Week of April 19, 2020

Welcome to 
The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Episcopal / Anglican Parish
in the Heart of Jersey City

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This year's Easter Sunday celebration was unlike any we have ever experienced but, as I mentioned in my sermon, it shared some similarities with the first Easter. On that long ago morning in the garden, Mary Magdalene and soon the other disciples were just beginning to recognize the power of the New Light - the significance of the New Life - that had burst forth from the place of shadow and death.

In our own place of shadow and death we are also just beginning to make sense of what the Resurrection means for us. While we are still grieving our losses and fearful of the future, we are starting to see signs of New Light and New Life all around us. The still-wounded dogwood tree in our church garden continues to bloom, along with all of the other trees and plants. And, maybe to our surprise, our church community is proving to be resilient and even renewed, a beautiful and powerful sign of the Risen Christ.

Our daily "Church By Phone" services have been rich experiences: opportunities to hear lengthy passages of Scripture, to pray for the many people on our parish list and for our own intentions, and maybe most important of all, to hear the voices of much loved sisters and brothers. Honestly, I can't imagine getting through this time without praying with so many of you on the phone.

Many parishioners have been checking in with each other, making sure that everyone is OK, offering love and care especially to those who may be especially lonely or vulnerable.

And, our Sunday attendance is way higher than it has ever been as so many parishioners, former parishioners, neighbors and friends and seekers, log onto our simple services. For Sue and me, it has been deeply moving to gather in a church that is empty and yet we are still able to sense your presence and hear your prayers. And, after the service it's such a joy to read your comments and greetings, all of the many shouts of "Amen!" and "Alleluia!" and "Also with you!" You are still bathing the walls of our old church with prayers, even over the internet. This past Sunday we were joined by Jennifer Brown, a neighbor and amazing photographer, who had asked to take pictures of the service, including the beautiful photo above.

In normal times, the Second Sunday of Easter is usually a bit of a downer. After the packed pews of Easter Day, this Sunday is often poorly attended, I guess because people are "churched out" after Holy Week or Easter and some schools are on spring break. Whatever the reason, this dramatic attendance drop always disappoints me because it means that most people don't get to hear the important story of Thomas, the apostle forever associated with doubt, the one who missed out on the first appearance of the Risen Christ to the frightened disciples, the one who said maybe more than he understood when he cried out to the still-wounded but resurrected Jesus, "My Lord and My God!" And this year you get to experience one of the greatest moments in Scripture from the comfort of your own home! Join us this Sunday to meet again our brother Thomas, who just might be the apostle for our not so normal time.

With much love for you all,


Supporting Our Church:

We are aware that, unfortunately, some parishioners have been laid off or furloughed and others are in danger of losing their jobs. Please know that you are in our prayers and we are here to help any way we can. In these extremely challenging economic times, we are especially grateful to those of you who have been able to keep up with your pledges. You can still mail checks to the church or you can use online giving. Visit stpaulsjc.org and click on "Online Giving." We also have a Venmo account. Email me for more information about that.

Worship Schedule:

Monday through Friday: "Church By Phone"

Morning Prayer, 7:30
Noonday Prayer, 12:00
Evening Prayer, 5:30

(Email tmurphy@stpaulsjc.org for log-in information.)

Sunday at 10:00am

Join us on Facebook Live for a celebration of Holy Eucharist

Helpful Resources:

State of New Jersey Covid-19 Information Hub:

The Diocese of Newark posts Covid-19 resources here:

You can subscribe to diocesan newsletters here:

The Epscopal Church has collected Covid-19 resources here:

And, "Habits of Grace," weekly reflections from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:

The Church of England has some wonderful prayers and other materials here:

Fr. Tom's sermons can be found here: