Diocesan News for May 8, 2015

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 (music@trinitynj.com) for details.

For more information visit http://njchoircamp.weebly.com/.

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