The Tower Chimes, monthly newsletter of Christ Church New Brighton
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In this issue:
Clergy Corner
Vestry Notes
Scholarship Tea
Garden Update
Activity Bags Please Come Home!
There are Never "Too Many Cooks" at the Trinity Soup Kitchen
Hospitality Committee
Book Signing
Thanksgiving Baskets
Thanksgiving Services
Save the Dates
From the Parish Register
Upcoming Events
Fundraising Events
Nomiating Committee
Around the Parish
Clergy Corner
The Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector of Christ Church New BrightonThe theme of this year’s stewardship campaign is Bountiful Blessings.  When we first thought about this theme we were thinking about things like our successful capital campaign, our growth in membership, our improvements in the Christian education program, and our outreach to the community.  While I am still grateful for and feel blessed by all those things, Hurricane Sandy, as these types of events always seem to do, has caused me to reassess what I mean by Bountiful Blessings.

      Hurricane Sandy has renewed my appreciation for how blessed we are by this church community.  As I have mentioned before, I have been touched by the ways this Christ Church has reached out to each other, checking on each other and inviting those affected into their homes.

      First thing on Tuesday morning, I received a phone call from Shirley Elfers, asking if my family and I were all right.  I later related this to a friend and said, “You know, the way it’s supposed to work is the priest is supposed to call the nonagenarian widow.”  But not at Christ Church; here we all look out for each other.  Talk about bountiful blessings.

      Your pledge to the annual stewardship campaign provides the funds to support the operating budget of the church.  Music, liturgy, educational programs, outreach to the community, staff salaries, and repair and maintenance of the buildings are all things that are supported by the operating budget.

      Your annual pledge ensures that our doors stay open so that we can do what a church is supposed to do, which is to share our Bountiful Blessings with others. 

Faithfully Yours,  

Fr. Chuck

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Vestry Notes
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton took place on Monday, October 8, 2012. The following are highlights of what was discussed that evening:

Committee Reports

Plant & Equipment

  • Richard Whaley, who chairs the committee, circulated a sample slate roof tile which will be used as the standard for all present and future roof repairs.
  • The Vestry has authorized $2200 to complete window repairs in the Archive Room, which is also used as the J2A classroom. The work will restore the windows and seal them from the moisture that has encouraged the growth of mildew on this room’s walls.
  • The Vestry also authorized the expenditure of $10,000 for necessary work on the church organ, and further approved the total expenditure of $22,000 for any present and future organ work, including the possibility of a regular maintenance contract.
  • Deacon Geri Swanson has offered to serve as the parish’s Episcopal Environmental Liaison, a position required of all churches in the Diocese. Work on the Rectory’s first-floor bathroom has been postponed to the 2013 budget but the Rectory’s broken dishwasher will be replaced immediately.
  • Victor Stanwick has proposed to move his basement workshop out of the church into a new metal shed that he will pay for to be located in the parking lot. Barry Donaldson from Lichten Craig will be asked to look into the costs and other aspects of the electrical work involved in this project.


  • Lawrence Modzelewski reported on the notable success of the Rite 13 and J2A programs, of which he is a leader. These programs are for Junior High and High School students.


  • Elizabeth Gattullo chairs this committee. “Bountiful Blessings” will be the theme of this year’s Stewardship Campaign. Other Vestry members serving on this committee are Willie Black Jr., David Nygard, and Nancy Reiersen-Scromo.

Capital Campaign

  • Dorothy Thompson, Treasurer, reports that $54,805 has been received to date. This is more than one quarter of the $200,000 total. The Capital Campaign is now at the stage of seeking grant funding.

Christ Church Community Youth Choir (CCCYC)

  • A committee of parents of CCCYC members has been formed. Jana Ballard, a Christ Church parishioner and choral director at La Guardia High School, has been hired to work with Director Beth Johanning. Jana’s employment will make sectional choir rehearsals possible and enable the performance of more complex music.
  • The Staten Island Foundation grant for this program runs out at the end of the school year. Additional sources of funding will be needed.

Steel/African Drumming Programs

  • Deacon Geri Swanson has secured a $5,000 grant for the African/Steel Drumming Program from Episcopal Charities.

Deacon’s Report

  • Geri Swanson reported that an October 3 article in the Staten Island Advance attracted interest in the drumming program. This very successful program too will need additional funding.

Rector’s Report

  • The Rector reported that the recent Scholarship Tea was well attended and raised $1,400 before expenses.
  • Thank-you notes were circulated for camp scholarships and for the contribution given by the Vestry to the Faith United Methodist Church, Fort Myers, Florida, in memory of Marilyn Sarff, the mother of our organist Tom Sarff.
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Scholarship Tea
The Scholarship “Mad Hatter Tea Party” was held on Sunday, October 7 at Christ Church.

The Committee would like to thank everyone who attended or made a donation to be used towards samovarour scholarship program. As you know, we give a scholarship to all the Christ Church Youth, who are graduating from high school and we also assist parents who wish to send their children to summer camp.

We would especially like to thank Laura Craig for lending us all of her beautiful hats that were on display that afternoon and to Anne Devlin and Alleida Mitchell for allowing us to use their beautiful collection of teapots. And thanks to Debbie Lindsay and Connie Black for preparing the light snacks that were served during the tea and to the youth of Christ Church who were our servers.

Special thanks also to Miss Eva Marie Black for her violin performance while the refreshments were beings served, and of course, a great big “thank you” to Vincent and Candice Craig for an exceptional musical presentation.

We are still accepting your tax deductible contributions to the Scholarship Fund. Please speak to any member of the committee if you would like to make a donation.

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Garden Update
rectory gardenA group of hardy souls gathered together on Saturday morning, Oct. 20, to thin an overgrown plot on the southern end of the Parish House behind the Rectory. This area is at the end of West Buchanan Street.

The group included Nick Dowen, Mark Gherzo, Valerie Quinlan, Peter Raff, Barnett Shepherd and Richard Whaley. We started work by cutting back maple saplings, thorny vines and rampant ivy. Many saplings and small trees were cut down as well. Sixteen bags full of cuttings were left for the NYC Department of Sanitation, which is most cooperative and wonderful to work with.

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Activity Bags Please Come Home!
Activity bags for children, each containing coloring sheets themed to the day’s lessons and crayons, are placed at each entrance to the church on Sunday morning.  Once upon a time we had six, then five, and now three. 

If you accidently took an activity bag home, please return it to the church office – no questions asked.

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The Are Never "Too Many Cooks"
at the Trinity Soup Kitchen

For more than a decade our Second Saturday Program has provided a well-balanced nutritional meal to the guests at the Soup Kitchen at Trinity Lutheran the second Saturday of each month. Over the years the program leadership has shifted from Colin Reed to Victor Stanwick and the need has grown substantially.

Toque of the Town graphic 

While 45 guests was once the average on a consistent basis, over the past three years the numbers have risen to such heights that the current average number of meals served is hovering around 115 each week. Although our faithful cadre of cooks and stalwart kitchen crew - Judy Davis, Jane Sharif, Victor Stanwick, Susan Fowler and Deacon Geri Swanson - have a tried and true routine, it has become evident that there is a growing need for dining room servers to augment their numbers. Servers can arrive at the kitchen by 10:45 a.m. and help distribute meals, beverages, dessert and condiments to the guests. If you are interested in knowing more about the opportunities to serve at the Soup Kitchen please speak to Victor, Jane, Deacon Geri Swanson or any of our current volunteers who would be happy to share their experiences with you.

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Hospitality Committee
I would like to form a Hospitality Committee at Christ Church.  The role of the Hospitality Committee will be to facilitate receptions for special events, such as the reception we hosted after the ECW fall meeting, and to host funeral repasts.  Coordinating coffee hour will not be part of the work of this committee. 

If you’re interested in serving on such a committee or learning more about it, please contact me at 718-727-6100 or you can send me an e-mail at Christ Church Rector - at - Verizon - dot - net.

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Book Signing
The Rev. Jerry KeucherThe Rev. Gerald Keucher, priest-in-charge at St. Mary’s, Brooklyn, friend of Christ Church, and author of Remember the Future and Humble and Strong, will be at Christ Church on Thursday, November 29 to sign his new book Back from the Dead.  Join us for a reception and question and answer period with Fr. Keucher 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Christ Church.
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Thanksgiving Baskets
This Thanksgiving Christ Church is increasing its outreach to food insecure families on Staten Island by making 300 packaged dinners.  Each dinner contains a turkey and a number of appropriate side items such as stuffing, vegetables, fruit, potatoes, and dessert.  Making these dinners requires lots of help!  Here are three ways to participate:

Tuesday, November 13, 11a.m.

The non-perishable items will be delivered to Christ Church.  Strong backs and strong arms are needed to carry these items into the gym.

Tuesday, November 13, 7:30 p.m.

We will assemble the packages in the gym.  Many hands make the work light.

Wednesday, November 14, 9 a.m. – Noon

The packages are picked up.  People are needed before 9 a.m. to unload the turkeys and from 9:00 a.m. – noon to add the turkeys to the packages and to assist the recipients carrying them to their cars.

Some of our stalwart workers are unable to work this Thanksgiving, so your help is needed now more than ever.                             

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Thanksgiving Services
The Building Bridges Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will be held on Sunday, November 18, 7:00 p.m. at Castleton Hill Moravian Church.

Christ Church will have a service of Holy Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day at 11a.m. 

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Save the Dates
The Right Rev. Mark SiskA service to celebrate the episcopacy of the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, XV Bishop of New York, will be held Saturday, January 5, 2013, 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

The Right Rev. Andrew DeitscheThe Installation of the Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche as the XVI Bishop of New York will be held Saturday, February 2, the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ also known as Candlemas, 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

      Buses will be rented for both events and information about reserving a seat will be shared as it becomes available.

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From the Parish Register
November Birthdays

3—Laura Craig;  4 – Ellen Mazzucco, Hugo McIntosh, Jr; Larry Modzelewski; 5 – Paul Smith; 12 – Lester Jean; 13 – Tamara Christopher, Marlene Elia, Samolu Freeman, Sheila Hewitt; 14 –Analisa Noel; 15 – Jack Elia; 16 – Jonathan Elia; 17 – Thomas Hotaling; 18 – Jay Spadaro; 19 – Rita McGough; 22 – Varney Freeman, Sr.; 26 – John Szczepanik, Dorothy Thompson; 28 – Kim Davis Sorge; 30 – Christine Szczepanik, Ronald Bell, Mark Hewitt II,

November Anniversaries

16 – Ron and Ellen Mazzucco; 24 – Paul and Janet Schneider;  30 – Stephen & Christina Gross.
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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Upcoming Events

St. Nick's Fair, Saturday, December 1st, 2012


The Christ Church Annual Holly Ball, Saturday, December 8th, 2012

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Fundraising Events
Anyone wishing to organize a 2013 fund raising event for the church should submit their proposal by Sunday, November 25. All submissions must be reviewed and approved by the Vestry at their December 10 meeting.

Proposals should include the type of event, preferred date and time, purpose and anticipated income. Please leave your proposals in Alleida Mitchell’s mailbox in the Parish Office.

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Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee that was formed to provide candidates for the election of  (1) one warden and (4) four vestry persons at the Annual Meeting is comprised of the following members:  

Elizabeth Gattullo

Charlotte Hewitt

Elizabeth Kalfa

Alleida Mitchell

David Nygard

Jane Sharif

Any parishioner who would like to serve a (2) two year term as warden or a (3) three year term as a vestry person should contact one of the committee members to express their interest and must assist the committee member in completing a Nominating Committee Form. Nominating Committee forms are available on the track table at the back of the church.

To serve you must be meet the following requirements:

Qualifications for a Vestryperson

Eighteen (18) years of age or older

A member of the parish


Regular attendance at worship

A pledging member for at least twelve (12) months prior to the annual meeting and for the upcoming year.

Qualifications for a Churchwarden

All of the above

A communicant in the Episcopal Church 

All nominations must be received by November 30, 2012.

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Around the Parish
As many of you are painfully aware, the reason for the delay in this month’s publication of the Tower Chimes is a result of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, Christ Church was spared the devastation that hit so many on Staten Island and thanks to the efforts of Father Chuck, Deacon Geri and so many parishioners and friends who gave so generously of their time and resources we were able to reach out to those who were affected by this disaster.

Our dear friend and parishioner, Colin Reed, has been residing at the Carmel Richmond Nursing Home (Room 638) at 88 Old Town Road here on Staten Island. His mobility is quite limited and he spends most of his day in a wheelchair or in bed. Calls and visits would be most welcome and truly appreciated.

Continued wishes and prayers to Willie Black, Jr. as he recovers from kidney transplant surgery. Willie has had some setbacks as his body adjusts to the new kidney and the medications he is taking but thankfully he has been with on Sunday morning to lend his vocal support to our choir.

It was so good to see Sheila Swigert at our 8 a.m. service a few weeks ago. The 8 o’clock “regulars” celebrated her visit with a special early morning coffee hour to welcome her back. Sheila moved back to Rochester last month to be with family, but she has been keeping in close touch with her many friends here at Christ Church. 

Please keep Joan Rock and her family (Gytha Darconte and Jill Smith) in your prayers. Joan suffered a stroke and is currently recuperating in a Greenwich, CT hospital.  Prayers also go out to Gene Darconte and his family – Gene’s mom passed away last month, and his dad, who lives here on Staten Island, suffered severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.

Catching up with Laura and Henry Kennedy about their family. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth and her husband are expecting their third child; daughter Lindsay was married this year in the same little church in Manhattan where her grandparents were wed – she and her husband are living in Brooklyn; and their daughter Claire has returned to the U.S. from her Peace Corps assignment in Africa and is currently working at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Congratulations and best wishes to Richard Whaley and Clark Webb on their marriage last month.

May you all be safe – prayers go out to all for healing and recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

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