Week of February 21, 2021

Welcome to 

The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Anglican / Episcopal Parish 
in the Heart of Jersey City

These Are Our Stories

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

During this strange and challenging time, there have been some unexpected blessings. One rich gift has been that some of us have been reading and hearing much more of the Bible than we usually do. For almost a year now, we regular attendees of “Church By Phone” have been slowly making our way through the Old and New Testaments. I’ve heard that some of you who don’t call in are using the daily collect and lessons as part of your private prayer practice. 

I do not doubt that many of us are discovering parts of the Bible that we have never read before. These passages are sometimes delightful and comforting, while others may be puzzling and even disturbing. (There have been a few times during our calls when I felt I had to give a little context before reading a challenging text.) All of this Bible reading inspired me to select The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart by Peter Gomes as this year’s Lenten book study. Gomes (1942-2011) was a longtime professor, preacher, and pastor at Harvard. In The Good Book, first published in 1996, Gomes recognizes that most people (even faithful churchgoers) don’t know the Bible very well but are hungry to learn. After a lifetime of studying, pastoring, and preaching, Gomes believes – even insists – that the Bible can be a key ingredient to living a good life.

The Bible is a collection of all sorts of literature, including history, poetry, law, and letters. Most of all, it is story - the story of God and God’s people. It’s a story that our spiritual ancestors recognized as essential, passing it on to future generations, first through word of mouth and then finally in writing. And now this is our inheritance. These are our stories. And, while we no longer add new chapters to the Bible (can you imagine the fights we’d have about that?), we do contribute additional verses and chapters to the ongoing story of God and us.

Unfortunately, we have not always been as conscientious as our ancestors when remembering our stories and passing on these memories to future generations. So, it seems especially appropriate that while we dig deeper into the Bible, we are also looking into our own past. In our “Lifting Our Voices” oral history project, we have begun talking with longtime Jersey City Episcopalians, recording their memories for us and for those to come. We’ve already learned a lot, and we’re just getting started!

Ultimately, we make sense of the world through stories. And when we never learn or forget our stories, inevitably, we lose our way. Afflicted with a kind of spiritual blindness and amnesia, we may not be able to recognize that we are brothers and sisters, no longer remembering God at work in our past, and not knowing to even look for God acting in our present and future. So, I hope many of you will join in with our book study (starting on Wednesday evening – Zoom info below and discussion questions are attached) and that at least some of you will get involved in our exciting oral history project.

These are our stories. Let’s learn them.

Your Brother in Christ,


Prayers and Thanksgivings:

We pray for:

All those on our parish prayer list, especially Jean A., Kit, Anaiayah, Linda M., Frances, Vicki B, Julio, Marisol, Renee M, and Marisa.

Doctors, nurses, and all healthcare workers

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

All members of the armed services, especially Chris Armbruster

All those in positions of leadership, especially Joe, our President; Kamala, our Vice President; Phil, our Governor; and Steve, our Mayor

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

Hyvesta Bovell, a former Church of the Incarnation parishioner

Donna Ross-Miller

Jayne Benbow, a childhood friend of Ken Maynard

Dorothy Bellinger, JCPD retired, who died in a house fire on Clerk Street

Truxtun Enenels Brodhead, father of Allie Brodhead

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

We give thanks for:

The birthdays of Kishore Seepersaud and Gina Verdibello

Calendar Highlights:

Wednesday, February 24: Lenten Book Study, Session 1, 7:00PM (On Zoom)

Wednesday, March 3: Lenten Book Study, Session 2, 7:00PM (On Zoom)

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 an invitation from Bishop Hughes to a holy Lent, and Fr. Tom’s reflection on Sidney King and our oral history project:


Upcoming Events:

Pop In with Pop Up Youth – Zoom Meeting, Sunday, 2/21, 3:00PM

Church Leader University, Saturday, 3/6, 9:00AM – 11:30AM (Via Zoom)

A Special Service Marking One Year of Living With Pandemic, Saturday, 3/13, 10:00AM

Pop Up Youth & Cross Roads Retreat, Saturday, 3/13, 10:00AM (via Zoom)

Lay Conversation with the Bishop, Thursday 3/18, 6:00PM (via Zoom)

Regional Conversation with Bishop Hughes, 4/15, 6:30PM-8:30PM (via Zoom)

Lenten Book Study:

Join us on Wednesday evenings at 7:00, starting THIS February 24, when we will discuss (on Zoom) "The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart," by Peter Gomes.  You can order a copy through your local bookseller or B&N or Amazon. For our first session, please read Apologia, pgs. ix-xv

Contact Fr. Tom for Zoom login information.

Small Faith Groups:

A message from Carol Harrison-Arnold:

Greetings All,

Many of you attended the Parish Assembly on Sunday and learned of the great ministries going on with the church despite the pandemic.  You also heard about the beginning of another ministry, Small Faith Groups, in response to the isolation and absence of in-person worship that many are missing. 

As a church, we are challenged with helping members to engage in activity where God Shows Up as an extension of our congregational life. We think we have found a way to address this challenge and invite all to become a part of a small group.

We pray many of you will decide to participate in a small group to enrich the faith experience for all of us.  A link for the sign-up form is below.  Please let family and friends know of this faith opportunity because we all need God to Show Up!!! 

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/RBYUpHFnufoFXn6C9

Lifting Our Voices: Uncovering the Story of the Episcopal Churches in Jersey City

The Episcopal Churches of Jersey City are beginning an effort to learn our history. We are eager to learn and document what life was like for Jersey City Episcopalians in the past, with a particular interest in how our churches were shaped by structural racism. Today, the Episcopal churches of Jersey City are almost as racially and ethnically diverse as the city we serve, but, unfortunately, this was not always the case. 

For decades, the Episcopal churches in our city did not welcome people of color. This sinful lack of hospitality led to the founding in 1910 of the Church of the Incarnation as a spiritual home for Black Episcopalians. Later, by the end of the 20th Century, “white flight” emptied out most of our churches, diminishing our presence in the city. As recent events in our country have painfully reminded us, structural racism doesn’t disappear.  It has to be faced, spoken about, confessed and acted upon.  If there was ever a time to learn from the past and get to work dismantling racism in our churches, it is now!

That is why members of St. Paul & Incarnation and Grace Church Van Vorst will begin researching the histories of our churches to trace how they were shaped by white supremacy.  At the same time, we will also interview some of our church elders to learn from people who have lived our story and know it best, preserving their memories for future generations. 

Combating white supremacy is the work of a lifetime, but on the Day of Pentecost (May 23) we will share what we have learned from our research and interviews. From this presentation, our churches will begin to have conversations about what it means to learn the truth about the racism in our church and how knowing the truth can help us change our future.

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:

Call for Art: Light in the Never-Ending Shade:

In her inaugural poem, Amanda Gorman asks: "When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?" Throughout time, humans have studied the relationship between light and shadow, sometimes equated with good and evil, yin and yang, or mystery and enlightenment. In the end, most seem to agree that one cannot exist without the other. This past year has seemed to be made up of an inordinate amount of darkness. But is there light at the end of the tunnel? Or perhaps it's been there the whole time, obscured like an eclipse? For this virtual show, The Arts at St. Paul (ASPI) would like artists to submit work that explores the dynamic relationship between dark and light.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

KEY EXHIBITION DATES (subject to change):

JC Fridays: Friday, March 5

Virtual Gathering & Artist Talk: Sunday, March 14


Our online virtual 3D gallery, accessible through our website www.ASPI-JC.org


Amy Neufeld


We will accept work that is both for sale and not for sale. You may submit up to 5 pieces for consideration.

Email address for submissions: arts@stpaulsjc.org

PLEASE INCLUDE your name, title, medium, dimensions, price, good quality jpegs and any other pertinent info about your work. If your work is for sale, please specify whether you are willing to ship it should a buyer be interested who is not local.

COMMISSION: Income from sales goes 60% to the artist; the remaining 40% will go to The Arts at St. Paul & Incarnation. PLEASE PRICE ACCORDINGLY!

A link to Gorman's poem "The Hill We Climb" can be found here: https://www.cnn.com/.../amanda-gorman.../index.html

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:


Join parents and faith leaders from across Jersey City on Thursday, March 11, at 7:30PM as we press for action again for our schools. We’ll be sharing feedback from 1,000+ parents about learning during the pandemic and pressing for the full funding our children deeply deserve. Join us!

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkdeGoqz4vGNCoxVHpl0lNhF818_eL0Rk0

SPRING LEADERSHIP & ORGANIZING TRAINING: April 13-15, 12:30PM-2:00PM, or April 23 (7:30PM-9:00PM & April 24 (10:00AM-11:30AM, 2:00Pm-3:30PM)

If you’re new to Jersey City Together – or want to get more involved, please consider joining us for training planned later in the spring. This will be critical as we prepare for next steps. Learn more and register here:


Learn more about New Jersey Together here: www.njtogether.org

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:

Jersey City is vaccinating senior citizens at the Bethune Center (140 MLK Drive).

Call 201-547-5688 (NOTE THIS IS A NEW NUMBER) between 9:00AM and 5:00PM, seven days a week, to schedule an appointment.

State of New Jersey Covid-19 Information Hub:


State of New Jersey Covid Vaccine Registration:


Hudson County Covid Vaccine Registration:

Hudson County residents who are eligible can register here https://www.hudsonregional.org

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: