St. Francis’ Church, Dunellen—Congregation Profile

Contributed by: Christy McGuire, St. Francis, Dunellen

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

“St. Francis Episcopal Church is a diverse community accepting all”—so says our Mission Statement, and it’s really true. The St. Francis’ community includes people of many ethnic and national backgrounds who serve in multiple roles in our parish life. GLBTQ members are active in ministry and leadership. The clergy are male and female. We seek to make sure that “Everyone is welcome here!” “We go out to serve Christ by serving others,” often in partnership with other churches and community organizations. We provide space for the homeless, gather food and clothing for those in need, and contribute generously to meet the needs of those distant from New Jersey, as well as those nearby. We have been actively engaged in the Anti-Racism ministry of our Diocese and have been designated a Jubilee Center by our Diocese and the Episcopal Church recognizing our work in “fighting against poverty and inequity.” Spiritual formation is central to our life. In worship, in Lenten and other seasonal programs, even in Vestry meetings, we intentionally seek to be open to God’s invitation to a deeper life of faith and love. During the pandemic we began two online prayer groups, one offering regular intercession for those in all kinds of need; the other a weekly opportunity to gather for silent contemplative prayer. We invite one another to live as God’s stewards as part of our spiritual practice, and give generously to support the mission of our parish, Diocese, and the wider Church. Are we perfect? No. But we seek to be faithful to God’s call. And we take joy in our common life whenever we gather for food and fellowship—which is as often as we can.

Our Mission: St. Francis’ Episcopal Church is a diverse community, accepting all. We gather to worship God, grow in faith, and share in fellowship. We go out to serve Christ by serving others.


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