Week of September 27, 2020

Welcome to 
The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Episcopal / Anglican Parish
in the Heart of Jersey City

Reminders of Unity 

I seldom watch cable news, but this past Wednesday, I had no choice. I was stuck for way too long in a waiting room where the TV was tuned to one of the channels offering a mix of partisan political commentary and reports from correspondents in different locations. This happened to be a particularly big and difficult news day. President Trump had refused to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power, and a Kentucky grand jury declined to charge any of the officers for the death of Breonna Taylor, the young woman who, during a police raid, was shot five times and killed while she slept in her apartment. (One officer was charged with “wanton endangerment” for endangering a neighbor with his gunfire.) Over the hour or so I was waiting, I became painfully aware of the repetition – the same images, the same music, the same talking points – over and over, again and again. I could feel my anxiety rising. And I found myself thinking that our country is so very broken, more disunited than ever. 

Eventually, I was mercifully sprung from the waiting room. My anxiety slowly dropped back down to a manageable level, and I began to think more clearly. I remembered that, while we are most definitely in very real trouble, we are actually not as divided as some in the media and politics claim, or, perhaps, would like. 

We hear lots of talk about red states and blue states, but, in fact, each state is some shade of purple – containing people with a mix of conservative and progressive views. Contrary to what we may see on TV or hear from some politicians, I am convinced that most people want pretty much the same things: decent housing, good jobs, safe communities, affordable and quality health care, and a better life for their children. Most people are at least troubled (and many are heartbroken and infuriated) that the police killed Breonna Taylor and have abused and killed so many other Black people and other people of color. Most people know that, at long last, we need to face and root out the persistent racism that poisons the hearts of so many white people – the racism that infects our society, the racism that causes untold suffering. At the same time, most people support good police officers – those who honor their heavy responsibilities, treat everyone with respect, and would risk their lives to save any of us. 

Over the years, I have shared my firm belief that our beautifully diverse church – St. Paul and Incarnation – has a particular vocation. We have been given the gift and privilege of showing our little corner of the world that it really is possible for a group of people, from many different walks of life and all sorts of backgrounds, to come together and not only get along but to truly love one another. Even – especially - during these long months of separation, we have stuck together, caring for each other, in ways even deeper than before. By God’s grace, we are a symbol of unity, doing our best to be an answer to Jesus’ prayer that we be one, just as he and the Father are one. 

And, this Sunday, we will receive a powerful reminder that our unity extends far beyond our congregation. It will be a joy to welcome the Rt. Rev. Carlye Hughes as she makes her first official visitation to our congregation. Bishop Hughes will preside and preach at our 10:00 AM service (on Zoom and the Diocese of Newark's YouTube page), and will lead a conversation during a virtual “coffee hour.” Later, she will meet with the wardens, vestry, and me. Of course, we all would have preferred an in-person celebration, with Bishop Hughes seated in the chair that always symbolizes her leadership and our unity. There would have been lots of gorgeous music and the tables in Carr Hall would have sagged under the weight of so much delicious food! But, our ability to adapt and still move forward reveals the faithfulness and resilience of our community. Sunday will still be a glorious celebration – and a timely reminder that not only are we one with our fellow parishioners, but we are also united with our Bishop, our diocese, the Episcopal Church – united with all people of goodwill who faithfully and stubbornly resist the many cynical and destructive attempts to divide us. 

Prayers and Thanksgivings: 

Please pray for: 

All those on our parish prayer list, especially Jean, Andy, Kit, Julio, and Bill. 

Students and teachers, as they try to learn and teach under very difficult circumstances. 

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

Robert Hogan and Patrick Hogan, the father and brother of Lisa Hogan 

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

And, we give thanks for the birthdays of Gene Szucs and Nancy Pizarro. 

Calendar Highlights: 

Sunday, September 27: Bishop’s Visit, 10:00 AM, followed by coffee hour, and vestry meeting 
Saturday, October 3: Church Leader University, 9:00 AM 
Sunday, October 4: Blessing of the Animals, 3:00 PM (Churchyard) 
Sunday, October 4: Parish Meeting Especially for Parents, 1:00 PM 
Saturday, October 17: Quiet Day with Lorna Woodham 

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 Normally our service is live-streamed on Facebook, but this week our service will be on the Diocese of Newark's YouTube page. 

From the Diocese: 

Read The Voice Online for all the latest news, including a message from Bishop Hughes on how we are to live with Covid-19 and information about Church Leader University: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/The-VOICE-Online--How-are-we-to-live-with-COVID-19-.html?soid=1102692382496&aid=7XV4SR6Rtv

A Praying for Our Country 

Bishop Hughes has called on our diocese to pray the following prayers in the days leading to the election: 

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States (or of this community) in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

A Quiet Day with Our Seminarian:

New Jersey Together:

After NJT’s recent statewide event, learn more about next steps here: https://www.njtogether.org/fall2020 

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: 


Visit our virtual gallery to see our latest exhibit: http://www.aspi-jc.org 

NJ Voter Registration:

Register to vote (or confirm your registration) here: https://nj.gov/state/elections 

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). 

Virtual College Fair Experience:

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: https://episcopalchurch.org/habits-of-grace 

The Church of England has some wonderful prayers and other materials here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-liturgy-and-prayer-resources 

Fr. Tom’s sermons can be found here: