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A full listing Fall 2015 Ministry Institute events is now available!
The next month of events is below!

September 26

Trinity Church, Princeton

September 26
Evensong: Honoring the Witness, Faithfulness, and
Contributions of Older Adults in Our Diocese
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

October 3
Parish Leadership Day
Grace-St. Paul’s, Mercerville

October 3
Sexual Misconduct Awareness Workshop
Church of the Holy Spirit, Lebanon

October 3
Sexual Misconduct Awareness Workshop
St. John’s, Somerville

October 4
Sermon: Discovering Your God-Given Gifts for Service
St. John’s, Somerville

October 9-12 – Youth
Camp Crossroads, Port Murray

October 10
Christ Church, Toms River

October 10 & 17
Workshop: Discovering Your God-Given Gifts for Service
Christ Church, New Brunswick
Mercer Oaks, West Windsor
October 15-17
Undoing Racism: Help Us Build the Beloved Community
St. Augustine’s Atlantic City
October 17
Workshop: Discovering Your God-Given Gifts for Service
Christ Church, New Brunswick

October 17
Sexual Misconduct Awareness Workshop
All Saints’, Navesink
October 21
Adults Who Work with Youth
Diocesan House, Trenton
October 24
Deacon’s Day
Grace-St. Paul’s, Mercerville

October 24
Trinity Church, Princeton
October 24
St. Barnards, Bernardsville
October 25
Trinity Cathedral

October 31

Stir Up the Spirit: Episcopal Church Women Present The Episcopal Activism Fair
Trinity Cathedral

November 2-4
Clergy Conference

Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, Galloway
Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,
What did you go out to see?  A man dressed in fine clothes?  Matthew 11:8
As I write, there is great excitement across the country about the visit of Pope Francis to the United States. For months we have all been warned about the crowds that will descend upon Washington, New York and Philadelphia this weekend, especially for the papal mass on Sunday. Pope Francis has captivated the hearts and imaginations of people – Roman Catholic and non-Roman Catholic alike – around the world. The Roman Catholic Church and, perhaps, Christianity in general hopes this will spark growth and renewal in the Church.
There is even a phrase for it all: “the Francis effect.” What is it is about? What are people going out to see?
I can’t help thinking of images of Francis that have impressed themselves upon us: The former Cardinal of Argentina who used to ride the bus to work. The newly elected Pope who took the name of the most gentle and beloved Saint of the Church, Francis of Assisi (and, as a Jesuit, received a double blessing in honoring St. Francis Xavier as well). His insistence on simple vestments. He charmed the world by personally going to the front desk of the hotel where he had been staying during the Papal enclave to pay his own bill. He visited an Italian women’s prison on the Maundy Thursday after his election and washed the feet of inmates, one of them a Serbian Muslim. Who was not moved when he embraced and kissed a young man with cerebral palsy as he greeted the crowds on that first Easter Day as Pope? He chose to live in modest guest quarters at the Vatican instead of living in the grander Papal apartment (He also got on the case of Cardinals around the world who were living in palatial residences!)
More than anything, it is Pope Francis’s determination to be among the people, his compassion for the poor, his prophetic voice speaking out about the brutal inequalities of the world and about the damage we are doing to the environment that draw so many to him. What are people going out to see? I believe what people see in Francis is an icon of Jesus, a man infused with the love of God in Jesus Christ. What is most attractive about Francis is that which most reminds us of Jesus.
To be sure, we Episcopalians have significant differences with Francis and the Roman Catholic Church over a variety of questions: We differ over authority and governance in the Church; the role of women and LGBT, especially with respect to ordination; over divorce and remarriage and many other issues. On the other hand, there are many, many places where we can find, and have found, common cause: care for the poor and marginalized,  deep concern about climate change and the environment; an urgent desire for justice.
Moreover, whether or not we accept the Pope’s ecclesiastical authority, he is, in fact, a symbol of Christianity in a way that no other figure is for any other world religion. In an increasingly unchurched society, many people are making judgments about all of Christianity based on what they see in Pope Francis. Therefore, all Christians should pray for Pope Francis to be a good and loving Pope, one in whom we will always see an image of Jesus. Oh, and by the way, according to our own Baptismal Covenant and theology, our prayer should be that people see the image of Jesus in each of us as well.
This week, I ask all the people and congregations of the Diocese of New Jersey to pray for Francis and to pray for the Church Universal of which we are all a part.
Blessings and peace in Christ,
The Right Reverend William H. (Chip) Stokes, D.D.
XII Bishop of New Jersey

Equipping all God’s servants


All are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

This year’s event will be hosted by

Grace-St. Paul’s Church

3715 E. State St. Ext., Hamilton, NJ 08619

Click here for directions

 Program Fee:  $10

Lunch may be ordered during registration process

for an additional fee of $10

Register Here

 Adaptive Leadership in Our New Environment

Presenter:  Craig Van Gelder, PhD

We are all aware of the massive social and cultural changes that have taken place during the last half century, most of which have deeply impacted the church. This workshop provides perspective on this new environment we find ourselves in, and how we reached this point.

This workshop then provides a way forward by learning how to engage in what is known as “adaptive change.” This type of change helps to answer the question, “What do we do when we no longer know what to do?” Practical tools are offered for engaging in adaptive change through designing and conducting experiments which help us to “behave our way into new thinking” as we are led by the Spirit of God into uncharted waters.    

About Craig Van Gelder
Emeritus Professor of Congregational Mission, Luther Seminary and Consultant, The Missional Network Van Gelder holds a MDiv (1978), a Ph.D. in Missiology (1982) and a Ph.D. in Administration in Urban Affairs (1985). He served as Professor of Congregational Mission at Luther Seminary from 1998-2014, preceded by 10 years as Professor of Domestic Missiology at Calvin Seminary. This discipline utilizes biblical and theological frameworks in developing a missional approach for helping congregations in the U.S. engage changing contexts while pursuing adaptive change and transformation. Initially ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), his ordination currently resides with the Christian Reformed Church.


Now retired from full-time teaching, Van Gelder continues to consult with churches in helping them participate more fully in God’s mission in the world. His most recent book was co-authored with Dwight Zscheile, The Missional Church in Perspective (2011); is the author ofThe Essence of the Church (2000) and The Ministry of the Missional Church (2007); co-authored with Rick Rouse A Field Guide for the Missional Congregation (2008); and has served as editor of and contributor to numerous other volumes.






Planning Meeting:

Saturday, May 30, 2015 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Trinity Church
505 Asbury Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

The Battle for Justice is an exciting

partnership between the Diocesan Jubilee Office and The Battle Against Hunger Organization.


The 2014 Battle for Justice offered congregations and Jubilee Centers the opportunity to raise funds, raise awareness and build relationships to help fight hunger and its causes in their communities.  It was a huge success, raising over $100,000.  Congregations and Jubilee Centers participated by sponsoring riders and forming walking groups.


This year we plan to build upon this success by adding a “virtual running team.”



If you are interested in joining the “Battle For Justice, please join us at our planning meeting on Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM at Trinity Church, 505 Asbury Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712


Please email Clara Gregory,

Diocesan Jubilee Officer


Like us on Facebook
808 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey – 609.394.5281


Re-Imagining Church for the 21

st Century

A 2-Day Foundational Workshop 

With John Roberto and Rollie Martinson

June 26-27, 2015

Synod Hall, Trinity Cathedral, Trenton
An inspiring continuation
of the themes and ideas presented at

The Bishop’s Spring Conference


On Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Vibrant Faith’s John Roberto and Rollie Martinson will lead a two-day workshop that will equip attendees to conduct community research and assess their congregation’s life and ministries.


Topics to be covered will include:

  • The Challenges Facing Faith Formation in the 21st Century
  • A 21st Century Vision of Faith-Forming Congregations
  • Innovative Approaches for Developing a New Faith Forming Ecosystem
  • Preparation for Community Research: Processes and Tools
This workshop is the required starting point for all congregations that have committed to The Way of St. Paul congregational development program. It is also open to all interested individuals and congregations!


Box lunches will be available; these must be purchased at the time of registration.


Presentations will be made available online to all congregations of the Diocese of New Jersey after the completion of the workshop.


Registration deadline: June 1.


For more information, please contact Terry Ann Schwarz
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808 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey – 609.394.5281
From the Bishop

Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey:

The ministry of a deacon is to represent Christ and his Church, particularly as a servant of those in need; and to assist bishops and priests in the proclamation of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments…. Book of Common Prayer, p. 856.

Deacons really are, in many ways, the unsung heroes of the Church, especially our vocational deacons. These are men and women, who discerned a particular call to servanthood ministry, have offered themselves to the church for this service. They have spent several years in discernment and preparation, which included three years of Saturday study at the School for Deacons and then submitted themselves for ordination and assignment by the bishop. Generally, deacons do not receive a stipend for their ministries.   Typically, they are bi-vocational, holding 40+ hour jobs in the workaday world in addition to the responsibilities they take on as deacons. It is an incredible call involving a significant commitment.

In her book, Being a Deacon Today:  Exploring a Distinctive Ministry in the Church and the World (New York:  Morehouse publishing, 2005), Rosalind Brown offers a clear understanding of the deacon’s ministry.

She writes:

Deacons are called to work with the bishop and the priests with whom they serve as heralds of Christ’s kingdom. They are to proclaim the gospel in word and deed as agents of God’s purposes and love. They are to serve the community in which they are set, bringing to the church the hopes and needs of all the people. They are to work with their fellow members in searching out the poor and weak, the sick and lonely, and those who are oppressed and powerless, reaching into the forgotten corners of the world,  that the love of God may be made visible. Deacons are to seek nourishment from the Scriptures; they are to study them with God’s people, that the whole church may be equipped to live out the gospel in the world. They are to be faithful in prayer, expectant and watchful for the signs of God’s presence and he reveals his kingdom among us…(Kindle location 342).

This coming Saturday, May 9, 2015, by God’s grace and with the consent of the people, I will ordain eleven persons to the Sacred Order of Deacons at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton. It will be a solemn and joy-filled day and an occasion for great celebration. I feel confident that these new deacons will be a great blessing to the Diocese of New Jersey and the wider Church.

I invite everyone to join us Saturday morning at 10:00 AM at Trinity Cathedral for the ordination of these very special servants of Christ. It will be a great day. If you can’t be there, please pray for them by name:

Magdalena Mary Aders
William John Balmer
Carolyn Ann Bradley
Paul Scoot Chalakani
Evelyn Alice Yorke Chamberlain
Naomi May Cressman
Dorothea Cecelia Nesley Hospador
Jorge Antonely Liriano Martinez
Chizoba Uzoamaka Nwankwo
Karen Estelle Baehr Reeman
Trisha Ann Thorne

Also, offer prayers of thanksgiving for Mother Linda Moeller,  Archdeacon Lynn Johnson and the rest of the faculty of the School for Deacons who have worked with these candidates for three years forming them and preparing them for their ministries as deacons.

I hope to see you Saturday, 10:00 AM at Trinity Cathedral.

Blessings and peace,

Yours in Christ,

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

Formation Corner

Every week, we’ll be sharing resources and information here for you to put into practice in your congregations and community.
This week, we invite you to check out
Working Preacher.
This ministry of Luther Seminary is a collection of weekly content brought to you by biblical scholars, theologians, homileticians and pastors dedicated to the craft of biblical preaching.  It provides timely, compelling and trustworthy content for today’s working preachers and is a wonderful resource for Christians looking for accessible and energizing perspectives and commentary.
Looking for resources from the Bishop’s Spring Conference? Click here for the new Formation Resource Page, featuring presentations, print resources, and more.

The Anti-Racism Commission and Team: May Update

In this installment: 

Moments of Kindness in Baltimore Amidst the Violence


Across the Diocese, and in New Jersey and the country at large, we were shocked and saddened by the death of Freddie Gray and the following violence and riots. Stories and shocking moments from Baltimore are everywhere in the media over the last several weeks; this collection from the Daily Mail presents quiet and inspiring moments of humanity at its best throughout the conflict.

Good News Stories

Partnering in Mission Grants Awarded
The Episcopal Church in New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Recovery Program and the Diocese of New Jersey’s Office of Jubilee Ministry are pleased to announce the recent award of 2015 Partnering in Mission grants to three congregations in the diocese.
This year’s grant program awarded $30,000 in funding to Jubilee Centers wishing to strengthen their connections with their communities and other Episcopal congregati
ons through disaster recovery and preparedness.

At Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, the grant will be used to assure continuity of operations of their existing feeding ministries, and expand their disaster sheltering capacity.
Christ Church, Toms River and St. Thomas, Red Bank will use their grant to expand their outreach to the Hispanic community, forging important connections to serve a vulnerable community in disaster.
In Keansburg, St. Mark’s will utilize their grant to assure continuity of operations of their feeding ministry.
Congratulations to the successful grantees.  We pray God’s continued blessings on these vital ministries.

Episcopal Relief & Development
Campaign Update
to get more information and ideas about how to make our campaign come alive!

Diocesan Choir Camp

Join girls and boys ages 10-21 from around the diocese for a week of singing at the beach from July 26-July 30th, culminating with a 4pm Evensong on July 30th.

Campers stay at beautiful Holiday House, just around the corner from the Church of the Advent in Cape May, New Jersey. Rehearsals are held at Church of the Advent.

How Much: The cost of the camp is $350 per camper. Two scholarships are available from the Diocese of New Jersey. Contact Diane Caruso ( for details.

For more information visit

Youth Mission Trip: A Future with Hope, New Jersey

July 26, 2015- August 1, 2015
Click here to register

Superstorm Sandy was the most destructive storm New Jersey has ever experienced.250,000 homes were affected 82,000 homes sustained major damage 161,000 people were displaced. 6 months after the storm an estimated 22,000 families had not been able to move back into their homes.

A Future with Hope

repairs and rebuilds homes, communities, organizations and systems by strengthening community leadership, engaging neighborhood people, and releasing local assets.A Future with Hope has become a leader in Sandy recovery in New Jersey with plans to rebuild 500 homes in the next 5 years


The Diocesan Youth Office will be partnering with A Future with Hope and will do service projects from their case management list.

To participate you must be 14 years or older to work on a work site.


There is a mandatory meeting scheduled for Monday, June 8th at 6:30 PM at Diocesan House, 808 West State Street, Trenton, NJ.


Also, learn about other opportunities for teens like the
serving on Youth Council, Spring Youth Event and Baccalaureate Service by contacting The Rev. Canon Debi Clarke.

Diocesan ECW Annual Meeting and
UTO Ingathering

May 16th, 10am at Holy Trinity, Wenonah 

The Annual Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of New Jersey begin with Holy Eucharist followed by a business meeting and then a catered lunch. The meeting will be hosted by the Woodbury District ECW and Bishop Stokes, will officiate at the Eucharist and will deliver the homily.

The UTO In-gathering will also take place as will the annual ECW Necrology and acknowledgement of the Student Service Recipients for 2015. New District officers will be sworn in as well. The cost of lunch is $15. Pleaseregister.

Ministry Institute Events



Looking ahead to the 2015-16 year we wish to ensure that the Ministry Institute meets the needs of the parishioners and clergy in the Diocese.

Whether you’ve attended many events in the past or are interested in attending your first program, we would appreciate your insights. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at the link below.

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

Spring Youth Event
May 15-17
Camp Lebanon, Lebanon
LGBT Older Adults
May 16
Trinity, Asbury Park

Abuse Awareness Workshop

May 23
St. Mark, Keansburg

Senior Baccalaureate Service
May 31
Trinity Cathedral, Trenton

Come 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
808 West State St, Trenton, NJ 08618
Youth Ministry Programs: Spring/Summer 2015 Events, Registration and Deadlines

Here in the Diocese of New Jersey, youth ministry is a vital and important piece of who we are.  Youth ministry programs are available for students in grades 6-12. These young people are co-creators and conspirators in the divine work of the church.


We have been using the Five Marks of Mission as a steadying and directing source in how we do diocesan youth ministry. 


The Five Marks of Mission are:

1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom

2. To teach, baptize and nurture new believers

3. To respond to human need by loving service

4. To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation

5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

 Register for the following events at

Spring Youth Event

When: May 15-17, 2015

Where: Camp Lebanon, Lebanon New Jersey

Cost: $ 75

Who: 6th – 12th graders and their Adult Chaperones

Registration closes May 11, 2015


Our Mark of Mission focus will be on #’s 1 & 5


The GreenFaith Shield is an environmental merit badge for faith communities. Over the course of a month, a congregation takes steps to address one environmental issue and to encourage their members to take steps to do the same at home. Participating congregations offer prayers during worship on the specific environmental topic, provide a religious education session on the topic, take basic steps to ‘green’ the operation of their own facility, and encourage their members to take simple steps at home. GreenFaith provides resources to support all these activities, including a checklist for households. To date, GreenFaith has an Energy Shield and a Water Shield. In 2015, GreenFaith will be releasing a version of its Shield programs designed for confirmation class service projects. During the Diocese of NJ Youth Retreat in 2015, GreenFaith will share resources enabling participants to organize a team in their congregation to earn a Shield.



Summer Mission Trip

When: July 26 – August 1, 2015

Where: Future with Hope, Tuckerton, New Jersey

Cost: $300 per person

Who: Age 14 through just graduated High School

Registration closes May 15, 2015

 Our Mark of Mission focus will be on #’s 1 & 3


Superstorm Sandy was the most destructive storm New Jersey has ever experienced.250,000 homes were affected 82,000 homes sustained major damage 161,000 people were displaced. 6 months after the storm an estimated 22,000 families had not been able to move back into their homes.

A Future with Hope’s Mission:

A Future with Hope repairs and rebuilds homes, communities, organizations and systems by strengthening community leadership, engaging neighborhood people, and releasing local assets.

A Future with Hope has become a leader in Sandy recovery in New Jersey. We will rebuild 500 homes in the next 5 years

The Diocesan Youth Office will be partnering with A Future with Hope and will do service projects from their case management list.

To participate you must be 14 years or older to work on a work site.
There is a mandatory meeting scheduled for Monday, June 8th at 6:30 PM at Diocesan House, 808 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618.

Baccalaureate Service

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Where: Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, NJ

Begin: 4:00 p.m.

Who: Diocesan Wide Graduating Seniors and their Family, Friends and Church Members

Cost: Free


Our Mark of Mission focus will be on #’s 1 & 2 & 3

This will be our 4th Annual Celebration of our Graduating Seniors

Baccalaureate Service is a celebration which honors a graduating senior class from high school. Join the entire Diocese in recognizing our graduating seniors.

There will be a reception after the service for all in Synod Hall.

The offering collection will go to the Van Duzer Scholarship Fund. 


Youth Council Applications -2015-2016 School Year

Deadline:  June 7, 2015

All 9th – 12th grade Students

Must attend an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New Jersey

Applications on line at

Our Mark of Mission focus will be on #’s 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5



All Registration can be done on line at

If you have questions call The Rev. Canon Debi Clarke 609-394-5281 ext. 36 or email

Scholarships are available



July 6 is Lutheran Day at Great Adventure!
Sign up for this day of fun and fellowship here.


Youth events in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey strive to provide:

Resources that are dynamic and diverse opportunities for today’s youth to develop their own faith and spirituality, learn about God, forge lasting friendships, experience the grace of the Holy Spirit, and go out into the world as advocates of peace and justice.


Change your Life. Change the World.

 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.