In-Person Registration for June 2021

[If you are on the front page, please, click continue reading below to see the link]

The church is open to the public on:

  • Tuesday evenings for Holy Communion at 6pm (no music)
  • Wednesdays for Midweek Communion 12:15pm (no music)
  • Thursday at 6:30pm for Taizé prayers

Because we can only accommodate a certain number of parishioners following the CDC guidelines, we ask that you register before coming.

Please click this link to register and attend in person

Many thanks,


Partial Reopening Sign-Up

Following our May Vestry meeting and the issuing of the new CDD guidelines, we are delighted to announce a change in the in-person opening schedule.

Starting May 18th, you will be able to attend in-person on:

  • Tuesday evenings for a short communion service (no music)
  • Wednesdays for midweek communion (no music)
  • Thursday evenings during our Taizé prayer services

Attendance to these services is contingent on social distancing and wearing a mask in the building. This is why we ask that you register in advance to insure that no particular day exceed the maximum amount of guests we can accommodate. If you are interested in attending in person, please fill in the following form by clicking here and pick a date.

Unfortunately, we cannot yet open on Sundays, but we are looking forward to being able to do so in the near future. When this changes, we will make a new post.


Many thanks,


Annual General Meeting

Due to our current situation, our Annual General Meeting will be held online this year.

The Annual Meeting of the Église Française du Saint Esprit will be held immediately after the service on Sunday May 2nd, 2021 on our YouTube channel. We hope that you will be able to be with us virtually to exercise your right to vote at that meeting. [Direct link to the video (The meeting part will start around 12:45pm.)]

One Warden, Philip Orawski, is standing for re-election for a two-year term. Two Vestry Persons must be replaced for 3-year terms. The Vestry, acting as Nominating Committee, has nominated Rita Pullium and Samit Ahlawat for these positions. One Vestry Person, Guillaume Ahadji, is standing for reelection for 3-year term.

We look forward to your presence on Sunday May 2nd, 2021.

Many thanks,

Frederic Spitz
Parish Administrator

More info on the nominees:


Philippe Orawski est paroissien depuis 2009 et est devenu membre du consistoire en 2011.  Il est né au Royaume-Uni de parents immigrants.  Sa mère enseignait l’école du dimanche pendant que son père était Monsieur Bricolage à l’Eglise Protestante de Londres !  Il espère continuer offrir ses services (sans bricolages) pour l’Eglise Française de Saint Esprit.









Guillaume Ahadji came to Saint-Esprit in 2006 and was first elected to the Vestry in 2009. Originally from Togo (West Africa), he comes from a historically important religious family, as his grandfather was one of the very first evangelists in Togo. Guillaume completed his studies in Togo, Germany and Canada, which enables him to speak fluently in French, English and German. He is a graphic artist and printer by trade. Guillaume and his wife Philippine have three children, Jonathan, Johan and Josué. At Saint-Esprit, you will recognize Guillaume by his public speaking skills, as a lay reader for Sunday services, and as a choir member. A person of profound prayer, he also assists with the Prayers of the People. Guillaume has been the motor behind the Fête Afrique, an annual event at Saint-Esprit whose liturgy and reception celebrate African cultures and spiritual expression.






Samit Alhawat found Saint-Esprit Church from the French classes offered by the church. The classes introduced him to the friendly, welcoming and supporting community of the church. The engaging and thought-provoking sermons, an outstanding choir, informative Bible study classes and services, and an enduring message of inclusivity and harmony seen in church celebrations and receptions drew him closer to the community that he now considers his Church. He is a senior vice president at JP Morgan Chase quantitative model building and asset management group in New York. He would like to serve the church and the parish as a member of the Vestry with his professional skills and with abiding humility and dedication for influencing decisions in the best interest of our congregation.







Rita Pullium has had two careers: first as a professor of psychology, specializing in social psychology and its applications to societal issues; second as administrator for a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve higher education in Asia, especially for universities in disadvantaged areas. Since retirement she has served on the board of Morningside Retirement and Health Services and on the Vestry of St. Esprit. Last summer she contributed to an oral history for the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. Amid the many activities that keep her occupied these days, she feels a call to return to the Vestry’s work as it carries out its mission during these challenging times.

Huguenot Sunday

Join us this Sunday in our Annual Service of thanks to celebrate religious freedom and toleration! This year we will be commemorating the 423rd anniversary of the Edict of Nantes: the Edict that granted freedom of religion for the first time and inspired the first amendment of the American Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our Sunday service will include the revival of hymns and poetry from the fascinating Labadist community: an important group of French and Dutch protestants who influenced the early religious life of New York City at the end of the 1600’s. It will be the first time that these hymns have been sung in a religious service for over three hundred years. Our service of Holy Communion will be followed by a talk on the history, spiritual life and music of the Labadists in Europe and the Americas, illustrated through music and pictures.


  • Holy Communion streamed through YouTube at 11:15 am (Direct link:
  • Immediately followed by a Presentation by Aya Hamada and Joris Bürmann (12:15 pm).
  • Discussion via Zoom after the presentation (the link will be available in the live chat and in the bulletin).
  • [If you cannot attend live, the service and presentation will remain available using the same direct link above.]

Many thanks,

The Rev. Nigel Massey
Rector of Saint-Esprit

Rejoignez-nous ce dimanche pour notre Service annuel d’Action de grâces pour la liberté religieuse et la tolérance ! Nous commémorerons cette année le 423e anniversaire de l’Édit de Nantes :  cet édit royal qui, pour la première fois, a garanti la liberté de religion aux Protestants français et inspiré le premier amendement de la Constitution américaine ainsi que la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’Homme.

Nous chanterons pendant ce service des cantiques récemment redécouverts écrits par les membres de la fascinante « Église du Seigneur » :  aussi connu sous le nom de Labadistes, ce mouvement de protestants français et hollandais a influencé la vie religieuse newyorkaise de la fin du XVIIe siècle. Ces cantiques seront chantés pour la première fois dans un service religieux depuis plus de trois cents ans. La Sainte Communion sera suivie d’une conférence sur l’histoire, la vie spirituelle et la musique des labadistes en Europe et dans les Amériques, illustrée de musique et d’images.

Programme :

  • Sainte Communion sur YouTube à 11h15 (Lien direct:
  • Immédiatement suivie d’une présentation par Aya Hamada et Joris Bürmann (12h15).
  • Discussion sur Zoom après la présentation (le lien sera partagé dans le chat et dans le bulletin virtuel).


Le Rév. Nigel Massey
Recteur de Saint-Esprit

Venez joindre vos voix aux lointains échos des « doux chanteurs d’Israel » ! Aya et Joris nous présentent dans cette vidéo l’histoire fascinante de la communauté Labadistes, movement religieux du XVIIe siècle, et celle de leurs hymnes longtemps oubliés.

Join your voices with the poignant echoes of the « sweet singers of Israel », last heard in New York City over 300 years ago! Aya and Joris will introduce us to the fascinating story of the Labadist movement of the 1600´s and their beautiful hymns so long neglected.

Bibliography on the Labadists and Early Modern Hymnody in America

Jasper Danckaerts’ Journal

History of the Labadist movement

Saxby, T. J. (1987). Quest for the New Jerusalem, Jean de Labadie and the Labadists, 1610-1744 (Vol. 115, International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d’histoire des idées). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

Anna Maria van Schurman

See and the work of Pieta van Beek

Maria Sibylla Merian

Natalie Zemon Davis (1995). Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-century Lives. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674955202. (one of them is Maria Sibylla Merian)

Hymnody in the American Colonies and the Netherlands

“Pharmacy for the Body and Soul: Dutch Songbooks in the Seventeenth Century”
Author: Natascha Veldhorst
Early Music History , 2008, Vol. 27 (2008), pp. 217-285

“Court, Church, and Province: Dancing in the Netherlands, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries”

Author: Lynn Matluck Brooks
Dance Research Journal, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Summer, 1988), pp. 19-27

“Oude en Nieuwe Hollantse Boerenlieties en Contredansen”

Composer: Anonymous
First Publication 1710-16, Amsterdam

“The Sounds of Ephrata: Developing a Research Methodology to Catalog and Study Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Pennsylvanian Music Manuscripts.”

Author: Christopher Dylan Herbert

Notes: the Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 76, no. 2 (December 2019): pp. 199–222.

“Voices in the Pennsylvania Wilderness: an Examination of the Music Manuscripts, Music Theory, Compositions, and (Female) Composers of the Eighteenth-Century Ephrata Cloister.”

Author: Christopher Dylan Herbert

D.M.A. diss., The Juilliard School, 2018.

New Bohemia & the Labadie Tract

Mallery, Charles Payson. Ancient Families of Bohemia Manor; Their Homes and Their Graves. The Historical Society of Delaware, 1888.

Contemporary American Poetry about the Labadists

Howe, Susan. Souls of the Labadie Tract. New Directions Books, 2007.

See the live performance at

Announcement concerning in-person attendance at St. Esprit 

Back at the beginning of the pandemic, the Rector, Wardens, Vestry and Staff worked very hard to come up with a way of continuing the parish’s worship life while keeping all of us safe. That hard work has paid off. However, at the end of March, few of us imagined that we would still be facing the same challenges at Christmastime. With the current increase of cases in our City, we have regretfully come to the decision that the current restrictions on in-person worship at St. Esprit will have to continue for the time being.  

We have been able to invite the small number of people who responded to our email asking about interest in returning to the church in person. We can accommodate only eight people, including the clergy and staff who need to be present. Services open by invitation only include Morning and Evening Prayer on Tuesdays, Midweek Communion on Wednesdays, Morning Prayer on Thursdays and the Taizé Prayer on Thursday evenings. If you are not currently on the list of those wishing to be invited to a service, you can still fill in the survey if you are interested in attending in person by clicking here. 

Because the Christmas services of Chantons Noël, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be sung services, they will be online only, as will the regular Sunday morning service of Holy Communion.  Six people necessary for the service will be present (Nigel, Fred, Cynthia, Aya, Wendy and Joris). 

Wednesday services of Holy Communion will remain open to those who wish to attend (2 or 3 at a time), by application and invitation to avoid overcrowding. There is no singing on Wednesdays, people will be expected to leave the premises immediately after the service. 

Morning and evening prayer on Tuesdays and Thursdays open by application and invitation (1 or 2 at a time). 

Other meetings: All other meetings will be held by Zoom (Bible study, Vestry, the coffee hour, etc.) 

Finally, and unfortunately, the services cannot yet be ‘social’ occasions. Physical distancing regulations and the absence of physical coffee hour mean that our sole priority must be the worship service itself. Masks will have to be worn at all time on church premises and attendees will need to leave the premises quickly at the end of the worship service so that the church can be sanitized. There is no access to the garden. 

We are continuing to experiment with ways in which more people can be involved in the services through recording their singing at home or here in Church. You will see some of the results of your hard work during the services at Christmastime. With my heartfelt thanks for your continued patience and faithfulness and for the talents and resources you so generously give to make sure that our church continues to thrive,  

The Rev. Nigel Massey 
Rector of Saint-Esprit

2020 Annual General Meeting

Dear members of Saint-Esprit,

Due to our current situation, our Annual General Meeting which happens every year on the first Sunday in May had to be postponed to September 27th, 2020.

The Annual Meeting of the Église Française du Saint Esprit will be held immediately after the service on Sunday September 27, 2020 by Zoom. If you’re a voting member of Saint-Esprit, we hope that you will be able to be with us to virtually exercise your right to vote at that meeting.

Please, click here to fill out the proxy form to designate a member of the Parish to vote in your stead if you cannot attend the Meeting. If you are able to attend our Zoom meeting, you may vote in person rather than by proxy. An electronic ballot will be provided at the Meeting. 

One Warden, Lynnaia Main, is standing for re-election for a two-year term, Three Vestry Persons, Helena Ayeh, Rosemary LaPointe, and Kiminu Yengo-Passy stand for reelection for 3-year terms.

One of our Wardens, Marjorie Pierre, died while in office earlier this year. To fill her remaining term, the Vestry, acting as Nominating Committee, has nominated Philippe Orawski to complete the remaining 8 months of Marjorie’s term. To fill the remaining 8 months of Philip’s term as a Vestry member,  the Vestry, acting as Nominating Committee, has nominated Guillaume Ahadji.

With many thanks in advance for your kind co-operation,

Frederic Spitz
Parish Office Manager
PP The Rector, Wardens and Vestry of Saint Esprit.

Updated Pastoral Letter on In-Person Attendance

As we were contemplating the gradual reopening of the church several weeks ago, the improving statistics and a feeling of optimism led us to believe that a limited opening would be possible for all services. Since those guidelines were put together, several developments have occurred.

The Rector and Vestry have decided to modify our re-opening schedule for the following reasons:

  • While the infection rate in NYC continues to hold steady or even decline, there is an alarming increase of infections in other parts of the country and concern expressed by the Governor that these spikes may eventually return to New York, resulting in travel restrictions. Further, the Governor has postponed phase 3 opening for the time being. This leads us to be more cautious in our approach.
  •  In his pastoral letter regarding re-opening of June 24th, the Bishop of New York gave permission to delay re-opening: “…I have no expectation that churches will resume public worship at this time. A significant number of our churches and clergy are telling me that they do not intend to reintroduce worship inside their churches until September or the end of the year. I completely respect those decisions.” Therefore, as a congregation of the Diocese of New York, we are under no obligation to re-open beginning July 5th.
  • Only a small number of people have responded to our email asking about interest in returning. For the moment, the vast majority of our members would prefer to keep watching online (you can still fill in the survey if you are interested in attending in person by clicking here)
  • If we were to go ahead with reopening as initially planned, eleven people would be present in our sanctuary following our protocols. The sanctuary is small. According to the latest guidelines set out by the Bishop of New York, everyone will be required to wear masks at all times, including those who preside, read or pray. Congregational singing will not be possible unless parishioners are spaced 12 feet apart. Many of those who have expressed an interest in returning are elderly, therefore all air conditioners and fans will need to be on, and the door to the garden open for safety and ventilation reasons. The quality of the live stream would be gravely compromised, almost to the point of inaudibility. The experience of the vast majority of the people attending by internet would be fundamentally changed.

The Rector, Wardens, Vestry and staff have decided on the following:

  • This coming Sunday July 5: a partially in-person communion service, specifically inviting those who haven’t been able to join us through the live-stream (three people). The service will include an in-person message from our Warden following the death of Marjorie, and address the safety concerns of a partial re-opening.
  • Sundays until September 16: will continue online only. The presence of five people necessary for the service (Nigel, Fred, Cynthia, Aya and Joris).  Partial re-opening of Sunday services will commence on September 16, unless the situation deteriorates.
  • Wednesday services of Holy Communion: open to those who wish to attend (1 or 2 at a time), by application and invitation to avoid overcrowding. There is no singing on Wednesdays, people will be expected to leave the premises immediately after the service.
  • Morning and evening prayer on Tuesdays and Thursdays open by application and invitation (1 or 2 at a time).
  • Other meetings: All other meetings will be held by Zoom (Bible study, Vestry, occasional coffee hour, etc.)
  • As a way to increase virtual social interaction, there is a recurring virtual coffee hour all summer for those who wish to attend (not moderated). The link, phone number and meeting ID will be under the video on Sundays.

Finally, and unfortunately, the services cannot yet be ‘social’ occasions. Physical distancing regulations and the absence of physical coffee hour mean that our sole priority must be the worship service itself. Masks will have to be worn at all time on church premises and attendees will need to leave the premises quickly at the end of the worship service so that the church can be sanitized. There is no access to the garden.

Many thanks,

The Rev. Nigel Massey
Rector of Saint-Esprit

A message from our Rector about COVID-19

Greetings from the French Church of St. Esprit – the little village church in the heart of Manhattan!

Our City government and our Diocese have issued some very sensible advice that affects the ways in which we will be able to gather together for the next few weeks. Though we cannot meet in person in the church building, our Services will continue.

We have installed a permanent live-cam in the church, which you can watch at any time. ( and click on the video link at the bottom of the page. If for any reason the live stream isn’t working, please click on the YouTube link above under “CONNECT”)

Our services will be broadcast and recorded, so that you can either watch them as they happen or go to our YouTube channel at a later time and watch them from there. (Sunday 11:15, Wednesday 12:15) (

Our Bible Study will take place via Zoom; a very easy program for you to use. You can either join us through your webcam or by calling a telephone number that we will send to you. If you’d like to join us in this way, send an email to Fred ( to let him know so that we can send you an invitation. (Here is the website to set up Zoom )

Nigel will be saying morning and evening prayer in the church in French. Join him via our YouTube channel in those prayers if you like! Mornings at 9:15 and evenings at 6:00. A short reading in French or in English will follow. (The website for the Livre de la prière commune to follow these services is here:

Our calling has not changed. We are here to praise God in all times and circumstances. We are here to put our lives in God’s hands. We are here to calm those who are anxious, and to pray for those who are sick. We are here to strengthen the courage and the compassion of those who will share these moments with us.

We owe a huge debt of thanks to our staff and our lay leaders who are responding to our challenges with so much kindness and resourcefulness. A special shoutout to Fred, our Office Manager, without whom our electronic presence would be limited to the Rector’s cellphone!

“The Lord is near.  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7



Salutations de l’église française de Saint-Esprit – la petite église de village au cœur de Manhattan !

Notre gouvernement municipal et notre Diocèse ont émis des conseils très judicieux qui affectent la manière dont nous pourrons nous réunir au cours des prochaines semaines. Bien que nous ne puissions pas nous rencontrer en personne dans le bâtiment de l’église, nos services continueront.

Nous avons installé une caméra permanente dans l’église, que vous pouvez regarder à tout moment. ( et cliquez sur le lien vidéo en bas de la page. Si pour une raison quelconque le flux en direct ne fonctionne pas, veuillez cliquer sur le lien YouTube au-dessus sous “CONNECTER”)

Nos offices seront diffusés et enregistrés, de sorte que vous pouvez soit les regarder en direct, soit vous rendre sur notre chaîne YouTube plus tard et les y regarder. (Dimanche 11h15, mercredi 12h15) (

Notre étude de la Bible se fera via Zoom ; un programme très facile à utiliser. Vous pouvez nous rejoindre via votre webcam ou en appelant un numéro de téléphone que nous vous enverrons. Si vous souhaitez nous rejoindre de cette manière, envoyez un e-mail à Fred ( pour lui faire savoir afin que nous puissions vous envoyer une invitation. (Voici le site Web pour configurer Zoom

Nigel prononcera la prière du matin et du soir dans l’église en français. Rejoignez-le via notre chaîne YouTube lors de ces prières si vous le souhaitez ! Le matin à 9h15 et le soir à 18h00. Une brève lecture en français ou en anglais suivra. (Vous pouvez retrouver le Livre de la prière commune  pour suivre ces offices ici:

Notre mission n’a pas changée. Nous sommes ici pour louer Dieu en tout temps et en toutes circonstances. Nous sommes ici pour mettre notre vie entre les mains de Dieu. Nous sommes ici pour calmer ceux qui sont anxieux et pour prier pour ceux qui sont malades. Nous sommes ici pour renforcer le courage et la compassion de ceux qui partageront ces moments avec nous.

Nous devons une énorme dette de remerciements à notre personnel et à nos dirigeants laïcs qui font face à nos défis avec tant de gentillesse et de débrouillardise. Un grand merci à Fred, notre Office Manager, sans qui notre présence électronique se limiterait au téléphone portable du Recteur !

« Le Seigneur est proche. Ne vous inquiétez de rien ; mais en toute chose faites connaître vos besoins à Dieu par des prières et des supplications, avec des actions de grâces. Et la paix de Dieu, qui surpasse toute intelligence, gardera vos cœurs et vos pensées en Jésus Christ. » Philippiens 4: 4-7


The 2016 Easter Newsletter is here

Le Messager

Easter 2016

We are excited to announce that our 2016 Easter Newsletter has been sent to print! You will receive a print version within the next two weeks if you requested to be added to our database through pew cards or email. You will receive an email version if you requested so as well. If you wish to receive a print or email copy of our newsletter in the future, please, contact us.

Download the 2016 Easter Newsletter (right click and click "save link  as" to save a copy on your computer)