Car­ol­ers spread Christ­mas joy

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

Wear­ing Santa hats, a small group of car­ol­ers strolled around Brook­side and Al­ters­gate on Sun­day af­ter­noon, spread­ing Christ­mas joy and a mes­sage of good­will.

On Brook­side Boule­vard, they sang to a man suf­fer­ing from a bad cold who stepped out onto his porch to re­quest a ren­di­tion of “O Holy Night.” On Mat­tei Lane, they sang to a man hang­ing up Christ­mas lights as a fam­ily mem­ber filmed the scene with her phone. On Martell Drive, they ser­e­naded two young boys rid­ing by on bi­cy­cles, who stopped for a few min­utes be­fore rid­ing off smil­ing and per­haps a bit be­wil­dered.

Along the way, driv­ers beeped their horns in sup­port, and res­i­dents watched from their win­dows.

“It just makes you feel like you’re spread­ing the mes­sage,” said Fran Tac­cone, who or­ga­nized the car­ol­ing event for St. Nicholas Epis­co­pal Church of Ne­wark. “The idea is to re­mind peo­ple what Christ­mas is about.”

This is the third year mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion on Old Ne­wark Road have gone car­ol­ing in the neigh­bor­hoods sur­round­ing the church. A to­tal of eight peo­ple par­tic­i­pated Sun­day.

Tac­cone noted that the church’s name­sake is St. Nicholas, the fourth-cen­tury bishop who be­came the in­spi­ra­tion for Santa Claus. She said the car­ol­ing is a way to spread the mes­sage of God’s love.

“We have some­thing to sing about,” she said, adding it re­minds her of days gone by, when her mother used to take her car­ol­ing in the small Penn­syl­va­nia town where she grew up.

The ef­fort also helps the church con­nect with nearby res­i­dents.

“Be­ing present in the com­mu­nity is im­por­tant to us,” Tac­cone said.

Caroler Lawana Lock­hart said she en­joyed meet­ing the Brook­side Boule­vard res­i­dent who was, as she put it, “in need of a song.”

“We were able to lift him up,” Lock­hart said. “That was the best.”

“I think we re­ally touched the heart of that gentle­man,” added Wanda Si­mons.

Fran Tac­cone (right) and other mem­bers of St. Nicholas Church sing Christ­mas carols in the Al­ters­gate neigh­bor­hood as night falls Sun­day.

Car­ol­ers from St. Nicholas Church ser­e­nade two kids who were rid­ing their bikes down Martell Drive in Brook­side on Sun­day evening.

NE­WARK POST PHO­TOS BY JOSH SHAN­NON

Wanda Si­mons joins other mem­bers of St. Nicholas Epis­co­pal Church in singing Christ­mas carols in Brook­side on Sun­day.

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