the tower chimes, February 2010
bullet character Clergy Corner bullet character Episcopal Charities Sunday bullet character Parish Register
bullet character Honoring Jay Spadaro bullet character Birthday Cards bullet character Reaching Out to the Victims in Haiti
bullet character Annual Parish Meeting bullet character Serenade Harp Concert bullet character Serendipity
bullet character Pancake Supper bullet character Serenade Concert Season bullet character Feb 7 is Diversity Sunday
bullet character Ash Wednesday Services bullet character Confirmation Classes bullet character UTO Update
bullet character Fundraising Events 2010 bullet character Anglican Identity bullet character Around the Parish
bullet character Vestry Notes bullet character Wednesday Evening Lenten Services    
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Clergy Corner

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

In my mind Christmas, Watch Night, and the Annual Meeting seem to come in one big rush, so by the second week of January I’m feeling a little frazzled.  Although I feel grateful for the wonderful experiences of worship and community, I am also somewhat relieved when it’s finally all over.  For me, then, Lent comes at a perfect time, encouraging me to pause for a moment and recharge my spiritual batteries.  Here are three ways you can refresh you spirit by keeping a holy Lent at Christ Church:

Through Worship:  In addition to our usual Sunday Eucharists, we will also have a celebration of the Holy Eucharist every Wednesday night at 7:00, beginning February 24.

As in past years, these will be simple celebrations using the free-standing altar set on the floor of the nave. But this year we will try something new by using Enriching Our Worship, a collection of supplemental liturgical materials prepared by the Standing Liturgical Commission in 1997. Enriching Our Worship includes resources and forms for Morning and Evening Prayer, an Order of Worship for the Evening, the Great Litany, and the Holy Eucharist. The canticles and prayers represent the recovery of ancient Biblical and patristic images, including the identification of Christ with Wisdom and language for God that does not use familiar masculine terms. The liturgical texts reflect the influence of the prayer experience of women, and a desire to honor that experience while remaining faithful to the norms of liturgical prayer as received by the Episcopal Church.

Through Study:  Following the Wednesday Eucharist, there will be a light supper and book study.  For our book study we will use We Preach Christ Crucified by Kenneth Leech. This Lenten study book focuses on the importance and meaning of the cross.  In We Preach Christ Crucified, Leech draws from study of the Bible, from hymns and poetry of the Anglican spiritual tradition, and from personal encounters with others to offer an account of the Resurrection. Bringing together themes of suffering and healing, justice and compassion, and Christ’s dying and rising, Leech presents a compelling theology of discipleship and ministry. This study is intended for those who want to enter more deeply into the meaning of Christian discipleship and to join us in studying Leech’s contribution to our common Christian call to “proclaim Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23).

Through Prayer:  Once again on the first Sunday of Lent we will bless and distribute Lenten crosses.  The Lenten crosses are pocket crosses that you can keep with you during Lent.  Think of a person you’d particularly like to pray for during Lent and let the cross serve as a reminder.  After Lent you might want to give your cross to that person and tell them that you prayed for them during Lent.

I urge you to use this Lent as an opportunity for renewal and refreshment through worship, study, and prayer.

Faithfully yours,

Fr. Chuck

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Jay Spadaro to be Honored at Staten Island Council of Churches Dinner

Mr. Jay SpadaroThe Staten Island Council of Churches Award Dinner will be held this year on Thursday, February 4 at 6:00pm at the Old Bermuda Inn, 2512 Arthur Kill Road.  This year Christ Church’s honoree will be Jay Spadaro in recognition of his many contributions to Christ Church and particularly to the choir

      If you are interested in attending the dinner please contact our parish secretary, Cathy Romano. Spaces are filling up rather quickly and we suggest you make your reservations as soon as possible.
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Annual Parish Meeting at Christ Church

On Sunday, January 10 the Annual Parish Meeting took place in the auditorium. At that time, reports from various committees were presented, as well as a report of income and expenses and a financial statement for 2009. The 2010 budget was also presented and approved by those in attendance.

Congratulations to the following parishioners were elected to serve on the Vestry:

Warden to serve a two-year term:
Mark Gherzo

Vestry person to serve a three-year term:
Elizabeth Gattullo, Charlotte Hewitt, David Nygard and Williette Thompson.

Thanks to our outgoing Vestry persons whose terms have expired: Brenda Baskerville Judith Davis, Andrea McIntosh, Paul Smith, and Victor Stanwick.
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Pancake Supper
Tuesday, February 16th, 6 - 8 PM.

pahcake supper, Tuesday, February 16 from 6 to 8 pmThis is our traditional celebration of “Fat Tuesday” (the day before Ash Wednesday) where we serve pancakes, sausage, applesauce, coffee and tea in the Guild Room. Reservations aren’t necessary, so just come on down.

This is also the night when we burn the old palms that were distributed last year on Palm Sunday and turn them into the ashes that will be used for Ash Wednesday services the following day. If you have any old palms on hand please be sure to bring them with you when you come to the Pancake Supper.
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ash wednesdayAsh Wednesday Services at Christ Church

Ash Wednesday is February 17. We will have services of Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes at 12:15pm and 7:30pm.

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Fund Raising Events at Christ Church for 2010

The Vestry has approved the proposed list of fund raising events that are scheduled to take place during the year. Although we don’t have the actual dates for some of these events, please be sure to mark them in your calendar as “upcoming events.” A complete schedule will be published as event dates are determined:

Month Event  
January 31 Chowderfest moneytree
February 7 Diversity Sunday
February 16 Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
March 20 Fish Supper
April 1 Lamb Supper
April 17 Wine Tasting
May 22 Pre-Spring Fair Dinner
June 12 Spring Fair
June TBA SI Yankees Game
July TBA Tea Party (off premises)
August 15 Ice Cream Social
September 18 Blueberry Festival
Octiber 3 Stewardship Sunday
October 16 Chinese Auction
October TBA Stewardship Time and Talent
November 6 Spaghetti Dinner/Pot of GOld Event
November 7 UTO/Women of Christ Church
December 4 St. Nick's Fair
December 11 Holly Ball
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Vestry Notes

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Christ Church Vestry took place on Monday, December 14, 2009. Following are some highlights of important issues that were discussed at that time:

Plant & Equipment

  • The Sexton has filled the largest pothole in the oval with asphalt. This is a temporary measure until the drainage problems are figured out.
  • The sacristy water heater has been leaking and has been turned off. A new six-gallon heater will replace the old one, sufficient for the needs of the Altar Guild.
  • Discussion about the mold in the choir room followed. Molds were not as bad as feared and were slightly over the recommended levels. The mold remediation expert can be consulted about possible danger but the contractor firmly believes the situation is in hand and he can handle mold matters in the future.

Treasurer’s Report

  • We have received payment from our insurance carrier related damages in the choir room from water leakage. $1,250 has been spent on mold testing and $1,200 for Architect’s fees.


  • The proposed 2010 budget was shown to the Vestry. There is a new line for the Feeding Ministry of $1,500.
  • A motion to accept the proposed 2010 budget was passed. The budget will now be presented to the Parish Annual Meeting on January 10, 2010 for final approval.
  • In 2010 the Investment Committee and the Finance Committee will be combined.


  • The schedule for 2010 has been set Classes resume on January 17 and the last day of Sunday school will be June 6, 2010. The new education schedule, with classes held after the 10 a.m. service appears to be working well.


  • The nominating committee, chaired by retiring Warden Victor Stanwick, with retiring Vestry persons, Brenda Baskerville, Judith Davis, Andrea McIntosh and Paul Smith, plus lay member Harold Reiersen, presented the slate for Annual Meeting.
    For Warden, Mark Gherzo
    For Vestry, Elizabeth Gattullo, Charlotte Hewitt, David Nygard and Willette Thompson.

Worship & Liturgy

  • Plans for Christmas Eve services were discussed. There will be at least two baptisms for the Baptism of Our Lord on January 10, 2010.
  • Usher problems were talked about. There is often a conflict of schedules, with ushers doing double duty elsewhere, people not showing up or late to arrive, or a shortage of ushers.

Christ Church Community Outreach (CCCO)

  • Alleida Mitchell said that the Christmas baskets of food would be assembled on December 18.
  • Jack Martz of Trinity Lutheran Feeding Ministry has said that his program is willing to provide CCCO with cans of food (in bulk) for the baskets if someone would make contact.

Rector’s Report

  • Father Howell reported that the church organ repair will not be completed by Ed Odell by the end of 2009. The organ builder will be at the church twice but still not finish the job.
  • Fr. Howell asked the Vestry to approve a Resolution that is traditionally passed at the end of the year. The resolution states that a portion of Father Howell’s total compensation be designated a parsonage allowance within the meaning of that term as used in Section 107 of the IRS Code of 1986.
  • Father Howell expressed thanks to all the people who worked so hard to make the St. Nick’s Fair and the Holly Ball such successful events.
  • Father Howell has received letter of thanks from the Christian Pentecostal Church on Richmond Road thanking the church for the ten Thanksgiving baskets donated to its food pantry, and a letter of thanks from the Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island thanking the church for helping to feed 13 needy families with complete Thanksgiving dinners.
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Episcopal Charities Sunday

Episcopal CharitiesThe Diocese has designated March 7 as Episcopal Charities Sunday. Episcopal Charities provides funding for a wide-range of community-based human service programs sponsored by congregations in the Diocese of New York.

      Our Holiday Basket program and our purchase of shares in the Staten Island Community Supported Agriculture are supported by Episcopal Charities.
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Birthday Cards

Happy Birthday!I am sure everyone enjoys getting a birthday card from Christ Church, and I need your help to make this wonderful ministry possible.

I have volunteers for February and March; however I am still looking for volunteers for the remainder of the year. If you are interested in helping out there is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board at the entrance to the Parish House. You can also speak with me, or our parish administrator, Cathy Romano.

Thank you for your cooperation!
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Serenade Harp Concert at Christ Church
February 28th

The years roll by and SERENADE concerts keep rolling along. Its 2010 season promises to introduce more exciting artists to Staten Island audiences.

harpPlease join us on Sunday, February 28th at 3:00 P.M., to welcome Israeli harpist, Sivan Magen. Sivan is a young musician of extraordinary talent. In 2006, he was first prize winner at the 16th International Harp Competition in Israel. He is the first Israeli to have won that prize.

Sivan’s 2008-2009 season included recital and concert performances in the USA, Israel and Europe, including a recital in London’s Wigmore Hall. A debut solo CD recording is being developed.

Besides his growing activity as a soloist, Sivan is an avid chamber musician, in which capacity he performed at Le Trianon and Salle Gaveaux in Paris, recorded for Israeli Radio and Television as well as WQXR in New York and the French television channel Mezzo. He participated in chamber music festivals in Marlboro (USA), Kuhmo (Finland), Giverny (France), Kfar-Blum and the International Chamber Music Festival in Jerusalem, collaborating with such artists as Kim Kashkashian, Nobuko Imai, and Schmuel Ashkenazi.
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Serenade Concert Season

Mark you calendars for more exciting music.

April 25th - the violin and piano duo, Brad Repp and Nathan Brandwein

October 3rd: Music at Brooklyn Friends, one of New York’s finest early music ensembles. The ensemble will include a cellist, flutist, violinist, and harpsichordist.

November 7th: The program will feature tenor Paul Appleby and pianist Nathan Brandwein. A very exciting singer, Mr. Appleby is a National Winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a recipient of a 2009 Sara Tucker study grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
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Confirmation Classes at Christ Church

At confirmation persons who were baptized as infants kneel before the bishop and take responsibility for the baptismal vows that their godparents made on their behalf.  The bishop lays his or her hands on each confirmand’s head and prays that God’s grace will strengthen and empower them for Christian service.  At the confirmation service, there is also opportunity for those who were confirmed in another denomination to be received into the Episcopal Church.

      If you would like to be part of this year’s class to prepare for confirmation or reception, please speak to the rector.  We will then hold an organizational meeting and begin classes shortly after that.
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Anglican Identity at the Crossroads


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Wednesday Evening Lenten Services
@ Christ Church

Dates: February 24, March 3, March 10, March 17, March 24
7:00 p.m. - Holy Eucharist
7:40 p.m. - Dinner
8:00 p.m. - Book Study, We Preach Christ Crucified
9:00 p.m. End

Join us for a portion of the evening or for the entire night.
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Parish Register

February Birthdays
2 – Andrew Schneider; 5 – Fr. John Walsted; 8 – Wolde Archer; 11 – Hal Reiersen; 13 – Gytha Darconte, Lisa Rhoades; 14 – Bruce Liozzi; 17 – Malik Archer; 21 – Andrew Hardin; 22 – Alleida Mitchell, Marguerite Bruce, Pat Scire, Joseph Gilman;  24 – Trevor Mills; 26 – Nicholas Lettiere, Alexia Richards, Alyssa Richards

February Anniversaries
4 – Kevin & Mary Larimer; 15 – Nathaniel and Ela Seeley

If your special day is not in our records, call the Parish Office at 718-727-6100 so it can be added.
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Reaching Out to the Victims in Haiti

Following a catastrophic earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12, Episcopal Relief & Development is reaching out to the Diocese of Haiti to both address immediate needs and prepare for long-term rehabilitation work.

Episcopal Relief & Development has disbursed emergency funding to the Diocese of Haiti to help meet critical needs such as food, water and shelter for those affected. As communication improves and recovery plans develop, we will continue to provide updates. We are standing by to support the country's ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts in the days to come.

Here's how you can help:

1. PRAY for people devastated by the earthquake.
2. GIVE to our Haiti Fund to help those impacted.

Please donate to the Haiti Fund by calling 800-334-7626 ext. 5129 or visit
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A new decade, and we really would like to add some new members to our organization.

Since our membership has decreased due to age and other reasons, we have been forced to cut back on our activities and only meet a few times a year in each other’s homes and we are not able to do the things we used to do. However, we will help out with fund raising as much as we can. This year we have promised a coffee hour, pancake supper and will help where needed at the spring fair.

Please give it some thought and join us at our next meeting. Please speak with me, or our parish administrator, Cathy Romano, for more information regarding our next meeting.
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February 7th is Diversity Sunday @ Christ Church

This February, as in years past, Christ Church will take time to observe Black History Month by focusing on the diversity of talents, heritage and gifts that our parishioners have to offer.

The theme for this year’s Diversity Celebration, which takes place on Sunday, December 7 in the auditorium immediately following the 10 a.m. service, is “Celebrating Diversity with Love.”  The afternoon will be filled with ethnic foods and a display of our many talents in music, song, dance and the spoken word.

Please speak to Willie Black, Jr. if you would like to participate in the “talent” portion of this event; if you’d like to share an ethnic dish please speak to Shirley Black.

This is an event for the entire family, and one that will leave you with a feeling of pride – in yourself and in your church!
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United Thank Offering Update

Thank you to everyone who donated to the UTO for 2009. We received $486.21 and $21.80 of that amount was from the Sunday School children. Twenty-six people contributed, and six of those were children.

As you know, this charity is a ministry of the Episcopal Church Women—all the women of Christ Church are member—and every penny of our offering goes to support grants for worthy projects in parishes in the U.S. and abroad.

Traditionally, the UTO collection has been done twice a year. But at Christ Church it has been decided that once a year will suffice. Therefore, we will have the campaign in early fall in time for the fall Ingathering in early November.

Again, thank you for your generosity in these difficult times.   

“Father, we ask that we may ever be united in our response to your love, thankful for our many blessings and happy to give our offering; that by your Spirit all nations and peoples may be one through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen” 
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Around the Parish

Our “brief” hiatus to make room for the Annual Meeting edition of the Tower Chimes has left us with a great deal of news to report. Without further adieu, let’s get started!

Congratulations to Olisha James who begins a one-year internship at Disneyworld. She is working to earn her degree in hotel management, and is looking forward to this exciting opportunity.

Kudos to Tovin Hewitt, son of Charlotte Hewitt, who has attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. This distinction is earned by many years of hard work and we congratulate him, and his family, on this major accomplishment in his life.

For those of you who were not able to attend our Annual Parish Meeting, we are pleased to let you know that Lisa Rhoades was awarded with the Christ Church Chi Rho for her tireless work in helping to establish the Godly Play program at Christ Church.

Last month we welcomed two new members into the Christ Church family with the baptisms of Greer and Kit Gerney, daughters of John Gerney and Roxanne Ingoe. Congratulations to you all on this “blessed” event.

Be sure to check out the terrific photos that were taken by Victor Stanwick at the December Holly Ball. Judging from the smiles on the faces of his subjects it’s obvious that a good time was had by all!

Get well wishes to George Smith as he recovers from injuries that he sustained in a car accident. George we miss you, and hope you’ll be back with us soon.

Kudos to Fr. Chuck and Cathy Romano for keeping us informed every week via our weekly Internet newsletter, “Weekly Update”.  This is a wonderful tool that keeps us up to date on important news items and parish activities. If you are not receiving this newsletter please speak to Fr. Chuck or Cathy. It could be that we don’t have your e-mail address, or worse, that we have an incorrect e-mail listing for you.

We are still looking for a volunteer to serve as our Sunday morning coffee hour coordinator. This is an important ministry at Christ Church since the coffee hour serves as an “unofficial” continuation of the 10 a.m. service. Please speak with Fr. Chuck if you are interested in filling this position.

February will be a very busy month at Christ Church as we move into the season of Lent. There are many interesting activities to come together as a parish family and I urge you to attend as many of them as you can.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
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