In This Edition
Upcoming Events 
Around the Diocese 
October 3-12
All Saints' Church
October 11
Vendor & Yard Sale
St. Stephen's Church
Mullica Hill 
October 11  
Fantasy Auction 
St. David's Church
October 11  
Health Fair 
St. Luke's Church
October 12 
Appreciation of First Responders  
St. Stephen's Church
October 13
Community Day
Trinity Cathedral
October 22-24
Icon Writing Retreat 
Community of
St. John the Baptist
October 25
Fall Music Concert 
Church of the Holy Spirit
October 25
Soles for the Harvest 5K and Fun Run
Cream Ridge 
November 1
Fall Scrap-a-Rama
St. David's Church
November 2 
Dr. WHO-Charist
Grace-St. Paul's
Oct 26 - Nov 2
Mountain Art Show 
November 14
Designer Bag Bingo  
 St Mary's
Haddon Heights 
Adding your events to our calendar is quick and simple; events go live within one business day.

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Episcopal Links of the Week

Mass Mobs Fill the Pews at Churches in Detroit

Every month, a group called Detroit Mass Mobs picks a churchspreads the word on Facebook - and just like that, it fills up and buzzes with the energy it once had. It's a fascinating and hopeful exercise in communities supporting churches--in both spirit and funding--on a limited-time basis. 

Kristof: Religious Generalization is the Same as Racial Profiling. 

In his latest column, New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof, in a follow-up to a spirited television debate that spread like wildfire, denounced the lumping-together of denominations of Islam, and also touched on similar generalizations regarding Christianity:

"The great divide is not between faiths, but one between intolerant zealots of any tradition and the large numbers of decent, peaceful believers likewise found in each tradition."

TREC Reactions Continue

Last week, The Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) held a churchwide meeting at Washington National Cathedral and online. You may view the entire meeting here (and our Communications Director Jonathan Elliott makes a cameo about 22 minutes in!) and join the continued debate about reactions and next steps here

The Importance of Novels About Faith

A new piece in HuffPo Religion profiles Pulitzer-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson and portrayals of faith in her work. 


A recent New York Times review of her book "Lila" also made this connection: "It's courageous of Robinson to write about faith at a time when associations with religion are so often negative and violent."

Young Adult Episcopalians Serve as Missionaries Throughout the Anglican Communion

Seventeen young adults - including six who will serve for a second year - representing 18 Episcopal Church dioceses are serving as missionaries in the Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) for the 2014-2015 term in locales throughout the Anglican Communion. 

Episcopal Relief and Development Remembers 'Day of the Girl' on October 11

ER&D Program Officer Sara Delaney tells us a story of her time in India, and reminds us of the importance of empowering girls and women. In this story we learn that sometimes the simplest things can help. 

October 9, 2014 

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,

On Thursday, October 2, I had the great privilege of ordaining Alice Hodgkins Courtright to the Priesthood in the historic chapel of St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. Alice, a recent graduate of The School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, is canonically resident in the Diocese of New Jersey and is the daughter of The Reverend Margaret (Peggy) Hodgkins, who is the Interim Rector at St. Matthew's in Pennington. Alice was called to be a Chaplain at St. Paul's School following seminary. She and her husband Drew moved up to Concord this past summer. The ordination was a beautiful, wonderful and sacred occasion. 


On the drive back to Trenton on Friday, Susan and I stopped in Tarrytown, New York and visited Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. My maternal grandparents and great-grandparents are buried in that historic place, which is also the burial site of Washington Irving. My mother, who is still living, has also made it clear that she wishes to have her ashes interred at Sleepy Hollow when she dies. When we were younger, my mother used to take my brothers and me there for picnics. It seemed a little weird at first, but we came to enjoy these trips and hearing the stories of our family members who we didn't really know otherwise.  My grandmother died before my twin brother and I were born. Susan and I have taken our children there as well.

It was a beautiful day as Susan and I wandered around last Friday. Susan and I have had discussions in the past about what we want done when we die. We have decided on cremation, but we have never decided where we would like our ashes to repose. Well, now we have decided. We decided that, when we die, we would like our ashes to be interred at Sleepy Hollow. It turns out there is room for us in the family plot. 

I spoke to the Superintendent and made sure this was possible. This decision brought us both a sense of joy and comfort. We shared this news with our children, so now they know and won't have to worry about what we want when we die.

Erin, our eldest daughter asked, "Is there something you're not telling me?"  No, there wasn't. Advanced planning and advanced directives, making the decisions and either sharing them with a family member, or having them on file with your church and/or lawyer is a caring loving act that will relieve your loved ones from having to make important decisions in a stressful time.


Every Christian should have a will, health care directives and proxies as well as funeral and burial plans in place. These are not things that should be delayed until "old age," whatever that means; they should be done now by every adult, and especially by adults with children. It is amazing how many people don't have wills or advanced directives. Becoming critically ill without advanced directives, dying intestate, places enormous burdens on loved ones.

If you don't have current wills or advanced directives prepared in the State of New Jersey, I strongly encourage having them prepared.   Doing so is an act of love for those you care about.  I can also assure you, it will provide you with a sense of comfort as well.

Blessings and peace to you and yours,

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

The Minister of the Congregation is directed to instruct the people, from 

time to time, about the duty of Christian parents to make prudent

provision for the well-being of their families, and of all persons to make 
wills, while they are in health, arranging for the disposal of their 
temporal goods, not neglecting, if they are able, to leave bequests for 
religious and charitable uses. 


(Book of Common Prayer, p. 445) 

Good News Stories and More

An Evensong in the African Tradition on Oct. 19

Preacher: The Right Reverend James Tengatenga, Former Bishop of Southern Malawi and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Global Anglicanism in the School of Theology of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee

Please join the people of the Diocese of New Jersey and the Sudan Committee of our Diocese for an African Evensong featuring traditional African worship, music, dance, drums and other instruments, attire and the fervent Joy and Praise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Click here for more

Clergy Conference Held this Week
The Very Rev. Rene John, The Rev. Dr. Shawn Armington, and The Rev. Dr. Peter Bridge discuss adaptive challenges at Clergy Conference.
The Very Rev. Rene John, The Rev. Dr. Shawn Armington, and The Rev. Dr. Peter Bridge discuss adaptive challenges at Clergy Conference.
The Annual Clergy Conference was held this past Monday-Wednesday at the Shawnee Inn in Pennsylvania. Dr. Craig Van Gelder led the more than 130 attending clergy in a multi-day workshop about adaptive leadership. Look for more on the outcomes of Parish Leadership Day and Clergy Conference coming soon.

SAVE THE DATE: Basics of Endowment/Planned Giving On Demand Workshop at St. Matthew's Church in Pennington on October 25     

The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) will partner with the Diocese of New Jersey in conducting a workshop on endowments and planned giving on Saturday, October 25, at St. Matthew's Church in Pennington. Parishes who sign up in advance will also learn how to use ECF's new Planned Giving On Demand toolkit for growing endowments through planned gifts. 


ECF Managing Program Director James W. N. Murphy and ECF Consultant Lynn Mander will conduct the workshop. 

More information and registration for this workshop is available here.
Ministry Institute Events in October


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   


October 11
St. Simeons-By-The-Sea Church
North Wildwood

Trinity Cathedral Community Day
October 13
Mercer Oaks - West Golf Course
West Windsor

Adults who Work with Youth--Speaker: Anthony Briggs
October 15
Diocesan House

October 18
St Stephen's Church

October 18
Trinity Church

Evensong in the African Tradition
October 19
Trinity Cathedral

October 25
Church of the Merciful Savior
Penns Grove

November 8
The Evergreens

November 8
Church of the Holy Spirit

November 8
St. Martin's

November 8-9
All Saints' Church

November 14-16
Camp Lebanon
Lebanon, NJ
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618

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