The Tower Chimes, monthly newsletter of Christ Church New Brighton
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In this issue:
Clergy Corner
Baptisms
Save the Date
Capital Funds Drive Update
Vestry Notes
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
An Evening in Spring
From the Parish Register
Vacation Bible School at Christ Church
Barnett Shepherd to be Honored
The Palms
Second Saturday Feeding Ministry
Scouting Out New Members
Around the Parish
Clergy Corner
The Rev. Charles H. Howell, Rector of Christ Church New BrightonA few weeks ago I had a day that made me really happy and really proud of Christ Church.

It was a Thursday, a couple of weeks after Easter, and the church was hopping.  In the morning, we had our usual mid-week celebration of the Holy Eucharist, which I always find to be an island of peace in a busy week.

In mid-afternoon the Episcopal Church's hurricane relief coordinator, Darrell Hayes, showed up with nine volunteer relief workers from St. Michael's Church, Brattleboro, Vermont whose housing had fallen through.  We were able to put them up in the auditorium through the weekend.  It was wonderful to get to know them and hear their impressions of Staten Island and the people they met.  Early on Sunday morning they rode the ferry to Manhattan and back and then joined us for the 10:00 Eucharist.

On Thursday afternoon, around 20 girls from Girl Scout Troop 5189 were at Christ Church for their bimonthly meeting.  Then, later that same afternoon, the Christ Church Community Youth Choir was in the Guild Room and the church for their weekly two-hour rehearsal.

All day long various people were in and out of the parish hall preparing for the annual wine tasting, held this year in the rectory.

In the evening, as is the case 362 days a year (we close the gym three days a year to prepare holiday baskets) 12 homeless men spent the night in our gym shelter run by Project Hospitality.

The Thursday I have described was a dream come true.  For years I have dreamt of seeing our parish active and engaged with the community and the wider world.  I am so proud of Christ Church for embracing, and every day growing into, our vision to be a Community of Worship, Love, and Service.

Fr. Chuck

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Baptisms
Pentecost Day, May 19, is the next occasion for Holy Baptism.

If you or someone in your household would like to be baptized at Christ Church that day, please speak to Fr. Chuck as soon as possible.

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Save the Date
Spring Fair 2013A day of fun and fellowship for the entire family.  Volunteers are needed to work at the different attractions that day. If you're not able to work at the Fair, we can also use your help setting up before the Fair and cleaning up later in the day when the Fair is over.

Sign-up sheets will be located on the bulletin board in the Parish House. Don't forget to sign up – you'll be glad you did.

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Capital Funds Drive Update
Our three-year capital campaign, Enhance the Legacy, is now entering its second year.

The first phase of the campaign involved the formation and training of a Capital Campaign committee under the leadership of Barnett Shepherd, chairperson, Hueldine Webb and Mark Gherzo, co-chairpersons, and Shirley Elfers, honorary chairperson. The committee was ably guided by campaign consultant Milissa Else of Ruotolo Associates and by our architect, Barry Donaldson, of Lichten Craig. The committee solicited donations from parishioners and friends of Christ Church and thermometerreceived commitments of $206,000, exceeding our goal of $200,000.

Although some people gave one-time donations and some gave over a two-year period, most chose to give their gift over three years.  To date we have received $69,700 in capital campaign donations.  Thank you to everyone who has honored their pledge!

As you know, needed repairs to the parish hall exterior, its parapets and coping stones, and the bellcote (the small bell tower over the parish hall entrance) have been completed. The purpose of the Enhance the Legacy Capital Campaign is to raise funds to repair the main tower of the church. There are many visible cracks in the stones, holes in the masonry, and an inadequate drainage system.  Leaks into the church and falling masonry have been clear issues and present hazards to personal safety and the tower's integrity.  This project will preserve the tower's structural integrity and stop water leaks.

If you are new to Christ Church, or if for some reason were unable to participate in the past, please speak to one of the campaign chairpersons or to me to receive more information about the Enhance the Legacy campaign.

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Vestry Notes
The regularly scheduled meeting of the Vestry of Christ Church New Brighton took place on Monday, April 8, 2013. Following are highlights of what took place that evening.

Treasurer's Report

Dorothy Thompson's report noted negative balances that need to be addressed in the Parish House budget line and the Christ Church Community Outreach budget lines.  

Plant & Equipment Committee

  • The organ has been reinspected for water damage and none has been found. Parts that were previously damaged by water are being reinstalled and when all is in place, the organ will be tuned.
  • The brass posts supporting the altar rails, as well as the brass altar cross, have been polished and lacquered, funded by a generous gift.
  • Our architect Barry Donaldson of Lichten Craig Associates came with a contractor to begin the pricing of new church interior systems: fire and safety, electrical, and air conditioning.
  • Kudos to Tony Colucci for shampooing the Vestry Room carpet and adding much-needed supports to the stair rails on the back stoop of the Parish House.
  • A Hands to Work, Hearts to God day will be set in May to work outdoors on the church grounds.
  • Valerie Quinlan was warmly thanked for arranging the removal of the large concrete barriers from the West Buchanan Street end of the parking lot. This has created more room for the placement of the forthcoming shed.

Worship & Liturgy

  • This committee submitted a written report of its meeting of March 18, offering details of its plans for this year's Holy Week and Easter services. The committee's next meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m.

2014 Parish Calendar

  • Willie Black Jr. is appealing to interested persons to work on this calendar, and is looking for suggestions about the events and activities to be included in it.

Deacon's Report

  • Deacon Geri Swanson will be attending the annual Episcopal Deacons' Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, June 13-16. On April 15, she will be meeting with other deacons to study hurricane relief.

Rector's Report

The Rector has appointed a Personnel Committee to rewrite parish staff job descriptions, which have become outdated, and to advise him on personnel matters. The committee consists of the Rector, Churchwardens, Dorothy Thompson, Treasurer, and  Mark Gherzo, a former churchwarden who currently chairs the Finance Committee.
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Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Christ Church Day with the Staten Island Yankees
DATE:   Sunday, June 23, 2013
TIME:   4 p.m.
COST:   $22.00
All You Can Eat!!!
     Sheila Hewitt will be selling tickets during the Sunday morning Coffee Hour
     A fun day for the entire famly!
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An Evening in Spring
Tony CollucciOn Saturday, May 18 our own Tony Colucci will provide the musical entertainment for An Evening in Spring at Christ Church. The "evening" will feature an American Regional Food Tasting with a variety of tempting and tasty dishes, a cash bar, and a chance to win a lovely raffle basket as well.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, and admission is free for children 5 and under. For those who are unable to attend there is still an opportunity to support this event by making a tax deductible contribution or sponsoring one or more food items that will be included on the menu.

All proceeds raised by this event will be used towards the Christ Church Operating Budget.

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From the Parish Register
May Birthdays
1 – Lindsay Kennedy; Jessica Szczepanik; 9 – Victoria Gilbert; 11 – Shirley Elfers, Etta Johnson; 14 – Tara Smock; 16 – Connie Black;  17 – Kelly Collins; 18 – David Holt, Richard Jackson; 19 – Agnes Thompson; 23 – Tracy Williams; 25 – Denise Rompilla;  28- Roxanne Ingoe, Fidel Zayzay;  30 – Jay Szczepanik; 31 – Cesar Gardiner, Dick Riley

May Anniversaries
5 – David Nygard & Lisa Rhoades; 9 – Lester Blair & Hueldine Webb; 11 – Sam & Tracy Williams; 12 -  Hugo & Andrea McIntosh; 26 -  Scott & Arryn Samarisi.

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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Vacation Bible School at Christ Church
Vacation Bible SchoolChrist Church will be hosting its very first Vacation Bible School, a week-long Christian education program especially designed for our younger children.

The theme of this year's program, which will take place at Christ Church from August 19 to August 23, from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon each day,  is called "Kingdom Rock: Where Kids Stand Strong for God."

Christina Noel and Betsy Kalfa will be coordinating the program this year and will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. They are also looking for volunteers to help out that week and would love to hear from you. Cost of the program is $30 per child and scholarships are available.  Registrations can be made by calling the parish office at 718-727-6100.

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Barnett Shepherd to be Honored
Barnett ShepherdThe Victorian Society of New York will be presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award to Barnett Shepherd on Wednesday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m., at the New York School of Interior Design. The school is located at 170 East 70th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, New York, N.Y.  Guests are invited at a charge of $25 each.
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The Palms
Easter and the days and weeks leading up to it hold rich memories, many of them about music.

On Palm Sunday at Christ Church New Brighton I was glad to hear our choir, with Jay Spadaro as soloist, sing "The Palms."  This rousing yet melodious and compact anthem has been around for almost 150 years.  Singing it on Palm Sunday is a cherished tradition in churches all over Western Christendom.

"The Palms," also known by its French title, "Les Rameaux" (which means simply "The Branches"), was written by Jean-Baptiste Faure (1830-1914).  M. Faure wrote several sacred songs, of which "Les Rameaux" is the best known.  Do not confuse him with Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), a far more celebrated composer, in fact one of France's most prolific, distinguished and admired composers. The accent mark makes all the difference.

J. B. FaureJean-Baptiste Faure was known throughout his adult life as one of France's best singers.  Starting out as a choirboy, he matured into a baritone.  His career was spent mostly in opera, in France, Belgium, and England.  He took part in the world premieres of many operas, most notably, at the Paris Opera in 1868, of Verdi's Don Carlos.  Some people consider this to be Verdi's greatest opera.  They are probably right.  Don Carlos was written to a French libretto but today it is almost always sung in Italian translation.

M. Faure also sang in oratorios, one of the Passions of Bach (probably the St. Matthew Passion) and two oratorios by Gounod that seem to be largely forgotten today, The Redemption and Mors et Vita.  Later in his life he retired from the operatic stage but continued to give concerts.  He also became known as a collector of French Impressionist art and a friend of painters.

As late as 1898, when M. Faure would have been 68 years old, he was still described, in a French book published that year, as "the king of singers, the artist most finished, most complete."  Enrico Caruso recorded three of M. Faure's sacred songs, "Les Rameaux," "Sancta Maria," and "The Crucifix," a duet with bass Marcel Journet.

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Second Saturday Feeding Ministry
As many of you are aware, Christ Church has been a regular participant in the Trinity Church Saturday food ministry. On the second Saturday of each month, a group of volunteers from Christ Church, coordinated by Victor Stanwick, prepares and serves a hot lunch at Trinity to an ever-increasing number of those in the area who are in need of food, a warm welcome, and a friendly smile.

Feeding Ministry logoLast month I had a chance to answer the call for volunteers to help out during our scheduled Saturday and saw how much things have changed since the days when I donated a tray of macaroni and cheese or a salad for our Saturday commitment.

The menu has changed significantly – and for the better. Hot and nutritious meals are now served to a variety of clients and age groups – families with young children, elderly clients and middle aged as well. The process is well organized and I found that my two-hour "commitment" (10 a.m. to 12 noon) went so quickly that I wanted to stay longer and talk to the volunteers and help out wherever I could.

Not only does Trinity host the weekend soup kitchen, they also have a food pantry on-site in addition to an area where visitors to the program can find "gently used" shoes, coats and clothing that they so desperately need.

The needs of those less fortunate have increased – and so has the need for more volunteers to spend a few hours on a Saturday making a difference! If you want to find out more about the program – or even better, if you'd like to be a part of this important ministry, please speak to Victor Stanwick or Geri Swanson – or better yet, just show up at Trinity Church at 10 a.m. on any given Saturday and the Second Saturday staff will welcome you with open arms, a clean apron and a big vote of "thanks!"  Please note that due to scheduling conflicts, Christ Church will host the lunch on the first Saturday in June (June 1st) instead of the second Saturday.

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Scouting Out New Members
As many of you know, one of the hats I wear, metaphorically, is that of Girl Scout Leader.  Two years ago we moved Troop 5189 to Christ Church and joined the rather busy Thursday afternoon schedule here. It was an easy decision for me—I felt like a guest at our old location, Trinity Lutheran, and at Christ Church I am at home.

There are other benefits as well.  We have space to store supplies, a flagpole stand to borrow, a bulletin board on which to show off our activities, and access to a kitchen and gym.  Recently a Brownie Troop co-led by a teacher at PS 65 has Girl Scouts of Americastarted holding meetings here on Tuesdays. I can't tell you how happy it makes me for the girls and for this parish.  As I said above, I know the scouts will truly benefit with Christ Church as their home.

As a parishioner I am excited to have this new troop make Christ Church their home because it means that yet another group can now experience the love and support of this community. The stealth evangelist in me always hopes that families without a church home will be exposed to our Warm Welcome as they bring their children to and from activities here and join us for worship.  Even if that doesn't happen, it can't be said enough that young people who are welcomed into our church with love and respect and in whose lives we take a direct interest will never forget that.

Which brings me to this: there are enough K- 2nd graders in our parish and in the schools at which our parish children attend to START ANOTHER GIRL SCOUT TROOP.  And as the mother of a son, I also have to point out THERE ARE ENOUGH BOYS FOR A CUB SCOUT TROOP, TOO.  The training is minimal, but useful, and always scheduled to accommodate a variety of work schedules. What we need are adults willing to make the effort.  You can email me or speak to me at church if you are interested. I encourage you to make a commitment through action to the young people in our church: yes, Faith happens here, but so does Skill Building (anyone for a pinewood derby race?), and Friendship, and FUN!

Lisa can be reached at (347) 886-0039 or rhoadeslisa@hotmail.com.

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Around the Parish
First of all, for those of you who are wondering if you missed the April issue of the Tower Chimes I must apologize - your editor was not able to make her own editorial deadline last month; however, we're back and there are lots to report this month!

What a nice surprise to see David Carletta and his wife, Suzanne, worshipping with us at Christ Church last month. Many of you may remember David when he was studying at General Theological Seminary and was seminarian at Christ Church. David is now vicar at St. Andrew's Church in Beacon, NY. Not to mention that David and Suzanne are expecting their first child in July!

Congratulations to Olisha James, daughter of Elizabeth and Ruben James, who earned her BBA in Hospitality Management last December from SUNY Delhi, and is now "on assignment" at the front desk of the Polynesian Hotel in Disneyworld.

Beth and Chip McLean are bursting with pride over the most recent accomplishment of their son, Sean. He recently participated in the ITU World Triathlon in San Diego where athletes from all over the world compete in swimming, biking and running. Sean placed 35 out of a field of 900 competitors, with a time of 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Congratulations to CJ (Christopher John) Brown), son of Carol and John Brown. CJ has attained the rank of Eagle Scout – a noteworthy accomplishment that takes many years of hard work to attain.

There's a new kid in town!

A warm welcome to the latest addition in the Howell clan. Buddy, a sweet little beagle pup, joined the family last month and will be learning the rules of the rectory from his "big sister" Flopsy.

Rumor has it that we'll soon be seeing a familiar face back at Christ Church. Our dear friend, Sheila Swigert, moved back to her home town of Rochester last year but missed us so much she decided to come back. She recently purchased a "second home" here on Staten Island and we can't wait to see her back at Christ Church again.

Please keep James Hanley in your prayers. James, the grandson of Joyce Rowan was seriously injured in a skiing accident and did serious damage to his kneecap, tendons and ligaments. He is now recuperating at his parent's home in Vermont and hopes to return to his job as a Master Cheese maker of prize winning cheddar once he's up and around.

It is so good to have Willie Black, Jr. ("Pappa Black") back with us again after a very unexpected stay in the ICU at Staten Island University Hospital. Welcome home, Pappa!

Our next issue of the Tower Chimes will be our last – at least until September – as we take our summer break. If there is any news that you'd like to share – graduations, college plans, etc. please feel free to leave a note in the Tower Chimes mail box in the Parish Office or send an e-mail to me at nreiersen@yahoo.com.

See you all at the Spring Fair!

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