In This Edition
Upcoming Congregational Events
Holding Vacation Bible School this summer? Let us know so we can add you to the list.

HERE is a partial list of VBSes around the diocese.
July 24th 
Seafood Fest
St. Mary's
Stone Harbor
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July 25th
MDG Retreat
Shrine of St. Joseph
Click Here for More
July 30th 
Meet Jesus in the Garden
St. Elizabeth's
Click Here for More
August 2nd
St. Augustine's Jersey Shore Gospel VOICE
Jumping Brook Country Club
Click Here for More
August 15th
International Food Festival
St. Elizabeth's
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September 12th
Blessing of the Firetrucks
Christ Church
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September 19th
Bus Trip to Amazing Grace on Broadway
Trinity Cathedral
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List Your Congregation's Events Here!
Adding your events to our calendar is quick and simple; events go live within one business day.

Click here to add an event!
Episcopal Links of the Week
Mount Airy facilities foster interfaith connections

Here's another one in "new uses for parish spaces."

Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church, just northwest of Philadelphia, PA, has welcomed a local dance school to use their campus to bring together young people of diverse faiths. The parish saw an opportunity for ministry by partnering with the Mountain Airy Performing Arts Center, which offers dance classes to 90 students in their children's program.

Intergenerational ministry: What's old is new again

J ane Harris-Zsovan writes for the Anglican Journal about new efforts to bridge the gaps between generations in parish life. Crosswalk, at St. Augustine's Church in Lethbridge, Alberta, offers support and an opportunity to share the faiths of women and girls ranging from twelve to their late eighties. Ministries to bring newcomers into the church often segment the populations.

Says participant Meredith MacDonald:

"The dynamics of the group are really interesting, and there's so much knowledge in one room. I really like it that can ask questions without feeling belittled".
A Bit on Liturgical Creativity, Rite III, and Common Prayer

In his blog Feed on Manna, The Rev. David Sibley walks through a Sunday service and speculates about the potential and pitfalls of new liturgical options from the recent General Convention. He highlights the Book of Common Prayer's "An Order for Celebrating Holy Eucharist" and some of the creative options for its use while still remaining tied to our tradition of common prayer. 

As Sibley puts it, " we have a continued commitment to what it means to do the work of theology together."
Tutus share their 60-year old Marriage Secret

Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah said the secret to their six-decade long marriage has been laughter.

A few weeks ago couple celebrated their  60th wedding anniversary and renewed their vows at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.
Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e -mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
July 24, 2015
From Canon Alvarez


Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey:


I recently spent 9 days at Haw River State Park in Summit, NC working with team members of the Lift Every Voice: Freedom Ride Project, sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. It was a powerfully moving and inspiring week-long experience that was shared with 67 youth, young adults, and diocesan leaders from Northern California, South Africa, Botswana, Massachusetts, Virginia, Texas, and the Carolinas, including our Presiding Bishop-elect, Bishop Michael Curry. We were brought together to get better informed and cultivate the proper awareness and relationships, with Christ at the center of all that we think, do, and plan to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination that we all face today.

Together we all toured the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC, and visited and learned the history of  Stagville Plantation, a 30,000 acre slave plantation in Durham, NC. We took in a performance of Mike Wiley's production of Tim Tyson's "Blood Done Sign My Name" and participated in panel discussions with the Raleigh Police Chief and Episcopalian Cassandra Brown, and several Civil Rights activists, including Milicent Brown, Lewis Brandon, and Joseph McNeill, a member of the historic Greensboro Four.  The president and other office holding members of the Youth and College Chapters of the NAACP and Malinda Lowery, author of Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South, also offered presentations which informed the group  of cultural history and current developments, specifically  those of the Moral Monday March for Voting Rights to Young Voters in Winston-Salem, NC on July 13.


It was a full week of learning, exploring, healing, praying, singing, and a call to action, which Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry refers to as a "Jesus Movement."

For some pictures, and further details on the three-year Freedom Ride Project and experience, please visit the following sites: Bishop Doug Fisher's Blog, The Diocese of North Carolina website, Lift Every Voice Freedom Ride Blog and the LEV/Freedom Ride Facebook Group.

Here are five lessons I learned on this trip:

1. I learned that the opportunity to creatively serve and carry out social justice has no age, ethnic, religious, or gender requirement. Our group's participants ranged from age 15 to late 60s, and came from various parts of North and South America and Africa, each of them with deep concern and a heart for ensuring that the dignity and integrity of every human should be upheld.

2. I learned that the Holy Spirit is still at work in developing and growing advocates and leaders who have an interest and passion for challenging racism, despite how long ago Apartheid ended in South Africa or slavery was deemed illegal in this country.  A deep faith in God was one of the common attributes that our Civil Rights activists shared.

3.  I learned how songs, chants, and music play an essential role in motivating and conveying messages of civil responsibility across multiple generations, to people all over the world. Through performance and discussion, we encountered the difficult and illuminating history of music as a tool for social justice, from Negro Spirituals to Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" to Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" and beyond. Popular North Carolina indie/jazz/hip-hop band The Beast joined us for a night of music and conversation; lead singer Pierce Freelon is the son of six-time Grammy nominated Jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, with whom the band frequently collaborates.

4.  I learned that the heroes and leaders of the past and present do not necessarily set out to be heroes and leaders, but by their courage, commitment, and perseverance, they model their inspiring character, which motivates a forward movement by those who bear witness to their bold nobility.

5.  I learned that shifting gender norms, hardships of undocumented immigrant youths, being victims of racial profiling, and cultivating a substantial relationship with Jesus Christ are some of the issues that our young people face today, and they need the support, and encouragement to keep fanning their fire that calls them to action As adults, leaders, and authority figures in the Episcopal Church, we can readily serve as that source of support and encouragement. 

I'm grateful to have had this transformative experience in working with these young people, and I'm thrilled that they are part of our church. I look forward to seeing them grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ, and I welcome further adventures and programs such as this that develop young peoples' talents in creative, faithful and essential ways.


It was an honor and privilege to be called to serve as Spiritual Director with such creative, curious, and committed young people of the Anglican and Episcopal Church. I am grateful to Bishop Stokes for allowing me to share part of my experience with the people of the Diocese of New Jersey. I'd be happy to go into further details of my time there and how I came about being invited to being part of the project in the first place, with anyone who may be interested.


Faithfully Yours in Christ,

Canon Cecilia Alvarez
Canon for Transition Ministry and Clergy Development
(609) 394-5281, Ext. 22 

Good News Stories


Jubilee! - Vision Through an Abundant Eye


"Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring that, the 78th General Convention affirm the work and projects being carried out across the church in food ministry, including food pantries, feeding programs, community gardens, educational programs, and advocacy for programs that provide healthy, culturally appropriate food..."

(Resolution A091)


This resolution encourages all Episcopalians to regard our call as Christians to feed the hungry, by engaging in direct action and advocacy, as we are able. Wherever we are located, and whatever our ministries, promoting food justice is as simple as individual donations to a local food bank, or initiatives to provide nourishment and instruction about nutrition and food systems through our parishes.


In our diocese, Jubilee Ministries focuses on the fight against hunger, a key component of domestic poverty in a state where food insecurity affects every 1 in 7 people. Feeding the hungry not only is a compassionate response to those in a time of vulnerability and need, but also allows us to witness through eyes grounded in abundant life how blessings are shared and received (Prov. 22:9).


Take a look at the many Jubilee sites and parishes around the diocese that have already been supporting tenets of this resolution for many years: 



Episcopal Relief & Development Project Spotlight: 

Throughout the summer, we'll be highlighting stories from throughout the Diocese of New Jersey about efforts to contribute to Episcopal Relief & Development's 75th Anniversary campaign.       


St. Mark's Sunday School  Donates to the Pennies to Prosperity Program     
St. Mark's Sunday School donated the proceeds of their recent bake sale to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund for the Pennies to Prosperity program. Through this program, a loan of $200 along with training will help a woman start or expand a small business. Many women throughout the world cannot secure a loan simply because they are women; this program seeks to balance the scales through this funding.

St. Mark's commends our Sunday School students for their selfless concern for the plight of others around the world. They turned their concern into action and demonstrated their Christian love. Thanks to the Superintendent and teachers for helping to foster social responsibility in our children.



Meet Jesus in the Garden
On July 2nd, St Elizabeth's Church in Elizabeth launched its summer series of outdoor outreach ministry titled "Meet Jesus in the Garden." It's a spiritual experiential event based upon contemporary music, scripture and meditation. It is one hour event starting at 7:00 PM on Thursdays in the memorial garden located next to the 305 North Broad Street entrance of our historic church.
We wish to extend this invitation to you and your congregation to participate and share in this wonderful opportunity for both outreach and ecumenism. It is an opportunity for your church to meet the many unchurched or the hundreds of new residents that are moving into our growing city. Kindly contact our church office to plan your attendance and participation.

Due to our location we believe that God has blessed us with vast opportunities to meet folks at the crossroads and we wish to share this gift with you. We look forward to be hearing from you.


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