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

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Download The VOICE Digest printable PDF with highlights from this issue.
From Our Bishop
God is preparing us to be the church that God needs us to be
Bishop Hughes looks back at these eight Sundays that we have not been in our church buildings and that we have worshiped from at home, and asks, "What is God doing with us right now?" Members of the diocese will have an opportunity to discuss that very question with her at the upcoming regional Zoom meetings (May 12 through June 4 - more below).
Click on the video at right to watch (time: 3:35), or click here to read the transcript.
We sacrifice gatherings because we love our neighbors as ourselves, and we are richer for it
In Bishop Hughes' guest columnist piece for the Jersey Journal, she writes:

"Staying physically apart is a way that we love our neighbors across the street and across the state. Because we love our neighbors, we do all we can to keep others safe. And in doing so, we have become a new kind of church with connections that stretch far beyond the boundaries of brick and mortar."

From Our Canons
When Jesus said "Feed the hungry" he also meant it literally
By the Rev. Canon Margo Peckham Clark
This time of fasting from the Eucharist has reminded me that my faith is grounded in the community made by Christ who feeds us, and who commands us to feed others. This feeding is about every dimension of life, and it is about joy and pleasure and the children of God being satisfied and nourished.

We fail when we forget that we are called to actually feed the hungry. Even when we don’t know how to begin, the voice of Jesus says, “you give them something to eat.” Read more.
Canon Clark also recommends the Episcopal Café article Episcopalians Pitch in to Provide Food During the Pandemic .
Stories from Our Congregations
We want your stories and photos of this time. What is your congregation doing that's different or new, that might help or inspire other congregations? What is your congregation experiencing that will be important to remember? Was your church covered by local media? We want to share those stories! The submission deadline is 10 AM Friday for the following Wednesday's issue; see the Submission Guidelines .
Churches in the News
Christ Church, Newton:
MAY 4, 2020 | New Jersey Herald
Upcoming Events
Regional Zoom Meetings with the Bishop
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on every aspect of our lives gives us quite a lot to talk about. Bishop Hughes is eager to 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.

The Bishop has grouped all congregations into eight Regional Ministry Networks, named for saints and further identified by geography. She is inviting the parishes of each Regional Ministry Network to join her for a Zoom meeting. These eight regional Zoom meetings will be held at 6 PM on these dates:

THU, MAY 14 - Evelyn Underhill (South)

Click the link for each event above to see the churches invited to that meeting.

It is not necessary to register for these meetings. ALL members, lay and clergy, are encouraged to attend.

The information needed to log in to each Zoom meeting will be emailed to each church’s leaders, who will in turn email it to the congregation the day before the scheduled meeting.
Save the date: Church Leader University moving online!
Mark Saturday, May 30 on your calendars! Our Spring 2020 Church Leader University, postponed in March, is being moved online.

More details will be announced in next week's issue of The VOICE Online Weekly.
For Youth & Young Adults
Pop In With Pop Up
SUN, MAY 17, 4 PM
Due to the state-wide "Stay at home" order, Pop Up Youth Ministry is meeting via Zoom. All youth grades 6-12 are invited to participate in the next Zoom meeting, scheduled for Sunday, May 17 at 4 PM. Find out more and register online.

Save the date for the final meeting of the program year, via Zoom, on Sunday, June 7 at 4 PM.
Scholarships from The Episcopal Church
The applications deadline has been extended for educational scholarships from The Episcopal Church for the 2020-2021 academic year. A scholarship applicant must be an Episcopalian and must have the endorsement of his/her bishop. New application deadline: MON, MAY 25, 2020.
Diocesan Announcements & Resources
COVID-19 information updates
We will be dealing with COVID-19 for some time, so our COVID-19 page has been updated accordingly. Besides the improved organization, you will want to check out the new items added this week:

We are continuing to post opportunities to worship online with congregations across our diocese on our Online & Home Worship page. Included are some offerings specifically for children. Please send changes to Nina Nicholson at nnicholson@dioceseofnewark.org. Updates received after 4 PM Friday will be posted the following week.
Stewardship Reflections: Gratitude Matters
This week's reflection is Let’s stop singing the "Litany of Scarcity" by Cynthia McChesney of Christ Church, Short Hills.

If you'd like to participate in this weekly series please send your reflection (250 word maximum) to Cynthia McChesney, cmcchesney@dioceseofnewark.org.

In addition to these mini-essays, we hope you'll also participate on social media for more! We'll be posting with the hashtag #GratitudeMatters.
News from The Episcopal Church
Behind the Scenes of the Easter Virtual Choir
On Easter Sunday, The Episcopal Church released a video of a virtual choir composed of more than 600 Episcopalians around the world singing and playing "The Strife is O'er." (Click on video at right or below to watch.)

How did they pull off this enormous undertaking??? Kirk Petersen of St. George's, Maplewood interviewed the team responsible for an in-depth article in The Living Church magazine. Go to the article.
"Habits of Grace" from Presiding Bishop Curry
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is offering Habits of Grace, a weekly meditation published on Mondays, to help Episcopalians cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to watch the meditation for the week of May 4, "Look for the Helpers," plus past meditations.
Episcopal News Service coverage of COVID-19 and the Church
Go to episcopalnewsservice.org/tag/coronavirus for their full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic as it's affecting The Episcopal Church.
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