Lenten Season 2007
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paragraph ending graphic Clergy Corner paragraph ending graphic Plant & Equipment Super Meeting paragraph ending graphic Calling All Parents
paragraph ending graphic Around the Parish paragraph ending graphic Parish Directory Updated Info paragraph ending graphic Community News
paragraph ending graphic Vestry Report paragraph ending graphic Spring Fair Time paragraph ending graphic Wednesday Evening Programs
paragraph ending graphic Women of Christ Church paragraph ending graphic Jan Opalach paragraph ending graphic CCNB Fund Raising Committee
paragraph ending graphic Parish Register paragraph ending graphic Calling All Knitters paragraph ending graphic Feed My Sheep
paragraph ending graphic Coffee Hour Hosts paragraph ending graphic Easter Memorial Flowers paragraph ending graphic Diverse, Delightful and Delicious
paragraph ending graphic A "Noteworthy" Occasion paragraph ending graphic Serenade 2007 Series paragraph ending graphic More Staten Islanders Hungry
Clergy Corner

The Rev. Charles H. Howel, RectorNear the beginning of the Ash Wednesday service, I read a long exhortation from the Book of Common Prayer, which encourages the congregation to keep a holy Lent.  The exhortation ends by saying, “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.”  These six things, along with alms-giving, which was inexplicably omitted from the list, are the classic disciplines of Lent.

You will notice immediately, of course, that although all of these disciplines require self-sacrifice, some are concerned with doing less and some are concerned with doing more.  Things like fasting – eating less food or abstaining from certain foods altogether – and self-denial clearly are about getting by with less.  When we “give something up” for Lent, we are simplifying our lives and reminding ourselves of our dependence on God.  That little twinge of hunger; that longing for a piece of candy; that desire to watch a TV show all remind us that God is the source of the necessities, and the pleasures, in our lives.

Things like prayer, reading and meditating on Scripture, and alms-giving clearly are about doing more.  We can draw closer to God not only by “giving something up” but also by doing more, such as setting time aside each day for prayer, for reading the Bible, or for giving to the poor.  Doing something more for Lent is a way of offering thanks to God who has done so much for us.

It seems to me that our Lenten disciplines should contain elements both of giving something up and taking something on.  I would encourage you to think carefully about what you can give up for Lent to acknowledge your dependence on God and also to consider what you can take on for Lent as a way of a joyful response to God’s love.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck paragraph ending graphic

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Around the Parish

February was a very busy month at Christ Church. Just take a look at the photos from our Diversity Day celebration and you can see for yourself!

Although we are now in the penitential season of Lent the memories of the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper are still fresh in our minds. It’s always such a treat to spend time with the many friends and relatives of our parishioners as we sit down to heaping plates of pancakes and sausages. Kudos to the members of Serendipity and the “cooks” – Beth McLean and Hal Reiersen – for a wonderful evening.

Our 10 a.m. Sunday service has provided us with a new opportunity to worship together as a parish family. It is truly a delight to see our younger parishioners taking on a more active role in the service as readers, servers and ushers.

We are interested in having youth musicians share their talents at the 10:00 Eucharist.  If you sing or play an instrument, either individually or in a group, please contact Father Chuck (718-727-6100 or christchurchrector@verizon.net) to indicate your interest.

And special thanks to Joan Rock for designing the wonderful “activity bags” for our younger parishioners who are not quite ready to fully participate in the service.

Beth Johanning has begun to rehearse with the newest members of the Treble Choir and we look forward to their first vocal offering in the near future.

Father Chuck has organized a wonderful Wednesday evening Lenten series this year which includes a service at 7 p.m., followed by a simple meal and discussion afterwards.

Fr. Chuck also celebrates a weekly Eucharist in the Chapel on Thursday mornings at 11 a.m. If you’re unable to make this weekly service, there’s still an opportunity to worship during the week at St. Mary’s Church on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m., or at the Church of the Ascension on Friday mornings at 9 a.m.

Our world traveler, John Watson, is at it again! John left New York on February 25 en route to New Orleans. From there he boarded the Norwegian Sun for a one-week tour of Costa Maya, Santo Tomas De Castilla, Belize City and Cozumel. Guaranteed there will be stories to tell and pictures to share when he returns!

Our own Olisha James will be traveling to Japan this summer as a student ambassador. There will definitely be much more to report on this wonderful accomplishment in our next issue!

Glad to report that Gregory Brown is back home again and slowly, but surely, working his way back to recovery. Greg and his family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Condolences to Liz Howell on the death of her cousin, Lilly Barberio. And our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Sue Boody and her family on the passing of her son, Henry.           

That’s it for now. Please keep us posted on your news, so we can share it with everyone. paragraph ending graphic
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Vestry Report

With the newly elected members in attendance, the Vestry held its monthly meeting on 12 February and discussed the following:

  • Sheila Swigert and Dorothy Thompson were re-elected as Clerk of the Vestry and Treasurer respectively.
  • Dorothy Thompson reported that she projected a deficit of slightly more than $100,387 for the year.
  • The permit for the use of the lift between the church and the parish house is being worked on and a plan for work on the church=s tower will soon go to our contractor.
  • Various movements of money from one fund to another were approved (for instance, $15,000 was moved to the building general line to cover major small repairs and a plan to distribute the Boody $150,000 over a 25 year period was approved)
  • Feeling that a coordinated effort should be made on fund raising, it was agreed that all organizations raising money should provide information on their proposed date and purpose to the Fund Raising Committee, which will then prepare a calendar for acceptance by the Vestry.
  • Gytha and Gene Darconte and Lisa Rhoades have agreed to run the Spring Fair, which is scheduled for 9 June.
  • There was general satisfaction with the new 10:00 church schedule.
All significant gifts to the church must now be approved by the Vestry. paragraph ending graphic
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Women of Christ Church

The Chapel was nearly full at the Eucharist and Healing Service which Fr. Chuck celebrated before the February meeting of the Women of Christ Church. We are pleased to know that this was the first of the weekly services that will take place here. It seems a good way to prepare for and continue in Lent.

Brenda Baskerville had made ready a number of sweets for our lunch and the meeting around the table in the Vestry Room. Several announcements were made of Lenten services, those in our own Church and elsewhere. Much was made of the recognition of our own Alleida Mitchell at the Council of Churches Dinner the night before. Those who had been there reported great enthusiasm and a large attendance. We all know how hard she works, and we are proud that other people are now also aware of it.

We are happy to note the installation of the chairlift in the cloister and were reminded that this was made possible by the generous gift of our former member, Evelyn More, and a grant from the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese.

It was noted that our evening counterparts had made $98 at a bake sale coffee hour for the Carpenter’s Kids project; this had been planned at their meeting and carried out the very next Sunday. Quick workers, these evening folks!

The letters for the Annual Appeal will be going out soon, and we can then set up a budget.   At the next meeting on March 8 2007 we will be doing our part in the new program of remembering our church people on their birthdays. Please bring your sandwich and come to share in the activities of the day. paragraph ending graphic
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Wednesday Evening Programs at Christ Church

If you haven’t had an opportunity to attend the Wednesday evening Lenten programs at Christ Church you still have a chance to be an integral part of the four remaining evenings of this interesting and fulfilling series on March 7, 14, 21 and 28.

The evening begins in the church at 7 p.m. with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist. At 7:40 p.m. there is a potluck supper in the Parish Hall, which is prepared and served by members of the parish. For those who would like to be a part of this special Lenten ministry, there are sign-up sheets located on the bulletin board in the Parish House.  There are still some “vacant” spots on the schedule that could use a volunteer to provide a simple dinner or dessert.

At 8 p.m. the program begins with a discussion of the Scripture lessons for the Sundays in Lent as a basis for conversation and study about mission and outreach; the evening ends promptly at 9 p.m.

Although it might not be possible for you to attend the entire evening program, please feel free to attend when and where you’re able – whether it’s the service, the Lenten supper, the Program or all three portions of the evening.

The Lenten journey continues in April with Maundy Thursday services on April 5, followed by a supper and Watch Night at the Altar of Repose, and Good Friday services on April 6. More details regarding these services, and the joyful celebration of Easter, will be made available in the April Tower Chimes. paragraph ending graphic
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Spring Fair Time!

Piles of snow, icy roads, gusty winds, chilling temperatures. Doesn’t it always make us think of the Spring Fair?? Okay – so all if does is make ME wish it was Fair time!

So put your minds in spring and summer mode – not only will it make you feel warmer but you have some time to clean out that attic or garage, or start some seedlings, or even sew, crochet, or cook.

As usual, the Christ Church Spring Fair will be held on the second Saturday in June – June 9 to be exact! Our fair will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is the largest fund raising event we have. I usually ask for volunteers, items of interest, plants, etc. But this year I would like to ask for even more: can you think of something different? Something unusual that will attract people to our fair? To enable us to get started with our planning we’re asking that you put on your thinking caps and bring us your suggestions and ideas. All are welcome!

Our fair chairs this year are Gytha and Gene Darconte and Lisa Rhoades.  Please feel free to talk to any of us about your ideas.

On Sunday, March 4 we are tentatively scheduled to have a 10 to 15 minute meeting in the Vestry room immediately after the 10 a.m. service. All persons who want to volunteer are invited to attend. paragraph ending graphic
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Serenade 2007 Concert Series at Christ Church

For those of you who don’t want to miss a single installment of the Serenade concert series at Christ Church, here’s a complete listing of performances for the 2007 season:
Sunday April 1 at 3 p.m.
Jan Opalach – Bass-Baritone
Featuring the music of Grieg, Liszt, Ives and Griffes
Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m.
Schween-Hammond Duo
Astrid Schween – cello
Garry Hammond – piano
Sunday, June 3 at 3 p.m.
Tom Hrynkiw – Piano
Featuring the music of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Vytvytsky
Sunday, September 23 at 3 p.m.
Ex Umbris (Out of the Shadows)

            Featuring selections of Early Music. paragraph ending graphic
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Parish Register

March Birthdays
6—Betsy Kalfa; 13—William Keck III, Kenneth McLean; 15—Gail Bernardez; 18—Theresa Lettiere; 23—Heather George, Nancy Lettiere; 26 – Pamela Miller; 30– Daniel Lettiere, Tom Sarff

      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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Plant & Equipment Super-Meeting

You know how everyone says it's bad to defer maintenance, because then someone else will have to deal with it later, when it's worse? Guess what: We're the people to whom maintenance was deferred.

On Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m., all church members are invited to a meeting of the Plant & Equipment committee, and all church committees and groups - Fundraising, Serendipity, Finance, etc. - should send at least one representative to this meeting.

The agenda has three parts:

  1. A report on all existing maintenance problems. People at the meeting will be given lists for the church, parish hall, and rectory and asked to work together to:

    a) find more problems, if any
    b) prioritize the lists, and
    c) suggest resources for dealing with them

  2. A report on future possibilities for the church and parish hall, based on the condition survey of 2002 and plans proposed since then. People will be asked to brainstorm tomorrow's Christ Church, based on what we believe our mission to be. (Deciding on our mission is another long-term project in itself, so this part of the meeting will be very preliminary.)
  3. A list of long-term maintenance projects, numbers of years between projects, and how to fund them using investments or other sources. Question: How to set up a 10-to-50-year maintenance calendar that isn't lost over time.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Susan Fowler, 718-720-1169, or susan@fast-consulting.com. paragraph ending graphic
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Parish Directory Updated Information

Please note the following correction /update for the Christ Church Parish Directory (January 2007):

Mrs. Virginia Peel
Arbor Glen
100 Monroe Street, C-219-1
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
908-725-1171. paragraph ending graphic

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Calling All Parents

The New York City Department of Education is looking for parents who want to be a part of the New York City Community and Citywide Education Councils. These councils were designed to ensure that parents have a voice and are able to provide hands-on leadership and support for public school. Our schools benefit from the input of our neighborhood parents.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Council please see Fr. Chuck for a copy of the application. Additional applications and information regarding the Council can be obtained by logging onto www.schools.nyc.gov/councils.

NOTE: The deadline for submitting applications is March 9, 2007. paragraph ending graphic
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Jan Opalach to Open Serenade 2007 Season

Jan OpalachBass-baritone Jan Opalach will open Serenade's 2007 season at Christ Church on Sunday, April 1 at 3 p.m. Mr. Opalach will be accompanied by pianist Ted Turner.

Jan Opalach, a renowned recitalist and concert artist, has been a regular performer and soloist with the New York City Opera. Last fall he signed a contract with the Metropolitan Opera. Performances in which he is widely acclaimed include Leporello in Mozart's "Don Giovanni," Sancho Panza in "Don Quixote." and this season, the title role in Verdi's "Falstaff."

A complete vocal artist, Mr. Opalach is as fine a singer of songs as he is a singer of opera. His program on April 1 will feature songs by Charles Ives, John Jacob Niles, Franz Liszt, Charles Griffes, Richard Cumming, Edvard Grieg, and Noel Coward.

Mr. Opalach's program promises to be an exciting afternoon of music, and we hope that all will attend. The concert is free to the public. It will be followed by a "meet-the-artists" reception. Both the concert and reception areas are handicapped accessible. For information, call Valerie Quinlan at 718-273-3668. paragraph ending graphic
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A "Noteworthy" Occasion

Three long-time members of the Christ Church choir were honored for their dedicated years of service in a special presentation made at the 10 a.m. Sunday service on February 18.

Pictured above (l to r): Jay Spadaro, Bill Beveridge and Bill Brown, whose combined membership in the choir spans a period of over 150 years.

Pictured above (l to r): Jay Spadaro, Bill Beveridge and Bill Brown, whose combined membership in the choir spans a period of over 150 years.

Congratulations and thanks to these three wonderful gentlemen for enriching the beauty of our worship service every Sunday. paragraph ending graphic

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Calling All Knitters

We are in the process of forming a Christ Church knitting group.  The group will meet on a weekday afternoon. Although we haven’t picked a project yet, we will probably do things like knit for the Seaman’s Institute or make prayer shawls.

      If you are interested in being part of such a group, please contact Father Chuck at 718-727-6100 or christchurchrector@verizon.net. paragraph ending graphic
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More Staen 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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Christ Church Fund Raising Committee

During its February 12, 2007 meeting the Vestry approved the following guidelines and procedures regarding all fundraising events that are scheduled to take place for the benefit of Christ Church New Brighton.  

All groups or individuals wishing to conduct fundraising activities during the current calendar year are invited to submit their requests to the Fund Raising Committee (FRC). Proposals should include the following information:

  • The type of event
  • Purpose of the event
  • Proposed date(s) of the event
  • Target income
  • Support required

Upon reviewing these proposals the Fund Raising Committee will create a schedule of proposed events and present their recommendations to the Vestry for approval at its March 12 meeting.

These measures are being taken to provide a way to coordinate all fund raising activities through a central source and to avoid any conflict of events throughout the year.

Members of this committee include Alleida Mitchell, chairperson, Willie Black, Jr., Mark Gherzo, Andrea McIntosh, Sheila Swigert and Nancy Reiersen-Scromo. 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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Feed My Sheep

CCNB Feeding Ministry LogoI happen to be one of those individuals who are fortunate enough to be a part of a wonderful ministry here on Staten Island – the Second Saturday Feeding Ministry - which actually takes place EVERY Saturday in the school gymnasium at Trinity Lutheran Church on Beach Street.

At Christ Church we call it the Second Saturday Feeding Ministry – mainly because Christ Church has committed itself to providing and serving meals to those less fortunate on the second Saturday of every month. Other churches and organizations on Staten Island fill the feeding slots on the other Saturdays.

Victor Stanwick coordinates our participation in the program, planning the menus and scheduling the volunteers who prepare the food. In addition, Victor, David Holt, Dorothy Rivera, John Watson and Margaret Harris are there to serve the meals at Trinity on our assigned second Saturday. (I do apologize if I’ve left anyone out – I haven’t been at the Trinity kitchen for a while!)

 When I received the most recent schedule from Victor last month I discovered that the number of Christ Church volunteers has gotten smaller due to relocation, disinterest and “natural causes.” Victor has been unable to sign on as many new volunteers as are needed and has taken on the additional cooking duties himself. I told Victor that I wanted to write something from the perspective of one who participates in the program to explain exactly what is expected – and how easy it is to be a part of this important ministry:

  1. This program allows you to participate at the level you choose. You can sign up to prepare a meal two or three times a year or you can sign up for as many additional weeks as you’d like.
  2. You are provided with recipes which are easy to follow and easy to prepare. Although many volunteers donate the food, there is a budget set aside for those who wish to be reimbursed for the cost of the ingredients.
  3. The “food assignments” are rotated so that you don’t always find yourself preparing one of the main courses. One week might be a salad and another might be a pasta dish.
  4. Please bear in mind you are providing only “a portion” of that particular item; at least one other person is assigned to make that same dish on that particular Saturday.
  5. Volunteer cooks are asked to deliver their food to Trinity on their assigned Saturday between 10:30 and 10:45 a.m.; however, if you’re unable to get to Trinity you can always make arrangements with Victor to leave the food with him – either at his house or right down the street in the Christ Church kitchen. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

      I must admit that I feel very good after I’ve dropped off my Saturday meal to Victor and the troops. There is some work involved, but when you look at it from the perspective of the folks you are helping the effort involved becomes minimal. In 2005 the Second Saturday Feeding Program fed almost 600 people; in 2006 over 700 people were fed. And as Victor has pointed out, we may not personally know any of the people who are being fed, but that doesn’t make them any less important. As Jesus said in John, chapter 21, verse 15: “Feed my lambs.”

      There’s still room on the schedule for your name and Victor would certainly appreciate the help. Please give it some thought and give Victor a call at 718-720-1169. You’ll be glad that you did! paragraph ending graphic
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Community News

Please take note of the following special church services and meetings taking place this month right here on Staten Island:

Sunday, March 4 at 4 p.m.
Richmond IPC Lenten Program
St. John’s Episcopal Church
1333 Bay Street
Featuring Dr. Deidre Good, New Testament professor at General Theological Seminary

Tuesday, March 6 at 10 a.m.
Open House at Meals on Wheels
304 Port Richmond Avenue

Sunday, March 11 at 4 p.m.
Evensong at St. Alban’s Church
Guest Homilist: Fr. Chuck Howell

Tuesday, March 13, 7-9 p.m.
Sandy Ground Historical Society
 Quilt Workshop
St. Philips Baptist Church,
77 Bennett Street, Port Richmond
Donation: $20

Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m.
Annual Interfaith Passover Seder
St. Teresa’s Parish – Conran Hall
Victory Boulevard and Slosson Avenue
$25 Adults/$12 Children 12 and under
Deadline: March 14th. paragraph ending graphic

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March Coffee Hour Hosts

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

March 4 – The Howell Family
March 11 – The Rhoades/Nygard Family
March 18 – Gytha & Gene Darconte
March 25 – Andrea McIntosh

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

There are still some open dates in the schedule that need to be filled: 7/29, 8/12, 8/26, 9/2, 9/23, 11/24, 12/23. Please contact Lisa Rhoades if you are able to host one of these Sundays. paragraph ending graphic
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Diverse, Delightful and Delicious

Last month Christ Church celebrated the culture and talents of our parish family in our annual Diversity Day. This was a wonderful celebration of ethnic foods and costumes, music, poetry, speeches, and fellowship. Special thanks to Willie and Shirley Black for coordinating this annual Christ Church tradition, and to all who shared of their time and talents.

It’s been said that every picture tells a story. It’s pretty obvious from what you see here that a good time was had by one and all! Special thanks to John Watson for a providing us with this wonderful selection of “Kodak moments.” paragraph ending graphic

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