Staying Connected


Worship with us:

Sunday at 9:00 am in person and Live on Facebook

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Tuesday - Friday 8:30 am Morning Prayer via Zoom

Healing services are held at St. Barnabas and

St. Mary's on a rotating schedule every third Thursday.

The next service will be at St. Barnabas on February 16th.

Rector's Corner

"Christ Looks to the Heart"

Each of the lessons taught in Sunday's Gospel passage could be expanded into an entire book of its own.

The core of them all, however, is in the heart. 

Certainly, our exterior behavior must follow God's will.

This is what Jesus means when he says, “Do not think I have come to abolish the law…” But Jesus is trying to tell us that exterior behavior, that appearances, are not enough. 

For a true, faithful citizen of Christ's Kingdom, the attitudes and desires of the heart must also be in harmony with God's plan for our lives.

This is what Jesus means when he says: “I have come… to fulfill…” - to bring the Old Testament Law to its fulfillment. 

Friendship with God (which is what Jesus offers) requires a union of hearts. 

Christ is explaining the Law from this perspective when he explains the true meaning of sinful anger, lust, and lying. 

Remember Thecla? We read about her over the summer as a part of our book study. Every once in a while, God reveals to the world the true power of a heart that is full of his grace and love. Thecla grew up in the first century, a well-educated but pagan young woman who lived in the Greek city of Iconium. She became a Christian when St. Paul and St. Barnabas arrived and began to preach there. She fell in love with Christ through their teaching and witness, was baptized, received Holy Communion, and consecrated her entire life to the Lord. Her pagan parents and fiancée were furious with this decision. They did everything possible to convince her to abandon her Christian faith and her consecration. But she persevered.

Finally, they turned her over to the authorities (Christians were persecuted at the time because they refused to worship the local, pagan false gods).

The governor put her on trial, but she refused to give up her faith.

Even after eight days of prison, she still refused.

They condemned her to death by burning. But when they tied her to the stake in the local arena and lit the fire, the eager crowds were amazed: miraculously, the flames left her entirely unharmed!

And so the frustrated governor sent her to the larger city of Antioch for execution. There she was put into an arena with an un-caged lion.

The lion roared and circled her, baring its teeth, as she knelt in prayer, then lay beside her, licking her feet.

They released three more lions - but the results were the same.

Finally, the authorities gave up and set her free, and she spent the rest of her life in prayer and service, spreading the good news about Jesus Christ and his plan of salvation.

Jesus looks to the heart because he knows that’s what matters: a heart full of his grace can overcome any obstacle, withstand any trial, and conquer any evil. 

Every Heart Needs a Check-Up...

Jesus looks to the heart, not just to appearances; he knows our deepest motivations and desires. But do we ourselves really know them?

In the Gospels, the Pharisees thought they were in a very good and healthy relationship with God. But in fact, they were not. They actually ended up rejecting God. They were the major players behind the crucifixion of Jesus.

How can we avoid being like the Pharisees? How can we take a true x-ray of our hearts?

Later in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 15:18), Jesus gives us the secret.

He explains that "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the person." If we want to know the true condition of our hearts, of our friendship with Christ, all we have to do is reflect seriously on our words and the quality of our conversations.

When we speak, are we usually building others up or tearing them down?

Do we engage in crude and degrading humor? Do we join in gossip sessions and unnecessarily spread criticisms or even lies?

Do we use our words to encourage, enlighten, and edify, or are we constantly nagging, nitpicking, and belittling?

The fuller our hearts are with God and the experience of his love, the more our words will reflect his goodness, his mercy, and his wisdom.

As Jesus will give us his unconditional love for each of us, let's ask God for something. Let's ask him to help us recognize the true state of our hearts.

And, if we see that our hearts are in bad shape, let's exchange them with his, repent and return.

He has already given us everything; surely, he won't hold back his Sacred Heart, if we ask him.


Episcopal 101

Episcopal 101 continues this Sunday morning and will continue to meet until Lent begins. Please join Deacon Intern Charlene Snyder in the parish hall after worship.

Stewardship Minute

Remember to pledge your support!

Pledge Now!

Becoming More Christ-Like

In 1 John 4:16 we read, “God is love.” God’s love is evident in his giving. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Because of his love, God gave us the gift that we needed the most - our Savior. Out of love and gratitude for who God is and what he has done for us, we strive to live as Christ did. Through our giving, we become like him. As we give from hearts filled with love and gratitude, the more we reflect Christ’s likeness.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, your nature is to love and to give. Please grant me a heart filled with your love so I can become the loving and giving person you want me to be. Open my eyes so I can see opportunities to share your love, mercy, and grace with others. In your precious name I pray. Amen.

Blessings on your stewardship journey!

Some ways to support St. Mary's

  • Become a member
  • Volunteer
  • 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.
  • Online giving through our website at
Visit our Website

From the Stewardship Committee

If you would like to pledge to St. Mary's in 2023, please return your pledge form by mail to the church office, on Sunday in the offering plate, or through our website as soon as possible. If you would like a paper copy, let the church office know. [email protected] Thank you for your commitment to support the mission and ministry of St. Mary's!

Ministry Volunteers Needed

Ushers and Greeters

The ministry of ushering is a crucial part of worship because it is one of the most visible ministries in the church. In Christ, you have received God’s unconditional love, and in Christ, you are called to extend that same unconditional love to others. Although an usher’s love is no stronger than the love found in the whole congregation of the body of Christ, nevertheless, the usher performs a major role in ensuring that people see and experience that love.

The ushers distribute bulletins and greet worshipers, making every attempt to make them feel welcome and at ease. The ushers are also available to answer questions of anyone needing assistance.

Please contact Mo. Allison or Julie if you are interested.

Membership at St. Mary's

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 receive membership forms to be added to our data base.

email: [email protected]


You may sign up on our website here.

We welcome you to join us!

Episcopal Community Services

in Partnership with the Diocese of New Jersey

Requests the Honor of your Presence at a

Farewell Gala

In Honor Of

The Right Rev. William “Chip” Stokes

Canon Ann Notte & Canon Mary Ann Rhoads

Sunday, May 21, 2023

at 5 O’Clock in the Evening

Doubletree by Hilton

2349 Marlton Pike West

Cherry Hill, NJ

Featuring Keynote Speaker

The Most Rev. Michael Curry

Please RSVP by April 28

Purchase Tickets Here

Forward Day By Day

The February, March, April issue (large and small) of Forward Day by Day is available in the church narthex. Please help yourself to a copy and take one for a friend.

2023 Flower Chart

Placing flowers on the altar is a wonderful way to remember, honor, or give thanks for a loved one. If you would like to do so, please choose a Sunday on the altar flower chart, print your name and the name of your person. A donation to the church is much appreciated. The chart is on the bulletin board in the parish hall. You may take the flowers after worship.

Happy Birthday to

Ellie Markle on February 14th, and

Elizabeth Hamilton on February 15th!

Elizabeth will celebrate her 106th birthday on February 15th!

If you would like to send a Birthday card, her address is:

227 Fishing Creek Rd., Cape May, NJ 08204

If you would like to be remembered on your birthday or anniversary, please give us your information so we may add you to our data base. Email the church office: [email protected] or call 609-368-5922

St. Mary's This 'n That Thrift Shop

Come check out the GOLD Winner of the 2022 Best of the Jersey Shore thrift shops - St. Mary's This 'n That Thrift Shop! And remember the thrift shop when you're cleaning out and organizing. Household items and clean usable clothing are welcome!

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:

Upcoming Events

February 16 - 6 pm Third Thursday Healing Service at St. Barnabas, Villas

February 19 - 10:30 am Vestry Meeting

February 19 - 3 pm A World of Instruments presented by Cape Classical Artists at Cold Spring Presbyterian Church. www.Cape

February 22 - Ash Wednesday 8 am and 5:30 pm

February 24 - 7 pm Stations of the Cross at St. Barnabas, Villas

12 Step Meetings in the Church Hall

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Monday at 8:00 pm

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Tuesday at 8:00 pm

Alanon Friday at 10:00 am

CHECK OUT OUR CALENDAR on our website for all activities taking place throughout the week.

Cape Classical Artists concert

Cape Classical Artists will present "A World of Instruments" at 3 pm on Sunday February 19th at Cold Spring Presbyterian Church, 780 Seashore Rd., Cold Spring, NJ 08204.

Experience a new world of intriguing sounds as Jamie Orfanella performs on a variety of instruments including the Japanese Shakuhachi flute, Australian didgeridoo, Indian bansuri, Native American flutes, Chinese dizi, theremin, and more.

There is no admission fee, and a free-will offering will be taken at the door.

The Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Sirach 15:15-20

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

Matthew 5:21-37

Psalm 119:1-8

Worship Services

Tuesday - Friday 8:30 am Morning Prayer via Zoom

Third Thursday's 6:00 pm Healing Service

alternates between St. Mary's and St. Barnabas

Sunday 9:00 AM in person (church)

Services, studies, and service bulletins may be accessed on our website: