Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame, "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips.  "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Close Window June 2006

Click one of the titles below to read the article:

paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Where's the Beef?
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic An Afternoon at the Opera
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Good News and Bad News for Bees
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic Spring Fair 2006
paragraph ending graphic Christ Church Way paragraph ending graphic Parish Register
Clergy Corner

The Rev. Clarke French, Interim Rector, Christ Church New Brighton.The national debate on illegal immigration has been raging now for many weeks in both Houses of Congress.  It is, as all politicians know, an issue of great controversy—one where emotions run pretty high.  Our bishops have recently written a Pastoral Letter to all Episcopalians in the Diocese of New York and I have chosen this month to use my usual newsletter space to include selections of it for your consideration.  The full text of the letter along with links to further resources can be found at the Diocesan web site.   

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We believe the themes and symbols so prominent during the Feast of Pentecost provide us with an important opportunity to remind everyone in the Episcopal Diocese of New York of the centrality of justice in our witness to the Gospel. We are particularly mindful of the current national debate on immigrants in our society, especially because the Eucharist includes that important passage from the Acts of Apostles:

And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs "in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power."

We confront in our human nature a sad resistance to reach out to those who are different from ourselves. It is our opinion, whether we consider immigration reform in our country or theological decisions in our Church, that we display an authentic witness to the Spirit of Truth when we proclaim release, when we set others free, when we include and affirm others. In this way, we set ourselves free, and as we affirm their identity in the Living God we affirm our own. These spiritual fruits are desperately needed in our fragmented and frightened world. We invite you to join us in prayer and action, so that the world will more fully understand the God of peace. Bishops Sisk, Roskam & Taylor paragraph ending graphic
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Around the Parish

This is it – the last issue of the Tower Chimes before we begin our two-month summer “hiatus.” May was a very busy month at Christ Church and it’s hard to know where to begin. So here goes.

This year’s May Ham Dinner was quite interesting – especially since it did not feature a morsel of the aforementioned food! I refer you to Colin Reed’s article in this issue for a “course-by-course” description of this very successful evening.

Our Diversity Sunday celebration on May 21st was a day filled with food, festivities and fellowship. Once again, Willie and Shirley Black coordinated a totally delightful afternoon where parishioners had a chance to chose from a variety of ethnic foods, and be totally entertained by the likes of the members of the Sunday School and their families and members of the choir (both individually and as a group.) We must give a special mention to our young entertainers, especially Siaber Zayzay (flute), Eva Black (violin), Katherine Liu (piano) and ‘Lie Black (man of a thousand instruments!) Special thanks to Willie, Shirley and all of the folks who helped to set up, clean up and make it possible for us to “fill up” on all of the tasty dishes!

Some of you may have noticed a lovely desk tucked neatly into a corner of the Vestry Room last month. However, we have bad news and good news about the desk: the bad news is that it is no longer there; the good news is that Victor Stanwick built it for Bishop Taylor and presented it to him this month. Many of you may not be aware that Victor has a workshop in the basement of church, where he has created many items that grace our church and parish hall today. By the way, have you seen the Suggestion Box that he built? It’s located in the Parish House (on the wall across from the Parish Office) if you’d like to see (and use) it!

Congratulations to Kate Schneider on her induction into the UCLA Anderson Honor Society. Qualified candidates must place in the top fifteen percent of their graduating class to earn this prestigious honor. This honor comes in addition to Kate being named the #1 Marketing student in her class. Kudos, Kate!

There’s much to celebrate in the Craig household these days. Ed and Laura’s son, Vincent, will be getting married to Candice Smith in Pennsylvania on June 3rd. Many of you may remember Vincent’s Serenade piano concert at Christ Church a few years ago. Mom and Dad tell us that Vincent will be honored for his musical achievements the following week at The Staaten, by the 369th Veteran’s Administration.

If you’d like to get a good look at the McLean boys doing what they do best during the summer – life guarding, that is – you don’t have to look any farther than Riis Park in Brooklyn. Beth and Chip are thrilled that three of their sons, Brian, Charlie and Sean, will all be working there this summer.

Have you seen the brand new refrigerator in the Parish House kitchen – it’s a beauty! Thanks to the members of Serendipity for their donation of this much-needed “upgrade”

Right Church, Wrong Pew! – we need to clarify some information which was erroneously stated in last month’s Tower Chimes. Last month we told you that Paul Smith has earned his Realtor’s license - however we do need to tell you that he is working for Castle Rock Realty in Port Richmond. Sorry for the oversight, Paul!

Jill Kanner is looking refreshed and rested after her recent two-week jaunt to London, Amsterdam and Venice. She accompanied her fiancé, Rick Smith, on one of his many exciting business trips and had a chance to experience some of the wonderful sights that these cities have to offer. Jill’s mom, Joan Rock, recently returned from England after spending time reminiscing at the St. Catherine’s College reunion. 

Have you had a chance to visit Edgefield? No, this isn’t a restaurant or a fancy shopping center, but instead, the lovely bed and breakfast that’s owned and operated by our own Daniel Marshall Wood. The summer months are particularly busy and exciting, especially since Edgefield is located right near the Cooperstown Museum and the Glimmerglass Opera.  And you can be certain that Dan’s brother, David, has put his own special touches in the well-appointed guest suites and parlor.

On Sunday, May 21st Colin Reed made history by wearing a brand new suit and tie to church - without being paid to do it!  The story is that in 1976, Colin was the Assistant Headmaster and head of the lower and middle schools at the Collegiate School in Manhattan. On May 12, the alumni association of the Class of ’76 celebrated its thirtieth year and during that celebration honored Colin at a special reception attended by over 350 “old boys.”

On Monday, May 8th the Food Ministry had a very welcome breakfast honoring St. Julian of Norwich and the ten homeless men who sleep at Christ Church every evening. With a number of parishioners in attendance, Lesley Shannon’s muffins for breakfast and lunch were a real treat, and Norma Sue Wolfe sent donuts to go with the huge fruit salad made by our parishioners. Another breakfast is planned for Holy Cross Day, Thursday, September 14th   . That’s all for now! Best wishes to one and all for a restful, safe and happy summer.

See you in September! paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Report

Members of the Vestry  met for the regularly scheduled monthly meeting on May 8th.  The following is a brief outline of the items that were discussed and decided during the meeting.

Dorothy Thompson, Treasurer, announced that a Fanny Mae bond for $56,000 was sold to cover forthcoming expenses, including the Diocesan assessment. 

Susan Fowler, Chair of the Plant and Equipment Committee, received approval for $1,200 to be used as payment for the conditions survey of the church.  She went on to say that expenditures for projects planned for the church amounted to $685,510, which includes $267,645 for immediate needs.  This led to a discussion of how such amounts were to be raised.  The consensus was that no fund raising could be done until we have a new priest.

Trevor Mills and Nick Dowen were thanked by Father Clarke for their efforts in arranging for the establishment of Christ Church Way.

The Vestry approved the expenditure of $250 for Father Clarke and Nick Dowen to attend a conference in June at St. Bartholomew’s called “Reinventing Church.”

The sale of the Boody stock was approved and is in the works.

A phone tree has been established by Beth McLean so that members of the parish will be informed when an emergency occurs.  Also, Beth is preparing for the forthcoming interviews of the hopeful candidates for the position of priest of Christ Church.  At present the diocese is doing a background check of the candidates.

Father Clarke has rejected the request from the Living Room Group to use the parish house facilities on a weekly basis. paragraph ending graphic

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Women of Christ Church

The Women of Christ Church met as usual on the second Thursday of May, and it seemed like "old times" to have Fr. John celebrating the Eucharist. 

We also welcomed Valerie Quinlan to our group.  She had brought the Carpenter's Kids project to our attention, and agreed to coordinate it in our Church.  This project was started by Bishop Roskam, and makes it possible, for the unbelievably small amount of $50 a year, to provide books, tuition, uniforms, and breakfast for an AIDS orphan in Tanganyika for one year!  We will be publicizing this and promoting it in our parish.  Please see Valerie if you are interested in helping, and watch for further information.

Our treasurer, Shirley Elfers, reported donations to various charities, and the donations that were given for the lovely decorations and flowers of the Easter services.  It was voted to donate $500 to the Serenade concert series held regularly in our Church.  Reports of the attendance at recent Island church women gatherings were given by Connie Ricciardi We all signed a card to Pam Miller in her new home in England, wishing her well.

Dorothy Rivera provided lovely desserts for our luncheon which honored the birthday of Shirley Elfers

Please note:  the next meeting will be a lunch at One Pendleton at 12:00 on June 8.  Fr. John will have a cake, and a salad, which will be perfectly delicious; anything you bring will add to the menu.  We hope that all people will come, especially the new members. paragraph ending graphic
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Christ Church Way

On Sunday, May 7th a dream became a reality when Councilman Michael McMahon officially proclaimed the corner of Franklin Avenue and Fillmore Street as “Christ Church Way.”

The Honorable Michael McMahon presides at the namimg ceremony.

It was a glorious celebration and as you can see from these photos, many of our parishioners came out to celebrate. Perhaps if Bing Crosby were still alive today he’d be doing a parody from the movie “Going My Way” and calling it something like “On Christ Church Way!”

Preparing to uncover the new sign.

By the way, special thanks to John Watson and Judy Davis for capturing the moment on film! paragraph ending graphic

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Where's the Beef?

Cow graphic.This question was answered at Serendipity’s May Ham Dinner on Saturday, May 20 where over a hundred guests jammed the Guild and Vestry rooms. Even though Canada bans the import of much American beef for fear of Mad Cow Disease, (or is it the other way round?) our favorite Canadian, Clarke French, was moved to comment “I’ve never been to a church that has such good beef.”

Marlene Elia outdid herself, and although it was not exactly a secret that the roast beef of old England had a French name, the meat was the best that many had ever tasted. Gytha Darconte and Martha Keucher helped Marlene make a fabulous meal for everyone. Gytha presided over the cooking of the Yorkshire Pudding and later served a spectacular trifle. The Brussels sprouts that Judy Davis prepared and that many people say they hate soon disappeared.

It was probably the largest party ever held downstairs at Christ Church, including last year’s 100th birthday party. Judy Davis is a master at making cucumber sandwiches and once again, they quickly disappeared. The Cromer crab cakes and the Scottish salmon tarts were gone within a minute of the opening cocktail party over which dear Kim Davis, who once again, did a really fine job and made over $400 for Christ Church. Even the ginger beer was popular!

Laura Craig and Olisha James outdid themselves with plate after plate of English crackers with cheddar cheese and English cucumbers, and little English tarts filled with Scottish salmon and cream cheese. British crisps (potato chips) came from a Connecticut company providing British imports. Of course there were mixed British nuts all the while.

Spider Webb wasn’t still for a moment. She brought in loads of shrimp for the cocktail hour and a huge Stilton and walnut salad to add to Nick Dowen’s wonderful tomato rings. Elaine Smith sent two huge trays of macaroni and cheese made, she said from an Old Saxon recipe for the vegetarians, but which the meat eaters soon found appealing. We all know our Saxon forebears gorged themselves on pasta!

Guest after guest said that the cold curried pea soup was outstanding. When a very young Bonnie Nygard was on her third bowl, you knew Victor Stanwick’s soup was a great hit.

Beth McLean, Paul Smith and Lisa Rhoades presided over the roast beef (actually filet mignon) while five wonderful women and a boy from G & J Servers outdid themselves as they served food and drinks and were delightfully helpful throughout the evening. It was wonderful to work with young people who are really industrious, ambitious, courteous and friendly. There is a plan afoot to have them work at the Holly Ball and guests will once again enjoy the service that Gerri Palmieri (Dr. Pieroni’s sister) provides. Geri helped distribute the twenty-five excellent British door prizes made by Karen Smith and others, including the rare British wines contributed by Kit and Joan Kell and Paul and Karen Smith. And if all of this were not enough,  Gytha and Lisa produced an excellent Journal that brought more income to Christ Church.

Laura Craig was a leading supporter of the event by encouraging thirty of her friends to make reservations for the dinner, almost overwhelming the Vestry room. At tables of four, eight and ten, 78 diners packed the Guild Room. Yes, the argument continues about whether it would be better to hold an event like this upstairs, but with an aging and increasingly decrepit parish, with one exception, the members of Serendipity voted to hold the event downstairs. One person guessed that about a third of those attending could not have climbed the stairs to the upstairs auditorium, and it would have taken a great deal of time to run the chair lift that wobbles dangerously. Another parishioner felt that dining in the Guild and Vestry rooms with mixed tables of four, eight and ten was a more intimate dining experience. The upstairs-downstairs debate will continue.

It would be extremely difficult to continue to hold events like the May Ham and the June and December Fairs without the hard work, concern and generosity of Eugene Darconte, Trevor Mills, Peter Raff, Victor Stanwick, and John Watson. They are tolerant and sometimes suffer fools (like me) gladly. I’m pretty sure God forgives them for their occasional expletives and sins at Christ Church or the Adobe. This quintet works valiantly and exhaustively for Christ Church and is often unrecognized and unsung.

The success of the evening simply demonstrates the superiority of British cuisine and my only regret is that tinned Spaghettios weren’t available. paragraph ending graphic

Due to the editorial deadline for the May Ham Dinner Memorial Journal, the names of several of our generous contributors were omitted from Program. We’d like to thank the following individuals at this time:
Christopher & Christiana Adeshote
Catherine Cascells
Fr. Clarke French
Johanna Gilbert
Beth McLean
Dorothy Rapp
Nancy Reiersen
William Sherman
Richard Zito

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An Afternoon at the Opera
at Christ Church, June 4th

Richard Lewis, baritone, Janice Meyerson, mezzo-soprano, and Neal Harrelson, tenor.On Sunday, June 4th at 3 p.m., Serenade will present a program of operatic selections featuring Richard Lewis, baritone, Janice Meyerson, mezzo-soprano, and Neal Harrelson, tenor. They will be accompanied by pianist Michael Borowitz. The concert, which is free to the public, will take place at Christ Church.

The program will open with “Lux Aeterna” from Giuseppe Verdi’s masterful Requiem. This beautiful, ethereal piece is a prayer asking that the departed may enter into God’s eternal light. The program will conclude with a blazing trio from Verdi’s “Don Carlo,” where we learn that hell has no fury like a woman scorned. Thus, in the opening and closing selections, the audience is taken from heaven to hell.

In between, the audience will be treated to a wide range of earthly passions as the artists perform two selections from Saint-Saens’ biblical drama, “Samson et Dalila,” and a virtuoso tenor aria from Rossini’s “William Tell.” This will be followed by a Donizetti set, featuring well-known arias from “L’Elisir d’Amore” and “La Favorita,” as well as the rousing (and rarely performed) tenor-baritone duet from “Lucia.”

The program’s final selection will feature three selections by Verdi: Manrico’s and Azucena’s impassioned duet from “Il Trovatore,” Renato’s powerful aria from “Un Ballo in Maschera,” and the aforementioned trio from “Don Carlo.”

A Meet-the-Artists Reception will follow the concert. Children are welcome. For further information, call 718-273-3668 or send e-mail inquiries to paragraph ending graphic
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Good News and
Bad News for Bees

Our bees swarm in one of Jim Angone's trees.Last spring, on the second Just Food vegetable distribution day, Lenny Librizzi called me over to the side of the parking lot. “Do you know there’s a swarm of bees in that tree?” he asked. Bees! Honeybees? Certainly, a swarm of some sort of bees was hanging from a branch of one of Jim Angone’s pines.  “Oh my!” I said. “I guess we need a beekeeper. Soon. Right now. I’ll call someone.”

A few people had mentioned seeing bees around. Sheila Swigert, in fact, had reported bee kamikaze runs around the chapel’s central light fixture at the 8 a.m. services, and the sexton and other parishioners had mentioned seeing swarms in the bushes and on the side of the church.

A swarm is a young queen bee and workers who leave an overcrowded hive to set up a new hive elsewhere. Some of the workers leave the swarm to look for a new location, but most cluster around the queen, keeping her warm and safe. As soon as the explorers report that they’ve found a suitable spot, the swarm takes off for their new home. So this swarm wasn’t going to be around long. Surely there would be a beekeeper on Staten Island who’d take the bees and keep them safe.

And their safety and survival is important. Honeybees aren’t just bugs and they aren’t as common as they should be. Beekeepers make much of their livings not from honey but from moving hives from orchard to orchard so that the bees can pollinate the fruit and nut trees.

The problem is, varroa and tracheal mites have been killing hives off since the mites first showed up in Florida in the 1980s. In addition, pesticides sprayed on crops and lawns and the loss of old trees with suitable hollows have reduced wild bee numbers. In some states, the populations of wild honeybees have fallen by 50 to 90 percent and domestic bees by 30 percent.

Beekeeper Ross Ber.Luckily, we did find a beekeeper, Ross Ber, of BerzBees, and he happily came the next day to take the swarm. But a swarm starts from an existing hive, so where did they come from?  

It turns out that there was a colony of 60,000 or so bees living between the chapel ceiling and the roof, as Ross found out when he returned with Walter Blohm, owner of Bugban, Inc. Ross and Walter said they’d come back this spring to remove the colony. Why spring? In the fall, the hive is full of honey for the winter. In the spring, the honey is gone, eaten, and the clean-up is a lot simpler. (You can’t just leave the honey in the ceiling—without bees taking care of it, it melts and runs down the walls.)

Here’s the bad news. Walter and Ross came back on May 3, ready to remove the hive, and discovered that it was empty. The bees were gone. It was probable that the bees had eaten all the honey and didn’t survive the last few weeks of winter.

But here’s the good news: The hive that Ross took away last spring is doing very well. It was so strong, in fact, that Ross was able to split it in two. One half is still in Alley Pond Park in Queens, where he took the swarm last spring. The other half is one of the jewels of the Salt Marsh Nature Center at Marine Park in Brooklyn. Our bees are in an “observation beehive”—one wall is glass so that visitors can watch them at work.

Maybe once our new landscape plan is in place, we can ask them for a queen bee and a hive. Somebody has to pollinate all the blueberry bushes we hope to put in. paragraph ending graphic
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Christ Church Spring Fair
Saturday, June 10th
Spring Fair book cover.

The waiting is finally over – the Christ Church Spring Fair is right around the corner. Are you ready? Here’s a little quiz to see if you are:

  1. Have you made any “donations” to the Baskets of Cheer?
  2. Have you checked your basement and attic for any donations that you might want to make to the White Elephant table?
  3. Have you signed up to help out at the Fair?
  4. Do you have any old costume jewelry that you’d like to donate to the jewelry table?
  5. Have you bought your 50/50 ticket from Shirley Black?
  6. Are you planning to bake something for our cake table? Make sure to tell Margaret Harris or Janet Schneider that you want to contribute!
  7. Have you purchased and/or sold the raffle tickets that you received in the mail last month?

If the answers to all (or the majority of) these questions is “yes” then you are all set to go – or should we say, come, to the Fair. If the answer is “no” there’s no need to get upset. You still have time to complete at least one, or more, or the suggested items!

We’re looking forward to good weather and a  good turnout for our Spring Fair and we hope to see you there on Saturday, June 10th   from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. paragraph ending graphic

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Parish register

Special Occasions
June Birthdays

4—CJ Brown 9—Kristin Reiersen; 10—Sean McLean;
12—Anne Beveridge; 15—Vlasta Jantzi, Charles McLean III,  Patsy Parese, Richard Zayzay; 16—Jill Kanner, Romeo Zayzay; 21—Melodi Coleman; 22—Paige Cooper; 29—Leslie Thompson, Gregory Brown;

June Anniversaries
8—Dorothy Thompson & Joseph Ambroggi; 11—Nancy & Bill Beveridge; 17 – Yassah & Richard Zayzay;

July Birthdays
9—Wendy Cooper; 10—Williette Thompson; 13—Brian W. McLean; 14—Togba Porte II; 15—Nick Lettiere, Bonnie Nygard; 16—Carol Brown; 19—Sydney George; 21—Peter Flihan, Sarah Kanner; 22—Charlotte Hewitt; 26—Ann Sohm; 30—Titus Zayzay;

July Anniversaries
4—Mae & David Seeley; 30—Connie & Willie Black III;
31 – Sally & Clarke French;

August Birthdays
2—Ted Schneider; 3—Joseph Ambroggi; 4—Edwin John; 8—Erin Shannon;  10—John Watson; 12—Anne Devlin; 19—Joseph Zayzay; 24—Yassah Zayzay; 25—Laura Jean Mazzucco, Beth McLean; 28—David Nygard; 29—Christiana Adeshote;

August Anniversaries
9—Laura & Edward Craig; 15—Elizabeth & Charles McLean; 20 – Nancy & Nick Lettiere; 31 –Christine & John Szczepanik;                 

If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish Office at 727-6100 so it can be added.

Going Shopping this Summer?

Don’t forget to keep Christ Church in mind this summer when you’re shopping at flea markets, outlet stores and craft fairs. It’s never too soon to think about buying something that can be donated to our Chinese Auction and St. Nick’s Christmas Fair, both of which are scheduled to take place later this year.

      Your support is truly appreciated!

Summer Schedule Begins Sunday, June 18th
8:00 a.m. – Spoken Eucharist in the Chapel
9:30 a.m. – Combined Service
10:30 a.m. – Tea Under the Trees paragraph ending graphic

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