the Tower Chimes
September, 2011
Close Window
Clergy Corner
September 11 Observances
Building Bridges "Walk for Peace" Rescheduled
Serenade Fall Season Begins Sunday, October 2
Our "Second Communion" and Food Safety
After School Programs at Christ Church
From the Parish Register
Vestry Notes
Knitting Group
Christian Education
Christ Church Flower Guild
Nominees for Bishop
Meet Lester Jean
Summering in Montauk
Around the Parish
Clergy Corner
the Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector

The Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector of Christ Church New BrightonWhen we were in Michigan this August, my family and I attended the church we always visit when we’re on vacation, St. Christopher’s, Northport.  As soon as we walked up to the door, a greeter introduced himself, shook our hands, and made sure we had a Prayer Book and hymnal.  At the Peace many people warmly greeted us in the name of the Lord.  And more people introduced themselves at coffee hour.  Although we’ve always found St. Christopher’s to be a friendly place, clearly since our last visit they have decided to make an intentional effort to welcome visitors and newcomers.  As a visitor, I can report that it was very gratifying to receive such a warm welcome.

My experience this summer reminded me that at our last annual meeting I called for the re-formation of our Evangelism Committee.  The Evangelism Committee will reorganize the greeter corps so that visitors are warmly welcomed to Christ Church and introduced around at coffee hour.  They will explore the various ways we can continue to make Christ Church known in the community.  They will track each visitor to Christ Church to make sure that they are becoming involved in the parish and that no one falls through the cracks.  And, I am sure, once the committee is formed, its members will have lots of other good ideas.

As you can see in this fall issue of the Tower Chimes, lots of great things are happening at Christ Church.  Just to mention a few things that are new this fall:  We’ve added a third Godly Play room; we’ve revamped the Journey to Adulthood program; we’ve expanded the after school program to include African and steel drumming and reading tutoring; and we will begin work repairing the bellcote (the small bell tower over the parish hall entrance), the parapet over the rose window on the south end of the parish hall, and other parish hall masonry repairs.  The Evangelism Committee will help spread the word about all this exciting stuff.

Jesus tells us not to hide our light under a basket but to let it shine so that the whole world can see its light.  If  you would like to help get the word out about Christ Church and to ensure that each person is welcomed as the beloved child of God, then speak to me about being on the Evangelism Committee.

Fr. Chuck

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September 11 Observances

Christ Church will mark the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011 in a variety of ways.

This year September 11 falls on a Sunday, so we will have Requiem Eucharists at both 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.  If there is someone, either a survivor or one who died, whom you would like mentioned in the prayers, please email either the rector, or the parish office, or call the parish administrator, Cathy Romano, 718-727-6100.

St. John’s Episcopal Church on Bay Street in conjunction with choir members from Christ Church and St. Alban’s will celebrate a Requiem Mass at 4:00 p.m. The Mass will feature Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, accompanied by a ten piece chamber orchestra.

The Christ Church Community Youth Choir, under the direction of Beth Johanning, will join with the Richmond Choral Youth Chorus at Staten Island’s civic observance to be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Postcards Memorial next to the stadium.  They will be singing Let There Be Peace on Earth, arranged by our organist and choirmaster Tom Sarff.

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Buillding Bridges "Walk for Peace" Rescheduled

the Peace PoleThe Building Bridges Walk for Peace and Tolerance, which was canceled due to hurricane Irene, has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 2.  The walk will begin at 2:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, 53 St. Mark’s Place.  We will then walk to the Al-Ishan Mosque, 406 St. Mark’s Place and will end at the Ferry Terminal with a Peace Pole dedication.The Building Bridges Peace Pole was introduced at last year’s Interfaith Thanksgiving service and has been moving between houses of worship of all faiths since then. You may recall the two Sundays it was at Christ Church.

      The Building Bridges Walk for Tolerance and Peace began as an interfaith response to the events of September 11, 2001. With its universal message of peace – May Peace Prevail on Earth – the Peace Pole dedication seems a fitting way to end this year’s 9/11 observances.
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Serenade Fall Season Begins on Sunday, October 2
Valerie Quinlan

Omni Piano QuartetSerenade will launch its fall season with a performance by the Omni Piano Quartet (formerly the New Canaan Ensemble). The concert will take place at Christ Church on Sunday, October 2 at 3 p.m. Works by Mozart, Brahms and Mahler will be performed. The concert is free to the public. A meet-the-artists reception follows the concert. For info call 718-273-3668 or visit Serenade’s web site: www.SerenadeConcerts.org

      This ensemble features Susan Ornstein, violin, Ronald Carbone, viola, David Heiss, cello and Thomas Schmidt, piano. The Omni Piano Quartet has delighted audiences at the Canaan Chamber Music Festival, the Red Bank Chamber Music Society, CUNY/Staten Island, and other venues. Drawn from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Composers String Quartet and Arden Trio, its members explore the wide variety of music in their medium with all its combinations and expressive possibilities.
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Our "Second Communion" and Food Safety
Susan Fowler

Next time you go to a restaurant, watch how the server refills your cup of coffee. If she’s been properly trained, which is likely since it’s the first thing you’re taught when waiting tables, she will put the cup on the table away from you and any other customers, refill it, and then put it back in front of you. She won’t hand it to you and she won’t refill it if you have the cup in your hand.

Hot coffee can cause very serious burns!The reason is to avoid burning you or your companions with a spill.

When I was about three years old and my oldest brother a babe in arms, he somehow tipped my mother’s cup of coffee, which was sitting on the kitchen table, over his arm. The skin of his wrist crumbled like paper, and the scar is still there, 50 years later.

At coffee hour, we have coffee and tea urns with spigots that are at the same height as many of our youngest parishioners. The children generally don’t go too close to the urns (good), except when playing hide and seek under the tables before the adults get out of the service (bad).

Safety is the reason some of the coffee-hour hosts insist on pouring your tea and coffee for you. Please don’t be offended or surprised if we put the cups down on the table rather than handing them to you. It’s also why we become flustered if you try to serve yourself—bad things can happen when two people are in the same place at the same time with boiling hot liquids.

I have been known to shout at children and adults who are about to burn themselves, and I’m sorry. But I hope this article helps you understand why we do what we do at the “second communion” each Sunday.
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After School Programs at Christ Church

The Christ Church Community Youth Choir begins its second season this fall under the direction of Beth Johanning.  Registration will be held at Christ Church on Thursday, September 15, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. with a rehearsal to follow.  Subsequent rehearsals will be held on Thursday afternoons from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. according to a published schedule.        

This year, in addition to performing at Christ Church, the Community Youth Choir will sing with the Clerek’s of St. Alban’s and will perform at at least one other venue.

The Community Youth Choir is open to any child ages 7 – 14 who has a treble voice and lives on Staten Island.  Parents of interested younger children will be considered on an individual basis, please speak to Beth about this.  The goals of the Community Youth Choir are to lean musical rhythms; learn to read music; learn basic music theory; learn traditional vocal production; and gain poise in performance.  Staff is provided to work with children who learn differently.

African and Steel Drumming and Reading.

New to the after school program this fall is African and steel drumming and reading.  This program is open to any child 6th - 9th grade who lives on Staten Island.  The goals of the program are to learn to play the African and steel drums, their history and culture, method of manufacture, and to gain African drumpoise in performance.  The drumming group will meet at Christ Church on Wednesday afternoons according to a published schedule which has yet to be finalized.  The drumming group will perform at selected 10 a.m. services at Christ Church.

After an hour of drumming practice, the youth will engage in a reading program co-ordinated by Deacon Geri Swanson.  The participants will look at excerpts from the works of African American writers like Fredrick Douglass, Walter Dean Meyers, Sara and Bessie Delaney, Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr. Discussions will center on life themes of family, identity, self, community and aspiration. Our participants need not be reading on grade level, as each week's readings will be available in recorded form as well as print.

Please keep your eye on the Tower Chimes, the Weekly Update, and the Sunday bulletin for more information about rehearsal dates and times as this program gets underway.

The after school program at Christ Church is made possible by a generous grant from the Staten Island Foundation.
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From the Parish Register
Cathy Romano

September Birthdays
2—Evelyn Zayzay; 3- Alayne Gilbert, 4 – Ela Seeley; 8 – Ryan Lamarche; 9 –Karen Smith; 11 –Madalyn Samarisi; 12 – Caroline Richards; 13 – Samara Christopher, 13 –Kimara Jean-Mary; 13 – Laura Napolitano; 14 —Martha Keucher; 15 – Linda Reiersen; 16 – Claire Kennedy; 18 – David Reiersen; 20 – Nancy Reiersen-Scromo; 21 – Mary Larimer; 21 –Richard Pye; 25 - Shirley Black; 25 –Charles Forman; 25 – Maya Modzelewski; 25 –Stephanie Sipp; 27 – Willie Black IV.

September Anniversaries
2– Brian Basso & Kirstin Swanson; 9 – Garry & Nancy Scromo; 17 – Susan Fowler & Victor Stanwick; 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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Vestry Notes
Nick Dowen

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton took place on Monday, June 13. The following summary provides highlights of important issues and decisions that were discussed that evening:

Plant & Equipment Committee

  • Grant proposal to the DEP for repair of the church parking lot was denied. Other grant options will be explored.
  • It is no longer cost effective to keep repairing chairlift. Committee is receiving bids to replace it and is also exploring options for grant funding for this expense.
  • Preliminary bids have been received from three contractors for repairs to the Parish Hall. Money from the Woodall bequest will be used to fund this project.
  • The Sacristy was refurbished on time and under budget; contractors were top notch and easy to work with. Special thanks to project manager, Marshall Green, Victor Stanwick, Peter Raff, Kevin Branciforte, David Wood and Beth McLean for their time and expertise.
  • The committee has gone on record to commend Lester Jean, of Good Impressions Cleaning Service and DNA Landscaping for their excellent work.

Education Committee

  • The committee is looking for a volunteer administrator to handle scheduling and communication functions.

Christ Church Community Outreach

  • Deacon Geri Swanson reported that the Port Richmond Feeding Program is under way. It offers a bag lunch and a takeaway dinner. The feeding program will include St. John’s Episcopal Church, All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Christ Church New Brighton.

Churchwardens’ Report

More than 100 people took part in the IPC Annual Picnic. The event was considered very successful and everybody seemed to have a great time.
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Knitting Group

Knitting Group resumes on September 8 after a summer hiatus.

      The group is open to anyone who knits or crochets or would like to learn. We make scarves and hats for the Seaman’s Church Institute and hats and blankets for the neonatal unit at Richmond University Medical Center.  The group meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Christ Church.  New knitters and crocheters are always welcome.
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Christian Education

Many new and exciting things are happening in our Christian education program this fall.

Sunday School registration will be held on Sunday, September 11 following the 10 a.m. Eucharist.  Registration forms will be mailed beforehand to the parents all known Sunday school students and Christian Edcuationyou can return them on September 11.  At registration, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the teachers and visit the classrooms.  If you are new to Christ Church or if your child is not in our data base, or if you forget your form, you can also register that day or the subsequent Sunday. Sunday School classes begin on September 18; Godly Play at 11:15 a.m. and Journey to Adulthood and Adult Education at 11:30 a.m.

Godly Play

As you may have heard, we will be opening a third class of Godly Play this fall.  Putting together a list of the children in the parish confirmed what our teachers had been feeling in the classroom – we need more space for our growing group of students!  We are blessed to have two new teachers, Betsy Kalfa and Christina Noel, in the Godly Play Program joining with Marshall Green, Mary Larimer, David Nygard, and Lisa Rhoades, program co-coordinator.

After reviewing our list of children, we divided the classes into the following age groups: Godly Play One will serve our pre-K children; Godly Play Two will be for children in kindergarten to 2nd grade; and Godly Play Three will be for our 3rd – 5th graders.  All children will experience the sacred stories that continue to deepen their experience of God, and all classes will incorporate music as our children practice songs they will share with the parish as our Godly Play Choir.

Journey to Adulthood

The Journey to Adulthood program for 6th – 12th graders continues this year in a new format.  This fall we will unveil the J2A Café, which will be held in the vestry room during the Christian education hour. The cafe aims to create a warm, friendly environment where young people can hang out, relax, and have some food, while discussing the sermon as well as topical issues of the day with teachers and friends.

Journey to Adulthood welcomes questioning and exploration, and believes that both are necessary for teens to develop an active, vibrant relationship with God.  It also explores ways in which teens can “live the faith” through the choices they make in everyday life and through their actions.   Along with this new class format, J2A will also participate in several service projects guided by the themes of Society, Service, and Social Justice.  This year Larry Modzelewski joins returning teachers Laila Modzelewski and Denise Rompilla, program coordinator.

Youth Group

The Christ Church youth group will meet for the first time this fall on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. for a kick-off dinner.  We will meet on the second and fourth Fridays of every month at 7:00 p.m.  Activities this fall will include roller skating, Fright Night at St. Andrew’s, game night and Mayhem Milkshakes, and ice skating.  We will finalize the youth group calendar at the kick-off dinner.

Women in Ministry

This fall Deacon Geri and Father Chuck are offering a class entitled Women in Ministry.  The class will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the rectory.  You can get to the rectory either by the front door or by the outdoor cloister and in through the rectory’s side door.  Class will end at 12:15 p.m. so that parents can pick up their children in Godly Play.

Women in Ministry will explore the roles women have had in the faith community from Old Testament times, to the early and patristic church, during the Middle Ages and reformation, in the nineteenth century, and to the present day.  We will pay particular attention to the deaconess movement, an area of study for Deacon Geri, and the movement toward the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church.
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Christ Church Flower Guild
David Michael Wood, Directress

Summer was a great season -- all those blooms and branches from parishioners' gardens at the altar!

Diana and Kevin Branciforte have joined Valerie & Frank Quinlan, David Seeley, Leslie Thompson, Martha Keucher, Lisa Rhodes & David Nygaard, Nick Dowen and Barnett Shepherd in contributing floral bounty.

Thanks to the summer "arrangers" -- Nick Lettiere, Anne Devlin, Linda Reiersen, Nick Dowen & Barnett Shepherd, David Michael Wood, and our newest member, Liz Howell.
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Nominees for Bishop

The Diocese of New York has released the names of five nominees for Bishop Coadjutor, a bishop who will succeed Bishop Sisk as the Bishop of New York when he retires.  In the Episcopal Church, bishops are elected by the diocese in a special convention and then the election is ratified by the other dioceses and diocesan bishops in the Episcopal Church.  Christ Church’s delegates to the special convention are Fr. Chuck and Mark Gherzo, Sr. Warden.

      The nominees are: The Very Rev. Peter Eaton; The Rev. Cathy Hagstrom George; The Rev. Canon John T. W. Harmon; The Very Rev. Tracey Lind; The Rt. Rev. Peter Whalon.  For more information about the candidates including the dates of the “walkabouts” at which you can meet the candidates, go to www.nybishopsearch2011.org.  Although you are free to go to any of the “walkabouts,” the one for Staten Island will be Thursday, October 13 at noon at St. Mary’s, Castleton.
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Meet Lester Jean

After our last sexton left the employ of Christ Church, the wardens, Susan Fowler, chair of Plant and Equipment, and I re-wrote the sexton’s job description.  The most significant change was reducing the sexton’s weekly hours and using the savings to hire a lawn service.  We ran an advertisement in the Staten Island Advance and began interviewing new sextons.  In the meantime, we contracted with Good Impressions Cleaning service to provide custodial help while we searched for a new sexton.

Good Impressions sent us Lester Jean, and we have been so pleased with him and his work that we have abandoned our sexton search.  Anyone who has been around Christ Church for the last few months will testify that the church and parish hall have never been cleaner and neater. The lawn service is also working out well, and our lawns and grounds look fantastic, so the new plan seems to be working.  Lester is at Christ Church on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Lester is a native Staten Islander, married with three grown children.  For many years he worked at the Fulton Street Fish Market.  If you are around Christ Church during the week, be sure to introduce yourself to Lester and welcome him to Christ Church.
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Summering in Montauk
Beth McLean
Beth McLean, Bishop Roskam and Robin Beveridge“Captured” after a Sunday morning service at St. Paul’s Church in Amagansett are Beth McLean, Bp. Catherine Roskam and Deacon Robin Beveridge.
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Around the Parish
Nancy Reiersen

Welcome back! Hope you all had a restful and enjoyable summer vacation.  There is so much to report about what’s been happening at Christ Church while you were away.

A warm welcome and a big “thank you” to Lester Jean who has been working so hard to make our church and parish house so welcoming and pleasant.

Many of our parishioners were able to travel and visit during the summer months. Seen this summer at Edgefield, Daniel Wood's B&B in Sharon Springs, NY, were Marcia and Dick Riley, who overlapped with the visit of Father Chuck and Liz Howell. The Riley’s (Marcia and Dick) also enjoyed their stay and had a chance to see all four operas at the nearby Glimmerglass Festival. Spider Webb and Lester Blair went to Glimmerglass a few weeks later, during which time Spider came to the rescue of a stricken patron. Thanks to her ministrations, the show did go on!

Sheila Swigert spent two weeks on a World War II tour this summer, visiting Bastogne, Nuremberg, Dresden and Berlin.

Congratulations and best wishes to Kristin Reiersen and Mattro Parrish on their June 2 nuptials. The happy couple is now preparing for the arrival of their first child in January. And best wishes as well to Kirstin and Brian Basso as they await the birth of their second child next year.

Get well wishes go out to Ron Mazzucco as he recuperates from back surgery, to Colin Reed and Bill Sherman as they recuperate from a brief hospital stay, and to Frank Quinlan as he awaits knee surgery.

This summer we lost two long-time Christ Church parishioners, Dorothy Rapp and Pat Parese. Dorothy, a familiar face at our 10 a.m. services each Sunday, was involved in several organizations at Christ Church, including the Altar Guild and Serendipity, and her generosity extended to the financial support of many of our ongoing projects.  Patsy  Parese was a fixture at our Sunday morning coffee hours for many years – in fact he was called upon coordinate just about every function at Christ Church where coffee was served! Pat and his late wife, Anna, were faithful parishioners at our 10 a.m. services and attended just about every fair, tea, luncheon, dinner and dance that took place in our parish. Our condolences go out to the families of these dear parishioners who are a part of our history. They shall be missed. Also, our condolences go out to Martha Keucher on the passing of her sister, Gladys Jane Lewis in June.

Apologies if we’ve missed some important news that you’d like to share.  If you’d like to include something in our next issue please feel free to leave me a note in the Tower Chimes mail box or send me an email.

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