In This Edition
Upcoming Congregational Events
September 5th
Fall Fair and Flea Market
St. Stephen's
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September 11th
Remembrance Service
Christ Church
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September 12th
Blessing of the Firetrucks
Christ Church
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September 13th
Blessing of the Backpacks
St. David's
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September 13th
Fun Fest
Holy Spirit
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September 13th
Global Christianity: The Church in Context
All Saints'
September 15th
Health and Kid's Fair
St. Mary's
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September 16th
Remembering Victor Preller
All Saints'
September 17-18th
Fall Rummage Sale
Christ Church
Toms River
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September 19th
Peter Conte Organ Concert
Grace Church
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September 19th
Bus Trip to Amazing Grace on Broadway
Trinity Cathedral
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September 19th
POW/MIA Remembrance
St. James'
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September 19th
Fair and Flea Market
St. James' Memorial
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September 20th
150th Anniversary Celebration and Evensong
Christ Church
Toms River 
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September 25th
Basket Auction
Laurel Springs
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September 26th
Community Health Expo
St. Luke's
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September 27th
150th Anniversary Banquet
Christ Church
Toms River
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September 27th
Kitchen of Hope Awards Banquet
St. Thomas
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October 3th
Jazz Concert Trio
St. Francis
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October 3th
Spaghetti Dinner
St. Francis
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October 4th
Blessing of the Animals
Grace-St. Paul's
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Episcopal Links of the Week
Get Better by Quitting

Find ways to be a better church by quitting. Quitting is hard, but might be just want you need to be refreshed at more effective. While we're at it, here are 30 more ways to be a quitter.

Figure out what ways to quit are right for you!
Quick Guide to Different Denominations

With over 80 denominations of Christianity, many of us have wondered what the differences are. Louisville Theological Seminary has put together an easy to understand guide with short profiles and core tenets of different denominations as well as links. 
The Introverted Priest

The Episcopal Church seems to attract a disproportionately large number of introverts, many of whom are priests. The Quiet Revolution interviews one such priest, the Rev. Sarah T. Condon of Houston, about how she found her ministry and how she balances her need for quiet with her life as a priest. 
Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e -mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
August 28, 2015
From Our Canon for Congregational Development and Mission:
Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey:

So you want to grow your church

I'm a complete church growth geek. It's the kind of thing I like to talk about at barbecues, dinner parties - pretty much all the time. In more than 14 years as a parish priest and through a Doctorate of Ministry in congregational development, I analyzed dozens of approaches. At the same time, I became very familiar with the grim statistics about the decline of our church and various theories explaining it. With so much to choose from, why were we continuing to shrink?

I ultimately rejected the idea that our problem was a lack of things to try. Rather, the right question was really one of motivation. Knowing that lots of things can work, how do you find the energy - the willingness - to do them? Then, how do you sustain the difficult and demanding process of growth over time? That's a question of motivation.

To answer that question meant finding, and tapping, the source of our energy. For Christians, thankfully, we don't have far to look. The source of all good things for us is God, experienced in our faith in Jesus Christ. In John's gospel, Jesus says He's the vine and we're the branches. That means all of our growth depends on the strength of our connection to Him.

Our connection to Christ is where our enthusiasm comes from. It's where our desire to serve comes from. It's where our concern for people not in the church comes from. And it's where our courage to fight for justice comes from. In other words, our experience of joy, gratitude and wonder flows from our relationship with Jesus, both individually and as communities. It's the living water we have to offer a very thirsty world.

So church growth, to be healthy, must be an outgrowth of people's lives being transformed by an authentic, transformative experience of Jesus Christ. For the individual congregation, for the diocese and for the Episcopal Church as a whole, numerical growth is a kind of "by-product" of a commitment to lifelong Christian formation.

After all, you can't grow unless you're intentionally helping people become part of what our new Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry calls "the Jesus movement." And that's true regardless of whether they're un-churched, pre-churched, or de-churched. To grow, our congregations have to be places where people can hear God's gracious invitation to changed lives and loving service. We have to become disciple-making communities in the Episcopal tradition. On that all of our effectiveness will rest.

We can become great at this through the careful formation of disciples at all stages of life. That means nurturing all of the Christians who make up our congregations and caring for them at every stage of their journey. Walking together, we deepen our relationship to God in Christ over time. We mature in our faith.

From this come two results critical to future growth:

First, Christian faith, lived out in true commitment, is compelling. These qualities are appealing to people who are not yet Christian. They must see it in us if they are going to risk believing it.

Second, lifelong formation gives Christians the kind of energy, creativity and courage to make making new Christians a priority. Deep growth in Christian faith leads to a genuine, loving concern for those who are not yet Christian and whose lives would be transformed in positive, even miraculous ways, by deciding to commit their lives to God, in Christ.

For those of us who might be visual learners, it looks like this:

This is a change in thinking, and that's not always easy. But here in the Diocese of New Jersey, we're committed to this approach to growth for the long term. It frees us from chasing after the "latest and greatest," because it's rooted deeply in who we are: a community of people whose lives are being changed by the living presence of Christ in our Episcopal communities.

It also frees us from the obsession with numerical growth. In understanding that growth is a by-product of formation, we do the work of bringing in new people, working on our own faith, and trusting God for the growth. That should be a relief to many - and much more meaningful than simply running after numbers. It's much more fun, too.

In the coming years, you'll be hearing a lot more about these concepts. They are fundamental organizing principles for us all to explore and learn about together. I look forward to living into all of them with you.

The Rev. Cn. Dr. Rob Droste
Canon for Congregational Development and Mission
Good News Stories and More

Clergy Compensation and Benefits Workshop
Saturday, September 12, 9 AM - 3 PM
Trinity Cathedral in Trenton
$10 (includes lunch) 
Registration closes Sept. 8. 
Does the Diocesan Clergy Compensation Chart confuse you? Do you need some help in understanding self-employment taxes? Then this workshop is for you! It is an opportunity for clergy and lay leadership to learn more about how our clerical compensation package in the Diocese is calculated, what can be negotiated, tax ramifications, and what are the benefit options. 

Ministry to the Imprisoned in the Diocese of New Jersey


April 2016 trip to Israel

Trinity Church of Williamsport, PA is planning a tour to Israel in
April 2016. Clergy and laity in the Diocese of Central PA and Dioceses in PA and NJ, are invited to join.  

The tour will be leaving from Newark International Airport. 
 A full brochure and reservation forms are available. 

Ministry Institute

A full listing Fall 2015 Ministry Institute events is now available!

The September 2015 list of events is below!

September 9-10
Becoming the Story We Tell: Transform Your Church through Liturgy, Preaching, and Bible Study
Church of the Holy Spirit, Lebanon

September 12
Clergy Compensation and Benefits Workshop for Clergy
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

September 13
Sermon: Discovering Your God-Given Gifts for Service
Christ Church, New Brunswick

September 19
Workshop: Discovering Your God-Given Gifts for Service
Church of St. Mark & All Saints, Galloway

September 19
Building Skills: Organ Service Playing and Improvisation, Beginning Handbells, Music in the Spanish Community, Choral Anthem Reading Session for Small Choirs
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

September 19
Sexual Misconduct Awareness Workshop
Church of the Advent, Cape May

September 26
Trinity Church, Princeton

September 26
Evensong: Honoring the Witness, Faithfulness, and Contributions of Older Adults in Our Diocese
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Here are some upcoming highlights:

October 3
Parish Leadership Day
Grace-St. Paul's, Mercerville  

October 10 
Ministry Inside and Outside Prison Walls

Christ Church, Toms River 
October 15-17
Undoing Racism: Help Us Build the Beloved Community
St. Augustine's Atlantic City
November 2-4
Clergy Conference
Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, Galloway 
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618