TRINITY CHURCH PRINCETON, NJ
FROM THE BISHOP:Dear People of the Diocese of New Jersey, He has been raised; he is not here! Mark 16:6 For the first time since 1956, Easter Day fell on April Fools’ Day. How appropriate! After all, we were duped! We were sent out on a fool’s errand. “Go to the tomb,” we were told. And to the tomb we went, along with Mary Magdalen and some other women. But when we arrived at the tomb, we found it empty. April Fools! I celebrated and preached at Trinity Cathedral this Easter. We heard Mark’s account of Easter morning. In that Gospel reading, a man dressed in white said to the women, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ Most contemporary biblical scholars believe that Mark’s Gospel originally ended at chapter 16, verse 8 which says, So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. They said nothing? To anyone? Then how do we know about all this? And what about Jesus? Where is he? Mark’s account of Easter strikes many as a little odd. Jesus never makes an appearance. There is only assertion of Easter from a young man dressed in a white robe sitting in the tomb, “He is not here; he has been raised” (Mark 16:5). Clearly this young man is an angelic messenger. After telling the women that Jesus has been raised, the young messenger offers them an assurance, “He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him just as he told you” (Mark 16:7). Jesus is spoken of, his resurrection is proclaimed, his appearance anticipated, but he himself doesn’t show up. Is this an April Fools’ joke? It’s a strange way to end the Gospel. It’s a cliff-hanger. We want to know what happened after that? Mark doesn’t tell us. The other Gospels – Matthew. Luke and John – included resurrection appearances in their accounts. Not Mark. How come? There have been many arguments about why Mark ended his gospel in the way that he did. Some suggest he ended this way because he expected the Second Coming of Jesus imminently. “Wait,” he was saying with this cliff-hanger ending, “Wait, he is coming at unexpected hour…Watch!” It’s a good argument. There were some who were apparently so concerned about Mark’s abrupt ending that they wrote endings for him to finish the story. Reputable Bibles include more than one ending for Mark. Most scholars believe that these alternative endings don’t come from the original Mark. What is the answer to this mystery? What if Mark intended to end his Gospel just the way he did? The Oxford Bible Commentary suggests this, stating, “Mark’s narrative may be only the beginning of the gospel…The rest of the gospel must be completed by the reader, but the reader can only complete the story by following as a disciple of Mark’s Jesus, and that means going to Galilee, being prepared to follow the way of discipleship as spelt out by him, i.e. the way of the cross…There, and only there, will Jesus be seen and experienced…” “Maybe Mark’s gospel is unfinished,” they conclude. “But perhaps that is deliberate. It is up to the reader to supply the ending – and that is the perennial challenge of this gospel to all its readers today.” As wondrous and powerful as the accounts of Easter are in Matthew, Luke and John, they are still about the encounter others had with the risen Christ. That’s not unimportant. They provide insights that invite understanding. When all is said and done, however, what really matters is the encounter each and every one of us has with the risen Christ. This is what Easter faith is about: Has Christ been raised in you? Does he live and breathe in you? Does his deep love for you and for all humanity, fill your soul? Is his resurrected Spirit, his very real presence the animating reality of your life? And with Christ’s presence living in you, raised in you, will you go forth and be his hands and feet and ears and eyes serving the world in his name; loving the world, in all of its brokenness, in his name? As the baptized, we are all called to be apostles; those sent out in Jesus’ name and love. We are called to be “the body of Christ,” his resurrected presence in the world. St. Paul described this ministry in a way that is perfect for us this Easter. Paul said that apostles are Fools for the sake of Christ (1 Corinthians 4:10). Go forth! Be fools for the sake of Christ this Easter season. Go out and be fools for Christ every day. Happy Easter! Blessings and peace in Christ, The Right Reverend William H. (Chip) Stokes, D.D. Bishop of New Jersey  The Oxford Bible Commentary ed. John Barton and John Muddiman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001) 922.
Bishop’s Schedule Highlights
Tuesday, April 3, 2018:
Wednesday, April 4, 2018:
Staff meeting and Oversight meeting
3:00 p.m. St. Mark’s Church, Basking Ridge – Watchung Convocation
7:00 p.m. Lay Forum
Thursday, April 5, 2018:
10:00 a.m. Interims meeting
3:00 p.m. Holy Trinity Church, Ocean City – Atlantic Convocation
7:00 p.m. Lay Forum
Friday, April 6, 2018:
Upcoming Diocesan Events
Join Trinity Cathedral for its
Annual Cathedral Sunday
All congregations in the Diocese are invited to participate in the Trinity Cathedral’s Cathedral Sunday confirmations on June 3, 2018 at 10:30 am.
Please send names to Patrice D’Angelo at Trinity Cathedral no later than May 25th.
*This will be in place of a separate Spring diocesan-wide confirmation service this year.
|Wednesday April 4, 2018||3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – clergy 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – lay||Watchung||St. Mark’s Basking Ridge|
|Thursday April 5, 2018||3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – clergy 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – lay||Atlantic||Holy Trinity Ocean City|
|Tuesday April 10, 2018||3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – clergy 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – lay||Trenton||St. Matthew’s Pennington|
|Tuesday April 24, 2018||3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – clergy 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – lay||Monmouth||Christ Church Toms River|
|Thursday April 26, 2018||3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – clergy 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – lay||Northern||Trinity Church Woodbridge|
|Tuesday May 1, 2018||3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – clergy 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – lay||Camden||Grace Church Merchantville|
|Wednesday May 2, 2018||3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – clergy 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – lay||Woodbury||Christ Church Woodbury|
|Wednesday May 9, 2018||3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – clergy 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – lay||Burlington||Trinity Church Moorestown|
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NEW JERSEY COUNCIL OF CHURCHES
Opioids: The Next Step
PART-TIME ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT POSITION St. Mary’s, Burlington part-time, permanent, Administrative Assistant, 15 hours per week position. Working days/hours would be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mastery of word processing, publications and spreadsheets (specifically Microsoft Office programs) as well as familiarity with online forms of communication such as websites and other forms of social media required. Prior church administration experience desirable. Send a resume to The Rev. J. Connor Haynes by email or mail to 145 West Broad Street, Burlington, NJ 08016.
SEEKING KEYBOARDIST The faithful people of Saint James’ Episcopal Church, Edison, are looking for a keyboardist to join our community and lead our music ministry. We have a Jupiter-80 available to play – a nearly full-sized keyboard with lots of sound options. The successful candidate will appreciate the important role music plays in the worship life of a church community. We are a small but kind group of people who loves to sing! There is money in the church budget to pay the keyboardist on a pro-rated annual basis. We hope to have someone in place soon after Easter. If you are interested, please contact Mother Kristen, Priest-in-Charge, at email@example.com or 732-985-2023.
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.
SEEKING LEVAS II