Christ carrying the cross from a Heironimous Bosch painting.
  March 2002

Click one of the headings below to read the article:

paragraph ending graphic Father Michael paragraph ending graphic Easter Memorial Flowers
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic The Daily Office
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Why Bible Study?
paragraph ending graphic Serendipity Notes paragraph ending graphic Lenten Programs
paragraph ending graphic The Spring Fair is Coming paragraph ending graphic Parish Register

At Table with Jesus' Friends

I am reminded of a religious phenomenon on Good Friday in the 10 th largest city in this country - San Antonio. It is a fact of life that there will be more people attending services on Good Friday in the city than on Easter Sunday. Especially popular is the Via Dolorosa that is emotionally participated in by thousands of onlookers and a cast of hundreds. At the first of Holy Week, a special member of the Hispanic Community is selected to portray Jesus during this drama and also have his picture in the paper along with an article regarding his qualifications of being chosen for this high honor.

Those who readily sing Easter Alleluias often do not heed the fact that for many people in this world every day is Good Friday. Calvary happens over and over and over again and the weeping has not yet been stilled. For many in our world, Easter has not yet happened.

It is with these that Jesus casts his lot, calling us who are better off to account. The sayings and parables of Jesus are like battering rams against a fortress of complacency. But we all know the story: ears are often closed and hardened hearts grow harder, and Jesus dies—an outcast, poorest of the poor, naked on a cross, crying out as many an anguished, despairing voice before him has cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

But God had not forsaken Jesus; God stood by Jesus, this suffering one, and raised him from the dead. He who bore the grief of the downtrodden rose, triumphant over the forces of sin and evil, bearing God’s promise that there is a future hope for those who are tempted to despair, a day of comfort for those who mourn.

The risen Lord Jesus is our host at our weekly Eucharist. His banquet brings together all the poor: Jesus ’ friends from Trinity Lutheran Church on the second Saturday of the month, a battered woman and her children from a safe shelter on Staten Island , a black man unjustly imprisoned on Riker’s Island , a teenage runaway from Covenant House in Manhattan . The banquet is spread not for the comfortable, the complacent, the self-centered or the self-satisfied, but for those who have no hope but hope in the Lord Jesus . The question I ask myself each week is “will we at Christ Church come to table with Jesus ’ friends?” paragraph ending graphic
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Around the Parish

Well, here we are in February already. The hearts and flowers for St. Valentine’s Day have been cherished and Lent is upon us. Thankfully we haven’t had a severe snowstorm—I think it’s only the youngsters who really appreciate it, and perhaps the brave people who ski.

Trevor Mills has something very exciting to share with us. You may not have seen him around for a while, as he has recently retired from teaching—Whoopee—and he enjoys making waves in the swimming pool at Wagner College. He attends the weekday services at Christ Church and has been appointed by the Diocesan Council to Bishop Sisk’s Diocesan Mission on Congregational Life. Susan Fowler has also been approved by Bishop Sisk to be on the Advisory Committee for Episcopal Charities.

Chorister Bill Beveridge recently celebrated a very important birthday—we’re not giving out the number of years. Daughter Annie took him to test drive cars (it was actually a well-devised plan to keep him from the surprise birthday party) and he picked out one that was a little more roomy—they’ve got a BIG family. Bill showed his birthday guests his birthplace on a map of Scotland. We’re waiting for a warm day so that he can wear his kilt!

Father Michael has been elected First Vice President of the Staten Island Council of Churches—a really special honor, and well deserved. Dorothy Rapp has been selected to receive the United Hospital 2002 Auxiliary and Volunteer Achievement Award, also very well deserved.

John Gatti, a newcomer to Christ Church, is putting on a play at Richmondtown. Some of us remember the days when we had a theater group named Civic Theater upstairs in the auditorium —I believe it was started by Judy Lefebvre.

Congratulations to Willie Black, Jr. and the members of the Social Concerns Committee for a simply marvelous Diversity Celebration on February 10 th. There was a wonderful turnout and a great representation from many different ethnic backgrounds—exquisite native costumes, tasty ethnic foods, and entertainment provided by parishioners and members of the Christ Church Choir. The piece de resistance was a special guest appearance by several members of Staten Island’s own Shiloh AME Church who kept things moving with some wonderful Gospel tunes. I can’t even begin to imagine what our Diversity Celebration will be like next year!

Glendon & Vlasta Jantzi’s daughter, Mona, who lives in Manhattan, is soon to tie the knot with Matthew Connor, a Veep at Citibank. They met in college and the ceremony will take place at the Russian Tea Room. Their honeymoon is planned for “down under” in Australia.

The busy Kennedy family, Hal, Laura and Claire, recently took a trip to Singapore—perhaps we could persuade them to give a talk on their travels. We all have different Lenten journeys, but this one takes the cake!

Linda “in the office” is always learning something new about computers, parishioners, Christ Church and its people, and has had to deal with many diverse requests while working here as well as taking care of her elderly mother the rest of the time. “Bravo” Linda for all of your hard work.

Father Blasingame at St. Paul’s Church held a beautiful evening service to honor Princess Margaret’s life. Richard Maren played old(e) English hymns on the organ for a small congregation of mostly British worshippers. It meant a great deal to these expatriates. That same evening was Shrove Tuesday, and there was a large turnout at Christ Church for the Pancake Supper, organized by Serendipity members. Those ladies (and gentlemen—Hal Reiersen, Father Michael and Victor Stanwick cooked, served, washed up and satisfied the appetites of the large number of people who came to eat and socialize.

March 20 th marks a milestone birthday for our own Edith Armstrong when she turns 95 this year. Congratulations, Edith, and our very best birthday wishes!

And of course, our very best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to our Sexton, Jim Angone , who quite unexpectedly had to undergo a heart procedure to remove arterial blockages. Jim is home from the hospital, recuperating—and hopefully—RESTING! Get well soon Jim—we miss you!!

Tom Sarff, our organist and choirmaster, has some exciting news to share. He has just received confirmation that The Heritage Singers from England will include Christ Church in their 2003 American Tour. They will be here during the first weekend of August and are prepared to give a concert, workshop, Evensong or some other type of service. More details to follow as plans become finalized.

Father John Walsted recently celebrated his 70 th birthday and One Pendleton once again was straining at the seams with more than a hundred people who came to wish him many more.

The Girls Night Out Program still keeps growing, as word gets out for fun and learning once a week without all those boys interrupting! We got word that there was a pajama party (for the girls). Do any of you wonder what the leaders Diana Yates and Jeanne Mann wore? Pajamas, of course!

We are glad to hear that HeatherGeorge is recovering from her recent surgery. Keep up the good work.

And last, but certainly not least, is the announcement of my daughter Paige ’s recent marriage to Javier Quevedo in Bogota , Colombia . We met this excellent young man on our cruise last summer, and she flew down to South America in November to meet his family and to visit Cartaghena. He proposed and she said “yes.” Then back to work. They set the date for the day of Christmas Eve and once again she was off to Newark Airport for the long flight. They were married by a Justice of the Peace, with a translator (so that Paige knew what was taking place!)—and two days later she had to fly back as she had no remaining vacation days. We are eagerly waiting to welcome Javier into the United States when his visa is granted and we hope they will be able to have their marriage blessed at Christ Church. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Notes

Following are important highlights from the February 11 meeting of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton:

  • The search continues for a new Treasurer.
    In the interim Richard Sigman, our Junior Warden and head of the Finance Committee, has been preparing and submitting financial updates to the Vestry.
  • The Vestry has approved the upcoming Summer Service Schedule which begins on June 9 th. Low Mass will be held in the Chapel at 8:00 a.m. and a combined service with hymns will take place in the church at 9:30 a.m.
  • Members of the Plant & Equipment Committee have submitted a grant for funding for a Conditions Survey. A conditions survey will provide a review of the current status of our buildings—this includes the structural work as well as the stained glass, masonry, drainage, parking lot, driveway, lighting and signage. A master plan would then be formulated to combine the results of the condition survey with the church’s mission and show us how changes in the buildings might help us to reach our long-term goals.
The Vestry will meet again on March 11 for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. In the interim, approved minutes of the December 2001 and January 2002 meetings have been posted on the Parish House bulletin board for those wishing to review them. paragraph ending graphic
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Serendipity Notes

The turnout for our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper was overwhelming. The cooks and servers were happy to work twice as hard this year to keep up with the steady stream of satisfied customers who came out to join us. Thanks to all for your support.

At our February meeting there was lots of discussion about our next “event.” Although we haven’t made any definite plans at this time you can rest assured that it will be happening soon and that it will involve lots of home made goodies from the Serendipity kitchens.

In the interim, we’ve decided to direct our energies to a very worthwhile cause—working with our own Colin Reed to prepare, package and sell his lovely Easter cards and note cards. Each one features a reproduction of one of Colin’s original photos which were taken at familiar sites here on Staten Island, including the grounds of Snug Harbor and the Botanical Garden. The cards will be available for purchase during the Sunday coffee hour following the 10:30 a.m. service. All proceeds will be used to fund worthwhile causes and activities here at Christ Church.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12 th at the home of Dorothy Rapp . We’re always looking for new members and would love to have you come out and join us. paragraph ending graphic
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The Spring Fair is Coming

Don’t look now but the Christ Church Spring Fair is right around the corner—Saturday, June 15 th to be exact! Although you may be telling yourself that the time-frame leaves us a little over three months. You must remember just how much is involved in preparing for such a big event—soliciting outside vendors, deciding what tables will be available, finding people willing to take responsibility for items like the 50/50 raffle, baskets of cheer, the white elephant table, the lunch room, the tours of the Church, setting up and cleaning up, etc., etc.

So, the next time you’re cleaning out a closet or spending an extended period of time in your attic or basement give some thought to items you may want to consider for donation to the White Elephant table, and how much of your time and talents that you’d like to donate to making this year’s Fair even more successful than the last (and that will be a pretty tall order!). The first planning meeting was scheduled for March 3 rd, and there will be more to come. Please plan to be part of the fun this year because it’s a wonderful experience that you’ll always remember. paragraph ending graphic
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Easter Memorial Flowers

Those who would like to contribute to the memorial flowers for Easter should list the names of those to be remembered and place envelopes containing donations in the offering plate on a Sunday. Flower Fund envelopes will be found in the pews. Checks should be drawn to Women of Christ Church.

Names and donations may also be mailed directly to Mrs. Richard Elfers, 61 North Randall Ave., Staten Island, NY 10301. To be listed in the Easter bulletin, all names must be received no later than Palm Sunday. paragraph ending graphic
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The Daily Office — What Are Its Parts?
Part 2 of 3

"Pray continually." 1st Thessalonians 5:17.

This is the second of three articles concerning the Daily Office. This article shows you how to use the Book of Common Prayer to find the proper psalms, readings, canticles, and collects used in the prayers, as well as any extra books and documents you’ll need.

Psalms and Readings

Starting on page 936 of the Book of Common Prayer, there’s a listing of the psalms and readings you’ll need for each service. There are several important things you should take note of on these pages. Note that at the bottom of the pages, the footings read “Daily Office Year One” on the even pages and “Daily Office Year Two” on the odd pages. The Daily Office runs on a two-year cycle (as opposed to the Sunday Lectionary, which runs on a three-year cycle). On Sunday, December 2 nd, 2001, we began the Sunday Lectionary Year A. The following day, Monday, we began the Daily Office Lectionary Year Two.

Next, note that immediately after the day of the week, there are several numbers separated by a diamond cross character (diamond cross character). These numbers refer to the psalm or psalms you’ll read at each service. The diamond cross character character separates the morning and evening prayer psalms (the Book of Common Prayer contains the full text of the Psaltery beginning on page 585).

Finally, note that there are three readings listed under each day. The custom at Christ Church is to do two readings at each service (for a total of four readings per day), and this is the only confusing thing about the Daily Office. Let me explain what happens: There is ALWAYS an Old Testament reading at each service. For the morning office, use the Old Testament and Gospel reading as listed. For the evening office, use the Old Testament reading from the opposite year and the New Testament reading as listed. I’ll pick a day at random — Monday, May 13, 2002. We go to page 965 (remember, we’re in Year Two) of the Book of Common Prayer and find that the Psalms listed for that day are 89:1-18 for the morning and 89:19-52 for the evening. So far, so good. The next line down says that the readings are Joshua 1:1-9, Eph. 3:1-13, and Matt. 8:5-17 for Year Two, and Ezek. 4:1-17, Heb. 6:1-12, and Luke 9:51-62 for Year One. After we read the Psalm during Morning Prayer, we will read the passage from Joshua. Then we’ll read canticle 9 (Ecce, Deus), and the second reading will be the Gospel as listed ( Matthew). During Evening Prayer, we’ll read the Psalm as listed, then we’ll read the Old Testament passage from Year One (Ezekiel), and the New Testament reading as listed (Ephesians). Got it? Good.


Go to pages 144 and 145 of the Book of Common Prayer. There you’ll find the suggested canticles for the morning and evening offices. There are a total of 21 canticles used in the daily office over the course of a week. Canticles 1 through 7 start on page 47 of the Book of Common Prayer and run to page 52. Canticles 8 through 21 begin on page 85 and run to page 95. The next article in this series explains when to say the canticles during the offices.


A collect (prayer meant to focus your mind on the present or collect your thoughts) is said at each office. The tradition at Christ Church is to use the contemporary collects for weekday Morning Prayer and the Traditional collects for Sunday Morning Prayer and all Evening Prayer offices. During the week, we use the collect from the previous Sunday.

Other Texts

Three other sources of information are good to have, though not required.

  • We pray for the providences and dioceses within the Anglican Communion as listed in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer. This is a small paperback book published once a year and is also available on the Internet.
  • We pray for the parishes, communities, and organizations listed on the Diocesan Calendar of Intercessions, which is available monthly in the Episcopal New Yorker (also on the Diocesan web site).
  • On special days throughout the year we pray different prayers reminding us of the lives of saintly individuals. These days are listed on the Ordo Kalendar you receive each year from the Church. You’ll need the book of Lesser Feasts and Fasts for the proper collect to use on those days.

All of the information listed above, including the order of prayer and the Book of Common Prayer information, can be found on the following web site:

The next installment of this article will talk about the order of the morning and evening offices. paragraph ending graphic
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Why Bible Study ?

The problem with Chairman Mao’s little red book is not its color or content but its size. It’s too small and contains only a partial view. When Islam’s jihad starts hurting innocent people, the trouble is the same as with ancient Israel’s herem and Christianity’s crusade; it’s unjust. The same injustice is at the root of the caste system, apartheid and slavery. Injustice also lies behind discrimination against people on the basis of economic status, sexual orientation, gender, age, religious belief, color or any other ‘ism. Such criminal injustice comes from the distortions of truth. It emerges from the context too small, shots snapped too fast, close-ups without perspective. Truth takes time and space: sometimes, the longer the time the bigger the book, the brighter the future. Truth grows.

Why could not the herem, crusade and jihad have served as divine truth only for particular times or places? If we hastily judge such formerly venerable customs fit for our own time too, we err by misapplication. More than that, we fool ourselves as we fixate on the part and think it the whole. Like Melville’s Ahab, we become single-cause obsessed, narrow-minded maniacs incapable of endorsing humane values.

Since reading Colin Reed’s thought-provoking Tower Chimes article “Are the Words of God Infallible?”, I’ve come to understand in a deeper way why the church encourages Bible study. We do this for Bartimaeus’ reason: “to see” the big picture, to have full vision. Bible study opens up the treasures of the Bible so that we can come to know a richer share of God’s word. We become aware of a wider spectrum of the Bible than any Sunday lectionary, preacher or committee could furnish. By immersing ourselves in Bible Study we enjoy a broader horizon, a grander biblical panorama heard, read, marked, learned and inwardly digested in a calm and careful manner, not in the heat of action.

On September 11 th the stakes got higher. If we Christians, Jews and Muslims are truly people of the book, we need information by the whole book, not just by convenient slogans torn from context, as fundamentalists prefer. Since that dies irae we no longer have the luxury of ignoring portions of revealed truth or of pretending that only we have truth’s fullness. Rooted in the book, now more than ever, we need God’s fuller fare. If we keep withholding it from our children, one another and ourselves, we cannot go on: Without vision people perish.

Why Bible study? To survive! paragraph ending graphic
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Lenten Programs in
Abundance at Christ Church

As each of us embarks upon his and her own personal Lenten Journey this season, please keep in mind the many different activities and programs here at Christ Church which have been designed to enrich and inform:

Wednesday Night Lenten Program

This year’s program focuses on The Chronicles of Narnia, a wonderful series of children’s books written by C.S. Lewis. These are short and interesting stories which are quite easy to read. Each week the discussion will focus on a different book. The evening begins at 7:00 p.m. in the church with the service of (Via Dolorosa) (The Sorrowful Way) and a low mass with hymns, followed by a lenten meal and discussion in the Guild Room. The program ends at about 9:00 p.m. each evening.

Lenten Bible Study -
Thursday evenings at
7:00 p.m.

Father Michael conducts an interesting and stimulating discussion each Thursday evening during Lent. The topic this year is The People of Promise: A Survey of the Old Testament

Quiet Day at Christ Church -
Saturday, March 16 -
7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

This is a wonderful opportunity to spend a day at Christ Church in quiet meditation and reflection. The day begins with a light breakfast at 7:30 a.m. followed byMorning Prayer in the Church and a series of meditations led by Father Michael. Following each meditation there is time to find a quiet spot on the church grounds—in the Church or Chapel, the Guild Room, the Vestry Room—to think, reflect and sit quietly. A short, spoken Eucharist takes place in the Church at 11:30 a.m., followed by a light luncheon and time for a final meditation. There is a suggested donation of $10 to cover the cost of food. Reservations are necessary and can be made at the coffee hour after the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, or by calling the parish office at 727-6100.

Lenten Choral Meditations -
Sunday, March
17 - 4:00 p.m.

The members of the Christ Church choir have prepared a wonderful selection of music to accompany the theme of this year’s program which is entitled “Five Centuries of Musical Reflection and Serenity.” The service will include several hymns, and short meditations by Father Michael . The choir will present a selection of anthems which include the Ave Verum and Lacrymosa of Mozart, in addition to works of Wilby, Speaks and J.E. West. Valerie Quinlan will be the featured violin soloist. paragraph ending graphic
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Parish Register

March Birthdays

13— William Keck III , Eileen Murray , Kevin McAndrew , Kenneth A. McLean ; 14— Eva Sherman ; 15— Gail Bernardez ; 18— Theresa Lettiere , Beverly Pavelec ; 20— Edith Armstrong ;

23— Nancy Lettiere, Heather George ; 26— Pamela Miller; 30— Daniel N. Lettiere, Mark E. Hewitt , Sr.

Marriage: Michele Bermius to Michael Danza

Transferred Out: Richard Monroe

If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish Office at 727-6100 so it can be added. paragraph ending graphic

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