Christ Church New Brighton Back to School graphic
Close Window September 2006

Click one of the titles below to read the article:

paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Our Children are Our Future
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic A Half Roof Over Our Heads
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Notes paragraph ending graphic Serenade Season
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic It's Tea Time!
paragraph ending graphic Sunday School News paragraph ending graphic Hail...
paragraph ending graphic Serendipity Notes paragraph ending graphic ...and Farewell
paragraph ending graphic First Annual Blueberry Festival paragraph ending graphic Counting on You
paragraph ending graphic Fundraising Committee paragraph ending graphic Parish Register
Clergy Corner
The Rev. Charles Howell
The Rev. Charles Howell

So, what’s a nice boy from the Midwest (and his family) doing on Staten Island?  The short answer is that I have been called here by God.  The somewhat longer answer is that I think I have certain gifts and skills that may benefit Christ Church at this stage in its life, and I know that Christ Church will challenge me and bless my family and me in ways that we cannot now even imagine.


During the two brief visits Liz and I made to meet the search committee and Vestry, we were immediately struck by warmth and love of the people we met.  We could easily see that, despite some differences of opinion, the people of Christ Church truly love and care for each other.  Upon reflection, Liz and I said to each other, “We want to be part of a community like that.”

When I interviewed with the Vestry, I was happy to present to them some preliminary ideas about how Christ Church might move forward in the areas of worship, pastoral care, evangelism, and stewardship.  Now – after weeks of prayer, reflection, and seemingly endless conversations with spiritual mentors – I have accepted your call.  Upon accepting your call, our relationship has changed.  I come to you not wanting to cram my ideas down your throat but to work together with you as we develop a shared vision and common mission for Christ Church.  I have no doubt that Christ Church has a bright future ahead of it.

I am honored and humbled to have been called as your rector, and I am eager, and excited, and a little nervous to begin my ministry among and with you.

Fr. Chuck paragraph ending graphic

Click here to go to the top of the page.
Around the Parish

What an incredibly busy summer this has been at Christ Church. The biggest news of course is the arrival of our new rector, Fr. Chuck Howell, his wife, Liz, and their daughter, Georgia. A warm “welcome home” to all of you. We are so blessed to have you here with us.

On Sunday, August 13 we celebrated the ministry of our Interim Rector, Father Clarke, and bid farewell to Fr. Clarke, Sally and Jack as they moved on to their new home at Trinity Episcopal Church in Watertown, NY.

Despite summer vacations and steamy summer days, renovations to the church roof continued and are still underway. Be sure to check out Susan Fowler’s article for the latest updates (and some really neat photos as well!) The organ restoration continued as well, as Larry Trupiano and his team replaced the leather primaries in the Great and Choir divisions of this magnificent instrument.

This summer your editor had the opportunity to meet Dominic Brown, the charming nephew of Spider Webb and Lester Blair, during a Sunday coffee hour. Christ Church was fortunate to have Dominic with us this summer; however, WCBS-TV was twice as fortunate to have him as a summer intern in their weather center. Dominic is a graduate student at Mississippi State University and is studying to earn his Master’s degree in Broadcast Meteorology. His dream, as you can well imagine, is to become a broadcast meteorologist and have the opportunity to return to New York and work at a station here.  Dominic did mention that Christ Church felt like “home” to him this summer and he truly appreciated the kindness and warmth that was shown to him by our parishioners.  We anxiously await his return visit to Christ Church.

Many of you have had the opportunity to purchase the wonderful greeting cards created by Colin Reed and his Stationery Movement group. These lovely cards feature pictures of our beautiful church, flowers from the Staten Island Botanical Garden, the Staten Island Ferry and other Island treasures. And who could forget his light hearted cards featuring The Witches of Christ Church. This year Colin hopes to introduce a new series of Halloween cards and has asked us to invite one and all to come to a pre-Halloween luncheon at the church on Monday, October 9 at 11 a.m.  Pizza, salad, dessert and wine will be served to anyone – especially some of our men – willing to appear in costume! Please contact Colin if you’re interested, and also, if you’d like to know where to find the costume that’s just right for you.

Two families in our parish will be celebrating a particularly joyous event this month: On Saturday, September 2 our tenor soloist, Jay Spadaro, will walk his daughter Clair down the aisle as she gives her hand to her fiancé, George Taylor; her proud mom, Ginny, will be looking on with joy. And later this month, Elizabeth Kennedy, daughter of Laura and Hal Kennedy, will be married to Nicholas Vitek, in an outdoor ceremony at Snug Harbor. Our Rector Emeritus, Fr. John Walsted, will officiate at both services.

David Reiersen, son of Linda and Hal Reiersen will be embarking on an eight-month trek through Europe as a member of the technical crew of Disney on Ice. David has been working for this production company for the past few years and has had the opportunity to travel to South America and many parts of the United States.

And speaking of foreign journeys, our own David Wood will be spending lots of time “commuting” back and forth to England on business. David, one of the foremost decorators in New York, recently signed on new clients, an American couple who just purchased a 1790’s town house off of Sloane Square in London. Cheerio, David!

The month of September also marks the return to school – and for some of our parishioners, new adventures in their undergraduate and graduate studies. Congratulations to Sean McLean, son of Beth and Chip McLean, as he begins his studies at the State University in Albany; to Nancy Sherman as she begins her nursing studies in New Hampshire, and to her brother, Roderick as he pursues graduate studies at NYU University here in Manhattan. Their dad, William, is quite proud of their accomplishments.

Several parishioners have had to deal with health-related issues this summer as well. We are glad to report that Connie Ricciardi is on the mend from a nasty spill that she took in front of her house; Glendon Jantzi has made a wonderful recovery from hip replacement surgery; and we’re happy to report that Colin Reed is slowly but surely returning to health after his recent heart surgery.

In addition, get well wishes to Karen Smith, Paul Smith, Ginny Peel, Laura Craig and Henry Boody. Our heartfelt prayers go out to them for a speedy return to good health. And here’s hoping that David Holt will be back on his feet very quickly as he recovers from hip replacement surgery which was scheduled to take place at the end of August.

This editor had the good fortune to run into Sue Boody and her daughter, Barbara, last month. Sue loves her new home in New Jersey and has asked to be remembered to all of her friends here at Christ Church.

The next time you’re in Snug Harbor be sure to stop by the gift shop and say hello to Rachel Somma, the lovely daughter of Al Somma and Jan Hammel. Al was once our parish Sexton, and Jan is a very talented photographer with the Staten Island Advance. Please keep Al in your prayers as he recuperates from a motorcycle accident that occurred earlier this year.

That’s it – at least for now. Please, please, please, keep us posted on your news so we can share it with our readers.

Welcome back to one and all! paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
Vestry Notes

The Vestry met on both Monday, June 12, for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting and Wednesday, June 14 for a Special Meeting. The following is a brief summary of the items discussed and decided at the two meetings:

Susan Fowler, Chair of the Plant and Equipment Committee, appeared before the Finance Committee with a prioritized list of the needs of the physical plant of the church. These were:

1. Roof and Masonry $73,000
($45,000 – roof; $28,000 – masonry)
2. Electrical Upgrade $28,000
3. Repairs to the Rectory $90,000
  TOTAL COST: $191,000

The Finance Committee recommended to the Vestry that these projects be funded through the sale of some of the church’s holdings in bonds. It further recommended that some bond money be transferred into stock mutual funds. The Vestry approved the sale of $335,000 worth of bonds to cover the cost of the necessary repairs (up to $200,000) with $135,000 set apart for investments in stock mutual funds.

Father Clarke thanked those who had worked so hard of late on various projects: Colin Reed for the May Ham Dinner; Shirley and Willie Black for Diversity Sunday, and Eugene and Gytha Darconte for the Spring Fair. He went on to say that his last service will be on August 13 and that he will leave on August 15 to take his new position as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Watertown, NY.

On June 14 the Vestry met in Special Session and chose via a secret ballot The Rev. Charles H. Howell as the new rector of Christ Church. Father Howell’s first service will be on September 3. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
The Women of Christ Church
Here comes September!  A new rector.  A new Church year.  And, on the second Thursday, September 14, the Women of Christ Church will resume their regular meetings.

The schedule is the same as always:

11 a.m.- Healing Service and Eucharist in the Chapel

12 Noon - Business meeting in the Vestry Room

12:30 p.m. - Lunch:  bring a sandwich; dessert and coffee will be provided.

Note that the time for business is short.  This is because we don't have very much business, and we want to leave a lot of time for catching up with one another.  We are hoping to meet our new Rector's wife at this time, as well as all of our new members who are coming to join us.

One important announcement will be made by Valerie Quinlan about the current status of our Carpenter's Kids Project.  You will have to be there to know what it is!  Won't it be more fun to hear it in person than to wait to read about it in the newspaper?

September 14, at 11 a.m. See you there! paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
Sunday School News

I do hope that everyone had a fun and enjoyable summer. We hope to see all of the old faces back in Sunday School, with some new faces too. Any parents who would like to help out with Sunday School or the Christmas pageant please see Sheila Hewitt or Connie Black.

Registration for Sunday School

Parents and grandparents please come and register your children and grandchildren for Sunday School on September 10 during the coffee hour. This day has also been set aside to commemorate Grandparents Day, and the members of our Sunday School will be honoring all of the grandparents in Christ Church.

Christ Church Christmas Pageant

We are looking for singers and readers to participate in this year’s Christmas Pageant. If you wish to sign up please see Sheila Hewitt or Connie Black for more information. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
Serendipity Notes

Serendipity was active at Island Wholesale during the heat of the summer. Cases of bananas, oranges, potatoes, string beans, mushrooms and mangoes costing several hundreds of dollars from the profits of the last May Ham Dinner, were delivered to New Directions Food Pantry at the beginning of August.

The Food Ministry invites all parishioners to join our overnight homeless guests for our third cooked breakfast feast on Thursday, September 14 at 7:30 a.m. which also happens to be Holy Cross Day. We are joining the Orthodox Church in having a great feast to commemorate the finding of the cross by St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. Victor Stanwick has suggested that we invite the Episcopal nuns of the order of St. Helena in Manhattan and we’re waiting for their response.

Victor will be making omelettes, and with help, Colin Reed hopes to cook the bacon, sausages and tomatoes. Norma Sue Wolff has offered to add doughnuts to our free feast as well. Please let Colin, Victor or Susan know if you’d like to have breakfast with us. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
Our Very First Blueberry Festival
at Christ Church

The first annual Blueberry Festival and Chicken Dinner will take place at Christ Church on Saturday, September 9 at 4 p.m.  It will be held on the church lawn, but will move indoors in the event of inclement weather. Proceeds from this event will be used to help fund the church’s landscaping project. Parishioners are encouraged to invite friends who are members of the community.

The Blueberry Festival will open with a cocktail hour featuring hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The dinner menu will feature a mixed green salad, coleslaw, baked macaroni and cheese, baked beans, BBQ and baked chicken, dinner rolls, dessert bar, coffee and tea or juice.

The suggested donation is $15 for adults and $8 for children. There will be no charge for children five and under. Raffle tickets will be available for baskets containing blueberry goodies and spirits. Also, a 50-50 drawing will be held during the dinner. paragraph ending graphic

Click here to go to the top of the page.
Fundraising Committee

Did you know that Christ Church now has a fundraising committee? Members of this committee include Alleida Mitchell, chairperson, Anne Devlin, Mark Gherzo, George Smith and Sheila Swigert.

The committee met several times during the summer months to organize the various fund raising events scheduled to take place during the remainder of 2006.

The First Annual Blueberry Festival will be held on Saturday, September 9 at 4 p.m. – rain or shine! Reservations can be made by calling the church office at 718-727-6100. Raffle tickets are also available and sponsorship of any item on the menu would be appreciated.

Other activities planned for the year include a Games Night/Night at the Races (more to come on this) on October 21; a Chinese Auction on November 4; the St. Nick’s Fair on December 2, and the Holly Ball on December 9.

Volunteers are needed for ALL of these events. Please contact Alleida Mitchell if you would like to take part in one – or all – of these exciting events! paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
Our Children are Our Future

It has been a very interesting and productive summer. The Scholarship Committee of Christ Church has made some changes: officially, we are called The Lehmann Family Scholarship fund, but unofficially, we call ourselves “The 7 C’s.” This came about because the official name was a mouthful when speaking with some of you. So, how did we come up with The 7 C’s? What does it mean? Our unofficial name stands for the Camp and College Committee of Christ Church, assisting families of the parish with Camp and College expenses. We did, however, keep the official name because of the generous gift from Mr. John Lehmann a couple of years ago.

This year we sent three of our young people to a “sleep-away” Episcopal camp in Connecticut and awarded three college scholarships to our teens who are entering college this fall.

At this point in our program we only have a couple of rules. One of them is that the person seeking a camp or college scholarship MUST initiate contact with one of us. From that point we can let you know what we offer and how to proceed. We can’t contact all of you, so please, if you are interested, talk to us.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the fund, please speak to anyone on the committee: Gytha Darconte, Trevor Mills, Colin Reed or Paul Smith. We would love to tell you about it! paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
A Half Roof Over Our Heads
New copper gutters
New copper gutter on the roof. Franklin
Avenue is straight ahead.

Rus Watsky, a roofing consultant who comes highly recommended by the Diocese and the New York Landmarks Conservancy, looked at the problems we’ve been having with leaks and discovered that the sunny side of the roof (the southeast side) needed to be replaced and the second half of the tower had to be waterproofed. (Last summer, we fixed the half over the altar and organ pipes. This half no longer leaks.)

In late July, East Coast Restoration started work on the church roof and the second half of the tower. Although it’s easy to see that they’ve stripped off the old slate, laid down a waterproof underlayment, and put up new shingle (almost all of it by mid-August), you can’t see what they’ve done to the gutters. That is, unless you went up with a camera, as Rus Watsky did on August 17. As you can see from his photo, the gutters gleam with bright copper sheeting. The sheeting will eventually turn green as it oxidizes.

Rus also took a picture of the outside of a “Boody baby.” The “babies” are the stained-glass cherubs, donated by the Boody family that peer down from the tower into the prayer books of parishioners who sit

Boody Baby
The back of a southeast cherub.

in the first few rows. The wood around this window was decayed, and the roofers have replaced it.

The work should be completed by the end of September. Until then, though, the inside of the church will be more gritty than usual as the roofers hammer the new copper sheets and slates into place. There is no extra layer between the shingles and the ceiling you see overhead, so whatever old dust is caught between the wood joints comes down when they bang on the roof.

Next on the agenda are putting back the stained-glass windows (we had to repair the roof before Gil Studios could return them, since water was damaging their stone frameworks) and repairing the outside of the rectory. By next spring, we should be ready to start on the Parish Hall roof and repair the water damage to the inside walls in the auditorium and stairways. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
Serenade to Present "The Virtuoso
Pianist" on Sunday, September 17
Mr. Sandro Russo
On Sunday, September 17 at 3 p.m, Serenade will present a concert entitled, “The Virtuoso Pianist.” The featured performer will be Sandro Russo, a resident of Staten Island who has garnered praise from well-known pianists. Mr. Russo will perform major works by Rachmaninov and Medtner, as well as shorter works by Beethoven, Schubert-Liszt, Verdi-Liszt, and Glinka-Balakierev. We are very excited about this concert, as we regard Sandro to be a pianist who ranks with the best in the world.

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

Click here to go to the top of the page.
It's Tea Time
Tea Time at Christ Church New Brighton
I’ll bet that many of you are wondering what surprises we have in store for you now! Well, the “7C’s” are holding an afternoon tea on Sunday, October 15. If you’re not sure who we are please check the article in this issue of the Tower Chimes entitled “Our Children Are Our Future.”

In any case, on Sunday, October 15 we will be hosting a fundraiser (I realize that’s almost a dirty word these days!) to benefit the Camp and College Scholarship Program at Christ Church. We will be holding a free concert in the church, which will feature the talents of Vincent and Candice Craig (Ed and Laura Craig’s children.) Vincent is a concert pianist and has performed on Staten Island in the past.

The concert, which begins at 3 p.m. that afternoon, will feature light music as a prelude to the ritual of afternoon tea. Although the concert is free we are trying to raise money for scholarships, and you can make reservations for the tea at the unheard of and very reasonable price of $20 by calling the parish office at 718-727-6100.  Please be sure to make your reservations by October 1. Of course, please feel free to wear one of those hats you have stuffed away for a special occasion! And if you forget, don’t worry. We will be sending out invitations to remind you.

Ever wonder how the tradition of Afternoon Tea got started? According to legend, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in wafting, Anna Maria Stanhope, known as the Duchess of Bedford, is credited as the creator of afternoon teatime. Because the noon meal had become skimpier, the Duchess suffered from “a sinking feeling” at about four o’clock in the afternoon. At first the Duchess had her servants sneak a pot of tea and a few breadstuffs.

Adopting the European tea service format, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at four o’clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and of course, tea.

This summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for “tea and a walk in the fields.” Other social hostesses quickly followed the practice of inviting friends to come for tea in the afternoon.

So please, come and join us and help to support our Scholarship Program. If you have any questions please speak to any of the committee members: Gytha Darconte, Trevor Mills, Colin Reed and Paul Smith.
Click here to go to the top of the page.

A warm and heartfelt welcome to the Howell Family – Father Chuck, Liz and Georgia – who have chosen to make Christ Church their new home.

We offer sincere thanks to the members of our Search Committee - Willie Black, Jr., Anne Devlin, Nick Dowen, Shirley Elfers, Marlene Elia, Nick Lettiere, Connie Ricciardi, Victor Stanwick and John Watson, for their diligence, their perseverance and the innumerable hours spent  reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates.

We also recognize the efforts of our Vestry, who gave selflessly of their time and energies to come together on numerous occasions during the summer to interview the final candidates and to choose the person who will lead Christ Church into a new chapter in the ongoing life and ministry of this parish. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
...and Farewell

In March 2004, Christ Church welcomed Father Clarke French as our Interim Rector. During the brief one and a half-year period that Father Clarke was with us he brought us back together as a parish family, providing us with the spiritual and pastoral leadership that enabled us to reach the point where we are today.

Christ Church was Fr. Clarke’s first parish in the United States, and also his first assignment as an Interim Rector. As he shared our search for a new Rector, we also shared in his search to find a new parish family.

Our grateful thanks, our prayers and best wishes go out to Fr. Clarke, Sally and Jack as they grow closer in love and faith to their new parish family at Trinity Episcopal Church in Watertown, NY. paragraph ending graphic

Sally, Clarke and Jack French

Click here to go to the top of the page.
Counting on You
Willie Black, Jr. will now be coordinating the weekly schedule for Sunday counters. For those of you who would like to join the counters guild please contact Willie to have your name added to the roster. And to all counters, current and prospective, please make sure to let Willie know which dates you WILL NOT be available to count. He’d like to have this information no later than Sunday, September 10 in order to give him time to complete the schedules and issue them to the counters. paragraph ending graphic
Click here to go to the top of the page.
Parish Register

September Birthdays
2—Margaret Harris, Evelyn Zayzay; 3—Alayne Gilbert, , Dorothy Rapp; 6—Connie Ricciardi; 9—Karen Smith; 14—Martha Keucher; 15—Linda Reiersen; 16—Claire e Kennedy; 18—David Reiersen, Joan Rock; 20—Nancy y Reiersen-Scromo; 22—Matthew Devlin; 24—Zachary Scire; 25—Shirley Black; 27—Willie Black, IV, Dorothy y Rivera; 27—Paul Elia;

September Anniversaries
9—Patricia & Dennis Scire; 9—Nancy Reiersen & Garry  Scromo

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

Important Reminder

Our regular schedule of Sunday services resumes on Sunday, September 10 as follows:

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer in the Chapel
8:00 a.m. Rite I Eucharist in the Chapel
9:00 a.m. Family Service
9:15 a.m. Choir Rehearsal
9:45 a.m. Christian Education
10:30 a.m. Rite II Choral Eucharist with Hymns
Click here to go to the top of the page.