Tower Chimes, April 2009. Have a blessed Easter season!
bullet character Clergy Corner bullet character Easter Food Baskets
bullet character Vestry Report bullet character Staten Island Community Days
bullet character Parish Register bullet character Batter Up!
bullet character A Taste of Spring bullet character Sunday School News
bullet character Easter Memorial Flowers bullet character Around the Parish
bullet character Serenade Presents Jan Opalbach in Opera Program bullet character Coffee Hour Schedule for April
bullet character Holy Week and Easter at Christ Church bullet character Save the Date!
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Clergy Corner

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

All of us are familiar, of course, with the blue 1982 Hymnal which we use every Sunday.  What may not be as well known, however, is that the Episcopal Church has also authorized several supplemental hymnals: Lift Every Voice and Sing, an African American hymnal; Wonder Love and Praise, an eclectic supplement to the 1982 Hymnal; and Enriching Our Music, which contains service music to accompany the Church’s authorized inclusive language liturgies.

After some months of discussion and planning by the Worship and Liturgy Committee, the Vestry has endorsed their recommendation to purchase copies of Lift Every Voice and Sing.  The hymns in Lift Every Voice and Sing are drawn from a wide variety of genres: Negro spirituals, Gospel songs, Protestant hymns, missionary hymns, and evangelistic hymns.  The contents were taken from other black hymnals including a Roman Catholic hymnal, a Methodist hymnal, and Caribbean hymnals.

Some well known hymns in Lift Every Voice and Sing are “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit”, “Let Us Break Bread Together”, “Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child”, and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”, to name a few.

You will soon receive a letter inviting you to donate a pew edition of Lift Every Voice and Sing for $18.  You can donate a copy in memory of someone or in thanksgiving for someone or some event, and a dedication label will be placed inside the front cover.  We plan to make an initial purchase of 150 copies If you are interested in donating a copy, please contact Cathy (718-727-6100) in the church office.

Placing Lift Every Voice and Sing in the pews, and, more importantly, using it, acknowledges the growing diversity of Christ Church.  More and more our parish looks like the Kingdom of God with people from every nation, tribe, and language.  Lift Every Voice and Sing is a resource which will enhance our worship of God, and allow us to celebrate the parish we are and the parish we are becoming.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck

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Vestry Report

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Christ Church Vestry took place on Monday, March 9, 2009. Following is a brief report concerning some of the issues that were discussed that evening:

  1. Susan Fowler, chair of the Plant & Equipment Committee, updated the Vestry on the condition of the choir room floor. Removing the floor by Burda Construction cost $2,450 and it will probably cost an addition $1,500 for Richmond Plumbing to replace the rusted out piece of steam-return pipe on the floor. The committee also recommended a renovation of the choir room, which would include leveling the floor, removing existing wood paneling, replacing the lighting system and either painting the stone walls or putting up sheetrock where the old paneling was. The work will probably take place during the summer, when the choir is not rehearsing.
  2. The Investment Committee met on February 17, continuing the conversation about ways to educate the parish on the topic of planned giving.
  3. The Worship & Liturgy Committee has recommended the purchase of Lift Every Voice and Sing as a supplement to the 1982 Hymnal. A letter will be written asking parishioners to purchase a copy, perhaps as a donation or as a memorial.
  4. Togba Porte spoke of the impending visit of Bishop Hart of Liberia on May 10, 2009 and asked Fr. Howell to invite him to celebrate and preach on that day. A special coffee hour reception hosted by the Liberians in our parish will follow the 10 a.m. service. Details will be coordinated with the Sunday School and announced later.
  5. Fr. Howell has written a letter to Bishop Sisk recommending that Kristin Reiersen be considered as a postulant for Holy Orders. A Discernment committee has been meeting with Kristin for the past eight months and approved her for consideration. The Vestry was asked to sign the letter signifying the consent of the parish and that we would be prepared to support her undertaking.
Alleida Mitchell noted the excellent job that had been done by Peter Raff to renovate the Archive Room.
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Parish Register

April Birthdays
1 – Matthew Ambroggi; 1 – Greer Gerney  6 – Harry Bernardez; 8 – Karen Long; 10 – Michael Devlin; 17 – Siaber Zayzay, Crystal Bernard; 18 – Celestine Zayzay; 23 – David Seeley; 24 – David Wood, Daniel Wood; 26 – Mary Boody; 30 – Nancy Sherman

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

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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A Taste of Spring

wineOn Saturday, April 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., David Wood and Christina Mantz, in collaboration with members of the Christ Church Fund Raising Committee, will host “A Taste of Spring,” an afternoon of wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and raffles.

The event will be held at 280 Lafayette Avenue, the lovely home of Laura and Henry Kennedy, and will feature a selection of wines from Staten Island’s own Midland Wines. Bob Marks, a wine expert and representative for several wineries, will be present to explain the different wines, their origins and distinct tastes.

Tickets for this event are $50 per person, and may be purchased from any member of the Fund Raising Committee, or you may call the parish office at 718-727-6100 to reserve your tickets.
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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 5.
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Serenade Presents Jan Opalbach in Opera Program

Photo of Jan Opalbach by Carol Rosegg for New York City Opera.On Sunday, April 26th at 3 p.m., Serenade will present an operatic program at Christ Church, featuring renowned bass-baritone, Jan Opalach. Mr. Opalach will be accompanied by pianist Ted Taylor.

Mr. Opalach will perform arias from Mozart’s famous operas, including The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni. He will also perform selections from Verdi’s Falstaff, Don Pasquale and L’Elisir d’amore (Love’s Potion) by Donizetti, and selections from Benjamin Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Moore’s Ballad of Baby Doe, Bizet’s Fair Maid of Perth, and Massenet’s Don Quichotte (Don Quixote).

A fine singing actor, Mr. Opalach is a performer of international reputation. He has sung with the New York City Opera since 1980, where he performed a number of major operatic roles. He has appeared as featured soloist with numerous orchestras, among them Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Seattle. Among the many conductors with whom he has collaborated are Daniel Barenboim, Charles Dutoit, Christopher Hogwood, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Roger Norrington, Sir Simon Rattle and Robert Shaw. He has recorded on the Decca, EMI, L'Oiseau-Lyre, Nonesuch and Telarc labels.

In addition to Mr. Opalach’s busy performance schedule, he is a Professor of Voice at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

Ted TaylorPianist Ted Taylor enjoys a multi-faceted career. Equally at home in the pit conducting a broad repertoire of fifty operas and musicals or on the stage accompanying some of the world’s preeminent vocalists, he has appeared with such luminaries as Kathleen Battle, Sylvia McNair, Ben Heppner and Christine Schaefer, and in the 2002-’03 season made his debut at New York City Opera, conducting La Traviata. He appeared as pianist with legendary singer Eileen Farrell and has served as accompanist in master classes with such legends as Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Carlo Bergonzi.        

The concert is free to the public. It will be followed by a "Meet-the-Artists" reception in the Parish Hall.
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Holy Week and Easter Week at Christ Church

Here is the schedule for Holy Week and Easter services at Christ Church. We hope you’ll be able to take part in each of these services.

Sunday, April 5 – Palm Sunday
7:30 a.m. – Morning Prayer
8 a.m. & 10 a.m. – Holy Eucharist and Distribution of Palms
7 p.m. – Compline
Thursday, April 9 – Maundy Thursday
7:30 p.m.  - Holy Eucharist and Foot Washing
8:30 p.m. - Lamb Supper in the Parish House
9:30 p.m. – Compline
10:00 p.m. - Altar of Repose
Friday, April 10 – Good Friday
4 p.m. – Family Service, Stations of the Cross
7:30 p.m. – Good Friday Liturgy and Holy Communion from Reserved Sacrament
Sunday, April 12 – Easter Day
7:30 a.m. – Morning Prayer
8 a.m. – Holy Eucharist
9 a.m. – Easter Egg Hunt for Children
10 a.m. – Festive Choral Holy Eucharist and Reception immediately following the service.

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Easter Food Baskets

Once again, members of the Christ Church Community Outreach Committee (CCCO) will be coordinating a program to prepare and distribute Easter food baskets for those individuals on food basketsStaten Island who are unable to provide a holiday dinner for themselves or their families.  

Each basket will contain a chicken or ham, canned fruits and vegetables, dried potatoes, and a dessert, with a special addition provided by The Girl Scouts to commemorate the Easter season.

The food baskets will be assembled at Christ Church on Tuesday, April 7, in selected time slots between the hours of 1-7 p.m.; the baskets will be distributed the following day, April 8.

Sign-up sheets will be posted on the bulletin board of the Parish Hall for those who would like to participate in this important outreach ministry.
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Staten Island Community Days

Staten IslandThis year, Staten Island Community Days will take place from April 23 – 25.  During this time, each religious community on Staten Island performs an act of service for the community.

As we have for the past two years, on Saturday, April 25 the Sunday School and youth group will go to the Staten Island Care Center to spend time with the residents in a variety of activities.  An adult group will accompany them and clean and trim the patio garden.

Watch for a sign-up sheet in the front hall of the Parish House.
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Batter Up!

Just a reminder that Sunday, June 28 has been designated as Christ Church New Brighton Night at Richmond County Ballpark.

The fun starts at 4 p.m. with ALL-YOU-CAN EAT burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, soda and water, a FREE limited edition Staten Island Yankees cap, and a FREE “PlayBall” game program for each member of your group. In addition, all kids 12 and under can run the bases for FREE after the game

Contact Sheila Swigert at 718-447-4185 or, or complete a ticket order form which can be found in the parish office.
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Sunday School News

Easter eggJust a little reminder!  The Sunday School will be collecting candy and plastic eggs for our traditional Easter Egg Hunt, which will be held in place of Sunday School classes at 9 a.m. on Easter morning, April 12.

Donations of plastic eggs and candy may be left in the Parish Office, or you can give it to any member of the Sunday School staff on Sunday morning.

We thank you in advance for your support and your generosity.
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Around the Parish

The month of March proved to be a very busy time for Christ Church and its parishioners. See for yourself!

On Sunday, March 8, the Rt. Rev. E. Don Taylor came to Christ Church to baptize, confirm and receive candidates into the Episcopal Church. This was a wonderful celebration, and very touching, since it marked Bishop Taylor’s last visit to Staten Island as Vicar Bishop for New York City, before he retires in May.  Congratulations to all who were baptized: Carlmais Melody Matilda Johnson and Madeline Erica Smith; to those who were confirmed: Christopher Brown, Kelly Collins, Roxanne Ingoe, Dalton Luke, Dylan Luke, Jesse Luke, Brandon Thompson, and Edwin Ziama; and to those who were received into the Episcopal Church: Ruth Richards, Michael Tavani and Katy O’Hara from St. Mary’s. A wonderful luncheon followed in the parish house, coordinated by our own Nick Lettiere.

Good to have Bill Beveridge back in action in the choir following knee surgery last month. Best wishes to Susan Fowler as she takes on her new assignment in the administrative offices of The Conference House. This beautiful landmark on Staten Island’s South Shore is a great place to visit, and I’m sure that Susan would love to tell you more about it.

Christ Church parishioners just seem to have a way of making news lately. Richard Riley, a member of our choir, and author of several novels, recently held a public reading of his new play “Sherlock Holmes and the Marconi Torpedo.” And our own Anthony Colucci performed a Chopin recital last month for the students of PS 16 in Tottenville. Anthony is an accomplished musician, and will be a featured performer at our pre-Fair dinner on June 6.

The icons of Fr. John Walsted and Ann Sohm are on display in a special exhibit at  Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, NJ. If you haven’t had a chance to experience the work of these talented iconographers, there is still time to catch this exhibit, which runs through April 18.

Last month, William Sherman presented an exquisite hand-made stole and chasuble to Christ Churchon behalf of the Alumni Association of St. John’s and the House of Bethany Episcopal Elementary and High Schools in Liberia, in thanks for our support of their rebuilding efforts. Over a year ago, William and many other members of the Liberian community here on Staten Island and across the United States, orchestrated a campaign to help rebuild these schools to enable future generations to receive an education in these facilities.

A little “update” on Michael Buss, Anna-Lisa Cox and their adorable little one, Leora. For the past month or so, the family has been living in Boston as Anna-Lisa continues to work on a project at the DuBois Institute as an in-residence independent scholar. She is currently working on a book concerning Free Black pioneers on the antebellum (pre-Civil War) frontier. If you’d like to find out more about this interesting project you can visit the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute's web page.

Condolences to Shirley Black on the passing of her brother, James Guzman; and to Carol Brown on the loss of her father, Dell Eberhardt.

That’s all for now. Have a Happy Easter – see you next month! Best wishes to one and all for a blessed Easter Day.
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Coffee Hour Schedule for April

April 5  - Daniel & David Wood
April 12 – Sheila Hewitt & Sunday School
April 19 – Laura & Ed Craig
April 26 – Roxanne Ingo

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Save the Date!

Grab your calendar and your pencil and make sure to take note of these important dates for upcoming Christ Church events that will be taking place in the next few months!

  1. Sunday, May 3  - Serendipity Quiche and Salad Luncheon (following 10 a.m. service)
  2. Saturday, May 9 – Bus Trip to Paper Mill Playhouse
  3. Saturday, June 6 – Pre-Fair Dinner
  4. Saturday, June 13 Christ Church Spring Fair
  5. Sunday, June 21 – Staten Island Yankee Day
  6. Sunday, August 9 – Serendipity “Ice Cream Social”
  7. Saturday, September 12 – Annual Blueberry Festival
Sunday, September 27 – Annual Scholarship Tea (tentative date).