In This Edition
Upcoming Congregational Events
Holding Vacation Bible School this summer? Let us know so we can add you to the list.

HERE is a partial list of VBSes around the diocese.
July 18th 
Art Thomas Healing Conference
St. Stephen's
Click Here for More
July 24th 
Seafood Fest
St. Mary's
Stone Harbor
Click Here for More
July 25th
MDG Retreat
Shrine of St. Joseph
Click Here for More
August 2nd
St. Augustine's Jersey Shore Gospel VOICE
Jumping Brook Country Club
Click Here for More
August 15th
International Food Festival
St. Elizabeth's
Click Here for More
September 19th
Bus Trip to Amazing Grace on Broadway
Trinity Cathedral
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
The Anti-Racism Commission and Team recommends  the following two links:
11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism

Dr. Robin Diangelo of The Good Men Project explores the ways white people unconsciously take part in racism through action, inaction, and response.
Bryan Stevenson on Charleston and Our Real Problem with Race

"I don't believe slavery ended in 1865, I believe it just evolved," says Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Montgomery, Alabama based Equal Justice Initiative.

In this interview with the Marshall Project, Stevenson, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Rutgers University this year, looks at the legacy of slavery in this country and its evolution into modern day racism.
Episcopal Click Bait

We've all seen "click bait" -  those headlines that scream "click me" with headlines like "10 Things Parents Should NEVER Do" or "How this Woman lost 100lbs in 2 Days."

In this short post, the Rev. Tim Schenck imagines what Episcopal Click Bait might look like. One example - "12 church hacks your priest doesn't want you to know about." Hmmm...
Leaving the Light On

A concise yet moving reflection on an accidental act of evangelism from leaving the light on in a church overnight.
Lex Orandi Lex Credendi Revisted

In this column for Episcopal Cafe, The Rev. Lisa G. Fischbeck writes an "open letter to the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music" exploring the idea the law of praying is the law of believing, or more commonly put, "as we pray, so we believe" - which dates back to the early church.

As the church looks to a new prayer book, she points out that in the modern church,  "those who brew the liturgies in our future congregations need to be really clear about why we do what we do when the people gather. Every bit of it."
Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e -mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
July 17, 2015
From the Bishop


Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gives the growth....

1 Corinthians 3:6


The 78 th General Convention held in Salt Lake City acted on a wide variety of matters and issues concerning the wider church. The Budget passed for The Episcopal Church for the 2016 - 2018 Triennium included a $ 3 million dollar allocation for new church plants and to support "mission enterprise zones." This represents a three-fold increase from the 2013-2015 Triennium. As Resolution A073 passed by the 77 th General Convention stated, a "Mission Enterprise Zone" is defined as "a geographic area, as a group of congregations or as an entire diocese committed to mission and evangelism that engages under-represented groups, including youth and young adults, people of color, poor and working-class people, people with a high-school diploma or less, and/or people with little or no church background or involvement."


According to these guidelines, Diocesan Standing Committees and Diocesan Bishops may apply for a matching grant of up to $20,000 from the Mission Enterprise Fund, to facilitate the development of the Mission Enterprise Zone. The intention of this plan is for each Mission Enterprise Zone to feature a strategic plan to start or redevelop a congregation that is intentionally multi-cultural, incorporating the presence and leadership of under-represented generations, socio-economic groups, races, ethnicities and/or languages.


As we begin our work with the Way of St. Paul, continue to develop the work of our Hispanic Missioner and commence the work of our Canon for Black Ministries and the Task Force on Black Churches; as we explore the challenges facing many of our congregations, especially those in challenged urban and rural areas, there are a variety of opportunities for us to apply for Mission Enterprise Zone grants and partner with The Episcopal Church to strengthen our own church locally. We need to consider ways that will allow us to take advantage of these opportunities.


The 78 th General Convention passed Resolution B019 which will begin to reduce the amount assessed to each diocese of the Episcopal Church beginning in this Triennium. At present, The Episcopal Church assesses each diocese at 19% of annual income. It will decrease 1% each year until the beginning of the next Triennium when, beginning with the 2019 Triennium, the assessment for each of the dioceses will be no more than 15% of income. Beginning with the next triennium, however, payment of the full assessment will be mandatory. There will be penalties for non-compliance. For those dioceses paying their full asking, this was good news. At present, however, the Diocese of New Jersey only pays 10%, as it has done for years. Beginning in 2019, that will no longer be an option. Increasing from 10% to 15% in one year would be stressful to our budget. Therefore, beginning in the next budget year, our diocesan Finance and Budget Committee will begin to look at incremental increases - from 10% to 12% in the next year, and then 12% to 14% in 2017 - in order for us to meet the mandated increase in a reasonable, timely and orderly way.


In the meantime, we are working at helping our congregations strengthen their own vitality through such processes as the Way of St. Paul, the Bishop's Spring Conference and other diocesan initiatives. The hope and expectation is that the parishes and missions of the diocese will become stronger in mission and financially and thereby better able to make their Fair Share Asking and support the ministry we all share.


While budgets and finances may seem to be mundane matters, they are an indicator of values and priorities. Both The Episcopal Church and The Diocese of New Jersey are making clear that mission and ministry, God's mission, God's ministry, is our top priority and our primary work.


Blessings and peace,




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

XII Bishop of New Jersey


Good News Stories


Episcopal Relief & Development Project Spotlight:

Throughout the summer, we'll be highlighting stories from throughout the Diocese of New Jersey about efforts to contribute to Episcopal Relief & Development's 75th Anniversary campaign.        

Kids at St. Matthew's Church in Pennington are "going tubing" in a new way: filling long tubes with quarters to raise money for Episcopal Relief and Development's efforts to bring clean water to people in countries where that is all too rare.  
Imagine how many tubes it would take to reach safe groundwater for a life-giving well for a village!


North American Association
for the Catechumenate

NAAC's 2015 ANNUAL GATHERING will be held  

July 30-Aug. 1, 2015 in Baltimore, MD.   

"Transforming Congregations Through Spiritual Practice: Creating a Discipleship Community" is the theme. Featured speakers are Jessicah Duckworth and Paul Hoffman.     

Flyer for the Gathering posted here
Brochure for the Gathering here
Bios of the speakers here
Workshops for the Gathering here
Schedule for the Gathering here

Online registration available here.

Representatives of our diocese will be attending this fascinating gathering and educational opportunity about discipleship. We invite you to join us! 


Building Skills 
Organ Service Playing and Improvisation, Beginning Handbells, Music in the Spanish Community, Choral Anthem Reading Session for Small Choirs  


The Diocese of New Jersey Music Commission
is pleased to offer a day of music workshops on
Saturday, September 19
9:30 AM to 2:00 PM
at Trinity Cathedral

Featured will be a workshop on Service Playing, a workshop on beginning handbells given by Lyn Powell, a choral anthem reading session for small choirs led by Deborah Ford and Brian Harlow, and a session on music in the Spanish-speaking community, 


All who participate or are interested in any kind of music ministry are welcome! Cost is $10 per participant. 



Registration information can be found here.    



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.

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

Diocesan Choir Camp (Registration is still open!)
July 26-30
Cape May, NJ

Youth Mission Trip
July 26-August 1

Parish Leadership Day
October 3
Grace-St. Paul's, Mercerville 
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618