Etching of Christ Church by Bill Murphy School's open - drive carefully
  September 2003

Click one of the headings below to read the article:

beach ball graphic Warden's Message beach ball graphic Chinese Auction
beach ball graphic Around the Parish beach ball graphic Summer Vacation
beach ball graphic Vestry Notes beach ball graphic Deck the Halls
beach ball graphic Women of Christ Church beach ball graphic A New York Connection
beach ball graphic Heritage SIngers beach ball graphic Final Recital
beach ball graphic May-Ham Dinner beach ball graphic Church Music
beach ball graphic Carpenter Rodents beach ball graphic Parish Registry

Warden's Message

In Father Michael’s absence, I have been asked to write a brief message for this issue of the Tower Chimes in lieu of a Rector’s message. I have spoken with Fr. Michael a few times since he went on sabbatical and he is working hard, but is taking time to rest and relax. We remain in his thoughts and prayers, just as you are keeping him in yours, and we look forward to his return in the fall.

I would like to welcome everyone back from his or her summer vacations, and I look forward to seeing you all in church very soon. Nick Lettiere and I have been making sure that everything is going smoothly at the church since Fr. Michael began his sabbatical at the beginning of July, and we will continue to do so until his return at the beginning of November.

Members of the vestry have been busily conducting Long Range Planning sessions after the Sunday services in July and August. If you have not yet participated in any of these sessions try to do so as soon as possible by calling the church office and letting Linda know when you will be available.

The vestry is trying to get input from as many parishioners as possible about how they feel about Christ Church now and where they envision the church in the future. We need the support of all parishioners to enable us to get an accurate picture of where Christ Church will be in the years that lie ahead. This is your church - your input is invaluable.

This summer there were two extraordinary events. The first was on Saturday, August 2nd, with a concert by the Heritage Singers from England. Thanks to Tom Sarff, organist and choirmaster, for taking the time to coordinate this event and helping to make it such a success.

The second event was a convention held at Christ Church over Labor Day weekend, by the Liberian community. They held meetings in the parish house on August. 30th and then joined us in worship on August. 31st. Bishop Donovan was the guest preacher. Thanks to Bill Sherman for making all of the arrangements.

This issue of the Tower Chimes contains articles about events that will take place in the months ahead. Show your support for these events as part of your commitment to the future of Christ Church.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 5th, which will be Jeans Sunday. We try to clear up different areas around the church with the help of as many parishioners as possible. We will be assigning "team leaders" who will be responsible for "sprucing up" different areas of the church. They, in turn, will be looking for volunteers to be part of this very worthwhile and necessary project. paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

Yes, it’s really true - two months have already passed since our last column and summer vacations are quickly drawing to a close for many of us. It’s back to school, back to warmer clothing, back to a more active lifestyle, and back to our regular schedule of activities here at Christ Church.

Reminder: Our regular schedule of Sunday activities resumes on September 14th - the Family Service at 9:00 a.m., Sunday School at 9:45 a.m. and the main service at 10:30 a.m. That also means choir rehearsals will begin again that Sunday at 9:15 a.m. For many of us it has been a relaxing and interesting summer. Here are a few of the “highlights” for those of you who have been away.

Guest clergy during the months of July and August did an admirable job of leading our flock during Fr. Michael’s absence. A special thanks to The Rev. Dr. Wesley Shike and Mother Rhoda Treherne-Thomas for being with us during the summer; and also a special “thank you” to Julian Goodwin who kept the music going in August while Tom Sarff was on vacation. And, speaking of music, let’s not forget the lovely solo work of several members of the choir while the group was on summer hiatus. Special mention to our soloists: Hal Reiersen, Vlasta Jantzi, Ann Sohm, The Black Family (Shirley, Willie, Jr., Buster and Andre), and our special guest, Julie Nord.

Tea Under the Trees was a refreshing way to socialize after the 9:30 a.m. service on Sunday mornings. The shade of the trees and the quiet of the morning made the fellowship portion of the mornings twice as nice. Our guest hosts and hostesses always found a way to provide an interesting and varied assortment of goodies, and the Serendipity “Ice Cream Social” in August was especially well received.

There are several items of good news to share with you as well. Congratulations to Jill Kanner and Rick Smith on their recent engagement. Many of us had the opportunity to meet Rick at this year’s Spring Fair. In case you don’t remember him, he was the charming greeter at the side entrance (parking lot) to the Fair. Rick has been a frequent, and most welcome, visitor to Christ Church and we hope to see him here quite often. No word yet as to the exact date of the upcoming nuptials.

Some very encouraging news about our friend Martha Bendix. Her daughter, Margo, tells us that despite a rocky few months Martha is beginning to show some improvement. She is breathing on her own and has become more alert. She can now propel her wheelchair independently and do other small tasks for herself. Her spirits are better, she is reading, watching television and has set her goal on walking again. Martha, you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good work!

Here’s a bit of overheard information: Angela Lindsay, mother of Elizabeth James, always sits in front of the Reeds on Sunday mornings. Recently, she overheard Colin discussing his early morning blood sugar reading with Margaret Harris, a fellow diabetic. When he exclaimed with some excitement, “I was 96 today,” Angela turned to offer him congratulations on his birthday. Colin, you really don’t look it!

Congratulations to Andrew Schneider for making it through Marine Officer Candidate School. Andrew graduated (second in his class!) in Quantico, Virginia on August 8, and of his starting platoon of 60 only 40 made it through. This was not an easy six weeks - broken ankles, hardly any sleep, not much in the way of “haute cuisine”, intensive physical and mental activities - but despite the rigorous training he made it through. Andrew will be graduating from Boston College in May, and the day before, will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. We are very proud of you Andrew and hope that by now you’ve managed to gain back a few pounds and have caught up on some much needed rest and relaxation.

Best wishes to Linda Reiersen as she takes on the reins of president of the Richmond Choral Society. The job involves a tremendous amount of planning and effort, but there are many wonderful rewards involved as well.

Word has reached us from the Staten Island Council of Churches that Father Michael has been elected President of this very important and worthwhile organization. The “official” designation will be bestowed during the Council’s fall meeting later this year.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Paul Smith. He recently suffered a broken nose and some other facial injuries and has been on the mend for the past few weeks. We’re looking forward to seeing his smiling (and hopefully, well-healed) face very, very soon!

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for some exciting and important events that will be happening in the next few months. The Staten Island Interparish Council (IPC for short) will be hosting a Memorial Eucharist and Picnic in honor of Bishops Paul Moore and Walter Dennis on Saturday, September 13, at 11:00 am. The service will take place at the Church of the Ascension, with a picnic to follow in Clove Lake Park. We lost these two fine gentlemen earlier this year, and this will be an opportunity to celebrate the lives and ministry of two great leaders of our Diocese.

Special events in the month ahead that you definitely don’t want to miss: “May-Ham” mayhem - the annual May-Ham Dinner on Saturday, October 4th sponsored by Serendipity; the very first Chinese Auction at Christ Church on Saturday, November 1st and our annual Christ Church Holly Ball on Saturday, December 13th

That’s it for now, folks. Welcome back! paragraph ending graphic

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Vestry Notes

Members of the Vestry met on June 9 for their regular monthly meeting. Here is a brief recap of important issues that were discussed at that time:

Richard Sigman and Nick Lettiere were chosen to attend this year’s Diocesan convention The purchase of a new office copier was approved. It will be installed in the parish office some time in June

Alleida Mitchell has volunteered to coordinate and chair a Chinese Auction at Christ Church. It is hoped that this will be one of our major fund raising activities this year.

Long Range Planning sessions will be conducted with small groups of parishioners each Sunday during the summer months. Once all members of the parish (or a fairly representative sample) have been polled, their responses will be reviewed in terms of the next phase of the program

Colin Reed’s “British Takeaway” at the Snug Harbor Harmony Fair was a great success and raised a substantial profit

Following a two-month summer hiatus, the Vestry will meet again on Monday, September 8 at 7:30 p.m. paragraph ending graphic

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Women of Christ Church

The Women of Christ Church will begin the new season with a meeting on Sept. 11 keeping the schedule that we have all be come familiar with. The celebrant at the 11 a.m. Eucharist, since Fr. Michael is on sabbatical, will be our Rector Emeritus, Fr. Walsted.

At the meeting which will be the next happening of the day, we will be discussing our plans for the coming year and catching up on the summer’s activities. An upcoming event will be the Dedication Day that opens the year for Church Women United on Sept. 22.

Then when we have eaten the sandwiches we have brought, Helen Martin and Connie Ricciardi will be hostesses, providing desserts to polish off the day.

It will be catch up time for long time members. And it would be wonderful to see new faces and to get acquainted with you. Come try us: you’ll like us! paragraph ending graphic

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Heritage Singers visit
the USA and Christ Church

One of the unforgettable wonders of the summer was the visit, in early August, of the Heritage Singers. They came to Christ Church from Yorkshire, England, on a Saturday evening and stayed overnight with members of our congregation before going on to St. Thomas’ Church in Manhattan.

Throughout the year their mission is to restore and to maintain the Anglican Choral Tradition by providing sung services, usually to churches without choirs. Those who were lucky enough to hear them will long remember their glorious performance. How fortunate we are not to have to rely on a group like the Heritage Singers for we enjoy a steady diet of great singing by our own faithful choir.

In organizing this treat Tom Sarff gave us a service beyond the call of duty: for planning the event, for supplying the food for the lovely reception (with the help of Beth McLean and Nancy Reiersen), and for persuading so many families to provide overnight hospitality. paragraph ending graphic

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Have You Had Enough
of the May-Ham DInner?

Some parishioners may legitimately say, “We’ve heard enough already!” In addition to all the information on the fliers, which are part of this issue, is anything more to be said? Only one more plea that everyone in the parish sponsor something, in any amount with which they are moo shoe pork (a pig wearing cow shoes)comfortable, and to add a few details. Even though there’s about four weeks before the cocktails and dinner on Sat. 4 October, 55 people have been willing to sponsor soup, hams, tea bags—whatever, One gallant beauty in our parish has paid a large sum to sponsor Colin Reed wearing a tie when he comes to church each Sunday.

By the time this appears, you will have received the raffle tickets, and the prizes being donated by nineteen parishioners are being assembled. You’ll get the chance to hand in your check or cash for your reservations for the dinner and the raffle, on Sunday 7 Sept. and sales will continue each Sunday until 28 Sept. It will be difficult to include the names of sponsors in the commemorative menu after the 28th. There will be a limit of 100 diners for whom we must have paid reservations, so that we have seating and food for all who’d like to have a great dining experience. Where else will you find a dinner like the May Ham at an amazing $15 for adults and $7 for youngsters 14 and under, anywhere on Staten Island, or elsewhere? paragraph ending graphic

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Carpenter Rodents

14 May 2003—Late this afternoon on the first day of his vacation, Victor walked into the kitchen from upstairs somewhere, looking grim.

“They’ve taken the roof apart,” he said. “They’ve pulled the wood off over the bathroom!”

“Who? Raccoons? Squirrels?”

“The *!$%@ squirrels,” he said, “Bushy-haired rats! They’ve got a six-foot long space they can go in and out of. They can get anywhere in the roof and inside all the walls!” (One of the disadvantages of a balloon frame house is empty boxes between the studs—great home for squirrels, termites, carpenter ants, cluster flies, and yellow-jackets).

Off he stomped then, first to his shop for plywood and tools, then to Home Depot for wire mesh and wire cutters to close the gap for the night, until he could decide how to make a permanent repair.

We already knew we had an animal problem: This winter, around 5 a.m. someone was banging on the door. I got up to answer it. No, it was Victor banging on the bathroom ceiling. “They’re tearing the house apart! Stop it!” he yelled at the ceiling. I glared at him sleepily. “Oh, sorry, did I wake you?” he asked.

And a few weeks ago, Eve called over the forsythia between our backyards: “I hate to tell you this, but the squirrels are taking your roof apart. I saw them. They’re throwing the pieces on the ground there,” she said, pointing to the space behind the house where I try to grow raspberries. “I see their furry little tails flicking out of the holes while they excavate.”

Tonight, at dinner, I suggested stationing the cats up in the attic. “What for?” Victor asked.

“Well, if any squirrels break through, they’ll hiss and chase them away.”

“Yeah, they’ll hiss maybe but they won’t drive them out,” he said. “They’ll all end up curled in a ball, grooming each other and sleeping.” (“Yuck, fleas again,” I thought.)

This is probably true. Our cats tolerate almost anyone cat-sized or smaller in the house. A few years ago, for example, when we still had an open kitty door in the basement, I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and passed a pleasant tableau vivant of cats in a semi-circle on the office floor and furniture.

“ Hmm,” I thought. “Why are there two black cats here?”

When the extra black cat realized he’d (or she’d) been found out, he dashed for the basement, taking the steps three or four at a time (or at least that’s what it sounded like, from the crashing noises).

So forget the cats. Tomorrow, instead, what the squirrels have put asunder, Victor will have to join together. paragraph ending graphic

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CCNB to Host Its First
"Chinese Auction" in November

If you’ve never had the experience of sharing in the fun and excitement of a Chinese Auction, now is your chance!

This year Christ Church will be hosting its VERY FIRST Chinese Auction on Saturday, November 1st. These events are quite popular here on Staten Island and well attended. There is always a terrific selection of raffle items and besides that, it’s a lot of fun!

Our chairpersons for this event are Alleida Mitchell and Richard Zayzay. Their task right now is to solicit items for the raffle tables. Within the next few weeks members of the committee will be selling tickets for the auction. We hope you’ll participate by buying a ticket and helping to sell tickets to friends and family.

If you’d like to donate a raffle item - or know of someone who would - please contact Ally at 718-442-8175 or leave a message with the parish office. paragraph ending graphic

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation — Really!

Hello! My name is Olisha James, I am 12 years old and I attend Christ Church. I will be going to high school in the fall. I was confirmed and a few days before our Big Day we were given the opportunity to attend the Episcopal camp, called the Camp of the Incarnation. I thought about the offer and said” Yes!”

This summer I went to camp, which is in Connecticut. I only went for a week but the memories will last a lifetime. I made many new friends that became my family. The most interesting part of camp was that hardly any of the counselors were from America. They were from Africa, England and Egypt for example.

We did a lot of interesting things and had lots of great activities. We went swimming in the lake with fish (who seemed to like me!), and we went camping in the wilderness. I enjoyed myself very much and would like to go back again! paragraph ending graphic

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Deck the Halls

Members of the Holly Ball Committee met several times this summer to discuss plans for one of the most popular events of the holiday season. This year’s Holly Ball will be held on Saturday, December 13th in the Parish Hall. Chairpersons Beth McLean and Trevor Mills have been working hard to select those individuals who will be responsible for the many important tasks involved in making this event a huge success.

Our Honorary Chairpersons this year will be Sue and Rick Boody, affectionately known here as “Mr. & Mrs. Christ Church.”

Pat DiMarco, one of our youth counselors, will chair the decorating committee. She has developed some wonderful and creative ideas that will add just the right touch to this special evening. “Good Clean Fun,” a very popular, and well-known four-piece band will provide entertainment. Susan Fowler will once again be responsible for the design, production and mailing of the invitations and Nancy Reiersen will be chairing the Holly Ball Journal Committee. We are also pleased to have the expertise of committee members Paul Smith and Marlene Elia. Gytha Bellaby and Nick Lettiere.

We want this year’s event to be bigger and better than ever; however, we need the help of each and every parishioner in order to make this possible. In the next few months you’ll be receiving more information about our Memorial Journal, a key element in making this event a success, and also, your invitation to The Holly Ball.

Please come out and show your support - and make this holiday season one of the happiest ever here at Christ Church. paragraph ending graphic

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CCNB & Rockefeller Center:
A New York Connection

What do Christ Church and Rockefeller Center have in common? Both have sculptures by Lee Lawrie, the renowned American sculptor. Inside Christ Church, Mr. Lawrie’s statues of Lee LawrieSt. Peter and St. Paul have gazed down at the main altar, as if lost in silent wonder and contemplation, from their niches flanking the reredos, ever since 1909. These sculptures are quite stylized, as befits Mr. Lawrie, who in the 1920’s and 1930’s became a leading proponent of the very popular Art Deco style. However, some Christ Church parishioners declare that each sculpture has its own distinct personality.

Also for Christ Church, Mr. Lawrie carved the bowl of the stone baptismal font. It features four panels with the traditional symbols of the four Evangelists: the man of St. Mathew, the winged lion of St. Mark, the ox of St. Luke, and the eagle of St. John. These were carved to the designs of Henry M. Congdon, a busy church architect whose New York firm presumably also designed and made the altar and reredos, the beautiful limestone paneling in the chancel with its credence shelf and seats for the bishop and other clergy, and the pulpit and lectern.

AtlasAt Rockefeller Center, Mr. Lawrie’s best-known work is the two- ton bronze statue of Atlas holding up the heavens. This was a collaboration with fellow sculptor Rene Chambellan. It stands at 630 Fifth Avenue outside the recessed entrance to the International Building directly across the avenue from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Controversy was no stranger to art at Rockefeller Center and when this sculpture was installed in 1937, some observers imagined in Atlas’s face a resemblance to the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Less well known than Atlas, whose image has appeared on U.S. postage stamps and in New York City’s tourist advertising, is that Mr. Lawrie made numerous other sculptural embellishments to Rockefeller Center. Two of the most striking are the brightly painted and gilded “Wisdom” and “Sound” at the entrance to the RCA Building (now known as the GE Building.) These works are in the full-blown Art Deco style that we admire in some of the city’s finest buildings. They exemplify the best in New York.RCA RCA











Just a few doors up Fifth Avenue from Rockefeller Center may be seen the magnificent stone reredos behind the main altar at St. Thomas Church. Working with Bertran Grosvenor Goodhue and Ralph Adams Cram, the church’s architects, Mr. Lawrie designed the 60 figures in the reredos. They were carved on Dunville stone from Downsville, Wisconsin. Mr. Lawrie also did the church’s striking World War I memorial.

Lee Lawrie (1877-1962) was born in Rixdorf, Germany, coming to the U.S. at the age of six with his family. He worked for a time in the studio of Augustus Saint-Gaudens and although he regarded himself as a self-taught sculptor, he did earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Yale University and taught there from 1909 to 1919. He is considered to be one of America’s finest architectural sculptors and his works may be seen in public buildings all over the country, among them the State Capitol at Lincoln, Nebraska; the John Adams Building of the Library of Congress and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles Public Library and the City Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota. He conceived his statue of George Washington in the Washington National Cathedral not as general, president or Roman statesman, but simply as a lay Episcopalian about to attend services at Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia. paragraph ending graphicbas relief by Lee Lawrie

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Final Recital in the Serenade Series

The final recital in the Serenade Concert Series will be presented on Sept. 14th at 3 p.m. It will feature Japanese pianist Sachiko Hasegawa in a program of fantasies written for piano by Schubert, Chopin, Busoni and Liszt.

Internationally acclaimed as a soloist, chamber musician and recitalist, Ms. Hasegawa has appeared with the Symphonie Orchester Berlin, St. Martin-in-the Fields Orchestra, the Acadamia Santa Cecilia, Rome and has performed chamber works with members of the Conzertgebouw Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic in Japan. Ms. Hasegawa has appeared in many of the major halls in New York, including Weill Recital hall (New York debut in 1995) and at Tully Hall, Lincoln Center where she received the highest critical acclaim.

Sunday’s program is free to the public and a reception to meet the artist will follow.

Serenade is most appreciative of its funders for the 2003 season. Major funding was given by the Staten Island Bank and Trust Foundation. These recitals were made possible in part by an Encore Grant from the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI), with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support has been given by the Richmond County Savings Bank Foundation. paragraph ending graphic


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Church Music:
Much More than Just for Services

Music in the Episcopal Diocese of New York is not limited to weekend services, but rather can also be enjoyed on recordings and at concerts. Here is a sampling of what is available through the tremendous music programs in Diocesan churches.

The Church of Ascension in Manhattan is home to Voices of Ascension Chorus & Orchestra, a critically acclaimed ensemble directed by Dennis Keene. Voices of Ascension offers an annual concert series featuring choral and classical works.

Trinity Wall Street in Manhattan hosts numerous musical concerts throughout the year. They are also home to a renowned choir, led by Owen Burdick, who is also the organist. The Trinity Church Choir has been helping to compile Joseph Haydn’s entire body of work.

St. Thomas Church, Manhattan, is a source of extraordinary music, at services and concerts. The church is home to The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys led by Gerre Hancock, Organist and Master of Choristers. The Saint Thomas Choir, with 14 men and 18 boys, is the premier choral ensemble of the Anglican musical tradition in the U.S.

The choir offers an annual concert series with orchestra. They sing five weekly principal worship services at the church. Men of the choir are professional singers and boys are students at Saint Thomas Choir School, the only church-related residential choir school in the U.S.

St. Bartholomew’s in Manhattan hosts the annual Summer Festival of Sacred Music, which features international choral music at the 11 a.m. Sunday Eucharist through Sept. 14. The featured music comes from the U.S., England, France, Germany, Italy as well as Africa. The church has two choirs: the St. Bartholomew’s Choir and St. Bartholomew’s Boy and Girl Choristers.

You can always look up these churches on the web for times, concert dates and discography. paragraph ending graphic

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Parish Register for July, August & September

September Birthdays
2-Ann Krsul, Margaret Harris, Evelyn Zayzay; 3–Dorothy Rapp; 6-Connie Ricciardi, 8-Fr. Michael; Rick Boody; 14-Martha Keucher; 15-Linda Reiersen; 16-Claire Kennedy, Liam McClosky; 18-David Reiersen, Varney Freeman, Joan Rock; 20-Nancy Reiersen-Scromo; 22-Matthew Devlin; 24-Zachary E. Sciré; 25-Shirley Black; 27-Willie Black, IV, Dorothy Rivera.

September Anniversaries
1–Patricia & Dennis Sciré; 9–Nancy Reiersen & Garry Scromo.

Parish Register for July & August
Marriage: Seth Parry & Lauren Zysk
Transfers Out: Charles & Ellen Frank

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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