The Men of Holy Trinity prepare a splendid Pancake Breakfast

The Men of Holy Trinity prepare a splendid Pancake Breakfast

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church had it’s annual meeting today.

The day began with a delicious pancake breakfast prepared by the Men of Holy Trinity.


Father Greg enjoys his Pancake Breakfast before Leading the Annual Meeting.

Our new Rector, Father Gregory Bezilla, lead the meeting.  In his report, he talked about his goals for the coming year and his intention to encourage and grow leadership for the ministries at Holy Trinity.

He also expressed his intention to focus on the spiritual health of the parish and especially the children, while maintaining the highest standards for worship while we explore the Anglican and Episcopalian traditions of liturgy and music.

Our ongoing efforts to reach out to the community, especially the poor of our region is another area of focus for his ministry.

Beth Donnamaria, Jennifer Brandt and Irene Wei

New Vestry Members Beth Donnamaria, Jennifer Brandt and Irene Wei

Also amongst the items discussed today was Father Greg’s expression of gratitude to the 3 outgoing vestry members, Julie Rafano, Candice Donelly and Steve Seuling and the election of 3 new vestry members Beth Donnamaria, Jennifer Brandt and Irene Wei.

Congratulations to our 3 new members!

Oral reports were given from the various committees including the yearly budget, Calico Cat and the Endowment Committee and various others.

To view more photos from the annual meeting, please visit Holy Trinity Facebook Page or click on the link below.

If you would like to receive a copy of the annual report, contact our Parish Administrator at (732) 254-1734 or via email at

Click here to view additional photos >> Holy Trinity Annual Meeting Photo Album.

A recently published article that appeared in the Home News Tribune yesterday stated the following …

Two fundraisers are planned in February for the DeSarno family, whose Main Street home in Sayreville was destroyed in an early morning fire just a few days after Christmas.

Six family members — Paul DeSarno; his wife, Kimberly Klitzke-DeSarno; their children, Henry, 28, Arthur, 20, and Shelby, 19; and grandfather Max Klitzke — escaped the Dec. 29 blaze, but all were sent to the hospital.

A spaghetti dinner, sponsored by Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 90 Leonardine Ave., will be conducted from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 8 at the church. The event is open to the community.

A UWA Elite Pro Wrestling fundraiser is scheduled for Feb. 21 also at the church, where the family has been active parishioners.

According to the Rev. Greg Bezilla, pastor of the church, Paul, his wife and son, Arthur, have since been released from the hospital.


Article Credit: Susan Loyer, @SusanLoyerMyCJ

Photo courtesy UWA Elite

To read the rest of the story, more visit

In This Edition
Jan 25
Bishop Matthews’ Anniversary
St. Mary’s

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Episcopal Links of the Week

Talking to Clergy in Difficult Calls
Jeff Ross, a retired priest of the Diocese of Pennsylvania and Chaplain at Bucks County Correctional Facility and two others interviewed 14 clergy people who served in difficult positions. Thesummary, written for the Network of Episcopal Clergy Associations, explores common themes in difficult parishes and how individuals persevered.

Doane Academy Aids Local Catholic School
St. Paul’s School in Burlington was going to close and needed $250,000 to remain open. After a valiant fundraising effort, they were still a few thousand dollars short, but Doane Academy, the Diocese of New Jersey’s only K-12 school is helping out.CBS Philadelphia reported:Headmaster John McGee of Doane Academy says, “It just made sense to try to be of help to Saint Paul’s because we’ve been there.”


Doane Academy faced a closure back in 1999, but managed to thrive since. McGee says, “I just felt that it could not afford to lose an educational alternative like Saint Paul’s offers.”

Going to the Chapel…
“I absolutely understand the desire to have one’s wedding in a beautiful setting, and many churches are elegant and beautiful. And I understand the deep desire, perhaps almost unknown, to have such a momentous event in one’s life blessed by God or, if you don’t actually confess a belief in God, blessed by something larger than you.”

Dirty Sexy Ministry
writes of expectations and realities of getting married in a church.

World Council of Churches Expresses Shock over Killings in Nigeria

The World Council of Churches (WCC) has expressed deep shock over the attacks by extremist group Boko Haram in Nigeria, which is said to have cost the lives of more than 2,000 people, including children used in suicide bomb attacks.

“A mind-set which deploys young children as bombs and which indiscriminately slaughters women, children and elderly people is beyond outrage, and disqualifies itself from any possible claim to religious justification.”  

Spiritual and/or/not Religious–What Does It Mean?

In a time where a growing number consider themselves “spiritual but not religious” three Episcopalians question what it means to have spirituality in religion, and religion without spirituality.The Revd Canon Robert Hendrickson, who blogs at the Sub-Dean’s Stall, started the conversation with a post on the Religious Challenge of the Dogmatic and the SBNR (Spiritual but not Religious). Megan McDermott, a resident of St. Hilda’s House, an Episcopal Community in New Haven, Connecticut reflected on the importance of bothspirituality and religion for a relationship with Christ. Ed Watson, another St. Hilda’s resident, has a Spirit Free of ‘Spirituality’: Why I Want to Keep Spirituality Out of My Religion.

Have a compelling story to share? Click here to e-mail Jonathan Elliott and let us know!
January 15, 2015
Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,
Several years ago, at a clergy conference in the Diocese of Southeast Florida, the guest speaker, The Very Reverend Titus Pressler, former Dean of the Seminary of the Southwest, said something that stuck in my head. Pressler said, “Our biographies and autobiographies are really ‘decisionographies.'” That is, they are an account of the decisions we make throughout our lives and the impact and effect these decisions have on our lives and on the lives of others.

The tragic, disturbing story of Bishop Suffragan of Maryland Heather Cook hitting and killing bicyclist Tom Palermo on December 27, while driving her car under the influence of alcohol, texting and leaving the scene brought Dean Pressler’s statement to the forefront of my mind. If these allegations are true, Bishop Cook made a series of terrible, fateful decisions. She decided to consume alcohol and drive her car. She decided to text while driving. She hit Mr. Palermo and then left the scene. These were terrible, awful decisions which her now-admitted disease of alcoholism does not excuse.

Mr. Palermo leaves behind a wife and two young children as well as many friends and admirers within the bicycling community. His wife and children have been traumatized, deprived of the ongoing love and support of a husband and father. Bishop Cook has been charged with numerous crimes including DUI, texting while driving and manslaughter. She is being held in Baltimore City Jail, unable to make her bond which was set at $2.5 million. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. A Title IV proceeding within the church has also been initiated which will administer the church’s discipline

The whole matter is grievous and shameful, calling for our prayers and sorrow. It also raises serious questions within the church about the process of choosing appropriate persons for ordination to the episcopate and to other orders. Many have expressed their opinions about these matters. I am not going to, believing that the Diocese of Maryland should first be allowed the space to grapple with the challenging questions facing it, and then share with the wider church what they believe will help the church do a more faithful and competent job as it seeks to find fit persons for holy orders including the episcopate. I commend to you the Pastoral Letter written by The Right Reverend Eugene Sutton, Bishop of Maryland, to the people of his diocese, which can be found here.

This sad affair should challenge us all to ask about the role alcohol plays in our church and in our lives. I have been to church functions where excessive amounts of alcohol have been consumed by church members who have then gotten in their cars and driven home. I have pastored countless individuals and families who have been hurt by the effects of alcohol and alcoholism. As a matter of fact, as a pastor and priest, I have ministered both to the family and friends of a person – a 21 year old college student – killed by a drunk driver, as well as to a person, one of my parishioners, who killed a bicyclist while drunk in an incident eerily similar to this recent tragedy. I regularly visited this parishioner in prison. It was heartbreaking at every level

I remind the clergy and lay leadership of the Diocese of New Jersey that we do have established policies concerning the use of alcohol at church functions. They can be found here.

During Lent, I urge every vestry to put this policy on your agenda for discussion at one of your vestry meetings and to follow-up by assuring that this policy is being adhered to in your setting. I also urge church leadership to be proactive in making sure that people who attend church functions where alcohol is served, consume it responsibly and do not drink and drive.

Remember, our biographies and autobiographies are our decisionographies. May our decisions be life-giving and not life-taking. Please keep the Palermo family, Bishop Cook, the Diocese of Maryland and the Episcopal Church in your prayers.

I would also ask you to keep the DeSarno family in your thoughts and prayers. As many of you are aware, this family is part of Holy Trinity Church in South River. On December 29, their home caught fire during the night. Six members of the family were injured, three critically. These three are still in the hospital. A fund-raising effort to assist the DeSarno family is being sponsored by the people of Holy Trinity. Additional information can be found here on the Holy Trinity Church website; items 3 and 4 at the end of the post are ongoing fundraisers in support of the DeSarno family

Yours in Christ,

The Right Reverend William H. (Chip) Stokes, D.D.

Bishop of New Jersey

Good News Stories and More

Bishop’s Spring Conference:
Discipleship and Mission
A One-Day Conference
Saturday, April 18, 2015 9 AM – 3 PM

Join us for an event that will bring together 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 through March 16 and pay only $10!
Beginning March 17, the registration fee rises to $20.
Click here to register.

Enriching Your Prayer Life Workshop on January 17


This Saturday’s Enriching Your Prayer Life Retreat, led by Canon Connie White, will be held at Grace Church in Pemberton, NJ.
We incorrectly listed it as taking place at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton. We apologize for the inconvenience.


231st Diocesan Convention
Hyatt Regency, Princeton
February 27-28 


More information about the 2015 Convention of the Diocese of New Jersey, including nomination and registration materials, may be found here.

Atlantic City

The Historic Church of the Ascension, 1601 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City will be having its Closing Service this Sunday, January 18th at 10:00 AM. The Rev. Edward Martin with be the celebrant. This Service will mark the end of this Church’s ministry in this place. Anyone who would like to join Church of the Ascension as they celebrate the wonderful ministry they have had in Atlantic City since 1893 is welcome to attend. Refreshments will follow in the parish hall.


Singers Wanted!
For a Celebration of the Life of Absalom Jones. February 15th.

All are invited to sing two anthems (click here for PDFs).
Rehearsal is at 1:30 PM on Feb. 15 in the Cathedral
Please RSVP to Canon Deborah Ford
with voice part and participants’ names:
609-392-3805 ext 102
Please bring Choir Vestments if possible.
Please practice music ahead of time.Please join us at 3:00 PM for a Service of Witness 
In Celebration of the Life of Absalom Jones
February 15, 2015

Trinity Cathedral in Trenton 

Evensong on January 17:

 Choir Camp Reunion Concert 
& Installation of Canons 
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, NJ
January 17, 3pm

Please join us for this special service, reuniting the young singers who participated in Diocesan Choir Camp in the summer of 2014 and as we install the following people as Canons of our Cathedral and our Diocese.

Honorary Canons of Trinity Cathedral
The Rev. Canon Dr. Frank K. Jago (posthumous)
The Rev. Canon Dr. Alan K. Salmon
Canon Annette Buchanan
Canons of the Diocese of New Jersey
The Rev. Canon Dr. Robert E. Droste,
Canon for Congregational Development and Mission
Mr. Jonathan L. Elliott,
Canon and Director of Communications

Ministry Institute Events in January and February



Every week, we’ll be listing upcoming Ministry Institute events here;click here for the full listing.Retreat: Enriching Your Prayer Life
January 17
Grace Church, Pemberton–this is the correct location; it was listed incorrectly as Trenton in the newsletter on January 8.
January 23-25
Stella Maris Retreat Center
Long Branch

January 30

Trinity Cathedral


Adults Who Work With Youth Workshop
February 5
Diocesan House

Pre-Lenten Clergy Retreat
February 9-11
St. Marguerite’s Retreat House
The Community of St. John the Baptist

15th Annual Acolyte Festival
February 14
Trinity Cathedral

The Diocese of New Jersey
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618
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The theme for this year’s Diocesan Convention is
Re-imagining Mission and Discipleship,
featuring keynote speaker The Reverend Thomas Brackett.

Diocesan Convention is a time when representatives from around our diocese gather to share in the polity of the Church, upholding the common mission and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.  All are welcome to join us as we worship, conduct business, attend workshops, view and listen to presentations, socialize, and network.


The Convention will be held at the

Hyatt Regency, 102 Carnegie Center, Princeton, NJ 08540


February 27-28, 2015 

All clergy and deputies are invited to attend one or more of the pre-convention hearings to learn more about the budget, resolutions, and canons being presented at convention.  All meetings will be from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and hosted at the following sites:

  • January 26 – Holy Apostles, Yardville
  • January 28 – Christ Church, Somers Point
  • February 2 – Holy Trinity, Wenonah
  • February 4 – St. Elizabeth, Elizabeth
 A block of rooms has been secured through the Hyatt Regency, Princeton, for members who wish to remain in the area for the early start on Friday and Saturday.  To receive the convention rate, please call 1-888-421-1442 by February 10, 2015and mention The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey when making reservations. Or you can register online:

No more than three reservations under any one name and/or Hyatt Gold Passport number can be made. Any reservation made after this allotment that appears in the Hyatt system will be cancelled. Each reservation must be made in the name of the arriving guest(s).

 Clergy, deputies, visitors, and guests attending convention are expected to register online: or print the form, complete and fax it to 609 394-8015 or mail it to 808 West State St., Trenton, NJ 08618-5326.  Deadline to register and order meals for convention is February 10, 2015.
At the Hyatt Regency, Princeton, the space for exhibitors is very limited this year compared to previous years.  Therefore, we must enforce the first come, first served basis.  If you plan to exhibit at convention, please register promptly here:  or print and complete the exhibitor registration form by  February 10, 2015   and fax it to 609 394-8015 or mail it to 808 West State St., Trenton, NJ 08518.
 Mission, Molting and the Midwife

 Saturday, February 28 at  – Regency Ballroom B, 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.


In all of nature, we have evidence that new life emerges from that which is dying. We also know that the future is being birthed in our “Now.” This interactive session will ask you to consider the extravagant models of resurrection and emergence we have all around us. It will also lend you the courage to try on midwifing practices for the sake of mission out in the world God loves so fiercely.


Presenter, The Reverend Thomas Bracket, as the Episcopal Church Center’s Missioner for New Church Starts and Missional Initiatives, Tom consults with diocesan leadership teams across the Episcopal Church. His training and consulting focuses on the nurture and support of leaders committed to congregational redevelopment, as well as sponsoring and sustaining new forms of ministry. He facilitates assessments and skill development for leaders at all levels, choosing to work primarily within intentional Communities of Practice. Though he primarily offers his ministry in person, he is also certified in online curriculum development for graduate level learning communities.


Beyond Sunday School: Forming Faith Lifelong AND Lifewide

Saturday, February 28 at  – Regency Ballroom A, 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.


For too long Christian education has been associated with a schooling model, confined to compartmentalized programming at church: Sunday School, confirmation classes, adult forums, Lenten series and the occasional retreat or summer camp. Research shows that church attendance is down and the number of people identifying as a religious “none” has grown exponentially. Something isn’t working. It is time to revisit what we know about how faith is formed and how it is passed on from one generation to the next. Come hear good news about innovative approaches and proven resources for faith formation across the lifespan.


Presenter, Lisa Kimball, Ph.D. is Professor of Christian Formation and Congregational Leadership and Director of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary. She is passionate about equipping church leaders with confidence and skills to nurture faith in formal and informal settings, blending ancient practices and innovative strategies for our digital, hyper-connected world. She can be heard on the podcast, Easter People: Hopeful Conversations about Faith and Culture, and is currently coordinating the Episcopal Church’s participation in The Confirmation Project, a Lilly-funded study of adolescent confirmation and discipleship practices in five denominations.


Women’s Commission/Episcopal Church Women Breakfast

Saturday, February 28 at 8:00 a.m. – Witherspoon Room


The WC/ECW Annual Breakfast is offered on Saturday, February 28 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Witherspoon Room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Princeton. Seating is limited so be sure to register –  .


Presenter, Rob Radtke, President at Episcopal Relief and Development, will talk about all the wonderful, gratifying accomplishments as they celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Episcopal Relief and Development.


Deputy Certification Form – canonical requirement:

Please fax or mail all names of deputies and alternates to Diocesan House on the form titled “Lay Deputy Certification.”  The deadline is January 15, 2015 or within three days of your annual meeting.    If your deputies and alternates are not on our certified master list, their convention packet will not include voting materials. Please remember to call Diocesan House with any changes after submitting names.


Workshops:  Two workshops will be offered on Saturday morning after the Eucharist and breakfast, each lasting 45 minutes and will be offered twice.  One will be presented by our Keynote Speaker, The Rev. Thomas Brackett and the second will be presented by Lisa Kimball, Ph.D.  More information will be posted on the website as it becomes available.


Your convention packet will include the following:  Agenda, Site Layout, Rules of Order, The Budget, Constitution and Canons, Resolutions, Nominating Committee Report, Eucharist booklet, information on workshops, and ballots where applicable.  All other reports will be posted on the diocesan website:

as they become available.


Banners:   Due to limited space, there will NOT be a banner procession this year.  The Eucharist is at 10:00 a.m. on February 27, 2015 in the Regency Ballroom.


Registration Volunteers and Ushers:  Volunteers for registration and ushering are needed at the Hyatt Regency during convention.  If you are willing and able to help, please email or call Ann Notte at or 609 394-5281 ext. 41.


Registered registration volunteers must attend an orientation on Thursday, February 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency.  Registered Ushers must meet at the Hyatt Regency at 9:15 a.m. on Friday, February 27 for instruction on duties at the 10:00 a.m. Eucharist and other areas of convention.


Oil Bottles:  Clergy – please remember to bring your oil bottles to convention.   They can be dropped in baskets on the Handout Tables in the exhibitors’ area or Hospitality Suite.



A One-Day Conference
Saturday, April 18, 2015
9 AM – 3 PM
At Trinity Cathedral in Trenton
Join us for an event that will bring together spectacular leaders of Christian Formation in a exploration of new strategies for forming disciples in today’s challenging and transforming twenty-first century landscape. 
  • An essential day of fellowship and learning
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Wi-fi will be available and electronic participation is encouraged!
  • Spanish translation available
  • Lunch included 


Register now through March 16 and pay only $10!
Beginning March 17, the registration fee rises to $20.
Click here to register.

Our Conference Leaders:

Dr. David Anderson, a Lutheran pastor, is a coach and author at Vibrant Faith Ministries.  David is an ecumenically and internationally recognized leader in faith and family life enrichment. He has worked as a seminary and college instructor, editor of adult Christian curriculum at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, parish pastor and hospital chaplain. In addition, David has written extensively on partnering home and congregation in faith formation.

The Reverend Angela S. Ifill is Missioner for Black Ministries in the Episcopal Church. Angela+ has developed the New Visions Initiative for Congregational Renewal and Vitality, The Rites of Passage resource Rising Stars Experiences (RISE), an alternative to the School to Prison Pipeline, and the Values to Live By guide for young people. In 2013, Angela+ led the planning team to design conversations and workshops for the State of Racism event hosted by the Episcopal Church in the diocese of Mississippi.
John Roberto works as a consultant to churches and national organizations, teaches courses and conducts workshops in faith formation, and has authored books and program manuals in youth ministry, family ministry, and intergenerational faith formation. John created the theory and practice of Generations of Faith: an intergenerational, life-long approach to faith formation.
Look for more information on
the Bishop’s Spring Conference coming soon.  
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808 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey – 609.394.5281