In This Edition
Upcoming Congregational Events
Feb 15th
Songs from Tin Pan Alley 
St Luke's
Ewing, NJ 
Click Here for More
Feb 17th
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Suppers 
Variety Around
the Diocese
Click Here for More
Feb 20th
Coffee House 
Grace-St. Paul's
Click Here for More
March 1st
Baroque Festival
Community of St. John the Baptist
Click Here for More
March 8th
The Music of Gabriel Faure  
St Mary's
Click Here for More
March 15th
Choir Festival 
St Luke's
Click Here for More
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Episcopal Links of the Week
The whole world in your hands
A beautiful book of photos from five continents is available free online and as a smartphone app as part of Episcopal Relief and Development's 75th anniversary celebration. Though the photos themselves are part of a traveling exhibition, the smartphone app features the voices of the exhibition's curator, Episcopal Relief & Development's president and program staff, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and other friends and supporters giving personal insights into each image.

The physical exhibition will be at Diocesan Convention in Princeton later this month, and Trinity Cathedral, Trenton in March.   

Does technology accelerate clergy burnout? 

Millennial clergy are leaving ministry in large numbers, often not to return to ministry. In Lancaster Online The Rev. Elizabeth Eisenstadt-Evans questions if constant connectivity is leaving young clergy exhausted and with feelings of inadequacy.

Baby Boomers and members of "Gen X" are able, by and large, to use and adapt technologies as tools they can use, he suggests. But because Millennials view tech as integral to the way they understand themselves, any attempt to address burnout is going to have to take the massive impact of this cultural change into account.  
Valentine's Day over Lunch

Valentine's Day is often considered a day for romance. The Rt. Reverend Stacy Sauls considers a different sort of love - the beauty of long term commitments people make to each other and for each other, even when a loved one can't remember.

Romance comes and romance goes. Love does not. In biblical language, love abides. Love is what is left when romance is something that can no longer be remembered
Introducing the new

In another effort to reach people where they are, pub theology groups have been popping up around the country (including in this diocese). strives to aggregate these groups - whether Theology On Tap or a pub centered bible study. Is your group listed? If not, submit it! Or check out an event in your area.
Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e-mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
February 14, 2015

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,

February is Black History Month in the United States as well as in Canada and Great Britain. It is an opportunity for us to recognize the important contributions made by people of the African Diaspora whose stories have often gone unrecognized and untold. "Black history" is not history just for and about black people. It is history for all of us. It is our story and our history.

In February we observe the lesser feast of Absalom Jones. 

According to the Archives of the Episcopal Church:


Absalom Jones was America's first black priest. Born into slavery in Delaware at a time when slavery was being debated as immoral and undemocratic, he taught himself to read, using the New Testament as one of his resources. At the age of 16, Jones was sold to a shopkeeper in Philadelphia where he attended a night school for blacks, operated by Quakers. Following the purchase of his own freedom in 1784, Jones served as lay minister for the black membership at St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church. The active evangelism of Jones and that of his friend, Richard Allen, greatly increased black membership at St. George's. Alarmed by the rise in black attendance, the vestry decided to segregate blacks into an upstairs gallery without notice. When ushers attempted to remove the black congregants, the resentful group exited the church. This exodus triggered the establishment of the Free African Society by Jones and Allen in 1787 to aid in the emancipation of slaves and to offer sustenance and spiritual support to widows, orphans, and the poor.  In 1794 Jones and Allen, with the assistance of local Quakers and Episcopalians, established the "First African Church" in Philadelphia. Shortly after the establishment that same year, the African Church applied to join the Protestant Episcopal Church, laying before the diocese three requirements: the Church must be received as an already organized body; it must have control over it's own affairs; and Jones must be licensed as lay-reader and if qualified, ordained as its minister. Upon acceptance into the Diocese of Pennsylvania, the church was renamed the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas. The following year Jones became a deacon but was not ordained a priest until 1804, nine years later. At 58 years old, he became the first black American priest. He continued to be a leader in his community, founding a day school (as blacks were excluded from attending public school), the Female Benevolent Society, and an African Friendly Society. In 1800 he called upon Congress to abolish the slave trade and to provide for gradual emancipation of existing slaves. Jones died in 1818.


The story and legacy of Absalom Jones is not just a part of the "black history" of the Episcopal Church, it is a part of the wider history of the whole church.  It is a part of our story, all of us.  It's a great story.  I encourage all to honor and celebrate it.


Blessings to you and yours, 



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


Good News Stories and More


231st Diocesan Convention
Hyatt Regency, Princeton

February 27-28 


More information about the 2015 Convention of the Diocese of New Jersey, including nomination and registration materials, may be found here

A Recommendation from Our Canon to the Ordinary

Dear Colleagues in Ministry,


The Episcopal Church Building Fund is having its annual symposium ("Buildings for a New Tomorrrow") April 13-15, this year in Raleigh, NC.  Having attended this conference the past three years I highly recommend it as one of the best things happening in the Episcopal Church.  This conference is a great gathering of creative minds, people who are experimenting and adapting, making church happen in vibrant and dynamic ways.  


Here's a link to the website: where you can get more information and register.  Check it out!


-The Rev. Canon John W. Sosnowski


Enriching Your Prayer Life Retreat:
February 21, Noon-4 PM
St. David's Church, Cranbury 
Led by Canon Connie White



Are you looking for a way to enrich your prayer life, get closer to God, center yourself any time of the day, or make those quiet moments more meaningful?  Prayer is essential to Christian life and nourishes our spirit.  Sustaining a connection with God demands that we attend to this with our body, mind, and soul. This afternoon retreat will provide you a time to connect with your inner self through learning new or reinforcing your prayer rituals. In addition, you'll learn how to create a prayer space in your home and learn about rituals using prayer crosses and prayer stones.


Click here to register.

Bishop's Spring Conference:

Discipleship and Mission
A One-Day Conference

Saturday, April 18, 2015 9 AM - 3 PM 

Join us for an event that will bring together 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 through March 16 and pay only $10!
Beginning March 17, the registration fee rises to $20.
Click here to register.

Ministry Institute Events in January and February




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


15th Annual Acolyte Festival
February 14
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Absalom Jones Celebration
February 15
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Enriching your Prayer Life
February 21

St. David, Cranbury

Abuse Awareness Workshop
March 7
Grace-St. Paul, Mercerville

Abuse Awareness Workshop
March 14

Church of the Advent, Cape May

March 14 & 21
Trinity Church, Princeton
Annual Clergy Day and Chrism Mass
March 31
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

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

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 
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618