June 2, 1857
Close Window June 2005


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paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Summer Fun @ CCNB
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic Sunday Afternoon Opera
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Meals on Wheels
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic Heritage Singers
paragraph ending graphic Search Committee Update paragraph ending graphic Apology
paragraph ending graphic Get Ready for the Fair paragraph ending graphic Parish Register
Clergy Corner

Since my return from the Holy Land, a number of you have asked about my impressions of the current state of things with regards to the Christians resident in that place. My private response has been “it’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times...” But a few weeks ago our group got to sit down with a very prominent Palestinian Christian and ask him that very same question. What follows is a little of the substance of our conversation with the Right Reverend Riah Abu El-Assai, the Anglican (Episcopal) Bishop in Jerusalem.

My overriding impression of Bishop Riah is that he is a much larger man than his five and a half feet let on. He introduced himself as an “Arab Palestinian Christian Anglican Israeli” and that gave me the first hint that he is a man of many sides. All those descriptions are true: he is an Arab, born in Palestine of Christian parents, and he holds an Israeli passport. He also happens to be a cradle Anglican. And as the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem he is charged with a special kind of mission: to be a strong, yet reasonable voice and advocate for a disenfranchised minority in that troubled land.

He speaks with pride about the work of his diocese - and the ways in which they deliberately try and get involved in as much of society as they can. They operate schools for all ages and faiths and hospitals are open to everyone in need. Indeed, the Anglican school in his hometown of Nazareth is reputed to be one of the finest schools in the region and has a student body of Jews, Christians and Muslims. With an incredibly small number of people, they are able to do what the church in every part of the world does: take care of the most basic needs of those who are most in need. To hear him talk about the weekly rounds of confirmations, ordinations and parish visits, one gets the sense that the church there is in many ways quite “normal.” But, as his diocese covers all of Palestine, Jordan and parts of Syria, being able simply to show up for these events is sometimes as much of a miracle as those of our Lord. He recounted one instance where an 18 year old Israeli passport officer refused to let him travel to a church meeting in Egypt simply because he “had been doing a lot of traveling lately.”

Restrictions on movement are not unique to the Bishop, of course. All Palestinians face great difficulty in moving from place to place. Our bus driver for most of our time in Israel lives with his family just outside of Jerusalem in Bethany. Far enough outside of Jerusalem, though, to land on the wrong side of the now infamous “Wall” the Israelis are erecting all along their border with the Palestinian territories. In order to travel the few miles into the city and pick up his passengers, our driver needed to plan on spending HOURS at an Israeli-run check point.

The increased tensions of the area, the almost complete lack of international pilgrims, the restrictions - all these things have created a situation of profound desperation on all sides of the conflict. The Christian community there (Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican) has seen in recent years its members leave in record numbers. As family after family seeks a better life in North America (most of Bishop Riah’s family lives in Toronto), the Church there continues to adapt and struggle.

As an advisor to the late Chairman Arafat and a succession of Israeli Prime Ministers, Bishop Riah has tried to articulate that this struggle will never produce a winner, only losers. Peace, he says, is the only option. Not the fragile peace where one group lives on one side of the fence completely isolated (protected?) from the other. But the kind of peace that recognizes the inherent value of their shared humanity. That is what’s behind every Christian’s duty to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem .” And pray we shall. paragraph ending graphic
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Around the Parish

June 22, 1847Christ Church certainly knows how to throw a party - and we surely had a good one at the 100th Anniversary May Ham Dinner on Saturday, May 14th. It was truly a cavalcade of food, clergy, parishioners, family and friends. We were so pleased to have both Bishop Sisk and Bishop Taylor with us that evening, in addition to our Rector Emeritus Father John Walsted, Father Jerry Keucher, and of course, our Interim Pastor, Father Clarke.

It was truly a perfect evening - the weather, the food, and the fellowship. It’s quite obvious that the members of Serendipity, under the direction of Colin Reed, in addition to a special group of volunteers who donated their time, talents and treasures, worked very hard to make this evening such a tremendous success. Many of our old friends were in attendance that evening - Joyce Rowan and her grandson, Liam, Gloria Keck, Carol Shea - just to mention a few. Thanks to the support of parishioners and friends we raised a significant amount of money that evening.

Good news - Father Clarke’s wife, Sally, will be returning here on June 6th - this time to stay. It will be good to have the entire French family - Fr. Clarke, Sally, and their two cats Mathilda and Horatio - together under one roof. We’ve all been looking forward to Sally’s arrival and can’t wait to make her feel a part of the Christ Church family.

Barnett Shepherd has been working hard to help us preserve our heritage. He recently toured the church grounds and buildings with an archivist to discuss how we can protect and store the valuable records and artifacts of our past.

Water babies? Perhaps not the best description for Beth and Chip McLean’s four sons - Charlie, Brian, Kenny and Sean. But how else can one explain that each of them will be life guarding this summer - whether it be at a private pool, swim club or public beach. This is obviously a family that gets along “swimmingly” And congratulations and best wishes to Robin Beveridge, daughter-in-law of Nancy and Bill Beveridge, who was ordained as a Deacon on May 14th.

Get well wishes to Nick Dowen who broke his arm last month. And our special prayers for a speedy recovery continue for Richard Sigman and André Black. We miss you both and look forward to seeing you back with us on Sunday mornings.

Just a reminder - the Tower Chimes staff will be on summer hiatus for the next two months, and we’ll be publishing our next issue in September. Until then, our best wishes to you all for a healthy, happy and restful summer. Keep cool - see you in September! paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Notes

June 9, 1953The Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton met on Monday, May 9th for its regular monthly meeting. Here is a brief recap of important issues discussed at this meeting:

  1. The Vestry voted unanimously to appoint Dorothy Thompson as our new Treasurer
  2. A committee will be formed to review our current parish bylaws and make suggestions for changes and amendments.
  3. The Vestry voted to appoint Victor Stanwick as a member of the Search Committee. He replaces Richard Sigman, who has resigned due to health reasons.
  4. The Plant & Equipment Committee is currently assessing the need for repairs to the windows in the Parish Hall and Rectory, as well as addressing leaks in the basement of the Rectory. The committee is also looking into ways of having a lift installed in the cloister of the church to assist handicapped parishioners into the Parish House
The next meeting of the Vestry will take place on Monday, June 13th. There will be a two-month summer hiatus, and the Vestry will meet again on September 12th. In the interim, approved minutes of the April 2005 Vestry meeting have been posted on the bulletin board at the entrance to the Parish House for those wishing to review them. paragraph ending graphic
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Women of Christ Church

June 19, 1940The Women of Christ Church began their May meeting with the Eucharist and Healing Service, and were happy to have Father Clarke home from his trip and in his usual place as celebrant.

The business meeting that followed was brief, and included a report of the Church Women United’s May Friendship Day and the Treasurer’s Report. We voted to take a full-page ad in the Mayham Dinner Journal, and we are glad that the dinner was such a success!

May is a beautiful month on Staten Island - and probably elsewhere too - and is a special month for celebrating the birthdays of three of our members: And in honor of these wonderful women our hostess, Connie Ricciardi, had a lovely and tasty birthday cake, plus other goodies for our dessert. Shirley Elfers, Nancy Beveridge and Helen Martin shared in cutting the cake in their honor.

We were happy to welcome Brenda Baskerville on this day as our newest member. We hope that she and other new people will come to the June meeting which will be at One Pendleton Place . This end-of-season luncheon has become a tradition, when Father John serves one of his delicious meals and we all get into “summer mode.” Don’t forget: there is a Eucharist in the chapel at 11:00 a.m. before we gather at One Pendleton. And one more IMPORTANT thing to mention: the meeting will take place on Thursday, June 16th (the THIRD Thursday of the month this time instead of our regular second Thursday.) paragraph ending graphic
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Search Committee Update

June 8, 1869We were pleased to see so many parishioners turn out last month to complete the Parish Survey forms. Your input has helped us to put together what we hope will be a fairly representative picture of where we are now and where we want to be next year.

Your comments on what our parish does best and what improvements need to be made were insightful, and often times, quite honest. They will be helpful as the Search Committee meets to decide just what we are looking for in a new Rector and how we will convey that message to the Diocese.

The committee will be meeting to discuss the results of the surveys and we will be preparing a more in-depth summary report of our findings to present to you. paragraph ending graphic
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Get Ready for Fun — The Fair is Coming!

June 29, 1915On Saturday, June 11th there will be a buzz of activity at Christ Church, starting early in the morning when a group of volunteers arrives at the church to move tables, chairs, signs and other items into the oval in preparation for the Spring Fair, which takes place from 10 am to 3 p.m. The vendors will arrive soon afterwards to unveil their treasure trove of sale items, many of them hand-made “original” creations that they’ll be selling that day.

Right before the doors open at 10 a.m. that morning, Janet Schneider and Margaret Harris will set out the wonderful array of home-baked goodies made by our talented Christ Church chefs, which will be on sale that day. This is a popular table, and if you’re looking for some tasty snacks to take home with you it’s best to arrive early before everything is sold. Please feel free to contact Janet or Margaret if you’d like to make a donation of home-baked goodies - cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies and the like - for them to sell. They will be most graciously accepted.

This year we will be initiating Father Clarke into the day’s activities by putting him to work at the grill with Victor Stanwick. They’ll be serving hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas and smiles. Susan Fowler and Valerie Quinlan will be selling a variety of lovely and reasonably-priced plants, and this year will mark the return of our Book Room, hosted by Paul and Karen Smith, featuring an interesting selection of reading materials.

And for those who want to take a quiet moment to rest and reflect on the beauty of our lovely church, our parish historian, Nick Dowen, will once again be conducting his informative and interesting tours of this historic building. This year we are celebrating the 100 th year that our lovely church building with its magnificent stained glass windows has been in existence, and Nick is truly our “raconteur extraordinaire!”

We have several activities planned that day for our younger visitors. They’ll have the opportunity to climb aboard a fire engine, meet “Scooter” the Staten Island Yankees’ mascot, make some lovely “spin art,” shop at a special Chinese Auction put together by members of our Sunday School, and also memorialize their visit by leaving their hand prints in specially designed molds that will be placed in a special spot in our church garden.

And let us not forget about the raffles for the baskets of cheer, and other imaginative collections, that will be on display that day. Lesley Shannon has been coordinating donations for the Silent Auction, a special feature which offers Fair goers a chance to quietly “bid” on a variety of interesting items. In the past we’ve featured voice lessons, a home-cooked dinner, and tickets to locally produced concerts and events - can’t wait to see what Lesley has planned for this year! We also have the 50/50 raffle and the $500 Door Prize Raffle which is quite popular.

And last - but certainly not least - we have the White Elephant tables filled with reasonably priced “treasures” thanks to the efforts of Connie Ricciardi and her volunteer staff who not only sell these items on the day of the Fair, but also price and arrange them for purchase during the week before the Fair.

We need YOUR help to make this event a success. This not only includes attending the Fair, but also volunteering in some way - whether it’s baking a cake, working at one of the tables, helping to set up or clean up, selling chances, making donations to the Cake Table, White Elephants or donating a raffle basket. Aside from all of the fun, this is also one of Christ Church ’s major fund-raising events and we need your support. If you haven’t done so already, please contact our Fair Chairpersons, Beth McLean or Anne Devlin , and let them know how you’d like to be a part of this wonderful day! paragraph ending graphic
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Summer Fun at Christ Church

June 13, 1944Our Christ Church Youth Director, Lou Ranieri, has been meeting with the members of his staff to come up with a variety of summer activities for kids between the ages of 7 and 12. Although the details haven’t been finalized yet in terms of times and activities, he has asked that we let you know that Christ Church will be sponsoring a different activity every day of the week during this 8-week summer program.

The program will offer a variety of sports activities each day, as well as arts and crafts programs. There is no charge - the only requirement is that you register for the activities ahead of time to give Lou and his staff an idea of how many people will be attending. Parents can register on any Thursday night during the month of June.

Lou has also planned an outing to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on June 25th. Look for flyers on the Parish House bulletin board for more details about this trip, and also the summer program schedule. paragraph ending graphic
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"Opera for a Sunday Afternoon"
at Christ Church

June 14, 1927On Sunday, June 12th, the Serenade concert series at Christ Church will present a program entitled “Opera for a Sunday Afternoon.” Featured soloists include Beth Johanning, soprano; Linda Laible, mezzo-soprano; and Richard Lewis, baritone. They will perform arias, duets and trios by Mozart, Rossini, Cilea, Delibes, Verdi and others.

The concert, which is free to the public, will begin at 3:00 p.m. and a reception to meet the artists will be held in the Guild Room immediately following the concert. Come and hear these beautiful and interesting compositions sung by three outstanding voices.

This concert has been made possible by generous grants from Staten Island Bank & Trust Foundation, Richmond County Savings Foundation and Independence Community Foundation. paragraph ending graphic
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Meals on Wheels Needs Your Help

June 11, 1895As many of you may be aware, Meals on Wheels has made the difference in the lives of those Staten Islanders who are sick, elderly, or housebound and unable to prepare their daily meals. Every day the Meals on Wheels vans deliver lunch and dinner to these individuals, not only providing them with the nourishment that they need, but also a few minutes of companionship and attention, which are just as important.

Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to help deliver meals one day a week for about three hours or so. Volunteers will need to have a car - or perhaps, a friend who would be willing to do the driving - to deliver meals to a specific list of recipients. It’s an easy assignment and will help to make the difference in the lives of those who are unable to do for themselves.

If you’d like to help out you can call the Meals on Wheels office at 718-727-4435, or speak to Nick Lettiere, who works for them and is responsible for preparing the meals that are distributed to their clients. And if you’d like to get a first-hand report of how easy it is to distribute the meals and the rewards that come from being a volunteer, just speak to Victor Stanwick or John Watson, who have made this commitment every Wednesday. paragraph ending graphic
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The Heritage Singers Return
to Christ Church

June 17, 1980On Wednesday, July 27th the Heritage Singers, under the direction of Tim Knight, will be returning to Christ Church to present a wonderful choral concert featuring selections from British, American, German, Italian and Norwegian composers.

This prestigious group of musicians from Yorkshire, England is now in its eleventh year of touring through England and United States, singing in a wide range of venues from small country churches to large cathedrals. The choir sings mainly for Anglican services but also makes concert appearances to help fund the core work of service singing.

Many of you may remember the wonderful concert presented at Christ Church almost two years ago by this talented group of musicians; we are fortunate to have been included in their 2005 concert tour.

Don’t forget to mark this date on your calendar now because it’s an evening that you won’t want to
miss. paragraph ending graphic
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An Apology

June 20, 1840Janet Schneider was kind enough to contribute a large sum of money for the purchase of the cakes for our 100th Birthday Celebration. I forgot that she had done so and accepted one of two other offers from a parishioner and a former parishioner in Florida to contribute the birthday cakes. I’m deeply sorry for my error and make this apology to Janet. paragraph ending graphic

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Parish Register

June 15, 1844Summer Birthdays

June: 4–Christopher John Brown, 9–Kristin Reiersen;10–Sean Patrick McLean; 12–Anne Beveridge; 15–Patsy Parese, Vlasta Jantzi, Charles McLean III; Richard Zayzay; 16–Jill Kanner, Romeo Zayzay; 19–André Black; 21–Melodi Coleman; 22–Paige Cooper; 29–Leslie Thompson, Gregory Brown; 30–Mary B. Scott.

July: 9–Wendy Cooper; 10–Williette Thompson; 13– Brian William W. McClean; 14-Togba Porte II; 15–Nick Lettiere, Bonnie Nygard; 16–Carol Brown; 19–Sydney George; 20–Oliver Simpson; 21– Peter Flihan, Sarah Kanner; 22–Charlotte Hewitt, 23 – Sheila Swigert; 15 – Maureen Sohm; 26 – Ann Sohm; 30 Titus Zayzay.

August: 2–Ted Schneider; 3–Joseph Ambroggi; 4–Edwin John; 5–Eleanor DeMuth Alice Pyne; 7–Michael LaCause; 8–Erin Hawley Shannon; 10–John Watson; 11–Bill Beveridge, Jr.; 12–Anne Devlin; 15 – Joseph Zayzay; 24 – Yassah Zayzay; 25–Laura Jean Mazzucco, Elizabeth McLean; 28- David Nygard; 29–Christiana Adeshote.

Summer Anniversaries

June : 8–Joseph Ambroggi and Dorothy Thompson; 11–Nancy and Bill Beveridge; 17 – Richard & Yassah Zayzay.

July: 4–Mae and David Seeley; 30–Constance & Willie Black III; 31-Fr. Clarke and Sally French.

August: 9 Laura and Edward Craig; 15–Elizabeth and Charles McLean; 20–Nancy and Nick Lettiere. 31–Christine and John Szczepanik.

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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