ALL SAINTS’, NAVESINK
From the Bishop
Jubilee Grants Awarded
Multi-Diocese Epiphany Evensong
Congregational Events (Add events here)
Notices and Classifieds
FROM THE BISHOP:
Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt…Matthew 2:13-14
Greetings of peace and joy as we bring this Christmastide to a close and begin the year 2018. I hope all have had a blessed Christmas and that the New Year is off to a happy and healthy start.
Tomorrow, January 6th is the Feast of the Epiphany. It marks the close of the Christmas observance for those of us in the western Church. On the Feast of the Epiphany, we focus on Matthew’s gospel with its account of the visit of the Magi to the Christ child. It is a beautiful, mystical story proclaiming that the newborn child has come to be the Savior, not merely for Israel, but for all humanity.
The story is also a story of political scheming and treachery. Herod, the puppet king of Judah, feels threatened by the birth of this child. He does everything in his power to find and destroy him. His words to the Magi are smarmy, disingenuous, and deceitful. He has no intention of “paying homage” to this child; his intentions are violent, murderous. The latter part of the narrative confirms this with its brutal account of the slaughter of the innocents – an event we commemorate each year on December 28.
After the Magi leave the Holy Family, “having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,” Joseph is also warned of the danger confronting his family:
“…an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt…”
Joseph, Mary and Jesus become refugees.
Some people today resist applying the label “refugee” to the Holy Family, but it is a fact. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, a refugee is, “someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.”
The Holy Family were refugees.
It is estimated there are 22.5 million refugees in the world today. More than half of these are children under the age of 18. We are experiencing the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II. Yet, in the face of this crisis, the United States, a nation that prides itself on welcoming the “tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to be free,” has fallen short in providing a compassionate response. The current Administration has set a cap limiting the number of refugees who will be admitted into the United States to 45,000. It is the lowest number any President has permitted since legislation was enacted in 1980 giving the President authority to determine the number of persons to be admitted (See A Statement on Refugee Admissions 2018, Episcopal Migration Ministries and Trump Plans 45,000 Limit on refugees Admitted to the U.S., N.Y. Times, 9/27/2017).
Even as this country turns its back on the desperate plight of refugees, it is also turning its back on the so-called Dreamers – persons “who were brought to the country at an early age without documentation but have assimilated to U.S. culture and have been educated by U.S. school systems” (Source: LawLogix – found at LawLogix.com). In September, the President announced he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA). This program was designed as a stop-gap measure to allow these young persons to remain while Congress developed a DREAM Act that would offer a permanent path to citizenship.
The President’s decision to end DACA has now placed these Dreamers at high risk. If a new, clean Dream Act is not developed by early March, all of these young persons face the possibility of forced deportation. Many of them have known no other country than the United States. The President has indicated that he will only sign a new DREAM Act if it includes the building of a wall between the United States and Mexico. In short, the Dreamers are being used a political pawns in a high risk legislative game. It is inhumane and it is immoral.
The Holy Family were refugees. Faithful Christians cannot ignore this reality and we cannot ignore the plight of the world’s refugees today nor of the Dreamers who are in our midst. As The Episcopal Church, we have spoken clearly on both of these questions. We have a long-standing record of compassion in our support and treatment of refugees and are one of only a handful of organizations entrusted by the government to do this work through our Office of Episcopal Migration Ministries.
It is my hope that all within the Diocese of New Jersey will be proactive in standing up for the plight of refugees and of Dreamers. Compassion, our Baptismal promises, and our faith in Jesus Christ demand it.
One concrete step we can all take is to communicate with our Senators and Representatives to let them know that we support a more open and welcoming posture for refugees and a new Clean Dream Act. Jesus words to his followers in Matthew 25 are applicable, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me…Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me…” (Matthew 25:40,45).
For more information about The Episcopal Church’s ministry to Refugees go to the website of Episcopal Migration Ministries.
Pray for peace throughout the world. Pray for refugees. Pray for Dreamers.
Blessings and peace,
The Rt. Rev. William H. Stokes, D.D.
XII Bishop of New Jersey
Bishop’s Schedule Highlights
Videotaping for Constable Grant Task Force
Prison Ministry Committee meeting
Immigration Committee meeting
St. John’s Church, New Brunswick vestry meeting
Trinity Cathedral was awarded one of six Jubilee Grants of $3,000.00 – these are for programs committed to alleviating poverty and injustice.
St. Augustine’s, Asbury Park
Trinity Church, Woodbridge
Christ Church, New Brunswick
Christ Church, Toms River
St Georges By The River, Rumson
Four congregations from three diocese coming together for Epiphany Evensong
Choristers, youth adult, from Trinty, Asbury Park, St. Paul’s, Englewood, All Saints’, New York City, and Grace, Newark will come together on January 7th at 5 p.m. for an Epiphany Evensong. The event, which will take place at St. Paul’s Englewood, will feature works from a variety of composers.
Preces and Responses, Oxley
Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in C minor, George Dyson
Brightest and Best, Malcolm Archer
All are invited to this special event which brings together our dioceses to worship and glorify God.
Upcoming Diocesan Events
Diocesan Calendar for the through January 2017
Saturday, January 6, Holy Trinity, South River
Friday, January 12 – Clergy, Grace-St. Paul, Mercerville
Notices and Classifieds
From the Department of Youth and Young Adults:
- Participate in a 2.5-day workshop retreat designed to improve our understanding of the sin of racism in our systems, communities, church, and country.
- Learn from a multi-racial team of expert trainers from The Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) and from the experiences of the Anti-Racism Commission and of people of color from our own diocese, and
- Share this rare yet essential opportunity to talk about race and racism
Thurs PM, Fri and Sat
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.
Book your accommodations: February 10, 2018
Registerby February 19, 2018
Exhibitors register by February 19, 2018
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
PART-TIME ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT POSITION
Send a resume to The Rev. J. Connor Haynes by email or mail to 145 West Broad Street, Burlington, NJ 08016.
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.
SEEKING LEVAS II
St. Thomas’, Glassboro is looking to buy used copies of LEVAS II.
Proclaiming Christ in the Garden State
We are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement in the Southern 2/3 of New Jersey.