Friday, 16 August 2013 00:00
Before receiving the call to serve as the interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown, Reverend Terri Yvette Cisse served as the assistant Protestant chaplain and later the interim associate university chaplain to the Protestant community at Brown University. She also served as the chaplain at Emerson College, Wellesley College, Simmons College, and as seminarian chaplain and the director of the Harvard University Memorial Church School under the tutelage of the late Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes.
Cisse has also served the following congregations as the minister for Christian education and spiritual formation at the Flemington Presbyterian Church in Flemington, NJ and the interim minister of education at the Hingham Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Hingham, MA.
Cisse is a graduate of the Princeton Theological Seminary where she received her Th.M in Education and Spiritual Formation. She is a graduate of Harvard University where she received the Master of divinity degree. She also received a Master of Arts in cross cultural theology from Columbia International University. Cisse received her undergraduate degree in history from the Mississippi University for Women where she was inducted into the national honor society of history (Phi Alpha Theta) for outstanding historical scholarship. Her clinical pastoral education was completed at the Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals (Dana Farber Cancer Center and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital) where she served as an interfaith chaplain.
Cisse has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) in the following capacities: New Brunswick Presbytery Education and Missions Committee board member, national delegate for Presbyterian Women Association, Presbyterian youth triennium educator and team leader, delegate to Presbyterian Multicultural Church Institute and worship committee member for the Big Tent.
Cisse’s further ministry and professional developments include two term president elect of Harvard Harambee (representing students in the African diaspora) at the Harvard Divinity School, the Chalice Press Outstanding Seminarian award, the Fund for Theological Education Ministry Fellowship where she received a grant to conduct ethnographic research of griotte women in Mali, West Africa to examine the practice and tradition of the transmission of religion through oral narratives.
Cisse has also served as a delegate to the Parliament of World Religions in Barcelona, Spain to examine and create models for interfaith dialogue. She has also served as multifaith coordinator for service learning to Wahat al-Salaam/Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace) Village school in Jerusalem, Israel jointly established by Jewish and Palestinian Arab citizens engaged in educational work for peace, equality and understanding. She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Biblical Literature, and the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators.
Cisse desires to approach ministry not just as a theoretical endeavor but also as a practical way of life. Like Jesus, she desires to use parables as a medium to contemporary, cross-cultural and multi faith conversation. She desires to create a ministry model that focuses on examining personal narratives for the pattern of the divine that is sometimes silently woven into the stories of their lives. Cisse believes that when people “find God” in the midst of their life stories this facilitates their faith journey towards lives full of purpose and passion.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county.
The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.