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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
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
This summer there were two extraordinary events. The first was
on Saturday, August 2nd, with a concert by the Heritage Singers
England. Thanks to Tom Sarff, organist and choirmaster, for taking
the time to coordinate this event and helping to make it such a
The second event was a convention held at Christ Church over
Labor Day weekend, by the Liberian community. They held meetings
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
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.
Around the Parish
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
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
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
and the Serendipity “Ice Cream Social” in August was especially well
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
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
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
Martha, you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good
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
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
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!
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
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.
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
Heritage Singers visit
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.
Have You Had Enough
the May-Ham DInner?
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 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
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 $7 for youngsters 14 and under, anywhere
on Staten Island, or elsewhere?
14 May 2003—Late
this afternoon on the first day of his vacation, Victor walked
into the kitchen from upstairs somewhere, looking grim.
“They’ve taken the roof apart,” he said. “They’ve
pulled the wood off over the bathroom!”
“Who? Raccoons? Squirrels?”
“The *!$%@ squirrels,” he said, “Bushy-haired
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
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.
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
for?” Victor asked.
“Well, if any squirrels break through, they’ll hiss and chase them away.”
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
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.
CCNB to Host Its First
Auction" in November
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
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.
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!
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
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.
CCNB & Rockefeller
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 St. 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.
At 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
Deco style that we admire in some of the city’s finest buildings. They
exemplify the best in New York.
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.
Final Recital in the
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
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
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
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
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.
Parish Register for
July, August & September
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,
1–Patricia & Dennis Sciré; 9–Nancy Reiersen & Garry
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.