ASH WEDNESDAY: ASHES TO GO
AT TRINITY CHURCH, MOORESTOWN
From the Bishop: On the Mass Shooting in Parkland, Fl.
From the Bishop: Convention News
Congregational Events (Add events here)
Notices and Classifieds
FROM THE BISHOP:
Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey,
A voice is heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping,
Rachel is weeping for her children;
She refuses to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more….(Jeremah 31:15)
Once again, this nation has been visited by great evil: the evil of a mass school shooting. 17 were killed at Marjorie Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida on Ash Wednesday – a day when we “acknowledge our wretchedness.”
16 year-old Carmen Schentrup was among those killed on Wednesday. She was an active member of St. Mary Magdalene Church in Hollywood, Florida where my good friend Mark Sims is Rector. She was also active in Episcopal Youth activities in the wider Church. When I heard the news of Carmen’s death, I texted my condolences to Mark. He responded by text, “Chip, Thank you. One day this beautiful vibrant girl opens my office door to announce that she had been accepted at UF [University of Florida]. Two days later I’m sitting with the family and the FBI hearing for the first time that she been shot and killed…” It made me cry. Needless to say, all the killings this past Wednesday are devastating.
There have been 25 fatal school shooting incidents since Columbine, including the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School when 20 children between six and seven years old were killed along with six adults. There are more mass shootings in the United States than in any other country.
According to Wikipedia, “…the rate at which public mass shootings occur has tripled since 2011. Between 1982 and 2011, a mass shooting occurred roughly once every 200 days. However, between 2011 and 2014 that rate has accelerated greatly with at least one mass shooting occurring every 64 days in the United States.” Nearly 1,500 children under the age of 18 die in this country each year as a result of gun violence. Still, we do nothing. Congress sits on its hands, NRA money in its pocket!
I agree with those who recognize that “thoughts and prayers” are no longer enough; people must act.
Yesterday, I participated in a Bishops United Against Gun Violence (BUAGV) conference call. BUAGV is a network of more than 70 bishops of the Episcopal Church across the country, and across the political spectrum who have joined together to advocate for responsible, common-sense gun legislation in this country. We will issue a statement today or tomorrow that will propose concrete actions concerned Episcopalians and others will be able to take to help end the scourge of gun violence which plagues this nation, killing our children and others at a rate that far exceeds the rate in any other developed country.
I will no longer be politically correct or patient with those who say we are “politicizing the issue,” or who say that “this is not the time for this discussion.” Now is the acceptable time… Children are dying, through the use of assault weapons in our schools, through the use of handguns on our city streets. It is time to stop this insanity. It is time to value our children more than our guns. Rachel is weeping for her children because they are no more…
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Delegates attending Diocesan Convention March 2 -3 at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill can look forward to a completely modified convention format. There will be no keynote speaker; no sermon; there will be fewer reports; there will be Dwelling in the Word and there will blocks of time given over to delegates to engage in conversation about mission and ministry.
Here are some of the highlights:
Dwelling in the Word – During the Convention Eucharist, in place of a traditional sermon, delegates and guests will be invited to participate in Dwelling in the Word. This is a process of biblical reflection using a Lectio Divina approach to engaging scripture. The passage (Acts 11:19-30) will be read twice in English and Spanish and each person will be afforded an opportunity to share with others in small groups what they are hearing in the biblical reading. This assumes that the Holy Spirit has a word to speak to each person and to the church gathered.
Marks of Mission Conversation Blocks – Built into the Convention agenda are five blocks for reflection, presentations and conversations about the Five Anglican Marks of Mission. The intention of this is to help everyone in the diocese to become more familiar with them; to tell stories through speakers and videos of how they are being lived out in the diocese already; to consider ways they might be more completely lived out; and to discern how our deeper understanding of them might sharpen our sense of diocesan mission and ministry. At the start of each block, I will offer a reflection on the particular Mark of Mission being considered. This will constitute my “Bishop’s Address to Convention.”
Consent Calendar – For the first time at Diocesan Convention, assuming delegates approve it with the Rules of Order, we will use a Consent Calendar. This is a tool which will allow us to address non-controversial items, resolutions and reports in a block without having to take a vote on each. Use of the Consent Calendar will help the convention be more efficient in its handling of business.
Chaplains – The Reverend Allen Wakabayashi and The Reverend Diane Wakabayashi will be our Convention Chaplains. Allen and Diane are at St. Luke’s, Gladstone, where Allen serves as Curate. They will pray at the opening and closing of each business session. For the Saturday morning Eucharist, Diane will be the celebrant and Allen will preach.
Please keep Convention and all clergy and lay delegates in your prayers.
Blessings and peace,
The Rt. Rev. William H. Stokes, D.D.
Bishop of New Jersey
Bishop’s Schedule Highlights
Friday, February 16, 2018:
6:00 p.m. St. John Baptist, Mendham – Academia Eduménica de Liderazgo
Sunday, February 18, 2018:
8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. St. Matthew’s Church, Pennington
2:00 p.m. Youth Council meeting – Matthews Conference Room
Monday, February 19, 2018:
Office closed: Presidents’ Day
Tuesday, February 20, 2018:
6:30 p.m. Cathedral Chapter meeting
Wednesday, February 21, 2018:
7:00 p.m. Theo’s Café at the Episcopal Church at Princeton (ECP)
Thursday, February 22, 2018:
7:00 p.m. Calvary Church, Flemington – meeting with Wardens
Friday, February 23, 2018:
Upcoming Diocesan Events
Diocesan Calendar through late winter 2018..
Notices and Classifieds
Wednesday, February 21 – 6:00 PM
Attention Young Adults (Ages 18 -35)
Theo’s Café will be hosted by ECP (The Episcopal Church at Princeton) at Procter House on Wednesday, February 21. The evening will begin with an informal Eucharist at 6 followed by dinner at 6:30. Theo’s Café is an opportunity to engage in fellowship and faith conversation with Bishop Chip Stokes and young adults of the diocese. All young adults of the diocese are encouraged to attend and are invited to bring friends.
Procter House is located at 53 University Place, Princeton, NJ. Procter House is located at the corner of Dickinson Street and University Place. Some parking is in the gravel lot behind Procter. There is metered parking on Dickinson Street.
Please rsvp Fr. Joseph Wolyniak at j.g.w.@princeton.edu if you plan to attend.
Save the Date!
NEW JERSEY COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
Opioids: The Next Step
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.
Register by February 19, 2018
Exhibitors register by February 19, 2018
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
Proclaiming Christ in the Garden State
We are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement in the Southern 2/3 of New Jersey.