In This Issue:
From Bishop Stokes
Register/Donate for the Battle Against Hunger Bike Ride
Soles for the Harvest 5k Registration Open
Diocesan Events and Recent Happenings
A LETTER FROM BISHOP STOKES:
Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,
There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job…Job 1:1
This past Thursday, the Daily Office lectionary for The Episcopal Church called for us to begin several weeks of a “course reading” in the Book of Job. “Course reading” means reading, more or less, in sequence.
Part of the so-called “wisdom tradition,” the Book of Job has long fascinated me. Generally speaking, the wisdom books of the Bible reflect the experiences of daily living. They do not tell epic stories of Israel’s history. Nor are they apocalyptic accounts of a cosmic battle between good and evil. In many instances, the wisdom literature reflects the ordinary experiences of everyday life, frequently employing aphorisms and pithy sayings, similar to Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes both contain examples of this.
Though deeply connected to human experience, the Book of Job is very different. It is an extended exploration of innocent suffering. The Introduction to the Book of Job in The New Oxford Annotated Bible – NRSV (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) observes, “The Book of Job does not explain the mystery of suffering or ‘justify the ways of God’ with human beings, but it does probe the depths of faith in the midst of suffering.”
In its structure, the Book of Job is framed within a prose folktale that establishes the parameters of the story – God gives Satan permission to test Job’s faithfulness by visiting suffering upon him. In between the prose opening and closing of the story are 39 chapters written by sophisticated poet-theologians of the post-exilic period (537 B.C. – 430 B.C.) who, through the introduction of characters, including friends and family of Job, as well as God, reflect on Job’s situation and the challenges it presents to faith.
In his commentary on Job for the Interpretation Series, Biblical scholar J. Gerald Janzen writes, “The Book of Job has to do with the most painful and unavoidable questions which can arise in human experience. These questions arise in connection with experiences of arbitrary suffering” (Interpretation – A Biblical Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: Job Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1985, 1).
Well-known author and New York Times columnist, the late William Safire, offered a somewhat different take on Job in his 1992 book The First Dissident: The Book of Job in Today’s Politics (New York, Random House, 1992).
Job reaches across the millennia to express modern Man’s [sic] outrage at today’s inequities. The Book of Job’s tone is not a weary resignation to life’s unfairness. Rather, it is a sustained note of defiance. The book’s message is not that we should accept the dictates of Fate, but rather that we should object to Authority’s injustice or unconcern, and assert our morality as best we can (Kindle location 112 of 6982).
From start to finish, the Book of Job elicits a range of emotions, responses and reactions. This is why it fascinates me. It rings true to our human experience and affords a vehicle for those who suffer to explore their deep questions and feelings. I’m looking forward to the next several weeks of the Daily Office.
If you haven’t been in the habit of reading the Daily Office, now is a good time to start. To find the readings, look at the Daily Office Lectionary in your Book of Common Prayer. If you look, you can see we began reading Job on Thursday of Proper 15 – Year Two which you can find on page 981.
If you don’t have a Book of Common Prayer, you can purchase one from The Altar Guild Shop of our own Trinity Cathedral. I believe every person in every home should have a Book of Common Prayer. It is a spiritual treasure that can be used throughout the year for daily prayer and special occasions.
You can also use the Online Book of Common Prayer which you can find here. Or purchase the Electronic Common Prayer app here. This app is really easy to use. It includes the specific readings for each day and can used on your phone. I use it all the time.
If you do start reading the Daily Office this week, be sure to read the first two chapters of Job to catch up. You might even think of putting together a group of fellow parishioners or friends and have a discussion about Job as we move through the book.
There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job…
Blessings and peace.
The Right Reverend William H. (Chip) Stokes, D.D.
Bishop of New Jersey
BATTLE AGAINST HUNGER BIKE RIDE: REGISTER NOW!
The 16th annual Battle Against Hunger Bike Ride is September 14-16–find out more!
Click on the image below for a printable flier suitable for bulletin boards everywhere!
JUBILEE SPOTLIGHT: SOLES FOR THE HARVEST 5K REGISTRATION
JOIN US FOR THE SEVENTH ANNUAL SOLES FOR THE HARVEST 5K AND 1 MILE FUN WALK/RUN.
Race proceeds benefit programs dedicated to alleviating hunger in New Jersey.
During registration, YOU may BECOME A FUNDRAISER, creating the capacity to accept online donations for a hunger-related charity OF YOUR CHOICE! YOUR hunger-related charity may be a Church supported feeding program or a not-for-profit feeding program.
Participants are also asked to bring canned goods to benefit a local food pantry.
PLEASE help us share the harvest!
SOLES FOR THE HARVEST 5k AND 1 MILE FUN RUN/WALK is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, Office of Jubilee Ministries.
DIOCESAN EVENTS, RECENT HAPPENINGS AND UPCOMING
Click Here for the Calendar of Upcoming Events
TRANSITION MINISTRY UPDATE
Listed below are the most recent updates for churches receiving names. For other updates, please go to: http://dioceseofnj.org/transition-ministry/
- Andrew’s Church, Mount Holly – Rector – Application deadline extended to August 31.
- Christ the King, Willingboro – Priest-in-Charge (half-time) – Application deadline extended to September 14.
MANDATORY ANNUAL ENROLLMENT FOR HEALTH INSURANCE!
This year CPG is requiring that everyone who is covered by a Church Medical Trust health plan participate in Annual Enrollment. Annual Enrollment materials will be mailed to your home address in mint green colored envelopes. While it is important for those with an Anthem healthcare plan to update their personal information and confirm their enrollment, it is crucial for those with a Cigna healthcare plan to select a new plan for 2019. The Cigna Open Access Plus and Cigna Open Access Plus In-Network plans will not be available for 2019 but there will be similar plans available that utilize the Cigna network of providers. To learn more about the changes and how to choose the best plan to meet your needs, come to the free Benefits Workshop that will be held on October 13, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at Trinity Cathedral. You can find more information and a link to the registration on our website here. Please register by October 5 and let us what information is most important to you when you register.
If you would like to attend a webinar version of this session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOLF OUTING REGISTRATION
CLICK THE BELOW FORM FOR
A FULL-SIZE PRINTABLE VERSION
St. GEORGE’S-BY-THE-RIVER PARISHIONER IN NEED OF KIDNEY
Stewardship is a concept we often approach steeped in the idea of financial contributions, taking care of our physical parishes and perhaps donating time. This request is of a different nature, though: Jim Bemis, a faithful member of parish of St. George’s by the River is suffering from kidney failure. This has been a path he’s been walking for many years, and, while he is on the kidney donation list, time is drawing short for that solution.
Jim was integral to the parish in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. He used his considerable gifts on our behalf to ensure that the church’s recovery was not only complete but continues working with our Building and Grounds committee to find ways to minimize damage in the years to come. In addition to his years of service to the church, Jim has been active in his local community volunteering with the Coast Guard, and participating in the Special Olympics’ sailing program. While his illness forces Jim to cut back on many of his activities, he continues to show up for St. George’s in so many ways. Our community would be poorer without his presence.
And so, we offer these words to you for contemplation as this health crisis extends: is there something, some action you might take to help Jim find a kidney? In so doing, you would be extending not only his life, but his steady and generous participation in the life of our Episcopal Church. For more information please email the Rev. Jeffrey Roy.
October 15 – October 17, 2018
Christ Church | Charlotte, NC
This national conference series explores Christian formation for discipleship, scripture engagement, habits of daily prayer, serving the poor, and sharing the Good News. The conference will offer keynote presentations, workshops, and networking time, and will be undergirded with Eucharist and the Daily Office.
The conference will include findings from RenewalWorks, a research-based Forward Movement initiative that has identified key catalysts for spiritual vitality in congregations and for individuals. A focus on discipleship is one of those primary catalysts, based on research from nearly half a million participants across the country.
Begins: Monday, October 15 at 2:00 p.m. (registration opens 12:30)
Ends: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.
UPCOMING SAFE CHURCH TRAININGS
September 8, 2018 – Christ Church, Toms River
Registration link: https://tinyurl.com/safechurch09082018
September 15, 2018 – Trinity, Moorestown CURRENTLY FULL; check back later for cancellations or other vacancies
Registration link: https://tinyurl.com/safechurch09152018
September 22, 2018 – Grace, Haddonfield
November 10, 2018 – St. Mary’s, Clementon
Registration link: https://tinyurl.com/safechurch11102018
CHOIR ROBES TO CLAIM
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Wenonah has 20 maroon choir robes and collars which are no longer needed. The contact person is Margie McWilliams, 856-468-6664, if you have interest in these items.
Proclaiming Christ in the Garden State
We are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement in the Southern 2/3 of New Jersey.