In This Edition
Ministry Institute

A detailed listing of Ministry Institute events available.  

January 12
Theo's Cafe
Firkin Tavern, Ewing

January 14
Cervantes Project Semester 3
Diocesan House

January 16
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Trinity Cathedral

February 11 
St. Peter's, Freehold

February 11
Diocesan Acolyte Festival
Trinity Cathedral

February 12
Absalom Jones Service of Witness to Black Ministry

Trinity Cathedral

February 25 
St. Matthew's, Pennington

March 6 - 8
Convent of St. John the Baptist, Mendham

April 28-30
Happening 26
Camp Murray,
Lanoka Harbor

June 5-9
Appreciative Leadership
Crowne Plaza, Plainsboro 

July 10-14
Episcopal Youth Event
University of Central Oklahoma 

Dominican Republic 
Upcoming Congregational Events
January 8
Holy Spirit

January 8
St. Paul's
January 18
Church of the Advent
Cape May 
January 21
St. Stephen's
January 31
All Saints'
Bay Head
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January 6, 2017
From the Bishop
Dear People of the Diocese  of New Jersey,

 "Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.'"
This past Christmas Day, Christians celebrated Christmas in the bombed out St. Elias Cathedral in Aleppo, Syria. The picture of this, which went viral on social media, captivated me. It was a powerful witness to the perseverance of Christians, living in horror, giving potent voice to the Light of the Word shining in the darkness and the darkness not overcoming it (John 1:5). So often, our images of Christmas are cute and gentle. As biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann often observed, we "tame" the texts.
This is often true of the story of the Wise Men. It is a story of mystery. It is also a story of terror. Too often we tame it.
Wise Men, Gentile Magi, from the East, see a star and understand from their study of ancient texts and traditions that this heralds the birth of a new king. They go to seek that king, stopping along the way in the territory of Herod - a despotic tyrant who is a puppet of the Roman Empire.
"Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage," Herod says to the Wise Men (Matthew 2:8). But it's not homage on his mind; it's homicide.
The Wise Men continue their journey. They find the child and offer their gifts. After offering their gifts, they are warned in a dream not to go back to Herod. They return to their country by another way.
Joseph is also warned in a dream - 'Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.' Joseph takes the child and his mother by night, and flees to Egypt, remaining there some years until the death of Herod.
Joseph, Mary and Jesus were refugees fleeing terror and danger.
According to Episcopal Migration Ministries, "'Refugee' is a legal term used to define an individual who: "...owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it....Refugees and asylum-seekers are distinct from other vulnerable migrant populations in that they have crossed an international border seeking protection."
Joseph, Mary and Jesus were refugees.
"Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee!" This is what many in Syria and other parts of the world marred by war and violence are hearing in their dreams and in the nightmares that are their lives. It is difficult for those of us who live in the relative safety and comfort the United States to understand the desperation of these refugees.
Our faith and our Baptismal promises demand that we hear their voices and respond. To ignore them is to ignore the experience of our own faith and our Savior. There are more than 21 million refugees worldwide; of this total, more than half are children.
"Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee!"

On this Feast of the Epiphany, I pray that the people of the Diocese of New Jersey will hear warning voices urging us to strengthen our resolve and our commitment to aid these children and their families in 2017.

May you and yours have a blessed Epiphany.

Yours in Christ,

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

Good News stories and more!

St Peter's, Spotswood Collects Change for Change!

Last quarter, St Peter's parishioners supported our Companion Diocese in Ecuador by putting their spare change in a jar in the church and raised $230.
For the 1st quarter of 2017, they will support Siempre Unidos, a US-based 501(c)(3) organization which fights the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Honduras. Parishioners are provided information about the organization through St. Peter's weekly E-News, Sunday service bulletins and discussion during Sunday services throughout the quarter. They applied for a Diocesan Global Goals matching grant this year to help with this effort.
Parishioner Kirk Bonamici hopes by spreading the word, other parishes can see how easy it is to do a simple outreach project and double their efforts with the matching grant.

Martin Luther King Day of Service
January 16, 10am-3pm
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is 'What are you doing for others?'"

All are invited for the day which begins with the Eucharist followed by a gathering in Synod Hall to prepare service projects for several organizations in New Jersey and throughout the country.

Bring a canned good for the food pantry
For information contact The Rev. Canon Debra Clarke, Deacon at or 609-394-5281 ext 36.

 Open House - Sunday, January 29th at 2 PM

Doane Academy was founded in 1937 in Burlington, NJ by The Rt. Rev. George Washington Doane,
2nd Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey.

The Admissions Open House gives an occasion to discover the age 3 through 12th grade independent Episcopal day school alongside the Delaware River.

Guests will be given a chance to meet Doane Academy's educators, and students.  Please fill out the Open House RSVP Form and visit their website for more information. 

Cross Roads Day Camp is hiring summer staff_ Click here for more information_

March 3-4, 2017
Hyatt Regency Hotel, Princeton, NJ
with featured speaker 
Becca Stevens of
Thistle Farms

General Information is now online!
Pre-Convention hearings announced!
Resolutions now being accepted!
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618