Staying Connected


Worship with us:

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

Tuesday - Friday 8:30 am Morning Prayer via Zoom

(Morning Prayer is canceled for the week of 1.30.23)

Annual Meeting this Sunday!

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

"United in Christ: Overcoming Division and Embracing Grace"

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

As we read Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians this Sunday, we see that the Christians there were beginning to divide into opposing camps. They were acting as if some of them had found a better formula for following Christ than others. This behavior was causing envy, jealousy, anger, divisions, and backbiting - everything that is contrary to true Christianity.

But Paul reminds us that Christianity is primarily about what God has done and wants to do for us, not what we can do for God or for ourselves. The hope, forgiveness, and spiritual strength we have found in Christ are not the product of human effort but a gift from God, a grace.

As a result, it is ridiculous for us to start dividing into groups as if one group could concoct a more potent Christianity than another group. All that we most deeply desire we receive from Christ, not from ourselves.

It is through God's gift, Paul writes, that we "are in Christ Jesus." And it is Christ who has brought us the new life, full of substantial hope and meaning, that we enjoy. In other words, God is the protagonist of meaning in our lives; we are dependent on him.

Keeping this in mind is what it means to be "poor in spirit," a virtue praised in Sunday's Gospel. Let us keep this in mind as we strive to be true followers of Christ, united in our love for God and for one another.

By turning the Corinthians' attention to Jesus, Paul knows he will strengthen that young community of new Christians.

But the same thing goes for us.

The Church is guaranteed by God to endure until the end of time, but that endurance can be either in spite of us or through our collaboration.

In every period of history, in every particular place, every individual Christian community has an opportunity and responsibility to be a healthy cell that strengthens the Body of Christ, the Church.

We can only be that healthy cell if we are united.

And we can only be united if each one of us has Christ as our leader.

Not a pocket-sized Christ whittled down to personal preferences and prejudices, but the Christ we are given by the Church.

The more focused we are on the Christ of the Gospels, the Christ of the sacraments, the Christ of the Catechism, the Christ preached, the more focused we are on the true Christ, the more unified we will be,

the healthier our community will be, and the more effective we will be in helping to transform the lives of those around us.

Let's thank Christ for his gifts, and let's promise him that, starting this week, starting today, we will not waste our energies on useless criticism, fruitless arguments, and divisive rivalries. We will love one another, lift each other, allow God's grace to flow, and focus our lives on Christ.

Prayer for Unity

Dear Lord,

We seek your guidance and comfort as we navigate the difficult path toward unity and grace in our world.

We know the world is often divided and torn apart by hate, mistrust, and misunderstanding. We see this division and strife in our communities, in our own families, and even within ourselves.

But we turn to you, Lord, for hope and healing. We know you are the source of all love, compassion, and grace. We trust in your promise that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more.

We pray for the strength and courage to extend grace to those who have wronged us. We pray for the wisdom to understand and forgive those who have hurt us. We pray for the compassion to see the humanity and the pain in those who have caused us harm.

We also pray for the unity of your people, Lord. We pray that we may put aside our differences and that we may learn to see each other as fellow children of God. We pray that we may learn to love and accept one another, despite our flaws and imperfections.

We ask for your guidance and grace, Lord, as we strive to become more like you. We know that this is not a task we can accomplish on our own, but we trust in your power to work in and through us.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior. Amen.

The Electing Convention will be held on January 28, 2023, starting at 10 AM at Trinity Cathedral and via Zoom. More information on both the meet and greets and the convention is available.

 NJ Bishop Search Web site.

Annual Meeting

Annual Congregational Meeting

Sunday, January 29, 2023

This Sunday following worship, we will enjoy a delicious potluck brunch, followed by our Annual Congregational Meeting.

Please plan to attend the meeting to hear the accomplishments of the past year and plans for the upcoming one. New Vestry members will be elected and the 2023 budget presented.

We will also celebrate and give thanks for Lou & Cynthia Schweickhardt. They will be "retiring" to the warmer clime of South Carolina to be closer to family. They have been such a wonderful part of our church community. They will be missed!

Stewardship Minute

Remember to pledge your support!

Pledge Now!

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. 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!

Forward 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

Cynthia Schweickhardt on January 28th, and

Mary Lucile Johnston on January 29th!

If you would like to be remembered on your birthday or anniversary, please let the church office know so we can add your information to our data base.

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

January 29 after worship - Annual Meeting and Potluck Brunch

February 19 - 10:30 am Vestry Meeting

February 22 - Ash Wednesday

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.

The Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Micah 6:1-8

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Matthew 5:1-12

Psalm 15

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: