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

Tuesday - Friday 8:30 am Morning Prayer via Zoom

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 19

Remember to pledge your support!

Pledge Now!

We are now accepting donations via Venmo!


Rector's Corner

Cultivating Mercy and Forgiveness: Embracing the Wisdom of 77 Equals Infinity

Dear Beloved St. Mary's, friends and family,

As we gather in our faith community at St. Mary's, I am reminded by our lectionary of the profound importance of mercy and forgiveness in our lives. Our journey as Christians often calls us to emulate the boundless love and compassion our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ showed us. Today, I want to explore the concept of "77 equals infinity" as a beautiful illustration of the infinite nature of God's mercy and the call for us to extend forgiveness in our own lives.

The reference to "77 equals infinity" comes from a conversation between Jesus and the Apostle Peter in the Gospel of Matthew, specifically in Matthew 18:21-22:

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'"

At first glance, this statement may appear to be a mathematical paradox, but in reality, it is a profound spiritual teaching. Jesus was not setting a finite limit on forgiveness but rather emphasizing the boundless and limitless nature of God's mercy.

The number seventy-seven is not just a random figure, nor does it imply a literal limit to our forgiveness. Instead, it is a symbolic number that represents infinity in biblical terms. This number is derived from the ancient Hebrew language and culture, where numbers often carried symbolic or spiritual implications. The number seven was associated with divine perfection and completeness. By repeating it, Jesus is emphasizing the limitless nature of forgiveness.

So, when Jesus says to forgive seventy-seven times, He is not asking us to keep a record of the wrongs done to us until we reach seventy-seven, and then stop forgiving. Rather, He is teaching us that forgiveness should be limitless, just as God's mercy towards us is limitless. Our forgiveness should not be tied to a number or a condition, but it should be a constant state of heart, mirroring God's infinite mercy.

What can we learn from this teaching?

Infinite Mercy: Mercy is the compassionate treatment of those in distress, even if they have wronged us. It is giving them what they need, not what they deserve. To cultivate a spirit of mercy, we must first acknowledge that we are all recipients of God's immense mercy. We have all sinned and fallen short, yet He loves us unconditionally and forgives us repeatedly. This realization should humble us and fill our hearts with gratitude, thus enabling us to show mercy to others.Our Heavenly Father's mercy knows no bounds. No matter how many times we stumble, falter, or sin, God's mercy is always available to us. As followers of Christ, we are called to reflect this infinite mercy in our own lives by extending forgiveness to others generously.

Letting Go: Forgiveness is a powerful act of letting go of resentment, anger, and thoughts of revenge. It is a decision to release the person who has caused us pain from the sentence of our judgment. To cultivate forgiveness, we need to practice empathy and humility. We need to put ourselves in the other person's shoes and understand their perspective. We also need to acknowledge our own shortcomings and the times when we have needed forgiveness. When we choose to forgive, we free ourselves as much as we free the one who receives our forgiveness.

A Journey, Not a Destination: Forgiveness is not a one-time event but an ongoing journey. Just as God continually forgives us, we too should be willing to forgive repeatedly. This requires patience, humility, and a compassionate heart.

Embracing Transformation: Forgiveness has the power to transform relationships. It mends broken bonds, restores trust, and fosters reconciliation. In a world often marked by division, forgiveness is a radical act of healing.

Walking in Christ's Footsteps: Jesus exemplified forgiveness throughout His life, even on the cross when He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). As His followers, we are called to walk in His footsteps, embodying His mercy and love.

In conclusion, the concept of "77 equals infinity" serves as a beautiful reminder of the limitless mercy and forgiveness that God extends to us. Let us strive to embody this infinite mercy in our own lives, forgiving others as we have been forgiven. In doing so, we not only draw closer to God's heart but also become instruments of His love and reconciliation in the world.

This is how we build community and foster love.

May God's boundless mercy and love be with you all.

With love and blessings,

Mo. Allison+


Have you ever wondered why King David is so highly regarded?

Would you like to know more about him?

Are you interested in his relevance to Jesus and the messianic expectation?

Join Wednesday Bible Study this fall when we spend the year reading 1 & 2 Samuel to learn about this great king of Israel through an interactive discussion led by

Tracy Rubin, Harvard Divinity School, 2012.

(Note: Tracy is a summer member here at St. Mary's and is inviting us to join her and her home parish in this most wonderful learning adventure.)

Classes meet on Wednesday mornings from 10-11:30 and evenings from 7-8:30 September 20, 2023 through May 22, 2024, both in person and online.

Please sign up with Tracy at or 781-431-1672. The Zoom link for the year will be emailed to you.  

The companion text we use is: "The David Story: A Translation with Commentary” by Robert Alter.

Mo. Allison will preach at the

Atlantic Convocation Healing Service

ALL are Welcome!

The reception will be a "Healing Fare" with representatives and resources from Women's Domestic Violence org, Dio. NJ Alcohol & Drug Commission, The Daily Bread, Alcoholics Anonymous, Dio. NJ Mental & Spiritual Health

If you would like to add to the "Fare" or just join us in prayer,

contact Mo. Allison.

Blood Drive Friday, September 29

St. Mary's is happy to be a sponsor of Savor September! September is a beautiful time in Stone Harbor. Come out and enjoy!

Maui Relief

"All of our remaining Maui churches have been tirelessly supporting relief efforts, including the Diocesan Care-van ministry, A Cup of Cold Water (ACCW), that has been actively continuing its runs and servicing those who may not be at shelters. Good Shepherd has been making food from early morning hours into the night for front-line workers. Donations of goods, supplies, and money have been pouring in. The Rev. Kerry Holder Joffrion from the Episcopal Church on West Kaua'i, formed the Kaua'i Response Team to hit the ground running (Dr. Warren Sparks, MD General Practice/ ER; Tiffany Watkins, RN Trauma/ ER/ Firefighter; Ron Morinishi, Engineer/ Immediate Construction; Peter Joffrion, JD Stephen Minister; Ross Barker, Animal Medicine/ Trauma Wounds; Rev. Kerry Holder Joffrion, M. Div. Trauma Care/ Pastoral Counselor). The Bishop arrived on Maui on Tuesday, August 15, to assess the situation, and later that evening joined Bishop Larry Silva (Catholic Church) for an ecumenical service at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Wailuku."

GIVING OPPORTUNITIES: the Bishop of Hawaii suggests the following giving opportunities:

All three of these giving opportunities can be accessed through the online donation button or by mailing a check to: The Episcopal Church in Hawai'i, 229 Queen Emma Square, Honolulu, HI 96813, Attention: (specified fund).

Everyone is also encouraged to give to Episcopal Relief & Development as they engage partners in relief and recovery and have set up the Hawai'i Emergency Response Fund.

Maui officials have set up a comprehensive website called Maui Nui Strong for those seeking assistance and those seeking to provide assistance.

Stewardship Minute


To All of our seasonal members and friends

Please consider making a donation or pledge for 2024 before you head home for the season.

Your support of our mission and ministry is important to us.

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 - @StMarysStoneHarbor

Happy Birthday to

Dee Pettit on September 23rd!

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: 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, just a small snack to enjoy with coffee. Thank you!

St. Mary's This 'n That Thrift Shop

Did you know?

Our Thrift Shop continues to be a beacon of mission and ministry out in the community. Each month is dedicated to another community organization.

Last month collections were received for the Coalition Against Rape and Abuse. Stop in and see what we're up to this month!

Thank you to Debbie, our Staff, and customers for your support, donations and care.

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, including small appliances, and clothing shops at This 'n That.

Don't forget the thrift shop when you're fall cleaning and re-organizing. Household items, furniture and clean usable clothing are welcome!

Remember - Upcycling is good for the planet!

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

You can keep up with special sales and featured furniture by following them on Facebook at:

Upcoming Events

Baptism of Parker Lee Grey and Bryce Owen Grey, Sunday, September 17th, at 9 AM

Blood Drive September 29th, 10 am to 3 pm

Blessing of the Animals October 1st, 9 am, on the front lawn

Community Pot Luck in November. Date and time TBA.

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.

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 19

Genesis 50:15-21

Psalm 103:(1-7), 8-13

Romans 14:1-12

Matthew 18:21-35

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: