Etching of Christ Church by Bill Murphy Happy Halloween
  October 2004

Click one of the headings below to read the article:

paragraph ending graphic Warden's Message paragraph ending graphic New Exhibit at Snug Haror
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic A Special Thanks
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Hidden Treasures
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic A New Miracle is Needed
paragraph ending graphic Serendipity Notes paragraph ending graphic Santa Claus is Coming...
paragraph ending graphic Youth Activities paragraph ending graphic Ponder This & Reflection
paragraph ending graphic 272 Richmond Terrace paragraph ending graphic Parish Registry

Warden's Message

Dear Parishioners:

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 approval.

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 Rector.

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
new Rector. paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

(This month’s 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 church!

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. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Notes

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 chancel.

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 Nursery.

The Chinese Auction, a very important fund-raiser, will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 1, under the direction of Alleida Mitchell.

The Vestry serves as the Stewardship Committee, chaired by the Wardens, for the Every Member Canvass. paragraph ending graphic
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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 for supper.

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! paragraph ending graphic

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Serendipity Notes

Serendipity met 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 and coffee.

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. paragraph ending graphic
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Youth Activities

Youth activities 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. paragraph ending graphic
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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 house.

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 one.

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. paragraph ending graphic
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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. paragraph ending graphic
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A Special Thanks

Dear Christian Friends:

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 paragraph ending graphic
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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. paragraph ending graphic

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Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Christmas will 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 lists.

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. paragraph ending graphic
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Ponder This

“...Both 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 ) paragraph ending graphic

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.” paragraph ending graphic
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Parish Register

October Birthdays

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


Parish Register for September

Martha Bendix
Anna Parese
Ann Louderback

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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Hidden Treasures of Christ Church

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 are hidden? paragraph ending graphic

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