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Bishop's Weekly Message

The Diocese and the Church Respond to the Refugee Crisis–Sept. 24

Our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month should not only be a response to the numerical growth we realize. Our Hispanic/Latino siblings have blessed us as a diocesan community in countless ways. From our stand-alone Spanish-dominant congregations—Cristo Rey, Trenton; San Andres, Camden; San Jose, Elizabeth—to other locations where a Hispanic/Latino Ministry has been “planted” or “seeded” in an already existing congregation—All Saints, Lakewood; Christ Church, Toms River; St. Thomas, Red Bank; Trinity Church, Asbury Park; St. John’s, Elizabeth—or where such ministries are being “birthed” as is the case with Holy Trinity, South River—our total life as a diocese has been enriched by the committed faithfulness and meaningful cultural expressions of our Hispanic/Latino members.

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Other Recent Messages

Bishop's Weekly Message

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month!–Sept. 17, 2021

Our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month should not only be a response to the numerical growth we realize. Our Hispanic/Latino siblings have blessed us as a diocesan community in countless ways. From our stand-alone Spanish-dominant congregations—Cristo Rey, Trenton; San Andres, Camden; San Jose, Elizabeth—to other locations where a Hispanic/Latino Ministry has been “planted” or “seeded” in an already existing congregation—All Saints, Lakewood; Christ Church, Toms River; St. Thomas, Red Bank; Trinity Church, Asbury Park; St. John’s, Elizabeth—or where such ministries are being “birthed” as is the case with Holy Trinity, South River—our total life as a diocese has been enriched by the committed faithfulness and meaningful cultural expressions of our Hispanic/Latino members.

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Bishop's Weekly Message

Who Told me Time Would Ease me of my Pain!–Sept. 10, 2021

“Never forget!” many say on this day. Well, we can’t forget, nor should we. But how shall we remember? What is the nature of our remembering? On September 11, hatred and violence collided with love and acts of heroism and compassion. The worst of humanity’s behaviors were countered with the highest human ideals.

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Bishop's Weekly Message

Comfort in Our Troubles–Sept. 2, 2021

I am deeply thankful that there does not seem to have been any significant injuries or deaths within our diocesan community, or that any of our buildings experienced catastrophic damage. Nonetheless, this storm caused suffering across the state and our neighbors may be in need of our compassion, care and help. Please look around and see if there is anything you need to respond to near you. And also, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

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Bishop's Weekly Sermon

Not Following Us! 18 Pentecost 2021

How often we create obstacles for one another. How often we create obstacles to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Checking in on our own behaviors is important. Today’s reading from the Letter of James offers some guidance here—“confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). It points us to humility with one another. Too often, today, humility seems in short supply.

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Other Recent Sermons

Who is the Greatest? Pentecost 17

When we welcome and serve the marginalized: children, the oppressed, welcome and serve those without power—we might think of Afghan refugees or immigrants at our borders, for example—when we welcome those who are broken through abuse and addiction, when we welcome and serve those who know they need Christ and his love or welcome and serve those who haven’t discovered that need yet….When we welcome all in his name and love we are welcoming Christ himself. When we welcome Christ, we are welcoming God.

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What Language Do We Speak? Pentecost 16

Some asked on that day twenty years ago, and some continue to ask, “Where was God?” My response is always, right there; right there in the selfless sacrifice of all those people who did not think of their own safety, but acted for the sake of others at great risk, and in far too many instances, at the highest cost. Greater love hath no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends, Scripture says (John 15:13). On September 11, 2001, that greater love was shown over and over and over again and that’s where God was. That’s where God always is. That is my conviction. That is our conviction as believers in Jesus Christ.

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The Syrophoenician Woman

I love this story. It’s one of my favorites in the New Testament. It invites rich reflection. To begin with, I think it portrays an “aha” moment for Jesus, a moment when he grew in wisdom and understanding. This makes some people uncomfortable. But consider.

As Episcopalians, it’s our teaching and conviction that Jesus is both “fully human” and “fully divine.” There are times in our reading of the Gospels when the full “divinity” of Jesus is on clear display, as when he casts out the legion of demons from that suffering Gerasene man (Mk. 5:1 ff.), or when he feeds 5,000 (Mk 6:30 ff.), or when he walks on water (Mk 6:45 ff.). So, too, there are times when we catch clear glimpses of Jesus being fully human. Consider his aching cry in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Mk. 14:36).

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