the Tower Chimes
March, 2011
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Clergy Corner
Vestry Notes
Save the Date
Godly Play Activities
Serenade Concert Series to Feature Emalie Savoy
With Grateful Hearts We Thansk You
David Michael Wood to Head Altar Guild
Christ Church Flower Guild
Christ Church Has a New Deacon!
The United Thank Offering
Youth Group Calendar Winter/Spring 2011
Sheila Hewitt Honored at Council of Churches Annual Awards Dinner
Fr. David Carletta Returns to Christ Church
Holiday Food Baskets for Easter
Richmond IPC 2011 Lenten Program
Pancake Dinner, Ash Wednesday Services & Lenten Observances at Christ Church
"Peace Pole" Comes to Christ Church
Beth McLean is the Recipient of the 2011 Christ Church Chi Rho Award
Interfaith Seder on April 4
From the Parish Register

Christ Church Annual Fish Supper, Friday April 1, 2011,
6-9 PM

Around the Parish
Institution of the Rev. R. Richard Marchand
Clergy Corner
the Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector

The Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector of Christ Church New BrightonI can’t count the number of times I’ve wished for some peace and quiet, for just a few days to sit around, read, and do nothing. Earlier this year my wish came true and I had more peace and quiet than I ever wanted while I recovered from my recent illness (I’m all better, by the way!). Of course, I was so wracked with anxiety and worry about my health, wondering if I would ever get well, that I didn’t enjoy myself at all. My enforced peace and quiet was so stressful that now I want some peace and quiet!

Luckily for me, Lent is on the way. Lent invites us to slow down and enjoy a season of peace and quiet. Rather than being anxious in this peace and quiet, as with the unwanted peace and quiet of illness, we can use Lent’s peaceful space to draw closer to God by engaging in the traditional Lenten disciplines of self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting, self-denial, reading Scripture, meditating, and alms-giving.

A great way to profit from the peace and quiet of Lent is to participate in our Lenten study. This year we will be reading and discussing the book Listening for God, Volume I. Listening for God is a collection of contemporary short stories chosen to illuminate the often surprising intersections of life and faith. Each week we will read and discuss a different story. Authors represented in the volume include Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, Annie Dillard, Alice Walker and Garrison Keillor. Copies are available for purchase in the parish office for $10.

The Lenten series is held on Wednesday nights beginning March 16 and runs through April 13. The schedule for each evening is:

7:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist
7:40 p.m. Dinner
8:00 p.m. Discussion of a story from Listening for God
9:00 p.m. End

I think that we are happiest when we have a good balance of activity and quiet. Given our busy lives we probably don’t take enough time to be still and peaceful. Lent, then, is a golden opportunity to carve out some much needed time for quiet and reflection, to listen to what God is saying to each of us, and to restore some balance in our lives.

Fr. Chuck

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Vestry Notes
Nick Dowen

Following January's Annual Meeting, the new Vestry met in on February 14. Six new Vestry members were warmly welcomed: John Gerney, Deborah Lindsay, Lawrence Modzelewski, Nancy Reiersen-Scromo, Kirstin Swanson-Basso, and Richard Whaley. Also present were Deacon Geri Swanson and Dorothy Thompson, Treasurer.

Dorothy Thompson explained the customary format of her Treasurer's Reports for the benefit of new Vestry members.

Under Committee Reports, the Plant & Equipment Committee requested the expenditure of $450 for the replacement of the deteriorated floor in front of the dumbwaiter that serves the second-floor Auditorium in the Parish House. Victor Stanwick will replace the worn-out floor with new floorboards; his labor will be donated. This is an important repair because the Auditorium is used for many parish events and an increasing number of outside rentals. 

The Education Committee submitted an excellent report and the Fund Raising Committee noted the upcoming Wine Tasting, set for the Kennedys' house at 6 p.m. on March 4, and the Irish Brunch, a follow-up to the very successful German Brunch organized by Colin Reed.

Under Community Outreach, Churchwarden Elizabeth Gattullo noted that her daughter, a schoolteacher, has organized a "Penny Harvest" among her students and they will contribute it to the holiday food baskets that Christ Church New Brighton assembles three times in the year, at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

The Vestry continues to look into the feasibility of beginning a Capital Campaign. Thank-you notes were received from Cathy Romano and Tom Sarff for their staff Christmas gifts, and also from the Brighton Heights Reformed Church for Christmas food baskets.

Project Hospitality will present the Sophie Matthews Award for Volunteer Service to Christ Church New Brighton in recognition of the homeless shelter at our church that houses 12-15 homeless men every night. The award will be conferred at Project Hospitality's annual luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday, May 12, at 11:30 a.m.

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Save the Date!
Cathy Romano
Flea MarketChrist Church will be hosting a Flea Market in the parking lot on Saturday, April 16 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parishioners may bring items to donate for sale at the flea market, or may choose to sell these items on their own. If you bring your own table the charge will be $25; if we provide the table the charge will be $30. Please see Alleida Mitchell if you would like additional information.
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Godly Play Activities
Lisa Rhoades

Although for many of us the holidays feel long past (so many snow storms and the rush of school and church activities filled January), still I want to tell you about what the Godly Play classes did during Advent and Christmas. 

Godly Play offers children the space and time to allow the full mystery of God's presence to be revealed in their lives. We began Advent by noting that the Mystery of Christmas takes some time to prepare to enter. In December we saw lots of people running around shopping and being distracted and overbooked.  Each week as we told the story of Christ's birth, we built on the story from the previous week. There is no condensing Godly Play peopleof information but rather an intentional repetition and construction of the entire story.  Compared to the pace of the rest of their lives this can feel, well, SLOW, to the children.  Maybe even BORING.  For so many reasons they express the desire for their teachers to "get on with it." They want Christmas NOW.

Who doesn't?  But without time and space for God in our lives we are ill-prepared to express our Christian love for others. Mindful of the overnight guests with whom we share our gym and basement space, our classes embarked on a project of sewing Christmas stockings which we filled with personal care items and some candy.  Godly Play 1 children embellished the stockings by gluing on the felt trim and decorations.  Godly Play 2 children sewed 12 stockings using sewing kits graciously provided by Sheila Hewitt. Unlike so many crafts meant to be accomplished in a matter of minutes and taken home to show off, our stockings took several weeks to assemble. With increasing skill and persistence, the students learned how to thread their needles and straighten their stitches. 

Working together and individually on the project we not only talked about Christian charity, we lived it.  We greeted the gift of the Christ Child's birth with presents for people we may never meet, but who Christ tells us we must love as we love Him.

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Serenade Concert Series to Feature
Emalie Savoy
Valerie Quinlan

Emalie SavoyOn Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 3 p.m., soprano Emalie Savoy will perform a program of songs by composers such as Debussy, Schubert, Vollrath, de Falla and Gershwin. Emalie will be accompanied by Nathan Brandwein, piano.

Admission is free. A “Meet-the-Artists” reception will follow the concert in the parish hall. All spaces are handicapped accessible.

Praised in the New York Times for her "luminous singing," Emalie recently performed with the MET Chamber Ensemble at Zankel Hall under the direction of James Levine and featuring cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. She has performed major roles in operas by Mozart, Offenbach, Cavalli and Poulenc. Upcoming performances include the lead soprano in Mendelssohn’s oratorio, "Elijah" at Carnegie Hall, and the title role in Strauss’s "Ariadne auf Naxos," at Tanglewood under the direction of Christoph von Dohnanyi.

For additional information please call 718-273-3668 or visit our web site.

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With Grateful Hearts We Thank You
Fr. Chuck

Santa (left) and Shirley Elfers (right)After more than twenty-five years of dedicated service, Shirley Elfers has retired as Altar Guild Directress, although she will continue as an Altar Guild member.  Shirley joined the Altar Guild over 60 years ago when she was about twenty five years old.  Following World War II, the Rector, the Reverend Andrew Long, created an Altar Guild composed mostly of women who had been Red Cross drivers during the War.  These women decided to ask some younger ladies to join the Altar Guild and invited Shirley and her friend Edna Peterson.  Shirley also had a Red Cross connection having trained and served as a nurse's aide.  The Rector asked Ethel Fowler to be the Altar Guild Directress and at that time the cabinets and hangings case were added to the sacristy.

After serving for many years as an Altar Guild member, Shirley took over as Directress from Elizabeth Brownell.  Miss Brownell was an unmarried lady who lived with her mother. She was, Shirley says, lovely, quiet, gentle, and dedicated to Christ Church and the altar.  Shirley learned from Miss Brownell and has tried to pass on her lessons to the generations of Altar Guild members she has trained. 

Shirley acknowledges that she is very particular about the way she likes things done, and made it a point to give each new Altar Guild member a handbook and hands-on training.

Shirley has always felt that being on the Altar Guild is a special job, "We're setting the Table of the Lord so everything has to be perfect." Although she has stepped down as the Directress, Shirley continues to maintain her monthly Altar Guild obligations on the second Sunday of each month.

Shirley’s many years of service to Christ Church were recognized at our 2011 Annual Meeting. At that time it was announced that the Sacristy (a place where Shirley has spent many hours in service to Christ Church) will be renovated in her honor and a plaque will be placed there in her honor when the work is completed. Marshall Green will be coordinating all of the renovations, and has already begun work on this important project.

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David Michael Wood to Head Altar Guild
Fr. Chuck
I am very pleased to announce that David Wood has accepted my appointment as the next Altar Guild Directress. I am confident that David will continue the high standards of excellence set by Elizabeth Brownell and Shirley Elfers and will also bring fresh ideas to the job.  Please join me in welcoming David and, again, be attentive to announcements from David as the Altar Guild coalesces around his leadership.
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Christ Church Flower Guild

Flower GuildWe are pleased to announce the formation of the Christ Church Flower Guild. Members of this group will be working under the direction of David Wood to arrange flowers and greens that will be used for our Sunday and weekly services. In addition, parishioners who are interested in donating flowers from their garden should contact David to make further arrangements.

If you are interested in being a part of this important Christ Church ministry, please see David after church or telephone him at 718-816-5831.

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Christ Church Has a New Deacon!
Fr. Chuck

Last month we welcomed The Reverend Geraldine (Geri) Swanson as our new Deacon. Geri is well known to many in this parish and most recently served as Deacon at The Church of the Ascension. 

A native New Yorker, she was ordained to the Diaconate in April of 1997 and has served four parishes in New York City and three on Staten Island. She received her BA from Hunter College in Manhattan and a Master of Science in Secondary Education from the former Richmond College, CUNY. In June of 2008, she completed a Master of Arts in Theology and Church History cum laude at General Theological Seminary.

Additionally, she has a 29 year career in the field of education and is currently an Achievement Geri SwansonCoach with the Children's First Network in the Department of Education. 

Deacon Geri was appointed by Bishop Sisk to serve as the New York City Coordinator for Episcopal Relief and Development and sits on the Board of Directors of the Association for American Deacons. She is actively involved in programs that provide food and services for those in need, and is the Coordinator of Volunteers for Project Hospitality's Soup Kitchen at Trinity Lutheran here on Staten Island.

Deacon Swanson and her husband, Bob, are the parents of two daughters and a son, who live in Grant City with their "foster" cat, Snacks. The Swansons recently welcomed their first grandchild, Erin Rose, who was baptized at and attends Christ Church New Brighton along with her parents Brian Basso and Kirstin Swanson-Basso.

At Christ Church, Geri will focus her attention on serving as Deacon during the Sunday Eucharist, preaching, and working to expand and improve our outreach ministries.

I hope you'll join me in welcoming Deacon Geri Swanson to Christ Church.

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The United Thank Offering - UTO
Linda Reiersen

The United Thank Offering, often referred to as UTO, is a ministry of the Episcopal Church that provides a way for men, women and children of the Episcopal Church to give daily thanks to God. Every year the total offering is used for projects at home and abroad to support grants for missions and ministry. The challenge is that grant requests total between five to seven million dollars.

The discipline starts in the home by dropping coins into the special container known as the Blue Box. At specific in-gatherings during the year individuals and families bring their Blue Boxes or a check made out to Christ Church-UTO to church and then the funds are collected together from across the diocese and forwarded to the UTO main office and joined together with funds from all over the dioceses in the US.

I will be collecting for the UTO for the next two Sundays at a table set up in the Guild Room. By the way, several years ago Christ Church received a grant to contribute to handicapped accessibility in our church building.

Here is a lovely UTO Prayer:
Source of all creation, all love, all true joy; accept, we pray, these outward signs of our profound and continuing thankfulness for all of life. Bless those who will benefit from these gifts through the outreach of the United Thank Offering; and keep each of us ever thankful for all the blessings of joy and challenge that come our way; through Him who is the greatest gift and blessing of all, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen

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Youth Group Calendar Winter/Spring 2011

The Christ Church Youth Group meets every other week, usually on the second and fourth Fridays of each month, at 7:00pm.  The Youth Group engages in service projects, fellowship, study, and fun activities.  Some past activities have included Bible study, participating in the breast cancer walk, attending the diocesan acolyte festival, movie nights, homework tutoring nights, roller skating, and attending a Staten Island Yankee game with our friends from St. Bartholomew’s Church, North Augusta, SC.  The youth group is open to all Rite 13 and Journey to Adulthood (middle school and high school) students and their friends.

Friday, 3/11 5-6:30 p.m. **Prepare for visit of Youth Group from Mediator, Allentown, PA
Saturday, 3/19 – Sunday, 3/20 **Host Youth Group from Mediator, Allentown, PA
Sunday, 4/3 – 4:30 p.m. Interfaith Seder, St. Teresa’s RC Church, Staten Island
Sunday, 4/19 – 4 p.m. Lenten Service of Music & Healing
Saturday, 5/14 – 10 a.m. Second Saturday Feeding Ministry at Trinity Lutheran, SI
Friday, 5/27 – 7 p.m. TBA
Friday, 6/10 – 7 p.m. TBA

** The Christ Church Youth Group will be hosting a Journey to Adulthood group from the Church of the Mediator (Allentown, PA) from March 18-20. They will be traveling to NYC for an urban mission trip and will be staying in the Christ Church gymnasium for two nights. On Saturday, 3/19 they will work in the Trinity Soup Kitchen, and on Sunday 3/20 they will participate in a joint activity with our Youth Group.

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Sheila Hewitt Honored at Council of Churches
Annual Awards Dinner

Last month, Sheila Hewitt was the Christ Church honoree at the Council of Churches Annual Award Dinner. Sheila has served faithfully for many years teaching Sunday School and as Church School Director.

Sheila has asked us to include the following letter in this article:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Christ Church for submitting my name to the Staten Island Council of Churches and to have received such a high honor on February 3, 2011.

Once again, Christ Church has been very helpful with the collection of mittens, hats, scarves and socks, these items will be delivered to St. Mary’s Church in Manhattan to be distributed to the homeless and less fortunate.

I would also like to thank all the parishioners at Christ Church who assisted me in my journey as Sunday School Director. It has been fabulous. But the time has come to move on. I have resigned from my position as Sunday School Director, as a member of the Education Committee and as a volunteer with the Youth Group. Yes, I will still be attending  Christ Church.

Thank you all again for your years of assisting me in making all of our Sunday School adventures so successful.

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Father David Coletta Returns to Christ Church
Nancy Reiersen

Susanne and David CarlettaLast month we welcomed Father David Carletta as our guest celebrant and preacher at the 10 a.m. Eucharist.

For two years as our seminarian David shared his liturgical, preaching, teaching, and pastoral gifts with Christ Church. He was ordained to the diaconate at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at General Seminary in May and to the priesthood on December 3 at Grace Church, Newark.

Father David currently serves as Assistant to the Rector at the Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in Manhattan and is teaching at John Jay College.

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Holiday Food Baskets for Easter

holiday food basketChrist Church will be preparing 200 holiday basket dinners for needy families and individuals on Staten Island. We will assemble and distribute the baskets during the week of April 10.

Watch for sign-up sheets on the Parish Hall bulletin board.

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Richmond Interparish Council
2011 Lenten Program


Celebrating God’s Healing Presence

SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011 4:00 P.M.




The Rev. Richard Marchand
(718) 442-4187 or

The Rev. Loyda Morales
(718) 984-1722 or

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Pancake Supper, Ash Wednesday Services &
Lenten Observancea at Christ Church

Ashes and pancakesShrove Tuesday is March 8, and we will have a traditional Pancake Supper at 6:00 p.m.  Bring your palms from Palm Sunday to be burned to create the ashes for Ash Wednesday. 

Ash Wednesday is March 9, and we will hold services of Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes at 12:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

March 13 is the First Sunday of Lent.  As in past years, at both services we will bless and distribute pocket crosses.  During Lent keep your pocket cross with you and think of a person you would particularly like to pray for.  Your pocket cross can be a reminder to pray for that person and, at Easter time, you can give that person your cross and let them know you've been praying for them during Lent.

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"Peace Pole" Comes to Christ Church
Nancy Reiersen

The Building Bridges Coalition, an interfaith group, presented a Peace Pole during their annual interfaith Thanksgiving service last year. A peace pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays the the Peace Polemessage and prayer on each of its four sides in different languages, “May Peace Prevail on Earth”.

The Peace Pole has the message of peace written in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, and Russian.

The peace pole project began in Ishikawa, Japan, in 1955 when the late Masshaisa Goi was inspired to spread the message and prayer of peace to the global community.  Stickers and posters first appeared on store fronts, public bulletin boards, and telephone poles.  In 1976 the idea of placing the message on poles gained popularity, and they began to appear outside of Japan in the early 1980s.  There are 100,000 peace poles planted worldwide, and ours joins two others on Staten Island, one at Wagner College and the other at Susan Wagner High School.

Since Thanksgiving the Peace Pole has been traveling to various houses of worship on Staten Island and will be at Christ Church on February 27 and March 6.

Ultimately the Building Bridges Coalition hopes to dedicate the Peace Pole as part of the observance of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Coalition is seeking to have the Peace Pole permanently installed in the St. George ferry terminal.

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Beth McLean is the Recipient of the 2011
Christ Church Chi Rho Award
Cathy Romano

Congratulations to Beth McLean who was the 2011 recipient of the Christ Church Chi Rho. This Chi Rho award is presented each year to a parishioner chosen by the Rector and Wardens, as recognition of their outstanding service to Christ Church.

Chip and Beth McLeanBeth, who currently serves as our Financial Secretary, is also a member of the Finance, Worship & Liturgy, and Plant & Equipment Committees, in addition to the many other parish organizations to which she belongs.

Previous recipients of the Christ Church Chi Rho include Dorothy Thompson and Lisa Rhoades.

Beth is shown here with her husband of nearly 500 years, Chip.

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Interfaith Seder on April 4

Interfaith sederDon’t forget to mark your calendars now and plan to attend the annual Interfaith Seder sponsored by the Building Bridges Coalition of Staten Island.

This very popular event will take place at St. Teresa’s RC Church at the corner of Victory Boulevard and Manor Road on Sunday, April 4 at 4:30 p.m.

A poster and sign-up sheet for this event can be found on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall.

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From the Parish Register
Cathy Romano

March Birthdays
1– Bob Mantz; 2- Clyve Hutton; 6- Betsy Kalfa, Mark Richards;12-Alice Wood Green; 13-Kenneth McLean, William Keck III; 14-Maria Gelabert; 17-Theresa Lettiere; 18-Troy Richards; 21-Alexandria Kalfa; 22-Robert Kowach; 23-Nancy Lettiere, Heather George; 26-Pamela Miller; 28-Julia Dwikat; 30-Daniel Lettiere, Angela Lindsay, Tom Sarff; 31- Nicholas Kalfa

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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Christ Church Annual Fish Supper,
Friday April 1, 2011, 6-9 PM
Ali Mitchell
Fish Supper poster
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Around the Parish
Nancy Reiersen

After what has seemed like a winter season that would NEVER end it’s nice to finally see the sidewalks and grounds of the church in their “natural” state – free of snow and ice!

Glad to report that Fr. Chuck is feeling much better and is back to his normal schedule of church services, meetings, etc.

Putting their best foot forward: Get-well wishes to John Watson and Susan Fowler as they continue to recover from their individual knee replacement surgeries last month.

Wedding Bells at Christ Church: Congratulations to Rachel Somma and Kevin Devlin who were married at Christ Church on February 13. Rachel spent her childhood at Christ Church while her dad, Al Somma, served as our Sexton many years ago. Rachel’s mom, Jan, is a photographer for the Staten Island Advance and often visits Christ Church while “on assignment.” And best wishes to David Reiersen, son of Linda and Hal Reiersen, who will be married to Christie Booker on March 19 in Baton Rough, LA.

Congratulations to Keith Eppinger, son of Tom and Irene Eppinger, who has received a four-year academic scholarship to St. Peter’s High School.

The Christ Church Community Youth Choir, under the direction of Beth Johanning, has been getting rave reviews. The Youth Choir made their “debut” last year and continues to participate in selected Sunday and holiday services at Christ Church.

It’s a boy! – Congratulations to Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows (daughter of Brenda Baskerville) and her husband, Harrison on the newest addition to their family, Timothy Aaron Burrows. Our proud, first-time grandmother will be more than happy to share photos of her new grandson any time you ask!

I do apologize if I’ve missed any of your news updates and would love to include them in our next issue.

Please feel free to leave me a note in the Tower Chimes mail slot in the office, or .

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Institution of the Rev. R. Richard Marchand
the Church of the Ascension
Richard Marchand
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