St. Mary's is Looking for a Part Time Assistant (posted 11/18/21)
St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo Part-Time Administrative Assistant Position Description
St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo is a historic Episcopal church located within the gates of the charming village of Tuxedo Park, New York. The church is the spiritual heart of the community, primarily serving Tuxedo and Sloatsburg, though drawing members from the greater area.
Under the supervision of the Rector, the Administrative Assistant is a part-time role that provides general office support to the staff, committees, and congregation, in order to support the ministries and mission of St. Mary’s. This work includes, but is not limited to: data and records management, phone and email support, supplies and vendor management, communications work, managing use of church space by parish and outside groups, supporting church ministries and committees, and collaborating with volunteers. The Administrative Assistant will be a resource person for both members and non-members, and a welcoming and responsive presence in our church’s office.
Specific responsibilities include:
Provide a welcoming and helpful presence in the parish office; organize and keep a tidy office.
Respond to requests for information and resources via email, telephone, and in-person visits.
Provide administrative support to the Rector, Vestry or other committees, which includes scheduling meetings, preparing documents, making copies, etc.
Produce and distribute the weekly newsletter by email, which includes soliciting stories/photos/flyers about parish and community news/events, as well as proofreading and editing the content.
Prepare, proof, and print bulletins and materials for Sunday and other services.
Produce volunteer rosters; assist in recruiting, coordinating and scheduling volunteers as needed, under direction of the Rector or committee leadership.
Place orders for supplies and equipment as authorized; ensure computers, telephones, and copier are always in good working order.
Pick up and sort incoming mail; send parish mailings and other outgoing mail.
Maintain parish records (in electronic and paper formats), including financial, membership, attendance, diocesan, and other data, keeping them up-to-date, accurate, and secure.
Produce reports, directories, and other documents from parish records under the direction of the Rector, vestry, and committee leadership, on a timely basis.
Coordinate with the bookkeeper and signers to record donations and pay invoices.
Maintain the parish calendar to facilitate building use by internal and authorized external groups; includes the coordination of baptisms, weddings, funerals, and other special events.
Assist with preparing and distributing marketing materials, as directed.
Maintain the church’s online presence (basic updates to the website and Facebook page, online advertising, etc.).
Coordinate with vendors as delegated by Rector, Wardens, and Building & Grounds Cmte.
Coordinate the work of custodians and handyman to address facilities-related needs as identified, including set-up and clean-up for special events.
Specific requirements include:
Effective communication skills, both verbal and written.
Proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications; must be willing to learn and use our productivity and collaboration tools, which include Realm Church Management System, Google Workspace (Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, etc.), Constant Contact, and Squarespace; working knowledge of any is a plus
Demonstrated organizational skills, including calendaring, project coordination, and prioritization of work with multiple competing deadlines.
Strong writing and grammar skills, including proofreading.
Ability to maintain confidentiality, sensitivity, compassion, and discretion.
Basic knowledge of invoice and purchase order transactions, as well as procurement, researching vendor prices, and negotiating costs.
Compliance with diocesan safe church requirements
Must be willing to learn the basics of Episcopal liturgy (Book of Common Prayer, lectionary, hymnals) in order to produce worship materials.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary: $22 to $27 per hour, commensurate with experience
16 hours per week, 9am to 1pm, Monday through Thursday
Paid Holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr Day, Presidents Day, Easter Monday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day
Paid Vacation: 2 weeks
To learn more about St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo, please visit www.stmtux.org. The position will remain open until a candidate has been retained for this important post. We pray this exciting position interests you, or someone you know, and that you’ll be in touch.
Donations Needed for St. Mary's Thanksgiving Baskets (Posted 11/16/21)
Traditionally St Mary’s puts together Thanksgiving Baskets to give to families on a low income in our community and families who, because of sickness or any other adversity, would benefit and enjoy some extra help in creating their Thanksgiving meal.
The Sloatsburg Food Pantry, at its new location in All Souls Community Church in Suffern [ corner of Oliver Street and Washington avenue] will be giving out around 400 special boxes of non-perishables and fresh vegetables and fruit on Wednesday November 17th. As the new refrigeration/ freezers will not be in place until the second week of December the turkey/ meat section of this will be replaced by ShopRite Gift Cards. St Mary’s is contributing 125 SR gift cards each valued at $25.
In Tuxedo we have been asked to provide 36 baskets which will be distributed on the morning of Tuesday 23rd November using a school bus and driver. This year, because of the refrigeration problem, a SR gift card will replace the meat, and according to the size of the family the value of the gift card will be $25 or $50.
We will be accepting donations of non-perishables at any time and fresh vegetables and fruit the weekend of 20th and 21st November. These should be dropped off in the Chapel (up the steps to the right of the church building). We will pack the baskets on Monday 22nd.Cash donations by check [made out to St Mary’s, with memo Thanksgiving Baskets] or online at www.stmtux.org will also be very gratefully accepted.
Items for Hispanic basket Long grain rice, Cans of red, black and pink beans, Corn tortillas, Garlic, green, sweet and red peppers, green olives, Yucca, potatoes, sweet potatoes Canned pumpkins and yams Apples, bananas, pineapples, oranges Items for American basket Potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots Cranberry Sauce Cornbread Cans or jars of green beans, yams, gravy Packets of stuffing Apples, bananas, oranges Cookies and sweet treats Pumpkin pies
St. Mary's Emporium - GRAND OPENING July 24, 2021 10am-2pm
The Emporium at St. Mary’s
A whole new way to shop sustainably while supporting a worthy cause. It’s much more than a thrift shop. The Emporium is a carefully curated selection of beautiful items, donated by local residents. It is run entirely by volunteers, with all proceeds benefitting the good works of St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo. Questions? Give us a call at (845) 351-2389 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Emporium is located in the undercroft of St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo (formerly the office) and is already fully stocked with lovely items ranging from art and small furnishings, to designer clothing and kitchen gadgets. We also have glasses for any cocktail you can think of!
We will be open Saturdays from 10am to 2pm and Sundays from 11am to 1pm
We accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards.
Masks are optional if you are fully vaccinated.
The church is located at 10 Fox Hill Rd, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987.
We are within the historic gates of Tuxedo Park, but serve the entire community and all are welcome! Please don't be intimidated by the gates -- just tell the gatehouse you're going to St. Mary's, proceed thru the gates and we're immediately on the right. Plenty of free parking is available.
Our mascot, Woodrow the Woodchuck, has a very keen eye and would like to remind you of his rules for donating items to The Emporium:
We accept donations only during opening hours and must be selective given our limited space. Please do not leave any donated items anywhere on church property, as they will be discarded. Please contact us at email@example.com or (845) 351-2389 with any questions.
We gladly accept…
donations of clothing, jewelry, kitchenware, linens, lamps/shades, vases, shoes, and bric-a-brac. Objects d’art, wall décor, figurines and collectibles are big sellers. We will consider larger items with photos.
Before donating, ask yourself the following:
Would I give this to a friend or relative?
Would I buy this in a thrift store if I needed it?
Is it sparkling clean?
If not, we most likely will not be able to sell it. Stained and dirty items will be discarded.
We do not accept…
books, CD’s/DVD’s, sporting equipment, electronics, toys, or any kind of baby item (strollers, carriages, playpens).
Summer Camp in Tuxedo....Sponsors Needed (Posted 6/30/2021)
St Mary’s has a long history of assisting families to pay for Summer camp experience for their children. This year some of the camps are free, but the families we are helping are either not eligible for the free camps due to where they live, or the hours and dates being offered are such that the parent would not be able to continue working and earning a living. All these families are known by us and have been adversely affected by the effects of Covid and recommended for financial assistance by guidance counsellors and teachers.
Fourteen children from ten families will attend the five week Town of Tuxedo Recreation Department Day Camp based on Murphy field and the Ringwood swimming pool. The cost to St Mary’s is $9,540.
The children are all very excited and parents relieved that they can continue to work while their children can enjoy the fun of Summer activities.
We would be grateful for sponsorship donations of any amount. The cost for the first child in a family is $660 and siblings $560.
Donations can be received online at https://onrealm.org/stmtux/give/outreach or checks made out to St Mary’s Outreach, memo Summer camp sponsorship and mailed to St Mary’s at POB 637, Tuxedo NY 10987.
Thank you for your support in any amount. It will all make a difference to children who need a happy time this Summer, especially.
St Mary’s Outreach Chair
Annual EpiscoBuild Twelfth Night Concert to Be Held Virtually on January 10
In spite of the pandemic, snow, and cold, EpiscoBuild will host, via the magic of the internet, the 14th Annual Twelfth Night Celebration for a Habitat Newburgh Home at 3 PM on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at the web link: https://bit.ly/Episcobuild12thNight
Twelfth Night is a festive revelry marking the end of the holiday season. For 13 years, EpiscoBuild has celebrated Twelfth Night with a gala concert by local area Episcopal choirs and soloists of their best seasonal music, presented online for the first time this year for your viewing and listening pleasure!
As part of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, EpiscoBuild has helped to build homes for seven deserving Newburgh families. Your free-will donations to this Twelfth Night Celebration will help raise funds to sponsor our 8th house.
Please donate online during the concert, or mail a check made out to "Habitat for Humanity" (noting “EpiscoBuild” in the memo) to: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh, 125 Washington Street, Newburgh NY 12550.
Does anyone have a car [preferably an SUV] that they no longer use or need? If your answer is 'yes' then would you be prepared to donate it to St Mary's- in -Tuxedo? You will 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 on the clock, 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
St. Mary's & Tuxedo Park Garden Club to Dedicate Pam Cromey Memorial Rose Garden on November 7
Please join us in-person or online at 1pm on Saturday, November 7th, as the Tuxedo Park Garden Club and St. Mary's dedicate the Pam Cromey Memorial Rose Garden. The garden is given in loving memory of Pam and all those in our community who lost their lives to Covid.
The garden surrounds the church sign and dogwood tree which were previously given in memory of Phil Swirbul. A memorial allée of dogwood trees is being established along the approach to St. Mary's, and a second tree has been planted in Pam's memory.
Many thanks to Charlotte Worthy and warden Billy Mincey for sourcing and planting the roses, and to the Tuxedo Park Garden Club for preparing the bed for planting.
Join us for a run (or walk) around the beautiful lakes of Tuxedo Park to support the ministries of St. Mary’s.
Saturday, July 11th
Check in anytime between 9:30am and 11am; rain date is Saturday, July 18th.
Runners can choose how far they want to run/jog/walk (2.5 miles around the small lakes, 4.2 miles around Tuxedo Lake, 7 miles around all the lakes)
Runners will check-in at the starting point (communicated on sign up) and can begin running anytime from 9:30am to 11am.
For safety reasons, everyone will wear a mask at the starting point; starting times will be staggered so runners can remove their masks when they're running alone or with just their immediate family; 12 feet social distance rules apply; runners agree to have masks handy in case they come close to others.
Spectators or non-runners are not encouraged anywhere near the event.
Runners will report their results (honor code) via email / text (there is no “runners stand”) and will receive virtual recognition via St. Mary’s Facebook page.
St. Mary's and Tuxedo Outreach Family Clothing Store - Posted 6/4/2020
Just as in families when outgrown clothing and shoes get handed down to younger and smaller siblings, so we have created a Tuxedo- wide family and made the hand downs available to everyone who lives in Tuxedo or Sloatsburg. Our shop is in Tuxedo Train Station. There is no charge for any items. Everything is free. We will be open next on Friday, June 12 from 10am until 4pm.The video shows what we have and how it is arranged.
At this difficult time, when shopping, and having the money to shop with, are both a real challenge, St Mary's, in conjunction with TUFSD and the Sloatsburg Community Food Pantry,is looking to assist families in clothing their children and teens for Summer and Fall.
We are collecting clothing and shoes for boys and girls from babies to high school grads. These will eventually be donated to those who need them when state regulations allow.
Donations can only be received on Friday May 22nd from 1 pm to 4 pm and Saturday May 23rd from 10 am to 1 pm. All items must be clean and in good condition and packed, preferably into boxes,but acceptable in large plastic bags. Do not leave them at St Mary's or at the Train Station at any other times than these scheduled.
For the safety of everyone concerned please drive into the north entrance of the Train Station Parking Lot and move slowly in single file to the front porch of the Train Station Building. Stop in the marked space, place your donations in the space indicated and then drive on. Someone will pick up your donation and take it inside. This will avoid any direct social contact.
The donations will be stored in the Train Station for several days before being sorted by volunteers.
The coronavirus outbreak is evolving on a daily basis, and we at St Mary’s are staying abreast of the latest information in order to respond in Christian love and reason.
All Orange County schools have closed for two weeks. This includes St Mary’s Community Preschool and Sunday School.
The Bishop of New York has been in communication with his clergy, and he will not impose a blanket suspension of church services due to the vast differences in ministry contexts across our large diocese.
What does this mean for St Mary’s? For now, we will continue with services (Saturday Evensong at 5pm, Sunday Eucharist at 8am and 10am). However, I want to stress that we must observe the following precautions:
If you feel ill, or even ill-at-ease over coming to church, don’t. Stay home. It’s ok. We will be streaming the 10:00 Sunday service live via our Facebook page. Here is the bulletin so you can follow along. When it comes time for communion, there's a beautiful act of spiritual communion you may pray:
?"My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen."
If you do come to church, greet one another with a smile or nod. Please DO NOT shake hands or hug.
Please leave your offering in the alms basin before you sit down. The plate will not be passed. If you stay home, please make your offering via our website or by mailing it in.
Spread out. Allow three feet on either side of you. Now is the time to try that side aisle seat you’ve always had your eye on.
The peace will move to its ancient place immediately after the agnus dei. There will be no opportunity for physical contact.
Communion will be offered in one kind (bread) only. Receive the host in your hand from the priest and consume it immediately. The priest will sanitize his hands before distribution. To avoid crowding, communion will be distributed at a station in the nave, not at the rail.
Coffee hour has been suspended indefinitely. Starting with our vestry meeting tomorrow, all church committee meetings with be held virtually via Google Hangouts.
The Pastoral Care and Outreach Committees are aware of many needs and challenges across our community and are working in concert with local groups such as the school and food pantry to address the situation. If you know of anyone in need of food, help, or even just a phone call, please let me know.
As we navigate these uncharted waters together, let us hold one another in prayer and take these words to heart: The Almighty Lord, who is a strong tower to all who put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth bow and obey: Be now and evermore your defense, and make you know and feel that the only Name under heaven given for health and salvation is the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saturday June 1 – Musicale a Chastellux by Julliard Musicians to Benefit St. Mary’s Outreach Programs
This delightful concert, followed by a wine and hors d'oevres reception will benefit St Mary's Outreach programs.
Kevin Zhu: Violin. 18 years old. Recently won the 2018 Paganini International Violin 1st Prize, in Italy. The most prestigious violin competition in the world. He studies at Juilliard and with Itzhak Perlman. He also won the 2012 Menuhin Junior competition as the youngest violinist ever. Kevin is already touring the world performing. You can watch him on YouTube to get a preview of what you will enjoy live.
Qiang Tu: Cello. New York Philharmonic . Qiang was the first Chinese musician to join the Philharmonic. He has been followed by many others. He has numerous recordings and a long list of professional accomplishments. Both musicians play exceptional instruments from the early 1700s that they will tell you about.
It has been our tradition for many years now to reach out to the families in our neighborhood whose incomes make it difficult for them to provide the Christmas extras that brighten this season of love and giving. Our recipient families are those in the Tuxedo Schools whose children are in the free lunch program plus our neighbors down the road who attend the twice weekly English as a Second Language classes that were started several years ago by the Sloatsburg Food Pantry.
This year we are partnering with TPS. St Mary’s will provide a $50 Shoprite gift card for each family and a $50 Kohl’s gift card for each child. The TPS students are making a collection of Winter hats, scarves and gloves before coming to St Mary’s to assemble the decorated gift bags ready for distribution on December 19th.
Our list has 34 families with 80 children! St Mary’s needs your help! Please give generously! Every donation of any amount will add an angel to the St Mary’s Giving Tree with the name of the donor attached. Donations so far total $1,400. We hope to raise $5,000!
Donations can be made online on St Mary’s website www.stmtux.org/giving. Select ‘ Angel Tree’ in the fund designation of the dropdown menu in the middle of the page. Checks can also be sent to St Mary’s, with Angel Tree in the memo.
On behalf of St Mary’s and our local families, thank you for ensuring that everyone indeed has a Very Merry Christmas!
Jake's Rockin Country Band, the tri-state area's award winning five member country band will be playing on the Great Lawn at St. Mary's on Saturday July 7 from 3-6pm! There will be line dancing, activities for the kids and drinks and snacks available (or you can bring your own) Tickets are $10 per person and will be available at the door! Bring a lawn chair and/or a blanket and CHECK IT OUT!!
Rector’s Annual Report to the Parish - St. Mary’s-in-Tuxedo - January 28, 2018
A New Beginning
On June 10 of last year, at 1:04 pm, I missed a call. I shortly noticed that I had a message, and when I saw who it was from, my stomach sank and my heart began to race. It was from the Senior Warden of St. Mary’s. I gathered my strength and composure and returned the call. He picked up, and after a courteous greeting, he informed me that the vestry had unanimously elected me as 12th rector of St. Mary’s. He then asked if I would accept. Yes! Thus began a transition process that was bittersweet and beautiful. I said goodbye to people whose priest I had been, and hello to those whose priest I would soon become. On our first night in the rectory, we arrived frazzled and stressed after the long drive, only to find a poster welcoming our cats (and us) to St. Mary’s. We were also grateful to one parish family who had the rectory floors refinished. These were just two of the many touching acts of kindness and hospitality that have defined this transition. The first weeks and months were spent mostly in just figuring out mundane things such as where the light switches are located, and where to get groceries. We met new friends, and were welcomed with grace and open hearts. Soon the time came for my official institution as rector, and with two bishops, a canon, numerous priests, deacons, friends, family, and community members present, we did it with sincerity and style. I will never forget kneeling before the altar and saying the rector’s prayer, and seeing the smiles on people’s faces as we processed out singing “Hail, Holy Queen.” The luncheon afterward at the Tuxedo Club is something I will never forget, and something for which I will always be grateful.
Last March, Pete and I planned to come up here together, ostensibly to see where he was working in Sloatsburg, but really to snoop around Tuxedo. We drove up and down Route 17, and daringly drove up to the gates, which were open, so we figured it was ok to drive through. As we pulled ahead, a stern voice on the speaker barked, “Where are you going?” “To the church???” we replied. “Ok. Go ahead.” Whew! We felt like we had just gotten away with something. We drove into the church parking lot, then up Fox Hill Road trying to get a look at the rectory, and really only made the loop to Tuxedo Road and back out. What a surprise when we returned a few months later! On my first tour of the Park, I was stunned by the beauty of the lakes and historic architecture. It was all rather Brigadoon-ish, and I was not sure what to make of the place. Since moving here however, I have had the opportunity to get to know the town, as well as the surrounding areas, such as Harriman State Park and the idyllic St. John’s in Arden. Even though remote, the area is much bigger and more diverse than I had imagined. Overall, I think the transition has been as smooth for everyone as it could be. We are enjoying settling into the rectory with all its quirks, and have even welcomed a new little puppy into our lives, whom we named in honor of Emily Post. The biggest challenge remains the sale of our house in Pennsylvania, and we ask for your continued prayers for that.
This transition is a new beginning for all of us and a chance to reimagine what it means to be Church in this place. Before making any major changes, however, I want to spend the first year getting to know everyone, deliberately listening and learning the rhythms of this place. While this process will continue until the summer and I am eager to hear everyone’s perspective, I am starting to form a vision of what we could accomplish together and it roughly falls into three priority areas for the future.
Rediscover our Faith and Traditions
People come to church to celebrate the most profound moments of their lives. Even on a regular Sunday, we believe that Christ is truly, sacramentally present with us in the bread and the wine of the Holy Eucharist, and in his holy word. Therefore, it should be a sacred experience. It’s not a performance, it’s not a show -- and it’s not about adopting the latest fad -- you will not find gimmicks here. Worship is about giving back to God that which he has so freely and perfectly given us, in a way that is of the most excellent quality, and authentic to our particular faith tradition. Anglicanism is abundantly blessed with a strong tradition of beautiful liturgy and music, handed down over many centuries.
An article I recently read entitled, “Why Millenials Long for Liturgy,” by Gracy Olmstead, touches on the rediscovery of the great deposit of faith by younger people--people on whom many had given up as being merely “spiritual, but not religious.” In it one of the interviewees suggests, “If you ask me why kids are going high church [by which he means liturgical church], I’d say it’s because the single greatest threat to our generation and to young people nowadays is the deprivation of meaning in our lives,” he says. “In the liturgical space, everything becomes meaningful. In the offering up of the bread and wine, we see the offering up of the wheat and grain and fruits of the earth, and God gives them back in a sanctified form. …We’re so thirsty for meaning that goes deeper, that can speak to our entire lives, hearts, and wallets, that we’re really thirsty to be attached to the earth and to each other and to God. The liturgy is a historical way in which that happens.”
We are sitting upon a gold mine here. We have a magnificent historic space, and are heirs of a liturgical and musical tradition that is truly transcendent and transformative, if only we are brave enough to explore it together. I have no illusion of becoming a “mega-church,” and I do not think that is something any of us is interested in. However I do believe that with steadfast faith and fidelity to our tradition, we can and will become a beacon to those who seek a place that offers something more than “Precious Moments” theology, pallid liturgy, and unsatisfactory music that is all too common these days. We can be one of those churches that comes to people’s minds when they think of sound preaching, robust liturgy, inspiring music, and an authentic living out of Christ’s great commission.
It is important that we start with the youngest among us -- our preschool, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Episcopal Youth Fellowship are critical to formation.In this time of transition, we are also at a crossroads in our Sunday school program. We are very much in need of new leadership for this vital ministry, and I ask you to consider whether God is calling you in this way. Formation of children and youth is key, but it doesn’t end there. During Advent, we had a brief series on the scriptures and Handel’s “Messiah,” and I have started educating the congregation at the Saturday evening service about the history and theology of the prayer book in place of a traditional sermon. I would like to expand that effort to include the whole parish by offering learning opportunities during Lent, followed perhaps in May by a trip to the Metropolitan Museum to see their upcoming exhibits on how vestments and liturgy influence art and fashion to this day. Musically, I would like to see us delve deeper into the traditions of our church by exploring things like Anglican chant, sung propers, and perhaps even a choral mass setting or two for special occasions. I also believe that it is imperative that we foster and develop a children’s choir, not only to attract families, but also as a component in forming young disciples.
2. Restore our Historic Buildings and Grounds
Churches, like people, are often better at taking care of others than they are at caring for themselves. We engage in a highly impactful program of outreach to the Tuxedo community, our country, and the world. While I feel passionately that our outreach efforts should be continued, I have nonetheless observed a degree of self-neglect here at St. Mary’s. We occupy an unusual and magnificent church which seems to have grown right out of the living rock upon which it stands. It is filled with treasures from across the centuries and around the world. It is a gift given to God by past generations, and it is our job not only to maintain it, but to make it shine by highlighting the best elements of the past, and making it accessible to present needs. We have done a great job in caring for our outstanding collection of American art glass, but we can’t stop there. For example, the lighting and sound systems in the church are in dire need of attention.
God created the universe in order and beauty; his house on earth should reflect that. In order to have a clear picture and guide in this endeavor, I propose that we have a thorough conditions report compiled by an engineering firm for all of the church buildings, including the rectory, which is sorely in need of repair and updating. Naturally all of these things will take money. We are blessed to have been given financial gifts by previous generations which, in conjunction with regular offerings, help us carry out our day-to-day operations. However, refreshing our buildings and grounds for God’s glory as well as modern comfort and functionality will require additional funds. Therefore I propose embarking on a capital campaign after we assess and prioritize our needs, in order to address them in the best and most fiscally responsible way. I also intend to invite a representative from the Episcopal Church Foundation to come and speak with us regarding planned giving for the future.
3. Re-engage our Community
One concern I have heard is that “under this rector we had we had more park people, but under that rector we had more town people.” While certain personalities and charisms may be more attractive to one group than another, I am reminded of the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians (3:28) “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” We must focus on attracting our entire community to God’s altar in this place. Indeed, it was placed on this spot for that very reason. I look forward to meeting more people who may have once attended and now do not, as well as those who may never have given us a try.
While we must do everything we can to encourage church attendance, we also must be realistic about the fact that Tuxedo is its own special animal. In addition to year-round residents who come to church regularly, we have people who spend much of the year in other locations at different times of year (NYC, Florida, Arizona, Vermont, Colorado, Europe, etc.) but still consider St. Mary’s their home parish. During our recent visit to Palm Beach, we ran into a parishioner at Bethesda-by-the-Sea. She very proudly introduced me to everyone as her rector from Tuxedo Park. There is something about this place that gets under the skin and remains, even if we travel often to other locales.
Because of the “Tuxedo diaspora,” our communications are of vital importance. We are in need of a refreshed web presence, as well as more engagement on social media. In two weeks, the communications committee will meet to discuss this in depth. In the short run, we have made the weekly newsletter more mobile friendly, and update our Facebook page regularly with photos, videos, and notices. We are in the process of migrating our office over to Google for Nonprofits, which has numerous benefits, including the fact that it is completely free and will save us hundreds of dollars monthly over our current web hosting provider.
Unlike in urban settings, where there is a church on practically every corner, we are one of only a few houses of worship in our town. Because of our history, physical location, and engagement of our members, we are by far the most engaged in the community, which is something to celebrate. St. Mary’s is truly the beating heart of Tuxedo. I am proud that many people who are not themselves Christians consider St. Mary’s to be home, even if they do not worship here. They see the value we bring, they see the welcome, they see the good, which transcends all human barriers. Let us work together to open our hearts and doors ever wider.
Moving Forward Together
Thank you to everyone who has faithfully served in the transition process, my dedicated staff, and for those who continue to take volunteer leadership roles in this church in many different ways.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, let us be kind and care for each other, let us also be honest and forthright. In this report, I have shared with you my first impressions and vision for this church. However, I want you to know that while I take my role as a leader seriously, I also welcome your input. I invite you to share your hopes and dreams for St. Mary’s with me. I am available for you. Please feel free to call or text me at (917) 658-6314, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, be joyful. It is good news after all that we have to share. Let us work together to rediscover our faith and traditions, restore our historic buildings and grounds, and re-engage our community. In his sermon at my service of institution, Bishop Clifton Daniel likened the church to a lifeboat. As we navigate this lifeboat of faith in the troubled waters of our world, may our patron, St. Mary, star of the sea, be our guiding light to our ultimate destination, her son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Edwin H. Cromey Induceted as Rector Emeritus at St. Mary's in Tuxedo
On Sunday, January 7th, St Mary’s held a special service which combined the regular Eucharist with a formal induction of The Rev. Dr. Edwin H. Cromey as Rector Emeritus of St Mary’s-in-Tuxedo. This wonderful celebratory service was an opportunity for the Parish and many friends to welcome and congratulate Ed and Pam on this auspicious occasion.
The Rector Emeritus position acknowledges his years of service to St Mary’s, to the Episcopal Church and to the community.
In conferring the honor of Rector Emeritus on Father Cromey, our current Rector, Father Rick Robyn gave a short bio of him:
“Father Edwin Cromey was born in Brooklyn, NY, and received his seminary training at the General Theological Seminary, graduating in 1962. That same year, he was ordained deacon, and then priest by Bishop James Pernette de Wolfe. In 1972, he and Pam were married, and in 1981 they answered the call to come to St. Mary’s. For more than 25 years, Fr. Ed served this community as rector of this church until his retirement in 2006. Since then, he has continued his service to the Church, and he and Pam have remained beloved members of our community. And now, in honor of his years of service, and in celebration of his 55th anniversary of ordination, it is my privilege to confer upon my friend and fellow presbyter the title of Rector Emeritus.
As Father Cromey becomes Rector Emeritus, we acknowledge an ongoing relationship of affection as we pledge to hold him in prayer for his health and happiness. Moreover, we dedicate ourselves as a parish to faithfulness to his legacy in the characteristics of his ministry, joy and zest in following Jesus, faithful preaching of the Gospel, delight in solid liturgy, and a heart for all God’s children.”
Pictured above are Father Cromey with Father Rick both during and after the service as well as Father cromey with his wife, Pam and their family.