In This Edition
Ministry Institute


A full, detailed listing of Ministry Institute events available.
Here's what's on in the coming months. 


December 6
Advent Clergy Day
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

December 16-17 Youth
The Cathedral Lock-In: Stop Hunger Now
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton
Upcoming Congregational Events
December 1st
St John
Somerville
December 2nd
Grace
Pemberton
December 3rd
St. Raphael
Brick
December 3rd
St Matthew's
Pennington
December 3rd
St Mary
Haddon Heights
December 4th
St John the Baptist
Mendham
December 4th
Christ the King
Willingboro
December 4th
Episcopal Church at Princeton University
December 4th
December 4th
Christ Church
New Brunswick 
December 7th
St. Michael
Trenton
December 9-11th
All Saints'
Navesink
December 9
December 9-10
December 10
St. Francis
Dunellen
December 10
Grace Church
Pemberton
December 11
St. Michael
Trenton
December 11
St. Mary
Stone Harbor
December 11
St. Bartholomew
Cherry Hill 
December 11
Christ Church
Bordentown
December 11th
December 11
Trinity
Princeton
December 14th
St. Michael
Trenton
December 16
St Francis
Dunellen 
December 16
St Mark
Plainfield 
December 18
Canterbury House
at Rutgers
New Brunswick 
December 21st
St. Michael
Trenton
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December 2, 2016
From the Bishop
Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,

Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the region. 2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force...   Genesis 34:1-2

Currently, Anglicans around the world are in the midst of "16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence." The observance began on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It will end on December 10, Human Rights Day. Tragically, acts of gender-based violence, particularly against women, won't end on December 10.

According to the World Health Organization, about 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. According to WHO, most of this is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime. Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner. ( World Health Organization - Violence Against Women - 2016 Fact Sheet)

The United States is hardly immune from acts of gender-based violence, and especially acts of violence against women. The issue of violence on our college campuses has been a news item, and a shameful reality in our national life for decades. Abuse and violence against women became a significant issue in the most recent presidential election. This nation elected a man who has openly countenanced abusive behavior against women. Former presidents have been guilty of rape and sexual coercion. This is not merely "boys being boys" and "locker-room talk;" it is part of a worldwide disease.

According to a 2012 report by the United States Center for Disease Control , nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. 13% of women and 6% of men reported they experienced sexual coercion at some time in their lives. In a nationally representative survey of adults, 37.4% of female rape victims were first raped between ages 18-24. In a study of undergraduate women, 19% experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college.  

In the United States, guns are a significant part of the equation in gender-based violence. More than half of women murdered in the United States were killed by a domestic partner using a gun. While some try to argue that a gun in the home assures safety, in fact the opposite is true; guns make the home less safe ( Everytown Gun Safety - Gun Violence Against Women ).
 
As an experienced pastor, I know that gender-based violence and abuse exist among our church families. This issue cuts across race, religious, ethnic, national and socio-economic divisions. Statically, we can be sure that people in our pews, especially, but not exclusively women, have been, and are continuing to be, abused. This is a serious moral and pastoral concern. It is also, too often, the "dirty little secret" that no one wants to talk about - like that other dirty little secret - alcoholism - which often goes hand in hand with domestic abuse.

During this week of activism against gender-based violence being observed across the Anglican Communion, I urge our clergy to speak out on this issue. I encourage our congregations to engage in forums about the issues involved and to become knowledgeable. The first means of preventing gender-based violence is to begin to talk about it, become more conscious of it. If anyone reading this letter has been, or is being abused, I urge them to seek help. Talk to your priest or someone you trust.

I also encourage the people of the diocese to engage with organizations that are on the frontline of this issue such as The New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence . Discover, research and support local "safe- houses" that shelter victims of domestic violence, allowing them to escape their situations and reclaim their lives.

Our scriptures make it clear; we have all, male and female alike, been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Our Baptismal Covenant demands that we "persevere in resisting evil;" "seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as our self," and "strive for justice and peace among people, respecting the dignity of every human being." These are foundational aspects of our identity as the people of God and as Christians. They compel us to confront the evil of gender-based violence and to end it.

May God bless us all and lead us to end this scourge.

Yours in Christ,
 

The Right Reverend William H. Stokes, D. D.
Bishop of New Jersey 
 

Advent Podcast

Advent: What Does It Mean in 2016?

In a year like 2016, how is Advent different? How is it timeless? Five priests discuss the unique challenges and beauty of this year as Advent begins.

Good News stories and more!

Stop Hunger Now - Lock In
 6th -12th graders and their adult chaperones
December 16-17 

Stop Hunger Now is driven by the vision of a world without hunger. Our mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world's most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.

Meal-packaging events are the heart of our work. We work with volunteers from corporations, faith congregations, schools, colleges and universities, and civic groups.

Volunteers set up and take down packaging stations and equipment, fill bins with raw ingredients, scoop ingredients into meal bags, weigh and seal the bags, box and stack them on pallets, and load the pallets and equipment onto a truck.

Meal-packaging events are a great way to educate volunteers about global hunger and inspire them to get more involved in fighting it. The events also give volunteers hands-on experience in leadership development, team-building, relationship-building, creative problem-solving, and goal-setting and achievement.

 
 Want to avoid the crowds at the mall
and post-Christmas clutter
while helping those in need?
 
Check out some of these great ways to help those across the nation and the world through alternative Gift Catalogs or visit one of the many Holiday Markets being held by congregations around the diocese. 

 
Advent Clergy Day: Dec 6 
 
 A Pilgrimage Beyond the Manger: Transforming the journey through Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany 
 
This year's clergy day at Trinity Cathedral will explore the seasons of Advent, Christmas and the Epiphany through the focusing lens of pilgrimage, an outward journey that catalyzes an inner transformation. Through plenary and small-group conversation and discernment, participants will use the universal elements of pilgrimage to connect to their own experience of and hunger for transformation and will prepare to lead their congregations soulfully through these major celebrations.  

 
 
March 3-4, 2017
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Princeton, NJ 

with featured speaker 
Becca Stevens of
Thistle Farms

General Information is now online!
 

PreConvention hearings announced!
Resolutions now being accepted!
Still time for nominations!

The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618