Week of November 15, 2020

 Welcome to 

The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Episcopal / Anglican Parish
in the Heart of Jersey City

“Finding Perspective on a Most Unlikely Beach”

In most respects, this has been a painfully challenging season. And now, the days darken, the cynical and dangerous dispute about the election continues, and the rate of Covid infection again threatens to shut down much of everyday life. It has been and continues to be a time of trouble, with waves of fear and anger that can make it hard to feel God’s presence and to keep daily events in perspective. 

But, at least in our part of the world, one bright spot has been the weather. Until the most recent gray and gloom, for the most part, we have been blessed with a beautiful season, covered in blue skies, bathed in bright sunlight, and dazzled by foliage more vivid than I can remember. I’ve enjoyed a spectacular “Fall Festival,” and hope you have, too.

Now, at this point, you may be expecting a story from one of my many walks in Lincoln Park. Wrong! Even those of us deeply set in our ways need to mix things up once in a while! So, a few days before the election, I decided to explore Caven Point, the small nature preserve tucked away at the southern end of Liberty State Park. Despite living in Jersey City for much of my life, I had never been there, but I had heard about it from friends and seen pictures taken there by our parishioner Sara Hopper.

Although Caven Point is not exactly hidden, you do have to know where to look. Getting there requires heading south on a walkway bordered on one side by an imposing retaining wall that seals off the exclusive Liberty National Golf Course from the rest of the community, a stark symbol of the great divide between those who have (and yet always want even more) and those who do not have much at all. After what felt like a longer than expected walk, I finally arrived at the nature preserve, discovering an oasis lush with vegetation and scored by birdsong. I took my time, savoring it all, and, of course, snapping lots of pictures for the “Fall Festival.” At one point, I left the trail and followed a footpath to…a beach! A real beach! Hearing about this miracle and seeing pictures did not prepare me for the reality that Jersey City has a wide sandy beach, dotted with seashells and strewn with seaweed.

I was alone, listening to honking geese honk and quacking ducks, mesmerized by the ebb and flow of the tide, a little disoriented by a different view of some most familiar landmarks. Although this whole area had long been industrialized, its soil contaminated, there was now not much sign of human activity. Instead, when I squinted a little, I could imagine the Lenape people gathered on the shore, feasting on the overflowing abundance of the sea and the land. I could imagine Henry Hudson sailing into the wide and deep harbor on the Half Moon, hoping to find a quick route to Asia, but recognizing that this place had real money-making potential. Actually, it was so quiet that I could imagine the near eternity before any of that, when there were no people feasting or exploring, just creatures going about their business of survival, only the rhythmic roll of the tide, a time when God was already at work, even if there was no one around to notice.

For a few minutes, anyway, standing on a most unlikely beach, I was able to gain a little bit of perspective, reminded of our small place in the bigness and grandeur of creation, the vastness of the ages. I remembered that, even in a time of trouble, God’s presence is as close as a leaf falling to the ground, providing yet again the promise of new life. I understood that, maybe with a little help from us, God can restore even the most poisoned land, renewing it into a taste of Eden, a glimpse of the way life was always meant to be. 

My time at the beach was brief. And, making my way back out of the nature preserve, I returned to a troubled land symbolized by that sturdy wall built to keep the poor away from the wealthy. But, somehow that wall seemed a little less oppressive. Now, I again trusted that God will give us the strength and courage we need to build a world without walls, to realize the downside-up kingdom imagined, proclaimed, and unveiled by Jesus. 

Prayers and Thanksgivings:

We pray for:

All those on our parish prayer list, especially Jean, Andy, Kit, Kathleen D., Walter M., Sonia, Anaiayah, Robert, and Frank.

Doctors, nurses, and all healthcare workers.

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

Respect for the election results, a spirit of unity and common purpose, and a peaceful transfer of power from President Trump to President-Elect Biden.

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

Ethel Stephenson, former warden of St. Paul’s

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

We give thanks for:

All the blessings of our lives, especially the birthday on Saturday of Mary Meeney.

Calendar Highlights:

Monday, November 16: NJ Together Tenants’ Rights Workshop, 7:00PM-8:00PM

Thursday, November 26: Thanksgiving Service, 10:00 AM (On Zoom)

Sunday, November 29: Thanksgiving Basket Raffle

Thanksgiving Care Package Raffle:

We are raffling a special Thanksgiving care package, which will include multipurpose cleaners, masks, disinfectant sprays, hand gels, and personal care items! Many thanks to Patrice Maynard and Anise Thompson for assembling this wonderful and useful package!

Raffle tickets will be on sale until November 28th.

The winner will be announced during our 10:00 service on Sunday, November 29th.

One chance for $10 or 3 chances $25

50% will go to GSECDC and 50% to The Church of St. Paul’s and Incarnation

Payment options: Venmo, Vanco, Mail in check to church office, pop up table on church lawn Sundays November 15th and 22nd (12 pm to 2 pm.  RSVP to Susan if you plan to purchase a ticket in person at the pop up.)

Order tickets: Call church office or email Susan@stpaulsjc.org

The care package will be delivered via curbside drop off.

Tickets will be mailed to those who wish to have them in hand.

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.

Pledge cards have been mailed to you. Please take some time to prayerfully reflect on what our church means to you, and return your completed card as soon as possible. 

You may also complete and return the online pledge form here:


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 at 10:00 AM for a live-streamed Service of Holy Communion on our church’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/StPaulsJC

From the Diocese:

Read The Voice Online for all the latest news, including a message from Bishop Hughes on God is with us for this big week and the work ahead:


Upcoming Events:

A Speaker Series on Race, Mondays 11/16, and 12/7, 6:30-8:00 PM

Pop Up Youth Event: Don’t Worry Be Thankful, Sunday 11/15, 3:00 PM

Praying for Our Country

Bishop Hughes has called on our diocese to pray the following prayers:

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.

New Jersey Together:

New Jersey Together is cosponsoring a Tenants’ Rights Workshop on November 16. This session is meant for tenants who are behind with rent or may be worried about falling behind, or who just want to learn and share this information with others. Register here: www.njtogether.org/housing

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:


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).

Jersey City Master Plan:

Jersey City is developing a new master plan and it’s important to get maximum public participation. Find more information here: 



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: