May 21, Sixth Sunday of Easter; 10am Choral Eucharist
See the Levy Choir School page for information about this afternoon’s musical, and to see a retrospective of the school’s first year.
A Message from the Rector:
In times past and in many places today, the arts were and are considered as acts of divine inspiration and divine worship. The great cathedrals and stained glass windows are two cases in point as well as the sacred ragas in India, dances throughout the world as well as much of the Western musical canon. It has only been in the last few hundred years that art has found a non-sacral home. Even now, more open-minded Christians continue to see echoes and intimations of the sacred, in so-called secular art.
So it is quite meet and right that the church houses, supports, honors and encourages artists and the arts. All Saints has long been a church that has supported fine music and musicians and has also been a spiritual home to many visual artists.
It is in light of this tradition, that on behalf of the Vestry, we are pleased to honor Faye Chiao and Daniel Neer for their composition entitled, “Blanket of Stars.” This piece of modern choral music honors the plight of the millions of uprooted people, refugees, who are forced out of their homes to attempt to flee from danger and seeking safety. This piece was first performed for an audience here at All Saints at a United Nations sponsored concert for refugees and (appropriately) is our offertory anthem today.
When we think of how much of the biblical tradition is about people who are on journeys (internally compelled or externally forced) and about the sacred demand to show hospitality to the sojourner, I can’t think of a more fitting artistic expression to be included as part of our worship of the God of Compassion.
We welcome those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, straight, gay, confused, well-heeled or down-at-heel. We especially welcome wailing babies and excited toddlers. We welcome you whether you can sing like Pavarotti or just growl quietly to yourself. You’re welcome here if you’re just browsing, just woken up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury or haven’t been to church since Christmas 10 years ago. We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet and to teenagers who are growing up too fast.
We welcome keep-fit moms, football dads, starving artists, tree huggers, latte sippers, vegetarians, junk food eaters. We welcome those in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, are down in the dumps or don’t like organized religion. We’re not that keen on it either. We offer welcome to those who think the Earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or are here because Granny is visiting and wanted to come to church. We welcome those who are inked, pierced, both or neither.
We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down their throats as kids or got lost and wound up here by mistake. We welcome pilgrims, tourists, seekers, doubters and you.
[a welcome used by Coventry Cathedral]
Our sister parish in London: St. Clement (spring photo), and historic St. James’ Church Norlands (winter photo), together serve a parish covering the neighborhoods of Notting Dale, Notting Hill, North Kensington, and Holland Park. Visit their website and a wikipedia entry to learn more about them. Fr. Alan Everett, vicar for six years, has invited us to visit when in London. One All Saints parishioner while attending St. Clement’s service was gratified to hear our parish named specifically during the Prayers of the People. After the service, she enjoyed a delicious lunch with the vicar and his wife and daughters before flying back to New York. Read Fr. Yagerman’s introductory letter to our sister parish on their website by clicking here.