Week of April 26, 2020

Welcome to 
The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Episcopal / Anglican Parish
in the Heart of Jersey City

April 24, 2020

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

Dear Friends,

Like you, I have been trying to move forward, to make the best of a bad situation, to get used to a new routine, to keep up with the news but not so much that I surrender to despair or anger. Sometimes, when I'm able to focus on the book I'm reading or when I'm able to "veg out" by watching some TV, I'm even able to forget about the pandemic - at least for a while.

It's not easy, because signs of fear and suffering are all around us, appearing with a news alert, a phone call, another name added to our long prayer list. But, there are also so many reminders of heroism, skill, generosity, and love.

I haven't been driving much lately but the other day I had to take a quick trip downtown. As I made my way down Montgomery Street, I couldn't help but notice the unusually light traffic, but I wasn't thinking much about the coronavirus until I neared Ferris High School. There, parked in front of the school, just a couple of blocks from the Jersey City Medical Center, was a long line of out-of-state ambulances. These ambulances and their EMTs have been shared with us to handle the exceptionally high number of calls for medical care.

I had known that help has come from all over, but seeing all of those ambulances together, painted in different colors and bearing unfamiliar names, caught me off guard. Thinking of how that equipment represents so much courage, skill and generosity, tears begin to pool in my eyes.

It was a small but meaningful encounter with goodness, on the road.

On Sunday we will read my all-time favorite Scripture passage, the story of two disciples who encountered the Risen Jesus, on the road. In many ways, this rich and beautifully told story captures the Christian life in miniature, calling us to reflect on discipleship, hospitality, communion, and, maybe most of all, meeting Jesus in the stranger.

In the story, it's still the first Easter, and two devastated disciples are making their way back from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus. They had gotten out of town before there was any Easter joy. Walking together on the road, they review all of the shocking, heartbreaking, and puzzling events of the past few days. These disciples are sad and confused and maybe frightened and maybe even angry about how the love and hope offered by Jesus had seemed to end in suffering and death. Suddenly, a stranger joins them on the road. Perhaps because the disciples were not expecting him, they are unable to see that this man is no stranger. It's the Risen Jesus - who proceeds to teach them the best Bible Study of their lives.

Soon enough, at what they had thought was the end of their journey, they finally recognize Jesus in the blessing, breaking, and sharing of the bread. These two disciples now understand that when they had least expected it, in the midst of their sadness and fear and anger, they had encountered Goodness, on the road. And, since the only sensible response to meeting the Risen Jesus is to tell everyone about it, they immediately head back to Jerusalem to share the best news of all time:

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

We are like those two disciples at the start of the story. We are also walking on a road, feeling sad and frightened and angry about all that has been lost and what is yet to come. Some of our parishioners, family members, and neighbors are facing serious illness. Some are grieving the deaths of loved ones. All of us are anxious, wondering if this disease will visit us and our people, worried that we won't be able to pay our bills and meet our responsibilities, concerned that the institutions we count on and maybe even love might not be able to survive this storm. And yet, even when it might seem that hope is lost, even if we don't expect to see him, the Risen Jesus is right here beside us.

We recognize the Risen Jesus in the breaking of the bread, in our loving and faithful community, and, yes, in a line of out-of state ambulances sent to help us in our time of need. So, like the two disciples who returned to Jerusalem, let's do the only sensible thing and share the Good News, the best news of all-time:

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

I have attached Sunday's lessons and Bible Study along with the latest editions of The Sunday Paper and The Sunday Paper Junior.

It is a wonderful gift to be with all of you on the road, meeting the Risen Jesus.

Tom Murphy


Please pray for all those on our parish prayer list, especially Gina, Andy, Jean, and Devin.

Please also remember in your prayers these sisters and brothers who have died, and those who grieve their loss:
John Middleton
Byron Powell
Calvert Buchanan, brother of Lorna Woodham
Maye Tai, aunt of Althea Maynard
Abimael Fuentes, shot and killed at Monticello Ave. and Brinkerhoff St.

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

Call 201-433-4922 for call-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:

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

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

The Rector's sermons can be found here: