CHRIST CHURCH, SOMERS POINT
From the Bishop Bishop’s Schedule Praying with Icons – and Teens SPeak out for the Dreamers Congregational Events (Add events here) Notices and Classifieds
FROM THE BISHOP:Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect for the 4th Sunday of Advent
This year, the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls on December 24th. This calendar clash occurs every few years posing particular challenges to clergy and altar guild members.
Most churches will observe the ending of Advent on Sunday morning and greet with joy the birth of Christ on Sunday evening or night. Some churches will already be decorated for Christmas on Sunday morning. Others will wait until the morning service is over and then work quickly to prepare the church for Christmas proper. Sunday morning, those who attend church will hear the Collect for the Fourth Sunday of Advent in which it is prayed that God might “find in us a mansion prepared for himself.” On Sunday night we will hear of the birth of the Christ child in a stable.
The juxtaposition of stables and mansions is striking to me. The former conveys an image of messiness, even filth; the latter luxury, wealth and sparkling cleanliness While I strive during Advent to clean my spiritual house in preparation for Christ’s coming, hoping to make myself “a mansion” fit for him, sometimes the business of life seems to take over and my spiritual house is a mess, a figurative stable. My guess is that I’m not alone. Those of us who find this to be true, however, can take comfort. Christ, by grace and love, will come and dwell among us anyway. That’s the Christmas gospel delivered to the shepherds. Remember the angelic words:
“I am bringing you news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord….” Luke 2:10 -11
These words are not merely addressed to the shepherds at the time of Jesus; they are addressed to all of us always whether we walk in darkness or in light; whether our spiritual houses are pristine mansions or filth-filled stables.
Susan joins me in wishing you and yours a blessed and joyous Christmas.
The Rt. Rev. William H. Stokes, D.D. XII Bishop of New Jersey
Bishop’s Schedule Highlights
The Bishop will be away, with his family, through New Years.
Praying with Icons – and Teens!Nearly a dozen youth from the Atlantic Convocation gathered in November and December to learn about the ancient practice of praying with icons. The Rev. Lisa Hoffman of St. Barnabas by-the Bay in Villas, led them through the practice of praying and writing the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary in preparation for the story of the Annunciation heard on Advent IV. At the conclusion of the workshop, each icon was prayed over and blessed with Holy Oil. Said Hoffman of the teens “During both sessions they worked for an hour and a half and were absolutely silent and never left their seats. It was amazing to witness the level of intensity and seriousness with which they approached their work.” The Atlantic Convocation Youth Group, formed earlier this year, meets monthly at one of the churches in the convocation. For more information, please contact The Rev. Lisa Hoffman at St. Barnabas by-the-Bay, Villas; The Rev. Terry O’Connor at St. Mark’s & All Saints’, Galloway; or the The Rev. Gretchen Zimmerman at Holy Trinity, Ocean City.
On Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 the Episcopal Immigration Services Cristo Rey, COSECHA, Lutheran Episcopal Advocacy of NJ, Anti-Racism Commission, Hispanic Commission, Immigration Committee, Black Caucus Clergy, Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (Laldef, Trenton), Latino Leadership Alliance, Dominican Round Table co-sponsored a prayer vigil called “Speak Out for the Dreamers” to advocate on behalf of the Dream Act (DACA) students who have been detained and arrested. The Diocese of New Jersey’s The Rev. Cn. Francisco Pozo emceed the event, and Bishop Stokes, Canon Noreen Duncan, Angelin Pozo, The Rev. Dcn Dan Somers, and The Rev. Juan Monge spoke, among many others. Highlights from the event are below.
Upcoming Diocesan EventsDiocesan Calendar for the through mid-January 2017
. Communications Meet and Greet Thursday December 28, Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light, Galloway.
Joining Jesus on on His Mission with Greg Finke Saturday, January 6, Holy Trinity, South River
CommFest Friday, January 12 – Clergy, Grace-St. Paul, Mercerville
Saturday, January 13 – Lay, Christ Church, Toms River
Notices and Classifieds
From the Department of Youth and Young Adults:
MLK Jr Day of Service
January 15, 2018 from 10 am – 3 pm at Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, NJ 10 AM – 3:00 PM
For All Adults, Young Adults, Youth and Children
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?'”
We will begin our day together with the Eucharist. Following the Eucharist we will gather in Synod Hall to prepare service projects for several organizations in New Jersey and throughout the country. Click here to register and learn more!
Diocesan Convention – Save the Date!
The 234th Convention of the Diocese of New Jersey will take place on March 2-3, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill.Registration information will be available in the coming weeks.
Nominations material are available here and are due January 1, 2018.
Preconvention Hearings:January 30, 7 pm – Christ Church, Toms River January 31, 1:30 pm – St. Barnabas, Monmouth Junction January 31, 7 pm -Trinity Church, Princeton February 1, 7 pm – Grace Church, Plainfield Feburary 6, 7 pm – St. Luke’s, Gladstone February 8, 7 pm – St. Augustine’s, Asbury Park February 15, 1:30 pm – St. Stephen’s, Whiting February 15, 7 pm – St. Thomas, Glassboro February 20 7 pm – Christ Church, Somers Point
HIRING A DAY SCHOOL DIRECTOR St Paul’s, Westfield is seeking a directory for a preschool school with students aged 2 through kindergarten with a current student roll of 235.
Contact the head of school for more information.
HIRING PT PARISH ADMINISTRATOR:
St. Peter’s, Spotswood is hiring a 20/week parish Administrator. Learn more and apply.
SEEKING LEVAS II
St. Thomas’, Glassboro is looking to buy used copies of LEVAS II.
|SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT ELECTRONIC GIVING St. Francis, Dunellen, is exploring setting up an electronic giving system If your congregation is using such a system, please contact them with the following:Name and contact info of the service you use, fees/costs involved for parish and/or donor, rough percentage of households that use this option, pros and cons, anything else we should know.|
Proclaiming Christ in the Garden State 609.394.5281 firstname.lastname@example.org We are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement in the Southern 2/3 of New Jersey.