“WHAT ST MARY’S MEANS TO ME!!!”
by E H P Harding
Huh! Beginning answering this question is the easy part: But where does one end? Maybe were I scientifically astute, I could explicate this practical question of gravitation with its connection to ‘relativity’ in brief mathematical equations: Yet, since I am not at a loss for words here is what it means.
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is embodied in the gravitational spirits of Father Kooperkamp and Mrs Elizabeth K; how we have shared in the growth and nurturance of their 3 children, watching them matriculate into college; their nurture of our interns allowing them to feel at home away from home; Mothers Chloe Breyer & Yvonne Logan, inspiring us as they also fulfill their maternal cares; Miguel Es; Janet D’s absolute love for mesmerizing music as she imparts it to us at every opportunity; Sheldon G’s star qualities; Bonnie’s poetic justice; Ishmael W & family’s dedication to the spirit that is Harlem as it is encapsulated at St Mary’s; Charles, Christine, and our Contralto; Glenda, changing her hair styles at venues where I would least expect her, such as at Church of The Intercession, taking me by total surprise; Bill Smith, Thomas, Barbara Fraser-Bah, Edna Eteme, Harriett Wyatt, Lois Coe, Ms Joyner, Irene McK, Allen, Elizabeth M, Radford A, Linda, Darren, Sheryl, Gwen, Deloris, Ms Harris, Lysander P, Anne ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ Dexler, Dorothy Ross, Andres and yours truly.
Do you see why answering this question can only be done, relatively speaking, by fusing the spirit of Jesus Christ within the gravitational strength of the living ‘theory of relativity’ which is the love and service of God at St Mary’s, Manhattanville?
Such an impossible task!
E H P Harding
Praising the Lord…I Just Love It!
by Janet Dorman
One of my favorite times of the week is Wednesday evening choir rehearsal at St. Mary’s. Like many other choirs, St. Mary’s Choir is a group of friends who like to sing. Our first order of business is to check in with each other, which is something like prayers of thanksgiving and intercession, as we rehearse with each other the blessings and concerns of the past few days, and then more formally deliver them all to God in prayer.
Bonnie Phelps and I have been members of the choir for about 35 years and we have seen changes. We remember former directors Carter, Clark, Goodzeit, Swenson, and Stapleton. Dorothy Cobb sang in the choir when we joined, and some other choir members have been Ed Jefferies, Liz and Allen Mellen. People came and went, and about twenty years ago when we were down to a very few, we started drawing on a new source for members–people who were discovered to be singing as they stirred a pot or pushed a broom at the soup kitchen.
In October we had the extraordinary experience of participating in the premier of a cantata, “The West Harlem Christ,” by a composer who recently joined our choir, Ishmael Wallace. Most of the libretto of this amazing cantata is stories of people in our neighborhood—and in our choir—who have struggled with homelessness and poverty. These verbatim interviews are interspersed with gospel passages that remind us that what we do to our brothers and sisters we do to our Brother Jesus.