Halloween Season at Christ Church New Brighton
Close Window October 2006

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paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Community News paragraph ending graphic Battling the Elements
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic Parish Register paragraph ending graphic Serenade Concert Series
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Report paragraph ending graphic Parish Care Committee paragraph ending graphic Vincent & Candice Craig Performance
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic Afternoon Tea paragraph ending graphic A Night at the Races
paragraph ending graphic Sunday School News paragraph ending graphic An Overwhelming Success paragraph ending graphic Thanks
paragraph ending graphic Serendipity Notes paragraph ending graphic Membership Drive: ECW of CCNB    
Clergy Corner
The Rev. Charles H. Howel, Rector
The Rev. Charles Howell

In parish life the fall is Stewardship time –words that are sure to have people running for the doors. Stewardship, however, is more than begging people for money in October.  Stewardship is a way of life.  It is often said that Stewardship is not only about money; it is also about time, talent, and treasure. That is certainly true. But I prefer to look at Stewardship in an even more expansive way. Stewardship is a shorthand way of talking about Christian living.

Everything that we have, right down to life itself, is a gift from God. Christian living is about how we use those gifts in service to God for the extension of God’s kingdom. Rightly considered, then, everything we do with our lives is Stewardship. The way we behave at work; the way we treat our spouse or partner; the way we raise our children; the way we vote; the way shop; the car we drive; really, everything we do can be considered to be Stewardship. This includes, of course, the way we spend our money. Money is a particularly potent symbol because it expresses our values in concrete terms: We spend money on the things we value.

This fall I ask you to carefully and prayerfully consider what you will give this year to Christ Church. The Biblical standard of giving, which is affirmed by the Episcopal Church, is the tithe, or ten percent of one’s income. Of course, some individuals and families are not currently in a position to tithe.

For some, financial circumstances do not permit tithing, and others would like to tithe but their budget cannot absorb such a big hit in one year. In both cases the important thing is to dedicate a percentage of one’s income, regardless of what it is, to the work of the Church. In the latter case, those who want to increase their giving, might set a goal and then move to it gradually, say by increasing their giving one percent each year until the goal is attained. Giving a set percentage of one’s income is called proportional giving, and I highly encourage it both to support the Church and as a personal discipline.

Stewardship is really about Christian living and expressing in concrete terms what we value.  During the first week of October, you will receive a letter from our Stewardship chairperson, Nancy Reiersen, and me about this year’s campaign, which will include information about the process, our goal, and the financial picture of the parish. This year’s Stewardship campaign presents each of us an opportunity to rededicate ourselves in a concrete way to the work of the Church in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ in our corner of the world.

Faithfully yours,
Fr. Chuck paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

By now you’ve all heard that our very first Christ Church Blueberry Festival was an overwhelming success. Kudos to our event chairpersons, Alleida Mitchell and Valerie Quinlan, to chef Nick Lettiere, to all of the members of the Fund Raising Committee, and to all of the wonderful people who generously shared their time and talents in the kitchen (theirs and ours), those who waited tables, sold raffles, set up, cleaned up and worked so hard to make this such a successful event. Thanks to all of you!

Glad to report that several of our parishioners who are on the weekly prayer list are showing improvement as the weeks progress. Karen Smith is back on her feet again and thankful to be back in church on Sunday mornings; David Holt’s hip replacement surgery was quite a success and by the time you read this he should be back at home in the final stages of his rehabilitation and return to good health; thankfully, Colin Reed made it through several medical procedures over the past few weeks and is back home and gaining strength with every passing day. We’re happy to report that Laura Craig has recovered and is back in her regular pew on Sunday mornings. Janet Schneider reports that her mom, Ginny Peel, has made amazing progress as she slowly, but surely, makes her way back to recovery.

Our prayers are also with Trevor Mills as he undergoes surgery during the last week of September.

Congratulations to the three recipients of this year’s Christ Church Scholarship awards: Daniel Lettiere, Sean McLean and Nancy Sherman.

The September Serenade concert featuring pianist Sandro Russo was simply amazing. His playing was superb and those who attended (a considerable audience) had a wonderful time. A special “thank you” to Valerie Quinlan, who organized the program, coordinated the after-concert reception, and prepared many of treats that were served that afternoon.

What many of you may not know is that Valerie spends many more hours preparing for these concerts: setting up rehearsal time in the church during the week prior to the concert; oftentimes providing transportation for the performers to and from the ferry for rehearsals, making herself available during their rehearsals to open the church, sit through rehearsals, and numerous other tasks that go into making these performances such a success. And additional thanks to the behind-the-scenes folks: Frank Quinlan (husband, technician, usher, jack-of-all trades) and Lois Lamb, the reception coordinator.

Caught in the act: Nick Dowen and Barnett Shepherd, who chose to share of their time and talents on a sunny Saturday afternoon to weed the garden and clear brush, trees, leaves and other assorted “debris” from the oval to maintain the beauty of our lovely church grounds.

Congratulations to Thomas Liu who was named Captain of the Vassar swim team.

And last, but surely not least, just a note to say how wonderful it is to have Fr. Chuck, Liz and Georgia with us. (And let us not forget Flopsy, the faithful family beagle!)They’ve settled into the Rectory and are slowly but surely finding their way around Staten Island. We are so glad that you are here with us. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been one month since you joined us. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Report

The Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton held its first meeting with our new Rector on Wednesday, September 13, 2006. Also present were Dorothy Thompson, Treasurer, and Nicholas Lettiere and Willie Black Jr. of the Finance Committee. The meeting had been changed from the regular day of Monday in order not to conflict with the fifth anniversary of 9/11, a day set aside for memorial services and private reflection.

Dorothy Thompson reported that pledge income is on target for this time of the year. She and Vestry members expressed anxiety about the large deficit in this year's budget, the Rector noting that there is nothing in the church budget that can be cut. Pledge income needs to be increased.

The Plant and Equipment Committee reported that the church's new slate roof is 90 percent complete, with the quality of the work being pronounced excellent. The reinstallation of the restored D'Ascenzo stained-glass window, "The Child Jesus in the Temple," also known as "Christ Among the Doctors," will be accomplished soon. Work on the Rectory and Parish House will now begin.

Alleida Mitchell, who chairs the Fund Raising Committee, reported on the "huge success" of the Blueberry Festival. This wonderful outdoor event benefited from beautiful weather and enthusiastic, well-organized volunteers, including many youths.

The attendance was over 200, with many tickets sold at the door. The next fund-raising events are "A Night at the Races" on October 21 and a Chinese auction on November 4. Sheila Hewitt reported that Sunday School registration took place on September 10. Four new students have enrolled.

Nicholas Lettiere, who chairs the Finance Committee, reported on the great generosity to Christ Church New Brighton of the Woodall estate. Christ Church was much loved by John and Joy Woodall and their substantial bequest will assist in the maintenance and restoration of parish buildings.

October will be Stewardship Month. Nancy Reiersen-Scromo will chair the Stewardship Committee; Nick Dowen will also serve. The theme is to be "New Beginnings." A goal of $100,000 in pledges was proposed by the Rector. He looks to the big picture and to the future, encouraging the Vestry to think of where Christ Church ought to be in five years and in ten years. The Vestry voted to host the annual Lenten Service of the Staten Island Council of Churches in 2007. paragraph ending graphic
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Women of Christ Church

We all know that it is going to be a good year with a kick-off like the one the Women of Christ Church enjoyed on Holy Cross Day in September. We were guests of the Howells at the Rectory following the Healing Service and Eucharist in the Chapel.

Liz had prepared a delightful lunch of her noted chicken salad, with melon and rolls and coffee, and all that, served on Fr. Chuck’s grandmother’s beautiful luncheon dishes. Fr. John had made a birthday cake for the four members who celebrate September birthdays to top everything off. In that happy glow we opened our meeting.

The first happy thing was the attendance - a very gratifying number of old and new members was present. For all you ladies, who are thinking of joining us, don't despair: there is still plenty of room for more!

Valerie Quinlan gave an encouraging report on the Carpenter's Kids project. 10 people in our parish have enrolled, supporting 10 AIDS orphans in Tanganyika for one whole year for only $50: isn't that unbelievable? Incidentally, if anyone else is interested, see Valerie.

Church Women United of Staten Island will begin their year on Monday, September 25, at 11:00 with Dedication Day at Immanuel Lutheran Church. See Martha Keucher if you are interested in attending.

As a result of the resignations of Shirley Elfers as treasurer and Connie Ricciardi as UTO chairman, a committee under the chairmanship of Alleida Mitchell was formed to study a restructuring of the organization, with a report to follow at the next meeting--which will be on October 12, at the church, at 11:00 a.m. Come join us as we embark in new directions under our new Rector. paragraph ending graphic

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Sunday School News

The Christ Church Sunday School is having an All Hallow's Eve celebration (Halloween party) for the children of Christ Church and every child should bring a friend or two with them. The more the merrier.

      The celebration will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2006. We are asking for the following donations for the celebration:  apples, caramels, popcorn, pretzels, brownies, cupcakes and candy, of course. If you wish to make a monetary donation toward this celebration it can be given to Ms. Sheila or Ms. Connie. As the time draws near for this celebration please let Ms. Sheila or Ms. Connie know how many children will be attending. For additional information you can talk to Ms Connie or Ms Sheila. Costumes are optional. paragraph ending graphic

Halloween at Christ Church New Brighton.

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Serendipity Notes

Serendipity met last month in the Vestry Room at the church. Marlene Elia did a wonderful job of pinch hitting at short notice as our hostess for the evening.

Our little group has seen some difficult times lately with several members being “laid up.” Paul Smith did some damage to one of his leg muscles and had a difficult time walking;. Karen Smith spent time in the hospital at St. Vincent’s; and finally, Colin Reed had a heart bypass done, came home, and then went back into the hospital. If that isn’t enough, Trevor Mills is scheduled to have surgery when he returns from Colorado. Thank God we are a persistent and strong group of people!

We discussed our next venture which will be a Halloween Brunch after the 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, October 29. We will be requesting an adult donation of $6 and any child who comes dressed in a costume will eat for free. There will be bowls of chili, sandwiches for the vegetarians, salad, cupcakes, apples, desserts, apple cider, coffee and tea. We hope to see everyone and promise that a good time will be had by all!

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. As always, any member of Christ Church is encouraged and welcome to join us. paragraph ending graphic

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Community News

Welcome to a new feature in the Tower Chimes. In this column we’ll try to keep you posted on events that are happening in the other Episcopal parishes here on Staten Island that might be of interest to our readers.

Volunteers Needed!
The Church of St. Stephen in Tottenville would like to start an outreach program and is looking for volunteers to teach English as a Second Language once a week in the evening. This position is non-stipendiary.

If you’ve got the time and the willingness to be a part of this program please contact The Rev. Loyda Morales, rector of St. Stephen’s, at 718-984-1722

Music at St. Albans
Season Opening Gala
Remembering the Golden Age: Music from the Movies and Old Broadway
Saturday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m.
The Music Hall at Snug Harbor
Tickets: $35
For info call: 718-984-7756

Staten Island Council of Churches
Fall Assembly/Dinner
Thursday, October 5, 2005
at 6:30 p.m.
Reservations: $25 per person
Deadline for reservations: September 30
For info or reservations speak to Fr. Chuck or Cathy Romano or call the Council of Churches office at

All Saints Day Service
Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at
7:30 p.m.
All Saints Episcopal Church

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Parish Register

October Birthdays
1—Julia Kennedy; 2—Judith Davis; 3—Dylan Scire; 5—William Sherman; 6—Susan Fowler; 8—Jeremiah Zayzay; 10—Iris Colbourne; 11—Jaime Szczepanik, Kataski George, Eva Black; 12—Kate Schneider, Charles McLean, Jr., Olisha James; 22—Fr. Clarke French; 23—Christopher James; 24—Edward Craig; 26—Hueldine Webb;  29—Amber James, Virginia Peel

October Anniversaries
1—Chuck and Liz Howell

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

We’re looking for about six people to join the newly formed Parish Care Committee! The committee will celebrate birthdays and anniversaries of Christ Church parishioners by sending out cards and notes. Under the direction of Fr. Chuck, they will coordinate cards, flowers, meals and other expressions of care and concern for parishioners in times of illness and need.

If you miss sending and receiving “real mail,” if you have a bit of time, and if you believe that small gestures can go a long way in making someone feel loved and valued please join us.

Please contact me at 718-420-0363 if you’d like more information, or if you’d like to be part of this worthwhile cause. paragraph ending graphic

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Afternoon Tea

It’s almost here! Call in to the office to get your reservations for Afternoon Tea! You don’t need to know how to hold your little pinky in the air to be a part of it.

The tea is being held on Sunday, October 15, 2006. A free concert is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in the church proper and will be followed by a real afternoon tea. Tea, finger sandwiches (if we run out of fingers we will be serving cucumber, cheese and tomato and assorted other sandwiches.), followed by scones with jam and cream, and other delectable desserts.

Please come and join us. The donation is $20 per person and it is totally for the benefit of sending our kids to camp and college. If you have questions as to the benefit of this program please talk to any of our previous recipients: Olisha James, Evelyn and Siaber Zayzay, Claire Kennedy, Eva Black, Thomas Liu, Titus Zayzay, Daniel Lettiere and others.

Even if you cannot attend the tea, there are suggested giving levels available in the parish office; or, you may opt to give an amount of your own choosing. What better way to let our young parishioners know that we love them and are supportive of them! paragraph ending graphic

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An Overwhelming Success!

Our first annual Blueberry Festival was a huge success with almost 200 people in attendance. In addition to the 155 reservations we had 40 more people show up at the door that evening. The turnout exceeded all expectations, with the result that our staff had to work extra hard.

The Blueberry Festival crowd at Christ Church.

All of our volunteers rose to the occasion and are to be congratulated for it. Their hard work and the delicious food they contributed made the evening an event to remember. Our young people need also be thanked for their untiring help in setting up and cleaning up afterwards, in addition to selling raffle tickets and numerous other “assignments.” Even the weather cooperated with a balmy summer evening atmosphere that made the outdoor "picnic" a final farewell to the season.

We are already making plans for next year's festival, and in the future years look forward to a crop of our own home-grown blueberries.

The Blueberry Festival was a huge success.


The committee worked hard and this event would not have been as successful without their support. The publicity that we received from the Staten Island Advance was also very helpful to draw in our “walk-in” guests. Special thanks to Helen Sigman who donated two baskets for the raffle table, and to Ms. Anne Alarcon, a neighbor on Van Buren Street and an employee of Fine Arts Fotos, for her donation of a $300 gift certificate.

Nick Dowen introduces Chuck and Liz Howell.

Nick Dowen was our MC for the evening; he welcomed Fr. Howell and his family and Fr. Howell offered the blessing before dinner was served. Joseph and Michael Browne, the landscape architects who developed the plans for our future renovation of the gardens and grounds of the church, were among our honored guests, along with Mrs. Julia Martin of the Advance.

Thanks to the support of those who attended, and the many people who worked so hard that evening, the Blueberry Festival brought in over $5700!

There are still jars of blueberry jam available to give as gifts or for your own enjoyment. They are $10 each. Call Valerie at 718-273-3668 if you are interested. Note: if you return empty canning jars, they can be safely reused in the canning process and will help for next year. paragraph ending graphic

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Membership Drive:
Episcopal Churchwomen of Christ Church

Looking for a place to share your ideas and contribute to the common good? Then please be inspired by our mission to “unite the women of Christ Church in a program of worship, study, service, gifts and fellowship which will deepen and strengthen our own spiritual lives and lead us into service as the Church, in the parish, the community, the diocese, the nation and the world.”

Please join us – Anne Devlin, Margaret Harris and Alleida Mitchell – in the Vestry Room, immediately following each service, on Sunday September 24, October 1 or October 8 to discuss our mission. The plan is to make our group more inclusive by scheduling day and evening meetings.

We look forward to speaking with you, and seeing you at upcoming meetings of the Women of Christ Church. paragraph ending graphic

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Battling the Elements:
Earth, Wind, Fire and Water

When you’re involved with Christ Church’s Plant & Equipment, it means you’re involved with the elements—not the modern world’s nitrogen, helium, and carbon, but the ancient world’s earth, wind, fire, and water. Here is the elemental report for September.

Earth and Its Creatures
Volunteer Work Day. For the Sept. 30 “Hands to Work, Hearts to God” day, Peter Raff scheduled painting projects, replacing the rectory Bilco door, and gardening, which the Christ Church gardeners always handily organize by themselves.

The next work day will be the last week of October.

Bees Redux. It seems that not all the honey was eaten out of the hive in the chapel, since it started dripping down the north wall as soon as it got warm this summer. We called the beekeepers, Ross Ber and Walter Blohm, back, and their solution was to invite bees to remove it. This was the recommendation of every beekeeper they talked to at a convention a week after we called them. Since the alternative would be to pull off the roof or destroy part of the chapel ceiling to get at the honeycombs, using bees seemed like a much better idea.

So we now have a hive of clean-up bees hard at work in the chapel. They’re behind a low fence in the corner of the yard along Fillmore Street, near the sunflowers.

Wind: Too Much Coming into the Rectory
Plant & Equipment, with Finance Committee and Vestry approval, has hired Burda Construction, a highly respected restoration firm based in Brooklyn, to repair the outside of the rectory. This entails repairing or replacing all of the woodwork around the windows and at the roof, fixing the gutters, fixing the attic windows, and power washing and repainting the outside.

One of the soffits on the west side of the rectory is nearly completely rotted away, and squirrels have been getting into the attic.


Fire, both Visible and Invisible
Stained Light. All of the stained-glass repair work is completed and the windows should be reinstalled by the end of September. The roof over the most damaged window has been repaired, which was one of the conditions for reinstalling the windows.

Electrical Upgrade. Walsh Electric is going to replace our current electrical service with higher capacity service. Flipped breakers and failed lights and switches will become a thing of the past.

Water: Running through the Roof into the Auditorium

Our poor leaking auditorium roof.

Wherever you see a peak, water is leaking in at the joints.
East Coast Restoration, which has been repairing the church roof, is now going to fix the Parish Hall roof, in particular the crickets and valleys (where the chimneys meet the roof). Water has been getting through the original copper flashing, some of which was tarred, and damaging the windows below the leaks.

Note that once the roof has been fixed, we may be able to repair and repaint the damaged plaster in the auditorium in time for the Holly Ball.

Church Roof. Note that the church roof and tower repairs are almost finished, and when our consultant, Russ Watsky, reviewed it, he said he was very pleased with East Coast Restoration’s work. He’ll inspect the roof again when East Coast Restoration says that they’re done. paragraph ending graphic
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Serenade Concert Series:
Stefan Palm Returns to Christ Church on Sunday, November 5th for a Serenade Concert

An old friend will revisit Christ Church: Stefan Palm, the great German organist who has performed for us in the past. This concert will mark the final performance of Serenade's 2006 season. Mark your calendars: Sunday, November 5th, 3:00 P.M.

Mr. Stefan Palm.
Mr. Stefan Palm.

Mr. Palm, born in Aachen, Germany, teaches at the Musikhochschule Cologne and is Music Director and Organist of St. Mary’s Church in Neuss. He studied at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, where he passed concert examinations in three different instruments (organ, piano, and harpsichord), a reflection of his prodigious talent and versatility.

As a stipendiary of the German National Scholarship Foundation he continued his studies at The Juilliard School in New York, earning a Master of Music degree in both organ and harpsichord in only one year.

Mr. Palm has been a prizewinner in over a dozen international competitions, including ARD - Munich, Budapest (International Franz Liszt Competition), Berlin, Speyer, Nüremberg, Wiesbaden, and Bonn.

He has performed in the United States, the Far East, and Europe; he has been featured at international festivals, where he also taught master classes.

Tom Sarff expects to have the organ in tip-top shape for Stefan, so expect sublime music, and some powerful moments.

Admission is free and a reception follows the concert. For further information please call 718-273-3668. paragraph ending graphic

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Vincent and Candice Craig
to Perform at Christ Church

Vincent and Candice Craig.On Sunday, October 15, Vincent Craig, the versatile and talented pianist (and the son of Edward and Laura Craig) returns to Christ Church with his wife, Candice, to participate in a fund raiser to benefit the Christ Church Scholarship Fund.

Many of us remember Vincent’s thrilling performance in a recent Serenade concert and this upcoming performance should prove to just as exciting. This year he will be joined by his wife, Candice, a lyric soprano who is equally comfortable performing opera, recitals, musical theater and various styles of contemporary and popular music.

Her most recent appearances include a performance with the Wilmington Community Orchestra of Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs, a solo recital in northern New Jersey, and collaborations on contemporary sacred music.

Please plan to be a part of this wonderful afternoon of music and fellowship. You’ll be glad that you did! paragraph ending graphic

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A Night at the Races

Christ Church will be hosting a Night at the Races on Saturday, October 21 beginning at 7 p.m

No, there is no connection whatsoever to the Marx Brothers movie, although we are hoping that this evening will be just as much fun!

There are lots of exciting activities planned for the evening: a 50/50, “Hit the Jackpot” tickets, a Money Wheel, and of course, Wooden Horse Races.

Admission is $5 and refreshments are included with the admission price; a cash bar will also be available. Children under the age of 18 will not be allowed to participate in the Wooden Horse Races.

B. Kliban was the best cartoonist this planet has ever produced, God rest his soul.

This is our first Night at the Races fund raiser and we’re counting on your support to make it a success. We hope to see all of you that evening.

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Thank You

Having a lot of time on my hands to reflect on my illness I want you all to know how important your prayers, concerns and good wishes have been to my recovery and positive outlook.

I want you all to know what an important influence all my friends at Christ Church have been to Paul, Ian and me during this difficult time. We truly are a family at times like these.

God bless you all and you are forever in my heart. paragraph ending graphic

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