Staying Connected
Worship with us:
Sunday at 9:00 am in person and Live on Facebook
Saturday 5:30 pm, July 9 to August 27 - 101st Street Beach Pavilion
Rector's Corner
Luke 12:32-40

Jesus said to his disciples, Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of giving Charlene the tour of our "campus" in Rio Grande. One of the beauties of our ministry in our Thrift Shop and The Branches is the selfless giving that each and every one of our staff and volunteers demonstrate every day. Our ministries are an extension of the generosity of others and the grace and goodness of our God. Simple donations fuel our mission in our communities and in our world.

Many of you know the good work of the Branches and the "Big" things that are unfolding. We are beginning to move into our brand new community center. Our mobile food ministry, along with our food pantry, is thriving. Guests are keeping cool by arriving for breakfast and lunch. Clothing, basic needs, and social advocacy and education are taking place. People in need are being cared for with prayerful hearts, respect, and dignity. Every day is a new adventure, and when our guests are met with challenging circumstances, Terri, Sandra, our advocates, and volunteers all step up and go above and beyond to see that the need is met. These are the treasures geared toward God and stored in heaven. More is on the horizon, and I hope to share those details with you soon.

Many of you may not know the depth and extension of the ministry of our thrift shop. Often we take for granted that people donate things, and we sell clothes and items, even giving items to those in need, but This n' That is so much more. Yes, our thrift store helps fuel our mission, ministry, and outreach, but in addition to providing us with resources, Debbie and Debra, together with our staff and volunteers, have created a family that is integrated and fully engaged in our community and outreach. That family extends itself beyond the store.

A little over a week ago, there was a fire in the adjacent laundromat. It was Debra's mom who, in the wee hours of the night, called the fire department. That's community.
Debbie, our manager, and her husband, Steve, worked endless hours to address the smoke damage to ensure our staff, volunteers, and customers would be free from any potential harm. That's Community.

We have an amazing team!

Debbie knows each of our staff, volunteers, and even our customers very well. Their personal stories are deep. They help one another, assist one another, and hold each other up. Debbie not only tends to their care as our manager but as a confidant, friend, advisor, and, dare I say, even as a mother. She embodies leadership, and it shows in our staff and volunteers. It is always a blessing to meet a pastoral need and have Debbie as a sister in Christ. But it doesn't end there. This same care is given to those who come on by the store. That's community. That's ministry. We are fulfilling our mission. Person by person, we are touching and transforming lives. That's a treasure for God and is stored in heaven. What a blessing!

Yesterday, Charlene witnessed the growing love and relationships we have worked to nurture. We were greeted with love, hugs, and even prayers. It is beautiful to see God's love and grace at work in our Rio Grande community. I urge you to visit and see the workings of God in the Branches and in This n' That. Introduce yourself, say hello and know that God's blessing is upon each and every one of us.

Thank you for supporting these and all of our ministries here at St. Mary's!

Blessings in Christ,
Mo. Allison+

August 14th - ADULT FORUM BOOK STUDY begins -Lost Christianities
Adult Forum - Book Study-
begins August 14th
Lost Christianities: The Battles of Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew 
by Bart D. Ehrman, Matthew Kugler, et al.

The early Christian Church was a chaos of contending beliefs. Some groups of Christians claimed that there was not one God but two or twelve or thirty. Some believed that the world had not been created by God but by a lesser, ignorant deity. Certain sects maintained that Jesus was human but not divine, while others said he was divine but not human. In Lost Christianities, Bart D. Ehrman offers a fascinating look at these early forms of Christianity and shows how they came to be suppressed, reformed, or forgotten. All of these groups insisted that they upheld the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and they all possessed writings that bore out their claims, books reputedly produced by Jesus's own followers. Modern archaeological work has recovered a number of key texts, and as Ehrman shows, these spectacular discoveries reveal religious diversity that says much about the ways in which history gets written by the winners.

Ehrman's discussion ranges from considerations of various "lost scriptures" - including forged gospels supposedly written by Simon Peter, Jesus's closest disciple, and Judas Thomas, Jesus's alleged twin brother - to the disparate beliefs of such groups as the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, the anti-Jewish Marcionites, and various "Gnostic" sects. Ehrman examines in depth the battles that raged between "proto-orthodox Christians" - those who eventually compiled the canonical books of the New Testament and standardized Christian belief - and the groups they denounced as heretics and ultimately overcame. Scrupulously researched and lucidly written, Lost Christianities is an eye-opening account of politics, power, and the clash of ideas among Christians in the decades before one group came to see its views prevail.

Meet Lou & Cynthia Schweickhardt

Lou and Cynthia Schweickhardt were married 61 years in July. They met after high school graduation on a blind date arranged by mutual friends . . . Lou’s best friend was dating Cynthia’s best friend and they organized a group night out at the Officers’ Club in Arlington, VA.

A year later, after their Freshman year in college, they married and became Episcopalians.  They raised three sons in their Medford, NJ home where they lived for 35 years and now have 5 grandchildren. They’ve owned their home in Stone Harbor for the past 36 years, but didn’t move here full time until 2005 when they both retired. That’s when they became members of St. Mary’s. They share their home with their cat Pepper, a very popular pet name as Mother Allison and Lisa’s dog, along with the Olthuis’ dog, are named Pepper.

Both Lou and Cynthia have ties to the US Navy. Lou’s career was as an electrical engineer for the US Navy Department and Cynthia’s father is a retired Navy Captain.

Cynthia earned a master’s degree in Health Professions and worked 45 years teaching doctors the importance of good nutrition in maintaining good health. Cynthia says “good health and exercise are so important as you age”. The Schweickhardts live that philosophy eating balanced meals thanks to Cynthia, and working out at Miracles Fitness on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Lou loves baseball and played in high school. He continued to play ball over the years for St. Pete’s in Medford and up until a few years ago, played softball in a senior league. He plays Bocci Ball on Friday mornings in the summer.

What do they love about St. Mary’s? Just about everything but especially our church family and all the activities like Thursdays on the Lawn.
Cynthia is a long-time member of our choir. Together Lou and Cynthia have hosted coffee hours and organized our annual Strawberry Festival with great success.  Lou is a regular usher and responsible for scheduling. He currently serves as Jr. Warden after serving several terms as a member of the vestry, and he’s been on more than one search committee. He traveled with Fr. John, Cynthia and Dave Kowalski among others to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and spent a week helping with the cleanup.

Community interests . . . both are Stone Harbor Seniors Docents at the Stone Harbor Museum and play bridge weekly with Stone Harbor Seniors. Cynthia is a long-time active member of the SH Garden Club and Civic Club.

I don’t think these two ever sit down and rest. They are always the first to volunteer for whatever job needs to be done. We are blessed to have these faithful stewards as members of St. Mary’s.
Science Explorers Camp
It's been fun having the kids here at St. Mary's for Science Explorers Camp. Their last week ends today. Thank you notes from the children are posted on the parish hall bulletin board.
We're already looking forward to having them back next summer!
Summer at St. Mary's
Hosts and cookies are needed for the last concert on August 11th. Please sign up on the parish hall bulletin board or let Jack Olthuis know if you can help.
School Supplies Drive
Our annual School Supplies Drive is NOW!
Dina Ziemba has reached out to local schools and their teachers to compile a list of supplies for their students to help them succeed in the classroom. The list is attached. We are collecting supplies on the back table in the parish hall, or you may drop off your donations in the chapel or office. You may also make a monetary donation (note: school supplies on your envelope) and the items will be purchased for you.
The drive ends on August 21st.

Thank you for your help with this necessary program!!
Sunday's Altar Flowers
The flowers on the altar this week
are given by Melanie Pfizenmayer
in loving memory of Walter Pfizenmayer.
Forward Day by Day
The August, September, October 2022 edition of Forward Day by Day, large and small print, is available in the chapel and church narthex. Day by Day is a wonderful way "to spend dedicated time with Jesus, every single day. Day by Day inspires people who want to be like Jesus and encourages them to spread his love in the world."
Please help yourself to a copy and feel free to take one for a friend who might enjoy receiving Day by Day.
Join us!
Membership at St. Mary's consists of several different groups of "members." Some are Confirmed Communicant Members or who have transferred their membership by Letter of Transfer to St. Mary's. Some are Baptized into St. Mary’s or have requested that their names be entered in the Parish Register. Others are “members” by virtue of the fact that St. Mary’s is their church—the Christian community of which they are a part and where they worship regularly. Still, others are “summer members" or friends of St. Mary's. Many are part of St. Mary’s life, worship at St. Mary’s when in town, and support St. Mary’s financially. Canonically, they are not members in the legal sense, but they are every bit as much members of our parish family as those who are official members.
Please contact the church office if you would like to become a member of St. Mary's and be added to our data base.

We welcome you to join us!

Without Money, What Can I Do For My Church?

  • Be loyal to its worship services,

  • Uphold it in prayer,

  • Volunteer in its ministries,

  • Welcome guests to the services,

  • Promote good fellowship,

  • Refrain from criticism,

  • Invite my friends and neighbors, and

  • Dedicate my talents to God.

Some Ways to financially donate are:

  • Become a member

  • 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.

Please note: Offering envelopes have been discontinued. Only your name is needed in order for the counters to record your giving.
St. Mary's This 'n That Thrift Shop
One man's trash is another's man's treasure.
Need to make more space? Have things you will probably never wear or use again?

Please remember St. Mary's This 'n That Thrift Shop. Your donation of clothing and household items in good useable condition is welcome!
St. Mary's Thrift Shop has become a valuable presence in the Rio Grande community. As an outreach of St. Mary's, it provides assistance in vital ministry and mission by offering quality clothing and household goods at affordable prices to the community, along with jobs and work experience to those in need. Proceeds help to support The Branches, and other ministries and outreach of St. Mary's.

Store Hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm
Donation days: Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am - 3 pm
Location: St. Mary's This 'n That
1304 Rt. 47 So., Rio Grande, NJ 08242 609-886-7272

Follow them on facebook at:
Happy Birthday to
Nicholas Schmidt on August 10th!
Happy Anniversary to
Barbara & David Cleffi on Augst 9th!
If you would like your birthday or anniversary to be listed, please contact the church office with your dates.
Concert with Mark Forrest
Irish Tenor Mark Forrest will perform in concert at St. Paul's RC Church on Sunday, August 7th at 7 PM. All are welcome.
St. Paul's, 9910 Third Ave., Stone Harbor 609-967-3746
News from St. Barnabas, Villas
St. Barnabas will hold their annual Hoagie Sale, Bake Sale and Yard Sale with raffles and a 50/50 at the church on August 27th.
They also have a piano free to a good home.
St. Barnabas, 13 W. Bates Ave., Villas 609-886-5960
August Calendar
July 9th - August 27th - Summer Worship at the Beach 5:30 pm 101st Street Pavilion
August 11th - Three & One
August 14th - Adult Forum Book Study begins - Lost Christianities
12 Step Meetings in the Church Hall
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Monday at 8:00 pm
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Tuesday at 8:00 pm

Alanon on Friday at 10:00 am
A seasonal additional Alanon meeting will be coming this summer on Tuesday at 8:00 pm in the chapel
CHECK OUT OUR CALENDAR on our website for all activities taking place throughout the week.
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost:
Proper 14
Worship Services
Tuesday - Thursday 8:30 am Morning Prayer via Zoom
Saturday 5:30 pm, July 9 to Aug. 27 - 101st St. Beach Pavilion
Sunday 9:00 AM in person (church)
Services, studies, and service bulletins may be accessed on our website: