Etching of Christ Church by Bill Murphy Verily I saith unto thee, "Boo!"
  October 2003

Click one of the headings below to read the article:

paragraph ending graphic Warden's Message paragraph ending graphic Will you be a Part of our Chinese Auction?
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic Crab Angel at Work
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Dancing the Night Away
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic Parish Registry
paragraph ending graphic Maintaining our Heritage    

Warden's Message

Sunday, October 5 has been designated as “Jeans Sunday.” For those of you in the parish who are not familiar with what this means here is a brief explanation. “Jeans Sunday” is a time for all parishioners to get involved in helping to clean in and around the church after the 10:30 a.m. service - that’s why we all come to worship in work attire - jeans or whatever type of work clothes are the most comfortable. This is a way of committing our TIME for the betterment of our church.

Our time is something that we can freely share, although its often quite difficult to find enough of it to give away. However, when we consider how important the role of time is in our lives we can then better explore the ways we can use it to serve God by getting more involved in the work of His church. Remember, God has given much of his time to care for us in both good times and bad; therefore, we should be willing to give back some of our time to help put God’s house in perfect order.

On Sunday, October 26 we will observe “Events Sunday.” Rather than having a parish luncheon after the 10:30 a.m. service, as we’ve done in the past, this year we are planning on serving a light breakfast from 8:45 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. and hope that everyone will be able to attend. This will be a time of fellowship and getting to know each other better as a family of God’s people.

On Sunday, November 2, which is being called “Commitment Sunday,” we will be dedicating two new pulpit hangings in memory of two former parishioners - Virginia Varnum and Mother Annette Hazen. They will be joining a long list of very wonderful parishioners who over the years have shown their commitment to Christ Church by giving something back to the church. This is also a day when we will all have a chance to show our current commitment to Christ Church by placing our completed pledge cards in the baptismal font and having Father Michael bless them at the altar. When filling out your commitment cards please remember that God has been most generous to us as a parish family, and as individual members of that family. This is our chance to thank him by returning our fair share and helping to assure the many good works and programs of Christ Church in the year ahead. paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

Yes folks, it’s October and the fall season is well underway - and so are the many activities that Christ Church has become famous for. This month we’ll all have the opportunity to share in the “May Ham Dinner” on October 4 which has raised a good deal of money so far thanks to the generous contributions of parishioners and friends of Christ Church.

Chairperson Colin Reed tells us that there are well over 110 food sponsors; in fact, you may have noticed the names of two Japanese ladies on the list and on the commemorative menu and wanted to know more. Well, it seems that when Colin’s sister, Barbara, who lives in St. Alban’s, England, was co-chair of the dinner some years back she was telling two Japanese house guests about the May Ham Dinner and they promptly donated ten pounds to our cause. In fact, 21 people who have no connection to Christ Church but wanted to support our feeding ministry, have contributed well over $400.

Do you remember when Frank Kehoe took a week to make the vichyssoise for the May Ham Dinner several years ago and lost his valuable ring somewhere among the four large garbage containers that Barbara sorted through to find the ring? When she found it, Frank proposed marriage, but Barbara went happily back home the way she came. By the way, thanks to this year’s May Ham Dinner we’ve all had a chance to share in a sight that’s been most unusual - and in some cases frightening: Colin Reed in a shirt and tie on a Sunday morning! As part of his fund raising efforts - and thanks to the generous donation of one of our parishioners - we were all treated to the “formal” Colin Reed for several weeks during the summer.

And speaking of vichyssoise, this year our own Victor Stanwick has taken it upon himself to provide us with this delectable delicacy. And speaking of Victor (please pardon the really BAD segue,) please take a moment to check out the finely crafted bible stand that he designed and built. It is currently located in the Vestry room and holds the Christ Church bible that has been an integral part of our parish for many, many years.

For the past two months the Tower Chimes has been enhanced by the exceptional writing of our own Susan Fowler. And for those of you who can’t get enough of her short stories, you’ll also be able to find them from time to time in selected issues of The Staten Island Register. Bravo, Susan!

This year the membership of the Christ Church choir has been increased by the addition of two lovely young ladies to our soprano section. We welcome Stephanie and Christina Santiago, daughters of Elvis Santiago, who have been attending Sunday morning rehearsals for the past few weeks as they prepare to join us for Sunday services. These two talented young ladies, who currently attend IS 61 here on Staten Island, have many musical talents to share - not only can they sing, but they are also accomplished violinists. Both began their training at a young age, have both won scholarships, and continue to take lessons. Perhaps one day they’ll favor us with a short “pre-service” recital on a Sunday morning. It’s also good to have Ann Sohm back with us in the choir in one piece. She took a rather nasty fall this summer and injured her wrist.

By the way, have you noticed the melodious new Anglican chant that the choir has been using for the weekly Sunday morning psalm. This piece was written by organist and choir director, Tom Sarff, especially for the choir. Tom has written many short pieces for the choir - mainly in the form of hymn descants for the soprano and alto sections.

Congratulations to Gail Bernardez, a recent recipient of the bronze medal for shuffleboard during the 2003 Senior Olympics in Cortlandt, New York. This week-long sports extravaganza took place from June 10 through 15 and was a great opportunity to make new friends and participate in some interesting and challenging events. This was a very busy and joyous summer for Gail, especially when her daughter and son-in-law left their current home in Paris to spend a month here on Staten Island with Gail.

It’s so good to see Paul Smith’s smiling face back on the altar on Sunday mornings. His children’s sermons, during the summer and at the 9:00 a.m. Family Service, have been both inspirational and entertaining for the parents and children alike. In addition, both Paul and Victor have been doing yeoman service on Sunday mornings while Father Michael has been away on sabbatical. They continue to make our visiting clergy feel right at home and are always there to lend a hand and help them through any “rough spots” during the services.

And let us not forget the extra time and efforts of our two wardens - Richard Sigman and Nick Lettiere - during Father Michael’s absence. Both of these hard working gentlemen have been spending extra time at the church, assuring that things continue to run smoothly. By the way, Father Michael returns to us next month and he’ll be back to celebrate services on Sunday, November 2.

Our condolences to Father Michael on the passing of his dad, Earl Allen. Mr. Allen had been sick for several months and during the past few weeks of his life had been under hospice care in Idaho.

That’s it for now. If you’ve got news to share about yourselves or family members please be sure to let us know. paragraph ending graphic

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Vestry Report

Members of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton met on Monday, September 8 for their regular monthly meeting. Following is a brief recap of important issues that were discussed that evening and decisions which were made.

  • The investment committee has advised that we are now getting back into the stock market. This involved the sale of the R.J. Reynolds bond in order to purchase shares of stock.
  • The Grant Committee is working to secure additional funding, especially in terms of securing money to support our youth programs.
  • Christ Church realized a $6400 profit from our June 2003 Spring Fair.
  • Monies donated in memory of Charlotte Mills and Dorothy Campbell were used to have their names engraved in the panel on the main altar. The remainder of these donations was given to the Camp and Scholarship fund.
  • The Project Hospitality sleep over project has not yet begun - several issues still need to be resolved before the program can get underway.
  • Responses from the parish long range planning surveys are being reviewed and a list of parishioner responses will be posted in the Guild Room once they have been compiled.

The Vestry will meet again on Monday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. In the interim, approved minutes of the June 9, 2003 meeting have been posted on the parish house bulletin board for those wishing to review them. paragraph ending graphic

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Women of Christ Church

The Women of Christ Church resumed their monthly meetings on their usual second Thursday as the busy season of the church year began. This was the Day of Remembrance, September 11, and prayers were offered at the Healing Eucharist which was celebrated by Father John, our Rector Emeritus.

The business meeting included a report of our finances by our treasurer, Shirley Elfers. The chief purchases over the summer were new altar linens and the replacement of some of the worn pulpit falls, which are in different colors to mark the various seasons of the Church Year. The new ones should be ready in a few months for dedication on November 2. Shirley, who is also the Directress of the Altar Guild, zealously sees to it that our beautiful Church and altar always have appropriately worthy fittings. No wonder that visitors are impressed with this glorious and worshipful place.

Alleida Mitchell, co-chair of the Chinese Auction Committee, explained to us how this project is being planned. The date for it is November 1. To be successful, a lot of publicity is needed, and many volunteers as well.

Another upcoming event is the Dedication Day of Church Women United on September 29 at Messiah Lutheran Church. We are also looking forward to joining the women of Our Savior Lutheran in November.

Mouth watering desserts were furnished by Connie Ricciardi and Helen Martin in the Vestry room, which was decorated in fall colors. Our next meeting is Thursday, October 9. Father John will again fill in for Father Michael at the Eucharist at 11:00 a.m. Sue Boody and Martha Keucher will be hostesses. Please join us. paragraph ending graphic

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Maintaining Our Heritage & Tradition

To worship in Christ Church is to be in the midst of much beauty. Rare stained glass windows, the fine oriental chancel rug, the creche at Christmas are just some examples of the memorials given from time to time over the years, helping to keep the memories of loved ones alive.

There are also memorial gifts of another nature, namely our altar hangings and accompanying items that are designed and constructed in traditional fashion in the liturgical colors of the Church Year. Some of these (Eucharist sets, pulpit hangings, bookmarks, etc.) become worn and need replacing due to constant handling. Such was the case of the purple pulpit hanging and purple Eucharist set, and the green pulpit hanging that had become threadbare.

The Reverend Annette Hazen, who died in 2001, attended Christ Church and served at our altar. Virginia Varnum was a long-time, devoted member who died in 1998. Funds donated in their memories at the times of their deaths have now been used to provide a new purple pulpit hanging and a Eucharist set to honor the Reverend Hazen (1929-2001) and a green pulpit hanging to honor Virginia Varnum (1915-1998.) These ladies were good stewards here at Christ Church. The memorials in their names will be dedicated appropriately on Stewardship Dedication Sunday, November 2, 2003. paragraph ending graphic

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Will YOU be a part of our Chinese Auction?

On Saturday, November 1 Christ Church will open the Parish House doors to the Staten Island community as we sponsor our very first Chinese Auction. For those of you who still aren’t sure what a Chinese Auction is, the best way to explain it is to ask you to come to the church at 6:00 p.m. that evening and find out for yourselves!

You’ll find a variety of items - large and small - that will be available for auction. We’ll be selling reasonably priced raffle tickets which will enable you to “bid” on those items that catch your fancy. There will also be separate raffles for food baskets and baskets of cheer.

This event will be one of our major fund raisers for the year and its success hinges in part on the valuable input of each and every parishioner - not only in your participation in this event on November 1, but also in your willingness to volunteer your time to work at the auction, or to donate one or two items to the gift tables. All items must be new and/or unused and should reach the auction chairpersons no later than October 15. No donation is “too small” and will help in the overall success of this event. A list of items needed for the auction has been posted on the parish house bulletin board. The committee is also in need of gift boxes - both large and small - which will be used to display the items.

Donations are tax deductible and can be something as “unique” as a gift certificate to one of our local merchants - dry cleaning, hair salon, food certificate, store gift certificate, etc., cash to be used towards the purchase of some of our larger auction items, new merchandise or a service that you can provide.

All proceeds from this fund raiser go to Christ Church to augment our operating budget. If you’d like to participate - with donations for the auction or a donation of your time and talent during the auction - please contact chairpersons Alleida Mitchell and Richard Zayzay at 718-727-6100 or 718-442-8175. paragraph ending graphic

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Crab Angels at Work

When we still lived in Grasmere, Victor and I decided to go for a walk on the beach. It was early evening when we started. We did some shopping first, then as we left the parking lot, he headed in the wrong direction. “Oops,” he said when he noticed what he’d done. “Well, where do you want to go?”

“The closest beach to us,” I said, meaning closest to our home at the time (there are at least five on that side of the island.) But not reading my mind, he headed to the beach closest to our current location which was the beach at the back end of Miller’s Field.

Now it was pretty well into dusk and I was feeling some trepidation, especially noting the beat-up condition of the other two cars in the little parking lot. We walked out on the beach anyway. The cars belonged to some guys fishing on an abandoned pier a few hundred yards away. Walk, Walk, walk. It’s getting darker. “How about if we walk to that rock over there and turn back?” Victor said. “Fine,” I said.

Halfway to the rock, we come upon a big crab on its back at the edge of the water. A king-crab-type shape, round body, long legs. It’s all tangled up in translucent blue fishing line and it’s covered with sand. We stop and stare at it. (“Is it still alive?” I think. “Will it pinch me if I try to get the nylon off it?”) Anyway, I hunker down and start to untangle the nylon line. It is alive. Victor works on his side, I work on my side. The crab moves a leg here and there, doesn’t offer to pinch.

“Done!” I pick her up and put her at the edge of the waves. (Why her? Don’t know. Because she looks like a spider and the only spiders that survive into adulthood are female?) The waves don’t reach her now, of course, so Victor picks her up again and tosses her into the shallows. Then we trot back to our car. Now it’s really dark.

spider crabHalfway home Victor starts to laugh. “If someone was watching that, they would’ve said, “How the hell did they know that crab was there? Those two people walked right up to it, pulled off the fishing line, and threw it back. ‘Just as if whatever angel is in charge of crustaceans had called us on the angel phone:” Hey, ya gotta rescue this crab here. Yeah, Miller’s Field. Right now. Okay. Bye.’ Man, no one would ever believe this.”

(Note: She was a spider crab. I saw a picture of one in the Daily News a few weeks later.) paragraph ending graphic

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Dancing the Night Away

Did you know that a small group of folks has been meeting at Christ Church at least one night a month for the past several months to make plans for a BIG December event? No, it’s not Santa and his elves getting ready for Christmas. Actually it’s the members of the Holly Ball Committee, under the guidance of committee chairs Beth McLean and Trevor Mills.

By now you’ve all received your “save the date” cards for this December 13 gala event. The Holly Ball is a holiday tradition at Christ Church, and this year’s honorary chairpersons are two well-known figures here: Rick and Sue Boody. This is an evening of dinner and dancing, and a time for all members of Christ Church to celebrate the holidays in style.

Invitations will be mailed out later this month. We’ll also be publishing a memorial journal which is our way of raising funds through advertisements from local merchants in the area. Parishioners and friends of the parish will also have a chance to place their ads, perhaps to send holiday wishes or perhaps, to publish their congratulatory messages to Sue and Rick.

We need your help and support - whether it’s buying a ticket to this event, taking an ad, or asking one of the local merchants with whom you do business every day to participate in the journal. Ad solicitation letters can be found at the back of the church, in the guild room or in the parish office.

Please be sure to mark your calendar now and plan to join to be a part of the holiday fun. paragraph ending graphic

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Parish Registry

October Birthdays
1–Julia Kennedy
2–Judith Davis
3–Dylan Sciré
5–William F. Sherman
6–Susan Fowler
8-Jeremiah Zayzay
10–Iris Colbourne
11–Eva-Marie Desarae Black, Jaime A. Szczepanik, Katashi George
12–Katie Schneider, Charles McLean Jr., Olisha James
16–Samuel Ngaima
23–Christopher James
26–May H. Johnson; Hueldine Webb
29–Amber Tamar James, Virginia Peel. paragraph ending graphic

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