Advent Season, Christ Church New Brighton
Close Window December 2006

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paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Stewardship Update
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic Community News
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Report paragraph ending graphic Parish Directory Updates Needed
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic The Fashion Colors for WInter
paragraph ending graphic Parish Register paragraph ending graphic Christmas Services Schedule
paragraph ending graphic Serendipity Report paragraph ending graphic A Historic Day
paragraph ending graphic Memorial Flowers & Christmas Greens paragraph ending graphic December Coffee Hour Hosts
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church Evening Group paragraph ending graphic New Sunday Service Schedule
Clergy Corner
The Rev. Charles H. Howel, RectorIt is a wonderful and strange thing that no matter how old you are you still look forward to Christmas.  Several years ago I remember noticing that my five-year-old daughter was looking forward to Christmas as much as my ninety-eight year old grandmother.  There are many reasons we may be looking forward to Christmas.  Perhaps we are looking forward to the gifts we will receive, and to the joy we will give others by giving gifts.  Perhaps we are looking forward to time spent with family and friends.  Or perhaps we are looking forward to a break in the usual routine.  There are so many things to look forward to at Christmas:  for me, sometimes Christmas lights reflected on the snow is enough.

Most of all, I think that we are looking forward to Christmas because Christmas represents hope.  Christ comes to us as a baby and nothing is more hopeful than a baby full of possibilities and life.  We hope that maybe this year will be healthier, happier, and more peaceful for us and for all the peoples of the world.

The Christ Child at Christmas is full of hope.  He reminds us that God always offers us the chance for a new beginning full of possibilities and life.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

Things are buzzing at Christ Church these days. Alleida Mitchell and her crew are wrapping toys, decorating trees and getting things ready for the St. Nick’s Fair on December 2nd.

However, there will be even more decorating going on the following week as the Holly Ball committee prepares for this year’s celebration on December 9th to honor Margaret Harris, Martha Keucher and Colin Reed.

And we’re all looking forward to spending our first Christmas Eve with Fr. Howell and his family. This will truly be a very special Christmas season for one and all.

Many Christ Church parishioners had the opportunity to attend the Stefan Palm organ concert last month. It was so good to see Stefan, and his lovely wife Andrea, and their youngest son who accompanied them on their trip to the United States.

On November 5th we welcomed three new members into the family of Christ with the baptisms of Scarlett Isabel Connor, granddaughter of Vlasta and Glen Jantzi; and Justin Keith Hazelwood, the great grandson of Iris Colbourne. Best wishes to the members of both families on this happy occasion.

Good news in the Kalfa household: this reporter is pleased to report that Betsy and Scott Kalfa will be making room for a new bundle of joy next spring, who will join them and their young son, Nicholas. Grandma, Elizabeth Gatullo, is bursting with pride as well.

The Altar Guild is pleased to welcome Liz Howell as their newest member.

Congratulations to Johanna Gilbert, who has completed all of the necessary requirements for the designation of Physicians Assistant. It took almost two years of study and internships to complete the course work requirements – and through it all she still found time to take care of her husband, Steve, and her lovely daughter, Alayne. Johanna would like to specialize in the field of OB/GYN and will seeking a position in a clinic or OB/GYN practice.

Brenda Baskerville is a very proud mom. Her daughter, The Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, now ministers to her own parish at Grace Church in Syracuse, in addition to serving as a Chaplain at Syracuse University. Many of us had to pleasure of hearing Jennifer when she preached at Christ Church about three years ago; at that time she was assigned to Trinity Church in Manhattan.

We are glad to have Martha Keucher back with us after a rather unpleasant bout of gastric distress. And Janet Schneider reports that her mom, Virginia Peel, who recently celebrated her 85th birthday, is now living at an assisted living facility in Texas. Ginny would love to hear from her friends at Christ Church; if you’d like to send her a card, it can be forwarded to her through Janet or you can call her at 210-690-9482.

We were saddened by the death of Glenda Mitchell, a long-time Christ Church parishioner, who passed away in her home town in Belize. Condolences to her children, Mark and Carlene Wynter, and her grandchildren, Adrienne and Andrew Wynter and Michael Pignotti.

We also remember Jane Brown, the wife of Bill Brown, whose unexpected passing in November saddened us all. Condolences to Bill and their children.

On behalf of the entire staff of the Tower Chimes, I extend to our readers, friends of the parish, and their families, best wishes for a blessed Christmas, and a new year filled with joy and peace, good health,  and the fulfillment of many hopes and dreams. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Report

The Vestry met for its regular monthly meeting on 13 November.  The following is a summary of the discussions and decisions of the Vestry at this meeting.

  • Dorothy Thompson, our Treasurer, reported that the deficit for the year amounts to $107,016.  She also reported that the bill for the church roof has been paid, the Boody estate has left the church $154,078 to be paid out over ten years, petty cash will now be limited to $300, and that checks should be cashed within 90 days of payment.
  • Father Howell reported that 49 pledge cards have been returned of which 27 showed an increase in the pledge, one showed a decrease, 6 were new, and 16 were the same as this fiscal year.
  • Susan Fowler sent word that the work on the rectory and the parish house are moving along quite smoothly.  There is, however, the unfortunate news that there appears to be a leak at the top of the tower. 
  • It was decided to put the Boody and Woodall money in a short term CD until a long term investment can be decided upon.
  • Warden Nick Dowen gave a thorough discussion of the Diocesan Convention whose theme was "Peace and Remembrance."  The convention deplored the treatment by Turkey of the head of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Istanbul.
  • Anne Devlin and Nick Dowen and Fr. Chuck are to write a mission statement for the church.
  • The Staten Island Council of Churches will be invited to meet in our church in January.
On  February 11 the two services of 9:00 and 10:30 will be combined into a   new, single service. with Sunday School at 9 a.m. paragraph ending graphic
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The Women of Christ Church

The Women of Christ Church met on Thursday,  November 9 to discuss the holiday season and our upcoming events. Special thanks to Anne Devlin and Brenda Baskerville for the delicious desserts that they provided for our meeting.

Not only is Christmas quickly approaching – so is the Women of Christ Church Silver Tea on Thursday, December 14. This year it will be a “bring a dish luncheon” that will hopefully offer a variety of tasty foods prepared by our talented ladies.       Liz Howell will be our hostess and has graciously offered the Rectory for our meeting.

We will be sponsoring the Safe Horizons shelter for battered women and children on Staten Island, as we have in past years. We will provide wrapped gifts of warm clothes and toys for the women and children. We will also be giving food cards which will be distributed by Fr. Howell to those in need.

The Women of Christ Church are looking forward to the formation of an evening group. Details are being finalized and anyone interested in joining should contact Anne Devlin.

Our next meeting will take place on Thursday, December 14, beginning with the Eucharist and Healing Service at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 12 Noon.

Be sure to sign up to bring a food donation for our luncheon and get ready to have a good time. paragraph ending graphic
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Parish Register

December Birthdays
1—Sue Boody; 3—Liam David Aleman; 4—Philip Aleman IV; 5—Victor Stanwick; 12—Linda McAndrew; 14—Ginny Spadaro; 17—Lester Blair; 18—Willie F Black, Jr., Tovin Epherim Hewitt;

December Anniversaries
10—Laraine & David Holt;  13—Karen & Paul Smith;

If your special day is not in our records, call the ParishOffice  at 718-727-6100 so it can be added. paragraph ending graphic

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Serendipity Report

At Serendipity’s November meeting members, along with many other parishioners, were remembering our successful Soup and Sandwich Lunch. We have planned a Pasta Supper for Saturday, January 27 with a rain date of February 3, and we urge people to reserve those dates if they’d like a wonderful meal.

With the vestiges of his English accent, Colin Reed’s account of our meeting in the Staten Island Advance spoke of plans for a “pastor” dinner. Pasta or pastor, it will still cost $8 for adults and $4 for youngsters.

Eugene Darconte and Victor Stanwick delivered Serendipity’s gift of six new eight-foot tables to the Guild Room in recent weeks. As we usually do, we allocated money for extra food for the needy during the holidays, and Karen Smith and Gytha Darconte purchased many toys for Seamen’s Children. paragraph ending graphic
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Memorial Flowers & Christmas Greens

Those who would like to contribute to the Altar Memorial flowers and greens for Christmas should list names of those to be remembered and place envelopes containing donations in the offering plate on a Sunday. Flower fund envelopes will be found in the pews. Checks should be drawn to “Women of Christ Church.”

      Names and donations may also be mailed directly to Mrs. Richard Elfers, 61 North Randall Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10301. To be listed in the Christmas bulletin, all names must be received no later than Sunday, December 17. paragraph ending graphic
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First Meeting of The Women of Christ Church
Evening Group Held on November 15

On Wednesday, November 15, thirteen women of our parish met for the first evening meeting of the Women of Christ Church. As our president, Martha Keucher, has shared with you attendance and membership in our mid-morning monthly group has been dwindling. In an attempt to increase our numbers, an evening group was established to make it possible for those who are unable to attend the daytime meetings to still be a part of this important church organization. The Women of Christ Church is one of the core groups of our parish, and organizes many activities to benefit Christ Church and the Staten Island community.

Although the evening group meets separately, we still work in conjunction with the daytime group. This includes the annual appeals for the Episcopal Church Women (ECW), and donations to the Seamen’s Institute, Project Hospitality and other charitable organizations.

Since the Women of Christ Church do not currently have a Vice President, it was decided to elect Nancy Lettiere to this position; she will also serve as the liaison between the day and evening groups; Nancy Reiersen was elected as the group’s Recording Secretary.

Based on the consensus of those present, it was determined that the most convenient time to meet would be on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 19 in The Rectory, and Liz Howell has graciously offered to be our hostess that evening. Everyone is asked to bring a wrapped gift which will be donated to the Safe Horizons Shelter for battered women and their families on Staten Island. All women of the parish are invited, and encouraged to join us. For those who are unable to travel in the evening, transportation will be provided; all you need do is speak to one of us to make the arrangements. paragraph ending graphic
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Stewardship Update

Our New Beginnings Stewardship campaign has been well received by members of our parish and we are quite hopeful that we will reach our pledge goal of $100,000 for 2007.

As of November 21 a total of 64 pledge cards had been submitted: 34 of these pledges showed an increase from last year; 3 pledges showed a decrease; 20 pledges remained the same as last year, and we are pleased to report, that 7 new pledges were received. The total amount of these pledges is $85,866.00.

Although the results of our campaign have been quite promising we still have a way to go before we reach our goal. There are still several pledges that remain outstanding, and we ask that if you have not submitted your pledge card yet that you do so as soon as possible. Once all of the pledges have been received our Finance Committee will be in a better position to formulate the final parish budget for 2007, which will be presented for approval at the Annual Parish Meeting in January.

As chairperson of this year’s campaign I wish to thank all of you for your support. With our new rector in place, and the many new programs and fund raising activities in the works, 2007 will truly be a year of New Beginnings. paragraph ending graphic
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Community News

Advent Vespers Service
Wednesday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Blessed Sacrament RC Church
Fr. Howell will be the guest preacher that evening


Music at St. Albans
Sunday, January 28 at 3:30 p.m.
Hsia-Jung Chang, pianoforte
Call 718-984-6060 for ticket information


Holiday Gifts for Project Hospitality
Project Hospitality is in need of holiday gifts for men, women, boys and girls. All gifts should be new items, though they need not be expensive. For the children gifts may be toys, books, games and clothing. Clothing items are always a good choice for adults as well. All gifts should be donated unwrapped; however, donations of wrapping paper and tape are also needed. Gifts can be delivered to Project Hospitality’s administrative office at 100 Park Avenue (corner of Bennett Street) in Port Richmond. Gifts should be delivered no later than December 10.


2007 Calendars Needed for Seafarers

The Seaman’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey is collecting and distributing 2007 calendars to seafarers. Episcopalians are encouraged to save 2007 calendars they receive in the mail or from local business. The Institute will collect these calendars – from pocket to wall sizes – from now until the end of January 2007. Calendars should be mailed to: The Rev. Andy Moore, director; Seamen’s Church Institute’s International Seafarers’ Center, 118 Export Street, Port Newark, NJ 07114. To learn more about SCI, visit paragraph ending graphic
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Parish Directory Updates Needed

The Parish Directory for 2007 is being prepared. If you are aware of any corrections or additions that need to be made please contact Cathy Romano in the Parish Office at 718-727-6100 or Colin Reed at 718-981-3495.

Father Howell would like to distribute the Directory to everyone attending the annual meeting in January; therefore it will be impossible to make changes after the end of the business day on Monday, December 18.

It would be most helpful if you would let us know of changes in writing, but telephone calls will also be more than welcome. We work hard, voluntarily, to make the Directory accurate but that is a task which cannot be accomplished by just one person. Even good Christians get mad when they are told of mistakes on the day of distribution. paragraph ending graphic
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The Fashion Colors for Winter

You heard it here first: The #1 fashionable color at Christ Church this winter is gray—specifically, Benjamin Moore 2112-30 MoorGlo Semi-gloss Exterior, “Stone Brown.”

Barnett Shepherd and David Wood put their heads together last month to pick the right colors for the rectory—the colors had to be historically correct, or at least historically reasonable, and match or play off the pink-gray stone of the church and parish hall.

They settled on a cool off-white for the stucco and a deep brown with a gray cast for the trim. (If you look closely, you’ll see the same brown-gray on the refurbished second-story windows of the parish hall, thanks to the foresighted workers at East Coast Restoration.)

Burda Construction finished painting the rectory’s stucco and has repaired or, where necessary, replaced the wood trim. Most of the rectory exterior work should be done by the Holly Ball.

Which leads us to our second color of the season: copper. East Coast Restoration, which just finished replacing half the church roof, has fixed the flashing around the chimney and other turrets on the face of the parish hall. Old, tarred-over flashing has been pulled off, and the new copper flashing sparkles in the sun. Enjoy it while you can—it will soon turn dark brown and then, later, green.

News Flash: Leak source identified!

The roof was fixed, but rain was still coming in, sometimes a day or two after the rainstorm. What was going on?

Andrew Kaczmarek from East Coast Restoration climbed into the church tower and onto the roof, and discovered the problem. Sometime between 2002 and now, the tarpaper covering on the walkway around the roof had pulled away from the stonework and left rips on all four sides of the tower. So rainwater got inside the tower, then gradually worked its way down into the ceiling of the church and finally dripped onto the pews below.

East Coast will repair the leaks with a waterproof membrane for now, but Andrew tells us that we will need to repoint some of the masonry and redo the walkway properly, replacing the tarpaper with copper flashing. The full repair will be fairly expensive, but the membrane fix will give us time to raise the cash. paragraph ending graphic
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Christmas Service Schedule

Christmas Eve
Sunday, December 24
10:30 a.m. – Choral Eucharist
4 p.m. – Family Service and Pageant
10 p.m. – Candlelight Service

Christmas Day
Monday, December 25
10 a.m. – Holy Eucharist

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A Historic Day

Saturday, November 18 marked a historic day in the history of Christ Church as The Rev. Charles H. Howell was installed as the 10th Rector by the Rt. Rev. E. Don Taylor, Vicar Bishop for New York City.

The Rev. Charles Howell and the Right Rev. E. Don TaylorThe church was filled with parishioners, family and well-wishers, and adorned in glorious shades of red - from the exquisite hangings on the main altar to the various shades of red in the stoles of the visiting clergy.

Fr. Buddy Stallings from the Church of the Ascension gave a fantastic sermon, and members of the parish presented Fr. Chuck with a variety of “welcoming gifts”, including an engraved pipe from the church’s 1904 Austin organ.

The service was filled with many emotional moments, and Fr. Chuck gave a touching speech following the Institution. Special thanks to our Verger, Paul Smith, and the acolytes and servers; to Shirley Elfers and the Altar Guild; to Tom Sarff and choir for the wonderful service music; to David and Dan Wood and Nick Lettiere for the lovely reception following the service; and of course, to the Search Committee, Wardens and Vestry for all of the preparation and hard work that was involved in making this day so special for us all.


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December Coffee Hour Hosts

The following people have signed up to host Coffee Hour in November:

December 3 George & Elaine Smith
December 10 George & Elaine Smith
December 17 The Sunday School
December 24 No Coffee Hour
December 31 Nancy Beveridge

If you need assistance, or are unable to host on your date, please give Lisa Rhoades a call at 718-420-0363.

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New Sunday Service Schedule
Begins on February 11, 2007

As I announced at all services on Sunday, the Vestry and I have decided to begin a Sunday morning schedule of two services beginning on February 11, 2007.  February 4 will be Diversity Sunday and our Patronal Feast, so, the Sunday following that celebration seemed like a good time to begin something new.  The new Sunday morning schedule will look like this: 8:00 Holy Eucharist 9:00 Christian Education; 10:00 Holy Eucharist, followed by a coffee hour.

I believe that adopting this new schedule will be in the best interests of Christ Church.  First and foremost, by combining services we will pray together, worship together, socialize together, hear the same sermon and announcements, and so grow together as a parish family.  Also, by coming together as a parish family we will provide an intergenerational experience for families, who often in our modern, transient society are living far from families and long-time friends.  The church can provide grandpas, grandmas, aunts, and uncles, and other loving adults outside of a child’s nuclear family, who care deeply about a child’s growth and formation.  Finally, by worshiping together the church will be fuller, the hymns sung more strongly, the responses to the prayers said more firmly.  People who visit our church will see all generations present at worship and know that we are an active and vital parish.

The new service we are creating will not be just like the 9:00 service, and it will not be just like the 10:30 service – it will be something new.  In all likelihood it will be something more formal and longer than the 9:00 service and less formal and louder than the 10:30 service.  Most importantly, I am completely committed to the full inclusion of children in worship.  It is my intention that the children will fully participate in the liturgy in age appropriate ways by acolyting, reading, leading the prayers, assisting the ushers, offering music, and assisting the altar guild.

The new Sunday morning schedule also allows for a true Christian education hour.  Sunday school will begin at 9:00, and I hope that, over time, we can develop some Christian education for adults to be offered at the same time.  Parents of children who are in Sunday school may choose to attend an adult education class, as may other adults and also those who attend the 8:00 a.m. service.

The Book of Revelation describes a beautiful vision of the saints gathered around the throne of God in worship.  In that great congregation, which no one can number, are people of every race from every nations, from all tribes, and peoples and languages (and I would add ages) worshiping before the throne of God.  As far as is humanly possible, this is the scene we want to emulate when we worship together as a parish family.

I can promise you that we will have some bumps along the way.  We will have to experiment to find out what works best for us.  Some things we try won’t work; some things will have to be modified; and, miraculously, some things may work well.  I ask for your patience and good humor as we live into the next era of Christ Church’s history. paragraph ending graphic

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