In This Edition
Upcoming Congregational Events
Jan 25
Bishop Matthews' Anniversary 
St. Mary's
Click Here for More
Jan 30th
Country Line Dancing 
St. Francis'
Dunellen, NJ 
Click Here for More
Feb 7th
Musical Celebration of Educators 
Christ Church
New Brunswick, NJ 
Click Here for More
Feb 14th
Valentine's Day Dinner Dance 
Grace Church
Haddonfield, NJ 
Click Here for More
Feb 15th
Celebration of the Life of Absalom Jones 
Trinity Cathedral
Trenton, NJ 
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Episcopal Links of the Week
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Sunday, January 11 was Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Alejandro Mayorkas,
Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security

While we would like to think of slavery as a relic of the past, we know that it is not. Today, millions of women, men, and children around the world are subjected to forced labor, domestic servitude, or the sex trade at the hands of human traffickers. What many do not know is that this crime occurs right here in the United States, in our own cities and towns.
Religion as the solution for violence

The Rev. Cliff Cutler, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, PA writes in the
Chestnut Hill Local of the importance of understanding one's own faith in bringing about peace in the world and an end to aggression. 
Women in leadership throughout church history


The push towards equality for women in the church has been hard fought, with successes that come at high costs. Opponents often point to historical roles as a reason for gendered restrictions.

As a counterpoint, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori writes for the Berkley Center Forum about the role and importance of women's leadership in the development of the church, using biblical and historical examples to showcase these contributions. 
Ripping Jesus from the Headlines

If all I knew about Christianity was what I learned through the media, I think it's safe to say I would not be a Christian. Think about it. From the outside looking, what do you see?

The Rev. Tim Schenck explores the unfortunate ways Christians have been portrayed in the media and provides ways "we can take a few simple steps
to chip away at the fossilized Jesus and restore the transforming Jesus; the Jesus who loves us with reckless abandon and calls us into the fullness of community." 
Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e-mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
January 22, 2015

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,


Monday, January 19 was a day filled with important observances  for people of faith. On the Church calendar, it was the Feast of the Confession of St. Peter. Jesus asks the disciples, "Who you say that I am?" Peter responds, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (See Matthew 16:13 - 17). It is a crossroad moment in the gospel. 

Monday was also our nation's day to honor The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many people engaged in walks and acts of service to commemorate this slain Civil Rights leader and martyr of the Church. Too often, people fail to remember that Dr. King was a minister of the Gospel before anything else, and that his leadership within the Civil Rights movement was grounded in his faith and belief in Jesus and his conviction that God had called him to that work and ministry.

Monday also began the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. On Sunday, January 18th, at 3:00 PM, I was honored to join with The Most Reverend Dennis Sullivan, Roman Catholic Bishop of Camden as well as other Christian leaders, in an ecumenical prayer service to kick-off this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Cherry Hill. I was grateful for the hospitality extended to me by Bishop Sullivan and the people of St. Mary's.   Bishop Sullivan preached and emphasized the importance of Christians joining together on the things around which we are united by baptism and to witness to the light and love of God in Christ. He honored the unity in diversity that marks ecumenism today. More on this service may be found here, in an article from the South Jersey Times.

As I was driving to the prayer service at St. Mary's, I couldn't help thinking about how tainted "religion" has become in our culture. The recent shootings in Paris were just one more example of violence and hatred committed in the name of religion. Of course, the news media feed on these events. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an antidote to the poisoning of religion. It is an occasion for brothers and sisters who are Christian to recognize that we have more in common than we have differences. Let us celebrate this. It is also an occasion for us to recognize that we often find ways to serve Christ and humanity together.

Last Sunday, after the prayer service was over in the church, most of us went to the parish hall where St. Mary's was hosting homeless guests as part of the Interfaith Hospitality Outreach Council, a ministry that involves many congregations across denominations. Here was an example of "religion" serving the common good, as it does most of the time. As mentioned, the South Jersey Times had sent a reporter to St. Mary's last Sunday. There was also a representative from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden. As far as I know, no other media was present. The good news rarely sells papers.

But there was good news last Sunday: Episcopalians joined with Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Orthodox and others to pray together and to recommit ourselves to life in Christ and to the values of justice and peace that are at the heart of the Baptismal Covenant. People from different denominations joined together to serve people in need.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity ends Monday, January 26, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. I invite all the faithful of the Diocese of New Jersey to pray this week for Christian Unity and to look for opportunities to celebrate our oneness and to join with others in serving our common Lord.


Yours in Christ,




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


Good News Stories and More

VIDEO: Meet St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church

Click here for this newly-produced introductory video from St. Elizabeth's Church in Elizabeth, featuring both new footage and footage filmed for 2014's film, Better Together: Congregations in Collaboration.  


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


56th Bishop's Ball

Youth of all ages are invited to join us for this semi-formal  traditional diocesan-wide gathering for music, dancing, food, and fellowship.  DJ Mike Bacon will provide our music.
All proceeds from the Ball will benefit Diocesan Summer Choir Camp.

Come out for this fun night!
$20, 8pm-midnight
January 30, 2015

Trinity Cathedral in Trenton 

A Celebration of the Life of Absalom Jones

Please join us at 3:00 PM for a Service of Witness 

February 15, 2015

Trinity Cathedral in Trenton 

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

Deacons' Retreat   

January 23-25

Stella Maris Retreat Center

Long Branch


56th Bishop's Ball 

January 30

Trinity Cathedral



Adults Who Work With Youth Workshop
February 5
Diocesan House

Pre-Lenten Clergy Retreat
February 9-11
St. Marguerite's Retreat House
The Community of St. John the Baptist

15th Annual Acolyte Festival
February 14
Trinity Cathedral
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618

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