October 2002

Click one of the headings below to read the article:

Father Michael Share All God's Gifts
Around the Parish Send a Friend to School
Women of Christ Church Evensong at Christ Church
Vestry Notes June in the North West
Serendipity Notes Ponder This

Getting Our Bearings

I’ve been having difficulty at times since 9/11 getting my bearings. In fact, there have been times on the Staten Island Ferry or while walking the streets of downtown Manhattan that I’ve had a micro-second panic attack of feeling lost. Until 9/11 I, like many others, used the WTC Towers as a means of getting my bearings. Now, since their collapse, I have nothing that stands out against the New York City skyline that enables me to know immediately where I am.

Although I say this from a purely pragmatic and geographical sense, I also believe that people are having a hard time emotionally and spiritually getting their bearings, because the bearings that we have always counted on are no longer there. The unthinkable and impossible has happened to us and exposed our once hidden vulnerability for all to see. This is going to have a profound effect on our worldview during the following years.

However, I do believe that we have a choice: whether to implode without any sense of emotional or spiritual direction or to rebuild that solid foundation for a towering bridge that will lead us from our painful sorrow to a richer and deeper life for all the world. For me this foundation is God’s love. Furthermore, I believe that we are called upon to become the steel within this foundation by opening ourselves to be “God’s charity-bearers” so that the two towers of Peace and Hope will be able support the life-giving span across the treacherous straits of despair, selfishness, loneliness and loss of direction to a place that will be a light for all nations to get their bearings. paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

Once again, Glendon and Vlasta Jantzi have been traveling the globe. A few of the places they visited were Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, my particular favourite the incredible Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida!), Red Square in Moscow, Berlin, Poland and Amsterdam. Then Vlasta went off on her own to her birthplace, Croatia. She came back with quite an accent!

An incognito member of the Reed family reported that Mrs. Esther Reed is looking forward to the Sunday service when it is resumed “at the proper time.” By the time you read this, (if it’s not deleted by the editors,) our wonderful choir will be in their pews, singing lustily with Maestro Sarff at the organ console.

Dylan Scire, grandson of Judy Davis, will be going to kindergarten at P.S. 54. At his pre-K class he had the best voice in their end of term concert, perhaps we can sign him up for the junior choir.

Margaret Harris will be flying down to Los Alamos, New Mexico to visit a long time friend, who happens to be a former editor of “Around the Parish,” Martha Bendix. Martha and her late husband Ernst were pillars of Christ Church.

Fr. Michael and a group of people from Christ Church attended the memorial service for those who perished in the September 11 attacks last year. It was held in the S.I. Ball Park right across from downtown Manhattan. It was a very moving ceremony with many faiths represented. There were prayers, poetry and music: our own Valerie Quinlin played Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” accompanied by Eva Tooker, a member of the Richmond Choral Society. Also singing with this choir were Nancy Scromo and Hal and Linda Reiersen. Although a blustery, cold evening, everyone’s hearts were warmed when the photographs of every Staten Islander who died in the attacks were shown on an oversized screen.

Valerie is also gearing up for this year’s recital series at Christ Church; watch the bulletin board for information. Also, Valerie is going to give a recital on Oct. 28th at 2:30 at the Donnell Library in Manhattan.

Enid Mitchell recently had a bump on the neck. She didn’t know from whence it came, but she treated it with prayer and the laying on of hands at the healing service and a bit of spit rubbed on daily! She showed us at the coffee hour, it’s almost disappeared.

Barnett Shepherd and Nick Dowen were recently in the Deep South on business and said it was very hot, just like New York. Their itinerary included Birmingham, Jackson, Vicksburg, Natchez, Memphis and Greenville. After all this traveling they attended an annual family reunion, total 40/50 people!

Janet Schneider is keeping very fit. She’s taken up running—maybe she’ll join the next marathon.

Elmo Ripley, the first great national basketball player, played in the Christ Church gym when he was a kid. Rick Boody informed us that it was before his time and before the Curtis gym was built. Did you ever go downstairs to see the wonderful gym we have? Willie Black III will be glad, I’m sure, to show you around.

Have you seen the church dog recently? Augie is keeping a low profile—she’s embarrassed to be seen now that her fur was clipped to the skin for the long hot summer.

Paul and Karen Smith are delighted that their son Ian will be on Staten Island, as he has graduated from Marist College. However, he’s still studying, taking a course in Leadership in Criminal Justice at St. John’s here on home ground and paying for his tuition himself by working at a catering company nearby.

Stephanie and Christine Santiago had lots of fun in their summer break. They went to Allison’s Pond and Gateway and became expert crab catchers and they also went hiking with their dad, Elvis.

Willie Black IV has made Tottenville High School and he’ll be taking two buses to get there, and two to get back home. Congratulations, Tottenville has a very good reputation for scholars.

Gail Bernardez had a wonderful time in France this year. She spent a week in Paris, visiting museums, sightseeing and going around the Louvre. Her main object was to visit her daughter in Toulouse. She spent 7 hours on the train, but stayed three weeks there so that she could really enjoy her family.

One Pendleton Place had a very welcome visitor from Wisconsin—Martha’s sister Gladys (Gladdie to her friends and family.) She stayed for about a month, after having had hip surgery. Martha introduced her to Christ Church and she’s doing very well.

Rick Boody had a very significant birthday recently, but we won’t give out the number of years—you wouldn’t believe it anyway. Rick’s daughter, Abby, used her baking skills and catered the party at the Boody residence.

The charming little red head who attended all the summer family services (her name is Gracie) is the daughter of Ann Krusul and her partner Leslie Sullivan. She and C.J. Brown became fast friends.

Ron and Ellen Mazzucco just got back from their cruise to the Baltic area; some of their favourite stops were in Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg where they visited the Hermitage Museum. It’s a real treasure. My visit last year was a dream come true.

Scholar Eva Marie Black has started school. She informed her grandfather, Willie Black Jr., that she already knew that stuff!

Trevor Mills is again off to his home away from home on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs. He plans to take a side trip to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, which will include horseback riding and rafting on the Oxbow bend of the Snake River.

I almost forgot, I am going to England next week, visiting daughter Wendy in Yorkshire, and then meeting up with daughter Paige to go bed and breakfasting in Southern Ireland. Strange, but I’ve never been in the land of the
leprechauns. paragraph ending graphic

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Women of Christ Church

On a bright September morning the Women of Christ Church resumed our regular meetings after the summer break. Helen Martin and Connie Ricciardi prepared a luncheon table following a patriotic theme, heaped with relishes and cookies to complement the sandwiches we each brought. Their dessert was an ice cream cake to celebrate the September birthdays.

Plans for the coming year were discussed at the business meeting, which followed the Healing Service and Eucharist.

We hope that you will mark October 10th on your calendars and attend our next meeting or attend any part of our day—Eucharist at 11 a.m., business meeting at 11:45 or lunch (bring a sandwich,) at 12:30. paragraph ending graphic

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Vestry Notes

Members of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton met on September 9, 2002 for their regular monthly meeting. The following highlights reflect some of the important issues that were discussed at that time:

The Treasurer’s post continues to be vacant, and the search continues for volunteers within the parish. Those who are interested in taking on this important work should speak to either Father Michael or our wardens, Willie Black, Jr. and Richard Sigman.

Based on the recommendation of the Worship and Liturgy Committee, the Vestry voted to change the time of this year’s Christmas Eve service from 11:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. A final decision regarding whether this time change should be permanent will be made based on the response to the time change.

The Worship & Liturgy Committee voted to change Christ Church’s patronal feast day from the first Sunday in August to February 2 (this is the date of The Presentation of Our Lord on the Liturgical calendar.) The date change should make it easier for parishioners from other Episcopal churches to join us for our traditional “name day” celebration next year.

There are still not enough volunteers in place to get our Church School activities underway. We are still in need of a Director and at least one additional teacher. In addition, the search continues for a pianist to play during the Family Service.

An architectural survey of the church, rectory and parish hall was conducted on July 17. An expert on stained glass came in August and a stonework expert was scheduled to come to the church in September. The draft report of their findings should be available for review by the Plant & Equipment committee some time in early October.

An expert on sound equipment was scheduled to examine our church sound system some time in September, in hopes of finding a solution for our current problem.

The Vestry will meet again on Monday, October 14. In the interim, approved minutes from the meeting of June 10, 2002 are posted on the parish house bulletin board for those wishing to review them. paragraph ending graphic

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Serendipity Notes

Members of Serendipity met on September 17th to work on plans for a brand new season of food and fellowship - and we promise that you won’t be disappointed! There were so many different options to discuss that there just wasn’t time to make plans for the year ahead; however, we did come up with some really good ideas for October and November of this year.

On Friday evening, October 25, Serendipity will be hosting a German Dinner in the Parish Hall. This will be our own way of celebrating “Oktoberfest” and our menu plans include such tasty and traditional foods as home made Sauerbraten and Red Cabbage. As you’re reading this article, we’re working on a final menu and suggested price. All of the details will be made available to you in the Sunday service leaflet announcements, and in colorful flyers around the parish house. In order to be sure that there is plenty of food for everyone we will be taking reservations during the Sunday coffee hour.

On Sunday, November 24 we will be featuring our traditional Quiche Brunch, immediately following the 10:30 a.m. service. Every year we find ourselves surrounded by more and more parishioners and friends who are anxious to try our latest offering of home made quiches and salad, complemented by juice coffee and tea. It’s a wonderful time for everyone to spend some “quality time” together. Once again, we’re still working on final details – prices, menu, etc. – and we will be giving you advance notice as soon as the planning process is complete. Rest assured, you won’t be disappointed.

That’s it for now. We’re always looking for new members and new ideas—perhaps you’ve got something to share with us. Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. and we’d love to have you join us! paragraph ending graphic

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Share All God's Gifts

Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, I would listen to the radio on Sunday nights as I fell asleep. A particular gospel “Reverend” from West Virginia would come on the air. He used to say, “You gotta buy mah book. Right now! I want you to tape one thin dime to a post card and mail it to me.” Then he would say, “Yes, siree! Right Now! One thin dime will buy you salvation!” It sounded like a pretty good deal.

Years later, a fundamentalist minister asked me if I had received salvation. “Guess not, “ I said, “I never sent in my dime.” I learned later that Christ’s salvation is for free. Sort of. Christ does not sell it for money. He gives it freely. But he expects a commitment in return. Salvation is not about “one thin dime.”

When I first joined Overeaters Anonymous, someone said to me, “It’s not just about the weight.” Eventually I learned that there were more important issues than just the weight.

I’ve been told that stewardship is not just about the money either. I thought, “What the blazes is a Stewardship Campaign all about if it’s not about the money?”

In a similar way, there are more important issues at Christ Church than just the money. Of course, we live in a society where money is always an issue. We need money to pay the rector, organist, sexton, etc. We need to pay for water, electricity, gas, etc., just like everyone else. It’s a beautiful, big, old church that needs a lot of money to keep it running. And we have many programs that need funding as well. But the money issue is actually an easy one. The answer is pledging. So here’s the pitch. Ladies & Gentlemen—! One thin dime per week will buy you SAL–VAAA–TION! But you know I’m not serious—we couldn’t exist in today’s world for “one thin dime”!

One Finance Committee member said, “It is much better for the Church budget if people pledge an amount that they know they can afford, than to pledge a higher amount they will not be able to pay. It’s better for the Church when people pledge $20 per week for example, and occasionally stick in another $10 when they can, than to have them pledge $30 per week and only put $20 in the envelope because that’s all they can really afford.”

Looks like even WITH the money, it’s more than JUST the money. We need a pledge commitment from you that you can keep. Now that I’ve stood on the soapbox and banged the money drum, let me show you why it is not about the money.

If each of our members made it a point this year to encourage one friend or neighbor to attend Christ Church and to become a pledging member, we could double our membership in a year. And that would mean more money. And all it takes is for each parishioner to evangelize one friend to join. Yet our Evangelism Committee is one of the most under attended committees at Christ Church.

But we need more than just some money from you. We need some of your time, energy and talent so that YOU can help make Christ Church a better place for US.

Please Share All of God’s Gifts to You With All Of Us at Christ Church. paragraph ending graphic

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Send a Friend to School

Victor and I have a new small-scale fundraising project. We recently met Kenan Mallkic from Maglaj, Bosnia (see for some of the details of his trip here.)

He’s going to the College of Staten Island, (CSI) to get a degree in network security, while getting medical help for various dental and physical problems caused by stepping on a landmine.

Kenan needs some help getting funds for school and we’re trying to help Global Medical Relief and the Episcopal Feeding Ministry to raise it. Why? Mostly because he has the same sense of humor as Victor. Also, he’s very smart and will be an asset to any school who supports him and any company who ultimately hires him.

Kenan already has a grant for $3000 from the Lotte Kaliski Foundation for Gifted Children. But he still needs money to cover some expenses—about $725. He can get Access-a-ride, but they’re often unreliable, so he will need to take car services when they don’t show up. It’s hard for him to take NYC buses because he can’t hold on to the bars and straps with artificial hands. We’re also thinking of a scooter or Segway to get around the campus—it’s a big campus.

We’re asking in the short term for any small donation–$10, or $25 whatever–that will help him to get through the first semester. For the long term, we’re asking for ideas for grants or scholarships; CSI or City University contacts or alumni who might be able to help him at the school. A hot shot advisor who can help him to get grants, a hot shot immigration lawyer because he’s going to start the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. He can’t get federal school loans now because he’s an alien.

Tax-deductible donations should be sent directly to: Attn. Kenan Malkic, Global Medical Relief Fund, 64 McFarland Ave., Staten Island, NY 10305. Checks should be made out to Global Medical Relief Fund, memo “Kenan Malkeic.” Please feel free to call or e-mail us if you have any questions. You can also e-mail Kenan directly at, if you like. paragraph ending graphic

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Evensong at Christ Church

On Sunday, October 27th at 4 p.m. Father Michael will lead parishioners in a very special Evensong service. For those of you who aren’t quite familiar with the term, Evensong is simply Evening Prayer with music. The Christ Church choir will present an “all-British” program, featuring selections from the Tudor period through the 20th century. This will include works by Brewer, Farrant, Tallis, Thalben-Ball and Wesley.

There will be a reception in the Guild Room immediately following the service to give parishioners the opportunity to meet Tim Knight, a composer and conductor from Leeds, England who will be visiting here. Mr. Knight is co-founding director of the Yorkshire Composer’s Festival, and is conductor of the Heritage Singers, a choir which supplies traditional Anglican music to churches and cathedrals throughout England when their choirs are “on holiday.” The Heritage Singers will be making their first U.S. Tour in August 2003, and their New York engagement will include a concert here at Christ Church during that month.

Be sure to mark your calendars now and plan to be a part of this very special Evensong service. paragraph ending graphic

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June in the North West

This past June I went to British Columbia, and Alaska. What a trip!! Three weeks—three trips.

The first week started in Vancouver. I had an afternoon to myself when I got in so I headed straight for Christ Church Cathedral. I learned of the Cathedral while reading about Vancouver. The parish was started in 1888 and the building dates from 1889. And guess what? They have a restoration going on. Because? Their building has similar problems to ours!!

Vancouver and Vancouver Island are wonderful: clean and green. I could have spent a week there. But the bus was leaving. We went as far east as Banff and Jasper, in Alberta. We went over 1400 miles and up 7700 feet above sea level. There were many highlights to my trip: I will give you three examples.

Banff, June 10: it was raining when we started up Sulpher Mountain. At the top it was a white out—snow! But we were in it for only two hours. Jasper: one evening near the hotel I was 50 feet from two baby elk for 10 minutes. Victoria and Vancouver Island: I went whale watching and saw the L Pod: Dad, Mom and three kids.

Once back in Vancouver I went on the Dawn Princess for a seven day trip to Seward. The first thing learned in Alaskan waters along the coast is: a good day is when it doesn’t rain.

Again, there are so many highlights. A sea plane ride in misty fjords, so peaceful; a helicopter ride to Mendenhall Glacier for a walk; seeing Glacier Bay on a sunny day followed by a rainy day in College Fjord. All the glaciers are named for women colleges in the eastern U.S. I liked seeing it in the rain, a better feeling of what a hardship it could be.

Once in Seward, back on a bus to Whittier for a boat ride to Valdiz, we didn’t see any oil on the water or land. Then seven more days on a bus to Fairbanks, and it was warmer in land and buggy. Again, a week of highlights, but Denali National Park had to be tops. Mt. McKinley is visible only 10% of the time. Of course that 10% was June 26,27,28 while I was there. I also got to see a caribou walk right past the bus followed by a female moose.

The whole adventure was wonderful. What I’ve mentioned is only some of what happened. I have 90 (ninety!) rolls or 2400 pictures of how wonderful. paragraph ending graphic

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Ponder This

The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, “Give me All I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You… No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down…Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.” paragraph ending graphic

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