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Mi Casa es su Casa!
There is an ancient
custom of hospitality observed in England, which holds that when
a sovereign guest comes to your home, the home is no longer yours
but theirs during the stay. Middle Eastern hospitality carries this even further
by holding that when a guest comes into your home everything in the house is
the guest’s during the visit. Thus, whenever one visits the home of someone
of this culture much care has to be given regarding what one looks at with
more than a casual glance, since the host is obliged to offer it immediately
to the guest. This type of hospitality is also offered to those who are guests
in Hispanic homes. Upon entering the home, the guests are warmly greeted and
assured, “Mi casa es su casa!” My home is your home!
All of this, though, points to an intriguing
aspect of our human nature. Although we have been taught that it
is more blessed to give than to receive, it is infinitely more
difficult to receive. Giving, as all of us have experienced, is
power. Receiving implies need and weakness. Receiving makes us
beholding; it cuts away our autonomy; it creates, in some sense,
However, to love God, to love Jesus and to welcome
the divine presence into our lives requires a decisive and ongoing
receptivity to God’s grace; that is, the peace and light
that God alone can offer. When our lives are too busy, when our
lives have priorities that are askew or whose values are not clearly
defined, we find ourselves becoming more and more dissipated and
distracted. Sadly, this state of affairs is at the heart of many
of us experiencing spiritual and physical burnout because there
is no room in our lives for God, or because God does not occupy
first place in our hearts.
During each Sunday’s Eucharist we encounter
a Jesus who says to us, “Mi casa es su casa!” This is
an invitation to come, be welcomed and be at home. It is a divine
hospitality that includes eating, listening, learning and living.
At every Eucharist we also say to Jesus , “Mi casa es su casa!” Come,
abide in me. Remain in me. Let your grace come alive in me that I
may love as you love and live as you lived. We come to church as
disciples, to go forth from the Sunday liturgy of praise and worship
to the daily liturgy of loving and living and serving the Lord and
all people – our heartfelt response to the ancient divine calling
of “Mi casa es su casa!”
Around the Parish
Welcome back to
one and all! It has been a very busy summer for many of us at Christ
Church and there is so much news to report that I suspect it will
take at least one or two more issues of the Tower Chimes to
get you caught up on all the details.
This was a wonderful summer for DorothyRappand
her family. In June, her son, Dr. Lynn B. Rapp was
the recipient of the Michael S. Rapp M.D. Obstetrical/Gynecological
Award for his service to the OB-GYN Department of Staten Island
University Hospital. In the same month her other son, M.
Peter Rapp was the honoree and guest speaker at the
annual Staten Island Advance All Star Sports Dinner at the Hilton
Gardens. And in July her granddaughter, Terri Lynn (
Peter’s daughter), gave birth to her second great grandson, Ryan
This summer the entire GilbertFamily - Johanna,
Alayne and Steve-
had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Sheffield, England
with Steve’s mom. A wonderful time was had by all - especially
Alayne, who got to spend lots of quality time with her grandmother!
Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Christ
Church Camp and Scholarship Fund Awards: Titus and
Evelyn Zayzay, who each had the
opportunity spend part of their vacation at summer camp; and to Claire
Kennedy, was the first recipient of a $1000 scholarship
from the fund. Claire is a graduate of Curtis High School and will
be attending Loyola University in the fall.
Connie and Jack Ricciardi, their daughters
and sons-in-law, took to the open seas this summer on the Norwegian
Dawn on a Caribbean cruise, stopping at ports in Florida, the Keys
and Nassau. Connie hasn’t stopped raving about the restaurants
and the many wonderful leisure time activities on board the ship,
not to mention the shopping and sightseeing at ports of call.
Congratulations and best wishes to Marguerite Anderson
and Joseph Pasquale who were married at Christ
Church on May 22 nd and to Betsy Gattullo and Scott
Kalfa who tied the knot on August 7. Marguerite
is one of the “regulars” at the 9:00 a.m. Family
Service, while Betsy and Scott usually attend the 8:00 a.m.
services. And a special mention to Laura and Ed
Craig who celebrated their milestone 50+ wedding
anniversary on August 9.
And on a personal note - I’d like to thank all of the wonderful
Christ Church parishioners for their prayers, cards and good wishes
while I was recuperating from surgery this summer. It meant so
much to know that you were there, and made my recuperation so much
That’s all for now - but obviously, not all there is to report.
Please feel free to contact us with all of the details that we’ve
missed and we’ll be sure to get the word out next month!
The regularly scheduled
meeting of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton took place
on Monday, June 14, 2004, at 7:30 P.M.
In giving the Treasurer’s Report for May
2004, Phyllis Bath noted that pledge income is again ahead of budget
, and that plate income is also ahead of budget, due to regular
faithful contributors. Office expenses are down in part because
we no longer lease a copier. Due to the volatility of the Stock
Market, the Finance Committee has transferred all parish funds
to the Bond Market.
The Christ Church New Brighton Mission Statement was presented
in this revised suggested wording: To see and to serve Christ in
every person; to celebrate and proclaim by word and example the
good news of God in Christ.
Focus groups have been organized to meet certain
parish needs. Dorothy Thompson and Mark Gherzo will look into the
feasibility of using the Parish Auditorium as a catering venue.
Susan Fowler and William Sherman have organized a committee to
develop and improve landscaping, with suggestions for a better-looking
fence and planting of easy-maintenance gardens, like a Meditation
Garden and a Biblical or Interfaith Garden. Beth McLean suggested
the addition of a Youth or Gospel Choir and a handbell choir to
the parish music program, and Anne Devlin, on behalf of the Evangelism
committee, offered the suggestions of a youth representative vestry
member, seasonal outreach programs and spiritual growth through
The Plant and Equipment Committee is worried about summer heat
damage to the stained-glass windows due to the plastic sheets that
cover them. Victor Stanwick has volunteered to drill holes in the
plastic to let out some of the heat. The Vestry approved $2,200
to cover expenses for Victor’s work, including the installation
of safety scaffolding and expert help for the Ascension and Resurrection windows.
Richard Sigman notified the Vestry that the Parish Audit was
completed and certified, four months ahead of schedule.
The theme of the 2004 Stewardship Campaign will be “See,
serve, celebrate, proclaim.” This derives from the parish
The Vestry wishes to thank everyone who helped out with the Spring
Fair ( Gytha Bellaby and Anne Devlin , co-chairs). It was great fun
for the parish community and raised $5600-$5700.
Women of Christ Church
It is September
again and the Women of Christ Church, along with many other Church
groups and activities, resume their regular schedule. That means
on the second Thursday of each month there is a Healing Service
and Eucharist in the Chapel at 11:00 a.m. for all. So on September
9 we hope to see those who regularly attend, and many new people
there as well!
The usual business meeting in the Vestry Room
and lunch will follow. Bring your own sandwich; dessert and coffee
and tea are provided (usually in abundance) by the officers.
All women of the Church are members, so all of you should circle
the second Thursday of each month and make your way to the church
for any part of the scheduled day. The Healing Service provides the
comfort that we all need; and the fellowship of friends, new and
old, makes for a pleasant afternoon. Join us there.
Serenade Concert Series
The Viva Voce
Brass Ensemble will be featured as part of the Christ ChurchSerenade Concert
Series on Sunday, September 19 at 3:00 p.m.
The Brass musicians, Joseph Loposky (Trumpet); Richard Titone
( Trumpet); Carolyn Clark ( French Horn); Kevin Clark (Trombone);
and Larry Zadin (Tuba) will “serenade” the audience
with works by Samuel Scheidt , J.S. Bach , G.F. Handel, Victor
Ewald and Gustav Holst. A few programming surprises are also promised
by this excellent group of musicians.
The concert is free to the public, and there will be a “Meet
The Artists” reception following the performance.
Children are most welcome. For information please call 718-273-3608.
Major funding for these concerts has been given by the Staten
Island Bank and Trust Foundation. These concerts are 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 provided by the Richmond County Savings Foundation, Northfield
Savings Bank, and the Independence Community Foundation.
This fall there
will be many terrific opportunities for the younger members of
our parish and those in the surrounding neighborhood.
We’ve established a Music Program, which
begins at the end of September. It will include music theory and
also provide an opportunity to learn how to play the guitar and
drums. We are also in the process of conducting a survey to see
if there is an interest in establishing a Dance Class,
which would most likely take place on Saturday morning. Sign-up
sheets can be found in the office for anyone interested in either
of these two programs.
We will be reinstating our Girls’ Night Out Program on
Friday evening starting in October; our weeknight neighborhood
and church Basketball Programs will also be returning.
We’ll also be offering Tutoring sessions
for all subjects, and the Metro Soccer League Program is
also in the works for two days a week from 3 to 6 p.m.
On a separate note, we will also have a sign-up sheet outside of
the parish office to see how many young people are interested in
joining our Youth Choir. Please see Beth McLean
or Lou Raneri if you have any questions about any of these activities.
Irving Portrait Miniatures
Valley, the network of six historic house museums in the Hudson
River Valley, has in its collection portrait miniatures of Pierre Paris Irving,
first Rector of Christ Church, and his wife Anna Henriette Duer Irving. These
tiny but beautiful portraits measure less than three inches in height. The
medium is watercolor on ivory. It is believed that the portraits were made
on the occasion of the couple’s marriage in 1826. They are attributed
to Nathaniel Rogers (1787-1844), a New York miniaturist active at that time.
They were found in the collection at Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s
home in Tarrytown, NY, a museum owned and operated by Historic
Hudson Valley. Pierre Paris Irving was Washington Irving’s
nephew. Anna Duer Irving was the daughter of John Duer, a prominent
New York jurist and very active lay Episcopalian.
The museums of Historic Hudson Valley are each worth a visit. For
more information, consult their web site at www.hudsonvalley.org.
Fr. Novey to be Honored
After nearly 35
years of serving as the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church,
Fr. Joel Novey has announced his retirement. He has been a prominent
figure here on Staten Island, as well as in the Diocese of New
York, and a good friend to us all.
A farewell cocktail reception has been planned by the parish
and will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 at the Staten Island
Hilton Gardens from 7 to 10 p.m. that evening. Tickets are $60
If you are interested in taking part in this special celebration,
call the All Saint’s parish office at 718-698-1338 before September
We Need YOUR Help!
On Friday, October 1 Christ Church will be hosting its second
annual Chinese Auction, beginning at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of
the Parish House. When we introduced this event for the first time
last year it was met with an overwhelming response, and this year
we’re hoping to make it an even bigger success.
But despite the concerted efforts of our chairpersons Alleida
Mitchell and Richard Zayzay, we need the support of each and every
Christ Church parishioner to accomplish the goal we have set for
this year. This is one of our major fund-raising events and the
profits from the Auction will be used to augment our operating
budget and also provide partial funding for our important outreach
programs, such as the Feeding Ministries, Prison Ministry, AIDS
Task Force, Project Hospitality and Youth Programs, just to name
Right now we are still in need of DONATIONS for the baskets and
gift tables; the Basket of Cheer is not looking very “cheerful” right
now and the food baskets and other assorted baskets are looking
a bit empty as well. If you don’t have any of these items
readily available, a tax-deductible cash donation will also be
gratefully accepted which will be used to purchase items for the
auction. And we are still in need of VOLUNTEERS to man the many
tables that make this type of event so popular.
Please contact Alleida or Richard at either 718-441-8175 or 718-727-6100
to let them know how YOU would like to help.
What's Your Point
The editors of
the Tower Chimes are pleased to announce a brand new column
entitled “Point of View.” This is the place where you’ll
have the opportunity to respond to any articles that you may have
read in a previous issue of the Tower Chimes, or even
on a subject that you feel strongly about as Christians or an Episcopalians.
There’s no need to worry about typing it, or whether or not
the grammar or spelling is perfect - we’ll take care of that!
There are several ways in which you can submit your articles for
this column. You can either drop them in the “Point of View” box
at the back of the church, give them to one of the Tower Chimes editors,
leave them in the Tower Chimes mailbox in the office, or
e-mail them to the editors at
On Tuesday, August
10 Christ Church lost a dear friend and faithful parishioner with
the passing of Ann Louderback. Ann was a dedicated member of our
choir, whose lilting voice and gentle spirit graced the soprano
section for many years. She also was a loyal friend and continual
source of optimism to all who knew her.
Having joined the choir during the 1960s when Jack Bainbridge
was director, Ann remained devoted to the choir ever since, walking
to church from her home on Pendleton Place to attend rehearsals
and services regardless of weather conditions. Through bitter winds,
drenching rain or sweltering heat, Ann always arrived with a smile,
and her husband, Lew, recalled Ann often returning home to say, “I
loved the anthem we sang this morning.”
Yet Ann also didn’t waste any words when she DIDN’T
like the anthem. I well remember one Sunday morning several years
ago when I led the choir through a “reading” of a new
anthem. It wasn’t going very well, and upon conclusion of
the piece, Ann looked directly at me and said, “Yuck!” We
all burst out laughing—including Ann, but I knew she was
right, and accordingly, the church has never been subjected to
that anthem again!
Such uplifting sincerity wasn’t confined to the choir room.
It seems to have been her attitude toward everything, even her
own mortality. As her illness progressed, she never shied away
from her challenges, but faced them with courage, humor, and dignity.
She remained a gracious host to visitors, both at home and in the
hospital, always mindful of the comfort and well-being of others.
What better legacy to leave?
Rest in peace, sweet lady.
Welcome to "Historic"
In June of this
year we were advised that Christ Church New Brighton has been added
to the National Register of Historic Places, a list of properties
deemed worthy of preservation by the State of New York. The addition
of Christ Church to this most prestigious “honor roll” now
makes us eligible for State funding, and restoration and preservation
projects which are vital to maintaining our lovely parish home.
This honor would not have been possible without the diligent
efforts of Susan Fowler and the members of the Plant & Equipment
Committee; Barnett Shepherd, John Watson, Michael Rebic, Director
of Property Support for the Diocese, and several others who helped
made this dream a reality.
The announcement of our Historic Designation was featured in wonderful
pictorial article in the August 7, 2004 issue of the Staten Island
Advance. If you have not yet had a chance to read it you’ll
find a copy posted on the bulletin board in the Parish House.
Dancing the Night
the scent of evergreens, the crisp cold night air, the inviting
aroma of a delicious dinner and the sounds of music and laughter.
Sounds like a dream come true – and it can be if you plan
to join us at the annual ChristChurchHollyBall on
Saturday, December 11 from 6 to 11
p.m.The evening will include cocktails
and hors d’oeuvres in the Guild and Vestry Rooms and dinner
and dancing in the Auditorium - all decorated in the festive colors
of the holiday season. And that’s all for a very reasonable
price of just $65 per person.
The Holly Ball has been a Christ Church tradition for many years
and an event that you won’t want to miss. This year we will
be honoring one of Christ Church ’s favorite couples, Nancy
and Bill Beveridge , and we’re looking forward to a wonderful
celebration. We’ll also be publishing a Memorial Journal
for the event that will feature ads and messages from local merchants
and other Staten Island organizations, in addition to those of
Christ Church parishioners and friends of the parish. Ad forms
will soon be available at the back of the Church, in the Guild
Room and in the Parish Office.
Please make sure to mark the date in your calendars right now.
It’s a holiday party that won’t want to miss!
is quite fortunate to have a wonderful Nursery space in the Parish
House, which was recently renovated and redecorated for our younger
members. The walls have been repainted in cheerful hues of pink
and blue, the carpeting has been renovated and the toys and books
have been organized and are ready for action! However, in order
to utilize the Nursery properly, we need volunteers to watch over
the children during the 9:00 a.m. Family Service and the main service
at 10:30. Due to the budget problems that we experienced earlier
this year, we were unable to maintain the services of a paid babysitter
during these services and we’re asking for your help.
Volunteers are needed - both teens and adults - who would be
willing to schedule some time to watch over the kids during these
services. If you’re interested, please call Andrea Morse
( 718-420-6420, Home; 718-720-4000, Work; or Johanna Gilbert (
A lot of time and effort has been made by several Christ Church parishioners
to get the Nursery back in shape - we need your help to get it up
and running again. Thanks for caring!
2-Margaret Harris, Evelyn Zayzay; 3–Dorothy Rapp; Alayne
Gilbert 6-Connie Ricciardi, 8-Fr. Michael; Rick Boody; 14-Martha
Keucher; 15- Linda Reiersen; 16-Claire Kennedy, 18-David Reiersen,
Joan Rock; 20- Nancy Reiersen -Scromo; 22-Matthew Devlin; 24-Zachary
E. Sciré; 25-Shirley Black; 27-Willie Black, IV, Dorothy
Rivera; 28- Paul Elia.
1–Patricia & Dennis Sciré ; 9– Nancy Reiersen & Garry
If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish
Office at 727-6100 so it can be added. X
Parish Register for June ,
July & August
Confirmations: Brenda Baskerville, Elizabeth
Receptions: Laura Craig , Ed Craig, David M.
Nygard , Lisa Rhodes
Baptism: David Andrew McAuley
Marriage: Elizabeth Gatullo to Scott Kalfa
Transfer Out: Tryphena Fahnbule
If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish
Office at 727-6100 so it can be added.
Food for Thought
Even though many
of our activities were suspended for the summer, God didn’t
shut down and neither did our Food Ministry. We continued to help
a lot of people in our community who can’t afford to feed
In July, Margaret Harris and another volunteer, at the Richmond
Senior Services, Bernadette Paulo, went with Colin Reed to Costco
Wholesale in July and spent $700 of parish funds. The canned goods
they bought helped fill the empty shelves of the facility on Jewett
Avenue, where John Watson and others volunteer several times a
We spent another $500 in August to help New Directions
from Post Avenue. That wonderful organization continues to collect
and distribute the food from our Sunday collections. They ran desperately
short of food in August and Christ Church helped them purchase
eggs and other fresh produce. Mae Seeley, Esther Reed, Victor Stanwick
and John Watson helped organize a sale of canned goods at the June
Fair and not only raised another $120 but stimulated much interest
in our Food Ministry.
Of course the 2nd Saturday lunch program continued
in May through August. Cold meats, salads and a variety of desserts
were eagerly devoured by an average of sixty people each 2nd Saturday.
More than 50 parishioners and some friends of our church participate
in this program, which is organized by Project Hospitality. Volunteers
donate the food they prepare in their home kitchens for a lunch
for those in need who comes off the streets to Trinity Lutheran
church. Other Christians and groups of other faiths are also involved.
For over ten years Ann Louderback was a very active
participant in this Christ Church program, through which we help
a few poor people survive. Now that she is no longer with us we know
she’ll look down smilingly on any volunteer who fills the gap
left by her death. Ann would love it if you’ll talk with Susan
or Victor at 718-720-1169 about being part of this ministry once
a year, or more if you’d like.