Alleluia, Christ is risen!
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paragraph ending graphic Colin's Corner
April 2007
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paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Serendipity Notes paragraph ending graphic Serenade Concert paragraph ending graphic Calendar Planning
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic Coffee Hour Hosts paragraph ending graphic Save the Date paragraph ending graphic Easter Memorial Flowers
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Report paragraph ending graphic Community Days paragraph ending graphic Knitting Group paragraph ending graphic Hall Rental
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic Support our Farmers paragraph ending graphic Olisha James paragraph ending graphic Easter Service Schedule
paragraph ending graphic Parish Register paragraph ending graphic CCNB Treble Choir paragraph ending graphic Sunday School News paragraph ending graphic Hungry Staten Islanders
Clergy Corner
Fr. Charles H. Howell, Christ Church New Brighton Rector
Fr. Charles H. Howell, Christ Church New Brighton Rector

Every Wednesday night in Lent a group of parishioners gathered as part of our Lenten program to discuss the Scripture lessons from the previous Sunday with a view to what they have to teach us about mission and evangelism.

In the course of our study we learned that Christ Church is a friendly community which is blessed with beautiful buildings and a lovely liturgy. We value that we are a community which welcomes gay and lesbian people, which is ethnically and culturally diverse, and which cares for and nurtures each member.

We talked about ways that we can make our facilities more welcoming and accessible so that we are a place of hospitality in our community. We talked about offering programs and lectures as a way of offering something of benefit to our neighbors. We also kicked around ideas like having greeters, wearing name tags, and making a new photo directory so that newcomers and visitors will feel at home. We talked frankly about places of hurt in our congregational life and how we can be agents of reconciliation both in our parish and in the extended community.

One of the things we learned is that what finally matters is not a parish’s desire to grow, but its intentionality and action. Churches that have a plan for growth are churches that grow. With the consent of the vestry, I intend to form an evangelism committee so that we can develop a plan for growth at Christ Church. If you are interested in welcoming newcomers, developing promotional materials, publicizing our many activities, or helping new members find their place at Christ Church please contact me (718-727-6100, or via e-mail at christchurchrector@verizon.net) to express your interest.

Each of us has found something we love and value at Christ Church, surely there are others in our community who would love to learn about the good thing we’ve found here. The beginning of the Easter season with its themes of new life and growth is the perfect time for us to get serious about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with our neighbors.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck paragraph ending graphic

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Women of Christ Church

The weekday Eucharist which opens all our meetings was very well attended on the second Thursday in March. This was partly due to Fr. Chuck's new practice of scheduling it on every Thursday, and partly due to Lent. And then, when we settled around the table in the Vestry Room set with ten places, and soon found that we needed to add five more! It was a lovely surprise!

We were very happy that our honorary member, Patsy Parese was able to be with us. He made the coffee of course. Nancy Lettiere attended as our liaison with the Evening Circle. Their meetings follow ours on the third Tuesday evening, her cousin Maria was with her. Maria is a newcomer to the United States and would like to know of someone who needs a home health aide.

It is so nice that Fr. Chuck finds the time to be with us to keep us up to date with happenings around the Church, and to join us for lunch.

Valerie Quinlan led a discussion about the Carpenter's Kids project. We discovered that we need more information from Bishop Roskam's office, which Valerie will secure and bring to the next meeting. In the meantime, anyone can take part in this opportunity to help the children orphaned by AIDS in Africa. For only a dollar a week ($50 a year) you can provide books, uniforms, and meals for a child for a year! Where else can your money do so much good? Call Valerie for details.

Laura Craig reported from the World Day of Prayer service, and other Lenten gatherings in the community were announced. The treasurer's report was given by Margaret Harris.

After everyone had unwrapped sandwiches, we sat around the table decorated for St. Patrick’s Day, and indulged in the two beautiful desserts which Alleida Mitchell had provided, one of which was a pie that you would have to see to believe.

Our next meeting is April 12, and we would like very much to set an extra place for you. Wouldn't it be neat to have to ask for another leaf for the table? paragraph ending graphic

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Vestry Report

The Vestry met on 12 March 2007 and took the following actions:

  • It approved the recommendation of the Investment Committee headed by David Nygard that all of the bonds held by the church other than four be sold and the funds acquired be invested in PEMS.
  • Susan Fowler, chair of the Plant and Equipment Committee, reported that a meeting to which all members of the congregation are invited will be held on 27 March at 7:30 p.m. to discuss long term planning.
  • The Vestry approved the expenditure of $1,600 to purchase choir robes for the children’s choir.
  • A superfrontal in memory of Richard Sigman is to be purchased.
  • The dates, purposes, and support needed for the various fund raising groups was approved by the Vestry along with a new reporting form for each of the events. This form must be signed by both the chair of the event and the treasurer.
  • The Vestry approved the chairs recommended by Father Howell for the following committees: Nick Lettiere (Finance), Susan Fowler (Plant and Equipment), and Nick Dowen (Nominating). paragraph ending graphic
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Christ Church Treble Choir to Perform on Sunday, April 29

In our February issue of the Tower Chimes we reported that plans were underway to form a children’s Treble Choir, under the direction of Beth Johanning-Hayes. Since that time a group of about ten of our young parishioners (both boys and girls) have been diligently rehearsing with Beth on Sunday mornings after the 10 a.m. service.

It is our pleasure to announce that the choir will be enhancing the beauty of our 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday, April 29. This will be an extra special day, as they will also be sporting their brand new choir robes. We hope you’ll be there to show your support and take part in this wonderful day.paragraph ending graphic

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Serenade Presents Schween-Hammond Dou, Cello & Piano

On Sunday, April 29 at 3:00 p.m., cellist Astrid Schween and pianist Gary Hammond will perform a recital.

Both performers are accomplished musicians who have built international careers as chamber music performers. Having performed with various ensembles in a number of venues, Astrid and Gary discovered a few seasons ago that their talents dovetailed perfectly, and so they became a duo and began to perform a rich musical repertoire. Of their release of works by Brahms on a Partita CD, American Record Guide wrote: "The performers are faultless, extraordinarily attuned to the romantic idiom. ... Do search out this recording---it is outstanding."

One of Astrid's and Gary's concerts was performed several seasons ago at Christ Church, where they thrilled Serenade's audience. It is our good fortune to have them back for the 2007 season.

The concert is free to the public. It will be followed by a "Meet-the-Artists" reception. Both concert and reception areas are handicapped accessible. for information, call Valerie at 718-273-3668. paragraph ending graphic

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Save the Date!
CCNB Spring Fair 2007

Christ Church Spring Fair
Saturday, June 9, 2007 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Do you have some ideas?
• Would you like to help?
Please contact our chairpersons:
Gene Darconte
Gytha Darconte
Lisa Rhoades
You’ll be glad you did!!! paragraph ending graphic

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Parish Register

April Birthdays
1—Matthew Ambroggi; 6 –Harry Bernardez; 10 – Michael Devlin; 17– Siaber Zayzay; 18 – Celestine Zayzay; 24–David and Daniel Wood; 26 – Mary Boody; 30 – Nancy Sherman

April Anniversaries 1—Eugene & Gytha Darconte; 6 – Hal & Linda Reiersen; 12 – John & Carol Brown; 25 –Henry & Laura Kennedy

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

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Do You Know Olisha James?

Let me introduce you. “We need to change the way we are. We need to talk instead of fighting.” That sounds like one, or all, of the political candidates but it’s not; it’s Olisha James and she’s not saying that just to get votes. In her case, it’s a well thought out opinion, and at the age of 16 she has become a greatly admired member of our parish. One day I’d like to see her as the youngest Presidential candidate for she’s full of common sense, helpfulness and decency and we can all cope with a big dose of those qualities often missing from our national dialogue.

We are very lucky to have attracted and held a girl like Olisha. For her, the best part of Christ Church is our Sunday School: “the kids are just great. Like many other people I wasn’t too thrilled when the 9:00 a.m. Family Service was incorporated into the 10:00 a.m. service, but it’s more fun now that I’m used to it and we can all spend more time together. The arrival of the Howells in our parish has been wonderful and Georgia is a sweetheart. Father Chuck is able to relate to both younger and older people in our parish.”

Over the last four years, without ever being asked, on numerous occasions, Olisha has jumped in and helped. At the British Take-Away in 2002 she single-handedly raised a lot of money for our scholarship fund by selling new children’s books and used books for adults. When the event was over, without being asked, she just took charge of the cleanup and the transportation of stuff back to the church, loading the car and taking care of all the details.

She’s made hors d’oeuvres prior to every May Ham Dinner and helped at fairs and other events for many years. Late last March she and her sister, Amber, spent the morning at Christ Church peeling potatoes for the Staten Island Philharmonic’s Orchestra evening fund-raising dinner and concert which took place at Christ Church.

At 16 she’s an 11th grader at Curtis High School where her favorite class is Law (Trial and Debate.) She’s already enrolled in a class which will help her decide which college she’ll apply to. In the meantime she is paid by the City of New York to work with children in the West Brighton Library. Her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her sister, Amber, but she doesn’t like “cleaning my room.” Her favorite music is American Rock and she enjoys history and “scary and funny movies.” Her favorite food is macaroni and cheese and one of her greatest ambitions is to open a restaurant in Manhattan serving all kinds of foods. Right now, for Olisha, the best dish in the world is her mother’s lasagna. The last book she read was “Girl Interrupted.” She finds life on Staten Island “kind of boring – there’s just ice skating, movies or the Mall; there’s little else for young people to do.”

Olisha has an ambitious future. “If I can raise the money I’ll be going to Japan on July 30 for a 14-day stay in Japan with about 40 other kids who are enrolled with me in the ‘People to People” program. We’ll travel to three different cities after arriving in a hotel in Tokyo, including Hiroshima. We’ll also be visiting some ancient temples. We’ll climb Mt. Fuji, visit farms and rice paddies, spend the day with a Japanese family and of course, eat in Japanese restaurants. Attending Japanese schools and meeting government officials should be extraordinarily interesting.”

It’s people like Olisha, a treasure of our parish, who gives us hope for future of our church, our Island and our country. paragraph ending graphic

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Knitting Group

The Christ Church Knitting Group has had its first meeting and is up and running. We will be meeting at 4:00pm at the church on the first and third Tuesday of each month. In April our meeting dates will be April 3 and 17.

Some are working on their own projects; others are working on scarves for the Seaman’s Church Institute; and we are gathering information on knitting for babies in the hospital. The meetings are open to all – men, women, and children, beginners and experts – please join us. paragraph ending graphic

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More Staten Islanders are Going Hungry
 

For distribution to our local food pantries, please bring canned or packaged food, including baby food and formula, to church. The collection basket is at the back of the church--the ushers will show you where to leave your donations. paragraph ending graphic

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Hall Rental Facilities at Christ Church

From time to time, members of the members of the parish, and community residents have been in need of a place where they can hold baby showers, bridal showers, anniversary parties and other types of celebrations.

If you are interested in renting the Auditorium or Guild Room for a special occasion, or are aware of any friends or acquaintances who might be interested, please contact Beth McLean, 917-204-3709, for rates and availabilities for our facilities.

Please keep in mind that our rental spaces are not available for Sweet Sixteen or Bachelor parties. paragraph ending graphic

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Easter Memorial Flowers

Those who would like to contribute to the memorial flowers for Easter should list the 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 Easter bulletin all names must be received no later than Palm Sunday, April 1. paragraph ending graphic

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Support Our Farmers!
Chuck Rhoor introducing one of the Cranberry Hall Farm's chickens to the young members of Staten Island Community Supported Agriculture.
Chuck Rhoor introducing one of the Cranberry Hall Farm's chickens to the young members of Staten Island Community Supported Agriculture.

Every Saturday between May 26 and October 6, more than two dozen families will gather between 3 and 4:30 p.m. in our parking lot for the third year in a row. We will be there to pick up vegetables and fruits grown on Cranberry Hall Farm. You can join in, too. Chuck Roohr is the son of Dennis and Susan Roohr, the owners of Cranberry Hall Farm in Cookstown, NJ. He drives the farm’s produce to the McCarren Park Greenmarket in Brooklyn and then to us on Staten Island. Also, at the end of each season, Chuck invites the SICSA members to visit the farm, meet the family and the animals, go on a hayride, and have a potluck lunch.

Last year, Christ Church received the weekly overflow, and congregants got to pick up peppers, potatoes, melons, kale, collard greens, green beans, tomatoes, corn, and other items for free after services. Christ Church will receive overflows this year, too, but probably less since the SICSA is looking for ways to distribute extras to local food banks and individuals. The church also pays for two shares for congregants who might have trouble getting fresh produce otherwise.

SICSA members pay for shares ahead of time so that the farmers can buy the seeds and fertilizer needed for the upcoming season. Members share in both the risks and the bounty, but so far bounty has had the upper hand.

One of the risks: Sometimes it rains at the pick-up point.
One of the risks: Sometimes it rains at the pick-up point

Shares cost $400, which works out to about $17 a week for the season. The price goes up to $425 after May 1. Separate fruit shares are also available this year—for $55, members will receive five pints of blueberries over four weeks and three pounds of tree fruit (peaches, nectarines, and apples) a week for ten weeks.

The number and types of vegetables each week varies, depending on what’s in season, but there is usually more than enough food for a family of four. If that sounds like too much for you but you still want to join, feel free to split a share with neighbors or friends.

To find out more, come to the next introductory meeting on Saturday, April 21, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Christ Church auditorium, upstairs in the Parish Hall. The registration form and more information are also available online at http://statenislandcsa.org. paragraph ending graphic

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Holy Week & Easter Services

Palm Sunday, April 1, 2007
7:30 a.m. – Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. – Spoken Eucharist in the Chapel
10:00 a.m. –Choral Holy Eucharist

Maundy Thursday, April 5, 2007
7:30 p.m. Choral Eucharist and Foot Washing
8:30 p.m. Lamb Supper in the Parish House
10:00 p.m. Hymn Sing and Compline in Church
10 p – 2 a.m. Watch Night at Altar of Repose

Good Friday, April 6, 2007
7:30 a.m. Solemn Good Friday Liturgy
4:00 p.m. Children’s Program
7:30 p.m. Solemn Good Friday Liturgy

Easter Sunday. April 8, 2007
7:30 a.m.- Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. – Spoken Eucharist in the Chapel
10 a.m. – Festival Choral Eucharist. paragraph ending graphic

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Serendipity Notes

As you may have read in the Staten Island Advance Civic Group reports, Serendipity had another very successful meeting in March at the home of Lisa Rhoades and David Nygard. Another $600 was allocated to help the Vestry balance the budget of the church and we will be guided by the Vestry and the Plant & Equipment Committee to wisely spend the $5000 we have allocated on the suggestion of Paul and Karen Smith, for the improvement of our downstairs kitchen and the upstairs toilet facilities. It is hoped that perhaps some of this money will go towards the creation of a bathroom facility for men, especially those who are handicapped and find it difficult to traverse the stairs when nature calls.

It was appropriate that the meeting was interrupted briefly to taste Meade, a medieval alcoholic liquor of fermented honey and water, as we discussed plans for our eighth May Ham Dinner. This year, the event will have a medieval theme, with a choice of fresh green pea pottage (soup), roast chicken with almonds, roast salmon, pork rice and a variety of vegetables all made from recipes popular in the court of King Richard II (1367 – 1400.)

While on a trip to Key Food, Leslie Thompson amazingly discovered not only some Monty Python Ale, but three different kinds of ale brewed in the medieval St. Peter’s brewery in Suffolk, England, in a town only six miles away from where Colin Reed grew up. Naturally it will be sold at the bar organized by Kim Davis, along with other fare. Two youngsters from the parish dressed in medieval costumes will invite parishioners to top their meal with chocolates fresh frozen in time and imported by the medieval explorer, Marco Polo (1254-1324.)

About 15 parishioners have helped to create a special Reservation Rewards Program through which rewards of new cosmetics, books, chocolates, household items and money will be given to the first sixty people or more who make paid reservations. As usual we’ll be asking for sponsors of everything from 24 cent items to $50 items.

We have also initiated discussions about removing the huge ice-bound freezer in the room to the right of the upstairs stage and replacing it with a more moderately sized, frost free unit. Since our meeting some plans may be moderated to accommodate the large number of frozen turkeys that are received at Thanksgiving and Christmas for distribution to less fortunate families.

On June 3, a week prior to our church’s June Fair, Serendipity, aided by other members of the parish, will sponsor a salad bowl luncheon of a dozen or more different salads, rolls and butter, with tea, coffee and a dessert of sherbet topped with some fruit. All of the food for this event will be donated and the profits will be given to the organizers of the June Fair. Any parishioner who’d like to donate a salad or any other part of the meal, should get in touch with Colin Reed (718-981-3495) or Cathy Romano (718-727-6100.)

We will maintain our usual rate of $6 for adults and $3 for youngsters under twelve who’d like to dine with us. Coffee will be available in the hallway after the 10:30 a.m. service, for those who can’t stay for the luncheon. Wine and soda will be available at $1 a glass.

Christiana Adeshote and Gail Bernardez and other parishioners have expressed enthusiasm for Serendipity’s organizing a parish bus trip, not to raise money but for fun. We’ll be discussing this at our next meeting which will be in the home of Martha Keucher at 1 Pendleton Place. Anyone with ideas is welcome at this meeting, or any other of our monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month. It would be wonderful if we could do this in the fall before the weather breaks. paragraph ending graphic

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Community Days

This year April 26-29 have been set as Staten Island Community Days. On these days the various faith communities of Staten Island come together to work on service projects to better our community. Christ Church will participate on Saturday, April 28, and we are currently in the process of selecting a project that will be appropriate for an intergenerational group, so that all members of our parish can participate. Please watch the bulletin announcements and bulletin boards for more information.

You are also invited to participate in two special events associated with Community Days. The first is a Multi-Faith Forum entitled How Do we Live Our Faith as Staten Islanders. It will provide an opportunity for us to meet our Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu neighbors. The Forum will be held at 7:00pm on Thursday, April 26 in Spiro Hall at Wagner College. The second special event is the closing program to celebrate the Community Days. It will be held on Sunday, April 29 at 4:00pm at Olivet Presbyterian Church, 97 Myrtle Avenue. paragraph ending graphic

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Colin's Corner
Colin Reed

The possibility of a serious split in the Anglican Communion over the issue of the election of gay bishops and other clergy, and the marriage of gay couples has been the subject of widespread discussion. A leading figure in this controversy is Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria. Some view him as a defender of orthodoxy while others think he is homophobic.

Whatever our point of view is, let’s be clear that Archbishop Akinola, who is also a well regarded leader to many of the most conservative Episcopalians in our country, has repeatedly compared homosexuality to having sexual intercourse “with baboons, lions, dogs or cows” and supports legislation to jail practicing homosexuals and even those who support them for five years.

As our own Bishop, Mark S. Sisk, wrote the other day in the New York Times, Akinola’s support of this proposed legislation “is a chilling reminder of the profound dangers to which bigotry can open us.” Let us not therefore judge one another any more.” (Romans 14 vs. 13.) As some Christians sit in judgment on others, it is sometimes very difficult, even at Christ Church, to carry out the greatest commandment Jesus left us which was to “love one another.” “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4 vs. 12.) Yes, including people we dislike or with whom we disagree.

We should all condemn the persecution of any human beings, and surely in the spirit of what St. Paul wrote in Galatians 3 vs. 28 all “being one in Jesus Christ” means all people; men and women, people of all races and faiths and colors, and gay people. In this Jesus won’t allow those who follow him to compromise. paragraph ending graphic

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April Coffee Hour Hosts

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

April 1 – Nancy Beveridge
April 8 – Easter Reception (The Wood Brothers)
April 15 – Beth McLean
April 22 – The Adeshotes
April 29 – Nick Dowen

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

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Calendar Planning

Chairs or representatives from each committee or group at Christ Church are invited to a calendar planning day on April 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the church. The purpose of this meeting is to make sure all known events are on the church calendar for the remainder of the program (school year). We will have another meeting in June to build the calendar for the 2007 – 20008 program year. paragraph ending graphic

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Sunday School News

Congratulations to Walde Archer who, because of his participation in the Dr. Martin Luther King celebration at Fellowship Baptist Church, was selected to read Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Brighton Heights Reformed Church Black Achiever Celebration.

Congratulations also to Olisha James who has been chosen to attend the Youth Ministry Convention in Japan as a representative of Christ Church.

Once again it is that time of year for our annual Easter Egg Hunt. The Sunday School will be hosting this event for our younger members on Easter Sunday, immediately following the 10 a.m. service. Donations of colorful plastic eggs and candy will be most welcome. You can leave your donations in the parish office. Please make sure that all bags or boxes are clearly marked for “Easter Egg Hunt” in order to avoid any confusion. Thanks in advance for your support! paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

The weather has finally gotten warmer, we’ve already observed Daylight Savings Time, and there’s just a touch more daylight as the evening approaches. It’s a perfect time of year to take advantage of the beautiful stained glass windows during the late afternoon. The Resurrection window over the main altar and the Road to Emmaus window in the Chapel are exceptionally beautiful at that time of the day.

We are looking forward to a joyful Easter celebration this year with our new rector. Our wonderful Treble Choir, under the direction of Beth Johanning-Hayes has been diligently rehearsing every Sunday and will be making their first appearance on Sunday, April 29 during the 10 a.m. service. They are also scheduled to sing again on Sunday, May 13.

And while we’re on the topic, we must not forget to mention the wonderful Prelude offered last month by Katherine Liu on violin and her brother, Thomas, on piano. Thomas continues to pursue his studies at Vassar, and happened to be in town that weekend. Lucky for us! These special musical offerings – featuring the talents of our young musicians – will continue throughout the year.

Father Chuck’s children’s sermons are a treat for the young and old. Each week one of our young parishioners puts an item that is special to them in a lovely blue painted chest. Its Fr. Chuck’s task to base his sermon on that item. Not an easy task, but he’s been doing a terrific job each week. And by the way, did you know that the box was designed and built by Victor Stanwick, and painted by our own Fr. John Walsted.

Last month parishioners had the opportunity to experience a Chancel Drama during the 10 a.m. service - a story narrated by Fr. Chuck and acted out by members of the Sunday School, under the direction of our Verger, Paul Smith. Very effective and quite enjoyable.

Welcome to Brianne Pineiro, our newest choir member. She is the granddaughter of our own Bill Brown, who was recently honored for his many years of service to the Christ Church choir.

Congratulations to Mark Hewitt, II on his advancement to the rank of Eagle Scout on March 18. This is an exceptional accomplishment and we are extremely proud of him. And congratulations to Robert Hayes, husband of Beth Johanning-Hayes on his recent promotion to the rank of Captain in the FDNY.

There’s a familiar face in the classrooms at Wagner College these days. Liz Howell recently joined the Wagner staff as an adjunct professor of Microbiology. Congratulations, Liz!

Get well wishes to Fr. Rand Frew as he recuperates from a surgical procedure to repair some heart-related problems. Many of you may remember Fr. Frew when he served as our supply priest prior to the arrival of Fr. Clarke French. And we wish a speedy recovery to Shirley Black, as she undergoes testing for a respiratory problem.

In closing, best wishes to one and all for Happy Easter. Hallelujah! paragraph ending graphic

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