Amid Pandemic, Church’s 2021 Annual Meeting Was a Bit Different
Christ Church’s 318th Annual Meeting was held on January 24, 2021 after the 10:00 a.m. church service. Church members were able to view the annual proceedings
via Zoom videoconference while those attending in person
maintained social distancing in the Parish Hall.
New Vestry members were elected–see the About Us section of the site for their names and responsibilities–while Mother Lisa Mitchell complimented outgoing vestry member
Dianne Regiec for her service.
The in-person and virtual members of the Church paused to express their gratitude to two long-time members, Ann and Jim Miller, who may be departing the area soon.
The Bishop of Myra visited Christ Church on the 2nd Sunday in Advent. He addressed the congregation about safety during this troubled time but principally spoke to the children about light and the importance of the community. He also distributed chocolate gold covered wafers.
The second of three events celebrating October is Graveyard Month was held in the graveyard on Saturday Oct 12. The effort was led by Friend of Christ Church Jennifer Shamrock and parishioner Jenn Lovekin. There were about 12 participants most of whom are members of the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Some husbands came as well. Many granite gravemarkers were spruced up.
On October 5th Christ Church held another graveyard 300th anniversary event. The day was crisp and sunny. Ryan Radice led about 25 visitors through the graveyard telling about Notable Figures, Gravestone Artistry, and Special Features. Judi Buncher came as Louise Jost and Stuart Buncher as a WWI private. Judi also took some beautiful photographs. This was our third and last Guided Graveyard Tour of 2019.
On September 7th the parish and about 60 friends of Christ Church celebrated the graveyard’s 300th anniversary. There were numerous elements of this special event. First there were multiple sequential tours in the graveyard on a gorgeous late summer day. These included a discussion of Notable Figures led by Ryan Radice, Graveyard Artistry described by Dr. Richard Veit of Monmouth University, the role of gravestone condition assessment and restoration specifications elucidated by Lorraine Schnabel, our graveyard conservator, descriptions of specific gravemarker restorations by Stephanie Hoagland of Jablonski Building Conservation, special gravestone restorations by Peter Woolley of Peaceable Kingdom, and a description of the Heritage Rose Meditation Garden by Terese Blake.
Pete Woolley with the Infant Jones’
Pete Woolley at the Croes plot
The Rose Garden
During these tours Mother Lisa dedicated a special gravemarker for Judge John Faucheraud Grimke’. This was unveiled by Ms. Benay Lipstein who as a friend of Christ Church took a special interest in the Grimke’s and contributed to the marker.
Grimke’ Marker Unveiled
After the outside activities the visitors repaired to the parish house for a reception hosted by Dianne and Dave Regiec. After the meal Dr. Veit gave his classic presentation about New Jersey graveyards.
Bob Kelly, Mother Lisa, Benay and Howard Lipstein
Ellen Preissler, Terese Blake, Nancy Stewart
Mother Lisa and Jim Miller
Also in the parish house the church recognized the contributions of several individuals to our historic graveyard, The parish gave a set of HRMG notecards to each of the members of Edith’s Angels who have been faithfully tending that award winning garden: Terese Blake, Sue Berdahl, Robin Blair, Ellen Preissler, and Nancy Stewart. For his long term partnership with Christ Church, the parish gave Dr, Veit a lithograph of the church and graveyard drawn by Sanford Ross.
At the event we also announced the release of the Video version of the graveyard Self-Guided Tour that is available through our web site.
As a key event in the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of our church building, Joseph W. Hammond presented a comprehensive lecture on the architectural history of this iconic building. Mr. Hammond was instrumental in the 1995 listing of the church on the National Register of Historic Places. He was also the Clerk of the Works for the 1996-97 re-stabilization of the building due to the failure of multiple truss beams. The presentation was attended by about 40 history buff who also came to a reception afterwards where there was a display of images of the church throughout its history. The lecture was also attended by Diana Stevenson who is the 4th great-granddaughter of the Reverend Samuel Cooke who was the priest who was the driving force in the erection of this church building.
On August 30th the painters working on the church ceiling completed their work. They had been working since July 8th and we have held services in the parish house during that time. Our first service in the church with the restored ceiling will be September 8th. The workmanship was superb. Luis, the foreman, had a strong commitment to quality and thoroughness. This huge undertaking included removing many layers of lead infused paint, correcting damage and rust to the metal ceiling, and repainting with three coats of new paint. During the painting every inch of the nave was protected by plastic covering. This paint job should last for many decades since we treated the underlying paint peeling condition. Further the new paint reveals the details of the decorations on the metal ceiling as can be seen in these accompanying pictures.
Thanks to Guy Hembling, Luis and his son Kevin, Alan Binger for protection of the organ during the ceiling work, and Stephanie Hoagland for her invaluable consultation.
On Sunday November 19th the new brick walkway named for our beloved parishioner and treasurer was dedicated. The funding for this came from donations to the memorial fund in Gerry’s name. The parishioners and visitors gathered at each side of the walkway starting at the arbor entrance.
The walkway was created by Ryser’s Landscape Supply firm.