Happy Thanksgiving!
  November 2003

Click one of the headings below to read the article:

  Senior Warden's Message   Pledge Envelopes
  Around the Parish   Ponder This
  Women of Christ Church   Jolly Old St. Nick
  Vestry Notes   Dancing the Night Away
  Richmond Senior Center   October May Ham
  In Loving Memory Of   Leading by Example
  Episcopal Feeding MInistry   Parish Registry

Senior Warden's Message

Over the past four months, a great deal has happened to draw us together as a parish family. While Father Michael was away on a much-needed sabbatical, we were host to several supply priests and gave each of them our traditional Christ Church welcome.

Over the summer months, many of us took the time to participate in the Long Range Planning Sessions following the Sunday services. Your responses to this survey are an important part of the next phase of the survey process and will play an important part in the decision-making that lies ahead for the future growth of our parish – in terms of membership, finances and improvements to our facilities. We thank everyone who participated in this process.

In October, many parishioners and friends of the parish met for a wonderful evening of fellowship – and fund raising – at the annual Christ Church May Ham Dinner, sponsored by Serendipity. And the following day, Jeans Sunday, we all worked together to get things cleaned-up, organized and prepared for the year ahead. Unfortunately we did not have as many parishioners helping this year, as in previous years, but the ones who were there were able to accomplish something. Again we would like to thank all of the parishioners and friends who helped on that day. The Fellowship “brunch” on October 26 provided an opportunity for parishioners who attend services at different times on Sunday morning to get to know each other better.

The most important part of the year lies ahead and will begin on Sunday, November 2, when Father Michael returns to us. In addition to his much-anticipated return, this is also the day that has been set aside as Commitment Sunday, the day we place our 2004 pledge cards in the baptismal font to be blessed by Father Michael. In addition, we will be dedicating the new pulpit hangings and other liturgical items that have been dedicated in memory of Mother Annette Hazen and Virginia Varnum, two beloved members of our parish family.

Both Nick Lettiere and I would like to thank you all for your hard work and support over the past four months. We are both looking forward to a successful stewardship campaign, the joyous holidays that lie ahead and a productive new year. paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

Is it really November already? Where has the year gone? A more important question that one might ask is “Have you recovered yet from all of the fun and activity of Serendipity’s October May Ham Dinner?” What a night! There were so many old friends who came out to support this wonderful cause. It was so wonderful to see Karen Smith and Joyce Rowan and her granddaughter, Melissa McCloskey. It didn’t take long before the members of Serendipity pressed Melissa into service, and we want to thank her for graciously accepting the task of busing tables and making numerous trips with dirty dishes from the auditorium to the kitchen. We’d also like to thank our other young helpers as well - Matthew Ambroggi, Olisha James and Sarah Kanner who was visiting that weekend from college. We couldn’t have done it without all of you! And what a treat to see Pat Parese who came out of retirement that evening just to help with the preparation and serving of coffee and dessert that evening, and Carol Shea who can always be counted on help out at our May Ham Dinners, Spring Fairs, St. Nick Fairs and other major events. And also a special thanks to Kim Davis for attending to the “adult refreshments” and soft drinks! And the biggest THANK YOU of all goes to Colin Reed for spending many, many months, days and hours working tirelessly to organize the event, sign-up volunteers, secure food “sponsorships”, sell raffles, send out numerous mailings, sell tickets and Lord knows what else. Thanks to him - and the hard working members of Serendipity and those who attended the dinner, we made a profit of over $4000. Congratulations to us all!

The following day (Sunday) many of us came to church in our more “comfortable” clothing to take part in “Jeans Sunday,” a day which we set aside to clean up, clean out, spruce up and get things organized in our buildings and on the church grounds. Thanks to the efforts of so many people our buildings and grounds look so much nicer.

Have you all seen the wonderful article about our Rector Emeritus, Father John, which appeared in the most recent issue of The Episcopal New Yorker? In addition to a terrific picture of Fr. John working in his studio, the publication devoted an entire page to tell the story of how he first became involved with these wonderful works of art and about the time and energy and love that goes into producing each individual piece. A copy of the article can be found on the bulletin board at the entrance to the Parish House for those of you who haven’t had the chance to read it. An by the way, the word is out that Fr. John has donated an incredibly beautiful icon of St. George to the John Noble Auction which takes place on Saturday, November 15 at the Noble Maritime Museum at Snug Harbor. This could be your golden opportunity to have a Fr. John Walsted original in your house!

Welcome back to a couple of our world travelers! Our own Pam Miller and Judy Davis made their individual journeys back to Merrie Olde England last month to catch up with friends and family. We’re told that Judy went to visit her “mum” - who celebrated her 94th birthday this year!

“Girls Night Out” needs you! For the past two years, the young ladies of our parish and surrounding neighborhood have been able to spend their Friday evenings in a series of delightful and interesting activities in the “Girls Night Out” program at Christ Church, under the leadership of Diana Yates. In June, Diana informed us that she would no longer be able to lead this program, and Friday nights have been quiet here. The leaders of our Youth Committee are ready get the Girls Night Out program up and running again and they are looking for interested participants - girls between the ages of 7 and 14 - who would be interested in joining the group. If you’re interested - or if you know someone who is - please contact the Parish Office at 718-727-6100.

Your editor had an unexpected, and most delightful, visit from some old friends last month while she was working in the Parish Office. At around 5:00 p.m. on a Monday evening the front doorbell rang and there stood Leslie Sullivan, with her two young ones - Gracie and Harris - fast asleep in their car seats. We were sad to see Leslie and Ann (Krsul) leave us when they moved back to Michigan, and seeing Leslie, and the children (who have grown so big in such a short time), was such a treat. They are all getting settled in their new home and still are searching for a new parish. However, you can rest assured that Christ Church will always be their parish family - regardless of the distance. Ann and Leslie would love to hear from you - if you need their new address, phone number or e-mail address, call the Parish Office.

Many members of our church family took the time to participate in the important Long Range Planning Surveys this summer. This was just the first step in a very important process that will ensure the future growth and preservation of our parish. Many of you expressed a concern for “more articles by different members of Christ Church” in the monthly editions of the Tower Chimes. Your contributions are most important and we welcome the opportunity to publish your views, opinions, creative talents, or whatever you’d like to share. The editors are always looking for new ideas, fresh talent and more material. All you need to do is submit your articles - and there is a Tower Chimes mailbox in the parish office just for that purpose. Please don’t be shy - we WANT your input.

Congratulations to Nick Lettiere who has been asked to join the Alzheimer’s Association Board. We know that he is a great choice and will contribute much to their worthy cause.

And finally, a warm “welcome back” to Father Michael who returns to us on November 2 following a four-month sabbatical. And a big “thank you” to Richard Sigman and Nick Lettiere for taking care of the myriad responsibilities in his absence, and also to Victor Stanwick and Paul Smith for making sure that our Sunday services continued in their normal fashion.

See you all next month! paragraph ending graphic

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Women of Christ Church

On one of October’s most beautiful days, The Women of Christ Church met in the Vestry Room after the Healing Service and Eucharist celebrated by our Rector Emeritus Father John. As the activities of the Church increase, it was helpful to have this quiet time together.

At the meeting there were so many announcements of the upcoming activities that everyone had to have a pen and calendar to make note of them. For those who were not present, here is a partial list:

Oct. 16---Episcopal Church Women at St. Alban’s
Oct. 26---presentation of United Thank Offering at the 10:30 service
Nov. 1---Christ Church Chinese Auction
Nov. 2---dedication of the new altar hangings, memorials to the Rev. Annette Hazen and Virginia Varnum
Nov. 7---Church Women United’s World Community Day at Christ Church
Nov. 11---meeting with the Ladies Aid Society of Our Savior Lutheran

It is apparent that we will be very busy in the next few weeks! In fact, we decided that we will be seeing each other quite often in November and we will not need to have a November meeting. Look for us again in December for our Christmas Silver Tea.

Alleida Mitchell, co-chairman of the Chinese Auction, brought us up to date on the plans, and recruited helpers for the preparation and the evening of the Auction. In order for this to be successful, all of us, including all you church people who are reading this, need to contribute our time and our donations.

Sue Boody provided the goodies and the decorations for our luncheon.

Remember: we are skipping our November meeting and will convene again on Dec. 11. We plan a pitch-in lunch and everyone is to bring a gift of clothing or toys for the Oasis Shelter. This is called the “Silver Tea,” which means that an offering will be taken for some local charity. Come and help us to celebrate in the spirit of giving and of fellowship. paragraph ending graphic

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Vestry Notes

This is a very busy time of year for the members of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton. In addition to reviewing the preliminary budget figures for 2004 that have been prepared by Richard Sigman, getting ready to wrap up our Stewardship Campaign on November 2 and thinking about a new Vestry slate for approval during next year’s Annual Meeting, the Vestry is moving toward the next stage of the Long Range Plan.

Many members of the parish have contributed to that plan by completing the survey forms, which were distributed over the summer. Your responses were posted in the Guild Room and they are now being typed and prepared for a mailing to the entire parish. Father Michael will be returning from his sabbatical this month and will be back with us on Sunday, November 2. Our wardens, Richard Sigman and Nick Lettiere have worked hard over the past four months to assure that things have continued to run smoothly in his absence.

During our October 2003 meeting our senior warden, Richard Sigman, reported on several financial matters. He indicated that pledge income is even with the budget for this year, but is still behind last year’s figures for this period. Utility expenses still remain high and an analysis is underway to determine any significant reasons for this increase. The Oct. May Ham dinner contributed a significant profit, and we are looking forward to a successful Chinese Auction on Nov. 1. It is also anticipated that the St. Nick’s Fair and Holly Ball in December will help to offset part of our budget deficit.

Other issues, which were discussed at the meeting, included a resolution to repair that portion of the roof over the Sacristy where a rather nasty leak has developed in the ceiling. There are still some outstanding issues that need to be resolved before Project Hospitality can begin utilizing our space for their overnight stay in the gymnasium - hopefully this will be resolved by December.

A Nominating Committee has been formed to select nominees to fill upcoming vacancies on the Vestry. Positions to be filled include that of Warden for a two-year term, a minimum of three new Vestry persons to each fill a three-year term, and one individual who will serve out the remaining two-year term of Vestry person Leslie Sullivan, who moved to Michigan. The slate of nominees will be presented to the Vestry at the December meeting.

The Vestry will meet again for its regular monthly meeting on Monday, November 10. In the interim, approved minutes of the Vestry meeting of September 8, 2003 have been posted on the parish house bulletin board for those wishing to read them. paragraph ending graphic

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Richmond Senior Center

During services on Sunday, 9 November and Sunday, 16 November, Serendipity will be asking that in addition to our regular food collection, parishioners contribute any of the new items described below for the needy people who visit the Richmond Senior Center on Jewett Ave. The Center is organized by Beverly Neuhaus and Margaret Harris and John Watson serve many hours there each week.

The Center can get food from city agencies for distribution but it can’t get dry goods including any of the items listed below. The Center’s clients can’t buy non-food items with food stamps or get them from food pantries. This means that they have to spend whatever money they have left after rent and utilities, if any, on these necessities. Remember what a parishioner told us recently of the old lady who sits in the hallways of her apartment house to read so that she can save on her electricity bill, and after her rent is paid, she has to manage on about $20.00 a month. She manages by rotating her visits to food pantries. Here is the list:

  • tooth brushes
  • toothpaste
  • mouth wash
  • paper towels
  • toilet paper
  • cat food
  • dog food
  • soap
  • band aids
  • household cleaners
  • laundry necessities
  • shaving cream
  • razors
  • tissues.

Thank you, everyone! paragraph ending graphic

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In Loving Memory Of

Over the years certain individuals make good impressions on our lives. It may be a particular family member, a teacher or a special friend. We are better for the association and memories of the person remain with us always.

At Christ Church there has been such a special individual—John B. Woodall, Ph.D., Southern gentleman, college professor, historian and friend.

John loved this parish, was a faithful member and participated in its activities together with Joy, his wife of forty-nine years. He loved it so much that he spent countless hours of research and careful preparation of his 1993 publication, Christ Church, New Brighton—The Story of a Staten Island Episcopal Parish. This collection of history, solid information and photographic memorabilia covering the years 1849-1982 has been John Woodall’s gift and indeed his memorial, to all who have participated and left their marks over time in the growth and development of Christ Church, New Brighton.

The serene and intimate space of our chapel was a favorite spot of John’s where his ashes are now entombed. Joy has commissioned a loving memorial to him in the form of a beautiful tapestry Advent season frontal for the chapel altar. The frontal will be dedicated on December 7, the first Sunday of Advent 2003. paragraph ending graphic

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"When I have food, help me to
remember the hungry."

The Episcopal Feeding Ministry is asking for donations for Holiday dinners for those in need. The donation form is on the bulletin board in the Parish House. For further information call the Executive Director, Joan Cupo at All Saints Church 718-698-1338. paragraph ending graphic

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Pledge Envelopes

In an effort to consolidate the numbering system for the weekly offering envelopes, it will become necessary to reassign new envelope numbers to some parishioners for the year 2004. However, this change will NOT affect everyone.

We also ask that you use your envelopes when making any contributions. This will help to eliminate any questions or problems with our records. Thank you . paragraph ending graphic

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Ponder This

In the name of Jesus Christ, who was never in a hurry, we pray, O God, that you will slow us down, for we know that we live too fast. With all of eternity before us, make us take time to live—time to get acquainted with You, time to enjoy Your blessings and time to know each other. paragraph ending graphic

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Jolly Old St. Nick

Yes, he really does exist today - the only difference is that he goes by the name of Nick Lettiere - and he’s having a party at Christ Church on Saturday, December 6 from 10 am to 4 pm to celebrate the day that has been set aside on the liturgical calendar for this beloved saint (the original St. Nicholas, that is!).

We call it the “St. Nick’s Fair” but it’s more like a winter carnival. The Parish House is filled with the wonderful smells of the fresh greens that are used for the hand-made Christmas wreaths, the smells of fresh coffee in the kitchen, and sandwiches and other goodies being prepared for the Lunch Room. There are the unmistakable sounds of visitors as they express their delight in the many treasures that they’ve found at the many vendor tables. As always, there will be a wide assortment of goods - jewelry, toys, and other treasures to browse through, in addition to tables where you’ll be able to purchase home made foods and baked goods.

And let’s not forget about the “sweeps” tables, which will feature a wide variety of lovely gifts to “bid” on with your pre-purchased raffle tickets, in addition to the grand prize raffle of $500.

Donations of liquor for the Baskets of Cheer for the sweeps table, or other new gift items would be most welcome. Please contact Nick Lettiere (our chairperson) if you’d like to donate an item or two, if you know of any vendors who would like to reserve table space, or if you would like to work at the Fair that day – setting up, cleaning up, manning tables and a host of other tasks that need to be done to make this year’s St. Nick’s Fair a successful event. Nick’s telephone number is 718-981-0262 – he’d love to hear from you! paragraph ending graphic

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Dancing the Night Away

By now you’ve all received your invitations to the Christ Church Holly Ball, which were designed and executed by Susan Fowler and Victor Stanwick. In case you didn’t realize it, the lovely stained glass image on the cover of the invitation is a replica of the lovely stained glass Rose Window located behind the stage in the auditorium.

The Rose Window is an integral part of our parish history - for that matter, so is the Holly Ball. This holiday tradition was established many years ago by the members of the Christ Church choir, during the years when Fred Lefebvre was our rector. In fact, many of the celebrations were held in the very auditorium where this year’s Holly Ball will take place.

The Holly Ball is a time for celebrating the joy of the holiday season, the beauty of our parish, and most importantly, the joy of spending time with one another. And there is no better spot to celebrate than in our own Parish Hall. This year we are honoring two very special parishioners - Sue and Rick Boody - whose hard work, dedication and love for Christ Church are an integral part of whom we are as a parish family.

There are lots of good things in store that evening - a cocktail hour with an array of hors d’oeuvres to choose from, a choice of three different entree selections, live music, dancing, and a chance to sing some of your favorite Christmas carols.

In honor of this event we are publishing a Memorial Journal. In addition to containing paid advertisements from local advertisers and friends of the parish, which help to raise money for Christ Church, the Journal is also a way for Rick and Sue’s many friends and supporters to show their admiration by taking out a congratulatory advertisement or “booster” listing.

We’re hoping that you’ll all come out that evening to show your support. And the next time you are visiting your favorite merchant please think about asking him or her to take an ad in our Journal. Ad forms are available in the Parish Office, the back of the Church and in the Guild Room. paragraph ending graphic

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October May Ham

October 4th saw another triumph for Serendipity when the minutes of Happy Hour, under the supervision of Kim Davis, Judy’s daughter, ticked by, as a gathering of about ninety people assembled for the May Ham Dinner. Helen Martin presided over a table of her friends and sold hundreds of tickets for the raffle as she did so. Before the festivities began, Nick Dowen was good enough to give a prearranged tour of our stained glass windows for the friends of Norma Sue Wolfe who came to dine with us. Many readers may remember Mamie Daniels who brought a group from the AME Zion church on Tompkins Avenue and who was one of the leaders of the Made-in-Staten Island Auction in September 1997. Christ Church shared the profit of about $15,000 from that Auction with the food ministries of five Staten Island churches including our own and Mamie’s, which flourishes still on Tompkins Ave.

The food was excellent, especially the outstanding canapés and scalloped potatoes about which there were many appreciative comments. Marlene Elia’s salad with watercress and baby spinach will long be remembered. The dessert committee of a dozen people out-did themselves with their spectacular fruit salad and brownies. There were lots of diners who suddenly became vegetarians when they encountered Ann Devlin’s cooking! Matthew Ambroggi helped Helen Martin and drew the raffle prizes, and joined Olisha James in doing a marvelous job as a volunteer waiter. Their cheerful service was a wonderful part of a great evening.

Lots of people were involved in the preparation of the dinner. Members of Serendipity and a number of other members of the congregation helped enthusiastically to make the evening outstanding. The dinner might not have been possible without the hard work of Dorothy Rivera and our church is very lucky to have her. In 2002 we had 68 sponsors but this year there were 112. There were 10 English people and 2 Japanese supporters who don’t live in the U.S., and people who do but are not members of Christ Church who sponsored the MHD by contributing $400.

Thanks to Alleida Mitchell, one of whose gifts is to make a cheap raffle basket look like something bought at Tiffany’s, the 20 prize raffle created a great stir within and without our church and helped the May-Ham Dinner to make a profit of $4500. Part of this profit will help the day-to-day needs of our Vestry, our own food ministry for impoverished people, New Directions food pantry, and the dry goods program of the Richmond Senior Center on Jewett Avenue. paragraph ending graphic

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Leading by Example

Our membership in Christ Church automatically makes us part of a larger family – God’s family – and in turn that makes us stewards of his kingdom, with all of the joys, rights and responsibilities that come with the job.

Every year at this time we receive our formal “training” in how to be a good steward and are asked to give freely of our time, talents and treasures. We show this in many ways: by attending church services every Sunday; by serving God in his church as a reader, server, acolyte, chorister, committee member, member of the Vestry, etc.; and by making our financial pledge to the Church.

One additional way to be a good steward is to lead by example, whether it’s offering to run errands for a homebound parishioner or just taking the time to pay them a visit to see how they are doing. Perhaps it’s a matter of driving them to doctors’ appointments or to the grocery store. William Sherman, a member of the Vestry, and an active participant here at Christ Church found yet another way to show that he is a good steward.

Bill, an employee of the J.C. Penney store here on Staten Island, was recently awarded The J.C. Penney Award for Community Service. In addition to his receiving a memento of this distinguished recognition, a contribution was made in his honor to support the Second Saturday Feeding Ministry in which he is an active participant.

Congratulations, Bill, on this well-deserved recognition. paragraph ending graphic

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Parish Registry

May Johnson

Transfers Out:
Nicholas DeLaRosa

4–Ellen Mazzucco; 5–Paul Smith; 13–Samolu Freeman, Marlene Elia, Sheila Hewitt; 16–Bob McAndrew, Jonathan Elia; 18–Virginia Peel; 22–Varney Freeman, Sr.; 23–Heather Nicole Allen; 26 John Szczepanik, Dorothy Thompson; 28–Kim Davis; 30–Mark E. Hewitt II, Christine Szczepanik, Ronald Bell.

3–Anna & Patsy Parese; 16–Ellen & Ron Mazzucco; 24–Janet & Paul Schneider
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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