September 2002

Click one of the headings below to read the article:

Father Michael Great Job Opportunities @ CCNB
Around the Parish What's Missing
Women of Christ Church Spring Fair 2002 Was a Fun-Filled Success
Vestry Notes Concert Series Returns
Serendipity Notes    

Fear and Faith

Always at this time of the year the “Football Bug” bites me as I drive past St. Peter’s High School and see those young men out on the field sweating while they do their drills in preparation for another high school football season. Having played high school football myself many years ago, I can attest to the fact that playing at this level is a mixture of rapture and agony.

Before the game the team dresses and hangs around the locker room. Tension and anxiety fill the room. The coach comes and gives a pep talk, challenges the players to give their best, and assures them that their parents are there.

“Make them proud,” he says. Then after the endless waiting we take the field for warming up and stretching exercises. Then we huddle on the sideline and rally each other’s courage. On the field, under the lights, before the home crowd, all these things come together and we feel like throwing up! Butterflies that will not fly in formation in our stomachs make us feel lightheaded.

The whistle blows. The kickoff occurs. You run down the field and either hit or get hit by someone on the other team. Now you are ready to play. The butterflies are going, the sick feeling is past, and your joy at being a part of the game has replaced your fear. What really happened? You made contact, or were contacted, and survived. You get up, no longer a spectator. You are a participant.

To me this is the Good News of the Incarnation. God has decided to enter the world in all its messiness and participate in it fully. God makes an innermost contact with us in our everyday living in order that we might intimately contact God by following the Divine example of sacrificial loving service. God is here to turn our eyes away from our fears. God enters into our world, a world in which a little bit of fear makes for reason and sanity, to call us into the risky vocation of mission - that is, of serving all creation in faith, hope and charity.

God’s purpose for us is not to be mere spectators of a fateful divine comedy, but rather, active participants in a redemptive present and future. Yes, there will be some hard knocks and even some times when we will find ourselves flat on our backs, but faith will protect us against all those fears that paralyze thought, poison the mind and destroy character. However, as Karle Wilson Baker expressed it, “[Our] Courage [will be] Fear that has said its prayers.” paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

I have eaten my words. In the last edition of the Tower Chimes I wrote “This is it. No more slaving over the typewriter or deadlines!” Well, there wasn’t exactly a queue of volunteers to take it over, so here we are.

We have gained some new people at the Sunday service and they are very friendly -- just look around at the exchange of the peace. Our summer “Tea Under the Trees” has been quite delightful. Thank you, Margaret Harris, for organizing the volunteers, and thanks to the volunteers for providing “elevenses” as we say in Merrie Olde England.

At the Hymn Sing this summer, Tom Sarff chose hymns that we all knew, so there was a glad sound. Solo anthems were sung by choir members Ann Sohm, Jay Spadaro, Willie Black, Jr., Nancy Scromo and Hal Reiersen.

In August we bid a fond farewell to longtime parishioner Anne Kehoe, who has moved to Connecticut to be with her daughter and grandchildren. Anne will be fondly remembered for her enthusiasm, her good works, coat drives, food for our Pantry, taxiing parishioners to and from church, appointments,- and so much more. Hopefully she’ll be back for a visit from time to time to keep us posted on her comings and goings in the new digs!

Victor Stanwick and wife, Susan, went to a conference in Florida. Victor told that it was just like New York, but rainier. I picked up the Staten Island Advance the other day and their picture was in it with a huge write up about them eating fungus. However, it didn’t go down very well at all..... And to add to things, Victor recently underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery.That’s enough for now, Victor!

Alyson Reed has been appointed Exec.Director of the Maryland State Commission for Women, an advisory body to the Governor and legislature on women’s issues. Her sister Annie, a Boston architect, is busily preparing for the birth of her second baby “around Thanksgiving.”

There was a birthday celebration for John Watson at Adobe Blues recently. He was very surprised when he walked in, and I don’t think he had to buy a drink the whole evening! John spent a very busy summer traveling to many exciting places, and he’s written an article about his adventures that will appear in next month’s Tower Chimes.

Judy Davis had a nice long visit with her mum in northern England. She missed the Ice Cream Social after church - it was really yummy and a perfect day to sample the delicious flavours provided by Serendipity.

Lou Ranieri, our new Youth Director, has had a wonderful response to the summer clinics that were held at Christ Church. About 20 kids attended each clinic on a regular basis. Lou has many terrific ideas to draw in more young people and we should be seeing more exciting new programs this Fall.

Beth and Chip McLean are bursting with pride. Their youngest son, Sean, will be attending Curtis High School in the Fall; son Kenny has been chosen Captain of the Curtis swim team: son Brian, a sophomore at the University of Delaware, is now their Mascot (the Blue Hen) and will be performing at football games and basketball games. And their oldest son Charlie, now in his junior year at SUNY Oneonta, has been chosen as Captain of the swim team, and recently joined the North Shore Rescue Squad here on Staten Island.

Dorothy Rapp reports that her son, Peter, will be inducted into the Wagner College Hall of Fame on September 21 during their Homecoming festivities. His late father, Dr. Michael Rapp, was also a Wagner alumnus. Peter is Athletic Director for the Staten Island Academy, runs their summer camp, and also coaches soccer and baseball. Peter’s daughter, Terri Lynne, is a third-generation OB/GYN in the Rapp family and practices in Lancaster, PA.

That’s it for now. But with a busy Fall season ahead I expect that there will much more good news to share in future columns. Don’t forget to keep me posted! paragraph ending graphic

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Women of Christ Church

On September 12, the Women of Christ Church will resume their meetings on the second Thursday of each month, beginning at 11:00 a.m. for the Eucharist and Healing Service in the chapel.

A business meeting will follow with lunch and a program. Please bring a sandwich; dessert and beverage will be served.

All women of the parish are automatically considered to be members of the Women of Christ Church and are welcome to attend. paragraph ending graphic

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Vestry Notes

Following a two-month summer hiatus, the Vestry of Christ Church will hold their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m. Many important issues will be discussed at that time. The following is a recap of some of the highlights from the most recent meeting on June 10:

  • We are still looking for a new Treasurer. This post has been vacant since February of this year. Interested candidates should speak with either Father Michael or our Wardens, Willie Black, Jr. and Richard Sigman.
  • Renovations and repairs continue in the church and parish buildings. The leak in the church roof has been repaired and lightning rods have also been installed.
  • Christ Church Scout Troop 111 recently replaced the church basement steps and added a ramp on the side. Their work was superlative.
  • Father Michael and several members of Christ Church will be participating in the September 11 Memorial Service at the Staten Island Stadium from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. that evening.

Vestry meetings are open to any parishioner who wishes to attend. In the interim, approved minutes from the May 13, 2002 meeting are posted on the parish house bulletin board for those who wish to review them. paragraph ending graphic

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Serendipity Notes

After a well-deserved summer rest, the members of Serendipity are anxious to get things going again. Our “Mayham Dinner” was a great success. We all worked hard, but the smiles on your faces, the sounds of animated conversation and laughter and the piles of dirty plates in the kitchen told us that everyone had a good time! Special thanks to Colin Reed for coordinating the entire event and soliciting so many sponsors, and to all of you who showed your support by coming out that evening.

Although our “future” events for the new season are not quite as elaborate, our aim is for everyone to have a great time. Right now we are still in the planning stages, but there will be more Sunday brunches, pasta suppers and “Fat Tuesday” pancake dinners.

Our meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month at the homes of our members. We have a great time sharing fellowship and making plans for upcoming events. Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Judy Davis. Please come and join us! paragraph ending graphic

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Great Job Opportunities at Christ Church!


One Church School Director

One Assistant Church School Director

Four (at least) Church School Teachers

  1. The desire to spend one hour each Sunday with a group of intelligent, loving, and inquisitive children who want to learn more about God and the church.
  2. The desire to be part of their spiritual journey.
  1. The joy of seeing our young people grow into the Body of Christ.
  2. The satisfaction of knowing that these children will one day be the future leaders of Christ Church.

Think back to your own childhood. Wasn’t there at least one favorite teacher who left you with a special memory, challenged you to learn more about a particular bible passage, led you in a favorite prayer or children’s hymn or helped you to create a special “arts and crafts” project that you still keep today?

These are the some of the important memories of being a Christian, and the foundation of the lives that we lead today at Christ Church. And we are anxiously seeking a group of willing individuals who will fill these spots for the new Church School season.

Our previous roster of dedicated Sunday School staffers have indicated that it’s time to bring in some fresh ideas, new approaches and new administrators and teachers. Our thanks go out to Nancy Lettiere and Connie Black, who worked so diligently as Co-Directors in the past; and also to Dianne Moller, Jeanne Mann, Mark Wynter, Deirdre Aleman and Sarah Kanner who welcomed our children into their classrooms.

So far, there is just one parishioner who has offered to take on the Sunday School Director’s position; however, we need many more of you to “step up to the plate” and lend a hand. Won’t you please give this your prayerful consideration and take on one of these truly rewarding positions? No, it won’t net you a pay check every Sunday; but then again, how do you put a price on a smile, a word of thanks and the knowledge that in some small way you have made a difference in the lives of our young parishioners here at Christ Church – now, and in the years to come.

Please contact Father Michael if you’ve got some time to share. paragraph ending graphic

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What's Missing?

I am really having a difficxlt time. I am attempting to write a colxmn on Stewardship and enxmerate ways yox can share yoxr Time, Talent and Treasure. However, the spell check on my compxter won’t cooperate. Every time I try to xse it, it will not correctly spell a word containing the twenty-first letter of the alphabet, bxt sxbstitxtes the letter “x” instead. It has made the twenty-first letter the “missing link.”

I was going to invite all of yox to participate in this year’s campaign. We have decided on the theme “Share ALL God’s Gifts.” One of the first events will be on Sxnday, September 22, 2002, which we have designated as “Jeans Sunday.” We will all work together to get God’s hoxse ready for the coming of his Son. We hope that everyone will participate and do their part, as we share oxr fellowship and show that we can work together to get the job done. Refreshments will be served. If yox have a special area in which you desire to work, please contact one of the Wardens (Willie Black, Jr. or Richard Sigman) or Gytha Bellaby.

I hope that yox will be present to share yoxr Time and Talent. Members of the Vestry will be present to answer any of yoxr qxestions concerning yoxr participation on chxrch committees and other ways in which yox can become involved. Join xs! Don’t be the missing link. Otherwise, oxr efforts - jxst like this colxmn - will not make any sense. Don’t let oxr efforts be in vain. We need YOX to make it happen. paragraph ending graphic

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Spring Fair a Fun-Filled Success

June 15 was one of those days when we kept trying to decide whether we should set up tables inside or outside. Finally we decided that we would “step OUT in faith.” Good choice! And thanks to Jill Kanner, the “set-up” crew could rely on a continuous supply of hot coffee, croissants, bagels and other goodies.

We had a few new items on sale this year: Joan Rock’s homemade aprons and pie carriers, and the Wynter, James and Coulbourne families’ “Island Food.”

Thanks to Nick Dowen and Paul Smith for graciously conducting tours of the Church throughout the day. One of the highlights of the day was the men’s choir singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and our National Anthem. Their singing was both inspirational and talented.

Mark Wynter was on hand to supply us with a variety of recorded music, and Bill Keck entertained us with vocal and guitar selections of favorite folk tunes. Richard Keyes generously offered to donate a 32” TV for one of our raffles (in memory of his mother), and as luck would have it, a young lady from the neighborhood was the winner.

In the absence of our longtime parishioner Joyce Rowan,who has moved to Pennsylvania, Fair Co-Chair, Jeanne Mann and her creative team of willing workers put together the lovely selection of raffle baskets that were on display that day. And once again this year the kid’s games/table made a profit. Thank you, Sarah Kanner and friends! The Girls Nite Out group was outstanding in selling games and toys. I think some of them had to test the games before they were sold! Thanks to Jeanne Mann, Diana Yates and the young ladies.

We sold American flags, sunglasses, tapes, and CD’s and had a silent auction. Even the NYFD was there with a fire truck for the kids! There was a great plant selection, run by Valerie Quinlan. And of course it wouldn’t be a Fair without “Colin’s Corner.”

Rick Boody controlled the admission and door raffles. And even though Shirley Black was laid up in the hospital for several weeks we did well on the 50/50 raffle. Thank you Shirley! And thank goodness for Margaret Harris and her ladies (and men) for handling the cake table which was filled with a marvelous selection of home-baked goodies. Oliver and Regina Simpson, as usual, were very adept at sampling and selling!

As everyone knows, the Fair would never be a success without those quiet, diligent people who do the “little” things. Thanks to Nick Lettiere who took care of the vendors and helped out in so many other areas. And special mention to members of our scout troop who worked so hard to help set up, take down, carry, etc., etc. under the careful guidance of their Troop Leader, Buster Black.

One thing we can all count on is the White Elephant, with Connie Ricciardi and her ladies doing a superb job, spending many, many hours prior to the Fair sorting, cleaning and tagging hundreds of items. Of course, the food selections were excellent. “Al Fresco” dining was provided by Susan Fowler and Victor Stanwick at the grille with a great selection of burgers and franks, ably assisted by John Watson, Father Michael and John Gatti. David Wood supplied sandwiches and home made gazpacho for the lunch room – this year served warm because of the cool weather. What a hit!

Thanks to Diana Yates’ wonderful article in the Staten Island Advance we had people stopping by to view all of the treasures of our church. Many thanks also to Nancy Scromo, Linda Reiersen and Leslie Sullivan for their help in the publicity area. Cheryl Wheeler did a “blow up” job of filling and tying balloons (red, white and blue, of course!).

This year Serendipity, under the tutelage of Colin Reed, resurrected the “Mayham Dinner (this year on June 1)” as our pre-Fair event. The event was delicious and successful.

All in all the Fair was a great day for one and all and we made about $9,000 (this includes proceeds from the Mayham Dinner.) There were so many wonderful and generous people who made it all possible and I would like to thank each and every one of you for your generosity and your support. paragraph ending graphic

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Concert Series Returns

The final performance in the Christ Church 2002 Concert Series will feature Romanian born flutist, Georgette Ionesco. She will be joined on the program by the award winning Italian pianist, Sandro Russo. The program, which is free to the public, will be presented on Sunday, September 15 at 3:00 p.m., followed by a “Meet the Artists” reception in the Parish House.

Ms. Ionesco and Mr. Russo will perform works by Franz Schubert, and two renowned 20th century composers: the Frenchman, Francis Poulenc, and the Romanian, Georges Enesco. Other composers who will be featured on the program include Bach, Chopin, Gluck, Debussy, Robert Sparer and Seymour Bernstein.

Georgette Ionesco studied at the Conservatory of Music in Bucharest, where she received her masters degree. She has performed with the Romanian Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Chamber Music Orchestra of the Israel Philharmonic. Presently she is director of the Staten Island Conservatory of Music and a member of the Wagner College music faculty. She is also president and CEO of Pro Musica Corp.

Sandro Russo, a native of Sicily, Italy attended the Conservatory V. Bellini, where he graduated suma cum laude in 1995. Since then he has performed in recitals in Italy and the United States and appeared as a guest soloist with the Staten Island Symphony and Brooklyn Conservatory Orchestra.

The Christ Church Concert Series has been generously funded by an Encore grant from the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island, with public funding by the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support has been provided by the Staten Island Bank and Trust Foundation. paragraph ending graphic

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