In This Edition
Upcoming Diocesan Offerings
June 3
Unity in Diversity/ Unidad en la Diversidad Leadership Workshop
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

June 3
Come to the Table
Trinity Cathedral Chapel, Trenton

June 5-9
Appreciative Leadership
Crowne Plaza, Plainsboro

June 10    
St Mark's

June 10
Floral Ministries Workshop
Trinity Cathedral   
June 10

June 23

July 10-14
Episcopal Youth Event
University of Central Oklahoma  

July 23-27
Choir Camp
Cape May 
Upcoming Congregational Events
June 3
St. James'
Bradley Beach 

Battle Monument
Trenton, NJ

St. Mary's
Haddon Heights

Trinity Church

Trinity Church

St. George by the River

St. James'

James's Kerney Campus, MCCC

June 11
Christ Church
New Brunswick

June 12
Peddie School Course

June 14
Holy Trinity
South River

St. Stephen's

Grace Church

Grace Church

St. Mary's
Stone Harbor

List Your Congregation's Events Here!
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Organist needed! Christ Church, Middletown is seeking an Organist/Music Director.
Learn more.

Organist needed! St. Peter's, Perth Amboy is seeking an organist.
Parish Administrator Needed!
 St. Stephen's, Mullica Hill is seeking a Part-Time Parish Administrator. 
Several frontals and superfrontals, processional crosses, chalices, patens, cruets, pascal candles, and a variety of stoles, chasubles, and other vestments are
on offer in Diocesan House. For more information contact
Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e-mail us and let us know! 
June 2, 2017
From the Bishop

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,

And suddenly, from heaven, there came a sound, like the rush of a violent wind; and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability.   Acts 2:2-4

Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost. Pentecost is a Principal Feast of the Church, along with Easter Day, Ascension Day, Trinity Sunday, All Saints Day, Christmas Day and Epiphany. I love Pentecost. I especially appreciate that this holy day (holiday) has not been co-opted by the market place and our culture's dominant religion, Consumerism. It is truly a church day. Many will wear red, hang balloons, fly kites, have picnics and speak in many languages!

When I was a young boy, I didn't know this day as Pentecost. I grew up with the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. The day was called "Whitsunday, a reference to the white worn by the newly baptized on that day." It wasn't until the Episcopal Church began using the current Book of Common Prayer (1979) that we reclaimed the ancient designation of the feast, Pentecost which means 50th Day because it falls on the 50th day after Easter. 

Pentecost Window, Holy Spirit Lebanon
'Pentecost' from Windows of the Spirit,  Lebanon
The use of the name "Pentecost" is ancient and finds it roots in the Jewish "Feast of Weeks" (Shavuot), when the Jewish people celebrated the first fruits of the early harvest. Gradually, the agricultural celebrations of ancient Israel were merged with observance of monumental events in their history. The Passover feast was associated with God's liberating the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. Shavuot began to be observed on the 50th day after Passover (hence "Pente" - fiftieth) and was associated with the giving of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. 

The disciples of Jesus were in Jerusalem keeping this Jewish feast of Shavuot, or Pentecost, when suddenly something strange and wonderful happened. It came with a rush like a violent wind. It came like fire dancing upon their heads. It was the gift of the Spirit. In the fifth century, Cyril of Alexander offered a thoughtful and provocative reflection on the importance of this gift:

All of us who received one and the same Spirit, that is the Holy Spirit, are in a sense merged together with one another and with God. For if Christ, together with the Spirit of the Father and himself, comes to dwell in each one of us, even though there are many of us, then it follows that the Spirit is still one and undivided. He binds together the spirit of each and every one of us....and makes us all appear as one in him. For just as the power of the holy flesh of Christ unites those in whom it dwells into one body [in the Eucharist], I think that in much the same way, the one and undivided Spirit of God, who dwells in us all, leads us into all unity...."[i]

As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost, consider the boldness of this assertion. As Church, we are the body of Christ. We are called to be Christ's Spirit-filled body in the world. What an exciting, holy and awesome calling, and especially in a world which is so often isolating and alienating. We are one in the Spirit. Thanks be to God. Let's tell everyone we meet about the mighty, wondrous works of God!
Susan joins me in wishing you and yours a joyous, Spirit-filled celebration of Pentecost.
Blessings and peace, 

The Right Reverend William H. (Chip) Stokes, D.D.
XII Bishop of New Jersey

[i] From The Christian Theology Reader ed. Alister E. McGrath (Oxford, U.K & Cambridge, U.S.A.: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1995) p. 108 

From the Presiding Bishop
With the announcement by President Donald Trump of his decision to withdraw the commitment made by the United States to the Paris Climate Accord, I am reminded of the words of the old spiritual which speaks of God and God's creation in these words, "He's got the whole world in his hands." The whole world belongs to God, as Psalm 24 teaches us. God's eye is ever on even the tiny sparrow, as Jesus taught and the song says (Luke 12:6). And we human beings have been charged with being trustees, caretakers, stewards of God's creation (Genesis 1:26-31).

The United States has been a global leader in caring for God's creation through efforts over the years on climate change.  President Trump's announcement changes the U.S.'s leadership role in the international sphere. Despite this announcement, many U.S. businesses, states, cities, regions, nongovernmental organizations and faith bodies like the Episcopal Church can continue to take bold action to address the climate crisis.  The phrase, " We' re still in," became a statement of commitment for many of us who regardless of this decision by our President are still committed to the principles of the Paris Agreement.  Click to read the rest.

Good News stories and more!
St. Peter's, Medford sells Lego bricks, builds scale model for school in Haiti

On March 25, members of St. Peter's, Medford, prayerfully placed the roof and a small Haitian flag atop its scale replica of Redemption School, a private Episcopal school in Gonaives, Haiti that serves 400 students in grades Pre-K-12. The model was constructed entirely of Lego bricks, purchased and placed on the starting foundation over a period of six months at $1.00 per brick or $5.00 for six bricks. The sale of bricks at March's Diocesan  Convention contributed  to the success of the project. The congregation sends a special thanks to all who contributed!
Cathedral Sunday is June 11th!

Join Your Cathedral for a Festive Floral Eucharist with Confirmations, preceded by a free flower arranging workshop on June 10. Learn more!
Spring Convocation Meetings Announced

The remaining locations of the  Discerning our Common Call  discussions are listed below.

Sunday, 6/4
3:00 p.m.
St. Mark's,
Basking Ridge
Wednesday, 6/7
7:00 p.m.
Christ Church,
Toms River
Unity in Diversity Leadership Workshop
Unidad en la Diversidad Taller para Lideres

June 3 at 10 am 
Trinity Cathedral

Sponsored by the Diocesan Hispanic Commission                       Learn more!
You Have a Partner in Ecuador

Think of how spiritually and culturally enriching it could be for your parish to have a companion parish in Ecuador. Several churches in this fascinating South American country have expressed interest in forming an ongoing relationship with a parish in the Diocese of New Jersey to share ideas, prayers, visits, holiday greetings and just get acquainted. Such a relationship could be a highly rewarding experience for your parish's youth program and for your overall congregation.

The Companion Diocese Committee would like to introduce you to your potential partner in Ecuador this summer.  
For more information contact
the Rev. Mark Van Sant (732-222-4563) or
Paul Murphy (609-799-5252). 

Stewardship Seminars
Editors Note: Be on the look out in the coming weeks for pictures from the many events which took place over the last weeks!
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618