In This Edition
Upcoming Congregational Events
March 21st
Care and Renovation of Soul and Vestments 
St John the Baptist
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March 21st
Celebration of New Ministry 
St James
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March 21st
Crab Cake Dinner
St. Peter's
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March 21st
Ancient Wisdom for a New Day 
St. Bernards's
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March 22nd
Practicing Christ 
St Bernard's
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March 22nd
Fish and Chips Dinner
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March 28th
Fish Fry 
St. Elizabeth's 
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March 28th
Fish Fry 
St. Stephen's 
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March 29th
Ecumenical Eucharist to Fight Hunger 
St. Mary's 
Haddon Heights 
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March 29th
Nathaniel Dett Concert 
St. Michael's
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March 29th
Passover Seder 
St. Luke's
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April 1st
Christ Church
New Brunswick
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April 1st
Sung Stations with
Vox Fidelis 
Christ Church
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April 3rd
Children's Stations of the Cross 
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April 11th
Women's Tea 
St. David's
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April 13th
Parenting Classes
Grace Church 
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April 13-16th
Manuscript Illumination Retreat 
St. John the Baptist 
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April 15th
Designer Bag Bingo 
Holy Spirit  
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April 15th
Jazz Concert 
St. Elizabeth's 
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April 22nd
Earth Day with Gov. Christie Whitman 
All Saints' 
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Episcopal Links of the Week

Episcopal, Anglican women gather in NYC for 59th annual UN Commission meeting

The traditionally strong Anglican and Episcopal presence at UN Commission on the Status of Women continues at the 2015 meeting from March 9-20 in New York City with over 100 participants from 16 provinces of the Anglican Communion. The Rev. Joan Grimm Fraser of the Diocese of Long Island is representing The Episcopal Church to the Anglican Communion delegation.

Lelanda Lee, a lay Episcopalian from Colorado, is blogging about the experience.

"Why I'm coming out as a Christian"

Journalist Ana Maria Cox writes for the Daily Beast on why she's more nervous about making it known that she is a Christian to other Christians than to atheists.

No, I'm nervous to come out as a Christian because I worry I'm not good enough of one. I'm not scared that non-believers will make me feel an outcast. I'm scared that Christians will.

She also writes about being privately and personally Christian in a society that often looks at "public performance." This piece is a revealing and honest look at the internal struggles of proclaiming Christ in a secular culture.
Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e -mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
March 20, 2015


Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,


On March 4, I traveled to Ecuador so that I could see and better understand our relationships with our companion dioceses. Susan went with me, along with Fr. Pedro Guzman, Chair of the Companion Diocese Committee; his wife, Dr. Odeida Dalmasi Guzman;  Fr. Mark Van Sant and Deacon Emily Holman, Companion Diocese Committee members.

We began in the Diocese of Ecuador Litoral where we were hosted by Bishop Alfredo Morante and his lovely wife, Olga. During our visit we took a two-hour drive to Iglesia Santisima Trinidad (Holy Trinity Church) in the town of La Libertad. We were joined by Fr. Cristobal Olmed Le�n who planted the church there.

When we arrived, more than 150 people were waiting for us in the half-built church. Sheets of tin suspended above bare cinder-block walls provided the most basic outline of a sanctuary. Never mind--the Spirit was palpable. Deacon Carlos Villacis has been doing powerful ministry in that community. Included in the crowd were children, youth and adults. We held a prayer service during which the children and youth performed dances. People "witnessed" to how important the church was in their lives and in the life of the community. 


Among the many important ministries engaged in by Santissima Trinidad is their outreach to the recovery community. Drugs and gangs are a major problem in Ecuador, as they are here. Santissma Trinidad includes many members who were able to defeat the demon of drug addiction by the grace of God and with the support of a faithful church community. Following the prayer service, the community feted us in the home of one of the members with an incredible meal of shrimp, rock lobsters and rice.

On Friday, we visited the diocesan offices and had lunch with the bishop and members of the clergy. Later that afternoon, we participated in the Convention Eucharist which was held in the Cathedral. The celebration  included the ordination of Edgar Giraldo, a clergy person of the diocese, to the sacred priesthood.   The cathedral is not air-conditioned and the day was hot and humid. I felt like I was back in Florida, but all went well and we cooled down after the service with refreshments in the courtyard of the cathedral.


On Saturday morning, March 7, we were guests at diocesan convention which was held in their diocesan offices. The Diocese of Ecuador Litoral is small. There are 31 congregations served by less than a dozen priests and a handful of deacons. The Convention was made up of about 50 or 60 people. Despite the size of the diocese, they are faithful Christians doing vital work in their communities, often in very challenging circumstances.


On Saturday afternoon, we flew to the city of Quito to visit the Diocese of Ecuador Central. There, our hosts were Bishop Victor Scantlebury and his wife,  Marcia. This diocese has been struggling with internal conflicts for many years. Bishop Scantlebury was appointed by the Presiding Bishop to try to stabilize the situation. It has not been easy, but he is optimistic and has been determined in his ministry. It is another small diocese with 31 congregations, many of them small missions. There are 14 priests.

On Sunday Morning, I joined Bishop Scantlebury and concelebrated at the Church of Buen Pastor in Quito Sur (South Quito). The church was filled with people of all ages. I was pleased to be shown a new meeting/classroom building which had been built with funds donated by the Diocese of New Jersey. 


As with Santisima Trinidad in La Libertad,  Buen Pastor is a church that is engaged with its local community and making a real impact under the leadership of their rector,  Fr. Juan Carlos Quino�ez. It was a joy to be with an excited and exciting worshiping community. Fr. Guzman and his wife Odeida had a similar experience at the Catedral del Senor. Fr. Van Sant and Deacon Holman joined the congregation at the Mision Cristo Liberador led by their pastor, Lourdes Inapanta. According to Fr. Van Sant, there were 50 to 60 people in congregation, of all ages. Of these, 15 or so youth and an equal number were children. Fr. Van Sant described the music as "home grown" and the worship service was supported by PowerPoint throughout. Everyone in the church was encouraged to be active in study and ministry. There was even a Bible study for grandmothers. 


Most memorable for Fr. Van Sant and Deacon Holman: youth brought a woman in a wheelchair from her home to church. After worship they took her home and gave her and her brother and sister food they had collected and proceeded to clean their home, make their beds, fold their laundry, chat and pray. As Fr. Van Sant observes, "INCREDIBLE!"  He wrote to me about this: "They are the incarnation of a vital faith community rooted in ministry among one another and throughout their community."


While both the Diocese of Ecuador Litoral and the Diocese of Ecuador Central face unique challenges, vibrant and vital ministry is taking place. It is my hope that we can begin to find ways of building relationships between congregations in the Diocese of New Jersey and congregations in both dioceses in Ecuador through our Companion Diocese Committee. We have a great deal we can learn from the church in Ecuador. We also have much we can share with them.


I am grateful to the members of the committee for their dedication to this work and especially to Fr. Guzman who coordinated this, my first visit to Ecuador.


Please remember to pray each week for our companion dioceses and for their bishops, Alfredo and Victor, and also, please know that they are praying for us.


Blessings and peace,


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

Good News Stories


Post Convention Materials Available Online


If you couldn't make it to Convention, or if you want to share or review something you enjoyed, We invite you to watch highlights online.

Find our special presentation videos, opening Eucharist, keynote address, Saturday workshops and links to photo galleries at:


The results of elections, resolutions as passed, and a full listing of reports submitted may be found on the diocesan website.


Bishop's Spring Conference:

Saturday, April 18, 2015 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM 

Join us for an event that will bring together three spectacular leaders of Christian Formation in a exploration of new strategies for forming disciples in today's challenging and transforming twenty-first century landscape at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton.

Register now and pay only $10!

St. George's-by-the-River in Rumson
Makes Blessing of the Animals a Monthly Event!

Red Bank Green recently reported on St. George's new offering of pet blessings on the second Saturday of every month--click here for the story!



APRIL 10-12

Happening is a Christian event presented by teenagers for teenagers with the help of clergy and lay leadership. It is a program of The Episcopal Church to engage young people in the gospel and encourage them to live passionately into their faith. Happening seeks to bring youth to a fuller knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ, and a deeper level of apostleship. This occurs through large and small group activities. Worship, music, fun, food, and free time are also a part of the event.

Register online at
Sandy Recovery/Jubilee Ministry Grant
Now Open For Applications

We are pleased to invite proposals for disaster recovery and response programs from Episcopal Jubilee Centers in the Diocese of New Jersey who wish to strengthen their connections with their communities and other Episcopal congregations through disaster recovery and preparedness. This interest form is part of a two part application process. Applicants will be invited to present their full proposals during April 2015. Deadline for receiving this form is April 10, 2015, 5 pm. Each proposal will be first evaluated on how effectively it meets the program priorities. Completed applications may be emailed to Keith Adams at

Click here for an application.
Ministry Institute Events




Every week, we'll be listing upcoming Ministry Institute events here; click here for the full listing.   

March 14 & 21
Trinity Church, Princeton

Young Adult Dinner with Bishop Stokes
March 25th
Diocesan House, Trenton 
Annual Clergy Day and Chrism Mass
March 31
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Happening 24
April 10-12
Murray Grove, Lanoka Harbor, NJ

Day Retreat: Enriching Your Prayer Life
April 11
All Saints, Navesink

Bishop's Spring Conference
April 18th
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton 

Recovery Sunday Celebration
April 19
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton 
Anti-Racism Training
April 23-25
Christ Church, Toms River

Abuse Awareness Workshop
April 25
St. Elizabeth, Elizabeth

Abuse Awareness Workshop 
April 25

St. John, Bernardsville

Training for Lectors
April 25
St. John the Evangelist, New Brunswick
May 2
St. Mary, Pt. Pleasant Beach

Telling Our Stories
May 2 
St Mark, Basking Ridge

Spring Youth Event
May 15-17
Camp Lebanon, Lebanon 

LGBT Older Adults

May 16
St. James, Long Branch

Abuse Awareness Workshop 
May 23
St. Mark, Keansburg  

Senior Baccalaureate Service
May 31
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Come to the Table: A Celebration of Our Various Abilities
June 20th
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Diocesan Choir Camp
June 26-30
Cape May, NJ

Youth Mission Trip
July 26-August 1
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618