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
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,
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.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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:
- $500 for the Episcopal Relief Services for work in New Orleans.
- $2500 towards a new refrigerator for the church kitchen.
- $1000 for the Serenade music group.
- $1000 for the Camp & College Scholarship Fund.
- $600 for toys for poor children, and extra help for poor families
known to Clarke French during the holiday season.
- An ad sponsorship for the Holly Ball Journal.
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!
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
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
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
“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!
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.
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.
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
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.
1— Julia Kennedy
2— Judy Davis
5— William F. Sherman
6— Susan Fowler
10— Iris Colbourne
11— Jamie Szczepanik,
Kataski George, Eva-Marie Black
12— Kate Schneider, Charles
MLean, Jr., Olisha James
16— Samuel Ngaima
23 – Christopher James
26— Hueldine Webb
29— Amber James, Virginia