* To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
* To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
* To respond to human need by loving service
* To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue
peace and reconciliation
* To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
I was not able to attend the first Day.
According to the Program Agenda, the day began with the Holy Eucharist in the Grand Ballroom. It is a
magnificent Service, always inspiring and Spirit filled!!! I was sorry to miss it.
Bishop Stokes addressed the first three Marks of Mission. After his address, there was relative story telling.
Then there was small group conversations, followed by large group response where person could approach
the microphone and speak.
Voting for Nominations of Diocesan positions was held: Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, Cathedral
Chapter, Standing Commission on Clerical Compensation, Standing Committee on Constitutions and Canons,
Trustees of Diocesan Trust Funds, Finance and Budget Committee, Audit Committee, Disciplinary Board,
Intake Officer, Church Attorney and Treasurer
I attended on the second day with Marian Heacock.
Our day began with attending the Episcopal Church Women breakfast.
The speaker was Liza Minno Bloom. Her topic was "Indigenous Solidarity & Settler Colonialism."
She is passionate about bring analysis around colonialism and decolonization to work for
racial injustice. She is helping to lead the Curriculum Development Team for the Anti
Racism Commission of the Dioces of New Jersey.
Settler Colonialism is a form of colonial control witnessed in settled states. It destroys all
indigenous land,culture, etc. and replace with a settler version. The aim is to decrease the
indigenous people, their structure and to take them over.
She stressed gaining knowledge and awareness of indigenous peoples. The book
titled "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States" recommended.
Her focus was mostly Native Americans with examples of contemporary struggles given:
Navajo Nation Coal Deposits
Ramapaugh Lenape Pipeline in North Dakota
Mahwah, NJ, Pilgrim Pipeline
These pipelines create a risk to health and land
She cited 5 best practices for dealing with indigenous people
1. Find out who is on your land
2. Be aware of uncomfortableness
3. Ask permission to be on their land; invite indigenous persons to attend event to
take place on their land
4. Know where your resources come from
5. Take responsibility
Work going on for reparation and deep treaties for the return of indigenous land
Hopes prayer can transform and referenced the Prayer of Confession
Fr. John Mitchell, recently retired Rector of Church of the Advent in Cape May was honored as a
lifetime member of the ECW as a result of his support and involvement.
Important for Clergy to play part in ECW
ECW Student Service Award in need of money-Girls Friendly Society donated half of the monies
given; need more parishes to reply
ECW plays part in promoting justice and rights. ie. Thistle Farms, Indigenous people, MOMS
Part of our Baptismal Covenant to care about our earth and resources--Water bottle given as
reminder to think about where your water comes from; there is a lot of wasted plastic and
water *takes 1000 years for a plastic bottle to disintegrate
Bishop Stokes thanked the ECW and closed in prayer
Following the ECW Breakfast, Marian and I visited vendor tables, then at 930 am, went into the Grand
Ballroom where the Convention meeting resumed.
Opening Prayer by Convention Chaplains.
Bishop Stokes addressed the 4th and 5th Marks of Mission, and as in the first day, there was
story telling relating to each Mark of Mission group conversations and large group response.
Under 4th Mark of Mission:
Bishop Stokes began with referring to Amos, a shepherd, being called by God to a difficult
mission of preaching harsh words in a smooth season
Gun violence was the largest topic-"where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths"
Mass shootings are an epidemic-no other country tolerates wounding of children
30,000 persons per year/90 by day are killed by guns
Bishop Stokes invited all to attend the March for Our Lives in Washington DC on March 24th
Area churches offered invitation to attend events at their churches
Poverty and Racism also topics
"Evicted" by Matthew Desmond recommended-follows 8 persons in the poverty system
Clergy and lay leaders shared stories about jubilee ministries
Clara Gregory, Jubilee Officer of the Diocese of NJ spoke:
Jubilee Ministry=Charity work based on Love, Value, Accepting, Compassion and
Welcoming All Brothers and Sisters Equally
We can all be better advocates offering a "meal today, a bed tonight"
Small group questions for discussion: How do you see unjust structures being
transformed,violence challenged or peace and reconciliation being pursued in your
community (your congregation, your neighborhood, the people you meet every day?
Right now, what is God calling you to do to transform unjust structures?
Under 5th Mark of Mission:
Bishop Stokes began with Genesis showing God bringing order out of chaos, life out of
earth with beauty, goodness and relationship, God creating man in His own image with
instruction to care about the earth and every living creature
Video by Fr. Greg Bezilla about Green Faith Certification Program shown
Clergy spoke on the "Greening" of their churches
Fr. Jack Zamboni spoke of his parish St. Francis in Dunellen, NJ and working with Green
Faith in 2015
The Diocese entered into an agreement with Green Faith in 2014 to help parishes
Bishop Stokes referenced Project Resource (now the Stewardship Committee of the
Diocese) and AMP Up!--encouraging financial stewardship
A= Annual giving campaigns emphasizing giving from a thankful heart
M= Major Gifts for one time capital expenses and endowments
Discussion and voting on items under Canon 16: (all items not included in this report)
Fair Share Marks of Mission Minimum Giving Pledge
"Fair Share" has negative sound and should be eliminated
Table of percentage giving based on Income Base
What happens if a parish cannot meet its Giving requirements?--needs to be
communication with the Diocese if unable to fulfill requirement
Parishioners ask why is it necessary to give to the Diocese?--Diocese has
operating expenses just like parishes (ie personnel, utilities, Mission)
Canon Phyllis Jones asked to see how these changes in the Canon work
Timeline for Canon 16 is 2020
Diocesan Budget voted on
Diocesan Convention ended with Episcopal Blessing given by Bishop Stokes