In This Edition
Upcoming Congregational Events
Holding Vacation Bible School this summer? Let us know so we can share these plans with others in our areas!
May 24th
Caribbean Breakfast
St. Mark's
Plainfield
Click Here for More
May 29th
Line Dance Social
St. Francis'
Dunellen
Click Here for More
May 30th
Choral Music of Britain and America
Grace
Haddonfield
Click Here for More
May 31st
Recovery Service
Christ Church
New Brunswick
Click Here for More
May 31st
Choral Evensong and Benediction
Christ Church
Bordentown
Click Here for More
June 6th  
Art Auction
St. Mark's & All Saints'
Galloway
Click Here for More
June 6th  
Yard Sale
Atonement
Laurel Springs
Click Here for More
June 7th  
Choral Evensong
St. John's
Salem
Click Here for More
June 12th  
Chef's Medley Buffet to Benefit Missionary
Christ Church
Toms River
Click Here for More
June 13th  
Paper Shredding and Car Wash
St. Martin's
Bridgewater
Click Here for More
June 14th  
Cathedral Choir Sunday
Trinity Cathedral
Trenton
Click Here for More
June 20th
Juneteeth Celebration of the End of Slavery
St. Stephen's
Beverly
Click Here for More
June 20th
BBQ Chicken Dinner
Atonement
Laurel Springs
Click Here for More
June 28th
Victorian Tea
Church of the Advent
Cape May
Click Here for More
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
Thoughts from the Laundromat

Birch Rambo, rector of St. Paul's in Walla, Walla, Washington writes about finding God and church in the calm of a laundromat. 
Here's an Idea, What If We Left "Church Growth" to God?

Karl Vaters, writing for churchleaders.com, suggests that rather than gauging successful congregations by numerical growth, we instead should strive to build small healthy communities, focusing on local outreach, quality ministry, and cooperation over large buildings and competition while also training more clergy for the likelihood that they will work in smaller congregations. 
#Pray4Media

In the Church and Media Network has designated Sunday the "Day of Prayer for the Media".

Ruth Gledhill, former religion reporter for The Times reflects in Christian Today about the dangers faced by journalists on the front lines.

We need journalists who remain free to be fearless in writing about crime, corruption, war and terror, and these journalists need our prayers.   
5 Ways Churches and Their Leaders can Love Single People Well

After providing an apology for unintended distancing and mistreatment of single members of his congregation, John Pavlovitz provides these nuts-and-bolts ways to remedy that hurt and come to love single people in the community.

1. Stop treating Singleness as an illness or temporary setback.

2. Pursue truly multigenerational ministry.

3. Recognize the great diversity of Singleness.

4.Teach "Community" as much as "Family" from the pulpit.

5. Really see and hear single people.
 
Episcopal Resurrection

This website is the result of conversations among a group of Episcopalians who are passionate about our church's health and witness to the world. We believe that we have reached a critical juncture in the life of our church, and respectfully submit A Memorial to the Church
calling for the Episcopal Church to recommit itself to the spiritual disciplines at the core of our common life, to go into our neighborhoods boldly with church planters and church revitalizers, and to restructure our church for the mission God is laying before us today. We hope for the renewal of our beloved church. 
 
The Diocese of New Jersey neither endorses nor rejects this document, but rather presents it to you for your own prayer and reading. 
Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e -mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
May 22, 2015
From the Bishop

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey:

  

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability....Acts 2:4
 

This Sunday, we celebrate the feast of Pentecost - the fiftieth day after Easter, when God acted through wind and fire to give the gift of the Holy Spirit, God's own Spirit, to the nascent church. It is a powerful and dramatic story told in Acts 2. Many consider Pentecost the "birthday of the church."


In the period immediately after Jesus' ascension, the church, filled with the Holy Spirit, was on the move. In the book of Acts, the followers of Jesus were focused on the mission of proclaiming his message of repentance and forgiveness of sins to all the world. More than anything, they proclaimed the message of his love. The church grew in leaps and bounds as people embraced the gospel message.

 

What has happened?

 

According to Pew research, "The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing... Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups. While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men." ("America's Changing Religious Landscape, Pew Research, May 12, 2015 found at http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/)

 

This is sobering news for the Christian Church. I, for one, do not believe we are better off as a result of the decline of Christianity. The gospel message of Jesus and his love is one our society, plagued as it is by anger and violence, by division and strife, desperately needs to hear and embrace. Why is the message not being received? I believe there are a number of reasons for this, among which are:

  1. Too many people do not have a strong enough grasp of their Christian faith to offer a coherent account of it. In too many instances, people who claim the name Christian don't fully know their own story well enough to share it and live it in deep and prayerful ways.
     
  2. Families are not transmitting the story and practices of faith to the succeeding generations.

  3. The Church is too often focused on the numbers game and filling the pews rather than being focused on the gospel message of Jesus and his love and the transformation of lives this brings about. To borrow language we are using in the Diocese of New Jersey, we have been too focused on "membership" and not focused enough on "discipleship."
     
  4. Consumerism is the dominant religion of the United States. If you want proof of this, examine the overriding messages that will be transmitted this weekend - the weekend of both Memorial Day and Pentecost. Very little will have to do with remembering those of our nation's military who paid the ultimate sacrifice in time of war. Even less will have to do with the gift of the Holy Spirit given on Pentecost. Instead, billions of dollars have been spent to communicate that Memorial Day is principally about getting a new car, or patio furniture at Home Depot or two suits for the price of one at Jos. A. Bank. More people will go to the mall on Memorial Day than will participate in acts of remembrance. Most Americans have been enculturated to accept this as normative. What does this say about us?
     
  5. The Church, and religion in general, has too often failed to live up to its highest values and highest calling. From sex abuse scandals to the violence of Islamists, religion has become suspect in the United States and in many places throughout the world. When religion is more concerned about rules and procedures than it is about lives and love, then it is open to significant criticism.

In the Book of Acts, on the Day of Pentecost, the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability. They went into all the world to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 

This Pentecost, we need to be re-filled and re-energized by the Holy Spirit and given power to speak in other languages. Yes, we need to speak in Spanish, and IGBO and Haitian-Creole, in Portuguese, Korean and a host of other tongues. But we also need to speak in the language of love, deep love, God's language of love, in ways that our culture, where Christianity is in decline can hear and understand. 


 

More than anything, we need to do what St. Francis urged several hundred years ago: Preach the gospel always, use words if you must!"
 

I pray your Pentecost is filled with the power and love of the Holy Spirit and that it sends you out into the world in witness to God's love and grace.

 

Blessings and Happy Pentecost and also, please take time on Monday, Memorial Day, to pause, remember and pray for those who gave their lives as members of the Armed Forces for the freedoms we enjoy.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

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

Every week, we'll be sharing resources and information here for you to put into practice in your congregations and community.

Rows of Sharon:Thoughts of a Christian Educator

Educator and author Sharon Ely Pearson, also Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing has created a place to share passion, insights, and resources about lifelong Christian formation. It's beautifully designed and organized, and has an abundance of ideas, pointers, and conversation starters.

Looking for resources from the Bishop's Spring Conference?  Click here for the new Formation Resource Page , featuring presentations, print resources, and more.
Good News Stories

A Blast from the Past... 

 

Sometimes, we find lovely little reminders of the past here in the archives at Diocesan House. This week, a news article from May 2000 came to the surface, showcasing the incredible gardening of Ron "Grippy" Gritz, and the story of the pathway behind Diocesan House, named for our amazing Office and Convention Manager, Ann Notte!

Click here for a PDF of this neat article

 


Baccalaureate Service

 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, NJ

 4:00 p.m.

For Diocesan Wide Graduating Seniors and their Family, Friends and
Church Members

 

 

Our 4th Annual Celebration of our Graduating Seniors!
 

Baccalaureate Service is a celebration which honors a graduating senior class from high school. Join the entire Diocese in recognizing our graduating seniors.


There will be a reception after the service for all in Synod Hall.


The offering collection will go to the

Van Duzer Scholarship Fund.   
 

 

Come to the Table:  A Celebration of our Various Abilities

 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, NJ

 11:00 a.m.

 

 Click here for a video about this service.

 

 

Preacher and Celebrant:
The Right Reverend William H. Stokes,
Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey


Welcoming and celebrating the differing gifts and abilities of members of parishes and congregations of the Diocese of New Jersey, this Eucharist is for all of us, beloved of God, in all our various shapes and forms. Each of us, made in the image of a gracious God, hold high our dignity and joy in service to our Church and our Lord. This will be a time to support and uphold the many ways we may be called to serve, be it as ushers, singers, deacons, acolytes, etc. utilizing our many different abilities and gifts. Reception to follow.

Sponsored by the Commission on Ministry with the Disabled.

 

Re-Imagining Church for the 21st Century


A 2-Day Foundational Workshop 

With John Roberto and Rollie Martinson

June 26-27, 2015

Synod Hall, Trinity Cathedral, Trenton


This workshop is the required starting point for all congregations that have committed to The Way of St. Paul congregational development program. It is also open to all others.
An inspiring continuation
of the themes and ideas presented at


The Bishop's Spring Conference

 

 

On Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Vibrant Faith's John Roberto and Rollie Martinson will lead a two-day workshop that will equip attendees to conduct community research and assess their congregation's life and ministries.  

 

Topics to be covered will include:

  • The Challenges Facing Faith Formation in the 21st Century
  • A 21st Century Vision of Faith-Forming Congregations
  • Innovative Approaches for Developing a New Faith Forming Ecosystem
  • Preparation for Community Research: Processes and Tools

Diocesan Choir Camp
Join girls and boys ages 10-21 from around the diocese for a week of singing at the beach from July 26-July 30th, culminating with a 4pm Evensong on July 30th

Campers stay at beautiful  Holiday House, just around the corner from the  Church of the Advent in Cape May, New Jersey. Rehearsals are held at Church of the Advent.

The cost of the camp is $350 per camper. Two scholarships are available from the Diocese of New Jersey. Contact Diane Caruso ( music@trinitynj.com) for details.

For more information visit http://njchoircamp.weebly.com/
 
Ministry Institute Events


  

 

 

Looking ahead to the 2015-16 year we wish to ensure that the Ministry Institute meets the needs of the parishioners and clergy in the Diocese.

Whether you've attended many events in the past or are interested in attending your first program, we would appreciate your insights. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at the link below.

 

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

 
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
July 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