News from Our Regional Hispanic Missioner

The Reverend Ramon Ubiera works in partnership with churches to start and nurture new Hispanic ministries throughout the region.

This newsletter will be sent quarterly.
For more on the our Regional Hispanic Missioner and his ministries, please click here

Click here to like our Regional Hispanic Missioner on Facebook

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808 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey – 609.394.5281
In This Edition

Upcoming Congregational Events
About Holy Week Services:Please contact a church near you for more information about Holy Week services offered from Sunday, March 29 through Sunday, April 5.
March 28th
Fish Fry
St. Elizabeth’s

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March 28th
Fish Fry
St. Stephen’s

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March 29th
Ecumenical Eucharist to Fight Hunger
St. Mary’s
Haddon Heights

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March 29th
Nathaniel Dett Concert
St. Michael’s

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March 29th
Passover Seder
St. Luke’s

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April 1st
Christ Church
New Brunswick

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April 1st
Sung Stations with
Vox Fidelis
Christ Church

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April 3rd
Children’s Stations of the Cross

Click Here for More

April 11th
Women’s Tea
St. David’s

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April 13th
Parenting Classes
Grace Church

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April 13-16th
Manuscript Illumination Retreat
St. John the Baptist

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April 15th
Designer Bag Bingo
Holy Spirit

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April 15th
Jazz Concert
St. Elizabeth’s

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April 18th
Good Libations

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April 22nd
Earth Day with Gov. Christie Whitman
All Saints’

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April 27th
Nun Better Golf Outing
Spring Brook
Country Club

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List Your Congregation’s Events Here!
Adding your events to our calendar is quick and simple; events go live within one business day. Click here to add an event!

Episcopal Links of the Week

Has the sun set on Sunday School?In this USA Today  column, Melissa Pandika looks at changing schedules, expectations, and dwindling numbers to ask if childens’ Sunday School is dying if it has a place in the modern world, and if it should be saved.

The Church’s Contemporary Response to RacismThis March 2015 report looks at the history of the Episcopal Church’s Anti-Racism response and training in the church dating back to the 1950s through the present. It also lists at official actions taken by church bodies.

On “Going Episcopal”Best-selling author Rachel Held Evans’reflections on the reactions of others on her decision to leave the evangelic church and become Episcopalian.For me, faith has never been a matter of conversion; it’s been a matter of evolution, of gradual change over time.

She also includes the experiences of others on finding themselves and God in the Episcopal Church.

Climate denial is immoral, says head of US Episcopal churchPresiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori responded to climate change deniers last week in aninterview the The Guardian.Episcopalians understand the life of the mind is a gift of God and to deny the best of current knowledge is not using the gifts God has given you,” she said. “In that sense, yes, it could be understood as a moral issue. I think it is a very blind position. I think it is a refusal to use the best of human knowledge, which is ultimately a gift of God.”.


The Environmental Commission of the Diocese of New Jersey commends this statement from our Presiding Bishop, and urges you to learn more about faith communities’ place in combating climate change at

Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e-mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
March 26, 2015

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey, 

On Ash Wednesday, we were all invited to “the observance of Holy Lent, by self-examination, prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (BCP. P. 265).


How has this gone for you? Has your Lent been a holy time in which you have had the chance to deepen your relationship with God in Christ?  I pray it has been. The world is so busy and so frenetic; it can be a challenge to maintain the Christian disciplines. Nonetheless, maintaining Christian disciplines is essential if our identity in Christ is to be strong and faithful.


I am convinced that we have an identity crisis in the church today.   It is a crisis that has been building for decades. Too many people in the pew don’t know their own Christian story. Too many people who claim the identity “Christian” cannot offer a coherent account of their faith or faith story.


In his 2009 book Religious Literacy, Professor Stephen Prothero of Boston University observes: “Americans are both deeply religious and profoundly ignorant about religion. They are Protestants who can’t name the four Gospels, Catholics who can’t name the seven sacraments and Jews who can’t name the five books of Moses.”
“Atheists may be as rare in America as Jesus-loving politicians are in Europe,” he writes, “but here faith is almost entirely devoid of content. One of the most religious countries on earth is also a nation of religious illiterates”  (Prothero, Stephen – Religious Literacy – What Every American Needs to Know, and Doesn’t.  HarperCollins e-Books, 2009 – Kindle Location 57 – 68).
A primary task confronting the church today is the formation of people, both those in the church and those outside the church.   While many churches expend significant money on the Christian education of children, the truth of the matter is that our efforts would be better spent on forming adults. If we do a better job of forming adults, it is much more likely the children and youth will follow.


I am excited about our upcoming Bishop’s Spring Conference which is an intentional effort to address the crisis of formation challenging the church today.


As of this writing, over 300 people representing 82 congregations of the Diocese of New Jersey have registered for The Bishop’s Spring Conference, which will be held at Trinity Cathedral on April 18. This is great news!
The Bishop’s Spring Conference will address concrete issues confronting all churches in our contemporary context such as:


How do we reach people in today’s culture?


How do we form people – adults as well as children and youth – as disciples of Jesus Christ in a world where there are ever increasing demands on people’s time and an increasing number of religiously unaffiliated people?


How can technology support and strengthen our congregations and the formation of our people in the Christian faith?


What are we to do about the challenges facing traditional Sunday School?


The Bishop’s Spring Conference is for all church leaders – Clergy, Vestry, and Laity – in the area of adult, youth and children’s formation. Bring as many people as you can. One of our congregations is bringing 21 people! The more people you bring, the more you will get out of it and the more likely you are to incorporate the knowledge you glean from the conference into the life of your congregation.


In order to encourage more churches and people to attend the Bishop’s Spring Conference, the “early bird” registration fee of just $10.00 per person has been extended to April 1st


Don’t hesitate to recruit people in your congregation to sign up now.  It promises to be an exciting and important day in the life of the Diocese of New Jersey.


May you and yours have a blessed Holy Week.


Yours in Christ,

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

Good News Stories



APRIL 10-12

Happening is a Christian event presented by teenagers for teenagers with the help of clergy and lay leadership. It is a program of The Episcopal Church to engage young people in the gospel and encourage them to live passionately into their faith. Happening seeks to bring youth to a fuller knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ, and a deeper level of apostleship. This occurs through large and small group activities. Worship, music, fun, food, and free time are also a part of the event.
Register online at

Sandy Recovery/Jubilee Ministry Grant
Now Open For Applications

We are pleased to invite proposals for disaster recovery and response programs from Episcopal Jubilee Centers in the Diocese of New Jersey who wish to strengthen their connections with their communities and other Episcopal congregations through disaster recovery and preparedness. This interest form is part of a two part application process. Applicants will be invited to present their full proposals during April 2015. Deadline for receiving this form is April 10, 2015, 5 pm. Each proposal will be first evaluated on how effectively it meets the program priorities. Completed applications may be emailed to Keith Adams at here for an application.

Bishop’s Spring Conference:

Saturday, April 18, 2015 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Join us for an event that will bring together three spectacular leaders of Christian Formation in a exploration of new strategies for forming disciples in today’s challenging and transforming twenty-first century landscape at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton.
Register now and pay only $10!

Ministry Institute Events



Every week, we’ll be listing upcoming Ministry Institute events here;click here for the full listing.

Annual Clergy Day and Chrism Mass

March 31
Trinity Cathedral, TrentonHappening 24
April 10-12
Murray Grove, Lanoka Harbor, NJ

Day Retreat: Enriching Your Prayer Life
April 11
All Saints, NavesinkBishop’s Spring Conference
April 18th
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Recovery Sunday Celebration
April 19
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Anti-Racism Training
April 23-25

Christ Church, Toms River
Abuse Awareness Workshop
April 25
St. Elizabeth, Elizabeth
Abuse Awareness Workshop 
April 25
St. John, BernardsvilleTraining for Lectors
April 25
St. John the Evangelist, New Brunswick

May 2
St. Mary, Pt. Pleasant Beach


Telling Our Stories

May 2
St Mark, Basking RidgeSpring Youth Event
May 15-17
Camp Lebanon, Lebanon
LGBT Older Adults
May 16
St. James, Long Branch
Abuse Awareness Workshop

May 23
St. Mark, KeansburgSenior Baccalaureate Service
May 31
Trinity Cathedral, TrentonCome to the Table: A Celebration of Our Various Abilities

June 20th
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Diocesan Choir Camp
June 26-30
Cape May, NJ
Youth Mission Trip
July 26-August 1
The Diocese of New Jersey
(609) 394-5281
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618


Resources for Mission
from Your Diocese’s Finance Office
This newsletter goes out the third full week of every month; comments and questions may be addressed to our Chief Financial Officer, Canon Phyllis Jones, at

There’s a special contest in this issue…check out the “Mark of the Month” section below for more!



Food for Thought: What if “leadership” wasn’t some intangible, amorphous characteristic, gift or talent that you somehow had to be born with?  What if leadership was more of a choice?  What if it was a “decision to take responsibility to enable others to achieve purpose in the face of uncertainty”? ( from the Leadership Development Institute)  Would that change our understanding of our capacities for leadership and how we choose to exercise it (or not)? How?


Now Go Forth:  Make a decision to re-consider what leadership means for you! Read here about what it meant for one vestry in Framingham, MA:

 “Reclaiming Relevance”
Talk with your vestry about how you might reclaim relevance in your own community.


Mark of the Month

Do you know which one this is without looking??? (answer below!)*

In honor of Formation: the Bishop’s Spring Conference coming up on April 18 (are YOU registered yet?), and following on our Diocesan Lenten Serieswe join with the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) in encouraging you to Connect with Your Community. (Do you sense a theme here?) The Lenten Series is an excellent way to step towards that connection, and perfect preparation for the Spring Conference. Just because you didn’t start it in the time frame suggested doesn’t mean you can’t start now!
Here’s another terrific idea from ECF: try a Neighborhood Snapshotfor fun. Urban, suburban, rural – it doesn’t matter. God is out there – go find Him!


As an added incentive: if you give a Neighborhood Snapshot a try, the first 10 groups to send me photos and/or comments will receive a rebate of up to $50 of the Spring Conference registration fees for their group. We will also showcase all submissions on the website.


Send your submissions to me electronically at pjones@dioceseofnj.orgby midnight, April 12th.

*And the answer is . .  .”Teach, baptize and nurture new believers.”


Spring Cleaning:In their latest issue of The Good Steward, Church Insurance provides valuable advice, guidelines and checklists for

your Spring Inspection (click here).

Make sure you cover all the bases, both inside and out!


And while you’re at it, when was the last time you did an inventory of your church’s “personal property” (altar cloths & furnishings, vestments, books, artwork, equipment, appliances, furniture, etc)?  Ever?  If you had a fire, would you know where to even begin to make a claim for the loss of your building’s contents?  Before you cringe at the thought,

click here for thoughts on doing a video inventory – quickly, easily and comprehensively!


Spotlight onWhat do you do when you’re an organization established and funded to lend money to churches who can no longer afford to borrow?  You turn the word “Building” in your name from a noun into a verb.  You re-imagine your own mission and purpose, and then you start partnering with congregations to help them do the same thing.  You start asking:

“Is Your Church Building a Millstone or a Cornerstone?”

and then you help congregations deal with the answer.

Can’t join the party this year??  ASK US to talk with you about what we learned and share the resources we bring back with us!  And subscribe to their electronic newsletter so you get plenty of notice for next year!!


And the Award Goes To . . .:All of our Fair Share Special Appreciation honorees as noted in the Treasurer’s Report at Convention, and listed inExhibit XII and Exhibit XIII

of the Convention Reports.  THANK YOU for your foundational support of our mission and life together as the Body of Christ in the Diocese of New Jersey!  


This newsletter goes out the third full week of every month; comments and questions may be addressed to our Chief Financial Officer, Canon Phyllis Jones, at


Job Posting:
Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant – Congregational Development Department and Program Staff

Diocese of New Jersey


The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey  seeks a full-time Administrative Assistant to assist the Canon for Congregational Development and Mission in helping churches grow and to assist the Program Staff with a variety of clerical and administrative functions. This position requires a highly motivated, self-directed individual with outstanding organizational skills who can work in a collaborative and fast-paced environment.
Responsibilities include:  filing, copying, organizing outside events and hospitality, maintaining rosters and files, ongoing communication with program participants, and professional support to program staff of Diocesan House and the congregations they serve. Excellent communication skills and computer skills (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) are required along with a positive attitude and scheduling flexibility, as some evenings and weekends will be necessary. Being able to maintain confidentiality in all matters is essential in this multi-faceted work environment.


Submit a cover letter and resume addressed to: The Rev. Canon John W. Sosnowski, Canon to the Ordinary,  Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, 808 West State St., Trenton, NJ 08618, or to


The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey is an equal opportunity employer. Applications must be received by April 6, 2015.



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808 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey – 609.394.5281

Palm Sunday (March 29): 8:00 AM & 10:00 AM
Maundy Thursday (April 2) 7:00 PM
Good Friday (April 3) Noon worship
Tenebrae (April 3) 7:00 PM
Saturday Easter Vigil (April 4) 8:00 PM
Easter Sunday (April 5) Festive Eucharist 10:00 AM

All are welcome to worship here: all who are baptized in any church may participate in the Holy Eucharist and share in the Holy Communion. We warmly welcome all people!

RFL Applebees3_28_2015Easter.fwPlease help support the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of South River and Sayreville at an Applebee’s flapjack fundraiser, to be held on Saturday, March 28, 8-10 AM at the Milltown Applebee’s.

This is sure to be a fun morning for all, so bring your family and friends! You can enjoy a delicious breakfast, support a great cause, and receive a free digital picture with the Easter Bunny!

Please see the attached flyer for details.

Contact team captain JoAnn Devlin or Jennie Racek with questions or for more information.

PDF Flyer -> RFL Applebees 3_28_2015 Easter

Young Adult News:
Dinner with the Bishop and an Internship Opportunity
Please visit the new webpage for Young Adults in the Diocese of  New Jersey:

For up-to-date news, events, and information, 
currently featuring a new video:
A Young Adult Episcopalian Tells It Like It Is.


Who Do You Say I Am?
An Ask-Me-Anything Dinner and Discussion
with Bishop Stokes about Mark 8

March 25 @ 6:30 PM
Diocesan House
808 West State Street
Trenton, NJ
Please join us for an open, honest and inspiring conversation and meal on March 25, as Bishop Stokes hosts young adults for a guided study of Mark 8. the turning point between Mark’s description of Jesus as teacher and miracle worker to his focus on the role of Jesus’ death and the challenging nature of his teachings.

This event is FREE, and attendance is open to all young adults ages 18 (post-high school) to 30. To RSVP, please email Canon Debi Clarke, Diocesan Youth/Young Adult Missioner,


Summer internship program of the Diocese of New Jersey  

The Committee on the Priesthood Diocese of New Jersey is accepting applications for a six-week internship in a local Episcopal congregation (stipend provided).
The purpose of the internship is to help college students and college-age young adults to explore the possibility of ordained ministry as a vocation.
Details of the program and application are available by contacting the Rev. Ophelia Laughlin or by phone, (732) 842-0596.

The deadline for receipt of applications is Thursday, April 30th, 2015.

 News from GreenFaith:
March 5, 2015



To the Clergy, Wardens and Vestry members of the Diocese:


We adopted a resolution last year calling on the congregations of the diocese to work with GreenFaith, the interfaith environmental organization, to reduce their energy use and costs and their carbon footprint.  This is a response to a dual reality – that congregations can realize real energy savings at a time when church budgets are tight, and that we should model responsible energy use in response to climate change.


GreenFaith is eager to work with congregations on this, and is offering an Energy Services Program for congregations of the diocese.  We are seeking to identify 10 congregations to take part in this program in spring 2015. The simple, 1-page on-line application form is due by March 31st.


This user- friendly program offers congregations valuable opportunities for energy savings. The average facility can reduce their energy use between 15-25% percentages though these services.For every $20,000 in energy costs, that’s savings of $3,000-$5,000 – every year!


Participating congregations would identify an Energy Team of 3-5 peopleand would, with the support of their vestry/Executive Committee,


*           Receive energy management training, helping your staff to operate your facilities as efficiently as possible.

*           Connect with state-approved service providers who would audit your HVAC and lighting equipment.

*           Learn about state and utility rebates that would cover 70% of the cost of the efficiency retrofits.

*           Be evaluated for a solar array that would generate thousands of dollars in savings annually.

*           Receive a bid for electricity supply from standard or renewably generated, fixed cost electricity, allowing you to lock in savings.


GreenFaith has extensive experience in this area of activity, and would provide support and materials enabling congregations to be successful.  The cost of the program is $100.


GreenFaith is offering a free 30-minute webinar on Thursday March 12th – at 8:00 pm and on Tuesday March 17th at 12:00 noon – to provide further information.  If you would like to take part in the webinar, e-mail GreenFaith’s  Energy Services Program Director, Anne Rahikainen, at or call her for further information at 732-565-7740 ext. 304.