Week of December 6, 2020

Welcome to 

The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Episcopal / Anglican Parish
in the Heart of Jersey City



“The Church is Never More the Church Than When…”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

To better understand the history of the Diocese of Newark, some of my clergy colleagues and I have spent time studying the journals of each diocesan convention, stretching all the way back to 1875. I really lucked out because I was assigned 1948 to 1971, a particularly fascinating and eventful period in history, both diocesan and American. During the late 1940s and early 1950s the Church began to face the enormous changes wrought by World War II and the postwar economic and population boom. There was a lot of attention given to the menace of communism and also the excesses of the Red Scare. There was a flurry of fundraising and construction, as the Church rushed to expand older churches and build new ones in the rapidly growing suburbs. There was concern about the decline of many urban congregations, emptied by changing demographics. And, thankfully, during the turbulent 1960s, there was increasing awareness and acknowledgment that our country, state, and diocese were all falling far short of offering equal opportunity to Black people.

Back then, just like today, some people thought the Church should stay out of politics and not concern itself with the issues of the day. Several bishops pushed back against that point of view, but none more powerfully or eloquently than The Rt. Rev. George Rath, who served the Diocese of Newark as Suffragan Bishop from 1964 to 1970, Bishop Coadjutor from 1970 to 1974, and then finally as Bishop from 1974 to his retirement in 1978. Until I started digging in the archives, Bishop Rath was just a name to me, but now I’ve added him to my pantheon of spiritual heroes. I bet you’ll feel the same way after you read this, from his address to the 1965 Diocesan Convention:

“A Church that is founded upon the faith that God sent his own Son into the world to redeem the world cannot refrain from entering into the politics, and the economy, and the social mores of the age in which it finds itself. To some, the saying, ‘Let the Church be the Church,’ means, ‘Let the Church look after its services of worship, run its Sunday Schools, minister to the sick, and the dying, the poor and the bereaved, but let it keep its nose out of the realms of business, industry, commerce, and politics.’ On the other hand, the Church is never more the Church than when it acts as the conscience of the nation. The Church is never more the Church than when it acts in protest against injustice or the miscarriage of justice. The Church is never more the Church than when it speaks for the unorganized and voiceless poor. The Church is never more the Church than when it takes its stand beside the American Negro in his protest against his economic oppression, his educational deprivation, his political disenfranchisement, his social disadvantage. The Church is never more the Church than when it seeks to act as mediator between hostile groups and hostile nations.  The Church is never more the Church than when it stands ready to spend its life for the sake of the world, imitating the Lord’s example.”

These are such powerful, wise, and challenging words from Bishop Rath. Now here we are, 55 years later, in our own turbulent time, when a deadly virus lurks in the air around us, when so many have lost their jobs or worry that they’re next out the door, when political differences seem to have driven an unbridgeable chasm between us. Plus, the Church is much smaller and weaker than it was during Bishop Rath’s day, and thanks to these long months of exile from our sanctuaries, the Church is likely to shrink even more. So, given all that, today it is tempting for the Church to merely look after itself, to think somehow that all we should do – or, all we can do right now, anyway – is care for our own people, avoiding controversy at all cost, doing our best to keep the institution going during these most difficult days. 

Yet, as Bishop Rath understood well and expressed so clearly, the Church is never more the Church than when we link arms with the poor and the oppressed, when we speak truth to power, especially when power really doesn’t want to hear it. And, the Church is never more the Church than when we roll up our sleeves and get to work, doing our part to heal the world so loved by God, building a world more like what God has always intended for us all.

Your brother in Christ,


Prayers and Thanksgivings:

We pray for:

All those on our parish prayer list, especially Jean, Andy, Kit, Walter M., Anaiayah, Robert, and Michael N.

Doctors, nurses, and all healthcare workers.

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

All those in positions of leadership, especially Donald, our President; Joe, our President-elect; Phil, our Governor; and Steve, our Mayor.

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

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

We give thanks for:

The birthdays of Shari Gill, Catherine Murphy, Adam Krieg, Anne Marie Cone, and all those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries in December.

Calendar Highlights:

Friday, December 4: JC Friday – Yukiko Tanaka & Family, 7:00 PM (On Zoom)

Register here: http://www.jcfridays.com/

Sunday, December 6: Monthly Parish Get-Together, 1:00 PM (On Zoom)

Thursday, December 10: Stone Soup Community Supper – To Go, 6:00 PM

First Sunday of the Month Get-Together:

Catch up with other parishioners this Sunday at 1:00 on Zoom!

Call 201-433-4922 for more information.

Christmas Gifts for GSECDC’s Children in Need:

(COVID-era version of our Christmas giving tree)

 If you would like to give a gift for a child in need:

Please send your phone or email request to Susan@StPaulsJC.org or (201)433-4922.  We will contact you with the age and gender of the child(ren) you choose. Please call or email to arrange a time to drop off your gift. (Gift cards can be slipped under the back door.)  OR DELIVER your gift to the church on a pop-up Sunday, noon-2:00 pm December 6 or 13.  The gifts will be delivered to GSECDC for distribution. THE DEADLINE IS NEXT SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13!

PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT WRAP the gift.  (The social worker must see the gift before preparing it for delivery.)  DO NOT put your name on the gift. (It may be the only thing parents have to give their children.)  DO include the child’s information with your gift.  IF YOU CANNOT DELIVER YOUR GIFT TO THE CHURCH, please send a gift card or donate money so that the gift can be bought on your behalf.  

Christmas Cookies!

Calling all bakers! We would like to share homemade Christmas cookies with the young people in the Triangle Park neighborhood. Please let Fr. Tom know if you’d like to help.

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 a different way to walk through Advent:


Upcoming Events:

A Speaker Series on Race, Monday, 12/7, 6:30-8:00 PM

Lay Conversation with Bishop Hughes, Thursday, 12/17, 6:00-7:30 PM

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:

Yukiko Tanaka & Family Present Holiday Music on Zoom!

Join Yukiko and her lovely family as they share their holiday favorites during Virtual JC Friday on December 4.

To join register here: www.jcfridays.com

ASPI Mugs and Tote Bags

It's here! Bring the work of local artists into your home this season with a curated mug or tote bag from ASPI!


The Arts at St. Paul and Incarnation (ASPI) is delighted to introduce a line of mugs and tote bags featuring the works of some of our favorite local artists. Unlike many other fundraisers that call for donated work, all profit is split evenly between the artist and ASPI. Proceeds to ASPI will go towards supporting our programming and future improvements to Carr Hall. We hope you enjoy these works as much as we do.

Visit our brand new store on Threadless to order these beautiful items (which make great gifts!)


Visit our virtual gallery to see our latest exhibit:


New Jersey Together:

New Jersey Together is committed to training leaders from religious congregations and non-profits across the state in the basics of non-partisan organizing. The training will give you concrete tools to identify and act on issues that matter to your communities, to build relationships inside and outside your institution, and to analyze why those issues are not currently being addressed.

During this pandemic, our training will be conducted virtually over multiple, shorter sessions. There will be readings and discussions with diverse leaders in different parts of the state. Registration will be for a limited number. If there is enough interest, we will add additional dates. The first two sessions are below:

FIRST GROUP: December 8-10 (Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday), from 12:30 to 1:45 PM.

SECOND GROUP: December 12 (10-11-30 AM) and December 13 (5-6:45PM) (Saturday & Sunday)

Register now here:  njtogether.org/training 



New Jersey Together is cosponsoring free testing at Mt. Pisgah AME Church (354 Forrest St.):

Saturday, December 5, 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM POSTPONED DUE TO BAD WEATHER!

No registration necessary. For more information: 


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: