassing... we have met many times ... but I cannot remember your name!"

Have you ever been at Coffee Hour and had a good and interesting conversation with someone you have met before ... and while you were enjoying the conversation you were also praying that no one would come up to say hello because "I cannot remember this person's name ". Or you are a newcomer and cannot possibly remember the names or all the people you have met for a few moments each ... and chances are they don't remember yours either. These moments happen to everyone.

There is an answer: NAME TAGS!!!

Many people (included yours truly) have said over and again that we need name tags. I know it was done in the past here and it didn't work perfectly ... I know people don't always put them on or put them back in the right place before leaving ... I know some prefer pins and others magnets and others strings ... I also know that using Name Tags is still a good thing for a parish to do - especially if we want to be warm and welcoming.

SO ... VOLUNTEERS are needed to get this going. Once the system is in place, then we need one volunteer a week to keep it going. Please contact the Parish Office or contact me directly. (And please tell me your name!)


Rev. G

On Sunday, May 5, a joint celebration of confirmation for parishioners from St. John's, St. Thomas Mamaroneck, and All Saints Harrison was held at St. Thomas. The Right Rev. Mary Glasspool, Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of NY, presided. It was a joyous day!

2019 Easter Appeal

Great news! More than 50% of our Easter Appeal target of $20,000 has been raised!

Continuing our mission of choosing a worthy cause close to home, the beneficiary of the 2019 Easter Appeal is Pathways to Self-Sufficiency, a new program designed to create permanent solutions to end the cycle of homelessness in Westchester County. It is a holistic approach modeled after other successful national programs, and will be administered by Lifting Up Westchester. The funds raised by St John’s will support a Life Skills Training specialist, who will work with the homeless to prepare them for finding jobs, living on their own, and becoming self-sufficient.

Now we need your support to reach our goal during the Easter season. Just three weeks left! If you have not yet contributed to this special outreach opportunity, please make a donation on our website via PayPal or by check to St. John's, with "Easter Appeal 2019" in the memo. Thank you!

The Search Committee received a strong list of candidates, and is busy conducting phone interviews and site visits. Thank you for your continued prayers for our committee and for the candidates.

Search Co-Chair Diane Goodman will stop at nothing to make sure the whole committee can participate in candidate interviews: Here, the laptop is on top of a stock pot, on top of a lazy Susan, so it can be easily swiveled!

Remember to check our Time & Talent page regularly on the St. John's website so you'll know what's on the horizon. The page highlights all our ministries – those that are ongoing and support our parish as well as unique outreach events. Look for "Time & Talent" under the Giving tab on our website.

Here's a recap of some recent Outreach efforts, and invitations to support future opportunities:

Saturday, March 9 - Community Dinner at St. Thomas Mamaroneck
A wonderful group of St. John's parishioners came out to volunteer at the community dinner.
Saturday, May 4 - Beyond Our Walls

Thank you to all who participated in this year's Beyond Our Walls Project. It was another incredibly successful day. We had a tremendous turnout from St. John's Parishioners of all ages. We had over 60 people volunteer to help us paint, polish, scrub, scrape and garden. Our team rolled up their sleeves and did whatever was necessary. There was even a team that was dying to work in the cemetery (come on, I had to). Our friends at Trinity St. Paul really appreciated all of our work and enjoyed making sure that we were well fed.

I also want to thank the team who helped drive the project. Thank you to Amy van den Dijssel, Taddy Hall, Kris Simko and especially Rob Snedeker and Carla and Rick Berry. Rob has worked on these projects from the beginning and is incredibly important to the success of the day. Rob's knowledge in carpentry and painting is invaluable to all of the preparation. The Berrys drove the outside gardening projects. Carla's preparation made everything run smoothly. Also, a shout out to Village Paint who again generously supported our efforts.

Many thanks for the enthusiasm and hard work of our clergy Rev. Gwyneth and Rev. Alissa. They strongly supported BOW and actively participated with us.

We are looking for volunteers to drive next year's project. Please let me know if you are interested.

Andy Brenner

Sunday, May 19 - Bake & Book Sale

Support our St. John's trip to the Dominican Republic in June by dropping by the bake and book sale table on Sunday, May 19th after church in the Parish Hall. Pick up a treat and buy a Spanish language book to send to the DR!

Bakers out there, we need some help with goodies. Contact Carla or Linnet.

Midnight Run - May 24 & June 14

Friday, May 24

St. John’s will participate in a “mini” Midnight Run into NYC. On holiday weekends, there are many fewer runs but the need remains the same. We hope to take two cars with food, toiletries, and clothing. The number of stops will be determined by the availability of drivers. Click here to sign up for May 24th.

Friday, June 14

We will host our regular run which will take all the same items but be using three cars and stopping at least five stops making it a longer evening. Click here to sign up for June 14th.

We are looking for adult drivers for both runs. We also need: volunteers to prepare for the run, donations of lightly used men’s clothing, new socks, new underwear, and lunch bags. Right now we still have plenty of toiletry bags. High school students or middle school students accompanied by parents are very welcome!

Feel free to email Melissa or Nancy Pierson or call 834-2449.


On May 6th, Lamb Studios removed one of our stained windows for restoration. It is the window depicting an angel carrying a stem of lilies and likely refers to Gabriel at the Annunciation to the Virgin. It is in the first bay on the left at the front of the nave as you face the altar. A sheet of plywood will replace the window during the restoration process which will take a month to six weeks.

This is part of our ongoing restoration of the stained glass windows which began in 1992 and will likely continue for another ten years. The windows were installed between 1895 and 1930. As you have probably noticed, the windows do not have a unified theme or style. They are a combination of traditional medieval style windows and American Renaissance Art glass (e.g. Tiffany, La Farge and Lamb Studios).

The complete restoration of the window includes replacing lead cames (the lead pieces that hold the glass together); taking apart layers of glass after paper rubbings are made of each layer; cleaning the glass and reassembling the window with new cames; and soldering the lead joints. Once restored, the windows should be stable for another 75 - 100 years.

If you have any questions, please contact Carla Berry.

Junior Choir

On Sunday, May 5th, the Junior Choir sang for the last time this school year. As is traditional, Dr. Paul-Martin Maki gave each chorister a medal from the Royal School of Church Music with the color ribbon appropriate to the number of years in the Choir. What is not traditional is what happened next. The Choristers presented Dr. Maki with a medal which they had made. The medal was given in thanksgiving for Dr. Maki's continued leadership and direction of the Choir.

Members of the Jr. Choir present Dr. Maki with the medal they made for him.
I had forgotten how much fun it is to be “teaching” Sunday School!

by Barbara Gessler

I’m putting the teaching in quotes, since I’m better at being a teacher’s aid. Our kids are now 23 and 19, and it had been quite a while since Paul and I had been in the classroom. While I enjoy Rev. G’s sermons very much, it is a nice change to experience church through the eyes of children once a month. Their perceptions are surprisingly insightful, and their wiggles and giggles bring back fond memories. Paul found it easy to slip back into the routine of teaching, and if you are like me and prefer to be a helper, that’s fine too. In addition it is a wonderful way to meet new families. If you want to give it a try, please contact Mother Alissa. There is also an online sign up, which I found easy to use: click here to check it out!

Throughout Lent, the Sunday School children in Godly Play learned about the "Faces of Easter," which tells the story of the Mystery of Easter over several weeks. On Palm Sunday, they concluded the series by making "Empty Tomb Rolls" in the kitchen!
Scenes from St. John's Nursery School - Art Show & Soccer Practice

Every day, parishioners are volunteering - some in ongoing ministries, some in annual events, some in one-time events. Some help out in the office, many on Sundays. Some volunteer work is obvious to all and some is known to the staff. We do express our gratitude in the Prayers of the People, and we personally thank folks. We could not publish a weekly list of who does what ... for one thing we don't know everything that is done, and it would be a very, very long list.

But on occasion, a parishioner puts in considerable effort to do something that most people never know about, and this is one of those occasions. Special thanks to Kelly Chubet and Jmel Wilson for spending many, many hours over several weeks working in the Christian Ed Office and in the CE Closet. Both rooms were filled to the brim with supplies, games, programs, etc., from several years. The Dynamic Duo proved that "you can eat an elephant if you cut it into small enough pieces." They sorted, organized, checked out what did and didn't work ... threw out, recycled and repurposed items. What was left was organized and put on the shelves.

On behalf of the children, their teachers, and the staff... THANKS, Kelly and Jmel!

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For many years, Carolyn Whittemore spent Friday mornings in the Parish Office. She collated and folded the Sunday Leaflets. The new printer now collates, folds and staples the leaflets. Although the printer does a good job, it is not as friendly and fun as Carolyn. THANKS, Carolyn!

Great work on the Parish cleanup!
Eliza McCurdy to Appear on PBS - Monday, May 20 at 6:00 pm

At last year's ECW Fall dinner, Eliza McCurdy spoke about her experiences working in the criminal justice system on Rikers Island. A short documentary (in which Eliza, among others, is interviewed) will be airing on PBS Channel 13 on Monday, May 20 at 6pm. The piece is called "AFTER RIKERS: Justice by Design" and will be followed by a discussion with several experts. This program is a part of ‘Justice Week’ – a series of programs devoted to issues including women and incarceration, how to safely reduce the number of people held in City jails, how to provide treatment for incarcerated people with mental illness, and how Rikers Island could be used in the future as a site for City infrastructure projects. Check your local listings for additional information about Justice Week.

Rev. Dorothy Greene & the Spellbinders, victorious again!
Our own Rev. Dorothy Greene with her victorious Spellbinders spelling bee team. She again won the Friends of the Larchmont Public Library's 7th annual Spelling Bee!
Hilary Greene to be Ordained a Deacon

Hilary will be ordained a deacon on June 1 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston. Her mother, The Rev. Dorothy Greene, will be one of her sponsors at the service, and offers a reflection here.

Hilary loved church from the time she was a little girl. We went faithfully as a family every Sunday when the children were growing up. She alone of my three continues to. At St. John’s, she sang in the Junior Choir, was an acolyte, and in her teens taught Sunday School.

In her era there were a dozen or so members of the Junior Choir. They wore black cassocks (robes) and white cottas (tops). Each year they sang at the (well-attended!) Good Friday three-hour service, wearing only cassocks without their cottas. One year Hil commented to me, “We look like little ministers.”

She became the first girl acolyte, in 1974. A dozen or so boys served at the time as members of the Acolyte Guild, meeting monthly for pizza and to conduct business. Hilary was elected President when she joined. I was the first woman acolyte. (I voted for her!) She and I served together at times, a very special experience for me. As far as I know, we were the only mother-daughter acolyte team in the diocese. One negative note: the rector at the time used to have a formal picture of the Acolyte Guild taken each year. From the time Hil joined, the picture was never taken again.

Hilary has worked for non-profit organizations for many years, and is currently Executive Director of the Red Cross Cape and Islands and Southeastern Massachusetts. She lives on Cape Cod, in Centerville. The ordination process has taken three years. Deacons do not attend seminary; her training has taken place at once a month deacon weekends. She will not go on to the priesthood, choosing to remain a deacon. Perpetual deacons, as they are called, are service-oriented, playing a lesser role at the altar than priests, but “bringing the church to the world and the world to the church.”

The community of St. John's sends our very best to Hilary as she enters this new stage in her ministry. May she be blessed, as she blesses so many.

Did you or family member complete a marathon? Win a special award? Play on a successful sports team? If you have good news about a family member or friend at St. John’s that you would like to share in Chimes, please email the details to communications@stjohnslarchmont.org. We'd love to share in your joy!

Thank you to Vestry member Jackie Plumez for volunteering to bring back this column.

Mark Your Calendars!
Wednesday, June 5 - Annual Women's Dinner at 6:30 pm

All the women of St. John’s are invited to the Annual Women's Dinner at Bonnie Briar Country Club! The social hour will begin at 6:30 pm, with a cash bar. Dinner will follow, at around 7:15 pm.

This year's guest speaker is parishioner Betsy Bradley. Betsy grew up in St. John's Church and is an active volunteer at the church; she is currently serving on the Vestry. Betsy is the Vice President of Programs and Engagement at Historic Hudson Valley and the author of several books and articles about New York City history and culture. She will talk about "Growing up in St. John's" as well as her work with Historic Hudson Valley.

The cost of the dinner is $55. You may register and pay via PayPal on St. John’s website. Alternatively, checks can be made out to St. John’s ECW, with “Women’s Dinner” in the memo line, and sent to Diane Goodman (14 Emerson Pt, New Rochelle, NY 10801). RSVP deadline is Friday, May 31.

Don’t let the cost keep you away. For confidential financial support, please contact Rev. Alissa or Rev G. For questions, please contact Jill Brennick.

Members of our amazing ECW (Episcopal Church Women) prep food for the Progressive Dinner, which was held Saturday, April 27.

Sunday, June 9 - Pentecost

We will have our regular services at 8:00 am and 10:00 am. Wear red to celebrate the day! This is also the next day for Baptisms. If you are interested in baptism for yourself or your child(ren), please contact Mo. Alissa.

Also Sunday, June 9 - St. John's Parish Picnic!

St. John's annual parish picnic is Sunday, June 9th, after the 10 am service. We look forward to welcoming EVERYONE! This year Rev. Gwyneth sent a special invitation to Nursery School families and we invite parishioners to bring a friend or friends as well. When we say "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" we mean it!

We are also very excited to announce that the picnic is being planned as a sustainable event. Again, we are living our faith as stewards of the Earth. This means that all paper goods, cups & cutlery will be compostable and members of our Green Team will be there to help us. Rather than using disposable tablecloths, we will wash cloth ones after the event. Decorations will include potted plants that can be planted rather than thrown away. Leftovers will be sent to Open Arms Men's shelter. Please help us by bringing potluck items in reusable containers.

Click here to bring a potluck item or to volunteer to help. We look forward to seeing you there!

The altar guild thoroughly enjoyed Melany Gray's recipe for Apple Blossom Cake. Believe it or not, this is her 7th grade Home Ec recipe! Try it - we bet you'll love it!

Apple Blossom Cake

  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together well, beginning with sugar & oil.

  • 3 cups flour, unsifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix dry ingredients with wire whisk, and add to sugar/oil mixture in three parts. Mix well. Batter will be very stiff.

  • 3 cups chopped apple, with peels on (about 3-4 apples)

Add apples to batter and mix well with wooden spoon.

Preheat oven to 325-350 degrees. Grease and flower Bundt pan. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes, or until edges start to separate and toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs. Cool for 5-10 minutes in pan, then invert onto wire rack.

Have a recipe to share? Join the fun and send it to communications@stjohnslarchmont.org. Yours just might be the next Recipe of the Month!

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Likewise, your photos and news from your ministries are always welcome. Please forward your submissions to communications@stjohnslarchmont.org. Let your ministry's light shine through Chimes!

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