Bishops Corner

Bishop's Weekly Message

May 26—Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Susan and I are still filled with a profound sense of gratitude and thanksgiving for the blessings and love we experienced at Sunday night’s Farewell Gala. I am confident I can speak for Canons Mary Ann Rhoads and Ann Notte, as well as for Mary Ann Clisham, in saying that they feel the same way. It was an extraordinary evening highlighted by a Spirit-filled, high-energy keynote address by our Presiding Bishop. . . . More than 700 attended in person and more than 100 attended online. The event raised more than $51,000 for Episcopal Community Services of the Diocese of New Jersey. Wow!

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Other Recent Messages

May 19—Ascension

You and I are the most recent inheritors of the mission and ministry that Jesus handed on to his disciples. We are those called to be his witnesses “to the ends of the earth, ” beginning in New Jersey.

Moreover, while the Jesus’ ascension marks a transition for him, his ascent to heaven and God’s right hand, the promise he made to his followers in Matthew’s Gospel still holds true: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). It is this promise which adds to the mysteriousness of his ascension.

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May 12—Coming Home

In New Jersey, I feel like I have come home. I’ve been visiting congregations, joining meetings, and gathering with clergy and leaders from across the diocese. My family and I have been made to feel so very welcome, but this is more than simple hospitality. I do not feel like a visitor or guest in our congregations, but like a member of the diocesan family who has come home, and I am so very glad to be here.

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Bishop's Weekly Message

May 5—Mental Health and Fresh Start

Sometimes it’s difficult for our hearts not to be troubled. We have experienced a worldwide pandemic that killed millions. It seems that every day we are confronted with news of another mass shooting in our nation. Within our diocese and the community we serve, people have to face the life-threatening challenges of homelessness, poverty and domestic violence every day. Beyond all this are the day-to-day challenges of daily living which, as the Surgeon General observes, is often marked by deep, profound, loneliness.

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Bishop's Sermons

Oct. 23—Stewardship Sunday 2022 Sermon

It’s all about God…All about God and God’s grace in Jesus Christ. We are what God has made us. The good works we do, including our financial stewardship, including our giving of time and talent, we do because God made us for these, we do them by God’s grace as our thankful response to the love God has so abundantly and freely bestowed on us. To God be the glory in our serving. To God be the glory in our loving. To God be the glory in our giving. To God be the glory in our living and whenever that day comes, to God be the glory in our dying.

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Other Recent Sermons

May 1—ECS Sunday: “Tend my Sheep”

Episcopal Community Services of the Diocese of New Jersey is a significant means by which we all can show our love for Jesus by tending to the sheep he has entrusted to us, and especially those who hurt most, who are most fragile and vulnerable.  This third Sunday in Easter, as we proclaim the risen Lord, I pray you will join me in giving thanks for the work we are doing together through Episcopal Community Services of the Diocese of New Jersey.  More important, I pray you will support the work of the Lord, our feeding the sheep and tending the flock entrusted to our care by generous with your donations and your prayers.

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Bishop Stokes’ 2022 Easter Message

“For ancient Israel, Passover was God’s saving event, in which Moses led the people Israel out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land. For Christians, Christ is God’s “saving event” calling us, leading us, out of bondage to the slavery of sin and death into the light of God’s love and life, love and life, here, now, today, in our world and in our lives. And we today, and our world, are desperately in need of this saving event.”

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