Christ Church New Brighton
bullet character Clergy Corner bullet character In Memorium: Sue Boody
bullet character Women of Christ Church bullet character Serenade Concert Series
bullet character Parish Register bullet character More Welcome Help from Landmarks
bullet character Blueberry Festival 2001 bullet character Adopt a Pipe
bullet character Vestry Report bullet character Flu Shots
bullet character Choirs bullet character Deadlines!
bullet character Feel Like a Cuppa Tea? bullet character Hosting Staten Island's living Room
bullet character Sunday School News bullet character Learning from Each other
bullet character Around the Parish bullet character Coffee Hour Schedule
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Clergy Corner

The secular calendar says that the new year begins on January 1, and the Church calendar says that the new year begins on the First Sunday of Advent, but I have always felt that the new year begins in the fall.  Autumn is my favorite season: I love the cool crisp weather, the colorful leaves; and the beginning of the program year at church.  Fall is the time when school and many other activities resume, and it is a time of new beginnings.  Many things will be beginning at Christ Church this fall.

On Sunday, September 9 and 16 parents may register their children for Sunday school.  Classes resume on September 23rd.  Please see Sheila Hewitt’s article on page 4 for more information.  Again this year we will offer two Sunday school classes, one for the lower grades and one for the upper grades, and we will also take registrations for confirmation class.

This fall we also have planned some opportunities geared especially for the youth of the parish.  On September 9 at 3 p.m. Building Bridges, a community group which fosters inter-faith tolerance, is sponsoring a pilgrimage to three sacred sites on Staten Island.  We will begin at Temple Israel on Forest Ave; walk to Our Lady of Good Counsel; and conclude the pilgrimage at the Albanian Islamic Center on Victory Boulevard.  At each house of worship we will sing and pray in the tradition of that faith.  On November 11, we have the opportunity to take a one-day bus trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.  Watch the bulletin board in the parish hall for details on these and other youth activities.

Beginning on Sunday, September 9 Christ Church will offer an adult education program for adults at 9 a.m..  The focus of the program this fall will be Christ Church’s ministry in the community.  This program has two aspects.  One aspect is to meet some of the groups and organizations that use our facilities. Part of Christ Church’s ministry of hospitality is to share our facilities with neighbors and community groups. Often these groups are here during the week or in the evening, so many parishioners are unaware of them and their activities. This fall you will have an opportunity to meet some of the groups and people, such as the Living Room (see Susan Fowler’s article on page 4) and Community Supported Agriculture, who use our facilities.  The second aspect of our ministry to the community is our participation in activities beyond the walls of this church.  This fall you will also have the opportunity to learn about some of these exciting ministries, such as the Second Saturday Feeding Program, in which Christ Church participates.

Beginning on September 16 Christ Church will offer a new Sunday evening program called Living Water. Living Water is intended for young adults, those in their 20s and 30s, single or married, with or without children, and you can learn more about it at  The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a supper in the parish hall and continue with a Bible study at 7 p.m..  This fall we will be studying the Gospel of Mark.  The evening concludes in the church with the brief but beautiful service of Compline at 8 p.m.

Fall is an exciting and invigorating time.  Many activities are resuming and others are beginning.  Watch the Tower Chimes and the bulletin boards for more information and plan to take advantage of these fantastic opportunities.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck

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Women of Christ Church

Calling All Christ Church Women! Something different – maybe!

The organization plan that we followed last year was found to be unworkable.  Both the daytime group and the evening group faltered. So we are planning to find out what the women who go to Christ Church DO want.

On Tuesday evening, September 18 at 7:30 p.m. come to the Guild Room of the Church with your thoughts and answers:

  • Why meet:  Reasons to get together periodically? Do we want to meet?
  • When:  How often?
  • Where:  Church?  Members' homes?  Other?
  • Projects:  Nursing home?  Carpenter's Kids?
  • What format:  Programs?  Speakers?  Field trips?

I think that most of us would welcome a chance to meet our church friends oftener than coffee hour once a week, to become better acquainted and to enjoy one another.  We would like to find out how to do that. Bring your ideas about every aspect, because all topics are on the table. Give it some thought between now and September 18.

Don't forget. Mark your calendar:  September 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Guild Room

See you there.
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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 Kennedy; 18 – David Reiersen, Joan Rock; 20 – Nancy Reiersen-Scromo; 22 – Matthew Devlin;  24 – Zachary Scire; 25 - Shirley Black; 27 – Willie Black IV, Dorothy Rivera; 28 – Paul Elia.
September Anniversaries
1– Dennis & Patricia Scire; 9 – Garry & Nancy Scromo;
17 – Victor Stanwick & Susan Fowler

      If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish Office at 727-6100 so it can be added.
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Christ Church to Host Its Second
Annual Blueberry Festival

Following up on the enormous success of the first Blueberry Festival, Christ Church New Brighton will present its second annual Blueberry Festival on Saturday, September 8, 2007. The entire community is invited to enjoy a chicken dinner to be served on the oval lawn in front of the church. Beginning at 4:00 P.M. there will be a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The dinner menu will include: mixed green salad, cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, BBQ or baked chicken, blueberry sundaes, and tea, coffee, or juice. The event will take place rain or shine. The festivities will include a raffle of baskets containing various food items and spirits, a fifty-fifty drawing, and activities for children.

Tickets for the event are: Adults, $15.00, children $8.00. There is no charge for children under five years of age.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support Christ Church. Last year’s festival is already producing results: 12 blueberry bushes have been planted behind the church in the parking lot area. There is a lot more to be done, so please participate and help in any way you can.

For further information, call Valerie Quinlan at 718-273-3668.   To make reservations, please call Cathy Romano in the parish office at 718-727-6100.

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Vestry Report

The Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton held its last meeting on 11 June prior to the summer vacation.  Among the actions taken were the following:

  • The repairs to the rectory having gone over budget by approximately $15,000; money was moved from the reserve fund to cover this deficit.
  • Gytha and Gene Darconte were thanked and congratulated for their successful Spring Fair, which showed a profit of approximately $6,800.
  • It was agreed to use the balance of the Pratt Bequest to cover the overage of $4,210 for the cloister lift.
  • Susan Fowler informed us that the tower project is moving forward and that any thought of repaving the parking lot must also wait because the drainage problem is so serious.
Father Howell informed us that he will be on vacation from 30 July to 12 August and during his absence, Father Walsted will substitute for him.
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The Christ Church choir, under the direction of Tom Sarff, resumes September 9th and the treble choir, under the direction of Beth Johanning-Hayes resumes September 23rd.  New choir members and choristers are always welcome.

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Feel Like a Cuppa Tea?

On Sunday, September 30th, 2007, we will be having our Second Annual Afternoon Tea.  All proceeds go directly to the Scholarship Fund of Christ Church.  This year, our special friends, Vincent and Candice Craig, will be giving a free concert at Christ Church at 3 pm as a prelude to the ritual of Afternoon Tea.  If you haven’t heard them before, you are really missing something special!  They drew rave reviews last year.  If you think the name sounds familiar, it is because Vincent is the son of our parishioners, Ed and Laura.  An extra special plus for us is that Vincent’s lovely wife, Candice is also performing – and she sings like an angel!

Immediately following the concert, at 4 pm, we will be celebrating Afternoon Tea, one the most civilized traditions we have in America.  We will be serving real English tea (carried 3,000 miles from England by one of our parishioners), a scrumptious supply of scones, cakes, and tea sandwiches made by some a number of angels of Christ Church.  So an afternoon of good company, good food, pleasant conversation and magical music is on the agenda!!

The price of the tea is $20 and reservations must be made by September 23rd, by calling 718-727-6100.  We are also asking that anyone interested in supporting our college and camp scholarship program consider becoming a sponsor at one of the following levels:

The Winston Churchill - $500 or more
The John D. Rockefeller, Jr - $250 or more
The St. Luke - $100 or more
The Joe Louis - $50 or more
The Lily Tomlin - $25 or more

As you know, we have given 6 college scholarships to our young people and 10 camp scholarships.  Please consider supporting our children.  The scholarships we give out are just one of the ways that we can show our support, faith and love for them.  If anyone has any questions or wants more information, please feel free to speak with anyone on our committee.  Committee members are Fr. Chuck Howell, Gytha Darconte, Trevor Mills, Colin Reed, and Paul Smith.

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Sunday School News

We hope that you all have had a wonderful summer vacation. Sunday School classes will be back in session later this month; however, our activities will begin on Sunday, September 9 when we take time to honor the grandparents in our families and in our congregation. The Sunday School will be hosting the coffee hour that day, and we plan to make it a very special celebration

Sunday School registration will take place that Sunday, September 9, and on the following Sunday, September 16, immediately following the 10 a.m. services. In fact, when you register your child you’ll be able to meet their teacher as well.

The first day of Sunday School will be September 23, 2007, when we welcome back our students, and our teachers, Connie Black, Liz Howell, and our newest members of the teaching staff, Olisha James and Wolde Archer.
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In Memorium: Sue Boody

Last month we mourned the passing of Sue Boody, a life-long member of Christ Church and a friend to those of us who had the pleasure of spending many pleasant hours with her over the years. Sue, who had relocated to an assisted living facility in New Jersey after the passing of her beloved husband, Rick, passed away on August 6.

Many of us remember her many acts of quiet kindness, whether it was providing a meal for a family in bereavement, donating her various assortment of preserves, baked goods and other culinary delights for fairs and other fundraisers, or making sure that the cottas for altar servers were laundered, starched and pressed for Easter Sunday and other special church celebrations.

On Saturday, August 11, our Rector Emeritus, Fr. John Walsted, officiated at Sue’s funeral service at Christ Church. We have reprinted the homily that he gave during that service, so that all may share in his tribute to this wonderful lady. Our condolences to Sue’s family on her passing.

Since I heard of Sue’s death, I’ve been thinking about two things: how much I liked her and her potato salad. The two are related, I think, and together they illustrate what probably all of us experienced in our relationships with Sue.

First, you just liked being around her. She didn’t like to be the center of attention, but when you talked with her, sort of on the edge of the room, you shared the jokes and humorous comments she always made. She was funny but never spiteful, shrewdly observant but never mean. She had few illusions about herself or others, and that made her more able to accept others without making them feel that they somehow didn’t measure up.

She was down-to-earth, the salt of the earth, and all her relationships with family and friends were seasoned with her kindness.

She was one of those people you just like to be around. You looked forward to seeing her, and she made you feel that she’d been looking forward to seeing you as well. She was one of the first people I met in this parish when I first supplied here more than 25 years ago on a very hot day at a remarkably poorly attended Sunday service. And she was someone I went to frequently to talk things through during the years I was here. So of course I liked her.

And then there was the potato salad. Whenever we did a big party at the house Sue always brought 20 pounds of homemade potato salad. Then later, when attending the party was more than she wanted to do, she made the potato salad and had Rick drop it off. Then later, when making the potato salad was too much, she’d send Rick to buy it and bring it to us. But there was always potato salad from Sue, and it always came in some kind of container that you didn’t have to worry about returning to her.

I imagine most of you have the equivalent of that potato salad in your experience with Sue. Her generosity and thoughtfulness expressed itself tangibly in things like potato salad. She didn’t ask if there was something she could say or do, she just said or did just exactly what you needed at that moment. The card, the phone call, the ride you needed, the potato salad – whatever it was, it just appeared when you needed it, and you knew that Sue was thinking about you.

I’m sure she’s thinking about us now as we are remembering her. And her prayers for us from now on will be at least as effective as her friendship was for all those years. And when in time we join her on that shore and in that greater light, she’ll say in the Tennessee accent that she never lost, “Oh, it’s so good to see you!” And we’ll be home.
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Serenade Concert Series to Present Ex Umbris

On Sunday, September 23rd at 3:00 P.M., the Serenade Concert Series will present an extraordinary group of musicians known as Ex Umbris (Out of the Shadows). This group presents early music from Spain, England, Italy, France and other countries music which has been in the shadows of our consciousness. The Ex Umbris group, which is comprised of superb musicians, demonstrates that this music is as lively and entertaining for a modern audience as it was for audiences that first heard it centuries ago.

For their September 23rd concert, the Ex Umbris group will perform a program entitled, The Courtier and the Queen: Elizabeth I and Her Favorites. The program will feature instrumental selections and songs about Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Henry Lee, and Robert Devereaux, 2nd Earl of Essex. Texts of the songs will be attached to programs.

The concert is free to the public. A meet-the-artists reception follows the concert. Both the church and the reception area are handicapped accessible. For further information, call Valerie Quinlan at 718-273-3668.
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More Welcome Help from
New York Landmarks Conservancy

On July 17, Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, sent us a letter telling us that Landmarks had approved our applications for two consulting grants.

Consulting grants are designed to help organizations like ours pay for the design of various building projects. Having good design drawings and schematics ensures that 1) contractors will bid using the same specifications, so their bids will be easy to compare; 2) if there is a problem, we can refer back to the specifications and resolve the issue fairly; and 3) other granting organizations can see that, because we are careful to hire expert consultants, we won’t squander their money.

The first Landmarks grant is for $2,500, to help pay for engineering drawings for the tower repairs. The second grant, for $3,000, will help us pay for drawings to be used to fix the parking lot’s drainage.

We also applied for consulting grants to the Property Support program of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and expect to have an answer within a few weeks.

New York Landmarks gave us a $5,000 grant last year to help us pay for stained-glass repairs. Since Christ Church is on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places, we are eligible for various historic restoration grants, including the Landmarks’ Sacred Sites program.      
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Adopt a Pipe

The Adopt-a-Pipe program was launched in June to assist the music program at Christ Church. To date, over $4,000 has been received and donations continue to arrive as of this writing.

It is not too late to contribute, as the Adopt-a Pipe program is ongoing. If you would like to name a pipe in honor or memory of a loved one, a pipe will be selected from a category of your choosing. So far, the Great Trumpet has been the most popular. Other categories are the Principal Chorus, Reed Chorus, Flute Chorus, String Chorus, and the console (keyboards.)

Payment should be made to Christ Church and “music fund” stipulated on the memo line of your check. (Payment can also be made in installments if you like.) Donor’s names, along with honorees and memorials, will appear on a perpetual plaque.

For further information about this unique program, please see Tom Sarff, or drop by the church office, where donor cards are available.

Thanks to all who have contributed thus far to help keep the music playing at Christ Church.

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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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Deadlines are sometimes hard to meet, especially when they come before the event takes place. Our indefatigable editor can only allow us a limited amount of time to prepare our contributions before she must tread on the deadline in order to get this paper out promptly to almost two hundred people.

The deadline for the last issue of the Tower Chimes came before we broke for the summer, too early to report on some significant events in our parish. May 19th saw Serendipity’s eighth May Ham Dinner, this year with a medieval theme for which there were 99 dinners and over 151 sponsors, the most we’ve ever had. The dinner has become a significant fund raiser for Christ Church and this year made a profit of $7842.48, from which, in August, members agreed to give $500 to the New Directions Food Pantry that was spent at Island Wholesale on bananas, oranges, potatoes, eggs and lettuces. We also added $5000 to monies already allocated for improvements to kitchen and bathroom facilities upstairs and downstairs, for a total of $10,000. The vast majority of the profits raised from Serendipity’s activities throughout the year and with Vestry approval, go to Christ Church or one of its ministries.

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Hosting Staten Island's Living Room

The Living Room program has been using the Christ Church Parish Hall twice a month for many years now, and Tower Chimes decided it would be a good time to introduce the program to you, our readers. So this summer, we asked Detrice McGriff, who runs the program at Christ Church and is the client activities manager of Community Health Action, about the Living Room program. Here are her answers.

TC: What is the purpose of the Living Room meetings?
DM: The purpose is to offer a supportive, social, recreational, nutritional family-centered environment, and educational information to people infected and affected with HIV/AIDS. The Living Room is held every second and fourth Tuesday of the month and is offered free to all Staten Islanders who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Various presenters from the community come to the Living Room to conduct presentations on healthy living, and we serve healthy, home-cooked meals.

Manny Sancez, happy about the location and the dinner. (Photo: Victor Stanwick)

We invite presenters from pharmaceutical companies to talk about new treatments, new clinical trials, and the latest medications. Community-based organizations discuss the programs and services they offer, such as holistic health, self-care, stress management, bodywork techniques, legal assistance, mental health, substance abuse, child care and safety, meditation, and other relevant subjects. We have had local community entertainers, such comedians, storytellers, and poets, share their talents.

Lorraine Adams, enjoying the air conditioning. (Photo: Victor Stanwick)

      The Living Room is a family-based program. While the presentations are being conducted for the parents, their children have access to the children’s area. The children’s area offers homework assistance and arts and crafts, and the children can use the gym for recreational activities.

Children playing in the gym (Photo: Victor Stanwick)

This program operates with the help of community donors and dedicated volunteers.

TC: How long has the Living Room been in existence?
DM: The Living Room first started in 1996.

TC: What has been the effect of the HIV drugs on the organization's purpose, if any?
The advent of HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapies) has not impacted the agency’s purpose, but it has impacted the lives of the HIV community. There has been a shift over time from treating an HIV/AIDS diagnosis as life-ending to treating it as a chronic illness that can be treated with medications. This shift has made forums such as the Living Room, at which people can receive educational material and treatment updates, very important. Persons living with HIV/AIDS can hear the latest information on medications, treatment adherence, medication management, holistic treatments, and current supportive programs.

Lucille Rivers, waiting for the speaker to start (Photo: Victor Stanwick)

TC: What do you like about Christ Church's Parish Hall as a meeting space?
DM: Christ Episcopal Parish is a wonderful place to host the Living Room program. The space is ideal for the presentations and, at the same time, allows us to serve food to a large group. 

TC: What about it makes you crazy?
DM: Nothing makes us crazy about the space or the church. The kitchen is large, clean, and complies with all the Department of Health requirements. The staff at the church are always available and flexible when working with us.

TC: Why do your meals always look and smell so good?
DM: Each meal is planned and based on the five food groups recommended by the Department of Health. We have a dedicated group of volunteers that prepare and cook each meal. We try to prepare meals that we feel the attendees will enjoy, and the attendees make recommendations for upcoming meals.

Carie Fieros and her dynamite macaroni salad (Photo: Victor Stanwick)

Ken Decker working on tuna salad (Photo: Victor Stanwick)

TC: Who are some of your speakers and topics?
DM: This past year, the speakers from the community have included staff from the Richard Bayley Center presenting on HIV Services and Diabetes Care, staff from Staten Island University Hospital Mental Health Services presenting on Mental Health Services & Acupuncture Program, Community Health Action presenting on their Addiction Treatment Program, Information & Referral Services, HIV testing, and Hepatitis C screening and vaccinations, staff from Pillars of Her Tradition presented on Reiki and Holistic health, officers from the 120th Precinct discussing current issues in the community and, in particular, the Police Department’s child safety/ID card enrollment program.

Roger Cepeda, guest speaker from the Richard Bayley Clinic (Photo: Victor Stanwick)

TC: Can parishioners come to your lectures?
DM: Yes, parishioners are welcome to the Living Room. The Living Room is open to all Staten Islanders infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. And HIV/AIDS affects everyone in the community.

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Learning from Each Other

On a Sunday in June, an enterprising group of parishioners copied the practice of an Episcopal parish in Chicago which organizes an annual fund-raising salad bowl luncheon made from donated food. Because the event is held on a weekday in a business district, reservations are sold out the same day the date is announced. As well as just having a healthy meal together, our idea was to raise some money to support the Darcontes and the Roades who were organizing the June fair. Although the luncheon was held after Sunday morning services, we made a profit of $300 and, as they, every little bit helps.

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Around the Parish

Welcome back! It certainly is hard to believe that it’s September already. Much has happened since our June issue and there is much to report!

Best wishes to Brianne Pineiro, granddaughter of Bill Brown and one of the newest members of the Christ Church choir. Brianne has enlisted in the U.S. Navy in order to  fulfill a life-long dream of working with dolphins and other sea mammals.

On June 30, Togba Porte and Juanita Massa Mends-Cole were married in a lovely afternoon ceremony here at Christ Church. Best wishes for a lifetime of happiness to the newlyweds.

In June we bid farewell to two of our newest members, Angelique Dawkins, and her daughter, Brianna Potter, who returned to their native Mississippi. They first found their way to Christ Church last year after leaving Mississippi in the wake of the terrible devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Mae and David Seeley are quite proud of the accomplishments of David’s niece, Laura Seeley. Laura’s lovely illustrations were an integral part of a wonderful children’s book entitled, “The Amazing Boy of Steel.”

Congratulations to Willie Black IV, son of Willie and Connie Black, on being named this year’s recipient of the Christ Church Scholarship Award. Willie will be attending Five Towns College in Long Island, where he’ll be majoring in music education. Best wishes are also in order for Chip McLean, husband of Beth McLean, who was recently promoted to the rank of Chief Dispatcher for the New York City Fire Department. Beth and Chip’s son, Charlie, is currently completing his training as a probationary fire fighter and will be assigned to a firehouse once his training has been completed.

The Keucher family held a reunion last month, right here on Staten Island. Martha, three of her children and their spouses,   five grandchildren with two spouses, and three great- grandchildren. According to Martha, “We had a busy, noisy, happy few days, and outnumbered the beds at One Pendleton.” Thanks to the generosity of Fr. Howell and Liz, who were on vacation, the family reunion overflowed into the Rectory!

Your editor had the pleasure of running into Daniel Lettiere last month. Daniel, the son of Nick and Nancy Lettiere, is entering his sophmore year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. This is also the second year that Daniel has been a first tenor with the WPI Men’s Glee Club, the oldest student organization on campus and one of the oldest Men’s Glee Clubs in the country, as it was founded in 1874. Daniel tells us that this year he will also be singing with the men’s a Capella group, Simple Harmonic Motion.

Daniel’s choral participation has given him the opportunity to travel to many different locales, both here and abroad. In fact, he will be performing at St. John the Divine on October 7 in Missa Gaia, a work composed by Paul Winter. We’ll keep you posted on the time, ticket prices, etc., as the date draws closer.

Did you happen to see the wonderful front-page article in the August 5 Our Town section of the Staten Island Advance? The article told all about the good works of young Bonnie Nygard, daughter of Lisa Rhoades and David Nygard, as she helped mom deliver food for Meals on Wheels here on Staten Island. This wonderful organization prepares and distributes meals to the elderly, sick and housebound every day; they are always looking for volunteers to help with food deliveries. If you’d like to take on this wonderful ministry, you can reach them at 718-727-4435 to get all the details.

Please keep our former sexton, Jim Angone, in your prayers. Jim has undergone several medical setbacks in the past several months and is slowly working his way back to recovery.

Condolences to the Boody family on the passing of Sue Boody on August 6. Sue was a long-time member of Christ Church, and a cherished mother, grandmother, sister-in-law and aunt. She will be sorely missed. And our thoughts are also with Judy Davis on the passing of her mother, Lillian Marley, in Scotland.        

That’s all for now.  If you’ve got news that you’d like to share with our readers please feel to pass it along so we can publish it in our next issue.
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Coffee Hour Schedule

The following people have signed up to host Coffee Hour during the month of September:

September 2 – Johanna Gilbert
September 9 – The Sunday School
September 16 – Fowler/Stanwick
September 23  
September 30 – Elaine & George Smith

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