In This Edition
Holiday Fairs and Bazaars
Parishes throughout the Diocese 
Nov 15-Dec 15
Super Bowl Raffle 
December 1-31
Children's Photography Exhibit  
St Luke's
December 5
Blue Christmas Service and Dinner 
St. James
December 5
Dusk at the Narthex  
St. Bernard's
December 6
Advent Retreat 
St. Mark and All Saints
December 6
Blue Holiday Service 
Holy Trinity
December 6
Messiah Performance 
St. James
Long Branch 
December 7
Lessons and Carols 
Christ Church
Somers Point 
December 7
Advent Evensong 
St. Matthew's
December 7
Messiah Concert 
Christ the King
December 7
Lessons and Carols with Vox Fidelis 
Christ Church
December 7
Lessons and Carols 
St. Andrew's
December 10
Lessons and Carols  
St. Thomas
December 12 
"The Thirteen" Joyeux Noel Concert
Church of the Advent
Cape May
December 13  
Manger Mania
Holy Trinity
December 13  
Pageant with Santa
Church Church
South Amboy
December 14  
Lessons and Carols
St. Luke's
December 14  
Lessons and Carols
Asbury Park
December 19 
Joyeux Noel: The Thirteen in Concert
St Luke's
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
Ending Modern Slavery by 2020
The newly redesigned Episcopal Cafe discusses the radical ecumenical move by Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim leaders to work together to end modern slavery.  
December 5, 2014 

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,


Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall name him Emmanuel which means "God with us." Matthew 1:23  


Advent is upon us. What does this mean to you? In a wonderful volume of seasonal reflections titled Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas (Farmington, PA: The Plough Publishing House of the Bruderhof Foundation, 2001) the editors write:  


"Though Advent (literally 'arrival') has been observed for centuries as a time to contemplate Christ's birth, most people today acknowledge it only with a blank look. For the vast majority of us, December flies by in a flurry of activities, and what is called "the holiday season" turns out to be the most stressful time of year. It is also a time of contrasting emotions. We are eager, yet frazzled; sentimental, yet indifferent. One minute we glow at the thought of getting together with our family and friends; the next we feel utterly lonely. Our hope is mingled with dread, our anticipation with despair. We sense the deeper meanings of the season, but grasp at them in vain; and in the end, all the bustle leaves us frustrated and drained..."  


"We sense the deeper meanings of the season, but grasp at them in vain." I love all of the glitz and tinsel, department store Santa Clauses and the rest of the color and brightness that goes along with commercial Christmas. It's fun and bright and delights the senses. Nonetheless, I recognize that the true meaning of Christmas is not to be found in Macy's, Nordstrom or the Quaker Bridge Mall. The true meaning of Christmas is to be found in Bethlehem at the feet of the Christ child, light shining in the darkness. Arriving in Bethlehem requires spiritual discipline: time for prayer and reflection. It calls us to join with the faithful in church as we hear the aching words of the prophets longing for a savior, as we sing the hymns of hope and expectation, as we build our creches week by week. The Church's observance of Advent is a means by which we mark holy time and prepare for Bethlehem in an intentional way that is rich with symbols, deep in meaning and significant for our lives.


This Advent, I want to encourage all the people of the Diocese of New Jersey to invite someone new to church. Research indicates that many people who once went to church didn't stop attending because they were angry (though certainly some did). Most just got out of the habit. Many would welcome an invitation to return. A lot of people today are hungry for a vibrant relationship with a living God. They long to be part of a caring community of people who share similar values and experiences. They yearn for a Christmas that is rich in meaning and alive with the birth of Christ, here, now, today. I encourage you to show your care and love for family, friends and neighbors who aren't part of a church community. Say to them, Come back to church this Advent: reconnect with the true meaning of Christmas! I am confident that accepting your invitation will allow them to receive a gift that is priceless - the birth anew of Christ in their hearts and new joy in their lives.  


May you and yours have a holy Advent marked by joyous waiting for Christ.


Faithfully yours,


The Right Reverend William H. (Chip) Stokes, D.D.

Bishop of New Jersey 

Good News Stories and More

School for Deacons Accepting Applications


The School for Deacons is currently accepting applications of consideration for admission. The deadline for submission is January 15. Need more information?  Click here.

Questions? Please contact the Ven. Lynn H. Johnson, Co-Chair, Committee on the Diaconate 609-396-1484 (office) 609-521-7600 (cell).

 Webinar Focuses on Syrian Refugees: Dec. 8

Sponsored by Episcopal Migration Ministries, Episcopal Public Policy Network, an hour-long webinar to explore the current status of Syria's refugees will be presented on Monday, December 8 at no fee.


Facilitated by Allison Duvall, Church Relations Manager for Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), the Episcopal Church's refugee resettlement agency, and Katie Conway, Episcopal Church Policy Analyst for Immigration and Refugees, the free churchwide webinar on Monday, December 8 begins at 7 pm Eastern. (The webinar will be available on-demand following the event. Participation is via registration here.


Questions are welcomed and encouraged and can be submitted via the webinar chat room or on social media using
#ShareTheJourney. The facilitators will provide an overview of the conflict, the current status of Syria's growing number of refugees, an update from the region, and what can be done in communities to prepare the way to welcome Syrian refugees as they arrive in the United States. Click here for more.


Episcopal Relief and Development NJ Site Launches


Visit for new ways to participate in ER&D's 75th anniversary. Look for more news coming soon!
Ministry Institute Events for 2014


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

A Support Group For Older Adults

Wednesday Afternoons
St. Mary's Church
Haddon Heights   


December 12-13
Trinity Cathedral
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube