Rest in peace
Close Window April 2005

Click one of the titles below to read the article:

paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Full English Breakfast
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic Search Committee Update
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Serenade Concert Series
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic Point of View
paragraph ending graphic Serendipity paragraph ending graphic Parish Register
Clergy Corner

On the Wednesday before Holy Week I received a phone call at the office from someone informing me of a rumor that was going around the neighborhood. Apparently, at a recent Community Board meeting someone announced that our very own Christ Church was up for sale. What’s more, the rumor went on to say that most things in and outside the church were “up for grabs.” What, you might ask, would make anyone say something like that? Well, for a few days last month land surveyors had been here working—trying to help us get a handle on drainage and water run off. It seems that some dear soul (charity first, as I always say) saw the men working and figured that kind of work is only done in advance of a property sale. Squelching the rumor was easy enough, but it continued to trouble me for the rest of the week. It reminded me of something that I have known always to be true: that is, for many people—be they people of faith or no faith whatsoever—there is a determined curiosity when it comes to the church.

People wonder what goes on here. They wonder what sort of people come here, what happens on Sundays and through the week. And although any of us would be happy to provide answers to their questions, they never ask. They just wonder. And when wondering isn’t enough, then they try and fill in the blanks. Hence, the rumor.

I am writing about this not because I want you all to don your sleuthing hats and find out who started all of this—it really, really doesn’t matter. I mention it only as a reminder that we, by virtue of our association here, are “persons of interest” to a great deal of people in our community. So, let’s be interesting!

We would do well to remember that we can advertise what goes on here all we want, we can offer programs and outreach opportunities galore, and still not be able to communicate the very heart of what happens here. The simple truth remains; each and every one of us in our own daily lives and work has a far greater capacity to communicate to our broken world the truth of the love of God and the freedom possible only in Jesus Christ.

That is the buzz we want to be floating around the community. And the individuals that make up Christ Church remain the single best and effective method of getting that message across. Happy Easter everyone, and God’s blessings to you all. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.

Around the Parish

The month of March was quite a busy one at Christ Church.

On Sunday, March 6 th the parish “officially” welcomed our new Interim Pastor, Fr. Clarke French. It was quite a wonderful day, with receptions held in his honor after the 9:00 a.m Family Service and again, after the 10:30 a.m. service. We are sorry that Fr. Clarke’s wife, Sally, was unable to be there as well; however, she was only able to be here for a few days to get things “somewhat” settled in the Rectory before she had to return back to Canada. Hopefully Sally will be back soon - with all of the furniture and of course, the two most important members of the French family, their two cats, Horatio and Mathilda!

Colin Reed reports that there has been a revival of his “New Brighton Lives,” a scrapbook of histories, paintings and stories, which was published in 200. He’s had requests for reprints from people in New Brighton, and also from former Staten Island residents who have moved as far away as Arkansas, Wisconsin and Arizona.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for three of our major fund-raising events this year: the Spring Fair on Saturday, June 11 th(chaired this year by Beth McLean and Anne Devlin); the St. Nick’s Fair on Saturday, November 19 th(chaired this year by Sheila Hewitt and Dorothy Thompson); and of course, the Holly Ball on Saturday, December 10 th, once again chaired by Trevor Mills and Beth McLean.

Babies R Us! Two blessed events at Christ Church that should be noted with great joy. First of all, congratulations to the Colucci family - Tony, Tina and daughter, Evangelina, on the most recent addition to their family. On March 12, 2005 they welcomed Gianni Antonio Colucci into the family who weighed in at six pounds, two ounces. Gianni shares this special day with another important member of the family - Tina’s dad!

Betsy and Scott Kalfa are anxiously awaiting a visit from “Mr. Stork” in April. We do know that it’s a boy, and even more important, that everyone on both sides of the family - the Kalfas and the Gattullos - are quite excited and happy about the impending “blessed event.”

Welcome to our newest office volunteer, Ginny Spadaro. She will be manning (or “womaning”) the parish office each Monday and Tuesday and we thank her taking on this important task.

Talk about a small world! It took almost 18 years after they were born before our soprano soloist, Ann Sohm, and Jay and Ginny Spadaro’s daughter, Ginger Spadaro, discovered that they were each born on the same day, and in the same hospital! These two lovely ladies “discovered” each other in college and have since become the best of friends.

Calling all the young ladies of Christ Church! The “Girls Night Out” program will be resuming on Friday, April 8 th at 6 p.m. We’ve hired a new youth mentor who is quite excited to lead these wonderful evenings of crafts and activities. Any questions? Please contact the chair of our Youth Committee, Beth McLean.

Get well wishes to Andr é Black and Richard Sigman who are both under the weather right now and would be grateful if you could remember them in your thoughts and prayers. We’re also glad to see that Laura Craig, Connie Ricciardi and Wilma Temple-Woods are recovering nicely from their recent illnesses.

Condolences to William Sherman and his family on the passing of his wife, Eva in February. This wonderful woman, who had the deepest love for her family and her church, fought the good fight in her struggle to overcome breast cancer. Her presence at our 10:30 a.m. Sunday services will be sorely missed.

And in closing, a special wish from your Tower Chimes editors and correspondents for a blessed and joyful Eastertide. God’s Peace! paragraph ending graphic

Click here to go to the top of the page.

Vestry Notes

The members of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton met on Monday, March 14 for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Here are some important highlights reflecting the important issues and decisions that were made at that time:

  • Fr. Clarke announced that Bishop Sisk will be visiting Christ Church on Sunday, October 30 and will be preaching during the 10:30 a.m. service.
  • Fr. Clarke and his wife, Sally, will be away from April 15 to May 3 as they lead a previously arranged tour of the Holy Land. Mother Rhoda Treherne-Thomas will be our supply priest during the Sundays that Fr. Clarke is away.
  • Beth McLean and Susan Fowler have met with several prospective candidates to fill the Sexton’s position. (Editor’s note: an announcement will be forthcoming regarding the final selection of a candidate to fill this position.)
  • Beth McLean will also be interviewing prospective candidates to lead the “Girls Night Out” program. This popular program was discontinued a few years ago when its leader, Diana Yates, was unable to meet with the girls on Friday nights
  • Anne Devlin is the Christ Church liaison for the upcoming Community Days Event, sponsored by the Staten Island Council of Churches, on April 8 th through 10 th. Please contact Anne if you would like to participate in this very interesting and important community project.
  • The Vestry voted to allocate $1100 to complete several important and necessary repairs in the Rectory.
  • The search continues to find a new Treasurer for Christ Church. Richard Sigman is currently handling all of these functions on an “interim” basis, and is quite anxious to begin training a replacement. This is a non-paying, volunteer position. Interested parties should contact either Fr. Clarke, the Wardens or Richard Sigman if they would like take over this important parish position.
The next meeting of the Vestry will take place on Monday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. The approved minutes of the February 14 th meeting have been posted on the Parish House bulletin board for those wishing to review them. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.

Women of Christ Church

The Women of Christ Church were delighted to have our new Interim Pastor, Fr. Clarke, celebrate the Eucharist and conduct the Healing Service at their regular meeting (the second Thursday, remember?) In March. He was kind enough to stay for our meeting and lunch, joining in on our fellowship around the table. It was an opportunity for us to get to know him, and I imagine he learned lots about us, too. It was nice to have Connie Ricciardi and Laura Craig with us. In spite of their recent illnesses, both insisted on helping with the luncheon, so we know they are feeling better.

Food certificates are to be given to Fr. Clarke for distribution at Easter time to members of the community who are in need of our help. Our Treasurer, Shirley Elfers, reported that some donations have already been made.

Decorations on the table and the desserts were in green and white, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and were prepared by Helen Martin and Martha Keucher.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 13 at which time Fr. Clarke and his wife, Sally, will be leading a tour to Egypt, Lebanon, and the Holy Land. Our Rector Emeritus, Fr. John will be with us for the Eucharist and Healing Service in the chapel at 11 am. The meeting will follow afterwards in the Parish House. We hope you will bring your sandwich and join us then. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.

Serendipity Notes

Now that it’s April, it’s hard to remember that our March meeting had to be postponed because of any icy blizzard. Even so, members gathered at the church where they learned that the famous basement closet is now complete, plans for the renovation of our dumbwaiter are being explored, and that the twenty prize raffle booklet and tickets were circulated during the third week of March.

It was obvious too that Christ Church’s one foundation is not any one group or individual, but Jesus Christ our Lord. Along with so many other things, the membership of the group has changed since Judy Lefebvre founded Serendipity 40 years ago. No one serves now who served then. People come and go but the church goes on because it is stronger than any one person in it. A group of people whose number has grown this year, continue to meet monthly to sit, laugh and talk to each other and discuss ways in which they can make life better for everyone in a 100 year old creation like our church.

There was also discussion at the meeting of our celebration of our 100th birthday on Saturday, 14 May. Let’s fill you in on some of the details. We urge everyone to sell as many tickets for our 20 prize raffle as possible. We are also carrying on the tradition started in 1997 when the May Ham dinners first began, of asking for sponsors for everything from 25 cents for a lettuce leaf or a teabag, to $25 for a ham or $100 for our birthday cake. Want to sponsor the whole party? Your check for $1500 will do the trick!

As usual Kim Davis will be with us downstairs and later on upstairs, to serve us cocktails beer or soda. The May Ham Dinner itself this year will include a carvery which the Oxford Dictionary describes as “a restaurant displaying joints for carving.” Almost two dozen parishioners will be preparing food for the great event at which ham, roast beef, turkey, chicken, and duck will be served, along with a salad bar featuring at least ten salads. The meal will be topped, of course, with a birthday cake.

We’re looking forward to welcoming Bishop Taylor, an old friend of our parish, as well as Bishop Sisk. The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to send us greetings. Gytha and Eugene, who by the time you receive this, will be Mr. and Mrs. Darconte, will be organizing a commemorative journal including the menu, that will contain the names of sponsors, ads. and boosters. Dinner reservations for adults only, please, will be $19.05. Installment plans available in complete confidence. Discounts for reserved tables of 4, 8 or 10. Raffle tickets are $1, or 6 for $5 and they’ll will be on sale throughout the dinner. Food and other commemorative items will also be on sale. Our dear friend, Carol Shea, will be our hostess, and we invite all parishioners and friends to join us for a great evening. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.

Full English Breakfast

There were eighteen parishioners, dear friends Norma Sue Wolfe, Rhoda Treherne-Thomas, Vestry members, and an assortment of famished parishioners, shivering in the oval early in the morning waiting for the hot baked beans that were on the menu when the Full English breakfast was served to our overnight homeless guests on St. Valentine’s Day. The first cook went off to the Bagel Bin on Forest Avenue that is open 24 hours, to pick up freshly baked rolls and deliver them to Christ Church at 4:30 a.m., soon to be followed by Victor and Susan, Colin, Martha, Salome Yepez and Peter Raff, who began to prepare a full English breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, fried tomatoes, fried potatoes and baked beans. Rolls, coffee and tea, HP sauce and Oxford marmalade were served on the side.

When our guests arrive late in the evening every day, our church is locked. When Nick Dowen asked them if they would like to see our church they responded eagerly and when he took them in they were awe-struck by its dramatic beauty. Later Nick was amazed when he took the men into the chapel, for some of them were familiar with people whose ashes were housed in the Columbarium. As they left, our homeless guests were given a bag lunch that included Lesley Shannon’s muffins. As one parishioner said when it was over, “I think this morning’s breakfast was an astounding success and I’d like to suggest that we make this some sort of regular thing.” There were many other warm praises for what happened. Our image of homeless men changed a little when two of them bowed their heads in prayer before wolfing in to their breakfast.

Later in the day sixty small boxes of chocolates were delivered to the drop-in center for the homeless in St. George and several bystanders came up to thank us. paragraph ending graphic

Click here to go to the top of the page.

Search Committee Update

The theme for our search is “Journey Through Change.” Certainly this has been a learning experience, and to quote Father Thomas Orso, the Diocesan Canon for Deployment, “It should be an exciting experience.”

The Search Committee has convened several times this year, including an initial meeting with Father Orso in February. We have begun to share philosophies, experiences and emotions relating to our common mission. The chart depicting our progress is on display in the Guild Room.

We are currently in the “Self Study” phase of our search where we determine who we are, where we want to go, how to get there and who is to lead us. This is a requirement for the entire parish - not just the Search Committee. In order for us to determine the best answers to these questions, the Search Committee requests your attendance and participation at a Parish Meeting in the auditorium on Sunday, April 17, 2005 immediately following a combined service at 10:30 a.m. The purpose of the meeting is to gather your input in our search to find a new Rector. The meeting will require approximately one hour of your time.

The Search Committee, whose members include its chair, Willie Black, Jr., Anne Devlin, Nick Dowen, Shirley Elfers, Marlene Elia, Nicholas Lettiere, Connie Ricciardi, Richard Sigman and John Watson, needs your support and prayers in this endeavor. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.

Serenade Concert Series

On Sunday, May 1 st the Serenade Concert Series will begin its spring season at 3:00 p.m. in a program entitled “Serenade for Strings and Piano.” This afternoon of musical enjoyment will feature Isabella Liss and Valerie Quinlan (violin); Lucy Corwin (viola); Madeline Caspare (cello); and Sandra Russo (piano).is free-of-charge and open to the public.

This ensemble will present Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E flat, Opus 49. Also on the program will be a duet composed by Handel and arranged by Halvorsen for violin and violin, featuring Isabella Liss and Lucy Corwin. Also featured is Kodaly’s duet, Opus 7 for violin and cello, performed by Valerie Quinlan and Madeline Caspare.

Come and enjoy this afternoon of beautiful music. A “Meet the Artists” reception will follow in the Parish House.

This program is supported by grants from Staten Island Bank & Trust Foundation, Richmond County Savings Foundation and Independence Community Foundation. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.

Point of View

“Context is Everything”

This is a request to all of you religious fanatics out there (you know who you are). When you use Biblical references to try and convince the rest of us that we are sinners and are doomed to eternal damnation because we don’t think like you do, please use the following disclaimer at the beginning of your pointless point of view:

“WARNING! Do not read any of the Biblical text that appears before or after the cited references in this diatribe.”

As long as people follow that instruction, your rants and raves can be taken as gospel truth and proof of your wildest theories.

Having said all of that, I shall now use several citations from the King James Bible to lay down a few new societal rules in an attempt to keep all of you heterosexuals out there (you know who you are) straight (no pun intended). But first, a disclaimer: “WARNING! Do not read any of the text that appears before or after the cited references in this diatribe.”

Rule Number 1: If your wife is not able to bear children, you may marry as many women as it takes until you find one who is fecund. I cite First Samuel, chapter 1, verse 2: ...and he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Rule Number 2: Women should suffer and be subservient to men for having caused mankind to become sinners in the first place. I cite Genesis, chapter 3, verse 16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

I further cite First Timothy, chapter 2, verses 12-15: But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression: but she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety.

Rule Number 3: Heterosexual relationships are from this point on to be frowned upon, perhaps even banned altogether (heterosexual relationships cause both parties to be considered “unclean”). I cite several references, including Leviticus, Chapter 15, verses 18 and 24, and chapter 20, verse 18: The woman also with whom a man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even… And if any man lie with her, and her impurity be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean. And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath made naked her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

It is further evident that heterosexual relationships are held in the same category as idolatry and unlawful alpine-related eating habits. I cite Ezekiel, chapter 18, verse 5: But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, and hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbor`s wife, neither hath come near to a woman in her impurity…. We may have to enact some culinary rules in the near future.

Good old reliable Paul has this to say on the subject of heterosexual relationships: Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. This is, of course, from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 7, verse 1. How much clearer can we be on the subject of heterosexuality?

Even Matthew relates heterosexual relationships with adultery. I cite Matthew, chapter 5, verse 28: but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Note that Matthew never once claims that to looketh upon a person of the same sex is considered adulterous. Matthew continues on to say: And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery. The disciples say unto him, If the case of the man is so with his wife, it is not expedient to marry. It seems that Matthew is telling us that it’s just easier not to have anything to do with women in the first place.

In conclusion, I hope that all of you out there will take these rules to heart and obey them. And remember to wait until you are ninety-nine years old before you are circumcised (Genesis, chapter 17, verse 24). paragraph ending graphic

Click here to go to the top of the page.

Parish Register

April Birthdays

1—Ian Robert Adams, Bryan Jamal Adams, Matthew Ambroggi; 6—Harry Bernardez; 10—Michael Devlin; 17 – Siaber Zayzay, Celestine Zayzay; 24—David Wood, Daniel Wood; 26—Mary Boody; 30—Nancy Sherman

April Anniversaries

6—Linda & Harald Reiersen; 12—Carol & John Brown; 17—Sue & Rick Boody; 25—Laura & Henry Kennedy.

If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish Office at 727-6100 so it can be added. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.