Staying Connected
Join us this weekend for worship.
Saturday at 5:30 pm, Sunday at 9:00 am in the sanctuary, or
The service is also posted on our website
If you would like a pastoral visit or a visit from one of our
Eucharistic Ministers, please contact Mo. Allison.


This Sunday we are gathering together to share in fellowship, food, and fun out on the front lawn for a Halloween Family Fun day. Some may shy away from the thought of Halloween. As a matter of fact, Lisa enjoys this day and time of year far more than I do, but perhaps my unease with Halloween is much the same unease I share with both Christmas and Easter. It's an unease that stems from the secularization and detachment of meaning from the important religious significance from the days I cherish. So it's a good time, a good moment to recall and remember.

Allhallowtide or Allsaintstide is the triduum encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Saints' Eve (Halloween), All Saints' Day (All Hallows'), and All Souls' Day, which last from October 31st to November 2nd. Allhallowtide is a "time to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians."

The present date of Hallowmas (All Saints' Day) and thus also of its vigil (Hallowe'en) was established for Rome perhaps by Pope Gregory III (731–741) and was made of obligation throughout the Frankish Empire by Louis the Pious in 835. Elsewhere, other dates were observed even later, with the date in Ireland being 20 April. In the early 11th century, the modern date of All Souls' Day was popularized, after Abbot Odilo established it as a day for the monks of Cluny and associated monasteries to pray for the dead.

All Hallows' Eve:

The evening of Oct. 31, precedes the church's celebration of All Saints' Day on Nov. 1. The Book of Occasional Services (BOS) provides a form for a service on All Hallows' Eve. This service begins with the Prayer for Light, and it includes two or more readings from scripture. The options for the readings include the Witch of Endor (1 Sm 28:3-25), the Vision of Eliphaz the Temanite (Jb 4:12-21), the Valley of Dry Bones (Ez37;1-14), and the War in Heaven (Rv 12:[1-6]7-12). The readings are followed by a psalm, canticle, or hymn, and a prayer. The BOS notes that "suitable festivities and entertainments" may precede or follow the service, and there may be a visit to a cemetery or burial place.
The popular name for this festival is Halloween. It was the eve of Samhain, a pagan Celtic celebration of the beginning of winter and the first day of the new year. The ingathering of the harvest and the approach of winter apparently provided a reminder of human mortality. It was a time when the souls of the dead were said to return to their homes. Bonfires were set on hilltops to frighten away evil spirits. Samhain was a popular festival at the time when the British Isles were converted to Christianity. The church "adopted" this time of celebration for Christian use by observing All Saints' Day on Nov. 1, and All Hallows' Eve on the evening of Oct. 31.

All Saints' Day:

Commemorates all saints, known and unknown, on Nov. 1.
All Saints' Day is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year, and one of the four days recommended for the administration of baptism.
All Saints' Day may also be celebrated on the Sunday following Nov. 1.
It is believed by many scholars the commemoration of all the saints on Nov. 1 originated in Ireland spread from there to England, and then to the European continent.

It had reached Rome and had been adopted there early in the ninth century as attested by a letter of Pope Gregory IV, who reigned from 828 to 844, to Emperor Louis “the Pious,” urging that such a festival be observed throughout the Church. However, the desire of Christian people to express the intercommunion of the living and the dead in the Body of Christ in days past had entered into the nearer presence of their Lord, and especially of those who had crowned their profession with heroic deaths, was far older than the early Middle Ages.

Gregory Thaumaturgus (the “Wonder, Worker”), writing before the year 270, refers to the observance of a festival of all martyrs, though he does not date it. A hundred years later, Ephrem, the Deacon mentions such observance in Edessa on May 13; and the patriarch John Chrysostom, who died in 407, says that a festival of All Saints was observed on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Constantinople at the time of his episcopate.

The contemporary lectionary of the East Syrians set a commemoration of all the saints on Friday in Easter week. On May 13, in the year 610, the Pantheon in Rome—originally a pagan temple dedicated to “all the gods” — was dedicated as the Church of St. Mary and All Martyrs.
All Saints’ Day is classed, in the Prayer Book of 1979, as a Principal Feast, taking precedence of any other day or observance. Among the seven so classified, All Saints’ Day alone may be observed on the following Sunday, in addition to its observance on its fixed date. It is one of the four days recommended in the Prayer Book (page 312) for the administration of Holy Baptism.”

All Souls Day (All Faithful Departed)
This optional observance is an extension of All Saints' Day. While All Saints' is to remember all the saints, popular piety felt the need to distinguish between outstanding saints and those who are unknown in the wider fellowship of the church, especially family members and friends. Commemoration of All Faithful Departed did not appear in an American Prayer Book until 1979, and it is celebrated on Nov. 2.

Many churches now commemorate all the faithful departed in the context of the All Saints' Day celebration.
In the New Testament, the word “saints” is used to describe the entire membership of the Christian community, and in the Collect, for All Saints’ Day the word “elect” is used in a similar sense.

Beginning in the tenth century, it became customary to set aside another day on which the church remembered that vast body of the faithful who, though no fewer members of the company of the redeemed, are unknown in the wider fellowship of the church. It was also a day for particular remembrance of family members and friends. Though the observance of the day was abolished at the Reformation because of abuses connected with masses for the dead, a renewed understanding of its meaning has led to a widespread acceptance of this commemoration among Anglicans, and to its inclusion as an optional observance in the calendar of the Episcopal Church.

You may have also heard of:
Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos

This is celebrated by people of Mexican heritage. It is another example of the melding of indigenous people’s celebrations with religious traditions. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died and help support their spiritual journey. In Mexican culture, death is viewed as a natural part of the human cycle. Mexicans view it not as a day of sadness, but as a day of celebration because their loved ones awake and celebrate with them.
In the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. Gradually, it was associated with October 31, November 1, and November 2 to coincide with the Western Christian triduum of All Hallowtide. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using Calaveras, Aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival.

So in essence we are called to pray, reflect and celebrate life, the life which came before us, which breathed life into us, and life that is present in the here and now. Together let us give thanks and remember.

Sources: Lesser Feasts and Fasts, The Priest’s Handbook, The Book of Occasional Services, and St. ThomasEpiscopal Church
You may call Mo. Allison for a Pastoral Visitation at 551-697-6133

DATE - Tuesday, Nov. 2
TIME - 7:00 PM

Business: Elections of Dean and Treasurer, Updates
Presentation: School for Ministry: Genevieve Bishop
Our 2022 Stewardship Campaign kicked off this past week. You should have received an introductory letter from Stewardship Chair Janet Proulx. Next week, a second letter and a pledge card will be sent, along with an informational sheet covering answers to questions you may have about pledging to St. Mary's. A copy of this week's letter is linked here.

Stewardship Sunday will be celebrated on Sunday, November 7th.

All pledge cards will be due back on November 21st.

Thank you for the joyful and prayerful consideration of your stewardship to St. Mary's Church.
All Saints' Sunday, Nov. 7th
All Saints' Sunday will be celebrated at St. Mary's at the 9 AM service on November 7th. We will remember and honor those who have gone before us with a reading of their names during the Prayers of the People.
Please write the names of loved ones you would like remembered in the Memorial Book which may be found on the table in the church; or you may email your names to the church office at or send by mail.
St. Mary's Music Program
Our choir is back and they sound GREAT!
We are overjoyed to hear their voices leading us in song. If you would like to join them, rehearsals are held on Thursdays at 5 pm; a short rehearsal is held on Sundays at 8:30 am.
No experience is necessary.

Plans for the future include:
BELL CHOIR - Kyle is planning to restart the bell choir. Interested? Or, if
you play an instrument, and would like to share your talent, let Kyle know.

You may contact him at: 
Halloween Day Family Fun!
Bring your family and invite your friends to St. Mary's Halloween Family Fun Day! We'll have lots of treats, and maybe a few tricks, lawn games, face painting, arts & crafts, and more ...
Halloween Day, October 31st on St. Mary's front lawn.
Wear your costume, or not, and join us for
not-so-spooky Halloween fun any time from 11:30 to 3:30 pm!
If you have a talent to share, a fun idea, or would like to help out,
let Mo. Allison know.
Yum! Pumpkin Bread Sale
Our Music Director, Kyle Sheppard, also the Methodist Church of Avalon's, holds various fundraisers throughout the year to help support their music program. Pumpkin Bread is his fall bake sale bread and he is sharing this delicious fundraiser with St. Mary's. Proceeds from sales at St. Mary's will go towards our music program. To order your Pumpkin Bread, fill out the attached Order Form and send it to St. Mary's church office with a check payable to FUMC of Avalon; or call the church office and we will fill out an order form for you. Forms are also available in the parish hall. Orders will be ready for pick up on Sunday, November 14th. Deadline to order is November 7th.
Brrr... Cold weather is on its way and we need your support!
The Branches is in need of men’s coats.

Also in need of 2X sweat pants, men’s jeans ( 32, 34, and 36 ), and men’s underwear size medium.
Let's help to Stamp Out Hunger
Food insecurity is on the rise and St. Mary's has stepped up to assist our neighbors in need. During the month of October, we have requested Canned Goods, Easy Microwavable Meals, and Boxed Food Items for The Branches. Items are being collected through October 31st. A basket is in front of the altar.

Thank you to all who have so generously filled our basket!. The bounty will be blessed and sent to The Branches for distribution.
Like to serve behind the scene?
Join the Altar Guild Team!
St. Mary's Altar Guild is looking for new members!

The Altar Guild prepares the altar for Holy Eucharist and reverently cleans up the bread, wine, and Communion vessels after a service. If you like to work behind the scenes, enjoy working alongside others, then you will like being on the Altar Guild team. Training will be available. Contact Mo. Allison or Janice Haines.
Forward Day by Day
Forward Day by Day devotionals for November, December and January in large and small print are available in the church narthex. Please help yourself. If you would like a copy sent to you, please let the church office know and we will be glad to send one to you.
Birthday blessings to
Lawrence Schmidt on November 1st, Linda Hendee on November 3rd, Ruth Maiden on November 6th, Matthew Dowling on
November 6th, Sarah Langston on
November 6th, and Timothy Schellenger on November 6th!
Happy Anniversary to
Brian & Corine Reynolds on October 31st, and
Mary & Ken Vavrek on November 2nd!
Ways to contribute to St. Mary's
Your support of the mission and ministry of St. Mary's through your communal worship and financial support during these challenging times
is appreciated!
Ways to donate are:

  • The Sunday collection plate

  • Send a check payable to St. Mary's to:
St. Mary's Church,
9425 Third Ave., Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
(Your envelope and number is not necessary, only your name.)

  • Setting up a personal online banking "bill pay" option. The bank will mail the check for you to the church office.

Mark your Calendars
Looking Forward...
October: Food Drive - a basket is on the altar for your donations
October 31st: Halloween Fun Day on the Lawn - 11:30 to 3:30 pm

November 4th - 5 pm Choir rehearsal
November 7th: All Saints' Sunday
November 14th: Thank You Reception/Coffee Hour
November 21st: 7:30 pm Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at St. Mary's
November 28th: Advent Begins ( Advent Study to be determined)

December 21st: Blue Christmas Service
December 24th: Christmas Eve

more to come...

CHECK OUT OUR CALENDAR on our website for all activities taking place throughout the week.
Lectionary Text for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 26
Worship Services
Saturday 5:30 pm and Sunday 9:00 AM in person (church)
Sunday 9:00 AM Live on Facebook
Sunday 11:00 AM on St. Mary's website
Services, studies, and service bulletins may be accessed on our website: