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  February 2005

Warden's Report

The Parish Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, January 16, 2005 . At that time the parish considered the passage of the proposed amendment to the bylaws as well as the proposed slate of Vestry candidates that had been previously presented, in the event that the amendment was not put into effect.

The amendment was not passed, and the following individuals were elected to the Vestry: Warden (for a two-year term): Beth McLean ; Vestry persons (each for a three -year term): Eugene Darconte, Nick Dowen, Sheila Swigert and John Watson.

The following is a copy of the Warden’s message, which was delivered at the annual meeting:

“2004 was a year filled with challenges and surprises - but was also a time when we as a parish drew closer together.

We began the year in the planning stages of a LongRange Capital Campaign and members of the Vestry, led by the campaign facilitator, LesleyShannon, devoted many hours of discussion to formulate the necessary steps towards its implementation.

However, during the course of the year we did have some financial setbacks that caused a deficit in our Operating Budget, necessitating a cutback in hours for our Sexton and Parish Secretary. We faced our biggest challenge in October of 2004 with the resignation of our Rector, and in turn our Long Range Planning efforts were tabled in order to concentrate our efforts on finding supply priests to continue our Sunday services, and to find an Interim Pastor, and ultimately, a new Rector for Christ Church. It was also a year when we lost several long-time parishioners: EileenMurray, AnnaParese, AnnLouderback and MarthaBendix - these wonderful ladies will be missed.

However, as we look back, 2004 was also a year when we grew stronger. It was the year when ChristChurch was granted landmark status, thereby providing us with a way to secure additional grant funding for the necessary improvements to our parish buildings and grounds. It was a year when we received a $60,000 grant for our Youth Programs, and most recently, a $2500 grant for our Serenade Concert Series.

In 2004 the majority of the work was completed on our organ renovation, and thanks to the generous donations of parishioners and parish organizations we were able to install newer and more efficient lighting in the Guild Room.

The important work of the Finance Committee, led by the indefatigable RichardSigman, and the Plant & Equipment Committee, under the direction of Susan Fowler, continued through the year. The Vestry met many times during the latter part of the year in response to our need to find an Interim Pastor, and to form a Search Committee to find a new Rector.

We maintained a regular schedule of Sunday services with wonderful supply priests: Mother Polly Kasey, Father Rand Frew, and of course, Mother Rhoda Treherne-Thomas, whose spiritual guidance brought us through Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Their efforts were complimented and strengthened by the continued hard work of our Verger, Paul Smith, our Organist and Choirmaster, Tom Sarff and our Altar Guild Directress, Shirley Elfers; and let us not forget the daily petitions of Victor Stanwick as he did the Morning Office each day of the week, and Victor and Willie Black, Jr. coordinating the Second Sunday Healing Services in the Chapel. Thanks are also due to Father John Johnson of St. John’s Church, Father Buddy Stallings of Ascension Church, and Father Michael Delaney of St. Andrew’s Church, who so graciously gave of their time and energies to visit parishioners in the hospital and conduct special services during the week as was necessary.

The Sunday School continued to function under the Direction of Sheila Hewitt, Christine Szczepanik and Connie Black and we were delighted by the Advent Play and welcomed the Magi to the Manger this year on Epiphany.

Our yearly fund raising and fellowship events continued as scheduled: The Chinese Auction on October, co-chaired by Alleida Mitchell and Richard Zayzay; the St. Nick’s Fair under the watchful eye of its chairperson, Nick Lettiere; and our successful Holly Ball directed once again by co-chairpersons Beth McLean and Trevor Mills.

The year ahead will also be filled with challenges and hard work - but there are many positive opportunities for growth and change as well. Yesterday, members of the Vestry had avery positive meeting with a potential candidate to fill the Interim Pastor position and are hoping to finalize the details within the next week or so. However, I am pleased to tell you that Fr. John Covington, the former rector of St. Alban’s Church, will be our supply priest for the month of February. In addition to the Sunday morning service schedule, he will also be with us on Ash Wednesday.

We have received the names of several individuals who have expressed an interest in being part of the Search Committee for a new Rector, and Willie Black, Jr. has been named to chair this committee. The final list of members will be determined within the next week or so and the committee will soon get underway with the important work that lies ahead.

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of our church building and a Gala May Ham Dinner has been scheduled for May 14, 2005. Bishop Sisk and Bishop Taylor have both expressed an interest in joining us for the festivities that evening.

Our love of God, and our love for Christ Church and the many worthwhile and important committees, programs and activities has brought us closer together this past year. Our church will continue to thrive and grow and we will one day be able to continue with our Long Range Plans and fulfill the many dreams that we have for our future." paragraph ending graphic
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Around the Parish

Although this is the February issue of The Tower Chimes it’s the first opportunity of 2005 to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year. Since we didn’t have a column in January there is much news to report.

Advent and Epiphany at Christ Church were quite special this past season thanks to the hard work of Sheila Hewitt, Christine Szczepanik, Connie Black and the members of the Sunday School. It was a learning experience for many of us when the Advent play, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was presented during one of our December Sunday services, and it was truly more informative and enjoyable than just learning the words to the twelve different verses of this popular holiday song. In the most delightful fashion, members of the Sunday School taught us the religious significance of each verse - from one partridge to twelve drummers drumming!

The procession of the Magi to the Manager on Epiphany evening was just as wonderful and the costumes were superb. And of course, let’s not forget the wonderful fellowship that followed in the Guild Room after the service thanks to the culinary efforts of Nick and Nancy Lettiere and their hot dogs and chili Frito boats

And speaking of the holiday season, let us not forget to mention how lovely the Church looked this Christmas thanks to the extra efforts of David and Daniel Wood (the poinsettias get lovelier every year), and Shirley Elfers and the members of the Altar Guild. Thanks to you all for enriching the beauty of our worship for the holidays.

Have you heard the good news about Valerie Quinlan? This outstanding lady who has worked so hard to bring beautiful music to Christ Church and the Staten Island community through the Serenade Concert Series, has been selected as one of the recipients of the Staten Island Council of Churches award for outstanding service to the community. Valerie, and selected honorees from other Staten Island parishes, will be recognized at the Council’s Annual Awards Dinner on February 2 nd at the Old Bermuda Inn.

Congratulations to Kristin Reiersen for winning top honors in the National Opera Association competition last month, which was held in New York City. In addition to receiving this most prestigious honor, she also was awarded a respectable monetary award as well. Bravo, Diva!

The Wedding Belles of Christ Church will be marching down the aisle in April. Congratulations and best wishes to the following happy couples who will be joined in wedded bliss in front of our lovely altar: Gytha Bellaby and Eugene Darconte on April 1st; Tara Mazzucco and Robert Smock on April 9th; and Abbie Boody and Brian Shawn on April 23rd.

It’s grand to be an organist - and even more so if you’re Richard Maren. In addition to a rather full day as office manager for the law firm of Ronald J. Mazzucco, Esq., and a full Sunday schedule as organist and choirmaster for St. Paul ’s Episcopal Church here on Staten Island, Richard is also the Grand Organist for the Masonic Order of New Jersey. And in his “spare” time he has also found a few moments to pen one or two original compositions.

Our Rector Emeritus, Fr. John Walsted, continues his marvelous iconography and currently is completing an icon for the Virginia Episcopal Theological Seminary of the resurrection and the raising of Adam and Eve; and for St. James Episcopal Church in Dover Plains, New York, he’s completing an altar piece of the crucifixion flanked by St. Anne and St. James. It’s being done in the style of a 13th Century northern Italian icon. When the work is closed, the annunciation is pictured.

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery to Margaret Harris. This busy lady, who spends numerous hours coordinating our Sunday morning coffee hours, helping out at the Richmond Food Pantry and preparing and serving lunches once a month at Trinity Church on Saturday mornings has been a bit under the weather lately. Get well soon, dear lady!

Condolences to Karen and Paul Smith on the passing of Karen’s father, John Cooper; and to Connie Ricciardi on the passing of her mother, Margaret Larsen.

And in closing, we offer a very heartfelt and special “thank you” to Mother Rhoda Treherne-Thomas, whose last Sunday as supply priest for our parish was on January 23. Her spiritual guidance nurtured and enlightened us through Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. However, we will soon be seeing another familiar face when Father John Covington, former rector of St. Alban’s Church here on Staten Island, comes to Christ Church as our supply priest for the month of February. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Notes

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Christ Church Vestry took place on Monday, January 12, 2005 . In the absence of a rector, the meeting was chaired by the Churchwardens, Nicholas Lettiere and Nancy Reiersen-Scromo.

Phyllis Bath has resigned as Treasurer and Richard Sigman will serve as Acting Treasurer until a replacement can be found. In presenting the Treasurer’s Report, Richard Sigman noted that pledge, plate and investment income all did well in 2004. There were savings

in heating expenses due to the mild winter. He also noted that the Finance Committee may recommend investing 75 percent in the bond market and 25 percent in the stock market.

Warden Nicholas Lettiere expressed satisfaction at thank-you notes received from several charitable organizations who were recipients of outreach allocations from Christ Church. These included the Episcopal Feeding Ministry, Global Medical Relief Fund, Alzheimer’s Foundation of Staten Island, On Your Mark and The Children’s Aid Society, and Goodhue Children’s Center.

The Diocese has advised us that there are currently no candidates available for the Interim Pastor position. Supply priests at Sunday services will be the Rev. Rhoda Treherne-Thomas, the Rev. Polly Kasey, and the Rev. John Covington. The Search Committee to find a new rector for Christ Church will become active after the Parish Annual meeting on January 16.

It was announced that Valerie Quinlan will be among the honorees at the Annual Awards Dinner of the Staten Island Council of Churches, to be held at the Old Bermuda Inn on Wednesday, February 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Anne Devlin will be Christ Church ’s representative at the Staten Island Community Days Planning Meeting for this annual event that takes place this year in April.

The celebration of the centennial of the consecration of the present Christ Church New Brighton will take place at the May Ham Dinner on Saturday, May 14, 2005.

Mark your 2005 calendars! February 6 is Diversity Sunday at Christ Church. The Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper will be held on February 8; February 9 is Ash Wednesday. paragraph ending graphic
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Serendipity Notes

Nancy and Annie Beveridge, Carol Shea and Helen Martin helped to raise almost $1,000 for Christ Church at a fair hosted by the Noble Maritime Collection and organized by the Stationery Movement of Serendipity during the holiday season. During the weekend hundreds of visitors, in a steady stream throughout Friday evening, and all day Saturday and Sunday, purchased stationery, chutney, five dozen brownies, wines, books and other new stuff. Far from being a charitable chore, both our workers and buyers had fun, and many cases of the seafood contributed by parishioners sold, resulted in deliveries to the Richmond Senior Services run by Beverly Neuhaus.

Of all the parties held during the great season that has just passed, surely the traditional one given by Marlene Elia for fifteen members of Serendipity, the most ever in the history of Christ Church, was the most hilarious and joyfully memorable. Her melon and prosciuto, chicken, fish, pasta and salad and her kamikaze cream puffs all helped us to demonstrate that during this difficult period in the life of our church we can enjoy being together in love and laughter. Trouble was that even with two Brits present the open fire went out. As one member tried to revive it, she addressed Trevor Mills, who was a very good sport to allow us to quote her classic line, “Come on Trevor, blow on the embers, you’ve got a fiery mouth and a lot of hot air.”

Did you know that Dorothy Rapp regularly leaves the monthly meetings of Serendipity as quickly as she can in order to meet the Staten Island Advance’s evening deadline for news stories of local organizations. Without fanfare she does our church a great service in keeping our name and our activities constantly in the public eye.

Both Bishops Sisk and Taylor have accepted our invitation to join us for our 100th birthday party on 14 May, 2005, and the Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to wish us a Happy Birthday in writing. It’s not too early for all parishioners and friends to reserve the date for this joyous occasion.

In the last issue of the Tower Chimes a typographical error which spoke of “anger cake” instead of angel cake was overlooked. There have been many requests for a recipe for anger cake and we are glad to supply one:

Al la Julia Childs, before adding each ingredient take a sip of Wicked Ale

2 cups coarse cracked whole wheat flour
1 large pinch of bitter herbs
1 vial sour cream
1 teaspoon coffee dregs
4 oz deviled ham
3 drops bitters
6 red hot chili peppers
A pinch of dead sea salt
A stick of rancid butter
A cup of wail oil
½ cup water from Kill Van Kull
1 teaspoons salt peter
1 bottle of bitter lemon
5 curdled eggs, crushed, beaten and whipped.

Mix all ingredients and bake for an hour in loaf pan made from
depression glass. paragraph ending graphic
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Women of Christ Church

In December, the Women of Christ Church celebrated the Christmas season with a lunch and the gathering of gifts for the women and children of Safe Horizons. The offering was given to Eden II. For us it was the time for giving, which we felt was most appropriate.

In January we were snug and warm at home. In hopes of an early spring, we will gather at the church following our usual schedule on Thursday, February 10th (the day after Ash Wednesday.) As you can see, Easter will be very early this year.

So we ask that all Christ Church women take note that on Thursday, February 10th the day will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a Eucharist and Service of Healing in the Chapel, followed by a business meeting in the Guild Room at 11:30 and lunch at 12 Noon. Don’t forget your sandwich; dessert will be provided! paragraph ending graphic
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February 6th is Diversity Sunday

Christ Church will be hosting its annual Diversity Day celebration on Sunday, February 6th in the auditorium, immediately following the 10:30 a.m. service. This is an afternoon filled with ethnic food and music, poems, readings and a deeper understanding of how our diversity brings us closer together.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Diversity: Love One Another!” and once again this event is being coordinated by Willie Black, Jr. and his wife, Shirley. Please contact Willie if you would like to be a part of the talent portion of the program (singing, dancing, playing an instrument, reciting poetry, etc) or Shirley, if you would like to prepare a dish for the ethnic food-tasting table.

Please be sure to mark this wonderful day of food, fun and fellowship on your calendar and plan to attend. paragraph ending graphic
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Parish Registry

February Birthdays

2–Andrew Schneider, 5-Fr. John Walsted, Prince Williams, 11-Hal Reiersen, 13-Gytha Bellaby, Lisa Rhoades, 14-Bruce Liozzi, Lois Angone, Vivian Freeman, 17-Joy Woodall, 19-Eddie Thompson, 22 Alleida Mitchell, 23-Pat Sciré, 24-Trevor Mills, Nicholas Lettiere

February Anniversaries

28–Lois & Jim Angone

Parish Register for January

Burial: Margaret Larsen

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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