Friday, April 1, 2016

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

Services at both St. Virgilius RC Church and Christ Presbyterian Church by the Sea were beautiful and moving this Easter season. Whether you belong to either church, follow a particular faith or not, I think these would have spoken to your heart.
On Good Friday I attended services at both St. Virgilius and Christ Presbyterian. At Christ Presbyterian, as they do each year, they held a “Tenebrae” service. In Latin the word means ‘shadows’ or ‘darkness’. As the story of the last hours of Christ’s life is recounted, one by one each of seven candles behind the altar is extinguished. Finally there is only one candle left flickering. At the conclusion of the story it is carried away toward the doors of the church. A slamming sound like the closing of a tomb is heard, and all is darkness.
Then, when all is quiet, the small light emerges again. Somehow it is stronger, and more precious, because of the darkness, and it is carried along and takes its place again at the center of the church.
I often look at these two Broad Channel churches, each just across the road from the other, like old neighbors. They may see things a little differently, go about things in a different way, but they are there for each other. They support and respect each other, together weaving a part of the fabric of a community every day. Together they have weathered storms. They know that they, and we, are stronger together.
With spring, things will be hopping in the Channel. Saturday night, April 2, the American Legion is hosting their big Doo-Wop Show. Call Carol at 917-930-0546, Janet at 718-483-3811 or Margaret at 917-751-3698 for tickets right now. Tickets are $30 in advance, and $35 at the door –no exceptions. That includes a great pasta buffet dinner, music by The Devotions and The Tribunes, a dance contest, cash bar and more. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All proceeds help to support our Legion’s veterans programs.
Sign up now for the 6 Hour Defensive Driving Class being given over two Wednesday nights, April 6 and 13, from 7 to 10 p.m. No test, refreshments and completing the class reduces your auto insurance by 10 percent for three years and takes 4 points off your license. Call Helen now at 917-553- 2409 or 718-945-4648. A $45 payment holds your seat. The class is given at St. Camillus Catholic Academy, and proceeds benefit the school. (And don’t even think of taking an online course. They’re awful!)
Police are continuing to look into the severe vandalism at 17 Road Park. If you have any information about the events of Friday night, March 18 to Saturday morning, March 19, or the persons involved, call the 100th Precinct at 718-318-4200.
Over the past weeks I have spoken to people at the BC Civic, organizers at the BCAC and the congregation of Christ Presbyterian. I’ve been in touch the American Legion, VFW and the BC Volies. Last Saturday I watched from the choir loft as many neighbors inside St. Virgilius, hanging banners, vacuuming, putting up plants and even ironing the altar cloths. It continually amazes me how many people put so much hard work, dedication and yes, love, into what they do here.
The BCAC Easter Egg Hunt was a big hit! At noon on Saturday, March 26, hundreds and hundreds of children were let loose, ran out onto the field and ran back with colorful plastic eggs with treats inside. Kids 4 and under had a separate part of the field, so even the littlest had a fair shot and enjoyed themselves. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed the playground, snacks and treats and photos with the Easter Bunny. Later a lot of those kids and parents enjoyed fantastic balloon creations, face painting and music at the grand re-opening of the All- American Bagel and Barista Company II (formerly Rock N Roll Bagels). It was a good day to be a kid!
Kids were the center of attention on Easter Sunday as well at Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at the Christ Presbyterian Church hall. It was very well attended. The busy Bunny did a great job, even getting pictures with Rev. Deborah Mahaney.
Over at St. Virgilius, Father Richie Ahlemeyer gave a great homily, and was very generous with the sprinkling of holy water. During the service two young girls brought up the gifts, one wearing bunny ears. Many thanks for the acknowledgement of The Choir. We deeply appreciated the congregation’s applause.
Happy Birthday to the Grassy Point Bar and Grill, which turned 100 years old in March!
Giving a shoutout to Nora and Patrick over on East 6th Road. Nora, it was a pleasure to meet you at the script reading for the Rockaway Theatre Company’s production of “Follies”.
The great big BCAC Opening Day Parade is set for Saturday, April 16. At 9:15 a.m. families, kids, coaches and guests will gather at 17th Road Park. The parade steps off at 9:45 a.m. Around 10:45 a.m. the whole colorful procession, stretching several blocks with hundreds of people, will arrive at the BCAC Field. There will be opening ceremonies, then the games begin!
You can also help kindergartners through 8th graders raise money and compete for prizes through the Jamaica Bay Little League Walk-A-Thon that day. You’ll get more details at
Mark your calendars for the BCAC Annual Jim and Claire Hanning Memorial Golf Outing on Friday, May 20.
Finally, the 100th Precinct Community Council and new Council President Joe Young are having their 7th Annual Chili Cook-Off at the Knights of Columbus on Friday April 15, 7 p.m. They are also looking for businesses to put their chili recipes to vie for top prizes. Get tickets ($12) or enter the contest by calling Joe 718-634-4970 or Kathy 917-284-0410.
Thanks for reading!

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