St. Mary's Episcopal Church

Stone Harbor, New Jersey

All are welcome. Please join us!

Staying Connected


Worship with us:

Sunday at 9:00 am in the sanctuary

in person and Live on Facebook

Worship at the Beach Saturdays 5:30 pm July 8 - August 26

Tuesday - Friday 8:30 am Morning Prayer via Zoom

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 9

Remember to pledge your support!

Pledge Now!

We are now accepting donations via Venmo!


Rector's Corner

The Yoke of Rest

As we navigate our lives, we face various challenges that often weigh heavily on us. We may feel like we're dragging a 2,000 lb. sled behind us each day. These burdens - struggling to make ends meet, trying to keep our families intact, dealing with loss, facing failure, or battling long-term illness - can feel overwhelming.

Our world offers many remedies for physical discomforts, but what about the burdens of the heart and spirit? This Sunday, as we delve into the Gospel of Matthew 11:16-30, we discover an invitation from Jesus Christ himself that promises not just temporary relief but a genuinely transformative rest.

"But what does it mean?" you may ask, "to take on Jesus's yoke?" Isn't a yoke a symbol of labor, of burden? Yes, it is. However, Jesus's yoke is not one that adds to our burden but rather, one that lightens our load. It signifies a partnership, a sharing of burdens. When we accept Jesus's yoke, we are not alone in our struggles. We walk side by side with the one who promises to give rest to our weary hearts.

When Jesus invites us to "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest," he is not offering a magic solution for all our problems; instead, he is assuring us of his presence and help in the midst of our struggles. He teaches us that our burdens become lighter when we share them, when we carry them with love and with his help.

As we reflect upon the Yoke of Rest this Sunday, let us remember that we don't have to carry our burdens alone. Jesus offers us his yoke, a yoke of love, a yoke of shared burdens, a yoke that brings rest to our weary hearts.

Let us embrace this divine invitation and find the rest and peace we yearn for.

In Christ's Love,

Mo. Allison+

Meet and worship with

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Sally J. French

on August 6, 2023

In a grand three-hour service on June 24 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Trenton, the Rt. Rev. Sally J. French was consecrated as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey. She is the first woman ordained to this position in the 238-year history of the diocese.

“I am delighted and joyful at gathering today and at my call to serve you and walk with you as your new bishop,” French told the congregation moments after receiving the bishop’s crozier from her predecessor, the Rt. Rev. William H. Stokes. “It is an honor and a joy and a privilege to be with you as your new bishop. I promise I already love you, and I will walk with you in love. I will serve you, and we will journey together, in the strong name of Jesus, our Lord.”

More than 500 people attended the service in person, with several hundred more joining online via the diocesan website and social media channels. The chief consecrator was the Rt. Rev. Mary Gray Reeves, vice president of the House of Bishops and retired bishop of El Camino Real. She was joined by Stokes, as well as North Carolina Bishop Samuel S. Rodman, retired Georgia Bishop Scott A. Benhase, Newark Bishop Carlye J. Hughes, Rio Grande Bishop Michael Hunn, and former Christchurch Bishop Victoria Matthews, in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

The preacher for the service was Toronto Suffragan Bishop Kevin Robertson, in the Anglican Church of Canada. “I have known your new bishop for almost 30 years; we went to seminary together in Toronto,” Robertson said in his sermon. “If you haven’t discovered it already over the past few months, you have chosen a wise and experienced priest to be your new bishop. She is smart as a whip. She has a heart of a pastor. She is a powerful force in the Jesus movement.

Prior to her election, French served as canon for regional ministry and collaborative innovation in the Diocese of North Carolina. Before that, she spent 20 years in parish ministry. She designed and oversaw the process to revise the “Journey to Adulthood” youth ministry curriculum that has been used by thousands of Episcopal congregations since 1995.

French was raised in Toronto, Canada, in a secular home. She was baptized, confirmed and sponsored for ordination through campus ministries at the University of Toronto.

She is married to the Rev. Clarke French, who is the interim rector at St. Peter’s, Pine Street in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and they are parents to teenagers Jack and Libby.

Founded in 1785, the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, headquartered in Trenton, consists of more than 130 congregations in the southern two-thirds of the state.

Video and photos of the service are on the diocesan website

Summer at St. Mary's began on

July 6th with Thursdays on the Lawn

Three and One opened our summer concert season on

Thursday, July 6th with a terrific concert!

The lawn and sidewalk were packed. This group of young men know how to draw people in with really good music. If you missed the concert, they will return on August 10th.

The band covers classic rock songs, jazz standards, and jazz/rock fusion. A few of their videos are linked here.

Invite some friends and join us on the front lawn Thursdays, July 6th through August 10th, 7:30 to 9 pm.

Lemonade and cookies are enjoyed by our guests during intermission at our Thursdays on the Lawn concerts.

If you are able to provide either lemonade or cookies or both, or serve the night of the show, please sign up on the sheet on the bulletin board in the parish hall or email the church office to sign up. 609-368-5922

Worship at the Beach begins Saturday, July 8th

Worship at the Beach

"Come as you are" and join Mo. Allison and guitarist Tom Werkheiser on the 101st St. Beach Pavilion at 5:30 pm for a relaxed worship service in a glorious setting!

Bring a beach chair, bring a friend - all are welcome!

In the event of rain, the service moves to St. Mary's.

Worship at the Beach is held every Saturday from July 8th through August 26th.

Science Explorers

Science Explorers returns this summer

for two weeks of Summer Camps at

St. Mary's.

July 17-21 - Ready, Set, Science! runs from 9 am to 12 noon for ages 7-11.

July 24-28 - Jr. Investigative Team runs

9 am to 12 noon for ages 4 - 6. for registration and complete details about the camps or call 877-870-9517

Stone Harbor Museum

Join us for a wonderful evening on the water at the Reeds at Shelter Haven as we celebrate Stan and Marlene Casper for their lifelong support of Stone Harbor.

Tickets to the Stone Harbor Museum's 2023 Gala are now available by calling the Reeds at 609-368-0100.

Only a limited number of tickets are available for this event.

We hope to see you there!

How to beat the Heat

  1. Refresh your mind by reading the ‘good news’ in the Bible.
  2. Face the billowy breeze of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Swim continually in God’s love.
  4. Shower yourself with God’s beautiful blessings.
  5. Drink from the springs of living water that will quench your thirst forever.
  6. Keep cool and calm in the middle of an argument.
  7. When you receive lemons, make tasty lemonade.
  8. Break the ice with someone whom you hold a grudge.
  9. Create a pleasant climate in your home where joy can grow.
  10. Splash on all of God’s gifts and become a sweet smelling fragrance.

Membership at St. Mary's

We often get asked what must happen to “join” our Church.

The short answer is you just need to show up! We welcome anyone and everyone to join us for worship on Sunday mornings or at any of our church activities. For we understand that first and foremost, membership in the Church means being part of a community that is drawn ever more deeply into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

However, there can be more to it than that.

For those who are interested in formally committing membership to the Episcopal Church, and St. Mary’s in particular, we have put together a brief summary of how the Episcopal Church defines the terms of membership. If you still have questions after reading this page, please feel free to reach out to Mo. Allison, Lillian Armstrong, Warden, a vestry member, or Julie, our Administrator and we’d be happy to talk to you more about it.


A Christian is any person who has been baptized in the Episcopal Church or any other Christian church.


The sacrament of Baptism is the initiation rite into the Christian Church. To be Baptized, as an infant, child or adult is to become a full member of the Church with access to the sacraments.


At St. Mary’s, and throughout the Episcopal Church, all are welcome to the table of our Lord.


A person is a member of the Episcopal Church if they have been baptized, whether in an Episcopal church or another Christian church, and the baptism has been recorded in the records of a particular Episcopal parish. A person may also become a member of the Episcopal Church if they are Confirmed or Received by a bishop.


Confirmation is a sacrament of the Church. It is an informed profession of the faith that may be made by teenagers or adults. To be Confirmed is to outwardly proclaim your choice of the Episcopal faith and tradition. It involves the laying on of hands upon the head of the individual, Confirmand by the bishop.


If you have been Confirmed in another liturgical tradition, you are Received into the Church rather than Confirmed. A person is Received into the Episcopal Church by a bishop.


We believe that God speaks to people in a variety of ways and that no one particular expression of this faith is “right.” This way of relating to the divine balances scripture, tradition, and reason for Episcopalians. The Episcopal Church is a sacramental and liturgical form of Christianity that respects the ancient nature of the church yet allows room for a prayerful discussion of theology.


If you are a member of another Episcopal parish and would like to transfer your membership to St. Mary’s, please contact the parish office to let us know. We have a special form we send to your former parish that “transfers” your membership to St. Mary’s.


An “official” member of St. Mary’s is a baptized person who requests to be placed on the membership rolls of this parish. If you are Baptized, Confirmed, or Received at St. Mary’s, you automatically become a member. A person who is a member of another Episcopal church can transfer their membership to St. Mary’s through a Letter of Transfer.


That’s fine. We consider our parish family to be a wide net of individual beliefs and situations, and while we encourage people to seriously consider official membership, it is not a requirement to partake in the life of the community. According to the canons (governing laws) of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of New Jersey, the only thing non-members may not do at the parish level is serve on the Vestry, vote at the annual parish meeting, and serve as a chalice bearer.


No. The Parish Directory is an unofficial list of people who attend St. Mary’s on a regular basis who choose to be on the list. It is never fully complete or up-to-date since people join the community, move, or leave the parish at various times for a variety of reasons. The directory is published annually and updated regularly. If you would like to be included or amend your entry, please contact the parish office.


We firmly believe that stewardship of our financial resources is an integral part of being a Christian, and we rely on the generosity of our community to support our common ministry and pay our bills. Episcopal Churches do not receive financial assistance from the Diocese or the National Church. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: we pay a yearly apportionment to the Diocese of New Jersey to support the mission and ministry of the larger church.


We expect members of this parish community to strive to lead a life of faith. This means sharing the joy of corporate worship as regularly as possible; recognizing that God is the source of all that we are and all that we do; being hospitable of one another and respecting the dignity of every human being; understanding that we don’t have all the answers about faith but we’re always seeking to learn from God and one another; offering of ourselves to the church through our talents, time, and financial resources; helping to spread the message of Christ’s love in whatever way is possible for you. Upholding our baptismal covenant and loving our neighbors.

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!

Stewardship Minute

Our Attitudes Towards Wealth

How does Jesus want us to take his words about wealth? The first thing we should notice is that he primarily talks about our attitudes toward wealth and possessions and security. We can be greedy no matter how much or how little we have, and it is greed that Jesus warns against. We can trust in God no matter how little or how much we have, although extremes of poverty and wealth probably make such trust more difficult. Jesus first of all wants our hearts to be in the right place.

But Jesus secondly wants our attitudes toward wealth to affect how we actually live and what we do with our money. It is not enough to avoid greed and anxiety; we should also use what is at our disposal to help those in need and aid us in our seeking of the kingdom of God. This does not mean that poverty is commanded of everyone, but it does mean that our use of money should give evidence of our faith in Jesus Christ.

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

We have now joined Venmo! If you have Venmo, you can donate to the church -


Happy Birthday to

Jeffrey Tobias & Jason Weider on July 10th,

Janet Kowalski on July 11th, Henry Schellenger, III

on July 13th and Stephen Mihalek on July 14th!

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

Altar Flowers

Dedicating altar flowers in honor or memory of, or in thanksgiving for a loved one is a wonderful way to remember someone. If you would like to do so, please sign up on the chart on the bulletin board in the parish hall. After the service, you may take the flowers to enjoy or give.

Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour is held after service every Sunday in the parish hall. It is an opportunity to get together for relaxed conversation and fellowship over a cup of coffee. If you would like to provide a snack for coffee hour, please pick a Sunday and sign up on the sheet on the door to the kitchen. Nothing elaborate is required, just a small snack to enjoy with coffee. Thank you!

The Branches Food Pantry

The Branches Food Pantry is open 3 days a week in an effort to address food insecurity. If you would like to make a donation, we are in need of the following: hot dogs, ground beef, sliced bread, canned chicken, coffee, sugar and pasta sauce. We have recently lost our contact for fresh milk. That is always in demand, as we serve many children. Eggs are also something that we like to have on hand. We are completely out of milk and eggs. Donations can be dropped off M-W-F from 9-12. Many thanks!

Branches offer food, help and more in Rio Grande

Here is a link to a great article printed about The Branches in the Atlantic City press on April 25th!

St. Mary's This 'n That Thrift Shop

Looking to refresh your summer rental or have a room that could use an updated piece of furniture? Then you might want to check out the new FURNITURE SHOP at St. Mary's This 'n That Thrift Shop!

Gold Winner of the 2022 and 2023 Best of the Jersey Shore thrift shops, the Furniture Shop is a great addition to the home goods, housewares and clothing shops at This 'n That.

And remember the thrift shop when you're spring cleaning and re-organizing. Household items, furniture and clean usable clothing are welcome!

Store Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm

Donation days: Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am - 3 pm and on the

1st Saturday of the month 10 - 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

Saturday, July 8th - 5:30 pm - Worship at the Beach begins

Thursday, July 13th - 7:30 pm - Thursdays on the Lawn concert -

Marnie & Nate

Our Summer at St. Mary's pamphlet of events may be downloaded here.

12 Step Meetings in the Church Hall

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Monday at 7:30 pm

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Tuesday at 8:00 pm

Alanon Tuesday at 7:15 pm (beginners meeting in the chapel)

Alanon Tuesday at 8:00 pm (in the chapel)

Alanon Friday morning at 10:00 am

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

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost:

Proper 9

Zechariah 9:9-12

Psalm 145:8-15

Romans 7:15-25a

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

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)

Saturday 5:30 pm on the 101st St. Beach Pavilion

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