Week of February 28, 2021

Welcome to 

The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Anglican / Episcopal Parish 
in the Heart of Jersey City

Bishop Hughes has asked that her pastoral letter be shared with all the congregations in our diocese:

Pastoral Letter:

How shall we keep a Holy Lent this year?

Feb. 25, 2021

Dear Companions on the Journey,

How shall we keep a Holy Lent this year? It will help to start with where we are right now.

In some ways, it feels as if Lent never ended last year. In March 2020, we entered the wilderness of pandemic. While we have grown accustomed to living with COVID19, we also carry the sorrow of so many lives lost, along with the loss of our way of life. It has been a hard year marked by tragic death, historic conflict, racial killings, economic upheaval, and the never-ending worry about the unknown.

Grief may be one of the most underestimated responses in this year of pandemic. At this writing 502,000 Americans have died of COVID19. So many funerals we could not attend. Countless memorial services waiting to be scheduled post-pandemic. We also grieve who we thought we were, a country of people who could unite and conquer any foe. Our nation’s inability to work together created a landscape of unnecessary death. Division has lengthened the time we have spent in the wilderness of pandemic, racial strife, economic distress, and political conflict.

Many of us are working or studying at home. Fortunately, many of us stayed well. We have been generous with ourselves and our resources to make sure others have food, friendship, and our prayers. We have learned how to volunteer from our living rooms. And those who are able, have run errands for those who cannot safely do so themselves. We are getting through this. We have adapted to pandemic and we are grieving.

Grief has become a defining characteristic of this time and we are slow to recognize its presence. We tend to say and believe we are “okay” if our life is safe and our family members are well. Yet, we are the body of Christ. We feel losses in the body because compassion is a defining characteristic of our faith. Compassion makes us wonder how others are doing, brings tears to our eyes when we know of suffering, motivates us to care beyond our tight circle of family and friends. Compassion makes us more like Jesus.

How are we to keep these forty days dedicated to God? We could start by bringing our authentic selves rather than an aspirational self into the presence of God. When Jesus heard of John the Baptist’s death, he went to a desolate place to be by himself (Matthew 14:13). Could it be that shock and sadness motivated him to be alone in sorrow and prayer? What happened in the short time that he travelled and arrived in a desolate place to restore his compassion for the crowd that soon followed? While we can imagine the scene, we cannot know for sure what took place in his time alone, but one thing is certain, Jesus was his authentic self.

Every year we are invited to observe a holy Lent. This year, I encourage you to bring your authentic self into Lenten observations. Your grief, gratefulness, sorrow, relief, anger, frustration, hopefulness, and all that is your response to this time are invited to observe Lent with you. The practices of Lent found in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 265) require facing the truths of this challenging time. While this is hard spiritual work, it is also freeing spiritual work. God loves us as we are and will not leave us stranded in wilderness or grief.

I know God is calling us to be a new kind of church for the future. A church that sees the hungry crowd in need of healing and is moved by compassion to respond the way Jesus did. Perhaps Lent in this long wilderness of pandemic is shaping us into authentic followers of Jesus Christ. Our sorrows and sighs may take us to a desolate place on the way to finding the promise of God’s healing and restoration.

You have my prayers for a holy and authentic Lent.

Grace and peace,

Bishop Hughes

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, Marisa, and Robert.

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, remembering especially:

Renee Madiu, sister of Florence Ibrahim

Herminia Rivera, mother of Mae Carbajosa

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

We give thanks for:

The birthday of Carole Hayes LaBate

Free Vaccinations!

The City of Jersey City is offering free COVID vaccinations to people in our community. The vaccinations will be administered at several locations in Jersey City, between March 8 and March 20.

Who is eligible?

Anyone meeting NJ state criteria (from covid19.nj.gov):

Healthcare Personnel

First Responders

Individuals aged 65 and older

Individuals ages 16-64 with medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus. These conditions include:

o Cancer

o Chronic kidney disease

o COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

o Down Syndrome

o Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies

o Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)

o Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)

o Sickle cell disease

o Smoking

o Type 2 diabetes mellitus

If you meet the requirements and would like to sign up, please let Fr. Tom know by Monday morning at 9:00. You will receive a call or email from a scheduler.

Calendar Highlights:

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:

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, when we 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 second session, please read Part One: Opening the Bible, pgs. 3-65

Contact Fr. Tom for Zoom information.

Small Faith Groups:

A message from Carol Harrison-Arnold:

Greetings All,

Many of you attended the Parish Assembly 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:

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

“Antiphonal Life: The Returns of Paul Robeson”

Join us on Thursday, March 18 at 4:00PM on Zoom for “Antiphonal Life: The Returns of Paul Robeson,” a virtual lecture by Shana L. Redmond, PhD.

Drawn from her recent book, Everything Man, this talk announces “antiphonal life” as a uniquely conceived strategy of the polymath movement artist Paul Robeson. His ascension in scale, from raw element to mountain peak, reveals the failures of the suppressive state and the achievements of The People in their demand to hear and be heard.

Suggested donation: $5

Registration required to receive the Zoom link:


This program is presented by ArtHouse Productions in partnership with the Triangle Park Community Center.

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!

Call 201-547-5688 or 201-373-2316 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: