Star of Bethlehem
  December 2004

Click one of the headings below to read the article:

bullet character Warden's Report bullet character United Thank Offering
bullet character Vestry Report bullet character Memorial Flowers & Greens
bullet character Women of Christ Church bullet character AIDS Action International
bullet character The Sunday School bullet character The Ships of Christ Church
bullet character Serendipity Notes bullet character Reflection
bullet character Around the Parish bullet character Parish Registry

Warden's Report

Our search for an Interim Pastor and a new Rector continues. During the latter part of November members of the Vestry met with another prospective candidate for the Interim Pastor position, and the Diocese has also given us the names of two additional candidates for consideration. We will keep you informed of our progress and hope that this position will be filled by the beginning of the New Year.

In the meantime, we are pleased to have Mother Rhoda Treherne Thomas as our supply priest during the month of December, as we observe the seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Although we are currently in a state of transition we will still continue our traditions of worship and praise during the holiday season. On Sunday, December 19th there will be a combined service at 10:30 a.m., to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy a special Christmas program that will be presented by members of the Sunday School. There will be two services on Christmas Eve: the Family Service at 4 p.m. and a Choral Eucharist at 10 p.m.; and on Christmas Day there will be a Eucharist at 9 a.m.

We have also received word from Bishop Taylor that he will be coming to Christ Church on Sunday, December 26th, and will be the celebrant for the 8a.m., 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services that day.

We wish to thank all of you who responded so quickly, and so generously, to this year’s Stewardship Drive; however, there are still some pledges that are outstanding. We ask that you submit them as soon as possible so that the Finance Committee will have a better indication of available income when developing the 2005 Operating Budget for Christ Church.

Willie Black, Jr. has been selected to head the Search Committee, and many of you have expressed an interest in being a part of this important process. Once the Vestry has chosen the committee members, it is expected that the search process will be fully underway by the beginning of January.

Our best wishes to you all for a blessed and peaceful holiday season. Pray that God will watch over us and give us his guidance as we move through this important transition in the life of our parish. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Report

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Christ Church Vestry took place on Monday, November 8, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. A quorum was present. The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as presented. In giving her report, Treasurer Phyllis Bath commented, “October was a good month. Hope it keeps up that way.”

With respect to the Stewardship Campaign, chaired by the Wardens, it was reported that pledges for the coming year in the amount of $75,000 have been received. Nicholas Lettiere also stated that the proposed Interim pastor, who had been interviewed, has accepted another position and will not be available to us. The search for an Interim Priest goes on.

The Vestry accepts the offer of New York City Council member Michael McMahon to name the intersection of Franklin Ave. and Fillmore St. in honor of Christ Church, precise name to be determined. The signpost on the corner will have to have an additional sign bearing this name. This will be in observance of the centennial of the present Christ Church building, which opened for services in 1904 and was consecrated, its mortgage having been liquidated at Easter, 1905, on May 30, 1905.

The Guild Room in the Parish House is having new light fixtures installed. For the stained-glass window restoration project, Femenella and Associates will undertake the scope of work evaluation, to determine just how much needs to be done and to which windows.

Carrying the Project Hospitality cots into the Parish House from their storage unit in the parking lot has caused some damage to the top level of the gymnasium, especially to the walls. The sub floor of this top level is not good, while the floor tiling needs to be replaced with something sturdier. It is believed that a better place to store the cots can be found, thus lessening the damage.

The St. Nick’s Fair will take place on Sat. Nov. 20 and the Holly Ball is scheduled for Sat. Dec. 11. Invitations have gone out but names of new persons to receive them are still being solicited. The beauty of the invitation with its handsome holly sprig was commended.

Youth activities continue apace, with the music program having begun on Saturdays at 11 a.m. There are two instructors, one from Wagner College and one from Baruch. Every child will be given either a guitar or a drum set to keep. This is made possible by a grant for music appreciation. Basketball nights and afternoon arts and crafts continue. Girls’ Night Out seems to be picking up, but will soon need a new leader from church to step up and volunteer. On an evening in Dec. there will be a bus trip to the Meadowlands to see a Nets basketball game.

The Search Committee for a new rector is being formed. Parishioners in good standing who may be interested in serving on this committee should submit their names to the Wardens.

The Wardens will be Christ Church’s representatives at Diocesan Convention on Sat., Nov. 13.

Christ Church will take part in the “Adopt a Soldier” program, the precise means to be determined. paragraph ending graphic
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The Women of Christ Church

The Women of Christ Church were pleased to have the Rev. Buddy Stallings of the Church of the Ascension conduct the Healing Service and Eucharist which opened their regular meeting in November. The Church Calendar honors St. Martin of Tours on that day and Father Buddy, in describing his life, told us that he set a good but impossible example for simplicity of living.

A disappointingly few members heard a very good report fro our treasurer Shirley Elfers. We have bought some new round tables for the Church and have contributed to the Holly Ball Journal. Our contributions also included several charitable organizations: St. Francis Academy, Covenant House, New York Altar Guild and others.

There were good reports, but small attendance. Gather round in December, you good ladies, and enjoy the pitch-in lunch, the Christmas offering, the gathering of gifts for women and children I Safe Horizon, and some really good company.

The date for this party had to be changed to Friday, December 10. Make note of this change—it is quite unusual for us to change the date—and meet with us at the Church at 11 a.m. in the Chapel for the Eucharist and Healing Service. paragraph ending graphic

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the Sunday School

A very special visitor will be joining us on Dec. 18—Santa! Lunch with Santa is scheduled for 12 Noon to 2 p.m. in the Guild Room. Admission is to bring a wrapped gift for a man, woman or child. Children of all ages are welcome!

December 19 will be a wonderful day for our Sunday School members and the Christ Church family as well. On this Sunday there will be a combined service and a special Pageant of lessons and Carols including “The Original Twelve Days of Christmas.” The children are working very hard as are the teachers and this will be a great way to start this blessed season.

In case you are going on vacation on Dec. 19 there will be a repeat performance on January 6, Epiphany, with a Procession of the Magi as well.

Please contribute to our Glove, Hat and Scarf Tree that will be set up in the Guild Room ready to be adorned with these items for the needy. Please do not wrap these presents, just bring them in and put them on the tree. They will be donated to either Project Hospitality or another helping hands organization. If you prefer, you may donate money instead of a new item. paragraph ending graphic
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Serendipity Notes

If you’ve never been to a Serendipity meeting, you’ve missed a unique experience. It’s not true that church meetings have to be boring or solemn. When it was time for tea, coffee and a spectacular anger food cake and brownies, the post meeting hilarity was so witty and loud that hosts Linda and Hal Reiersen were afraid that neighbors might call the police.

We allocated money for the Wardens to distribute to needy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we reviewed our performance at the recent Soup and Sandwich luncheon, we went good wishes to our president, Gytha Bellaby, who continues to recover from her surgery during which surgeons discovered that she does have a heart though they did stop it for a short time while open heart surgery was completed! And---we made final plans for our contributions to the St. Nick’s Fair and for our Christmas party at Marlene Elia’s home. Members were made aware that Margaret Harris and Janet Schneider will need help throughout the day at the baked goods table to which Serendipity is making substantial donations

A group of members and others will explore the possibility of our buying a folding machine for the office. We also gave money for new fans for the Guild Room, and made plans for a Tattuage party at our February meeting. Lastly, we considered the plans for the May Ham Dinner on 14 May 2005 to celebrate the 100th birthday of our building.

The Stationery Movement will organize tables at the Holiday Fair of the Noble Maritime Collection at Snug Harbor on 3, 4 and 5 December where a sale of a great variety of merchandise will benefit Christ Church. We also considered the collection of seafood that is going on throughout November and which will go on sale to aid those in need of protein, at the Holiday Fair. We’re sick of hearing that Karen Smith wants the appeals to stop because she’d tired of keeping carp in her bathtub.

We planned our January and February 2005 meetings and discussed publicity for the spectacular 3-year appointment books, which many parishioners have sponsored and that is now ready for sale. Phew! paragraph ending graphic
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Around the Parish

As most people who speak English know, in the United Kingdom, an elevator is called a lift. But did you know that the incredible machine which Jim Angone uses to sheet rock our Guild Room Ceiling is called a Panel Lift? If our languages were consistent he’d call it a panel elevator. “I’ve had the machine for twenty years and there’s no way I could sheet rock a ceiling without it,” says Jim proudly as the renovated room in which we drink coffee on a Sunday morning, takes on a startlingly new and professional look. Jim had help from his future son-in-law Kevin Rosa who will soon be marrying Melissa Angone.

Nancy Beveridge, Sally Carp, Helen Martin, and Carol Shea will all be helping to sell the sea food, the subject of recent appeals for to benefit a couple of food pantries. At the same time they’ll be helping Colin sell boxes of stationery and all kinds of other items for the benefit of Christ Church. All of this will take place at the Holiday Fair of the Noble Maritime Collection on 3, 4 and 5 December.

Colin Reed has added to his various roles at Christ Church and on a recent Sunday helped Olisha James to supervise the nursery school. Gregory Brown and Claire James delighted him no end.

Some parishioners will remember the year when although the organizers of the ice-cream social offered parishioners a free choice of thirty or so toppings in addition to five or six fruits, someone complained, “What no coconut? Although Serendipity’s recent Soup and Sandwich luncheon was a great success with two gourmet soups (Minestrone and Butternut Squash) and seven different varieties of sandwiches and an elaborate desserts including a Bundt cake made by Paul Smith, there was a remarkable complaint “too many cucumber sandwiches” and “no mustard or mayonnaise.” At least he didn’t want coconut on his ham and cheese

Colin and Esther Reed are planning to spend Christmas with their family, which is gathering in Boston. As usual they’ll do things the old-fashioned way and take the train.

Laddie and Jack Kruiten are in town for Jeannette’s and Joe’s baptism of daughter Jillian Alice Schneider. Judy Davis recently visited England to celebrate her mother’s 95th birthday. Joan and Kit Kell joined them for a birthday luncheon.

Linda Razzano comes into the Church Office for three days a week and does her best to stay on top of the myriad telephone calls mostly from parishioners who want a variety of needs satisfied post haste. Fortunately Thanksgiving will give her a well-earned rest as her son David Sheehy cooks the family’s Thanksgiving Dinner and together with her son Joseph and fiancée Carmen will enjoy their time together. Linda is brave to work in an Episcopal office and perhaps it’s just as well that she’s a member of the Divine Healing Center and helps pray with the lady in charge who was healed from tuberculosis many years ago. Our church can do with some divine healing.

Many Staten Islanders who use Franklin Avenue as a route to Richmond Terrace have watched the amazing historic transformation and exterior renovation of the marvelous house of our Rector Emeritus, John Walsted, and the home of Jerry and his mother Martha, at 1 Pendelton that has now been finished.

Margaret Harris and John Watson continue to be kept busy at the Richmond Senior Services on Jewett Avenue. John says that they have promises of 36 turkeys to be distributed among needy elderly families for Thanksgiving.

Do you remember the day in January (or perhaps February) of this year when you were packing away all of your Christmas decorations and thinking to yourself that it would be a while since you saw them again. Well guess what? Christmas is coming!!!

Many of us got a head start on our holiday shopping and Christmas cheer at the St. Nick’s Holiday Fair last month. Thanks to the efforts of our own St. Nick ( Nick Lettiere, that is) and his hard-working crew of parishioners both old and young alike, it was a great day for all who attended. In fact, it was also a time to see some familiar faces and old friends. Many of us were delighted to see Tryphena Fahnbulleh, who came in from Maryland just to drop off a terrific selection of her home made goodies for the cake table. What a wonderful (and tasty) surprise!

Congratulations to Daniel Lettiere, son of Nancy and Nick Lettiere, on receiving the Richard Kabalkin Scholastic Memorial Award from the Staten Island Alzheimer’s Association. Daniel also holds the distinction of being inducted into the National Honor Society for the third year in a row. Daniel currently attends Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and plays trombone with the Xaverian Band. They will be traveling to Japan in April to play at the World’s Fair. It seems that the mayor of one of the towns in Japan an Italian-American who graduated from Xaverian and put in a special request to have the band play at the Fair.

Another young man in our parish, Lié Black, has also been quite busy with the Tottenville High School Band. Lié, the son of Connie and Buster Black, and grandson of Shirley and Willie Black, plays the bass drum and is the section leader for the bass drum section. During a recent competition last month, the Band took first place in the New York State USSBA Championships and came in 6th out of 14 in the All States USSBA Championships. Lié also gave his family a wonderful surprise last month when he took to the podium during the Tottenville High School “Sing” to conduct one of the scenes. Bravo!

Many of you may remember Leslie Sullivan, a former Christ Church parishioner who moved to Michigan with her partner Anne Krsul and their two children, Grace and Harry, last year. Leslie has been working on a film project for several years and her dream finally came to fruition last month when her independent film, “A Touch of Greatness” was shown at the Margaret Mead Auditorium in the Museum of Natural History.

Babies are Us - at least it was last month when our supply priest, Mother Polly Kasey, had the pleasure of baptizing four lovely young babies: Jillian Alice Schneider, (the granddaughter of Laddie and Jack Kruiten); Jalen Eugene Hazelwood; and Alexa Destiny and Alyssa Shelton Richard Jackson (grandson and twin granddaughters of Iris Colbourne.)

Speaking of babies - Tina and Tony Colucci are waiting expectantly for the stork to bring them their second child, due sometime in the month of April. Their lovely young daughter, Angelina, is quite excited about having a new baby brother or sister to play with as well.

Get well wishes to Gytha Bellaby who underwent mitrovalve replacement surgery last month. Gytha is on the mend, although a bit slowly, and we hope to see her back very soon.

And a sad note: condolences to Richard Sigman on the passing of his mother, Frances Sigman. She was a well-known figure in the Staten Island community and quite active in her home parish, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church here on Staten Island.

And finally, just a few lines to wish all of our readers, fellow parishioners and their families, a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year! paragraph ending graphic
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United Thank Offering

Twenty-three parishioners of Christ Church graciously contributed $905 for this year’s United Thank Offering. A check was presented at Trinity Church, Manhattan on Wednesday, Nov. 10 for this cause. Special thanks to all twenty-three who made this fall in-gathering a success. paragraph ending graphic

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AIDS Action International

The 11th Annual St. Nicholas Celebration, sponsored by AIDS Action International will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30 th, 2004, in the Great Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 112th Street and Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan.

Admission is free but people are asked to bring unwrapped holiday gifts for people of all ages living with HIV/AIDS.

Lavender Light: Black and people of All Colors Lesbian and Gay Gospel Choir; Sandra Goodman, Contralto; Dante, a contemporary band; Tim Brumfield, Cathedral Organist; Kelli Brisbane, Alto; and Evi Jundt, Pianist, will perform.

The offering of gifts is participatory and comes at the end of the evening.

New York City police officers of the 10th Precinct and Father Rand Frew AAI’s founder, deliver the gifts to five AIDS service organizations throughout the city, These agencies are: Bailey House, St. Mary’s Episcopal Center and A Better Place, Manhattan; Albert Einstein Family Immunological Center, the Bronx; and St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital, AIDS Home Care Program, Bayside, Queens.

A freewill offering is received for the work of AIDS Action International.

For additional information, please call 212.633.1062 or 718.448.2006. paragraph ending graphic
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The Ships of Christ Church

We are apt to forget the rich history of New York City as one of the world’s greatest seaports. In part this is due to highways, carrying vehicular traffic, that block our access to the sea. However, we now have in our neighborhood the quiet, handsomely landscaped stretch of road along the Kill Van Kull from the foot of Jersey Street to the Ferry Terminal. If you haven’t yet driven or strolled along this shoreline, its waves lapping, I urge you to do so.

Christ Church has several striking reminders of the seaport in our midst. Two stained glass windows bearing ships facing each other across the nave “Christ Stilling the Storm” on the left. While attending services, Susan Fowler and Victor Stanwick like to sit between these windows to see the ships.

Equally dramatic, yet less obvious, artifacts of the sea are found in the wooden baptismal font now standing at the chapel’s interior entrance. The classically carved bowl on top is part of Christ Church’s original baptismal font, which was the gift of John D. Sloat, one of the parish’s founders. Commodore Sloat, who eventually became a Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy had the font carved out of cherry wood from the bowsprit, defined as a “large spar projecting forward from the stem of the ship,” of the frigate U.S.S. Constitution.

Commodore Sloat’s font was replaced in 1878 by the Gothic-style wooden font, which incorporates the original font and now serves as a base for its bowl. The Gothic font was a thank offering from the Rector and some Christ Church parishioners for the preservation of their lives in the collision of the Staten Island Ferry Castleton and the steamer Spain, which occurred in heavy fog on Feb. 23, 1878. The words, “Our life preserved from greatest peril we praise Thee, O God,” are carved around the base in Latin: “Vita nostra periculo maximo conservata Te Deum laudamus.”

The stone Kunhardt memorial font replaced this font in 1909. In 1990 the old font turned up in the cellar of St. Alban’s Church, Eltingville, having been donated there around 1914. It was lovingly restored by August Maren and Robert McMillan and reinstalled in the place of honor it now occupies in Christ Church. paragraph ending graphic
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Let The Stable Still Astonish

Let the stable still astonish:
Straw-dirt floor, dull eyes,
Dusty flanks of donkeys, oxen;
Crumbling, crooked walls;
No bed to carry that pain,
And then, the child,
Rag-wrapped, laid to cry
In a trough.
Who would have chosen this?
Who would have said: “Yes,
Let the God of all the heavens and earth
Be born here, in this place”?
Who but the same God
Who stands in the darker, fouler rooms
of our hearts
and says, “Yes,
let the God of Heaven and Earth
be born here-
in this place.” paragraph ending graphic

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Parish Registry

December Birthdays

1–Sue Boody, 3–Liam David Aleman, 4–Philip Aleman IV, 5–Victor Stanwick, 12–Linda McAndrew, 17–Lester Blair, 18–Tovin Epherim Hewitt, Willie F. Black Jr.

December Anniversaries

9–Larraine and David Holt, 13–Karen and Paul Smith, 27–Shirley and Willie Black, Jr. , Linda and Robert McAndrew, Laura & Albert Patrick.

January Birthdays

1–Isabel Thompson, James Angone, 4–Elizabeth Kennedy, 7–Jeanne Mann, Benoria Zayzay, 10 – Betsy Liozzi, 11-Etta Johnson, 14–Willie Black III, 15–Laura Kennedy, 16–Peter Mazzucco, 23–Bill Beveridge, 24–Alexander Seeley, 26–Nellie Johnson, Mary Ann McDonnell, 28–Ronald Mazzucco, 30–Janet Schneider.

If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish Office at 727-6100 so it can be added.

Parish Register for October


Jillian Alice Schneider, Jalen Eugene Hazelwood, Alexa Destiny Jackson, and Alyssa Shelton Richard Jackson. paragraph ending graphic

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Memorial Flowers & Greens

Those who would like to contribute to the Altar Memorial flowers and greens for Christmas should list names of those to be remembered and place envelopes containing donations in the offering plate on a Sunday. Checks should be drawn to “Women of Christ Church.”

Names and donations may also be mailed directly to Mrs. Richard Elders, 61 North Randall Avenue, Staten Island NY 10301. To be listed in the Christmas bulletin, all names must be received no later than Sunday, December 19. paragraph ending graphic
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