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In light of the recent departure of Father Michael we now find
ourselves in a very important transitional stage in the life of
our parish. This is our time to heal, to draw closer to one another,
and to work together as we undertake the search for a new Rector.
On Tuesday, September 28, the Vestry met with Canon Thomas Orso,
the Deployment Officer for the Diocese. Briefly stated, his job
is to meet with the Vestry, assign an interim consultant to work
with us in our search process, publicize the vacancy in the parish,
work with the Church Deployment Office to obtain candidates, check
references and compile a list of candidates for the Bishop’s
Many of you may remember Canon Orso from his assignment as Interim
Pastor at St. Andrew’s Church here on Staten Island in 2001.
He is a great friend of our parish, and his knowledge and skills
will be invaluable in providing us with the support that we need
during this very critical time.
During his visit, Canon Orso gave us a step-by-step overview
of the Search procedures and the recommended time periods that
are needed to review, reflect, interview, and finally call, a new
Rector. This is a process that will take time and careful consideration,
and not something that will happen overnight. Rest assured that
you will be updated on the progress of the Search Committee on
a regular basis as soon as things are in place.
Within the next few weeks the Vestry will be interviewing and
selecting a candidate, who will serve as our Interim Pastor during
this transition. Once the selection has been made, the Interim
Pastor will lead us in our weekly worship services, provide ongoing
pastoral care, attend Vestry meetings, perform baptisms, confirmations,
weddings, etc. and help us to prepare for the arrival of our new
Arrangements have been made for supply priests to celebrate our
Sunday services for the next month or so, until the Interim Pastor
has been hired and is in place. On Sunday, October 3, Mother Rhoda
Treherne-Thomas will be with us for all three services, and will
also be the celebrant for the Thursday morning Healing Service,
later this month. The Rev. Rand Frew will be with us for the remaining
Sunday services in October. Some of you may remember him from last
summer, when was a supply priest here at Christ Church.
Fr. Buddy Stallings from Ascension Church and Fr. John Johnson
from St John’s Church will be available for pastoral emergencies
until our new Interim Pastor joins us. In the event that you need
their assistance during this time we ask that you get in touch
with one of us, and we in turn will refer them to you.
This is a time when many of you have questions and concerns and
we urge you to share them with us, or with any member of the Vestry.
Let us all pray for God’s guidance and continued presence
as we begin our search for a
Around the Parish
column is dedicated to the memory of Martha Bendix,
a much loved, long-time parishioner who worked tirelessly for
the good of Christ Church. Martha passed
away on September 24 in Los Alamos, New
Mexico. A memorial service will be held at ChristChurch on
Saturday, October 16. Martha holds the distinction
of being the first editor of the “Around the Parish” column,
and her chatty and personal style made it the most popular column
in the Tower Chimes.)
On September 19th we resumed our regular schedule of Sunday
services and the church was buzzing with lots of activity. It was
so good to hear once again the parents and children singing at
Family Service, led by our talented young pianist, Thomas Liu.
The choir was back in action at the 10:30 a.m. service and the
Guild Room was once again filled with familiar smells of coffee
and desserts that are an integral part of the Coffee Hour.
We hope that Spider Webb and Karen Smith will
each be putting their “best foot forward” towards a
speedy recovery - Spider from her recent knee surgery, and Karen,
who is nursing a broken foot! And special “get well” wishes
to Joy Woodallwho
was admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospital for a brief stay to
fight off an internal infection.
Congratulations to Daniel Lettiere,
the elder son of Nancy and Nick Lettiere. Daniel,
a junior at Xaverian High School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn who was
named to the National Honor Society for the second year in a row.
Way to go, Daniel! And our best wishes to Tara Mazzucco
and Robert Smock on their recent engagement. Tara, the
daughter of Ron and Ellen Mazzucco, and Robert
will be marrying at Christ Church on April 9, 2005.
Speaking of 2005 - don’t forget to mark your calendars
for a major event in the history of Christ Church. We have set
aside the weekend of May 21 - 23 to celebrate the 100 th Anniversary
of our lovely Church. We’re in the process of making plans
for some very special music, services and celebrations. The members
of Serendipity will also be hosting a gala
May Ham Dinner on May 14th in honor of this special event
in the life of Christ Church. Keep tuned to your Tower Chimes for
further updates as these events get closer.
There’s a first time for everything - just ask Martha Keucher!
Her granddaughter recently gave birth to Martha’s first great
grandson, Oscar Everett Ponteri, on September
13 (one day before Martha’s birthday.) Congratulations to
Martha, and the proud parents, Amy and Jay.
A big, overdue “thank you” to two faithful parishioners
from our 8 a.m. Sunday service: first of all to Phyllis
Bath who, with the help of our sexton, Jim Angone,
spent a full day on her knees in the chapel during one of the hottest
and most humid days that we had this summer. No, she and Jim weren’t
praying - on the contrary, they were on their hands and knees removing
years and years of waxy build-up from the chapel floor. Not to
be overlooked by the efforts of Alleida Mitchelland
her nephew, Kevin, who spent an entire day in
the Sanctuary at the main altar polishing the brass altar rail.
Thanks to you all for helping to maintain the beauty of our beautiful
It was so good to see Diana Yates at the 10:30
a.m. Sunday service on September 26. Diana, who is now living in
the Midwest, happened to be visiting with friends in the area and
decided to drop by. We’re glad that she did!
On Friday, September 24th Christ Church lost another dear friend
and long time member of the parish with the passing of Anna
Parese. Anna was a member of Christ Church for many years,
and was a fixture in the front pews of the church, along with her
husband, Patsy. Anna always had time for a lively
conversation or two and loved coming to church on Sunday mornings.
Our love and condolences go out to Patsy, their children and grandchildren.
That’s all for now, folks! Please feel free to drop us a line,
or leave a note in the Tower Chimes mailbox in the parish
office, if there is any good news or information that you’d
like to share with our readers.
The regularly scheduled
meeting of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton took place
on Monday, September 13, 2004. In presenting her Treasurer’s
Report for the month ending August 21, 2004, Treasurer Phyllis
Bath noted good investment income.
The Vestry has accepted the Rector’s resignation, stating “After
prayer and careful deliberation, the Vestry of Christ Church New
Brighton accepts with regret the resignation of our Rector, the
Rev. E. Michael Allen, effective October 1, 2004.”
The Vestry has been officially informed of a bequest from the
estate of Jeanne P. Pratt. Though not a member of the parish, Mrs.
Pratt did take part in evening Adult Education programs and was
well known to several parishioners.
The Vestry has also been informed of the Needham bequest of $1000
to the Chancel Fund, intended for the chancel’s upkeep and
decoration. As we do not at the present time have a named “Chancel
Fund,” the Vestry voted, at the Rector’s recommendation
that this sum should go to the Altar Guild, which cares for the
Trevor Mills reported with enthusiasm on the excellent activities
of the Richmond Interparish Council (IPC), which all Staten Island
Episcopal parishes belong to and are represented on. The IPC is
presenting a “ Being Church” program at St. John’s
Church on Saturday, October 23, 2004, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The report from the very active Plant and Equipment Committee
was warmly received. As requested, the Vestry approved $6200 for
Baschnagel Bros. to replace approximately 600 slates on the church
roof and to repair the roof gutters.
Nancy and Bill Beveridge are the Holly Ball’s honorary
chairs. With the Vestry help, it is hoped to double the Holly Ball’s
journal profits. S.I. Bank and Trust has awarded $60,000 to our
Youth Program, which will be offering, among other programs, music,
tutoring, neighborhood basketball and Girls’ Night Out. Youth
Director Lou Raneri and staff members Larry Hansen and Pat DiMarco
will be returning. The Youth Committee hopes to start a youth choir
and a dance class, and is anticipating the return of several interesting
programs sponsored by the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences.
Repairs and renovations have been completed in the Sunday School
Nursery for the convenience of parents attending church. Volunteers
under the direction of Vestry member Johanna Gilbert will staff
The Chinese Auction, a very important fund-raiser, will take
place at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 1, under the direction of Alleida
The Vestry serves as the Stewardship Committee, chaired by the Wardens,
for the Every Member Canvass.
Women of Christ Church
On the usual second
Thursday of the month, the Women of Christ Church resumed their
schedule on September 9.
For all you new members (we hope!) the format follows the same
pattern: Healing Service and Eucharist at 11 a.m. in the chapel,
business meeting in the Vestry Room at 12 noon followed by lunch.
Bring your own sandwich, and hostesses furnish desserts and tea
and coffee in abundance.
Treasurer Shirley Elfers presented a report of the contributions
made during the summer and proposed adopting a change to a different
charity benefiting the American Indian ministry of the Episcopal
Church. We discussed the needs of the church, including new round
tables. The Wardens will advise us what items would be most welcome.
The group will be host to the Dedication Day meeting of the Staten
Island Church Women United on Sept. 27. This will include a service
of Holy Communion at 11 a.m. and a pitch-in lunch for which we
will provide desserts and coffee.
Good fellowship always reigns at lunchtime. Connie Ricciardi
was this month’s hostess and fulfilled her responsibility
very well indeed, with irresistible chocolate sticks in addition
to a couple of kinds of cake; enough so that we all took some home
Next month our date-the second Thursday of each month, remember?
-is Oct. 14, and we hope you will schedule your doctor’s appointments
on some other day so you can be with us then!
at the home of Judy Davis on Tuesday Sept. 21. After working out
the details of the Quiche Luncheon to be held at the church on
Sept. 26, we moved on to plan our fall programs.
But first---the Quiche Luncheon was really a wonderful success.
All of the lovely homemade quiches were delicious and the Guild
Hall was packed with parishioners. We accompanied the peasant pie
with a healthful salad, and orange juice, and finished with cookies
Up for discussion was a Soup and Sandwich luncheon slated for
November 7, which we will finalize during the October. meeting;
our full page contribution to the Journal for the Holly Ball and
the spring May-Ham Dinner. Colin Reed has prepared a thorough and
informative brochure on the function of Serendipity in Christ Church,
which was proofed by some members and will be published soon.
All of us love this group and would be thrilled if you would like
to join us at our next meeting: place to be announced in the weekly
bulletin, on October 19 at 7:30 p.m.
are very exciting for this fall—note all of the following:
Beginning on October 6 and 7, Junior and Senior High neighborhood basketball will
meet on Wed. and Thurs. respectively, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Jr. High
ages are 11-14 and Sr. High, 15-18.
Friday night Girls’ Night Out will begin
on October 8, ages 7-13, from 6: 30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be
pizza served and sports and other activities will be played.
On October 18, Monday, the Arts and Crafts and Recreation activities
will meet. The age span is 6-11, and they meet from 4:30 to 6:30.
The Once a month Church Kids Activity group
will meet soon: roller blading, ice skating, visiting the Metropolitan
Museum of Art and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, attending
a Nets game and other exciting events are in the works.
Watch your bulletins, the bulletin boards in the Parish House and
the TowerChimes for more information.
272 Richmond Terrace or
The Communion of Saints
John Watson and
I are forever checking up and keeping tabs on a dignified old house
in our neighborhood. Built on a terraced hillside, the tall frame
house rises above the busy street and is set well back from it.
It is 272 Richmond Terrace, once the home of the Rev. Pierre Paris
Irving, first Rector of Christ Church and his family. It is part
of the St. George Historic District, which the New York City Landmarks
Preservation commission officially defined and designated on July
19, 1994. Such designation confers landmark protection on the old
The Irving house was built around 1840. Though in an altered
state, it is still a hardy and improbable survivor of the first
decade of New Brighton’s development as one of America’s
first suburbs. Yet it means more to us than just a real estate
footnote. Why do we care about it and what does it mean to us?
We are not related by blood or marriage to the Irvings. It is hard
to think of having a relationship with a 19th century family.
However, the Irvings are part of our roots as members of Christ
Church. Christianity is an historical religion, which is simply
another way of saying that God is and always has been, in our daily
lives. We care about the Irvings and are interested in learning
about their lives, which Dr. John Woodall’s masterful history
of Christ Church gives us opportunity to do.
Our church relationships mean a great deal to us. All of us have
been influenced by church members we have known over the years.
The Communion of Saints is not just a doctrine of the church listed
in the creeds that we recite by rote without much thought. It is
an emotional and psychological reality of our everyday lives, a
network of living nerves that binds us all together.
The New Testament created no hierarchies or categories of saints.
In New Testament usage all church members are saints whether we
like it or not. A sobering thought, but a positive and encouraging
Like Christianity, landmarks point to the future as much as to the
past. “We are here today and we expect to be here tomorrow,” they
seem to say.
A New Exhibition Opens
at Snug Harbor
A new exhibition
has just opened in the Main Hall (Building C) of the Snug Harbor
Cultural Center. I am Guest Curator of Sailors’ Snug Harbor:
The Heritage; TheArchitecture of Sailors’ SnugHarbor;
and Classical Forms in Staten Island Architecture. The
exhibitions include historic and contemporary photographs, maps,
prints, paintings and memorabilia. Also featured is Welcome
to the SnugHarborCulturalCenter! an
orientation for visitors. Jointly sponsored by the Snug Harbor
Cultural Center and the Staten Island Museum (also known as the
Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences), these exhibitions
celebrate the beginning of the Staten Island Museum’s move
to Snug Harbor.
The exhibition is open to the public Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
There is a suggested contribution.
A Special Thanks
This letter comes to register our thanks and appreciation
for giving us the opportunity to attend the YMCA camp on Staten
Island this summer.
We enjoyed the fun shared with friends, counselors, support staff
and the bus company that took us to the camp and back home. We
will always remember the activities and the learning experiences
we had for those two weeks.
We look forward to a successful school year as we prepare to
start another semester this month. We love you all and may God
continue to bless the works of your hands.
Siaber P. Zayzay and Evelyn G. Zayzay
A New Miracle Needed
We need another
miracle on Staten Island! Jesus fed bread and fish to 5000 people
but the Daily News reported on 10 September, 2004 that there are 56,000
men women and children on Staten Island who go to bed hungry every might. Of
these almost 30,000 are not receiving aid from any of the 34 emergency food providers
in our Island communities. Every day the situation grows worse. Words will not
solve the problem but food will. Please remember our Sunday food collections.
Santa Claus is Coming
be coming a bit earlier to Christ Church this year. In fact, our
first celebration will take place on Saturday, November 20th, from
10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the Parish House is transformed into the
winter wonderland known as the St. Nick’s Fair. This
annual event is the “brainchild” of our warden and
Fair chairperson, Nick Lettiere, and provides an opportunity for
shoppers to feel the holiday spirit and get a head start on their
Christmas shopping as well.
Vendors will be featuring their goods in the auditorium, offering
a variety of items for sale – both home made and commercially
produced goods, in addition to the various raffle tables where
shoppers will have their chance to win items ranging from baskets
or cheer to “unexpected” treasures. You will be able
to order fresh green wreaths, and arrange for pick up or delivery.
There will also be a holiday lunchroom where shoppers can fill
their tummies, rest their tired feet and check over their shopping
Last December, Mother Nature really gave us a hard time, and
we were forced to cancel the St. Nick’s Fair because of the
ominous weather forecast. This year, we’re going to get the
best of her by moving the festivities to November. We’ve
even set an “alternate” date for the following Saturday,
November 27, in the event of snow, ice, rain, famine, pestilence,
or any other adversity that may occur on the 20 th.
Nick will be mailing vendor applications within the next few weeks.
If you, or someone you know, is interested in securing a table at
the Fair, please contact Nick at 718-981-0262 , or leave a message
for him at the Parish Office at 718-727-6100 . He’s also looking
for a few good men, women, and young people who would like to join
the festivities by manning a table, help out in the lunchroom or
set up or clean up after the Fair.
our endowments and our own resources are entrusted to us only for
use in the service of God’s will. We therefore need grateful
and generous hearts and the will to give of our lives and resources.
Not to give generously with a grateful heart is to choose stagnation,
like the Dead Sea, which has no outlet for what the Jordan River
feeds it. To let ourselves, on the other hand, be a conduit for
God’s gifts is to choose life, like the Sea of Galilee, fed
by the same Jordan River, which both receives and gives.
(Grateful and Generous Hearts by The Rev. Dr. John H. Westerhoff
Perhaps in the heady
months forthcoming at Christ Church, the words of the sages of
the past can give us strength. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
said, “The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.”
And Winston Churchill said, “Courage is what
it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to
sit down and listen.”
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;
James; 26–Hueldine Webb; 29–Amber Tamar James, Virginia
Parish Register for September
If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish Office
at 727-6100 so it can be added.
Hidden Treasures of
There are all
kinds of unreported activities that go on in our church, occasionally
and regularly, that really make a big difference to the life of the parish,
but which are rarely spoken of. Did you all see Valerie Quinlan selling bulbs
at coffee hour recently? Christ Church will share in the profits from that
flowerful venture and later on there’ll be opportunities for all of us
to share in beautification projects around our church.
In mid September Judy Davis ’ kitchen was the scene of
juicy annual mango-madness when Margaret Harris and Colin Reed
gathered to peel and chop four cases of very ripe mangoes and combine
them with other ingredients to make mango chutney, which will be
sold at one of our future fairs or throughout the year to parishioners
in the know. The concoction made from mangoes joins the jars of
peach and banana chutney, which will also be on sale. As she does
each year in the same kitchen, Judy will be making jars of marmalade
and in his kitchen, Colin Reed will be turning arm-loads of mint
from the gardens of Lois Lamb and Judy Davis , into mint sauce
and in season Tom Sarff and others will be placing their orders
for pickled onions and crumpets. Home-canned goods last for many
years and we still have some of Abby Boody’s green tomato
pickles available and Helen Martin has offered to make more. Each
year for many years members of Serendipity have been able to pour
many hundreds of dollars into our church to help maintain diverse
programs as well as to help plug roof-leaks and fix other structural
problems. With the help of Carol Mittelsdorf, the work of the Stationery
Movement, now over fifteen years old, has poured many thousands
of dollars into the Christ Church coffers and more recently the
Clove Lakes Book Store, the gift shop of the John Noble Maritime
Collection run by Ann Kalil, and the Gift and Card shop on Hyatt
Street have added boxes of stationery made by members of Serendipity
to their offerings. The seasonal cards that members sell at coffee
hour at appropriate times are a great fundraiser for our church.
Victor Stanwick ’s funny candy
wrappers and his wild wine labels continue to raise thousands of
dollars for Christ Church . So, to use that terrible expression--there’s
more than one way to kill a cat! A lot of the money raised in this
way helps our Food Ministry and covers the cost of housing a group
of homeless men in our church each night of the year. Are there
other hidden treasures that parishioners and friends have which