The Harbinger May 17, 2024

The Harbinger Newsletter

Pastor Willie Allen-FaiellaDear Friends,

This Sunday, May 19 is Pentecost, the day we celebrate God’s sending of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church. This Sunday we are also celebrate three baptisms: Savannah Owens and her cousins Amelia and Noah Ortega. These children have deep roots at St. Christopher’s as their Owens grandparents were long-time, beloved members.

The Feast of Pentecost is one of the five particularly appropriate days for Baptisms (the others being The Baptism of Our Lord, The Great Vigil of Easter, All Saints, and the patronal feast of a congregation). Of course we take pastoral needs into account and occasionally celebrate Baptisms on other days. We will be doing so on June 2nd when we welcome a second grader at our Montessori School into the Body of Christ.

One thing we do not do is to conduct “private” Baptisms (except in cases of emergency). We did, a long time ago, prior to the adoption of the “new” Book of Common Prayer in 1979. The revision of the BCP in 1979 was not just about incorporating more modern language, but also about reaching back to the earliest Church’s understanding of, specifically, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. It was not meant to be a private affair for just the family and close friends; rather, in the early Church baptism was embraced as a communal act, the gathered community welcoming its newest members into the Body of Christ and supporting to uphold them, as a community, in their life in Christ. Baptism is also the beginning of a person’s journey in, with, and toward Christ; not a perfunctory “once and done” ritual. The parents and sponsors take vows for the baptizands, as do we all, when we join them in renewing our own Baptismal Covenant.

See you in Church on this glorious festival day – and don’t forget to wear red!

In Christ’s love,


Dear fellow friends of Joan,
We invite you to join us in the celebration of the incredible life of our dear friend

Joan J. Ambrose

Friday May 24 at 4:30pm

St. Christopher’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church
95 Harbor Drive, Key Biscayne, FL 33149

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Havanese Rescue, Inc, care of John Vics, 3709 Arlington Ridge Blvd., Leesburg, Florida 34748 or

On behalf of our members, I send greetings from the St. Christopher’s By-the-Sea Montessori School Board of Trustees. We serve the School community as dedicated volunteers, bringing varied experiences and capabilities in furtherance of the School’s mission. Our members are drawn from alumni families, current parents, representatives of the Parents and Teachers Organization, members of the Vestry, professional educators, and friends of St. Christopher’s generally. Our ex officio members include the Rector – formerly Mother Mandy and presently Reverend Willie and the Head of School – our own Ms. Leslie.  We are responsible for strategic planning and financial and general oversight, including developing and implementing policies in support of the educational mission, integrating the Montessori philosophy within the open-hearted and inclusive Episcopal day school model.  

St. Christopher’s By-the-Sea Montessori School has served generations of families for more than fifty years, developing in its students intellectual curiosity and capacities, creativity, communication skills, self-confidence and self-reliance, coupled with a sense of responsibility to others and to their community.  The teaching and learning environment readies students to progress through the grades and for middle school and beyond, well-prepared across the spectrum of an excellent and challenging curriculum, with a heart for community service, a love of learning, the capacity to find information and think critically, the capacity to be a leader, with a disposition to cooperate and to garner cooperation from others. 

2023 – 2024 has been a fruitful year. Ms. Leslie’s integration and contributions as Head of School have been wonderful to behold. With much appreciation for Mother Mandy’s stewardship, we are excited to welcome and be working with Reverend Willie, grateful to benefit from her independent school experience, her perspectives on governance and administration and her connections with resource institutions and consultants serving independent schools. Among the exciting developments that have come to the fore this year, we have begun the process of incorporating  International Baccalaureate curriculum elements and programming as a complementary additive supplement to the Montessori model. This is a desirable point of growth for our school for which we have been preparing for some time. We believe the value of the St. Christopher’s experience will rise further with the juxtaposition of IB and Montessori in our campus life.

We’ve met important goals this year in the areas of finance and general administration as well.  For example, working with the Vestry, the School’s budget and accounting systems are now managed separately, in collaboration with but not combined with the Church, making clear that the School and the Church each are supported by appropriate levels of financial resources. This is memorialized in a Memorandum of Understanding between Church and School that clearly delineates the financial support of each to the other. We hope you share in our pride in reinforcing a healthy fiscal relationship.

Exciting prospects. Best wishes for the summer and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone back on campus in August.


Frank Caplan,
Chair of the Board of Trustees
St. Christopher’s By-the-Sea Montessori

Mark Your Calendars…
Sunday, June 16th at 5:30pm
Our precious Deacon Miguel is about to celebrate a milestone birthday.
Our St. Christopher’s community will have a party in his honor at the home of Dottie Devaney
550 Harbor Drive.
To RSVP please text (305) 877-0721.

Prayer Requests

Please Pray For...

St Christopher’s Parish & School Community

Pat Neal, Susie Schradle, Kathy V, Carol, Isabel L.

Family & Friends

Erik, Marilyn, Jane, Stewart, Sherrie, Julian, Charles, Mary Jo, Michael V, Allison, Frances R., Paul, Angie M., Dominique, Debi P., Lisa K., Katrina, Barbara, Eleanor, Nancy, Bill and Family, Lori, Paul J, Hugh, Keith, Barbara, Rebecca, Esteban, Carol, Jack, Courtnay, Andy, Jane, Samuel, Niki, Dave, Geno, Patricia, Robert, Jackie, M.F.P., Bella and family, Betsy, Ethan, Danie, Dean and Richard, Gustavo Z., Gary, Mr. Long, Tracy, Shane, Stephen and Family. For Rex and Ruthann.

+ For the repose of the soul of Joan Ambrose and George Dooley

+ For peace in the Holy Land.

+ For refugees and all who are in danger.

+ For the Nominating Committee: Jeff Brosco, Pam Gordon, Callie Holderman, Lynne Nelson, Ken Noto and Peter Verbeeck, and Lynne Libby, their chaplain.

+ Peace, Freedom and the Safety for the people of Ukraine

St Christopher's by the sea

Welcome to St. Christopher's By-the-Sea