By Phil Corso
There were dirt roads, horse-drawn carriages and farmland in Bayside when All Saints’ Episcopal Church became part of the community in 1892, so to celebrate the group’s 120th year, members gathered for a special dinner-dance and service last week.
Throughout the year, All Saints’ has hosted various community events and fund-raisers to mark 12 decades in Bayside. With help from the church’s 15th rector, the Rev. Laurence G. Byrne, committees were formed to organize events, including a fall festival and pumpkin patch last month, among other functions.
“All of these events, as well as the efforts of generations past, have enable All Saints’ to keep their doors open,” said Stella Elder, a member of the church who participated in the various celebratory events. “It was a big year for all of us at the church.”
During a relief drive Saturday night, the church collected items such as coats, water and cleaning supplies for the victims of the hurricane as members of the congregation danced to popular songs played by DJ Bob Byrne, the rector’s brother, and ate pizza donated by Pete’s Pizza, Il Vesuvio and VIP Pizza in Bayside. Laurence Byrne thought the church might need to get a dump truck to bring supplies to areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Earlier this month, the church, at 214-35 40th Ave., hosted a dinner-dance Nov. 2 in New Hyde Park and a special coffee hour to mark the end of a yearlong celebration, Elder said. Despite Hurricane Sandy washing through the Northeast, the church was still able to reflect celebrate 120 years in Bayside.
“Although we were still worried with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, our yearlong celebration had culminated with the dinner-dance,” Elder said. “We hope and pray that All Saints’ will always be a part of the Bayside community.”
Earlier this year, Elder said the church had worked with the priest to launch an “Out-to-Lunch” club so nearby merchants and restaurants on Bell Boulevard could become part of the celebration. Members of the church held various outings, including a dinner at the nearby Mekong East Restaurant and a lunch event at Il Vesuvio on Bell Boulevard, as well as a fund-raising event at Papazzio restaurant.
“We thought that trying to help out the restaurants on Bell Boulevard was just as important as helping ourselves,” Elder said. “These merchants have always been so supportive of our efforts and this was a way of giving back while having great food with no dishes to clean up.”
All Saints’ Church operates under its mother church, the more than 300-year-old St. George’s Episcopal Church, on Main Street in Flushing. One of its founding families, in fact, was the Lawrence family, whose headstones lie off Bell Boulevard in a cemetery on 42nd Avenue.
Additionally, one of All Saints’ decorative stained glass windows was dedicated to the Lawrence family, depicting the Blessed Mother with Child and cherubs, which includes the names of the Lawrence family children who died.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.