the tower chimes September 2008
bullet character Clergy Corner bullet character Thanks
bullet character Introductions bullet character "Trio Serenade"
bullet character Sunday School News bullet character Parish Register
bullet character Adult Education this Fall bullet character Announcing Afternoon Tea and Concert
bullet character Save the Date! bullet character A New Roof Over Our Heads!
bullet character Vestry Notes bullet character Going Home
bullet character Second Saturday bullet character Around the Parish
bullet character People of God bullet character A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
bullet character Sunday Servers Schedule    
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Clergy Corner

The Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector of Christ Church New Brighton
The Rev. Chuck Howell

As we have for the past five or six years, my family and I went on vacation to a rental cottage in northern Michigan.  While in Michigan, we had the opportunity to catch up with many family members and friends.  Naturally everyone wanted to know about our “new” life at Christ Church and on Staten Island.  As I listened to myself talk, I realized how much we like it here and how excited I am about what’s going on at Christ Church.

I am excited about our new Godly Play curriculum and the beautiful room you have so generously given.  I am excited by the energy in our upper Sunday School class and by the accomplishments of our young people.  I am excited about the return of the Treble Choir and by another season with our adult choir, still the only vested Episcopal choir on Staten Island.  I am excited about our upcoming fairs and festivals, which raise much-needed funds and provide wonderful fellowship opportunities.  I am excited by our increased profile in the neighborhood as more groups use our facilities.  Most of all, I am excited by a new spirit I feel at Christ Church. Groups and individuals are working harmoniously together, and old hurts seem less important as we dedicate ourselves to a common cause.

I am happy to report that on September 7, Christ Church will have a seminarian, David Carletta, from General Theological Seminary.  I have asked him to write a short introductory article, which follows this column.   This fall David will concentrate on learning how a parish operates, by being active in the Sunday liturgies, preaching, and attending vestry and committee meetings as time allows.  In the future I imagine we will begin to make more use of David’s enormous talents in education and his bilingual (English/Spanish) abilities.  Please be sure to introduce yourself to David and his wife Susanne and welcome them to Christ Church.

I am looking forward to another exciting and fulfilling year at Christ Church as we continue to grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord and to share that Good News with others.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck

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David and Susanne Carletta
David and Susanne Carletta

I am very excited that beginning on September 7, 2008 Christ Church New Brighton will become a “teaching parish” for me. My name is David Carletta and I am a student at General Theological Seminary in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, where my wife Susanne and I have been living for the past year. As part of my three-year seminary education program, I am required to serve as a minister in training in a local parish. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve at Christ Church New Brighton, which will be my Field Education placement site for the next two years, as I work towards a Master of Divinity degree at General with the goal of being ordained a priest in the Diocese of Michigan.

I am an Italian-American from Rochester, New York. My parents live in Rochester, as do my brother and his wife and three children. I have a sister and brother-in-law who are raising two boys in Cleveland, Ohio. I lived in Rochester until the age of twelve, when my family moved to Dallas, Texas. After leaving Texas to go to college in Northern California, I attended my first Episcopal Church service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Later, I moved to Athens, Ohio to pursue a master’s degree in Latin American studies from Ohio University. I attended the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd on the campus of Ohio University and was active in the Canterbury association there.

I met my wife Susanne Eineigel while we were both studying abroad in Southwestern Mexico. She is from British Columbia, Canada. We were married in Vancouver in August 2006. Susanne is a doctoral student in the history department at the University of Maryland, College Park. Susanne and I moved to New York City from East Lansing, Michigan, where I was working on a doctorate in Latin American & Caribbean history at Michigan State University. I was active in the Canterbury association in East Lansing. A highlight of that activity was taking two alternative spring break trips to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans through the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana.

I was received into the Episcopal Church in the summer of 2004. After many years of schooling, I have become convinced that an educational system which informs the head without caring for the soul is inherently deficient. I am called to spend my life working and learning amidst other Christians who are sharing their gifts and practicing their faith together with integrated hearts and minds. I trust I am called to serve God’s people as an Episcopal priest. My experience of Episcopal Church congregational life is almost exclusively through college chaplaincies, so I look forward to much new learning as I familiarize myself with the various aspects of parish life at Christ Church New Brighton.
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Sunday School News

Sunday School

The members of the Sunday School staff are preparing for a terrific year, and we’re looking forward to welcoming new and returning students back to their classrooms. Just a few dates and events to keep in mind:

  1. September  7 & 14 will be the days to sign up for Sunday School (grades 3-12).
  2. Sunday School will September 21begin on
  3. The Sunday School will be collecting socks, gloves, mittens, hats and gently used coats and blankets to donate to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Harlem.
  4. The Sunday will be participating in the  Cancer Walk later this year
  5. We will be hosting an All Hallows Eve celebration in October
  6. We are hoping to participate in the annual Christmas  HIV/AIDS celebration at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in December
  7. We will be having our annual Christmas Pageant in December
If you have any questions about our Godly Play program, please contact Lisa Rhoades.
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Adult Education This Fall

They say the only certain things in life are death and taxes, which makes taxes look pretty good.  The sad fact is, however, we all will die and our loved ones will die.  Given this reality, it makes sense to prepare for our inevitable end.

Death and Dying

The adult education class this fall is a ten week series on death and dying.  In this class various speakers will focus on topics such as the medical and legal aspects of death.  What to expect at the funeral home.  The stages of grief and the emotional response to death.  The Church’s ministry to the sick and the dying.  Each participant will have the opportunity to plan his or her own funeral.  We will end with a general discussion about how our parish can best respond to those who have suffered a loss.

Ignoring death won’t make it go away, so come for informative talks and discussion on a topic that affects us all.

Classes are held Sunday at 9:00am, beginning September 14.
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Save the Date!

Christ Church will be celebrating the Feast of St. Francis on Saturday, October 4 with the traditional Blessing of Pets in the church oval. The event will also include some family activities afterwards.

      The exact time and details will be announced in the next few weeks.  Check the Sunday bulletin, and the bulletin boards in the parish house for additional information.
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Vestry Notes

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Christ Church Vestry took place on Monday, June 9, 2008. Following are some highlights of important issues that were discussed that evening:

  1. Our Treasurer, Dorothy Thompson, reported the following:
  2. A total of $3000, representing income from the interest earned on the Boody CD, was applied to the Easter plate income. The actual interest earned was $3,503.04. A similar amount will be applied to the Christmas plate in December when the CD has another maturity date.
  3. From the non-operating Hoyt fund, a final payment of $98,100 was made to Burda Construction for their work on the church tower. We have received the loan from Property Support of $88,100 and will be making payments at regular intervals.
  4. Gytha Darconte made a presentation about the College & Camp Scholarship Committee, explaining how it had started and how it was continuing to make changes in its general rules as situations changed. The range of ages has been expanded and grants are being awarded for special educational or cultural programs that benefit the young person’s future development. As there are more young people in church and the growth looks like it will continue, there will be more grant requests and the need for more money from the Lehman Fund will be necessary if we are to continue supporting our young people as they go to camp or college.
  5. The new kitchen stove has been selected and will arrive within the next few weeks.
  6. The cloister lift is working but the contraption to fold up the platform when finished is broken. The service company has been contacted.
  7. Bees have returned to the chapel for Matins and Berzbees has been contacted to close up the new hive and deny access to the bees, who clearly have not even been baptized.
  8. ATEC Contracting has built an enclosure around the boiler and furnace in the Rectory basement.
  9. It was decided not to apply for the NY State grant for the parking lot project as the church needs to put up the money first and then be reimbursed. We also don’t have matching funds for the project, another NYS requirement. TreesNY has agreed to help identify other grants that would be more appropriate.
  10. Godly Play will take place in the special Sunday school room in the basement. Shelves are being built by Victor Stanwick and Hands to Work, Hearts to God will clean and paint the room.  To begin, young children ages 2 to 8 will be involved, with older children taking part as the program continues and grows.
A Vestry Retreat will take place at Mount Manresa on Saturday, September 13 at 9a.m.
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Second Saturday Feeding Ministry:
Schedule Change for September

Due to an all day Vestry retreat on Saturday, September 13, Christ Church will not be participating in the Second Saturday Feeding Program at Trinity Lutheran that day.

The Church of the Ascension will be taking care of all cooking and serving arrangements; if you were scheduled to prepare food that day, your cooking assignment has also been canceled.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact Victor Stanwick, the Christ Church coordinator for the Second Saturday program.
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People of God

By the time you read this, the shelves in our new Godly Play room will have been painted, the walls and floor will have been scrubbed, the carpet unrolled, the materials to tell our children sacred stories and parables will have been organized, and the art supplies set out and ready for use.

You may even be reading this after our Sunday School and Godly Play Open House (September 7) and our first Sunday of classes (September 14). It's a perfect moment to stop and reflect and tell you a bit about the People of God.

In Godly Play, there are two types of figures used to tell stories.  For telling parables, we use figures that are painted with details--facial expressions, skin color, and clothing, etc.  These figures are emblematic of the archetypes we find in the Bible; for example, when Jesus tells the story of the good shepherd he is not speaking of a real shepherd but of an ideal.  The other type of figure used in Godly Play is the People of God.  These figures are made of plain wood, have no identifiable characteristics like facial features, but stand in various recognizable poses for example, arms uplifted, or legs astride.  People of God figures are used to tell stories about the real named characters in the Bible including Abraham, Sarah, Noah, and Moses.

Earlier this summer we put out a request to parishioners to consider sponsoring items for Godly Play at Christ Church.  For several weeks, a list appeared in the bulletin with a plea to support the program.  It was both exciting and daunting to write down all the materials on our wish list.  It seemed like we were asking for so much.  In the meantime, I was keeping my eyes open for alternatives to purchasing the beautiful, but in some cases, expensive, materials.  I worried and worried about how we would fund this program. To get started, I asked Victor Stanwick if he would make some shelves to supplement those already in the room, and he immediately applied his fantastic woodworking skills to the task.  I also had the idea that he might be able to make a few other materials for the classroom, including the People of God.

Was I about to be surprised!  One afternoon in July, I made my way to the basement to see how People of GodVictor was doing.  There drying on a table were the People of God--three dozen of them!  Some were stained light, some stained walnut and some were an oak-y color.  Because he didn't know what color I wanted, Victor had made extras.  Just as I was about to say thanks, he added, "Oh, and those oak ones are made from wood from Christ Church."  It stopped me in my tracks.  You see, Godly Play emphasizes that the materials that the children use should be beautiful but touchable, sacred and delightful.  They are meant to be the physical manifestation of God's presence in our life.  Not only do the children of Christ Church have a beautiful set of the People of God, they have a set that is made from wood that has witnessed 100 plus years of worship by people in this parish.  

Come to find out, I was to spend most of the summer in a state of gratitude.  And not just for the carved set of the People of God.  Week by week, parishioners met me at coffee hour, dropped their donations into the collection plate or even stopped by my home with checks to sponsor their favorite parable or story.  At the July Hands to Work, Hearts to God almost twenty parishioners from ages 3 to (well, older than 3) joined us on a steamy Saturday morning to paint the book cases and touch up and clean the walls and doors.  With each donation from parishioners and delivery of materials, the dream of Godly Play at Christ Church came a little closer.  We were able to purchase the highest quality version of almost every item on our list.  Our room is full of beautiful, sacred objects--an ark, golden boxes holding parables, the Holy Family carved out of olive wood from Jerusalem, the Good Shepherd watching his sheep, crosses, and cards telling the story of the Eucharist and of Advent, and the 10 Commandments and Pentecost.  You have made a lasting legacy for our children to hold in their hands and also in their hearts.

So thank you, on behalf of the children of Christ Church.  Your generosity is inspiring.  Each gift is a blessing now and for years to come.  You truly are the People of God.

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Thanks to the following parishioners and friends of Christ Church for their generous support of Godly Play:

Barbara Amatruda
Vera Bellavia and John Trulby
Bill Brown
Michael Buss and Anna Lisa Cox
Gytha and Gene Darconte
Judith Davis
Anne Devlin
Nick Dowen
Susan Fowler and Victor Stanwick
David Holt
The Howell Family
Beth Johanning and Bobby Hayes
Martha Keucher
The Rhoades-Nygard Family
The Larimer Family
The McIntosh and Archer Family
The Massey Family
Trevor Mills
Laura Napolitano
Togba Porte
Peter Raff
Hal and Linda Reiersen
Barnett Shepherd
George and Elaine Smith
Sheila Swigert
John Watson
Hueldine Webb and Lester Blair.

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"Trio Serenade" to Perform at Christ Church on October 5th

Valerie Quinlan, Nathan Brandwein, and Madeline Casparie
Valerie Quinlan, Nathan Brandwein, and Madeline Casparie

Trio Serenade will perform at Christ Church on Sunday, October 5 at 3 p.m. The program will feature Antonin Dvorak's great trio for piano, violin and cello known as the "Dumky" trio. "Dumky" refers to a type of Slavic folk music.

The program will also include Rachmaninov's Cello Sonata to be performed by Madeline Casparie, a fine Staten Island musician. Ms. Quinlan will perform adaptations of Paganini caprices by Karol Szymanowski, a 20th century composer. Ms. Quinlan and Ms. Casparie will be accompanied by Juilliard's Nathan Brandwein who has played beautifully for Serenade's audiences in the past. As usual, a “Meet the Artists” reception will take place in the parish hall, immediately following the concert.

The concert is free and open to the public.
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Parish Register

September Birthdays
2—Margaret Harris, Evelyn Zayzay; 3- Alayne Gilbert, Dorothy Rapp; 4 – Ela Seeley; 6 – Connie Ricciardi; 9 –Karen Smith; 13 – Samara Christopher; 14 —Martha Keucher; 15 – Linda Reiersen; 16 – Claire Kennedy; 18 – David Reiersen, Joan Rock; 20 – Nancy Reiersen-Scromo; 21 – Mary Larimer; 22 – Matthew Devlin;  24 – Zachary Scire; .25 - Shirley Black,, Charles Forman; 27 – Willie Black IV, Dorothy Rivera; 28 – Paul Elia.

September Anniversaries
1– Dennis & Patricia Scire; 9 – Garry & Nancy Scromo; 17 – Susan Fowler & Victor Stanwick; 23 – Gretchen & Daniel McCabe

      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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Announcing Afternoon Tea and Concert

Time for the Third Annual Afternoon Tea and Free Concert.  On Sunday, September 21st, 2008, there will be a free concert provided by Ed and Laura Craig’s son and daughter-in-law.  Vincent (renowned pianist) and Candice Craig (superb soprano) are once again donating their time and talent as a prelude to the ritual of Afternoon Tea.  The tea, as you know, is to benefit the Scholarship Fund at Christ Church.  The money we make is used to send some of our young people to Teasummer camp and to award scholarships to those who are going on to college.

This year, we awarded college scholarships to Matthew Ambroggi, Olisha James and Sidney George.  It is always our hope that we can make some small difference in the lives of our kids.  So, please, come out and support this worthy cause. 

The free concert begins at 3 pm and is followed by Afternoon Tea.  As in past years, all the sandwiches, cakes and scones will be homemade by friends and parishioners of Christ Church.  Reservations are needed for the Tea and should be in by September 10th.  The admission price of $20 is still in effect.  We have not raised our price in three years!  As in past years, we also offer suggested giving levels, but we are grateful to receive any support! If you did not receive your invitation in the mail, please call Cathy at the church office at 718-727-6100 or Gytha at 718-442-8075.   Or you can always speak with the committee members - Gytha Darconte, Colin Reed, Trevor Mills, Dr. Hueldine Webb, or Paul Smith.
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A New Roof Over Our Heads!

Christ Church parishioners will no longer have to scurry for buckets and mops the next time the sky fills with dark and ominous rain clouds.

We are pleased to report that Christ Church is the recipient of a generous grant of $30,000 from Richmond County Savings Foundation, allocated for the specific purpose of repairing the church Tower.

“Thank You” Richmond County Savings Foundation  from a very grateful (and dry) Christ Church parish family.
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Going Home

In an astonishing act of kindness, two friends, Norma Sue Wolfe and Sarah Aboughaida, drove Esther and Colin Reed, 1000 miles to Esther's Ohio hometown in June,  where they visited her sister Margaret, who lives in the Mennonite Memorial Nursing Home.

Alyson Reed flew out to the same area and drove the couple to a reception in the huge Mennonite church in Trenton, Ohio, before driving them out to the Mennonite cemetery in which Esther's parents and many of the family's ancestors are buried. Later they went on to Chrisholm built by ancestors Samuel Augspurger in 1875 and now preserved as a historic landmark, the family burial plot on which archeologists are still working, and the annual Augspurger reunion.

Everyone should have friends like Norma Sue and Sarah who enjoyed the return car ride through Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York as much as they had enjoyed the outward miles.
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Around the Parish

Welcome back! We do hope you all had a restful and enjoyable summer vacation. There’s a good deal to report since a lot has happened at Christ Church over the past few months.

Earlier this year, Katherine Liu, daughter of Joyce and Paul Liu, was accepted into the Tanglewood summer music program. This talented young violinist spent the summer in Tanglewood, Massachusetts perfecting her talents. We look forward to hearing more of her violin solos during our Sunday services.

In June, Father Chuck took time to honor three high school graduates – Matthew Ambroggi, Olisha James and Sydney George– and also acknowledged the hard work of our Sunday School staff – Connie Black, Andrea McIntosh, and Sheila Hewitt. Congratulations to you all on your respective accomplishments.

Speaking of the Sunday School – were you aware that members of the Sunday School set aside time to bake all of the cakes, cupcakes and cookies that they serve when they are scheduled for Sunday coffee hour? No wonder it tastes so good!

Have you taken the time to appreciate the beautiful flowers and greens in front of the church and in the church oval? Much of this is due to the quiet diligence of Nick Dowen and Barnett Shepherd who spend many a Saturday morning pulling weeds, pruning bushes, and collecting dead leaves and branches. And be sure to check out our new “Shade Garden” in front of the parish house, courtesy of Barnett. We thank you both for sharing your time and your talents.

Congratulations to Laura Jean and Carl Gambino on the birth of their daughter, Mia Grace, on June 23 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. And of course, we also congratulate Mia’s grandparents, Ellen and Ron Mazzucco.

Congratulations to Joseph Zayzay (son of Richard and Yassah Zayzay) and Kadi Ashiara on their August 15 nuptials, and to Clyve Hutton and Evelyn Hernandez, who were married at Christ Church on August 27.

Get well wishes go out to Andrea McIntosh who underwent hip replacement surgery in August; and to David Nygard who broke his shoulder while “catching a wave” at the beach. And best wishes to Nancy Beveridge as she slowly, but surely, recovers from abdominal surgery that took place a few months ago.

And we offer our sincere condolences to Connie Ricciardi and her family on the passing of her husband, Jack, during the summer.

If there’s something we’ve missed, or something that you’d like to share, please be sure to let us know and it will be included in a future issue of “Around the Parish.”

See you next month.
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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


The Schneider Family (Andrew, Janet, Ted, Kate and Paul) would like to share this moment of togetherness, which took place in front of their home during an impromptu “family reunion” last month.

Andrew, who is serving on active duty in Iraq, and Ted, who is serving in the Air Force here in the US, were each granted a brief leave which allowed them to spend some quality time with their family.

We continue to keep Andrew, Ted and all of the members of our parish family who are serving in the armed forces in our prayers.

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Sunday Servers Schedule

September 14th
Altar Guild Shirley Elfers, Connie Ricciardi, Andrew Hardin
Server @ 8AM Victor Stanwick
Ushers Marlene Elia, Ed Craig, Bill Sherman
Jr. Ushers Eva Black & Malik Archer
Lector Nick Dowen
Epistoler Gytha Darconte
Intercessor Glendon Jantzi
Acolytes Georgia Howell & Tyler Jean-Mary
Chalice Victor Stanwick & John Watson
Crucifer Wolde Archer
Bell Ringer Adaja Jean-Mary
Counters Beth McLean & Nancy Reiersen-Scromo
Coffee Hour Host Brenda Baskerville
September 21st
Altar Guild Linda Reiersen & Nancy Reiersen-Scromo
Server @ 8AM Nancy Reiersen-Scromo
Ushers Hueldine Webb, Lester Blair, Gene Darconte
Jr. Ushers Georgia Howell
Lector Hueldine Webb
Epistoler Katherine Liu
Intercessor Margaret Harris
Acolytes Malik Archer & Hugo McIntosh
Chalice Victor Stanwick & Bill Sherman
Crucifer Jabari Archer
Bell Ringer Amber James
Counters Lester Blair & Susan Fowler
Coffee Hour Host Victor Stanwick
September 28th
Altar Guild Shirley Black & Martha Keucher
Server @ 8AM Hal Reiersen
Ushers Trevor Mills, Marlene Elia, Ed Craig
Jr. Ushers Wolde Archer & Katherine Liu
Lector Elaine Smith
Epistoler David Holt
Intercessor Susan Fowler
Acolytes Siaber Zayzay & Amber James
Chalice Victor Stanwick & Richard Zayzay
Crucifer Titus Zayzay
Bell Ringer Georgia Howell
Counters Hal & Linda Reiersen
Coffee Hour Host Lisa Rhoades
October 5th
Altar Guild Nick Dowen, Laura Kennedy, David Wood
Server @ 8AM John Watson
Ushers David Wood, Daniel Wood, Hal Kennedy
Jr. Ushers CJ Brown
Lector David Wood
Epistoler Eva Black
Intercessor David Holt
Acolytes Tyler Jean-Mary & Alex Seeley
Chalice Togba Porte
Crucifer Willie Black IV
Bell Ringer Malik Archer
Verger Paul Smith
Coffee Hour Host Elizabeth, Amber & Olisha James (the James Gang)
October 12th
Altar Guild Shirley Elfers, Connie Ricciardi, Andrew Hardin
Server @ 8AM Victor Stanwick
Ushers Marlene Elia, Trevor Mills, Gene Darconte
Jr. Ushers Georgia Howell & Amber James
Lector Willie Black, Jr.
Epistoler Jabari Archer
Intercessor Elaine Smith
Acolytes Eva Black & Adaja Jean-Mary
Chalice Kristin Reiersen
Crucifer Richard Zayzay
Bell Ringer Hugo McIntosh
Verger Paul Smith
Coffee Hour Host Connie Black
October 19th
Altar Guild Linda Reiersen & Nancy Reiersen-Scromo
Server @ 8AM Nancy Reiersen-Scromo
Ushers Hueldine Webb, Lester Blair, Bill Sherman
Jr. Ushers Eva Black & Wolde Archer
Lector Togba Porte
Epistoler Georgia Howell
Intercessor Gytha Darconte
Acolytes CJ Brown & Alex Seeley
Chalice Hueldine Webb Conflict!
Crucifer John Watson
Bell Ringer Amber James
Verger Paul Smith
Coffee Hour Host Peter Raff