A biweekly publication for telling and hearing the stories
of this extraordinary time

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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From Our Bishop
Training to be the church that God needs us to be
For most of us, faith doesn’t just happen – it takes practice. Bishop Hughes says that the good news for us in the Diocese of Newark is that over the last four months, we have gotten a lot of practice. And our practice has been very specific and specialized: We have practice putting someone else's needs before our needs.

Click on the video at right to watch (time: 4:41), or click here to read the transcript.
From Our Canons
Tempus fugit
By the Rev. Canon Dr. Andrew R. Wright
“Time flies” so the old Latin goes – to which I’d add “especially during a pandemic.” Hmm. Or maybe not. Time is relative, isn’t it? Maybe in a couple of different ways – not only according to Einstein – but also in how we experience time. Read more.
Stories from Our Congregations
Paterson food pantry meets multiple needs while serving twice as many
Before the COVID-19 pandemic the food pantry at St. Paul’s, Paterson served 400 families a month, on average.

This past June they served 933 families.

“You see people come who have never used a food pantry before and they have no idea what to expect,” said the Rev. Deacon Erik Soldwedel, Deacon in Residence at St. Paul’s. Read more.
The Diocese of Newark has set up online giving to support the diocese’s food pantries. Simply visit e-giving.dioceseofnewark.org and go to Area of Greatest Need: Food Pantries (second item from the top). Donations made from July 8 through July 21, 2020 will go to the food pantry at St. Paul's, Paterson.
Bergen County congregations raise record-setting $8K for North Porch
Each Lent for more than two decades, 12 congregations in northeast Bergen County have worked together to collect a Lenten Offering to support a designated ministry.

Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, their 2020 Lenten Offering collected a record-setting of $8,010 that will go to support an unexpected need: diapers and other baby supplies. Read more.
Don't let your congregation's story go untold!
Submit items for consideration for the July 22 issue of The VOICE Online by 10 AM Friday, July 17 at dioceseofnewark.org/VOICE-submissions.
Upcoming Events
Cross Roads Camp Sunday
Join Episcopal and Lutheran congregations around the state for a Cross Roads Camp Sunday on July 12! The camp staff have provided a ready-to-use worship service recording, including a sermon from Executive Director Anthony Briggs, for churches to use if they choose. Email [email protected] if you still need those materials.

Individuals and families can also worship with the camp community on July 12 at 5 PM on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
Checking In: A Lay Conversation with the Bishop
TUE, JUL 21, 6 PM
Bishop Carlye Hughes is eager to once again spend time in conversation with the members of the diocese, to reflect and consider what we, our churches, and our communities have learned and experienced as we have adjusted to the changes this time has demanded of us.

This third monthly Zoom conversation is open to all members of the diocese. Find out more.
Summer Regional Zoom calls start July 23
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on every aspect of our lives has yet to be fully realized. The impact on mental health has already begun to show itself.

The upcoming Summer Regional Zoom meetings will feature Dr. Dan Hale, Special Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD. Dr. Hale will take a personal and professional look at mental health topics, depression in particular, and offer insight for those who “…suffer from depression themselves, deal with it as health professionals or faith leaders, live with others who have it, or know others who do …” As a result, these gatherings will help us all “… (become) well informed, inspired to seek help, engage in self-care, remain hopeful, and reach out to those who have suffered in the shadows for so long from this crippling illness.” Find out more, including when and how to attend.
Cross Roads' Wednesdays Away: Summer Edition
WED, AUG 5, 10 AM - 12 PM
Join Cross Roads for an *online* Wednesdays Away gathering on August 5. Gather with others on Zoom, from 10 AM until 12 noon, for prayer and discussion. Wednesdays Away is open to all people interested in deepening their spiritual life this summer. Learn more and register here.
For Youth & Young Adults
Cross Roads' Summer Programs for Youth
Registration is OPEN for Cross Roads virtual summer camp programming, including Leadership Lab, a week-long leadership program for high schoolers (July 19 - 25), Day Camp at Home, a five-day day-camp-at-home program for younger campers (July 13 - 17), and G2G: Middle School Program (July 27 - 31). Visit the Cross Roads website for more information on all upcoming programming.
Camp at Camp! Cabin Rentals
The Cross Roads cabin facilities are open and available for families to rent this summer! Families are invited to come for an overnight or stay a week or more in God’s creation. Make memories while enjoying nature, playing outside together after much time indoors, and taking some time to disconnect and breathe fresh air again. Click here to register and inquire about availability.
Diocesan Announcements & Resources
Announcement from Bishop Hughes regarding Episcopal House operations
To mitigate risk during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop Hughes has directed that:

  • Episcopal House staff will continue to work remotely through December 2020.
  • All diocesan meetings will continue online through December 2020.
  • All Episcopal Visitations will continue online through January 2021.

These guidelines will be reevaluated in November.
NEW: Diocesan Memorial Wall
A holy place in virtual space
for mourning and memory
Because we have been isolated, and unable to be with each other to provide comfort, care and support during this time, we offer the Diocesan Memorial Wall as an ongoing memorial, gathering the names of the dead so that they are not forgotten.

This is a place to gather, grieve, reflect and honor the lives of those who have died during the time of the Pandemic, whether or not it was due to the virus. Here, we who mourn can cast our tears into God’s almighty and loving hands, whose own tears join ours, bringing us consolation, peace and hope.
Also on the COVID-19 Information page
Please send changes to Nina Nicholson at [email protected].
Updates received after 4 PM Friday will be posted the following week.
Prayers can be sent to Canon Wright at [email protected] for posting.
Please include the name and town of your church.
COVID Creations Project: Share your pandemic experiences
Telling the stories of our time in pandemic helps us process what we are experiencing, gives us insight into what we have lost and learned, and creates a record before our memories of these intense days fade.

Share your photos, poetry or brief reflections with the COVID Creations Project by sending them to [email protected]. We will combine words with images and share these creations in The VOICE Online and on diocesan social media.

In this example, the poem is by the Rev. Fain Webb, and the photo is by the Rev. Ellen Kohn-Perry, St. Paul's, Chatham.
Frontline Fellowship for First Responders
Tuesdays 8 PM
Do you know a First Responder in your congregation?

Frontline Fellowship for First Responders is a peer support group for medical practitioners and first responders working within the COVID-19 pandemic environment. The fellowship is sponsored by the Episcopal Church in New Jersey. Each fellowship gathering is conducted by at least one seasoned facilitator providing “guidance from the side” to encourage direct peer-to-peer interaction in a safe and welcoming environment. Gatherings are times to connect with others, who also understand what serving in the field is like during this difficult time.

Click here to register. Join their Facebook group.
Coming soon: Mental Health “Warm Line” resources for clergy
Episcopal Mental and Spiritual Health Crisis Ministry (EMSHCM) is a body comprised of lay and ordained Episcopalians in the Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey. EMSHCM is in the final stages of developing a “warm line” for clergy to talk to licensed mental health practitioners, free of charge. The “warm line” is different than a hotline in that it will feature specific hours during the week where the phone line is staffed. Engagement will be limited to one or two sessions with the goal of a referral to outside resources. Please stay tuned for more information about this important resource.
The VOICE Online is currently being published every other Wednesday