This Holy Trinity outreach ministry is located at 54 Ferry Street.  We have expanded our hours and are now open Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6-8PM,Wednesday mornings 9:30 – 11:30 and Saturdays 9 – noon.  There are many in the South River area who need our help.  We need volunteers.  If you can help with greeting people, folding/sorting clothes during any of the store open times please see a member of the committee:  JoAnn Devlin, Hannah Palmer-Koroma, Sue Webb or Sandy Rahn.


Heart of the Home – Fr. John Sosnowski’s wife Cindy is heading a ministry called Heart of the Home.  They are looking to reach the people who are within the first weeks of re-occupying their homes.  They will prepare custom baskets depending on the family’s needs but always  including basics of cookbooks, measuring spoons, stapler, kitchen towels, etc.  They will also deliver the baskets to the families.  If you know anyone in need of this outreach give the name and phone number to a member of the Calico Threads Committee.


Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,

Greetings! Grace and peace to you. Susan and I are delighted to be in New Jersey. As I begin my second week in the diocese, I wanted to write to you to let you know that our move went well and that we are in place. Although our new home in Trenton is a sea of boxes, we love it and are settling in comfortably.

During these first few months leading up to my consecration in November (God willing and with the consent of the people!), I have a lot to learn from the remarkable staff at Diocesan House and especially from Bishop Councell. I am fortunate and blessed that he will mentor me during these crucial months. Please keep him and Ruth in your prayers during this time of transition for them.

You also have a lot to teach me. My “watchwords” during these first few months are “listen and learn.” I am new to the Diocese of New Jersey. Yes, I have thoughts and ideas but, during this time, I want to focus especially on listening. This will happen through planned events – meetings of Clericus and Convocations – that are already on the calendar for late summer and throughout the fall. It will also happen as Susan and I travel around the Diocese worshipping in different churches each Sunday and visiting churches that have special events going on during the week, as we will this week, when we visit St. Bernard’s and their Splash! Interfaith Kids Day Camp in Bernardsville on Friday. (Clergy, please note, we will call ahead before coming to your church on a Sunday morning). If you have something you would like us to see, please let us know. Needless to say, we won’t be able to accept every invitation, but we like knowing what is going on in the different churches of the diocese.

So that I can share my experiences with you and let you know what I am up to, I will blog regularly and invite you to follow my blog. It can be found at I also welcome you to “Friend me” on Facebook (Chip Stokes) and to “follow me” on Twitter (ChipStokes@ChipStokesNJ). My diocesan e-mail address is If your church has a Facebook page, let me know so that I can “like it” and follow you on Facebook.

I look forward to being among you, to getting to know you and this diocese more deeply. I pray you and yours may enjoy the remaining days of summer. May God bless us all in our life in Christ together. Thank you for all you do in Christ’s service in this diocese, for your welcome, and for your continuing prayers for Susan and for me.

Faithfully yours,

The Rev. Canon William H. (Chip) Stokes, Bishop-elect

We have been through some difficult days but our spirits have to be strong as we look to the future. I have hope that the choir will grow and flourish and I have to ask again – are there any of you willing to step up to the plate and join us?

We have a good core group but we need others so that we can learn and perform more exciting and 4 part (or at least 3 part) anthems and songs.

I have a simple request: Come to rehearsals when you can and plan to sing on Sundays. That’s a simple request. We rehearse well into the future and you will know what we are singing even if you miss a Thursday.

And then there are the children and youth! There should be no reason why we cannot have a children’s choir. These choirs (including the Youth) are the future choirs and we need to encourage the learning experience. Can we?

We have a new Interim Rector and this is a great time to look at things again and grow the music program. Will you get involved? Will you involve the children and youth?

There are many rewards that we all receive when involved in music. I recently heard a quote and cannot remember the source – but it is this – “Singing IS being.” Ask anyone in the choir how much enjoyment and sharing comes from being together and singing together.

Please – consider joining us in whatever way you in which you are able. Can we raise our numbers to 12 or ever 14?

“Those who sing, pray twice”
Join us?
Richard Thomas Biernacki, BSG
Organist and Choir Director

Please join us on, Saturday, September 14, anytime between 9 and noon. On this Valentine’s Day of September we will be giving a little love to the Rectory with an exterior clean – up. Bring your rakes and gloves, come for an hour, come for the morning. Many hands make light work.

Questions? Contact Kimberly DeSarno 732-771-4521,

CatLeftCalico Cat News 

Is it really September already? The summer seemed to fly by with a blink of an eye! Now we are one week into our school year! As always a very busy time here at Calico Cat. We said good-bye to many five year olds that joined us for our summer camp program and now they go onto to Kindergarten!

This year we have again made some classroom changes to accommodate the current needs of enrollment of the different age groups. Our need for classroom space for four year olds has grown to using two large classrooms! So now the room that was previously used 60% classroom 40% office and storage is being 100% utilized as a classroom. This will accommodate twenty children. Currently there are fifteen enrolled. Our older four year old classroom has fourteen children enrolled. The two year old class that was previously using that half space is now in the smaller classroom with eight children. In our three year old classroom we have thirteen children enrolled. These numbers are certainly not the final fall 2013 numbers as I continue to get inquiry calls, take parents on tours and register their children. My assumption is, by the time this article goes to print our enrollment will be increased. Currently we have fifty children coming through our doors, with a maximum occupancy allowed of sixty-two, this brings us to 81% capacity.

We have a strong staff once again this year, Lead teachers Miss Nicole, Miss Maricela, Miss Amelia and Miss Ilona all returning for their fourth year. We are now starting to see the younger siblings starting in our program, following in the footsteps of their older siblings that have since graduated from Calico Cat!

As the economy changes and the needs of the community stabilize, Calico Cat will in turn respond in the most cost effective way, keeping in mind our commitment to quality child care and the reputation we have built with much pride and success.

Looking forward to sharing updates with you soon!

God’s Peace,

Dominique Kaczmarek

Calico Cat Director

What is Godly Play?

Based on a Montessori interpretation of religious education, Godly Play uses a multi-sensory approach to telling Bible stories with three-dimensional materials. This imaginative method serves to support, challenge, empower and guide children along on their spiritual journey.

Godly Play assumes children have some experience of the Mystery of God’s presence in their lives, but that they lack the language, permission and understanding to express and enjoy this experience in our secular and materialistic culture. During Godly Play, children enter into the scared stories of the people of God , into the parables Jesus told, into the Christian sacramental and liturgical tradition Through “entering in”, participants discover God, themselves, one another, and the world around them; it’s much like what happens to grow-ups when we attend a church service that moves us.

The Godly Play classroom is a place for children to be themselves, to come closer to the mystery of God’s presence, to learn the language of Christian people, to form community and take care of one another. Sacred stories symbols and liturgical actions are invitations to enter into the work of discovering God.

Godly Play was developed and has been classroom tested since 1972 by Episcopal priest, author and teacher Jerome W. Berryman. It is used by diverse denominations throughout the United States and internationally.

From The Godly Play Foundation,

We need volunteers to be storytellers, story prepares and greeters. Please contact Jennie Racek, or Kimberly DeSarno for more information.

The Calico Threads Thrift Store is now open!! Father John Negrotto blessed the site at the grand opening and we are up and running. The location is 54 Ferry St., South River. Hours of operation are Tuesday evenings from 6 PM to 8 PM, and Saturday morning from 9AM until Noon. If you have items you wish to donate or are available to staff the store, please contact JoAnn Devlin, Bill Kendrick, Hannah Palmer-Koroma or Sandy Rahn.

I have noticed that some people seem to interpret the bible in very peculiar ways. There is even a Congressman who said we do not have to worry about the environment because neither of the phrases, “global warning” or “climate change” is in the Bible.

I find that to be rather limited thinking. I suggest he look up Noah. Remember those 40 days and 40 nights? In fact I can still remember my wife, Cherie, reading the story of Noah to our kids at bedtime. “Build a big boat, Noah!” Oh, for simpler times.

Some people seem to think that the Bible gives them free reign to hate others based upon a reading of Leviticus and its admonitions against “Abominations.” I prefer the words of the New Testament, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (JOHN 13:34)

I tend to prefer the New Testament in general because it has more of a forward looking view. In the Old Testament there is almost constant bloodshed and a daily struggle to stay alive. Times were tough in the Old Testament! The New Testament gives a sort of evolutionary step forward as Jesus, and later the apostles, lead people in a more positive direction.

I would say we should look at things in our current world in a similar manner. In the past we knew hard times and now we have a fresh start. But let’s not forget the lessons we have learned in the past, nor plunge forward as if we had blinders on.

Perhaps each night we could review what we have done during the day and prayerfully consider if and how we could do better. If we‘ve been less than kind we could go forward trying to make amends and if we’ve done well then by all means think of ways to continue on in that direction.

In general though let’s agree that since we already know plenty of ways to harm each other,”…in thought, word, and deed…”1 that we should look for ways to make life better for each other. Just look at our new thrift shop, Calico Threads, and consider how so few can do so much to help so many. What else can we do to improve ourselves and others? Let’s think about it tonight and see what wonderful things we can do tomorrow!

Martin Spielman