Tower Chimes October 2007
bullet character Clergy Corner bullet character Stewardship bullet character The Nominating Committee bullet character Save the Date!
bullet character Sunday School News bullet character Good Time bullet character Building Bridges bullet character Flu Shots
bullet character Vestry Report bullet character The Nursery bullet character Knitting Group bullet character In Our Thoughts & Prayers
bullet character Chinese Auction bullet character Parish Register bullet character Coffee Hour Schedule bullet character Wagner College Choir Concert
bullet character Raising Money for Breast Cancer Awareness bullet character The Women of Christ Church bullet character Washington National Cathedral bullet character Around the Parish
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Clergy Corner

The Rev. Charles H. HowellThe youth of Christ Church are one of the greatest assets of our parish.  You see them week after week at the 10 a.m. Eucharist reading lessons, serving as acolytes and ushers, ringing the bell, singing in the treble choir, and when they come forward to participate in “What’s in the Box.”  You may also see them on their way to and from Sunday school and hosting special coffee hours, such as the one on September 9 to honor grandparents. 

You may not be aware, however, of the many things our youth do for Christ Church behind the scenes.  To give just a few examples, our youth have helped at the St. Nick’s Fair, most notably by dressing up as elves and assisting Santa; they have staffed the book sale and other tables at the Spring Fair; they have helped with the Scholarship Tea; and, as part of Staten Island Community Days, they visited with residents at the Staten Island Care Center.

During the summer and continuing into the fall, we have been working to expand and improve our ministry to our youth.  Two classes of Sunday school continue to meet at 9:00am on Sunday morning (parents can attend the adult education class held at the same time in the auditorium).  To welcome our students, we have opened a second Sunday school room downstairs and have cleaned and repainted both rooms.  Soon we will begin a confirmation and baptismal preparation class.

We are also planning monthly youth group activities for our youth.  In October we will go “Midnight Bowling;” we will be in touch with more information.  On November 11 we will join with other churches and synagogues for a one day bus trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.  There is a sign-up sheet in the front hallway of the parish hall and the cost for youth will be covered by the church.  In the months ahead we hope also to engage in other activities such as trips to amusement parks, museums, and concerts.

It’s common to say that the youth are the future of the Church.  But that’s not exactly right.  In truth the youth are the Church now.  It is imperative that we develop and strengthen our ministry to children and youth so that they can grow in love and faith.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck

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Sunday School News

Christ Church New Brighton Sunday SchoolThe Christ Church Sunday School is making plans for our annual All Hallow's Eve celebration (Halloween party) on Sunday, October 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. Children may come dressed in costumes if they wish.

We’d like to make this a special evening for the children; any donations of candy or items that can be awarded as prizes would be most welcome.

Thank you in advance for helping to support the young people of our parish.
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Vestry Report

The Vestry met on September 10, 2007 for the first time since the summer vacation and took the following actions and received the following reports:

  • Preliminary reports from the Blueberry Festival show that there was a profit of $3,800. Our congratulations and thanks to Susan Fowler, Alleida Mitchell and Valerie Quinlan  for their hard work.
  • The purchase of a new tractor for snow removal, etc. at a cost of $3,500 was approved.
  • The stained glass window, Christ Stilling the Storm, will be repaired by Gil Studio for approximately $18,000.The cost is covered by the payment made to the church for the use of its facility for the making of a TV show.
  • An energy audit of the parish house and church was approved at a cost of $400.
  • Drawings for the reconstruction of the parking lot for $1,600 was approved.
  • Property and liability insurance to cover the buildings and the officers was approved at a cost of $9,000 annually, a savings of $8,000 over our previous annual cost.
  • Recommendations for the 2008-2010 Vestry are needed.
Burda Construction’s proposal for the repair of the tower costing $174,950 was approved.
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Chinese Auction at Christ Church on
Saturday, October 20

Christ Church will be hosting its fourth annual Chinese Auction on Saturday, October 20. This is an evening to check out the vast array of items that will be auctioned throughout the evening, and to meet and greet your friends and neighbors who are bound to be in attendance that night.
We still need donations of:

  • Items for the baskets of cheer
  • Gift items for the various raffles. Donations should be new and unused.
  • Monetary donations

Volunteers are still needed for:

  • Setting up
  • Helping out on the night of the auction

An hour of your time would be GREATLY appreciated. Sign up sheets are posted on the bulletin board in the Parish House.

      Please speak to me or Sheila Swigert if you have any questions or if you would like to help.
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Raising Money for Breast Cancer Awareness

The Sunday School will be selling lollipops and memorial ribbons on Sunday, October 7 and October 14, in order to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. We will also have sign-up sheets if you are interested in participating in the Breast Cancer Walk, which will take place on Sunday, October 21. (Note to parents: Sunday School will not be in session that day since several our young members will be walking that day.)

      Please help to support our youth in their continuing commitment to our community.
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Now that the fall is here with its many activities, it is time to turn our attention to this year’s stewardship campaign.  This year we hope to raise $120,000 in pledges.  It is an ambitious goal, but we met last year’s goal and there’s no reason to think we can’t do it again.

Our stewardship campaign will begin on Sunday, October 7 with a stewardship sermon and an adult education class on stewardship at 9 a.m. the auditorium. The campaign will conclude on All Saints’ Sunday, November 4.  Please watch your mail for a letter and other information from the rector and this year’s stewardship chairman, Ed Craig.

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And a Good Time was Had by All!

The second annual Blueberry Festival, held on September 8, was a huge success. The turnout was large and included lots of people from the community as well as parish members. A goodly number of children had lots of fun on the front lawn.

A number of parish young people did  more than have fun. They helped in setting up, serving, and cleaning up after the festival. The children were a welcome addition to the festivities, and we were very grateful to have their helping hands.

CCNB Blueberry FestivalBlueberry sodas were a popular hit at the cash bar and helped make that concession profitable. The net profit from the festival amounted to approximately $3,700.

We do not have space here to list the names of the many volunteers who helped to serve and donate food. Nonetheless, their efforts are greatly appreciated.

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!!! The festival would not have taken place without your help.

We look forward to next year's festival when we will once more say farewell to summer.
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The Nursery

Check out the new changing table in the nursery.  Now parents have a clean, safe place to change babies’ diapers at Christ Church.  The shelves of the table are stocked with diapers of various sizes and wipes, for those emergencies when the diaper bag is nowhere to be found.

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Parish Register

October Birthdays
1—Julia Kennedy; 2—Judith Davis; 3—Dylan Scire; 5—William Sherman, Ronald Massey; 6—Susan Fowler; 8—Jeremiah Zayzay; 10—Iris Colbourne; 11—Jaime Szczepanik, Kataski George, Eva Black; 12—Kate Schneider, Charles McLean, Jr., Olisha James; 18- Katherine Liu, John Hayes  23—Christopher James, Peter Liu; 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 Parish Office at 718-727-6100 so it can be added.

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The Women of Christ Church

On Tuesday, September 18 members of the day and evening groups of the Women of Christ Church met to discuss the future of this important parish organization, and what we all can do to maintain the Women of Christ Church as a vital and active organization for years to come.

As most of you are aware, The Women of Christ Church is part of the ECW (Episcopal Church Women.) In fact, Christ Church is one of about four or five of the ten Episcopal churches here on Staten Island that still has an active ECW group.

Traditionally, the Women of Christ Church met at 11 a.m. on the second Thursday of every month. however, our membership has dwindled significantly over the past several years. Earlier this year we decided to establish an evening group of the WCC for those ladies in the parish who were unable to attend the daytime meeting, but we soon found that having two separate groups was not the answer, and that we needed to find a way to work together as one cohesive group.

At our meeting we discussed new ways to reach out to members of our community. In the past we have been involved in many good causes: donating toys to needy children at Christmas; gathering donations of hats, scarves and gloves for donation to the Safe Harbor women’s shelter; and providing food baskets for those less fortunate at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Most recently we have been working with residents of the Staten Island Care Center on Lafayette Avenue (right around the corner.) Our activities range from a casual visit to the residents to provide them with an outlet for conversation, to a weekly book discussion group. Other members of our group have spent time reading to residents, and even helping them to improve their reading skills. Anne Devlin will be speaking with the folks at Staten Island Care to discuss other ways that we can be of service.

These are just some of the ways that are possible for us to reach out to those in our parish and in our community. We’d like to see our membership grow so we can expand our outreach activities. Please keep in mind that by virtue of their membership in Christ Church, all women are considered members of the ECW, and in turn, the Women of Christ Church.

One of the most important decisions that we made at our meeting was to consider a new day and time to make our meetings more accessible to all of the women in the parish. We will now be meeting on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m.

Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Guild Room. We look forward to seeing you there.
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The Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee is now asking for your suggestions for persons to serve on the Vestry who will be elected at the annual parish meeting on the second Sunday of January 2009. One churchwarden will be elected to a two-year term and four Vestry persons will be elected each to a three-year term.

The Nominating Committee is one of only three Standing Committees specified in the By-Laws of Christ Church New Brighton. The Rector is an ex-officio member of all Standing Committees. The chairperson and members are appointed by the Rector after the annual parish meeting. This year's Nominating Committee is chaired by Nick Dowen and consists of Gail Bernardez, Connie Black, Edward Craig, Eugene Darconte, Sheila Swigert and John Watson.

Please place your written suggestions for Vestry members in Nick Dowen's mailbox in the church office. The committee will give them very serious consideration.
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Building Bridges

(This summer Olisha had the opportunity to participate in the “People to People” program with about 40 other students, and traveled to Japan to learn more about the people, their culture, and the country. Olisha has graciously offered to share her wonderful experiences with us in this issue of the Tower Chimes)

Ralph Ellison, a novelist from the early 1900’s once said “Education is all a matter of building bridges.” I don’t believe that I ever truly understood what Ellison meant until this past summer when I had the opportunity to build a bridge between the American and Japanese cultures.

Going to Japan this summer was a wonderful experience for me, as well as the other students. During our daily activities we learned all about the Japanese cuisine, which compared to American Olisha Jamesfood, is not cooked at all. On the first day of my trip I learned about the art of calligraphy and also about tea ceremonies; this was one of the highlights of the trip. The tea ceremony is such a long process, lasting about four to five hours. Within this time period people of different status meet to enjoy some green tea and some food.

Calligraphy, on the other hand, is more of a way to express emotions; it’s more than just a form of writing. Women were not allowed to write, and so they developed their own form of “writing” which is used in Japan today, with the mixtures of their many writings.

During my trip I learned many valuable lessons that have helped me to begin building bridges between America and Japan. The culture that they value so much can teach us lessons about ourselves as Americans. This trip has taught me lessons that I will never forget: The strength of a family, to love your history, and to value your elders because they will teach you about your future.

When Ellison said that education is all a matter of “building bridges” I believe that he meant that when you learn about others, the way they live, their past and their present, and if you share with them yours as well, you will create an understanding between the two, and in turn, create a bridge of understanding.

So now that I have learned what Ellison meant, I urge you to go out and learn about someone. It could be a new friend, a mother or a stranger. And hopefully, you will learn as I have how to build a bridge.
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Knitting Group Moves to a New Day and Time

Please be aware of the change in day and time for the Christ Church Knitting Group.

Effective this month the group will meet on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. in the Vestry Room.

This month we will meet on Thursday, October 11 and October 25. New members are always welcome!
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Coffee Hour Schedule

The following people have signed up to host Coffee Hour in October

October 7 –   Connie Black
October 14 – Mark Gherzo
October 21 – David and Dan Wood
October 28 –The Sunday School.

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Washington National Cathedral: 100 Years

Washington National CathedralThe Washington National Cathedral is one of the Episcopal Church's enduring achievements and a must-see tourist attraction for all visitors to our nation's capital. Built on the highest point in the District of Columbia and surrounded by gardens, woods, several educational institutions and St. Alban's, a parish church, the cathedral has been called, with good reason, "the most beautiful building in Washington."

Theodore RooseveltGiven our constitutional separation of church and state, we may think of a national cathedral at best as controversial, at worst as a contradiction in terms, but the idea can actually be traced back to George Washington, who mentioned "a great church for national purposes" in writing about the plan for the unbuilt capital city that was to bear his name. Though granted a Congressional charter, the cathedral has never received any government money. With ongoing contributions from every state in the Union, it really serves as a monument to large-scale private charity.

The cathedral was finished in 1990--if such a large project can ever really be termed "finished." This year it is celebrating 100 years since the laying of its foundation stone, which took place on September 29, 1907, in a service attended by President Theodore Roosevelt.
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Save the Date!

Saturday, December 1
St. Nick’s Holiday Fair
A Christmas Tradition for the entire family

Saturday, December 9
The Holly Ball
A Christ Church Tradition
Cocktails, Dinner and Dancing

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Flu Shots

The Visiting Nurse Associate will be at Christ Church on Sunday, November 18 from 9:00am to Noon to administer flu and pneumonia vaccinations.  The cost for the flu shot is $23, and $33 for the pneumonia shot – these rates may change based on the actual cost of the serum.

      Those persons, who have Medicare Part B as their only insurance, may present their Medicare Part B Card for payment.  All participants must be at least 18 years old.  There will be no adult education class on November 18 to allow maximum participation in the immunization program.
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In Our Thoughts and Prayers

Our thoughts and prayers go out to First Lieutenant Andrew Schneider (seated), pictured here with his family (L-R), Janet; Ted, Paul and Kate.

Janet, Ted, Paul, Katie and Second Lieutenant Andrew Schneider (seated).

Andrew is currently assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, also known as “The Screaming Eagles”, which is based in Ft. Campbell, KY.

Andrew’s unit was sent to Kuwait last month and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

For those of you who wish to show your support for our men in the armed forces, in particular our Staten Island troops, check out This organization sends out packages and notes of encouragement, and also collects money to purchase toiletries, food, reading materials and other items that are sent on to our troops.
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Wagner College Choir Concert on November 4th

The Inter-Parish Council is sponsoring a special performance by the Concert Choir of Wagner College on Sunday, November 4 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bay Street.

      The concert is open to the public; a freewill offering will be taken.
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Around the Parish

What a difference a season makes! Things have suddenly gotten very busy at Christ Church these days.

Our second annual Blueberry Festival, which took place last month, was very successful. It’s our chance to extend an extra-special welcome to our friends and neighbors. Kudos to chairpersons Susan Fowler, Alleida Mitchell and Valerie Quinlan who put together a wonderful evening for one and all.

Congratulations to Fr. Chuck who was recently appointed to the Board of the Inter-Parish Council.

By the time this edition goes to press, Ed and Laura Craig will have returned from a brief, but memorable trip to France and Germany. The Craigs, along with members of Ed’s veterans group, traveled to France to see the World War I monument that was erected in memory of those who served and gave their lives in that conflict. A duplicate version of that statute currently stands in front of the Fifth Avenue Armory in Manhattan.

William Sherman reports that he has been reelected to serve for an additional two-year term as president of his Liberian high school alumni association. And congratulations to Bill’s son, Roderick, who was just hired by Fox News to work in their technical unit. Previously, Roderick had been a member of the staff of Al Roker Productions.

Joyce Liu repots that her son, Thomas, was the named MVP of the Vassar Swim Team. Thomas currently serves as captain of the team. We also learned that Thomas recently became engaged to Shepley Teal Blair, a fellow Vassar student. Best wishes to the happy couple.

On September 6 our own Barnett Shepherd was honored by members of The Preservation League of Staten Island during a meeting which took place at Christ Church. The Preservation League, the only borough-wide historic preservation organization in New York City, strives to enrich Staten Island’s sense of community by protecting the many historic structures that still exist in our borough. Barnett is also the founder of The League, which he helped to establish over 30 years ago.

Congratulations to Georgia Howell, who took first prize in the Handicrafts category for Children’s Entries (ages 12 and under) at last month’s Richmond County Fair.

And a warm welcome to Laura Napolitano, the newest member of the Christ Church choir.

That’s all for this month. However, if you have some news that you’d like to share with our readers please feel free to leave a note in the Tower Chimes mail slot, which is located in the parish office.