the Tower Chimes
June, 2011
Close Window
Clergy Corner
Altar Guild/Flower Guild
Bisop Anderson, Progressive Leader
Sacristy Renovation
The Carpenter's Kids Program 2011
Youth Group
From the Parish Register
Vestry Notes
Annual Spring Fair
Holy Baptism
Around the Parish
Clergy Corner
the Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector

The Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector of Christ Church New BrightonMemorial Day is at hand and the end of the school year is approaching, but that doesn’t mean that activities will stop at Christ Church.  We have a wonderful summer with many fun activities to look forward to.

Christ Church’s annual Spring Fair will be held on Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Fair will feature vendors, a flea market, raffles, home-made baked goods, food, and much, much more.  There will also be lots of activities for children including games, face painting, and a visit from the New York Fire Department.  Children will have an opportunity to meet firefighters and board a truck.  All the proceeds from the Fair benefit Christ Church so it would be great if everyone did something to help out. You don’t need to commit an entire day; a commitment of just a few hours would be enormously helpful.  Please take a look at the sign-up sheets in the parish hall and consider where you can help.

Sunday, June 12 is Pentecost Day and will be a big celebration at Christ Church.  We will celebrate Holy Baptism at the 10 a.m. Eucharist, welcoming several children into Christ’s Body, the Church. At that service, we will also dedicate the renovated sacristy in honor of former altar guild Directress Shirley Elfers, recognizing her many years of service to the altar guild and to Christ Church.

Also on June 12, the Inter-Parish Council, the association of Episcopal parishes on Staten Island, will host its annual picnic at All Saints’ Church, 2329 Victory Blvd from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Last year’s picnic, the first in many years, was blast and was well attended.  Christ Church is in charge of games, and if you are interested in helping with them, please speak to Mark Gherzo or me.

On Sunday, June 19 we will recognize our graduating students and award college scholarships.  Our graduating high school seniors are Dalton Luke, Hugo McIntosh, Jr., and Stephon Lynch.  At that service we will also recognize and thank our teachers and youth leaders.

On June 19 both the Christ Church Choir and the Christ Church Community Choir will sing for the last time until the fall.  We are looking for parishioners who would like to offer music, either vocal or instrumental, during the summer.  If you are interested, please speak to Tom Sarff, our organist and choirmaster, or to me.

On Sunday, June 26, as a parish we will attend a 4:00 p.m. game of the Staten Island Yankees.  Each person will receive an all-you-can-eat meal ticket, a hat, and Christ Church will be recognized on the scoreboard.

The Building Bridges Coalition, an interfaith group on Staten Island, will hold its annual Walk for Peace on Sunday, August 28.  We will gather at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church and walk to the site (yet to be finalized) where the Peace Pole will be dedicated.  You’ll recall, of course, that the Peace Pole has been touring houses of worship on Staten Island all year and was at Christ Church February 27 – March 12.  Everyone is invited to attend this walk and make a witness for peace and tolerance.

Most important of all, of course, is that throughout the summer we continue our regular schedule of Holy Eucharist on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and on Thursday morning at 11 a.m.  God doesn’t take a vacation in the summer and neither does Christ Church.

Fr. Chuck

Return to the top of the page
Altar Guild/Flower Guild
Daivd Michael Wood, Directress

FLower standFive new members have joined the altar guild:  Roxanne Ingoe, Anne Devlin, Agnes Thompson, Marguerite Bruce, and Mary Larimer.  Welcome!  They are training under long-time members of the four teams.

Barnett Shepherd, Nick Dowen, Nick Lettiere, Dan Wood, Linda Reiersen, Anne Devlin, and Judy Davis are on the newly-formed Flower Guild.  Victor Stanwick handcrafted a new taller wooden stand to accommodate occasional larger single arrangements at the main altar.  Kudos to Victor!

Parishioners Valerie Quinlan, David Seeley, Martha Keucher and Leslie Thompson have kindly offered garden flowers for use in arrangements in the church and chapel. If others wish to donate flowers from their gardens to the glory of God, please call me at 718-816-5831 or see me at church.
Return to the top of the page
Bishop Anderson, Progressive Leader
Nick Dowen

The Right Reverend Robert Marshall Anderson.The Episcopal Church presents a rather conservative structure and appearance and yet we really are a rather progressive church. The struggles over women’s ordination, lesbian and gay ordination, and sexual abuse scandals are still roiling many denominations. The passing of the Rt. Rev. Robert Marshall Anderson, Bishop of Minnesota from 1978 to 1993 and a son of Staten Island and of Christ Church New Brighton, who died in Minneapolis on May 3, is a sterling reminder of the leadership that he and other Episcopalians have shown on these and many other issues.

The son of Arthur and Hazel Anderson, Bishop Anderson was an active parishioner at Christ Church but claimed he then had no inkling that he would become a priest, still less a bishop. However, his leadership qualities were clearly manifested at Curtis High School, where he was elected president of the Class of 1952. His ties with Staten Island’s oldest public high school remained strong and he was inducted into the Curtis High School Hall of Fame in 2005.

John B. Woodall was delighted to have Bishop Anderson’s Foreword to his book-length history of Christ Church. Dr. Woodall, a professional historian, worked on this parish history for many years and finally published it in 1993. I believe a few copies are still available from the parish.

As seventh Bishop of Minnesota, Bishop Anderson had oversight of 126 parishes and missions. Minnesota has more Lutherans than Episcopalians but the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota has a long and distinguished history, beginning with the legendary Henry Benjamin Whipple. When many Americans were still busy persecuting Native Americans, Bishop Whipple began ordaining them.

Bishop Anderson was a friend to many in the lesbian and gay community, offering his steadfast support on lesbian and gay issues. He will be greatly missed. May many other clergy and laity of all denominations follow his example.
Return to the top of the page
Sacristy Renovation

Renovations to the sacristy are moving quickly and soon will be completed. The electrical work – improved lighting and circuitry – is finished.  The walls have been repaired and painted.  The woodwork has been refurbished.  The church’s original altar table has been repaired and refinished.  a plasterer plying his trade in the sacristyNew doors for the sacristy work room and bathroom are in progress.  All that remains to be done is to repair the frames of the stained glass windows and install a new area rug.

Many thanks to Victor Stanwick, who repaired the altar table and made the new doors; to Peter Raff, who, with his crew, repaired and painted the walls and ceiling; to Marshall Green, who has overseen the entire project; and to all  our contractors who have worked with extraordinary care and skill.

As you know, the sacristy, which had fallen into disrepair, is being renovated in honor of Shirely Elfers, who served on the altar guild for sixty years, twenty-five as directress. We are in the process of raising around $9,000 to complete the project.  In you have already pledged, thank you for your donation.  If you have not yet had an opportunity to pledge, please do so at your earliest convenience.
Return to the top of the page
The Carpenter's Kids Program 2011
Valerie Quinlan

In our weekly prayer list we are requested to pray for the continued growth of the Carpenter’s Kids program. For those who are new to the parish, an explanation is in order.

Christ Church members have supported this worthwhile program for five years, supporting children who are orphaned by the HIV epidemic in Tanzania, Africa. Five years ago the New York Episcopal Diocese, in partnership with the greater Tanzania Diocese, created this program to help care for and educate grade school children whose families had been devastated by the HIV epidemic in East Africa.

The Carpenter's Kids program.Christ Church and two other NY parishes have been contributing to the schooling, feeding and clothing of orphans in the Nghome parish, one of 114 parishes in the Carpenter’s Kids program. The cost of this support is the surprisingly modest sum of $50.00 per year for each child. This amount supplies the child’s school uniform, socks, shoes, soap, all school materials and breakfast. A network of local women called "Mama Lishes" help cook meals, organize social clubs to support the children psychologically, and teach them about hygiene and nutrition. Many orphaned children live with family members, placing them in the best situation possible. No children are in orphanages.

When Christ Church became a partner in the Carpenter’s Kids program, we were asked to pledge for five years (at $50 per annum). Those who began in 2006 are now at the end of their pledge period. Several parishioners joined in subsequent years, and their pledge periods are not yet completed. In sum, Christ Church members have been supporting 24 orphans. There are plans to extend the program so as to carry the grade school children through five years of secondary school or vocational training.        We now have the option to: 1) continue to support the original number of children through secondary school or vocational training; 2) End our involvement with the Carpenter’s Kids program; 3) Support only those children still in primary school.

Whatever decision is made, there is a rate change from $50 to $67 per child per year. This is still a small amount for what is being given to these needy children.

I will be contacting each of you who have been contributing so that you know the status of your commitment. I will be asking you for your opinion as to which option you think Christ Church should choose.

If we continue in the program it will be necessary to hold bake sales to keep up our commitment. Bake sales have been a big success in supplementing our total pledge obligation.

I hope to hear from new donors. If you would like to participate in this worthwhile program, call me at 718-273-3668.
Return to the top of the page
Youth Group
The Youth Group will meet for the final time before the fall on Friday, June 10 at 7 p.m.
From the Parish Register

June Birthdays
4 – Christopher John Brown; 6 – Arryn Samarisi; 8 – Richard Whaley; 9 – Kristin Reiersen; 10 – Sean McLean; 11 - Kit Gerney;  12- Anne Beveridge; 13 – Peter Raff; 15 – Claire James, Vlasta Jantzi, Charles McLean III, Patsy Parese, Richard Zayzay; 16 – Jill Kanner Smith, Romeo Zayzay; 18 – Eleanor Larimer, Laila Modzelewski; 25 – Liz Howell; 25 – Joyce Rowan; 28  Evelise Leila Hutton; 29 – Leslie Thompson, Gregory Brown; 30 – Togba Porte;

June Anniversaries
8 – Joseph Ambroggi & Dorothy Thompson; 11 – Bill & Nancy Beveridge; 16 – Roxanne Ingoe & John Gerney; 17 –  Peter & Dorothy Sipp; 17 – Richard & Yassah Zayzay; 20 – Robert & Christina Mantz; 23 – JP & Stephanie Sipp; 27 – Edward & Kim Davis Sorge.

July Birthdays
5 – Monette McIntosh; Barbara Pocino;  8 – Isabella Rhea Massey; 10 – Colin Reed, Williette Thompson; 13 – Brian McLean; 14 – Togba Porte II; 15 – Nick Lettiere, Bonnie Nygard; 16 – Carol Brown, Ryan Johnson; 17 – Marigold Daley Green, Gabriel Noel; 18 – Keith Eppinger; 19 – Sydney George; 20 – Oliver Simpson; 21 –Sarah Kanner; 21 – Matilda Sipp; 22 – Charlotte Hewitt; 23 – Sheila Swigert; 24 – Marie Mantz; 26 – Ann Sohm, Barnett Shepherd; 27 – Sydney McIntosh, Evelyn Hernandez;  29 – Thomas Eppinger; 30 – Titus Zayzay

July Anniversaries
30 – Constance & Willie Black III;

August Birthdays
2- Ted Schneider; 3- Joseph Ambroggi; 4 – Theresa Gilman, Edwin John; 5 – Jane Sharif, Victoria Noel; 8 – Erin Shannon, Kevin Larimer; 9 – Vanessa Hall; 10 – John Watson; 12 – Anne Devlin; 15 – Joseph Zayzay;  21 – Luke Larimer; 23 – Christina Mantz; 24 – Yassah Zayzay, Robert Hayes; 25 – Elizabeth McLean, Laura Mazzucco-Gambino; 28 – David Nygard;  30 – Troy Richards;

August Anniversaries
9 – Ed & Laura Craig; 15 – Charles & Elizabeth McLean, Jay & Ginny Spadaro; 20 – Nick & Nancy Lettiere; 22 – Martin & Christina Noel; 23 – Dick Riley & Marcia Clendenen; 30 – Clyve Hutton & Evelyn Hernandez; 31 – John & Christine Szczepanik.

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

Return to the top of the page
Vestry Notes
Nick Dowen

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton took place on Monday, May 9, 2011. The following summary provides some highlights of important issues and decisions that were discussed that evening:

Committee Reports

Plant & Equipment

  • Susan Fowler reported that the cloister lift was badly installed and that its operation ever since has been problematical and temperamental. It was moved by Willie Black Jr., seconded by Kirstin Swanson-Basso, to spend up to $1100 on parts and labor for Mobility Elevator to repair it.
  • The radiator in the Rectory kitchen will be hooked up to the heating system by Rucci Plumbing, costing $480.
  • Work on scaffolding for the sidewalk bridge will begin on Wednesday, expenditure already approved. Sacristy refurbishment is on schedule, although two recent water stains have been discovered. The causes will be investigated.
  • Repairs have been made to the leaky pipes in the gymnasium ceiling, the tractor lawn mower, and the walking lawn mower.


  • There was a $1300 profit on the Flea Market; the International Dinner on May 14 and the Spring Fair and Flea Market on June 4 are the next fund-raising events. Volunteers are needed.

Christ Church Community Outreach

  • Deacon Geri Swanson reported on plans, still underway, for a feeding program, probably including hot lunch and dinner to go. Application to Richmond County Savings Foundation for a grant to find this program is a part of these plans.


  • A Scholarship Tea fund-raiser will take place on Sunday, October 9, 2011. By consensus, the amount of the scholarship has been increased from $500 to $750.

Old Business

West Buchanan Street Property

  • The purpose of acquiring the West Buchanan Street land would be to build a residential facility that would generate income for the parish. We are waiting for the architect’s drawing and plans to determine the feasibility of this project.

Capital Campaign

  • A decision about going forward with a capital campaign will be reached at the June Vestry meeting.

Churchwarden’s Report

  • Mark Gherzo commended the Rector and the congregation for the very successful Lenten, Holy Week and Easter services and events this year.

Rector’s Report

  • The Rector announced that Ian Riddick is no longer employed as the parish sexton. The sexton’s schedule has been reduced to 25 hours per week and a lawn service will be engaged.
  • Thank You notes for Easter food baskets were received from Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Richmond Senior Services, the Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island, and the Christian Pentecostal Church.
Return to the top of the page
Annual Spring Fair

CCNB Spring Fair 2011Christ  Church Spring Fair
Saturday, June 4 at 10 a.m.
Vendors, Food, White Elephant, Church Tours, Car Wash, Maypole for the Children, Activities for one and All!

Volunteers are needed to “man” the different booths, set up, clean up, etc. Sign-up sheets can be found in on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall

Return to the top of the page
Holy Baptism
The next occasion for Holy Baptism will the Day of Pentecost, June 12. Please speak to Fr. Chuck if you would like to arrange for a baptism for someone in your family.
Return to the top of the page
Around the Parish
Nancy Reiersen

The Christ Church Spring Fair, Camp and College Scholarships and Sunday School recognition awards all signal the start of the summer season. Hard to believe that we have almost arrived at the mid-way point of the year.

It’s been an extremely busy time at Christ Church and our ongoing renovations in the Sacristy and the Bell Tower are a sign that even though our parish activities are slowing down there is still much to be done this year.

Sean Hanley, a former parishioner and the daughter of Joyce Rowan, was in New Jersey to attend the graduations of her daughter, Alexandra, from the College of New Jersey in Trenton, and her son, James from Rutgers University. Alexandra was awarded a degree in Psychology; James received his degree in Political Science, with a double major in Chinese and will be pursuing a career in the Foreign Service. Sean now resides with her family in Cormish, NH; and congratulations to Joyce, who celebrates her 80th birthday on June 25th.

Congratulations to Alleida Mitchell and the Fund Raising Committee for hosting a very successful “pre-fair” International Dinner at Christ Church. Members of the parish graciously shared samplings of their native dishes from Liberia, the Middle East, Asia, France and the Caribbean. Our own Tony Colucci provided the musical accompaniment at the piano. A great time was had by all!

Kudos to David Wood and the Flower Guild for the exquisite and interesting floral arrangements that are placed on the main altar each Sunday. These arrangements are made possible with generous contributions from the lush gardens of many of our parishioners.

Be sure to check out the Christ Church website ( to see photos of the Sacristy Renovation project. Things are progressing nicely and we will be dedicating the new Sacristy on Sunday, June 12 in honor of Shirley Elfers, a faithful member of the altar guild for most of her life and the former Altar Guild Directress for many year. If you’d like to make a donation to this important project please speak with Fr. Chuck.

Our own Hueldine (Spider) Webb will be honored by the Veterans Association (Richmond District 369) during their 38th Annual luncheon at the Staaten on Saturday, June. 4. As many of you may know, Spider is an oncological surgeon at the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Condolences to Ron Mazzucco and his family on the passing of his mother, Elizabeth Mazzucco. Elizabeth often attended the 8 a.m. services on Sunday morning and will be missed.

As we’ve mentioned, this will be the last issue of the Tower Chimes until September. However, we will keep you updated with emailed “Weekly Updates” throughout the summer.

Thanks to all of you who have contributed articles, and especially to Hal & Linda Reiersen and the “production crew” for assembling and mailing the completed issues each month. Their names are listed in this issue.

May you all have a restful and wonderful summer. See you in September!
Return to the top of the page

Wednesday, 6/1  7:30 p.m.  Finance Committee
Thursday, 6/2    11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
                         4:00 p.m.   CCCYC Rehearsal
                         7:00 p.m.   Ascension Day service at Church of the Ascension
Saturday,  6/4    10:00 a.m.   SPRING FAIR
Thursday,  6/9   11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist & Healing
                        3:00 p.m.    Knitting
                        4:00 p.m.    CCCYC Rehearsal
                        7:30 p.m.    Education Committee
Friday, 6/10       7:00 p.m.    Youth Group
Saturday, 6/11   2:00 p.m.    Yanez/Moreno Wedding
Monday, 6/13    7:30 p.m.    Vestry Meeting
Tuesday, 6/14   5:00 p.m.    Living Room
Thursday, 6/16  11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
                         4:00 p.m.   CCCYC Rehearsal
Thursday, 6/23  11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
                         3:00 p.m.   Knitting Group
Tuesday, 6/28   5:00 p.m.   Living Room
Thursday, 6/30  11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
Thursday 7/7     11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
Tuesday 7/12    5:00 p.m.   Living Room
Thursday 7/7     11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
Thursday 7/14   11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist & Healing
                         3:00 p.m.   Knitting
Thursday, 7/21  11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
Tuesday, 7/26     5:00 p.m. Living Room
Thursday 7/28   11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
                          3:00 p.m.  Knitting
Thursday 8/4     11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
Tuesday, 8/9       5:00 p.m. Living Room
Thursday 8/11   11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist & Healing
                          3:00 p.m.  Knitting
Sunday, 8/14     11:30 a.m. Ice Cream Social (after 10 a.m. service)
Thursday 8/18   11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
Tuesday, 8/23     5:00 p.m. Living Room
Thursday 8/25   11:00 a.m.   Holy Eucharist
                          3:00 p.m.  Knitting
                          7:30 p.m.  Worship & Liturgy Meeting

Return to the top of the page