Weeks of August 16 & 23, 2020

Welcome to 
The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Episcopal / Anglican Parish
in the Heart of Jersey City

“Being Counted”

God blesses us with so many ways to help one another.

Some are simple and yet meaningful: praying for the many people on our prayer list, those who are suffering in mind, body, or spirit; picking up the phone and calling someone who is lonely or having a hard time; running errands or giving a ride; donating to organizations that are doing good.

Some ways of helping others are more complex, requiring ingenuity, collaboration, and creativity. I’m still kind of obsessed with the West Side Community Fridge and the other similar operations that are popping up around Jersey City and elsewhere, providing fresh food and other necessities to neighbors in need. I know the hard work and coordination that Monica Shaw puts into running our Triangle Park Community Center, where so many people receive a warm welcome, good food, diapers and formula, essential information, and sometimes even bicycles and scooters! Deacon Jill and her band of volunteers continue to expand DJ’s Free Market, making it easy for those who have much to share with those who have little. And, I’m forever in awe of Carol Mori and her team at Garden State Episcopal CDC, somehow managing to operate a homeless shelter and a drop-in center, plus rehabilitate and build affordable housing, and much more. Truly amazing!

There are so many ways to help one another, sometimes simply by being counted.

 As many of you know, last week we hung a “Black Lives Matter” banner on the church. The wardens, vestry and I decided to make this statement on our sacred space because we saw it as an opportunity for us to be counted, to publicly take our place among the people who acknowledge and lament the tragic truth that for so long our Black brothers and sisters have not mattered very much at all. Displaying our banner is not going to get us far in defeating racism but it is a symbolic way for us to recognize that there is deep and persistent prejudice and injustice in our society. As Christians we must be counted among the people who respect the dignity of every person. We must be counted among the people determined, with God’s help, to make real the dream of Jesus, the dream of Dr. King and John Lewis, and all the holy women and men who have gone before us and surround us still, cheering us on.  

Being counted.

 When it comes to the Census we literally need to be counted! It is discouraging but not surprising that so few people in Jersey City have completed the Census, for whatever reasons choosing not to be counted. An undercount can mean we’ll have a smaller voice in Congress and that the poorest and most vulnerable among us will not receive needed assistance, always important but especially vital these days. I urge you to take just a few minutes and complete the Census right away. More information can be found here: www.2020census.gov

We live in a state with one of the starkest racial wealth gaps in the country. The median net worth for New Jersey’s white families is $352,000, the highest in the nation. But, for our Black and Latino families it’s just $6,100 and $7,300, respectively. Stop for a moment and look at those numbers, and think how they translate into wildly different lives and opportunities for the people of our state, including many of our parishioners. Years of racist policies and practices (especially around homeownership) have gotten us to this dismal and disgraceful point and it’s going to take a lot of effort to make the changes necessary to build a more equitable society. For us, this long overdue effort begins by getting the attention of politicians who are always good at counting heads. So, let’s be counted at the New Jersey Together statewide action on August 31, on Zoom. At this action, NJT will be pressing our leaders for change on a variety of racial equity and criminal justice issues in our state.

You can learn more about driver’s license suspension reform here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWznD7bAlnM

And, you can learn about sentencing reform here:

My hope is that we will all participate in this action (after all, we don’t have to worry about directions or parking or getting a seat – this time we can be counted from the comfort of our home!). Click here to learn more about the agenda and to register: www.njtogether.org/action2020

God blesses us with so many ways to help one another, especially during this time of pandemic and economic distress. Over these past few months, it has been inspiring to see lots of people stepping up - calling and checking on others, running a refrigerator on the sidewalk outside their house, supporting and leading organizations that find creative ways to care for people. We all have different gifts and abilities to share, but together we must stand up for justice and equality. Now is the time when we must all be counted.

Prayers and Thanksgivings:

Please pray for all those on our parish prayer list, especially Jean, Andy, Angelo, Kit, and Anthony.

Please also remember in your prayers those who have died, and those who grieve their loss:

Yuting Ge, who was killed in his apartment on New York Avenue
Eleanor A. Johnson, former vestry member of the Church of the Incarnation

All of those who have died as a result of Covid -19.

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. Call the office or email me for more information.

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 more information.

Sunday at 10:00am

Join us on Facebook Live for a celebration of Holy Eucharist


From the Diocese:

Read The Voice Online for all the latest news, including an inspiring message from Bishop Hughes:

Mark your calendars! Bishop Hughes will make her official visit (via Zoom) with us on Sunday, September 27 during the 10:00am Service and “Coffee Hour.” More information to come!

New Jersey Together Statewide Action, Monday 8/31

Recently, over 400 people from across New Jersey met on Zoom to ratify an agenda for much larger action on Monday, August 31, 7:30pm-9:00pm. We are hoping for a large turnout from St. Paul and Incarnation as we join with thousands of other people from over 140 congregations and non-profits, pressing for concrete actions and commitments from decision makers, including Governor Murphy. The focus will be on a set of specific issues related to racial equity, criminal justice, and the current pandemic.

Click here for more information and to register: https://www.njtogether.org/action2020

North Porch at Triangle Park Community Center

As many of you know, North Porch offers diapers, formula, and other assistance to families with infants and young children. Since the need continues to grow, North Porch is asking for financial donations through a GoFundMe campaign. Please consider supporting this beautiful ministry:


DJ’s Free Market

Subscribe to the DJ’s Newsletter to stay informed about this exciting new ministry led by Deacon Jill:

The Arts at St. Paul & Incarnation:

The virtual opening of ASPI’s new show “UpRooted” was a big success! Many thanks to all the members of the Arts Council, especially Amy Neufeld and Sarah Ibrahim. If you missed the opening, you can visit the virtual gallery to see the beautiful art:

And, mark your calendars for our annual Choral Festival of Peace on Friday, September 11, at 7:00pm. This year’s festival will be live-streamed on our church’s Facebook page.

Help for Renters and Homeowners:

There is help available for renters and homeowners suffering because of the pandemic. One is the website for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency: www.njhousing.gov. You can also call 1-800-NJ-HOUSE (1-800-654-6873).

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 Episcopal 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:

Fr. Tom’s sermons can be found here: