February 7, 2024

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From the Bishop

A Lenten practice that will give us peace

Bishop Hughes suggests a simple Lenten practice, based on Jesus' actions in Mark 1:31, that is particularly suited to the times in which we're currently living. (Time: 4:17 | Read the transcript.)

A Lenten practice that will give us peace

Black History Month

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Black History Month book recommendations

For Black History Month here are five book recommendations, for both youth and adults, from Bishop Hughes and her staff. Read more.

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Public celebration of the Feast of Absalom Jones

SUN, FEB 11 | 3 PM

Trinity & St. Philip's Cathedral, Newark

Celebrant: Bishop Hughes.

Guest Preacher: The Rev. Dr. Allen Robinson, Rector of Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights.

In-person and live streamed. Find out more.

Photos wanted of Black History Month observances

We would love to see photo of how parishes are observing Black History Month!

Email Nina Nicholson for information on how to submit your photo and caption, and you may see it on the diocesan Facebook page or Instagram feed some time this month.

Diocesan Events - Register Now!

Upcoming training

Candidates standing for office at the Annual Diocesan Convention, and all clergy, must complete anti-racism and anti-sexism training.

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Anti-Racism Dialogues

SAT, FEB 24, MAR 2 & MAR 9 | 9 AM - 12:30 PM | Zoom

Register online by 5 PM on Friday, Feb. 16.

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Anti-Sexism Training

SAT, MAR 2 | 8:30 AM - 3 PM | Grace, Madison

Register online by 5 PM on Monday, Feb. 26.

2024 Confirmations

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Confirmation services

Of the six Confirmation services being held this April & May, two have already reached maximum capacity. Registration for each of the four remaining services will close automatically once its maximum number of Candidates is reached, or on March 1, whichever comes first.

Clergy and Wardens - to see the open services and register your parish's candidates, visit the Confirmation webpage.

Confirmation retreats

Youth candidates are encouraged to attend the Confirmation Retreat, and adult candidates are invited to dinner and conversation with Bishop Hughes. Information is below.

Pre-Confirmation dinner and conversation with the Bishop (adult candidates)

TUE, MAR 19 | 7 PM | St. Elizabeth's, Ridgewood

Register & pay online by 5 PM on Friday, March 15.

Confirmation retreat for youth candidates

FRI, MAR 22, 7 PM - SAT, MAR 23, 3 PM Cross Roads Camp & Retreat Center

Register & pay online by 5 PM on Monday, March 18.

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General Convention Summer Trip

SAT, JUN 22 - FRI, JUN 28

The Youth Commission is excited to open Registration for the 2024 Diocese of Newark Summer Youth Trip, for youth in grades 8-12!

This year youth will be traveling to Louisville, KY during the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. While there, youth will get to see some of the workings of our denomination, connect with other youth from across the Episcopal Church, meet with our Bishop, take part in spiritual formation, participate in justice activities/missions... and of course there will be lots of fun and food included. Find out more and register online.

Happening at Our Congregations

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Serving God and country

Among the 1,500 members of the New Jersey National Guard who were deployed to the Middle East last month was the Rev. Aaron Oliver, Priest-in-Residence at St. Gregory's, Parsippany. Fr. Aaron, a Guardsman with the 44th Infantry Brigade, will be serving in Operation Inherent Resolve, which supports the international war against ISIS in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Read more.

In the news

Send links to media coverage via email.

Cardinal Tobin presides over Ecumenical Prayer Service held at St. Helen’s Church in Westfield

JAN 26, 2024 | JerseyCatholic

The Rev. Lynne Weber of Atonement, Tenafly (and diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer), and the Rev. Diana Wilcox of Christ Church, Bloomfield/Glen Ridge, participated in this service.

West Orange Human Relations Commission Interfaith Prayer Service

JAN 28, 2024 | TAPInto.net

The Rev. Dr. Miguel Hernandez of Holy Trinity, West Orange was one of the speakers at this service.

Community events

Want to submit your church's public events to the Community Calendar? See the User Guide.

Screening of "Slavery in the Age of Revolution" with conversation to follow

SAT, FEB 10 | 3 PM | St. Peter's, Morristown

Prepare for a Holy Lent Series with Fr. Jim Warnke

THU, FEB 15, 22, 29 & MAR 7, 14, 21 | 7 PM | Zoom

Offered by St. Mark's, Teaneck; Christ Church, Hackensack; and St. John the Divine, Hasbrouck Heights.

Lenten Retreat

SAT, FEB 17 | 9 AM - 3PM | Calvary, Summit

A Talk about George Washington

SUN, FEB 18 | 11:30 AM | St. Michael's, Wayne

Registration For Free ESL Classes

THU, FEB 29 | 6:30 PM | St. Andrew & Holy Communion, South Orange

The Philadelphia Eleven Film Screening

SUN, MAR 10 | 5 PM | All Saints, Hoboken

Diocesan Resources

Justice webinar: Affordable housing in New Jersey

This webinar, presented by the Diocese of Newark’s Commission for Justice and Peace on Jan 26, includes a brief history of the journey to dismantle the exclusionary practices that have limited housing opportunities; the recent activities that have overcome the challenges; and the current and important legislation that is before our legislature that that will have a major impact on the creation of affordable housing for the next ten years. Click here for the webinar video and downloadable resources.

Diocesan Announcements

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The diocese will turn 150 in November – join in a year-long celebration!

By Nerissa Boccino & Jerry Racioppi

On November 12, 2024, the Diocese will turn 150 years old having previously been a part of the Diocese of New Jersey. Bishop Hughes has started a Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee which has been meeting since December. Read more to find out some of their initial plans!

Clergy ministry transitions

See all clergy ministry transitions in 2023 and 2024.


JAN 7 - The Rev. Asa Coulson

Associate Rector at Grace, Madison

FEB 11 - The Rev. Elizabeth Ivell

Associate Rector at St. Peter's, Morristown


JAN 15 - The Rev. Asa Coulson

Priest-in-Charge at Grace, Nutley

FEB 22 - The Rev. Elizabeth Ivell

Priest-in-Charge at the Ministry Team of St. Mary's Sparta and Messiah Chester

Convention Corner

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Youth deputies leading us into the future!

Did you know that youth can vote at Convention? Article II of the Diocesan Constitution provides for representation of one youth Deputy and one youth alternate over the age of 14 to have full voice and vote at Convention. The Regional Ministry Networks should work to elect these youth to serve. Giving youth a voice is so important not just for their own faith journey but also for our diocese. Read more.

Volunteer opportunities at Convention

The Arrangements Committee is looking for talented people to help at the Convention. Read more for some examples of what we are currently looking for. Please share the details with your congregations - we never know who feels God is calling them to greater things.

Convention reference information

Convention webpage: dioceseofnewark.org/convention


Dates & deadlines

  • 275 days until the 150th Convention!
  • Arrangement Committee Volunteer sign up: FEB 29
  • Nominations deadlines: SEP 13 (late Nominees NOV 1)
  • Registration dates for Deputations and all canonically resident Clergy: SEP 16, 12 NOON (forms to be sent May/June)
  • Hotel reservations deadline at group rate: OCT 8
  • Registration date for Guests: OCT 18

Happening at Our Camp

Cross Roads is the ecumenical camp and retreat center of our diocese and the NJ Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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Upcoming events at Cross Roads

Middle and High School Retreat (grades 6-12)

FRI, MAR 8 - SUN, MAR 10

Attendees are guaranteed to have a wonderful weekend filled with activities, worship, and laughter. Cost: $95.

Wednesdays Away


A time of spiritual renewal hosted by Cross Roads throughout the year. Includes prayer and conversation led by a spiritual director and focusing on a different spiritual practice or theme each month. These retreats are open to all people interested in exploring new faith practices.

Opening Day

SAT, MAY 18 | 9 AM - 1 PM

Opening Day at Cross Roads is a fun work-day event. Individuals, youth groups, families, and congregational groups are invited to come to camp to volunteer with a few projects as we get camp ready for the summer season! It will be a day of fun, fellowship, and giving back to camp. There will be projects for all skill levels. If you have special skills or tools (chainsaws, leaf blowers, etc.) please bring them with you! The event includes a free lunch.

Happening in the Wider Church

Episcopal Relief & Development Lenten Meditations

Episcopal Relief & Development invites you to subscribe to their daily Lenten meditation emails, written by Miguel Escobar, on living an authentic life as followers of Christ. Click here to subscribe.

February Poll

This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentines Day. Will you give up chocolate for Lent?
Yes, and I expect extra "penitential brownie points" for doing so!
Are you kidding??? I will give up something else.
I "take on" instead "give up," so I can have my Lent and eat chocolate too.

The VOICE Online is published every other Wednesday

Next issue: WED, FEB 21

Submission deadline: FRI, FEB 16, 10 AM

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