THE REV. DANIEL GUNN OF ST. ANDREW’S NEW PROVIDENCE
DELIVERS OPENING PRAYER FOR THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
In This Issue:
From our Jubilee Officer
AMP UP with Project Resource: Resources and More!
General Convention: The Curry Effect
Diocesan Events and Recent Happenings
Select Congregational Events
FROM CANON CLARA GREGORY, JUBILEE OFFICER:
Dear Friends in Christ,
As the Jubilee Officer for the Diocese of New Jersey, I have tremendous joy from the good works done at each of our Jubilee Centers; from fighting food insecurity to providing housing and education to actively taking a stand against injustices local to statewide and beyond, Jubilee Ministries represent the transformational powers of God; unjust structures are altered and set right through the love of God, powered and carried out by our hands and hearts.
I’ve had the recent joy in watching Episcopalians rise with other Christians in honoring the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign, a potent movement organized by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. The Episcopal Church has partnered with numerous faith organizations, including the National Council of Churches, in carrying out both ministry and action as part of this relationship. The Episcopal Church Executive Council approved a resolution at its January meeting. “acknowledging the unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, celebrating the revival of the movement as the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.”
The resolution concluded that the Poor People’s Campaign will “recognize these issues of poverty and justice severely affect our domestic and global brothers and sisters, and commit to ministry of active engagement, advocacy, and support throughout the Episcopal Church.”
“This is an important partnership and we are enthused that the Episcopal Church is teaming with others in this important initiative,” commented the Rev. Melanie Mullen, Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care. “The work of the Episcopal Church through General Convention and Executive Council fully embodies the values of the gospel that underlie the Jesus Movement.”
Locally and nationally, peaceful and spirited rallies have been conducted by people of faith and others on the steps of the State House for five consecutive Mondays; the fifth of these events is this coming Monday, June 18. Here is a video of Bishop Stokes speaking at the first of these events, with weekly themes throughout:
- Week 1 (May 13-19)
Somebody’s Hurting Our People: Children, Women and People with Disabilities Living in Poverty
- Week 2 (May 20-26)
Linking Systemic Racism and Poverty: Voting Rights, Immigration, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and the Mistreatment of Indigenous Communities
- Week 3 (May 27-June 2)
The War Economy: Militarism and the Proliferation of Gun Violence
- Week 4 (June 3-9)
The Right to Health and a Healthy Planet: Ecological Devastation and Health Care
- Week 5 (June 10-16)
Everybody’s Got the Right To Live: Education, Living Wages, Jobs, Income, Housing
- Week 6 (June 17-23)
A New and Unsettling Force: Confronting the Distorted Moral Narrative
- Saturday, June 23, 10:00 a.m. EDT
10am – Global Day of Solidarity and Sending Forth Call to Action Mass Rally in Washington, D.C.
Leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign marched to more than 35 State Capitols to start 40 days of protests, marches and other actions on May 14th. We are coming up at the end of this period of 40 days of action. I’m proud of us in the Diocese of New Jersey, as participating in Jubilee Ministries means we began our actions against injustice long before these 40 days began, and we will continue speaking out against and actively combatting these injustices far into the future. This is not a sprint; it is a marathon, and together, we are up to the challenge. With God, all things are possible.
Our Baptismal Covenant calls us to aid one another in times of need, and to take a stand when we see and feel the sting of injustice in our communities. I ask that we all live into that promise as fully as we can; advocate for those in need, speak out against injustices as they are identified, and take action to clothe, feed, house, support, and provide a voice for those in positions of need.
In the near future, more events presented by the Poor People’s Campaign will be announced; in the meantime, I invite you to join me on June 27 at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton for a powerful session on restoring the right to vote for former convicts, presented by the New Jersey Institute foe Social Justice. This event is sponsored by several vital organizations, including Jubilee Ministries, LEAM NJ, and the Anti-Poverty Network.
There will be more information soon on essential Jubilee Ministries events, centered around food insecurity, shelter, civil rights, and more. I urge you to keep an eye out for these, and to especially support and encourage our young people and young adults to attend and take an active hand in these ministries. We have been humbled and deeply inspired by the innovative and steely ways youth have recently taken powerful stances of activism around the country; I want to do everything I can to help them do so here in New Jersey. If you are or know a young person with a drive towards transforming injustice, please contact me at email@example.com. I want to help our youth carry out the covenant we all share.
Together, as a unified body of Christ under the loving eyes of God, we are unstoppable. I so look forward to working with you to bring justice and love to our communities throughout New Jersey.
Faithfully Yours in Christ,
Canon Clara Gregory
Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey
Bishop’s Schedule Highlights
Thursday-Tuesday, June 14-26, 2018:
St. John’s-by-the-Sea, Avalon – Bishop in residence
AMP UP RESOURCES
The New Project Resource diocesan-wide approach to Stewardship launched Saturday with a workshop at All Saints Church in Princeton.
THE CURRY EFFECT: A GENERAL CONVENTION WITH THE WORLD WATCHING
by the Reverend Scott Russell, Episcopal Chaplain to Rutgers University
Each week, look for more stories about General Convention!
The first time I heard Michael Curry preach, it was very much an unexpected joy, and a joy mixed with deep grief. Rob, a dear seminary classmate of mine, had suffered one of the greatest traumas thinkable – his 10-month-old son, Isaac, had tragically drowned in the bathtub the night before Easter. I received the call from a fellow classmate on Easter afternoon. It was the first Easter of our ordained ministries.
I drove to the funeral in North Carolina, mere days after Easter. What could I say? How could I make things better? My mind was numb, my heart broken.
When I arrived at his parish for the funeral, I was still riddled with doubt and grief. Deep in my heart I knew I never could preach the sermon. Every thought I had seemed trite or powerless in the face of this tragedy. “The bishop will handle the service,” Rob told me. I had no idea who his bishop was.
Then we all met Michael Curry in a powerful way.
In what could have been a service filled with weeping and hopelessness, Bishop Curry met us with Easter hope and Paschal joy! His simple but profound message was exactly what we needed to hear. His words, “Isaac is with God!” still ring in my ears and in my heart. At the end of the sermon, he had everyone in attendance rise and take each other’s hands.
“We may ask, ‘How will we get through this?’”, he said with that inimitable fire in his voice. “THIS is how we will get through this – together!”
I had come into the parish to face the grief of my friend and the tragic loss of a child I had barely gotten the chance to know. I left the parish with my faith strengthened and my hope renewed. Thanks be to God!
I have heard Michael Curry preach several times since then. The most memorable time for me to hear him preach in person was when he visited Christ Church, New Brunswick, just after visiting the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. He brought with him the Episcopal flag that had flown there in solidarity. It was tattered, but it was indeed holy. His sermon reminded us of all those who have struggled for justice under the aegis of the Episcopal shield.
On the way out of the parish, I stopped to greet and thank him. “Bishop Curry,” I began, “Many years ago I heard you preach at the funeral of a priest who had lost his baby the night before Easter.” Immediately he said back, “Was that Rob? Was that Isaac’s funeral?” I was astounded at the pastor’s heart he still had on display.
On May 19th, not quite three weeks ago, the world met Michael Curry, in an amazing way. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle created a buzz like nothing we’ve seen of late. Clerical and lay reactions to his fiery and “enthusiastic” sermon were, as could be expected, mixed. But his style and his message won the day. Anyone who heard him live or watched the stream came away knowing what he wanted to us know that day: it’s all about love!
Was his message effective? Were people listening? Were they curious? Well, Google statistics tell us that the number one search right after the royal wedding was, “Episcopalian”!
Just last week, of course, many of us in the Diocese of New Jersey were privileged to receive the ministry of Michael Curry’s sermons when he preached at George Councell’s funeral at Trinity Cathedral. Once again we heard familiar themes: God, love, and hope.
If somehow you’ve never heard Presiding Bishop Curry preach, whether in person or in a recording, there are a few things you can expect to hear:
- He’s going to talk about God. Bishop Curry is passionate about God, God’s love, and the mission Jesus gave us to spread that love.
- Be prepared for plenty of humor and grace. You won’t hear condemnation from his lips. His mission, like that of Jesus, is one of love, inclusion, and grace.
- You will hear personal stories like no other preacher can use them. He loves to talk about his origins, his 40 years of ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church, and the relationships he has had over the years with so many of God’s children.
- He will remind us of the burden we bear as part of Jesus’ mission – to spread God’s love, of course, but also to fight for justice and righteousness.
- You WILL be inspired!
And, of course, don’t forget to get a selfie, if you can manage it!
Look for more reflections on General Convention every week this June and July!
DIOCESAN EVENTS, RECENT HAPPENINGS AND UPCOMING
Click Here for the Calendar of Upcoming Events!
Are you 5-18 Years in Ministry? The VISION Program and Union Theological Seminary invites your application!
Thanks to generous funding from the Lilly Endowment, Union will launch its third cohort of the VISION program in the Fall of 2018.
The VISION program engages early/mid-career faith leaders (5 – 18 years in ministry) in a two-year collaborative program designed to support new ministries and build clergy relationships across denominations and religious traditions.
The VISION cohort meets monthly at Union in New York City during the academic term to collaborate and dialogue with civic leaders, academics and scholars, and other innovators from the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Each summer the group meets at a retreat to continue the conversation and work together. VISION fellows undertake a culminating congregational project supported by a cash grant from VISION and close collaboration with other fellows and mentors.
The deadline to apply is July 1, 2018. Visit https://utsnyc.edu/life/institutes/vision-program/ for more information and to apply online.
For more information, please contact VISION Director, The Rev. Jane Huber, PhD at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spotlight: Nails in the Wall Gallery at St. Luke’s Church in Metuchen
Animals: WIld and Winsome, the Biennial Peter A. St. Onge Children’s Exhibit is on display at St. Luke’s, featuring artwork from the children of St. Luke’s and the broad community of Metuchen, and also by children from St. Luke’s sister parish, Buen Pastor in Quito, Equador. The exhibit is on display through June 30. Photos by Mark Harris.
50th Anniversary of Ordination: The Rev. Cn. Terrence W. Rosheuvel
Canon Terrence W. Rosheuvel will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood on Sunday, July 8, 2018. All are invited to join him and the congregation at St. James, Bradley Beach on that day for a Festive Celebration of the Eucharist at 9:00 a.m.
The guest Preacher will be Rev. Canon Leroy Lyons, retired Rector of St. Mark’s,Plainfield. Reception follows.
CHOIR ROBES TO CLAIM
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church of Wenonah has 20 maroon choir robes and collars which are no longer needed. The contact person is Margie McWilliams, 856-468-6664, if you have interest in these items.
SEEKING MUSICIANS AND SINGERS
Seeking musicians and singers, of whatever ability, who wish to explore contemporary praise and worship music together. The goal would be to practice and render song and music that could move at least ourselves to deeper worship, and to experiment with how this might fit within our Episcopal context. Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Israel Houghton — the usual suspects. Please contact the Rev. Shawn Armington at email@example.com.
Proclaiming Christ in the Garden State
We are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement in the Southern 2/3 of New Jersey.