Tower Chimes, September, 2009
bullet character Clergy Corner bullet character Sunday Adult Education Classes bullet character Prayer List Update
bullet character Welcome Ian Riddick bullet character Save the Date bullet character Fall Bus Trip
bullet character Godly Play & Sunday School News bullet character Vestry Notes bullet character Congratulations
bullet character Walk for Diversity bullet character Lisa Rhoades, Poet bullet character Casting Call
bullet character Christ Church Children's Choir bullet character Parish Register bullet character Wanted: Coffee Hour Coordinator
bullet character Home Again bullet character Serenade Presents Pianist Thomas Hrynkiw bullet character Living Archaeology
bullet character Dances with Moose bullet character Around the Parish bullet character Staten Island Council of Churches Fall/Assembly DInner
bullet character Baptisms on All Saints Day, November 1 bullet character Godly Play Thank You    
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Clergy Corner

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

Last spring I was contacted out of the blue by a young man named John Bethell, who is the youth minister at St. Bartholomew’s Church, North Augusta, SC.  John was planning to bring his youth group to New York City for an urban mission trip, working in shelters, clothing banks, and soup kitchens in Manhattan.  John grew up on Staten Island, so he and his youth group planned to stay at his parents’ house in Willowbrook.  He asked if I would be willing to come by the house one evening and celebrate the Eucharist for the group.  Of course, I was happy to agree to this, but as we talked we hit upon the idea that we should also get our youth groups together.  Kristin Reiersen, Sheila Hewitt, Connie Black, and I talked to our youth group about it, and everyone thought it sounded like a lot of fun.

On the evening of July 15 the youth group from St. Bartholomew’s arrived looking hot and bedraggled after a long day working in Manhattan.  They were happy to get into the air-conditioned Guild Room, and they were thrilled with the pasta supper and ice cream sundaes our youth group had prepared. (You can see pictures of the evening on the bulletin board in the parish hall and on our website).  We insisted that the students and leaders sit next to a person from the other church and get to know their neighbor.  After dinner, we went around the table and each person reported what they had learned about the person on their left and the person on their right.  Many wonderful stories and comments were shared, but I remember one in particular.  Several students from St. Bartholomew’s were surprised that our students take trains, and buses, and subways ALL BY THEMSELVES to get to school.

Our two youth groups were very different: One black, one white; one northern, one southern; one urban, one suburban.  Yet that evening real connections were made and true friendships were formed.  That evening was a reminder of the unity we have in Christ despite our many differences.  As is so often the case, what adults find so difficult to do young people seem to do easily and naturally.  I had a wonderful evening with the youth groups from St. Bartholomew’s and from Christ Church, and it made me happy that in both North Augusta and Staten Island we are raising faithful Christians who will have a positive impact on our world.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck

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Welcome Ian Riddick

Ian Riddick, sexton
Ian Riddick

Please join me in welcoming our new sexton, Ian Riddick, to Christ Church.  Ian is a native Staten Islander who grew up at Trinity Lutheran Church where his father, Walter, is the sexton. Ian attended Curtis High School and soon will be taking classes at CSI in preparation for joining the Marines. He is a huge Harry Potter and Star Wars fan.

Ian’s hours are Monday – Wednesday and Saturday, 9:00am – 3:30 and Sunday 7:00am – 1:30pm.  Please join me in welcoming Ian to Christ Church.
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Godly Play & Sunday School News

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.

This year we have decided to rearrange the Sunday morning schedule: Sunday School and Godly Play will FOLLOW the 10 a.m. service, ending promptly at 12:15 p.m. We believe that this change in schedule will increase our attendance and strengthen our Sunday School. Just a few dates and events to keep in mind:

Sunday School Registration and Grandparents Day
This is one of the most important days on our calendar, as we begin the process of registering new and returning members to our Sunday School programs.  You’ll have a chance to meet the teachers, tour the classrooms, ask questions and learn more about what takes place on Sunday morning.

The following is brief description of some of our programs and activities:


  • Meets at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday morning
  • For children ages 3 years – 5th Grade
  • Classes begin on Sunday, September 20

This year we are pleased to offer TWO Godly Play classes – one for children aged 3-5 and one for children aged 6-10. In both classes children hear the sacred stories and parables of our Christian faith, engage in creative reflection about those stories, and share the feast with each other in two newly renovated classrooms off the Gymnasium.


  • Meets at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday Morning
  • For Young People 6th Grade – 12th Grade
  • Classes begin on Sunday, September 20

In addition to our weekly classes, we also have some exciting events planned for the season. They include the Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, October 3; Coffee Hour Fund Raisers on October 4 and 11 to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness; Participation in the Breast Cancer Walk at Clove Lake Park on Sunday, October 18, and our annual Christmas Pageant on Sunday, December 13.


  • 2nd and 4th Fridays at 7 p.m.

This is a time for our teens to meet, talk, study and share an evening of fellowship. Our fall “kickoff” takes place on Friday, September 18.

Honoring our Elders and Grandparents

On September 13 the members of the Sunday School will be hosting the Sunday Morning Coffee Hour as we take this special opportunity to honor the elders and grandparents of our parish community. Bring your grandparents to church for a special blessing, and if you know of a family that is looking for a church home, this is a wonderful opportunity to introduce them to Christ Church.

If you have any questions about our Godly Play program, please contact Lisa Rhoades; if you would like more information about our Friday Evening Youth Group please speak with Fr. Chuck or Kristin Reiersen.
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Walk for Diversity

On Sunday, September 13, the Building Bridges Coalition, an interfaith organization of which our rector is a member, is hosting its annual Walk for Diversity: An Interfaith Gathering for Reflection & Hope.

The Walk will begin at 2:00pm at Mount Sinai United Christian Church at Pike and Victory. From there we will walk or drive to Trinity Lutheran Church on St. Paul’s Avenue.  After that we will drive to the Buddhist Temple at 115 John Street, where the afternoon’s activities will conclude at 5:00pm.

At each location, we will be welcomed; learn a little bit about the activities and purpose of the Building Bridges Coalition; learn about that house of worship; and pray and sing together.

The Annual Diversity Walk is a powerful way to bear witness and offer support for the increasing diversity of Staten Island.  Join us for part or all of the afternoon.
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Christ Church Children's Choir

Our Treble Choir, under the direction of Beth Johanning-Hayes, with Lisa Rhoades and Tony Colucci, is getting ready for a new season and welcomes new and returning members to participate in this wonderful and fulfilling activity.

This is a choir for all interested children aged 4 and older.

This year the choir is scheduled to sing on October 5; on November 1 for All Saints Sunday; on December 13 for the Christmas Pageant; and during the Christmas Eve Family Service.
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Home Again

I am excited to return to Christ Church as I begin my second year at this my “teaching parish.”  I continue to attend classes at General Theological Seminary in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, where my wife Susanne and I have been living for the past two years.


Dr. David Carletta
Dr. David Carletta

As part of the Episcopal Church’s three-year seminary education program, seminarians are required to train in local parishes. Christ Church New Brighton has been a wonderful Field Education placement site for me, as I work towards a Master of Divinity degree at GTS with the goal of being ordained a priest in the Diocese of Michigan.

I may have mentioned to you that I am an Italian-American from Rochester, New York, and 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.
I met my wife Susanne Eineigel while we were both studying abroad in Southwestern Mexico.

Susanne is from British Columbia, Canada. and 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. I earned a doctorate in Latin American & Caribbean history at Michigan State University, where I was active in the local Canterbury association.

My experience of Episcopal Church congregational life is almost exclusively through college chaplaincies, so I have appreciated the opportunity to familiarize myself with the various aspects of parish life at Christ Church New Brighton. This past summer, while serving as a North Country Rural Ministry Intern in the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, I was able to experience more of parish life under the guidance of the Rev. Fran Gardner, rector of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Berlin, New Hampshire. 

I look forward to another Field Placement year at Christ Church New Brighton. This fall, Fr. Chuck and I will be leading a weekly course on the history, polity, and future of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The course will meet Sundays at 11:30am. Hope you all can join us!
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Sunday Adult Education Classes at Christ Church

This fall our Sunday Adult Education program will meet at 11:30 a.m.  and will feature an eleven week course taught by Fr. Chuck and our seminarian, Dr. David Carletta. The program is entitled “The Episcopal Church 101”, and will focus on the history, polity (form of government) and future of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

      Whether you are new to the church or a life-long member, you will be sure to learn something new and benefit from the lively discussion. The first class, Introduction: How Christianity Came to England, will meet on Sunday, September 20.
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Save the Date

Christ Church will be celebrating the Feast of St. Francis on Saturday, October 3 with the traditional Blessing of  Pets in the church oval. The event will also include some snacks and 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.

Chinese Auction, September 17, 2009, at 6:30 PM.
Saturday, September 17th, @6:30 PM
Doors Open at 6 PM
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Vestry Notes

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Christ Church Vestry took place on Monday, June 8, 2009. Following are some highlights of important issues that were discussed that evening:

  1. Our Treasurer, Dorothy Thompson, reported that at the end of May we should be at 42% of the annual budget; repair and maintenance is currently at 75% of its budget line; music is at 77%, mainly because the invoice for “Let Every Voice and Sing” has been paid ($2,319). It is hoped that this amount will be offset by parishioners buying their own copies or in memory of a loved one. The feeding ministry was credited the $2,000 approved by the Vestry at the May meeting.
  2. Plant & Equipment chairperson, Susan Fowler, reported on the repairs to the Choir Room. We are still hoping that the insurance company will pay more money for the repair to the walls as well as to the floor. Proposals have been received from three contractors for a complete overhaul of the room. This would cost between $32,000 and $56,000.
  3. Fr. Howell reported that the Education Committee thought it desirable and necessary to continue nursery care through the summer months. As this position was funded only for the school year, he asked the Vestry to consider funding $400 to pay nursery care providers for this period. A motion to this effect was proposed and passed.
  4. Judith Davis announced that Serendipity had made a contribution of $250 toward the cost of the Automatic External Defibrillator which was purchased by the church for emergency purposes.     

Following a two-month hiatus for the summer, the regularly scheduled monthly Vestry meetings will resume in September.

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Lisa Rhoades, Poet

On a recent tour of the Staten Island Ferry exhibit at the Staten Island Museum in St. George, I was delighted to see lines of poetry by Lisa Rhoades in the exhibit. These verses, excerpted from a longer poem titled Prayer Stations, lovingly evoke some of the people and situations we encounter on a ferry crossing, like the women applying their make-up and the "shoe shine guaranteed to win you a raise" offered by the shoe shine men (whom, alas, we see no more).

I was reminded that poetry and storytelling are fundamental to the life and health of our church. In 1993 Bishop Anderson, a native Staten Islander who grew up at Christ Church New Brighton and who eventually became Bishop of Minnesota, wrote, "Through the breaking of bread and the prayers the story of our small pains and joys is in communion with the great story of our Savior’s life, death and victory. .... This is truly The Story with our stories that make up the one loaf of our history."

Our church and our parishioners are a great blessing. Amen, amen.
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Parish Register

September Birthdays

2—Margaret Harris, Evelyn Zayzay;
3—Alayne Gilbert, Dorothy Rapp;
4—Ela Seeley;
9—Karen Smith;
2—Caroline Richards;
13—Samara Christopher, Kimara Jean-Mary;
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, Maya Modzelewski;
27—Willie Black IV, Dorothy Rivera;
28—Paul Elia.

September Anniversaries

1—Dennis & Patricia Scire;
9—Garry & Nancy Scromo;
17—Susan Fowler & Victor Stanwick (20 Years!);
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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Serenade Presents Pianist Thomas Hrynkiw

On Sunday, September 20th at 3:00 P.M., Serenade at Historic Christ Church, Inc. will present a celebrated Ukrainian pianist, Thomas Hrynkiw. The program will take place at Christ Church New Brighton, 76 Franklin Avenue.

Mr. Hrynkiw, who electrified a large Serenade audience two seasons ago, will perform works by J. S. Bach, Beethoven’s “Appassionata” sonata, Franz Schubert’s “Grazer” Fantasy, Kosenko’s Sonata in B-Minor, and works by Scriabin.

The concert is free to the public. It will be followed by a “Meet-the-Artists” reception in the Guild Room of the church Parish House. Both the concert and reception areas are handicapped accessible. Info: 718-273-3668.

Thomas Hrynkiw, Pianist
Thomas Hrynkiw, Pianist

A resident of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Mr. Hrynkiw has enjoyed a wide and varied career, both as a concert artist and teacher. Hailed as a pianist of “dramatic power and poetry,” Mr. Hrynkiw began concertizing at the age of thirteen. At age nineteen, he won a competition whose first prize was a performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto under the baton of the legendary Leopold Stokowski. A recipient of numerous awards, Mr. Hrynkiw has performed in major concert halls in the United States and Europe, including the Kennedy center, Library of Congress and Lincoln Center. He has appeared annually at the Newport Festival in Rhode Island. A much sought-after chamber music performer, Mr. Hrynkiw has a long association with the Metropolitan Opera basso, Paul Plishka, performing recitals in America and abroad.

Mr. Hrynkiw has made radio appearances on the major classical radio stations, including WQXR in New York; station WGBH in Boston, and national public radio and television in Miami, Pennsylvania, and Mexico. For the Musical Heritage Society he has recorded the music of the Russian composer, Mikhail Glinka. He has also recorded on various labels with such distinguished musicians as Paul Plishka, oboist Bert Lucarelli, the cellist Gilberto Mungula, and the flutist, John Wion.

Major funding of Serenade programs is generously given by State Senator Andrew Lanza through New York State Office of Parks and Recreation and Historic Preservation. These concerts are made possible (in part) by a Staten Island Creative Communities Grant from the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI), with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts. A J. P. Morgan Chase Regrant in partnership with the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI), provided capacity building funding. Additional support is provided by City Councilman Michael McMahon, administered by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD).
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Prayer List Update

It is time to update the prayer list used at our Sunday services of Holy Eucharist.  If you have placed a name on the prayer list and would like it to remain, please call Cathy in the parish office (718-727-6100) by Tuesday, September 22 and renew the name.

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Fall Bus Trip
November 6

The autumn spirits are stirring and what better way to access the wonder and imagery of fall than a trip through the Brandywine district of Delaware. This trip will generate your creative energy, enrich your senses and inspire you.

The day begins at the fabulous Harry’s Savoy. This “Spectator Award” restaurant offers service like no other and pays attention to every detail (they roast their own coffee.) The gourmet food is without compromise and does deliver what it promises.

The next stop is the newly-renovated Delaware Art Museum. Our personal tour will be geared towers “Maxfield Parrish: Fantasies and Fairy Tales/Art of the Print”, and “Illustrating Her World: Ellen Pyle.” This 50-work exhibition has drawn acclaim from around the country for her covers for the Saturday Evening Post. And yes – there is a gift shop!

Tickets are $95 per person, and include the cost of the bus, lunch and the tour. To purchase tickets, or for additional information, please contact Laura Napolitano at 718-981-5673 or call the parish office at 718-727-6100.
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Casting Call

Frank Quinlan will be casting his comedy, “Shadow Wars” which will be performed at the Trinity Church Theatre, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. on October 30 & 31; November 6 & 7: movie clapperand November 14 & 15. Auditions for a dozen roles for men and women will take place on September 8 and 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Trinity Church, 309 St. Paul’s Avenue.

      Auditions will be held on September 8 and 9 from 7-9 p.m. at Trinity Church, 309 St. Paul’s Avenue; rehearsals begin on September 21. If you are interested in auditioning please call Frank at 718-273-3668 or just show up at an audition.
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lovebirdsBelated wishes and congratulations to long-time Christ Church parishioners, Nancy and Bill Beveridge, who celebrated their 60th Anniversary on June 11.

These two lovebirds, who first met at a youth group meeting at Christ Church, were married in St. Mary's Episcopal Church on Castleton Avenue on June 11, 1949.

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Wanted: Coffee Hour Coordinator

This is an excellent opportunity to engage in the fellowship life of Christ Church. The coordinator solicits volunteers at our January Annual Meeting to host a Sunday morning coffee hour during the year. The coordinator is also a resource for volunteers, and either finds or serves as a backup host if a volunteer is unable to keep their commitment.

The Coffee Hour Coordinator plays a key role in the life of our parish. As everyone knows, the Sunday coffee hour is truly a continuation of the fellowship and closeness that we share during the 10 a.m. Eucharist.

Please speak to Fr. Chuck or one of the wardens if you are able to serve in this important ministry.
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Living Archaeology

In June the Madonna lily bloomed in the nave garden at Christ Church New Brighton. This bulb (botanical name: Lilium candidum) is one of the oldest known cultivated flowers: Wall paintings of it dating back to the second millennium before Christ were discovered in the Palace of Minos at Knossos, on the Greek island of Crete. References to it are found in ancient poets starting with Homer.

madonna lily at ccnbIn Judaism, the six pointed petals of this flower identify it with the Star of David and it is believed to have adorned Solomon’s Temple at Jerusalem. In the Christian era, this white lily became closely identified with ideas of purity.

The Madonna lily customarily appears in artistic representations of the Annunciation. It is also associated with St. Joseph and is seen beside him in Christ Church’s magnificent stained-glass window, "The Adoration of the Magi" (Tiffany, 1919). Another male association is with St. Anthony of Padua (ca.1193-1231), one of the most popular of all Italian saints.
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Dances with Moose

Joyce Rowan, one of our long-time parishioners, has asked us to share this rather “somewhat scary” and “somewhat amusing” moose tale with our readers.

Bullwinkle J. MooseJoyce’s daughter, Sean Hanley, lives with her family in the wilds of New Hampshire. One day as Sean was walking towards her front door she found herself face-to-face with a moose (perhaps not as large as our friend in the photo, but pretty scary to say the least!) Sean’s only recourse was to quietly move away and back around the house towards the rear entrance – only to find herself once again eyeball-to-eyeball with her new friend at the back door! (YIKES!)

Casting all sense of reason and caution aside, Sean took several quick steps towards the front door and made it inside to safety.
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Baptisms on All Saints Day, November 1

The next occasion for Holy Baptism will be Sunday, November 1st, All Saints’ Day.  If a member of your family would like to be baptized, please contact Fr. Chuck.

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Around the Parish

Welcome back! There’s a good deal to report since a lot has happened at Christ Church over the past few months, so we might as well get started.

Congratulations and best wishes to Kate Schneider and Francois Crabalona on their June nuptials. Kate is the daughter of Janet and Paul Schneider. And, best wishes to Kim Davis (daughter of Judy Davis) and Edward Sorge who were married at Christ Church in June; and last, but surely not least, congratulations to William Benjamin and Melanie Velez who were married at Christ Church on August 22.

We are pleased to report that our little “preemie”Annabella Colucci, the newest addition to the Colucci family, is home from the hospital and doing fine. Her parents, Tina and Tony, are grateful for your prayers and support during her hospital stay.

During the latter part of June we bid farewell to Andrew Hardin, a loyal member of our choir who returned to his native North Carolina to enjoy his retirement. Andrew is now living in a lovely home in Hickory, NC and would love to hear from you. We also said farewell to Anna-Lisa Cox

and Michael Buss, and their lovely daughter, Leora, who are now living in the lovely community of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Erin Rose Basso
Erin Rose Basso

Baby news:  Congratulations to Kirstin Swanson and Brian Basso on the birth of their lovely daughter, Erin Rose Basso on August 13. And congratulations to Paul and Christine Elia on the birth of their daughter, Claire Elizabeth, who weighed in at 9lbs 9ounces. Paul is the son of Marlene Elia.

Speaking of babies, we must mention two baptisms that recently took place at Christ Church: Miracle Sayles, daughter of Kimbra Smith and Lawrence Sayles was baptized on May 31, and Zahra Cooper, daughter of Edward Cooper and Oneka Johns, was baptized on June 14.

Condolences to Paul Smith on the passing of his brother, Ian. Many parishioners have fond memories of Ian’s visits to Christ Church several years ago when he took to the pulpit to share the details of his missions to Africa. Condolences also to Williette Thompson on the passing of her sister, Aletha Roberts, over the summer.

Congratulations to our Seminarian, DR. David Carletta, who was awarded his PhD from Michigan State University this spring. It’s a well deserved honor that reflects his hard work and determination.

And congratulations to Laura Patrick, who has been named one of the honorees of the 26th Annual Awards Luncheon sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island. Laura is being honored for her contributions to promote community health and improve the quality of life for the people of Staten Island.

That’s it for this month…but you can be certain that there will be much more to report in our October column.
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Staten Island Council of Churches
Fall/Assembly Dinner

The Staten Island Council of Churches is holding its Fall Assembly/Dinner meeting here at Christ Church on Thursday, October 1st, at six-thirty in the evening. Special recognition this year goes to the College of Staten Island, Wagner College, St. John's University, and Mrs. Yvonne Taylor.

The meal is catered by Conlon's Restaurant, 1825 N. Railroad Avenue (near the Oakwood train station and Guyon Avenue). You can call Conlon's at 718-667-3031 or 917-608-2254.

The Council of Churches requests that attendees bring non-perishable food donations with them to be given to our food pantries.

You must make reservations to attend this event. Tickets cost $30.oo per person, and reservations must be made before September 21st. To reserve seats, send a check for $30.00 per seat along with your name, address and phone number, any special dietary needs you may require, and your church affiliation to:

S.I. Council of Churches
2187 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, New York 10314
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Godly Play Thank You

Thanks to the following people for their gifts of time and talents and classroom materials this summer as we prepared to open our second Godly Play room.  We are excited to expand this program this fall at Christ Church by offering one class for young children (age 3-5) and a second class for children age 6-10.  In June we received word that we had received a Diocesan "First Steps" grant to help fund the program, particularly the installation of folding doors to create the space and training costs for our parent-volunteers.  On July 25th, the Hands to Work, Hearts to God crew painted and cleaned and put together shelves and tables.  In response to our request for sponsorship of classroom supplies, we received beautiful, useful materials to put on the shelves.  We can't wait for classes to start on September 20th at 11:15 following the Holy Eucharist. 

Thank you so much for your support of the ministries for children at Christ Church, especially:

Dana Caulkins, Elizabeth James, Alleida Mitchell, Dennis Douris, Valerie Quinlan, John Watson, Roxanne Ingoe, John Gerney, Mary Gannon, Kevin Larimer, Anne Devlin, Sara  and Patrick Wigmore, Sheila Swigert, Nancy Reiersen-Scromo, David Holt, Elaine Smith, Martha Keucher, Trevor Mills, Dorothy Thompson, The McIntosh-Archer family, Victor Stanwick, Marshall Green, Christina Mantz, Crystal Bernard, Peter Raff, David Nygard, Kirstin Swanson, Liz Howell and Father Chuck.