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Iglesia San José, Elizabeth—Congregation Profile

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Part of a series of profiles of congregations across the Diocese. See more here. Submit your congregation’s profile here.

“We are considered a safe haven to our fellow Hispanics where they come together and meet people that share the same experiences. Being such, we work with dedication and love, for the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of New Jersey. We are a living and breathing ministry full of energy, love, justice, passion and compassion that continues to teach, with relevancy the gospel of the Lord, making salvation an attainable reality. We have successfully established a ministry of stewardship that has allowed us grow and maintain a diverse and vibrant community. Therefore, our congregation, the majority are immigrants that comes to this country, struggle each and every day to survive in the currently inflation-ridden economy; it is that struggle that makes this church more consolidate and aggressive when it comes to stewardship, and what a best way to keep this congregation in shape with our community.

Our Mission: Our city of Elizabeth is a macrocosm of how an inner city, along with the Episcopal Church, struggles to minister effectively in an urban context. Being such a well-defined area this situation presents a unique opportunity for our Diocese in this community to follow-up and develop a social ministry, that might serve as a model of Mission for other urban center ministries. “Mission serves the poor people”. “Theology of commitment with Christ”. Our Church is a gathering of people who have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and gifted with the Holy Spirit. We are called to respond to the love with witch God has embraced us by becoming the Body of his Son, by ministering to all mankind in Jesus’ name. Yearly budgetary is expended to shows the ministry to which we are called and how we help them. Our vision–in-mission is to:

1) take the news of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection from the dead to the people of the city of Elizabeth.
2) Support the people who are part of the congregation and the city.
3) Pay particular attention to those who have little sense of belonging; the poor, the homeless, the hungry, those in prison, in nursing homes, and those without US documents (Immigrants).
4) Be mindful of the need of children.
5) Care for those outside our congregation and city.
6) And to be faithful to the ministry with the Diocese and the greater fellowship of Episcopal Churches.

Our vision has the purpose to continue the revitalization of San Jose’s live and ministry: our worship expresses the need to maintain the Hispanic tradition. This tradition, united with the free Anglican Heritage helps considerably in the process of assimilation without absorption in the dominant culture. As a family oriented mission, San Jose progresses daily in its pastoral objective: to proclaim and manifest the love of Christ to all people, facilitate in the development of personal faith, and contribute to the overall strength and growth in God in the context of the Episcopal Church. San Jose’s life and action ministry in outreach services, evangelization, stewardship and children, teenagers and youth programs, continually engage and join the congregation and the city, successfully increasing the number of people in the congregation, and the many programs within the church. Evangelization, outreach programs and stewardship are our primary areas and goals. We have defined the program of evangelization, not only as the Christianization of our members, but also the Anglicanism of our people, who usually have a Roman Catholic background. In this aspect we also have made adequate our ministry in preparing a strong support for the mission and ministry. One of the most noticeable aspects of our mission is the growth and enrollment of our young people to make a very strong relationship with the adult groups that together working help in many aspects of the church’s development and growth. We have developed a service ministry in an urban context in the name of Jesus Christ. Services are designed and implemented in a manner that express community involvement. Community services include; an Immigrant Program, Day Care Center, homeless program, food pantry/clothes distributions, youth and summer program, job information center, regular prison and hospital visitations, our ESL And Citizenship Program classes, Saint Joseph’s soccer Team, and Saint Joseph’s Library to serving an improving the people culture. Although we work with Union County College to support a volunteer job’s program to serve in our community. We are establishing good relationships with other social institution in the city of Elizabeth to improve the quality of life of our people, especially in our neighborhood. We have developed a Worshiping Community, inclusive of all segments of our city, neighborhood and other areas without Episcopal Church y a Hispanic Ministry. A Community of Prayer, Worship, Service and planning with full support from our Vestry and Lay leaders, has implemented these goals. This ministry is creatively linked to the wider Episcopal community. Our Vision evaluation is measured on our ministry. The context aspect of our program is evaluated by the level of fellowship exhibited by the community; from the evangelistic point of view. Goals will be measured by how enthusiastically the congregation shares the parish family with their un-churched peers. The Vestry and the Vicar establish a policy for Evaluation, Steward, and Ministry, with input from the Congregation and San Jose Day Care Center staff. In terms of the congregation, we are a Mission working to responsibly actualize the “Mission” of the Church”, to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to this part of the Hispanic community in the United States, under the “Commitment of the Diocese of New Jersey”. We, in the Mission of San Jose, clearly believe in the future and growth of our congregation. As part of a minority mission, further development requires economical security. Through our efforts and the steward’s, we will strive every day to meet our budgetary commitment, but we are still in need of our Diocese to guarantee the fund required to fulfill yearly investment in the Gospel of Jesus Christ our good news for the people of God involving in our mission and ministry. Our Vision in the God’s direction is fundamental in that Jesus said us “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation”. (Mark 16:15)

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