Watch This Space
Details are being worked out as this is written, but watch this space for more information about a new Parish Photo Directory, an April workday at the Raise the Roof Habitat House under way in New Haven, and the Raise the Roof Build on the Green on May 21.
A New Parish Photo Directory unlike any other is the goal. This one will contain photographs you supply or ones taken by fellow parishioners. There will be absolutely no come-on to purchase portraits or for “retouching,” a.k.a. “Photoshopping” your image. Watch for days when photographers are available, and how to submit photographs of your own.
A Raise the Roof Habitat House is now under construction near the base of West Rock in New Haven. Do you remember the “Wishing Wall” where you could write greetings and well-wishes to the family who would occupy the house being framed during last May’s Build on the Green? That wall and that framing are all part of this house. Watch for an end-of-April workday to help finish this house!
Build on the Green 2016 will again offer the opportunity to help frame a future Habitat for Humanity home. This year’s effort will be on Saturday, May 21. Watch for sign-up details. Community service hours/credits are available for those who need/want to earn them, and what could be more fulfilling than helping to build a new home for neighbors? Habitat for Humanity changes the world one house, one neighborhood at a time!
This is the third year that I have had the privilege of making the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany-Lent-Easter-Pentecost journey with all of you at Christ Church. Through the hymns, anthems, and organ music I hope I have managed to help us focus on the important themes and ideas that accompany us as we move through the Church year. As the old hymn says, “I love to tell the story”! (Anyone? “I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.” It's a favorite of the Methodists, and might be something that you sang at VBS back in your youth!) We have introduced some “new” hymns over the last almost-three years, while making sure that we get to sing our favorites at their appropriate times, and we have varied our service music throughout the year to take advantage of the wonderful riches of the 1982 Hymnal.
The choir has expanded its repertoire, gaining confidence in singing everything from unaccompanied plainsong to accompanied and unaccompanied contemporary church music, and many styles and periods in between. I have also been working to expand my organ repertoire, adding more of the wonderful early-to-mid-20th-century English, French, and American organ music, while at the same time learning more of the Bach masterpieces that for me will always occupy the center of liturgical organ music. How's it all working for you? I try to get down to coffee hour each week, in large part so that I might be available to hear your feedback. (Although sometimes the trek from the balcony to the parish hall takes longer than you might think!) Take me up on it -- let me know what you think, what you liked or didn't like, what moved you or left you flat.
In thinking about the last couple of months, I am struck by the fact that those of us involved in the music program often do our best work when there are the fewest of you around to hear us -- I'm thinking now specifically of Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday, when the choir sang beautiful unaccompanied anthems, and on Good Friday, when I think it's fair to say I did some of my best organ playing of the year! (I might also add to this list the Advent choir service and the Epiphany Evensong, both of which are Sunday evening services.) In my mind, these non-Sunday-morning services are among the most special of the year, and demand music that acknowledges the significance of these occasions. I hope that, in the future, more of you will consider joining us at these special times! As a single Dad who raised two daughters, I know only too well the trade-offs and pressures of family life, but I also know how meaningful these special moments in the church year can be.
As always, I remain grateful for the opportunity to be your music director!
Our Concertato series resumes Saturday, April 23, with a recital by New York City-based baritone Mark Rehnstrom. Mark has a lovely, rich, and powerful voice. (We have been fortunate to have him sing with our choir on a few occasions, at which times he has politely under-sung, so as not to overpower our choir!) The recital program will include some popular Schubert songs, as well as an original composition, but the centerpiece of the program will be Benjamin Britten's “Songs and Proverbs of William Blake,” a continuous 25-minute song cycle based on selections from Blake's “Songs of Innocence,” “Auguries of Innocence,” and “Proverbs of Hell,” and including the well-known “The Tyger” (“Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright...). The music is evocative and challenging, and while it is almost always “tonal,” it can also be challengingly dissonant, as Britten strives to express the intensity of Blake's verses. Fans of Blake, Britten, and wonderfully expressive singing will not want to miss this concert!
For more about Mark, and details about the concert, visit the Upcoming Events page on our website (christchurchguilford.org) -- What We Do/Make Music/Upcoming Events.
Greetings from the ECW
The February meeting was held on Thursday, February 10, in the parish hall. Our hostesses were June Chittick and Diane W. Link. Thank you to all who attended and brought wonderful dishes for our very plentiful carry-in luncheon.
We discussed many possible projects for the future and voted to sponsor a new program, “Soxs and Underwear” for the homeless. We will have baskets in the narthex and in the parish hall to collect donations for men, women, and children. All sizes are needed and will be donated to those organizations in the area that will get them to those in need. Anyone in our parish who volunteers for an area program that helps the homeless, let us know. All items MUST be new. Thank you in advance for your contributions.
We also approved our third Mother’s Day project, “Roses For Mothers” and the second year for our children to participate in “A Rose For Mommy.” We will start our campaign on Sunday, April 10. All orders must be placed by Sunday, May 1. We will give the altar guild a donation towards the purchase of white altar hangings, as well as a donation to the acolytes’ trip to visit the National Cathedral in June. Roses will be purchased from Roses for Autism: white roses for those who have died and red for women still with us. The price will remain the same: $3 for a single rose or $15 for 6 roses. The children’s roses will be lavender and will again be gift wrapped with a gift card.
Our program was a presentation by Diane Kyle on “Women's Heart Health.” The program was very informative and we encourage all women to become aware of the signs of heart issues, since the signs of a woman having a heart attack is very different from that of a man. Thank you, Diane, for your interesting program.
Remember, all Episcopal Church women are members of our ECW and are welcome to join us weekly or occasionally. We meet for a business meeting on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 11 a.m., with a carry-in luncheon at 12 noon. All other Thursday mornings we meet informally in the guild room at 10:30 a.m. We each bring a sandwich for lunch and a hostess brings dessert and makes tea. We hope you will join us!
Our regular March meeting was not held because we met on Tuesday, March7, to go to the Parthenon Diner for lunch and the Regal Movie Theater to see the movie “Risen.” All who attended the March outing enjoyed lunch and the thought-provoking movie!!!
Diane W. Link
Despite many events competing for our time this year (the Guilford High School play, with many of our members in the orchestra; sports events, a music concert, off-Broadway shows, and threatening weather), the evening turned out to be very successful! Thanks to the parents, as they shuffled youngsters between events, we managed through it all.
The traditionally middle school and high school event this year was supplemented by some of the newer acolytes, as well as first-time middle school youngsters. In my home the day before the event, they made German Chocolate Cake, Almond Clafouti, Angel Food Chocolate Petal Cake, Coconut Banana Cream Pie, Raspberry Lemon Cream Pie, and Carrot Cake, Chocolate and Pumpkin Roll Cakes, Buttermilk Cupcakes, Branford Brownies, and numerous cookies, including some gluten-free ones. All of this is certainly “mouthwatering”!!
Success with Saturday’s baking would not have been possible without the help who provided the constant flow of clean dishes, plating/wrapping, and helping the youngest bakers as needed. So whether you stayed for a number of hours (Rebecca Ervin and Dave Provolo) or just a few (Holly Mayo, Mitra Kish, and Lisa Ste. Marie), you contributed a great deal to our success. Thank you!
Once again Chef Antonio, of the La Rosticceria at Village Walk, made his wonderful spaghetti and meatballs, provided bread, and part of the salad makings. Thank you so much; without you and your skills our dinner would never be as “tasteful.” Yum-Yum! Thank you also to John Mayo and Rick Ste. Marie for assisting Chef Antonio; to Rebecca Ervin, Holley Claiborne, and Diana Stovall for the salad presentation; and to Lisa Ste. Marie, for taking on the task of the dishwashing machine for the evening.
A special thank you goes to Diane Link, who once again organized and prepared the raffle presentation, as well as the really unique table pieces. Nobody does the job like you! Speaking of the raffle, First Prize, “A Day at the Beach,” was won by the Brunetti family; Second Prize, a beach bag stuffed with candy donated by the Village Chocolatier, was won by Kay Claiborne; and Third Prize, the beautiful flower arrangement of vases mounted on a cake plate with a real fish swimming in it, was won by none other than our own Fr. Harrison! Did you get to take the fish home with all the youngsters who were after it?
Thank you to Sheward Hagerty, our sexton, for all his help throughout the day and evening. To all the parents who helped clean up at the end, thank you all for getting us done and out by 7:45. To Dirck Goss, who graciously made our big poster signs, thank you.
As always, thank you to Page Pelphrey for her leadership with the middle school class and all her errands on the day of baking. With two youngsters in the kitchen now and her Christmas gift of a Kitchen Aid Mixer, she can no longer say that she does not know how to bake!!!
The youth of the church are in charge of preparing the desserts, selling the tickets, making the signs, assisting Chef Antonio in making the meatballs, setting up tables, chairs, and covering the same, and greeting and waiting on their guests. They also help in the cleanup. With the funds raised, they will decide on which church service and community service projects they will donate to.
A special thank you goes to our Fr. Harrison for all the support and help that he gives us in this event. To all the members of the parish who continue to come to our Spaghetti Suppers and bring their friends, we say thank you. See you next year!
-Susan C. Shackford
February Vestry Highlights
At its regularly scheduled meeting on February 17, 2016, the Christ Church Vestry …
March Vestry Highlights
At its regularly scheduled meeting on March 16, 2016, the Christ Church Vestry …
Greetings from the EECW
The Evening ECW group continues to go and grow strong! We have been busy bees since our last update and have made encouraging progress in 2016.
Most important, we have retained an architectural firm, Patriquin Architects of New Haven, which has evaluated our parish hall and drawn up detailed plans for making it a more flexible, useful, and inviting space. We are currently figuring out how some of the storage options will work and are moving towards a plan that can be presented to the entire parish. We anticipate that this meeting will occur in May and, once required approvals are received, we can begin to solicit bids and perhaps start on some of the work over the summer. We do anticipate that the work will proceed in stages as funds are accumulated.
Because improvements to the parish hall will benefit the entire church, we hope that the people of Christ Church will support our efforts to raise the money to pay for them! Our primary fund-raiser in 2015 was the Tag Sale, which will happen again on September 24 of this year. We are inviting everyone to a dessert social, happening on Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m., which will kick off our planning. Come, be our guest, and learn how we can work together to make this year's Tag Sale an even bigger success.
Our efforts to improve our church are not limited to fund-raising. On Saturday, February 21, a team of volunteers undertook the grubby job of cleaning out the parish hall attic. The project, which occupied the entire morning, resulted in a "spic and span" attic. The EECW is eternally grateful to Gene Bishop, who supplied a giant dump truck to haul away the refuse (and that truck was filled to the brim!).
Last but certainly not least, the EECW sponsored the "Go Red" Heart Health campaign in January with a special coffee hour, and also enjoyed an evening of warm fellowship for our February meeting, hosted by Lisa Ste. Marie. We had fun making Valentine's cards for some of our parish members (although we could probably have used the technical help of some of our Sunday Schoolers).
We meet the first Thursday of every month, at the church, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. All women of the parish, regardless of age, are most welcome to join us.
Diane Kyle and Jane Ferrall
Roses, Roses, and More Roses
The Christ Church ECW will again hold its “Roses for Mothers” and “A Rose for Mommy” project for Mother’s Day, May 8. Sunday, April 10, will be the start of the campaign. There will be an order form with instructions along with a return envelope in the Sunday Bulletin at both services. We will accept orders through Sunday, May 1. You may put them in the offering plate or drop them by mail or in person at the parish office.
The roses will be purchased from Roses for Autism, in Guilford, and the price will remain the same, $3 each or $15 for 6. We will offer white roses for women who have died and red roses for those who are living. The beautiful roses will fill our altar and side windows, and after the 10 a.m. service will be removed to the parish hall for distribution at coffee hour. Bouquets of roses will be delivered to those women unable to attend services. All women attending the 8 a.m. service will be given a rose. Anyone knowing of a parishioner unable to attend, or can deliver roses to those who are homebound or in a medical facility, please let us know, as we appreciate your help. We will again use the proceeds to make a donation to the altar guild towards the purchase of new white altar hangings, to replace the current ones badly in need of replacing.
The “A Rose For Mommy” program is offered to the children, preschool through high school. Each rose or roses will be gift wrapped with a water holder, tissue, bow, and gift card. The cost will remain the same as last year, one for $3or 2 for $5. Proceeds from the sale will be given to the acolytes’ trip fund to visit the National Cathedral. Order forms with instructions and a return envelope will be given to the children during Sunday School. We encourage families to have their children earn the cost of the roses by doing a chore or something special around the house. Mommy will love the gift and it will be a good experience for the children to know that they earned it.
Should you have any questions or have special requests, please call Diane W. Link at (203) 458-1806. Thank you in advance for your support. Let’s fill the church with roses for Mother's Day!
Acolytes Had a “Very Busy Holy Week” in 2016
Many Acolytes served at more than one service for Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, Fr. Harrison led a record nine acolytes, a rather large choir with choir director Mark Sullivan, and many members of the parish over to the Green to join other churches for the annual Blessing of the Palms. The acolytes taking part were Gabby, Natalia, and Sofia Perez, Olivia and Luke Ste. Marie, Kenneth Pelphrey, A.J. Lafata, Lilah Limuti, and Andre Kish. They all did a great job, even though it was not one of our warmer spring days!
Tenebrae, “the coming of the shadows,” by tradition has been led by the middle school youngsters. They have done so for the past 9 out of 10 years. This year, however, we had to supplement the group, using three of the youngest and newest acolytes, all fourth graders. Those leading the readings, lessons, snuffing of the candles at the appropriate times, noise makers, and the taking out of the last light were Alex Mayo, Lilah Limuti, Megan McNamara, Keelyn Ervin, Sam Mayo, A.J. Lafata, and Kenneth Pelphrey. They all did an amazing job. Organ music was provided by Mark Sullivan. If you have not attended a Tenebrae service, I hope you consider it next year.
On Maundy Thursday, Keelyn Ervin was our acolyte and took part in all aspects of the service. As Christ had done for the Disciples, Fr. Harrison washed the feet of many members of the parish, with Keelyn leading the group. At the end of the service, Keelyn took part in the stripping of the altar, a very solemn ceremony. Fr. Harrison noted he had observed in the past that the acolytes taking part in the stripping of the altar were very serious about it. All noted that they thought that the altar looked very “sad” at the end.
On Easter Sunday, the altar was bright with colorful flowers and with everything back in its place. We had seven acolytes who served: Lilah Limuti, Megan McNamara, A.J. Lafata, Miriam Kish, and Gabby, Natalia, and Sofia Perez. The procession aisle was filled with acolytes, choir members, chalice bearers, and Fr. Harrison. During the Peace, Gabby, Natalia and Miriam, along with Mark McNamara, Finn Moore, and orchestra leader Suky Bryan, joined the choir members as music director Mark Sullivan led all in a special Easter music selection.
During this Holy Week, many acolytes served more than once, and to them and their parents Fr. Harrison and I say, Thank You Very Much. Many members of the parish have expressed how grateful they are that the young people of Christ Church serve as they do.
Susan C. Shackford,
Acolyte Program Director