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Bishop Stokes Calls Two COVID-19 Task Forces

Bishop Stokes has called Task Forces to help guide the diocese toward re-opening and also to absorb the lessons learned from this current crisis. Learn more about the Task Forces and how you can contact them. 

Important April 15, 2020, Update from Bishop Stokes

Version en español

A Pastoral Statement from the Bishop of New Jersey
April 15, 2020

Greetings in the Name of the Risen Christ!  

Jesus commanded us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37). In our response to the COVID19 pandemic, we in the Diocese of New Jersey are prioritizing the love of God and God’s people over all other concerns.  From late February when we had to make the first difficult decision to postpone our Diocesan Convention, through the suspension of in-person worship services, every directive I have issued has been toward this end and this end alone.

Read the entire message here for updates regarding current policies and timelines


Important April 4, 2020 Update from Bishop Stokes

Statement of Revised Worship Directives for On-Line Worship During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Version en español

On April 3, 2020 during a briefing for religious leaders by the Governor’s Office, Bishop Stokes received important additional guidance impacting even funerals and small-group livestreaming of worship services. After seeking further clarification directly with the Governor’s Office and in consultation with staff, the Standing Committee and the Committee on Liturgy, he has issued revised directives including immediate suspension of all gatherings of people in our churches for any purpose, including funerals and/or small teams to video or live-stream worship services. PLEASE READ THE FULL TEXT LINKED HERE FOR COMPLETE PALM SUNDAY AND OTHER INFORMATION.

The Bishop’s previous statement regarding public worship and public gatherings in Church buildings can be found here with additional clarification here.

Importante actualización del 4 de abril de 2020 del obispo Stokes

Una declaración de directivas de adoración revisadas
para On-Line culto durante la pandemia de Coronavirus

El 3 de abril de 2020, durante una sesión informativa para líderes religiosos por parte de la Oficina del Gobernador, el obispo Stokes recibió una importante guía adicional que afecta incluso los funerales y la transmisión en vivo de grupos pequeños de servicios de adoración. Después de buscar más aclaraciones directamente con la Oficina del Gobernador y en consulta con el personal, el Comité Permanente y el Comité de Liturgia, ha emitido directivas revisadas que incluyen la suspensión inmediata de todas las reuniones de personas en nuestras iglesias para cualquier propósito, incluidos los funerales y / o pequeños grupos para video o servicios de adoración en vivo. LEA EL TEXTO COMPLETO VINCULADO AQUÍ PARA EL DOMINGO DE PALM COMPLETO Y OTRA INFORMACIÓN.

La declaración anterior del Obispo sobre el culto público y las reuniones públicas en los edificios de la Iglesia se puede encontrar aquí con una aclaración adicional aquí.

Learn More, Share Info, and Get Involved

“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…:  Hebrews 10:23-25

During this singular time, we are discovering a wealth of gifts, talents and passions for ministry in our diocesan community, as well as the technology to unleash them.  We are also discovering what strength we find in each other when we reach beyond our walls to connect. 
Here are a wide range of online gathering opportunities for those who want to share celebrations, challenges and resources around particular ministry areas.  To register, click on the listing for your area(s) of interest, then come join others across our diocese to explore and connect!!

Adult Formation – Mondays at 7:30 PM; online formation for adults; Bonnie Bivins, Chairperson, Diocesan Lifelong Christian Formation Committee, Convener

Anxiety Response – Tuesdays at 2:30 PM; spiritual support for those responding to the increased level of anxiety in our communities and congregations; Rev. Greg Wilson, Convener

Children’s Formation  – Saturdays at 10:00 AM; Sunday School and online formation for children; Anne Delgado, Diocesan Lifelong Christian Formation Committee, Convener

Congregational Coaching – Saturdays at 1:00 PM; explore the incredible benefits and energy unleashed through congregational coaching; Rev. Amy Cornell, Lead Diocesan Coaching Coordinator, Convener

Communications – Tuesdays at 2:00 PM; for those responsible for congregational, diocesan, or ministerial communications; Canon Steve Welch, Diocesan Director of Communications, Convener

Financial Resources – Promoting and developing congregational financial sustainability; Canon Phyllis Jones, Diocesan COO/CFO, Convener

Health Care Providers/First Responders – Mondays at 4:00 PM; spiritual support for health care providers, first responders, their families and those who care for them; Rev. Greg Wilson, Convener

Hispanic Ministry/Community Support – Tuesdays at 11:00 AM; specifically for those engaged in ministry to and with our Hispanic brothers and sisters in Christ; Rev. Canon Ramon Ubiera, Diocesan Hispanic Missioner, Convener (en Español, con traducción)

Online Worship – Tuesdays at 10:00 AM; planning, hosting, and/or participating in online worship services; Canon Steve Welch, Diocesan Director of Communications, Convener

Outreach Ministries – Fridays at 4:00 PM; sustaining and growing congregational outreach ministries; Canon Clara Gregory, Diocesan Jubilee Ministries Officer, Convener

Youth Ministry – Sundays at 3:00 PM; for those engaged in ministry to youth in grades 6-12; Clare Gutwein and Joe Rodriguez, Diocesan Youth Conveners
Reflect, Refresh, Recharge with Our Bishop!

Clergy Townhall – Thursdays at 11:00 AM; Clergy only spend time with Bishop Stokes and each other to share information, raise concerns, and ask questions

Lay Leaders Townhall – Thursdays at 7:00 PM; Lay people only spend time with Bishop Stokes to share information, raise concerns, and ask questions

Bible Study with Bishop Stokes—Wednesdays at 7:00 PM: Bishop Stokes hosts a discussion on the coming Sunday’s gospel reading, open to all