The Witches of New Brighton
Close Window October 2005

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paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic St. Nick's Fair
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic Crowell & Frieze Families
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Holly Ball
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic May Ham Thanks
paragraph ending graphic Youth Activities paragraph ending graphic AIDS/Action International
paragraph ending graphic Serendipity Notes paragraph ending graphic Parish Register
Clergy Corner

The Bishop is coming. Here at Christ Church we are, in a way, blessed to enjoy the frequent attention of the bishops who serve the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Certainly Bishop  Taylor has been a great friend to Christ Church over the years and has made many frequent visits to our parish, often when they are most needed. However, what I want to write to you all about now is something altogether different.

The Right Reverend Mark Sisk, the Bishop of New York will be making an official visitation to Christ Church on Sunday, October 30, 2005 and will be celebrating and preaching at the 10:30 service. What makes this visit special from the one, say, he made at this year’s May Ham Dinner? Well, first of all, Bishop Sisk will be amongst us in his primary role as chief pastor of the Diocese. During the Eucharist that morning he will carry the crozier (the pastoral staff shaped like a shepherd’s crook) which is the sign of his authority and he will be the celebrant at Holy Communion (something that I normally do for him as his vicarious representative --which is where the church gets the title Vicar!)

After the service he will attend coffee hour where he and Mrs. Sisk will try to meet as many of you as possible given the limitations of the set up. For the occasion I have asked Dan and David Wood if they would be willing to host that particular reception. And after this important period of socializing, the Bishop, the Reverend Canon Andrew Dietsche (Canon Pastor of the Diocese), and I will meet briefly with the Vestry.

So, the Bishop will spend time with the parish as a whole, time with the Vestry, and lastly, time with me. At this point, the Bishop and I will have a chance to sit down and discuss some specific aspects of the life of Christ Church .

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I want you all to be there. I want you all to know just how important it is that Bishop Sisk see your face on October 30, and those of your family. The Altar Guild will be doing its part by being their reliable selves. Vito our Sexton will do his best to ensure that the church is “White Glove” clean. I will be working with office staff and volunteers to produce a special bulletin for the occasion. And your part is to be there, to help the Bishop realize just how vibrant and vital a parish this is.

Save the date

Fr.Clarke paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

Although this month’s column won’t be as jam-packed with information as September’s was, there is still lots going on and many good things to report.

The church has been buzzing with activity lately, what with camera crews, landscapers, painters, famous actors and the like on the grounds as filming begins for The Book of Daniel, an NBC mid-season replacement show. Several Christ Church parishioners were even chosen to participate as “extras” in some of the scenes. Don’t be surprised if you see one or two familiar faces when the show airs. And in case you’re wondering, the addition of the beautiful new bushes, plants and other assorted greenery in front of the church are the end results of the “prep work” being done by the film’s production crew.

We bid a warm welcome to our new Parish Secretary, Ann Marie Akash, who joined us during the latter part of last month. Ann Marie, and her son, Warren, are neighborhood residents and recently started to attend services at Christ Church as well. We’ll give you a more in-depth introduction to Ann Marie in our November issue. By the way, special thanks to Susan Fowler, who stepped in to fill the Parish Administrator vacancy on an interim basis and kept things running smoothly.

Babies, christenings and proud families are starting to become a regular thing at Christ Church these days! Last month we welcomed Gianni Antonio Colucci, the son of Tina and Tony Colucci, and the younger brother of Evangelina, into the family of God on Sunday, September 18. And belated congratulations to Betsy and Scott Kalfa on the birth of their son, NicholasJames, who was born this past April. Nicholas’ grandmother, Elizabeth Gattullo, is thrilled with the new arrival – and tells us that she will be blessed yet again with another grandson in December, courtesy of her son and his wife.

Congratulations to Mae Seeley on being selected as one of the honorees at a special performance of La NottedellaCanzone presented on September 23 at the College of Staten Island. Mae is the former curator of the Garibaldi Museum here on Staten Island, a post that she held for many years. The proceeds from this performance were donated to ISOLA (Italian Studies for Overseas Language Award), a program to support study in Italy for high achieving CSI students of Italian language and culture. Brava, Mae!

We do ask that you keep Mae in your prayers at this time as she recuperates from some respiratory and heart-related difficulties at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Hope you will be back home again very soon.

And speaking of honorees from Christ Church, our own Ron Mazzucco was recently honored at the Staten Island University Hospital Golf & Tennis Classic in September. In addition to serving as Ombudsman here at Christ Church, Ron has extended his generous outreach to the Staten Island community by serving as vice chairman of the hospital’s board of trustees. There’s even more good news coming from the Mazzucco family these days with the announcement of the engagement of daughter, Laura Jean, to Carl Gambino. They’ll be tying the knot next June at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan. Congratulations and best wishes to all of you!

Congratulations and thanks to Kristin Reiersen on her marvelous Serenade recital last month. It made for a truly wonderful Sunday afternoon.

As Father Clarke has mentioned in this month’s Clergy Corner, Bishop Sisk will be coming to Christ Church on Sunday, October 30 to join us at our 10:30 a.m. service. At 4 p.m. that afternoon, Bishop Sisk will be going to St. John’s Episcopal Church on Bay Street to celebrate the ministry of their rector, Fr. John Johnson, who has announced his retirement. This will be Fr. John’s last Sunday at St. John’s, and he and his wife, Nicole, will be moving to Charleston, SC. A wonderful afternoon of music and celebration has been planned, with a gala reception to follow the service. One and all are most graciously invited, and encouraged, to attend.

Around the Parish is a column devoted to sharing the news of our parishioners and friends of our parish. If you’ve got some information that you’d like to share with our readers, please let us know. We’re here to help spread the news. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Report

The members of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton met on Monday, September 12 for the regular monthly meeting. The following will provide a brief highlight of the issues that were discussed that evening, and important decisions which were made:

  1. The Vestry voted to approve the CDO Profile which was prepared this summer by the Search Committee. This profile has been submitted to the Church Deployment Office at the Diocese, and once it has been placed on their website we should begin to receive the resumes of prospective candidates to fill the Rector’s position.
  2. Father Clarke reported on the progress of “The Book of Daniel” filming project which is underway at Christ Church and spoke of the revenues that Christ Church will be receiving for the use of our facilities. The Vestry has voted to devote these monies exclusively to fund a previously approved plan to repair our stained glass windows.
  3. The Plant & Equipment Committee recently made a presentation to the Vestry and Finance Committee regarding the extensive restoration and landscaping improvements which are necessary at Christ Church. A fundraising sub-committee is to be established to solicit funding for these approved restoration and repair projects.
  4. The Vestry voted to send $1,000 to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund in support of relief efforts and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
  5. The Diocesan Convention will be held on Saturday, November 19 th at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Our two wardens will be attending on behalf of Christ Church.
  6. November 6 th has been designed as “Stewardship Sunday” at Christ Church. This is the day when we will receive parishioner Pledge Cards and Talent Bank Cards.
  7. By way of a printed report, Susan Fowler reported on the progress of several important projects of the Plant and Equipment Committee. They include the necessary preparations to begin installation of a cloister lift (replacing the stairs to make the treads wider and the risers less steep), a fold-down seat for people not in wheelchairs but who can’t easily make it up the stairs, and replacing the carpet once the stairs are taken up. Flashing and tiles have also been replaced on eight sides of the church tower and some masonry repointing was done as well. We are still waiting for cooler weather for the beekeepers to come into the chapel to remove the current residents.
The Vestry will meet again on Monday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. Approved minutes of the September 12 Vestry meeting have been posted on the bulletin board in the Parish House for those wishing to review them. paragraph ending graphic
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Women of Christ Church

The Women of Christ Church held their first meeting of the year on the usual day, and it was one of September's prettiest ones -- though we do need rain.

Fr. French celebrated the Eucharist and the Healing Service in the Chapel at 11 a.m., and met with us in the business session which followed He told us about the new study programs this fall, and the exciting TV filming that is going on around the Church. Shirley Elfers reported our giving during the summer, continuing our support of the wide variety of institutions and causes to which we contribute. In the same spirit, we voted to give $500 to the relief of the people suffering from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.

As other organizations take up their work in the fall, two meetings of church people were announced. Church Women United will observe Dedication Day on September 26 in St. Paul 's-St. Luke 's Lutheran Church. This is an association of women from all denominations.

 The Episcopal Women of Staten Island will begin a new season at St. Mary 's Castleton on October 6 in the evening. Deacon Geraldine Swanson is Coordinator of Episcopal Relief and Development, the organization of the Episcopal Church which is responsible for coming to the aid of people in distress, notably these days those suffering from the hurricane. Deacon Swanson will be bringing us news and reports from their work.

The luncheon with birthday cake for four members was planned by Helen Martin. There were other treats, too: ice cream and chocolates from her latest trip, to Scandinavia.

 In October, the second Thursday falls on the 13th, so we invite all Episcopalians, men and women, who are not busy elsewhere on that day to wrap up a sandwich and come join us at 11 a.m. paragraph ending graphic

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Youth Activities at Christ Church
Begin Again this Fall

The weekly Youth Activities program at Christ Church is back again for the fall season and there are many interesting events that we’ve planned for this season.

Last year we introduced an Instrumental Program, which featured music theory in drum and guitar along with instructional classes for both instruments. Those students who enroll in the program will receive a free guitar or drum set to keep for their own. Students who were in last year’s program are not eligible to take the classes again this year, so that we can open these classes to other interested candidates.

We will also be offering a Music Appreciation course for all young people. All are eligible for this program, even if they were participants in the Instrumental Program last year.

Both programs will be offered on Saturday mornings at Christ Church.

We are also planning to offer the “Meet the Met” Program on Saturday (depending on the number of interested parties.) This program introduces students to art and sculpture from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and culminates in a visit to the museum to see first-hand the artworks that are being studied.

We are also pleased to announce that we will once again be holding the Girls Night Out programs on Friday evenings, beginning at 6 p.m. The first meeting will take place on Friday, September 30 under the direction of Gerry Lucadamo , one of our Youth Counselors.

Interested parties should speak to me, or leave a message for me in the Paris h Office. paragraph ending graphic
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At its most recent meeting, there were lengthy discussions, led by our President, Paul Smith, about ways to reduce the tension which appears to exist between our group and some other parishioners. The cessation of the activities of Serendipity will be the subject of future discussions at meetings which are open to all parishioners. Our forty year-old group would like to reiterate that we exist for one purpose only and that is to serve Christ Church and support all of its ministries.       

The next meeting will be held in the Rectory at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 11 October, and will be hosted by Clarke and Sally French.

During the summer the group spent $463.50 on fresh produce for New Direction's food panty, and we plan to spend an additional $350. Also at its last meeting, the group unanimously agreed to spend some of its funds as follows:

  1. $500 for the Episcopal Relief Services for work in New Orleans.
  2. $2500 towards a new refrigerator for the church kitchen.
  3. $1000 for the Serenade music group.
  4. $1000 for the Camp & College Scholarship Fund.
  5. $600 for toys for poor children, and extra help for poor families known to Clarke French during the holiday season.
  6. An ad sponsorship for the Holly Ball Journal. paragraph ending graphic
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St. Nick's Fair at Christ Church
on December 3rd

Put a big red circle on your calendars for Saturday, December 3rd. That’s when we will host the St. Nick’s Fair, a fun-filled annual Christ Church holiday event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year, Sheila Hewitt has volunteered to chair this important annual fund-raiser and she needs your help, and most of all, your support.

As usual, the Fair will take place in the Parish House and will feature an assortment of vendors with their holiday treasures, the raffle tables offering selections of lovely items to bid on, fresh green wreaths for purchase, the lunch room, and of course, the baked goods table. Many of you may remember that last year Tryphena Fahnbullah made a special trip to Christ Church just to deliver her delicious home made coconut tarts. Who knows what will happen this year!

Sheila is looking for volunteers to help in any way possible: manning tables, helping in the lunch room (or in the kitchen), coordinating vendors, setting up, cleaning up – whatever needs to be done to make it happen. Yes, it’s fund-raising, but it’s also fellowship. And as you all know, that’s one thing that we’re very good at here at Christ Church! paragraph ending graphic

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Crowell and Frieze Families

Barnett Shepherd has been doing some research on two related Staten Island families, the Crowells and Friezes. Longtime residents of Clinton Avenue, these families were prominent members of Christ Church and are featured in John B. Woodall’s parish history, ChristChurch, New Brighton: The Story of a Staten Island Episcopal Parish. Betsy McDaniel, who lived on Staten Island in the 1930s and 1940s, writes:

“Thank you so much for the book on ChristChurch. It is a wonderful piece of research and writing. I stayed up late last night reading and remembering. ChristChurch was such an important part of my life until we moved away when I was sixteen and such an important part of my family’s life since about 1880. I pray that with the revitalization of New Brighton, ChristChurch will grow and be a strong anchor in New Brighton.”

Mary Dickinson Furth writes:

“I was baptized and confirmed at ChristChurch. My family, the Crowells and the Friezes, were all members of ChristChurch. My great aunt, HarrietCrowell, was especially active. I remember on Saturday mornings she would take me and my sister to the church and while she was busy at the main altar put us to work dusting the chapel. We loved doing it. I believe ChristChurch was always the most important part of her life.”

It’s encouraging to be reminded of Christ Church’s importance in the lives of its parishioners – both present and former. paragraph ending graphic

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Havin' a Ball at Christ Church
on December 10th

Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner? Santa and his elves are probably pretty busy these days at the North Pole, but there are a few folks at Christ Church who are equally as busy preparing for the holidays. In fact, that would be Beth McLean and Trevor Mills, chairpersons for this year’s Holly Ball, in addition to the members of the Holly Ball Committee.

The Holly Ball is a Christ Church tradition which was started many years ago by members of the choir, and brought back to life again about four years ago. It’s a time for food and drink and dancing – a time to celebrate the holidays and the joy of being able to celebrate them together with members of our family, our parish, and our friends.

This year’s Holly Ball will take place at Christ Church on Saturday, December 10th from 6 to 11 p.m. As usual, the place will be decorated to the hilt with twinkling lights and greens, and the evening will feature sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, a delicious dinner and tasty dessert, and music by “Good Clean Fun” the band that has provided the wonderful entertainment for us for the past two years – and there may be a few “new” surprises as well!

This year’s honorees are Shirley Elfers and Connie Ricciardi, two of the most hard-working, deeply respected and loved ladies in our parish. We hope everyone will come out that evening to honor them.

“Save the Date” cards have been sent out to all parishioners and the formal invitations will be sent out shortly after that. And, as is our tradition, we will also be publishing a Memorial Journal of the event, to provide a way for parishioners, friends and our local shopkeepers and vendors to show their support by purchasing an advertisement or booster space. A copy of the Journal ad form has been enclosed with this issue of the Tower Chimes, and additional copies will be available at the back of the church, during the coffee hour, and in the Parish Office. We hope you’ll encourage your local merchants and friends to show their support as well with an ad or a booster.

You’ve still got a little bit of time to check out your formal wear – gowns and tuxedos respectively – and to polish and resole your dancing shoes. Please plan to be with us on December 10 . We promise that you won’t be disappointed! paragraph ending graphic
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May Ham Thanks

Sheila Hewitt and Connie Black led the young people of the Sunday School in becoming the final sponsors of the May Ham Dinner. Their names could not be included in the commemorative booklet because of the printing deadline.

Also too late for the news to be included in the June issue of the Tower Chimes --the members of the Sunday school held a special food collection that was displayed in the many baskets which went up to the altar on the last Sunday in May. paragraph ending graphic
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AIDS/Action International to Sponsor
St. Nicholas Celebration

As this year’s coordinator for the annual St. Nicholas Celebration at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, I’d like to share with all of you a letter which was written by Fr. Rand Frew, founder of AIDS Action International. Many of you may remember Fr. Frew when he was our supply priest last year.

Dear Friends,

AIDS Action International needs your support now more than ever. There remains no cure for AIDS. Women and youth remain at great risk, with infection rates rising in communities of color, poor communities, and among young gay men of all races and ethnicities.

The St. Nicholas Celebration is a way you can help. Please come and bring your unwrapped holiday gifts to the Cathedral on November 29. Ask a friend or two to come with you. Many of the recipients of these gifts are among the City's poorest and neediest, often homeless, and struggling with addictions.

Please remember that gifts are needed for people of all ages, babies through adults.

Thank you for your past support, and we look forward to seeing you at this year's St. Nicholas Celebration. Best wishes and God bless you.

The following article will provide you with some additional information about this very important and timely event that will take place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on November 29.

The 12th Annual St. Nicholas Celebration, sponsored by AIDS Action International, will take place at 7:30 P.M. on Tuesday, November 29, 2005, in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan. Admission is free, but people are asked to bring unwrapped holiday gifts for people of all ages living with HIV/AIDS.

Performers for the evening include Lavender Light: Black, People of All Colors Lesbian; the Gay Gospel Choir; contralto, Sandra Goodman; Kelli Brisbane, alto; Dante, a contemporary singer; Tim Brumfield, Cathedral Organist; and Evi Jundt, Pianist.

The offering of gifts is participatory and comes at the end of the evening. Officers from the 10th Precinct in Manhattan and Father Rand Frew, AAI's founder, will deliver these gifts to five AIDS service organizations throughout the city. These agencies are: Bailey House, St. Mary's Episcopal Center, and A Better Place, Manhattan; Montefiore Medical Center, AIDS Family Center, The Bronx; and St. Mary's Children's Hospital, AIDS Home Care Program, Bayside, Queens. A freewill offering will also be taken for the work of AIDS Action International.

For additional information, please call 212.633.1062 or 718.448.2006. paragraph ending graphic
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Parish Register

October Birthdays

1— Julia Kennedy
2— Judy Davis
3— Dylan Scire
5— William F. Sherman
6— Susan Fowler
8— Jeremiah Zayzay
10— Iris Colbourne
11— Jamie Szczepanik, Kataski George, Eva-Marie Black
12— Kate Schneider, Charles MLean, Jr., Olisha James
16— Samuel Ngaima
22— Fr. Clarke French
23 – Christopher James
24– Edward Craig
26— Hueldine Webb
29— Amber James, Virginia Peel paragraph ending graphic

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Hateful Harris Reprehensible Reiersen Carnivorous Keucher Devilish Davis Evil Elia