Martin Luther King Commemorative Service, recorded live on Jan. 17, 2022
On Jan. 17, the Diocese commemorated the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with an online worship program featuring Bishop Chip Stokes as celebrant and Dr. Quincy Bloxom, founder of the EraseTheRedline social action organization and governor’s appointee to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission.
As part of the service, the diocese prepared and distributed a set of voting rights resources—Voting Rights and Discipleship—to help spread democracy across this country, particularly to those who have been historically denied the vote, or who face voter restrictions. The resources are listed below and can be downloaded here.
Voting Rights and Discipleship
Discipleship & Democracy
A Resource Guide from
The Diocese of New Jersey
“We are blessed as a nation to vote. As citizens of this country this is a right, an obligation, and a duty. Go vote. Vote your conscience. Your conscience informed by what it means to love your neighbor, to participate in the process of seeking the common good, to participate in the process of making this a better world. However you vote, go and vote. And do that as followers of Jesus.”—Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
For Children & Youth:
- Social Justice Books (a comprehensive list of books on voting rights for all ages)
- Zinn Education Project (a list of activities and books on voting rights)
- Civil Rights Teaching (a list of articles, books, and other resources on voting rights for children and youth)
- iCivics (online resource for championing non-partisan civic education through games and other activities)
- Faithful Democracy: Building the Foundation for a More Perfect Union
- Preserving Democracy: Pursuing a More Perfect Union (PBS video)
- Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Christ in Crisis? Reclaiming Jesus in a time of Fear, Hate, and Violence by Jim Wallis
Voting Rights Education & Advocacy:
This guide is produced by the Episcopal Public Policy Network, and updated for each election cycle. Getting souls to the polls isn’t just about casting our own vote, but about working together so we all can vote and vote faithfully. We can empower every voice in our congregations in this work. (resource/15 minutes)
As Christians, we are not called to a life of half-truths and deception. We are called to follow a God who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The Prayer Book also teaches that among our duties to our neighbors is “to be honest and fair in our dealings” and to “speak truth, and not mislead others by our silence.” (pg. 848) Let us therefore examine our own conduct to limit the spread of deceitful information and call upon our leaders to work towards the same. (article/20 minutes)
In an age of ‘facts’ and ‘alternative facts,’ it becomes more and more important for followers of Jesus to have a clear way of assessing what’s real and what’s not. This ChurchNext course is ideal for those seeking tools for discernment of spiritual truth. (online asynchronous course/45 minutes)
The Postcard Project invites Episcopalians to engage in “slow advocacy” to shift the focus from reactionary outreach to long-term, big-picture strategy and relationship building with government officials. As a Church, we are called to care for the poor, yet legislative and policy matters addressing poverty are not typically headlines in the news or viral on social media. Throughout the year, our government is making critical and important decisions that we can positively influence and support through savvier advocacy. In short, The Postcard Project is an opportunity to convene people to write physical postcards to their members of Congress (or other government officials), helping to build relationships among parishioners eager to carry out their faith through action. (advocacy project/time varies)
This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts. . .If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.
Isaiah 58:6, 9b-12 (MSG)