The Rev. Cathy H. George, Priest in Charge at St. Maryâ€™s Episcopal Church in Dorchester has announced that there will be a series of free concerts held at the church at 14 Cushing Avenue beginning next Sunday, Oct. 18.
The first concert will feature the local artist and talented violinist Stephen Swanberg and the pianist Kathleen Forgac playing the works of Beethoven and Mozart. The series will be open to the public, and although it is free of charge, the artists are foregoing payment in hope that people attending the concert will make a tax deductible offering for the building restoration fund.
Said Senior Warden Winifred Pickett: â€œDonations are needed, welcomed, and encouraged. This magnificent structure is in need of a lot of tender loving care. We hope that people who come to the concert will be moved by the music to help us preserve it, and perhaps also stay for serviceâ€, she said, referring to the churchâ€™s 6 p.m. Sunday Service.
Pickett has been involved in church affairs for many years and has seen many priests come and go. She said she is very pleased with the arrival a year ago of a new team of priests led by the Rev. George and the Rev. Eric Hillegas, Assistant Priest.
â€œI am so energized by their devotion to rebuilding this parish, said
One of the most controversial changes inaugurated by Rev. George was the dropping of the morning service in favor of an evening service, which has created some friction among some longtime parishioners. â€œThe place was stagnant and not sustaining itselfâ€, she said. â€œIt suffered from years of neglect and a lack of focus on parish life recent years. The Vestry had many good people on it who were devoted to keeping the parish alive, but in order to survive, the parish needs to grow, and I hope that Rev. Eric and I can help them do that.â€
Rev. George, who previously served as Rector of St. Anneâ€™s in-the- Fields in Lincoln, said she â€œmoved to Dorchester and took this job because she felt that the discrepancies in the public and diocesan allocation of resources between Lincoln and Dorchester was in such stark contrast to the teaching of Jesus.
â€œGod got my earâ€, she said, and she and Rev. Hillegas have found a wonderful sense of community as they work to rebuild the parish.
They are hoping that the concert series will help bring people into the church, and that experiencing the beauty of the building and meeting the priests, might convince some people to return and try the Sunday evening Eucharist.
â€œWe geared this service to the busy lives of the people we see living in the neighborhoodâ€, said Rev. George. â€œYoung couples starting families, gay men and lesbians, and people who may have worshipped at St. Maryâ€™s in years past are all welcome hereâ€, she said.
The 70-minute concert will begin at 3:30 p.m. and it will be followed by a reception.