May flowers
Close Window May 2005

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paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Ociana in February
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic What Should I Give?
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Spring Fair 2005
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic Bible Study
paragraph ending graphic Serendipity paragraph ending graphic Parish Register
Clergy Corner

It has been my experience that things tend to slow down a little in Church-land once Easter is over - efinitely not this year! An unusually high number of weddings in April , coupled with an unusually high number of trips to the hospital, have made the first few weeks of April rather busy around here. The Inuit people of the Canadian high Arctic have a saying: "hunt when the sun's out, not when it snows." Meaning, there's no real way of predicting what your schedule is going to look like when it's entirely dependent on forces you can't control, so take what you're given and roll with it.

I'm writing this column well in advance of the publication of May's Tower Chimes because by the time you read this, Sally and I will just have returned from three weeks in the Holy Land . I've hinted at the trip in an earlier letter, but many have asked just what it's all about. So, here's a little description. About two years ago Sally and I had the idea of putting together a trip that would trace (albeit briefly) the history of biblical salvation-a kind of spiritual geography, if you will. We begin in Cairo ("the Land of Egypt ") and the sights of this cradle of Egyptian civilization and move south through the Sinai Desert . At the foot of Mount Sinai lies the ancient St. Katherine 's Monastery, home of the three oldest icons in the world. By camel (shudder) we make our way up Mount Sinai in time for sunrise and back down again to catch our ride to the Red Sea coast. We cross the Red Sea (by boat, not the old fashioned way) and make our way to Petra in Jordan . Petra was made known to the world through its use in the closing scenes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

From Jordan we travel to Mount Nebo and (like Moses ' Israelites) catch our first glimpse of the Promised Land as we cross over into Israel . Our travels take us to Palestinian-controlled Bethlehem , where we will make our pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Nativity. From Bethlehem it's up to Nazareth and Galilee . The settlements around the Sea of Galilee are among the most moving on earth. We end our travels in Jerusalem just in time to celebrate the events of the Orthodox Church's Holy Week.

We've both done the trip before and Sally (who lived in Jerusalem for a year on the staff of St George's College ) is licensed by the State of Israel as a Christian Pilgrim Leader. Please do keep the two of us, along with the thirty Anglicans coming with us, in your prayers. paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

Now that the days are starting to get longer and weather has gotten warmer and drier it seems quite appropriate to wish one and all a happy Spring! For a while it seemed as if we would never see all of the trees, shrubs and flowers that beautify the church oval and grounds each year. And of course, a great deal of this beauty has been made possible thanks to the hard work of our Landscaping Committee, which has met several times during the year.

It was so wonderful to have Fr. Clarke with us to celebrate our Holy Week and Easter Sunday services this year. Our Maundy Thursday service was followed by the “traditional” lamb stew dinner which was graciously prepared and served by members of the Black Family.  The Sunday School hosted a terrific luncheon and Easter Egg Hunt on Holy Saturday for our younger members and they had a great time scurrying across the church oval to find their treasures. Once again, special thanks to Sheila Hewitt, Connie Black, Christine Szczepanik and Andrea McIntosh for helping to make this such a special day for the children.

On Easter Sunday the church was resplendent with colorful flowers and lilies, thanks to the work of Shirley Elfers and the Altar Guild, and especially the keen eyes of David and Dan Wood who put in the extra time and effort to assure that the floral arrangements were just perfect. The joyful music of the our very talented organist and choir director Tom Sarff, and the anthems of the choir, enhanced by members of the Riverside Brass, only served to make the day all that more joyful. And the reception that followed (once again tastefully arranged and coordinated by the Wood brothers) was a real treat.

We’re all looking forward to Fr. Clarke ’s return from the Holy Land next month - especially since he’ll be returning to the Rectory with his wife, Sally. She was only here for a short time when Fr. Clarke joined us in February, and it will be wonderful to have her back on a full-time basis.

Welcome to our two newest Christ Church staff members - Vito DiRenzis our new Sexton, and Geri Lucadamo who is coordinating the Friday evening “Girls Night Out” Programs. We’ll be featuring a more in-depth look at them in our May column. Check out the Christ Church web site. It’s bigger and better than ever thanks to the hard work of Victor Stanwick. He has been working closely with members of the Search Committee to make sure that it reflects the names and faces of the wonderful people who make up the Christ Church family, and also gives those who visit the web site an accurate picture of all of the wonderful reasons this is such a great place to be.

Laura Kennedy had a special reason to celebrate this Easter - she spent it in England with daughter Lindsey. As many of you know, Lindsey has been having a wonderful experience teaching in what could be considered the English equivalent of grammar school in a small town in the English countryside. We’re sure that Laura will have some wonderful memories to share with us in the next issue.

A big “thank you” to Dorothy Thompson for taking on the important responsibilities of Treasurer for Christ Church . She began her new assignment in the middle of April.By the way, if you do need to contact Dorothy at home regarding church matters, please call her after 4 p.m.

You can’t keep a good man down - and Rick Boody is living proof of just that! After a two-week stay in Staten Island University Hospital following extensive surgical procedures on his heart, Rick was determined to be present to walk his daughter Abbie down the aisle on April 23rd.

Congratulations to Thomas Liu, the talented young accompanist at our Sunday Family services. Tom has been accepted to Vassar College, and will begin classes there in the fall.

Many of you may remember Mother Polly Kasey, who served as our supply priest on several occasions last year. It seems that she liked Staten Island so much that she has now taken on the Interim Pastor post at St. Stephen’s Church in Tottenville.

Our prayers and good wishes go out to Andre Black and Richard Sigman for a quick and speedy recovery and a return to good health. Special thanks to Anne Devlin for coordinating Christ Church ’s participation in the Community Days events in April. Anne worked tirelessly with the Staten Island Council of Churches to assure the participation of our younger members in this very important community event.

And last, but surely not least, let’s not forget to mention the May Ham 100th Anniversary Dinner which is scheduled for Saturday, May 14. This will be quite an event, with both Bishop Taylor and Bishop Sisk in attendance. The selection of foods and the terrific fellowship that will be shared that evening is not to be missed. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Report

Members of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton met on Monday, April 11 for the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Here are some important highlights regarding the discussions and decisions that took place at that time.

Our Financial Secretary, Connie Ricciardi , reported that parishioners continue to fulfill their pledges. She also noted that although there are few pledging units this year compared to the same period last year, arrears are less this year than they were at the same time last year. The Vestry voted to approve Christ Church’s participation in a Cooperative Food Program from May 21 through October 29, to the extent that we will allow those individuals who are participating in this program to pick up their produce in the church parking lot on Saturday afternoons between 2 and 5 p.m. We are helping to provide a central location to make this possible, and in turn, are helping to contribute to the success of this brand new venture.

Dorothy Thompson has agreed to serve as our new Treasurer, a position which she will assume immediately.

Our new sexton, Vito DeRenzis joins us effective April 11. In addition we have a new Youth Counselor, Jeri Lucadamo, who is coordinating the “Girls Night Out” program on Friday evenings.

The next meeting of the Vestry will take place on Monday, May 9th at 7:30 p.m. paragraph ending graphic
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Women of Christ Church

The Women of Christ Church were pleased to welcome two notable guests at the regular meeting in April. First off, Father John Walsted, our Rector Emeritus, celebrated the Eucharist and Healing Service in the Chapel, the service with which we always begin our times together.

Then the coffee for the luncheon was absolutely delicious, having been made by Patsy Parese, our honorary member, who for years and years fixed the coffee for our meetings. It was certainly a pleasure to have these two special people with us. Wonderfully rich desserts were provided by Shirley Elfers.

Business consisted mainly of the treasurer's report. The annual giving which supports our budget is so far only about half what we need. Those of you who haven't contributed yet may still do so, making the check payable to "Women of Christ Church".

A report was given of the Spring meeting of the Episcopal Church Women of Staten Island at St. Alban's. The speaker was Gladys Schweiger of the Alzheimers Foundation. She made us aware of the many way in which these people are helping those families stricken by this dread disease.

The next meeting of our group will be on May 12, two days before the May Ham Dinner. We hope that everyone will be attending both these events. paragraph ending graphic

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A meeting was held at the home of Martha Keucher on April 12. After the treasurer’s report a discussion was held about converting the kitchen door to a Dutch door. Victor Stanwick is willing to do this work if approved by Building and Grounds. Also the dumbwaiter is almost repaired by Victor; only the balance weights need to be installed.

The May Ham Dinner consumed the rest of the meeting. All arrangements have been made and job assignments distributed. It was agreed that we would take a full page ad in the commemorative journal/menu. Fliers are in the Tower Chimes.

The June Fair was discussed and we agreed to join Victor in organizing a food court. Other ideas were tossed around, like a book sale and church historical tours. Perhaps the choir could sing.

We received thanks for our donations for Tsunami relief sent with the income from the Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday.

Our next meeting will be on May 10 at 7:30 p.m. at 719 Metropolitan Ave. at the home of Karen and Paul Smith. All are welcome! paragraph ending graphic
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Ociana in February

My last adventure started in Chile . I’d been to Valparaiso in 2004, but not Santiago. This trip was from Chile to New Zealand for 44 days. The highlights? Many! One island that holds a lot of mystery is Easter Island (Rapa Nui). No one really knows what happened. Most of the people had died and all the statues (Moai) had been toppled.

The island is 2300 miles from Chile and 1200 miles from Pitcairn Island. There had been a thriving civilization with houses, tribes (Mata) and religion. There were craftsmen who carved the Moai. The Moai were spiritual and stood on a shrine (ahu) as representatives of sacred chiefs and gods.

Moai on Easter IslandEaster Island had been full of trees. But between building canoes for off shore fishing and using the trees for rope and to move the Moai, the people became marooned on their island. There were two groups on the island. As things worsened, a warrior class challenged the spiritual power of the chiefs. This led to the toppling of the Moai. A new order among the tribes emerged. This order was based on achieved power rather than spiritual hereditary power.

No one knows how many Moai are on the island. Since many lie buried beneath rubble and soil in the quarry, estimates range from 800-1000 . Moai were carved from volcanic stone and their size ranges from six to fifty feet, weighing up to ninety tons. How did they get to the Ahu? No one really knows. Legend says that they “walked” at night, some more than twenty-five miles from the quarry. There weren’t any animals, so the theory is that some sort of wooden rollers were used. Isolation ended on Easter Sunday 1722 when a Dutch explorer, Jacob Goggeveen found the island. This led to disaster.  Between slavery and disease, the population decreased to 111. Chile first came in 1837 and annexed the island in 1888 after the war of the Pacific.

his changed the Island. Commercial flights started in 1967, electricity came in 1978 and then tourists followed. This was a little disappointing to me, after four days at sea, to find all sorts of people wandering around the island. The island is beautiful with rolling hills and no large trees. There are two beaches, but most of the coast is rocky. As with many of the islands, one day was not enough for us to see it all, and too soon we were off for three more sea days to Pitcairn Island. paragraph ending graphic

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What Should I Give?

I heard a priest, one who lived the Gospel, preach the Gospel.
The humble, the poor, were carried away,
The prominent, the wealthy, were shocked.
And I thought that such preaching of the Gospel would soon frighten away many of those now filling the church, and Attract those now shunning it.
It occurred to me that it is a bad sign for a follower of Christ to Be well thought of by conventional Christians.”
Rather, it would be better if we were singled out as crazy or radical,
It would be better if they pursued us, signed petitions against us, Tried to get rid of us.

This evening, Lord, I am afraid.
I am afraid, for your Gospel is terrible.
It is easy to hear it preached,
It is relatively easy not to be shocked by it,
But it is very difficult to live it.

I am afraid of deluding myself, Lord.
I am afraid of being satisfied with my decent little life,
I am afraid of my good habits, for I take them for virtues;
I am afraid of my little efforts, for I take them for progress;
I am afraid of my activities;  they make me think I am giving myself.

I am afraid of my clever planning; I take it for success.
I am afraid of my influence; I imagine that it will transform lives;
I am afraid of what I give; it hides what I withhold;
I am afraid, Lord; there are people who are poorer than I;
Not so well educated,
Cared for,
I am afraid, Lord, for I do not do enough for them,
I do not do everything for them.

I should give everything,
I should give everything until there is not a single pain, a single misery, a single sin in the world.
I should then give all, Lord, all the time.
I should give my life. paragraph ending graphic

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Spring Fair 2005

Christ Church Spring Fair 2005

It’s that time again! Time to go through your home and collect all of those “White Elephants” that you’ve been saving for the Christ Church Spring Fair, which takes place this year on Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s time to think about what you’ll be donating to and buying from the Home Made Baked Goods Table, or possibly how many hamburgers and hot dogs you’ll be able to eat during the day. We’ve already roped Fr. Clarke into putting on his chef’s hat and apron just to see if barbecue is any different in Canada ! Once again the vendors will be offering their interesting selection of wares - both original designs of jewelry and the like and also, the more traditional bill of fare that will be found at their tables. And let’s not forget the Silent Auction, Baskets of Cheer and the big 50/50 prize. All in all, a day not to be missed. Our chairs this year are Beth McLean and Anne Devlin and they are anxious to receive your input regarding any suggestions of how we can improve or enhance this yearly fund-raising event. We are also looking for volunteers to help with the set-up, clean-up and manning (and “womaning”) a table or booth for the day.

We hope to see each and every one of you at the Fair. We promise that it will be a GREAT day filled with fun and fellowship.

YOUR PARTICIPATION  is crucial for the success of our annual spring fundraiser.

We need donations of non-perishable items and baskets to assemble raffle items.

Volunteer sign-up sheets are available in the Guildroom.  Please attend the fair planning meeting on May 1st, following the 10:30am service.  Thanks for your ongoing support!     Beth McLean and Anne Devlin , Spring Fair Co-Chairs. paragraph ending graphic
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The Meaning in the Miracles
A Six-Week Thematic Bible Study

Considered irrelevant by many contemporary Christians, the miracles of Jesus were for many powerful entry points to a deep life of faith, and they can be so again. As the Archbishop of Canterbury once said about the miracles of Jesus, "The gospel writers are not seeking to provoke simply an open-mouthed amazement; they want to prompt us to ask: What sort of change does Jesus bring to the world and to my experience of it?"

During the study, we will engage the following stories:

Week I: May 5
The Wedding at Cana in Galilee
John 2.1-11

Week II: May 12
The Feeding of the Five Thousand
Mark 6.31-44

Week III: May 19
The Raising of Jairus's Daughter and the Healing of the Woman
with the Haemorrhage
Mark 5.22-43

Week IV: May 26
The Healing of the Syrophoenician Woman's Daughter
Mark 7.24-40

Week V: June 2
The Healing of the Centurion's Servant
Matthew 8.5-13

Week VI: June 9
Two Miraculous Catches of Fish
Luke 5.1-11 & John 21.4-11

All sessions begin promptly at 7:30 pm in the Vestry Room. paragraph ending graphic

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Parish Register

May Birthdays
1— Lindsay Kennedy; 3— Melissa Ann Angone; 4— Jessica Szczepanik; 6— Kla Thompson; 11— Shirley Elfers; Etta Johnson; 14— Tara Mazzucco; 15— Laura Farr; 16— Connie Black; 17— Nancy Beveridge; 18— David Holt, Robert Holt; 19 – Agnes Thompson; 23— Helen Martin; 28— Patrick McAndrew, Fidel Zayzay; 30— Jay Szczepanik.

May Anniversaries
5-Lisa Rhodes & David Nygard; 6—Hueldine & Lester Blair.

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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