In This Edition
Upcoming Congregational Events
About Holy Week Services:

Please contact a church near you for more information about Holy Week services offered from Sunday, March 29 through Sunday, April 5. 
March 28th
Fish Fry 
St. Elizabeth's 
Elizabeth
Click Here for More
March 28th
Fish Fry 
St. Stephen's 
Whiting  
Click Here for More
March 29th
Ecumenical Eucharist to Fight Hunger 
St. Mary's 
Haddon Heights 
Click Here for More
March 29th
Nathaniel Dett Concert 
St. Michael's
Trenton
Click Here for More
March 29th
Passover Seder 
St. Luke's
Ewing
Click Here for More
April 1st
Tenebrae  
Christ Church
New Brunswick
Click Here for More
April 1st
Sung Stations with
Vox Fidelis 
Christ Church
Bordentown
Click Here for More
April 3rd
Children's Stations of the Cross 
Grace
Haddonfield
Click Here for More
April 11th
Women's Tea 
St. David's
Cranbury
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April 13th
Parenting Classes
(recurring)
Grace Church 
Haddonfield
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April 13-16th
Manuscript Illumination Retreat 
St. John the Baptist 
Mendham  
Click Here for More
April 15th
Designer Bag Bingo 
Holy Spirit  
Bellmawr
Click Here for More
April 15th
Jazz Concert 
St. Elizabeth's 
Elizabeth
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April 18th
Good Libations 
Grace
Haddonfield
Click Here for More
April 22nd
Earth Day with Gov. Christie Whitman 
All Saints' 
Princeton
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April 27th
Nun Better Golf Outing 
Spring Brook
Country Club 
Morristown
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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
Has the sun set on Sunday School?

In this USA Today  column, Melissa Pandika looks at changing schedules, expectations, and dwindling numbers to ask if childens' Sunday School is dying if it has a place in the modern world, and if it should be saved.

The Church's Contemporary Response to Racism

This March 2015 report looks at the history of the Episcopal Church's Anti-Racism response and training in the church dating back to the 1950s through the present. It also lists at official actions taken by church bodies.

On "Going Episcopal"

Best-selling author Rachel Held Evans' reflections on the reactions of others on her decision to leave the evangelic church and become Episcopalian.

For me, faith has never been a matter of conversion; it's been a matter of evolution, of gradual change over time.

She also includes the experiences of others on finding themselves and God in the Episcopal Church.
Climate denial is immoral, says head of US Episcopal church

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori responded to climate change deniers last week in an interview the The Guardian.

Episcopalians understand the life of the mind is a gift of God and to deny the best of current knowledge is not using the gifts God has given you," she said. "In that sense, yes, it could be understood as a moral issue. I think it is a very blind position. I think it is a refusal to use the best of human knowledge, which is ultimately a gift of God."

 

The Environmental Commission of the Diocese of New Jersey commends this statement from our Presiding Bishop, and urges you to learn more about faith communities' place in combating climate change at http://ourvoices.net/

Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e -mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
March 26, 2015

 

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,

 

On Ash Wednesday, we were all invited to "the observance of Holy Lent, by self-examination, prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word" (BCP. P. 265).

 

How has this gone for you? Has your Lent been a holy time in which you have had the chance to deepen your relationship with God in Christ?  I pray it has been. The world is so busy and so frenetic; it can be a challenge to maintain the Christian disciplines. Nonetheless, maintaining Christian disciplines is essential if our identity in Christ is to be strong and faithful.

 

I am convinced that we have an identity crisis in the church today.   It is a crisis that has been building for decades. Too many people in the pew don't know their own Christian story. Too many people who claim the identity "Christian" cannot offer a coherent account of their faith or faith story.

 

In his 2009 book Religious Literacy, Professor Stephen Prothero of Boston University observes: "Americans are both deeply religious and profoundly ignorant about religion. They are Protestants who can't name the four Gospels, Catholics who can't name the seven sacraments and Jews who can't name the five books of Moses."
 

"Atheists may be as rare in America as Jesus-loving politicians are in Europe," he writes, "but here faith is almost entirely devoid of content. One of the most religious countries on earth is also a nation of religious illiterates"  (Prothero, Stephen - Religious Literacy - What Every American Needs to Know, and Doesn't.  HarperCollins e-Books, 2009 - Kindle Location 57 - 68).
 

A primary task confronting the church today is the formation of people, both those in the church and those outside the church.   While many churches expend significant money on the Christian education of children, the truth of the matter is that our efforts would be better spent on forming adults. If we do a better job of forming adults, it is much more likely the children and youth will follow.

 

I am excited about our upcoming Bishop's Spring Conference which is an intentional effort to address the crisis of formation challenging the church today. 

 

As of this writing, over 300 people representing 82 congregations of the Diocese of New Jersey have registered for The Bishop's Spring Conference, which will be held at Trinity Cathedral on April 18. This is great news! 
 

The Bishop's Spring Conference will address concrete issues confronting all churches in our contemporary context such as:  

 

How do we reach people in today's culture? 

 

How do we form people - adults as well as children and youth - as disciples of Jesus Christ in a world where there are ever increasing demands on people's time and an increasing number of religiously unaffiliated people? 

 

How can technology support and strengthen our congregations and the formation of our people in the Christian faith?

 

What are we to do about the challenges facing traditional Sunday School?

 

The Bishop's Spring Conference is for all church leaders - Clergy, Vestry, and Laity - in the area of adult, youth and children's formation. Bring as many people as you can. One of our congregations is bringing 21 people! The more people you bring, the more you will get out of it and the more likely you are to incorporate the knowledge you glean from the conference into the life of your congregation. 

 

In order to encourage more churches and people to attend the Bishop's Spring Conference, the "early bird" registration fee of just $10.00 per person has been extended to April 1st

 

Don't hesitate to recruit people in your congregation to sign up now.  It promises to be an exciting and important day in the life of the Diocese of New Jersey.

 

May you and yours have a blessed Holy Week.

 

Yours in Christ, 

 

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

Good News Stories

HAPPENING 24

AT CAMP MURRAY, LANOKA HARBOR, NJ

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 newjerseyyouth.org.
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  kadams@dioceseofnj.org.

Click here for an application.

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.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION EXTENDED TO APRIL 1!
Register now and pay only $10!
 
Ministry Institute Events


  

 

 

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

 
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