Week of March 14, 2021

Welcome to 

The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Anglican / Episcopal Parish 
in the Heart of Jersey City

"Pandemic Memories and Lessons"

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On Saturday morning at 10:00, the Diocese of Newark will offer a virtual service marking one year of living with the pandemic. I hope you will join us at the diocesan YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DioNewark

Reaching this grim anniversary got me thinking about what life was like a year ago and how so much has changed over these never-to-be-forgotten twelve months.

A little more than a year ago, I was sort of half paying attention to the virus that had appeared in China. After all, it seemed like new diseases popped up somewhere in the world every year, but they never touched my life. I did briefly reconsider the trip I had booked to California in February, but I still went. The whole time I was away, I saw only a few people wearing masks, though we now know that the virus was already lurking among us. After I got back, I asked someone who works in the health industry just how concerned I should be about this “Covid-19.” She replied, no, the bigger worry was the flu. The truth is that none of it seemed quite real until…

You may remember that for a few weeks we made modifications to our Sunday services. Passing the Peace was reduced to just a friendly wave across the aisle. Intinction (dipping the wafer into the chalice) was banned, and then a week or two later, we no longer offered the cup. And, finally, the word came from Bishop Hughes that in-person worship was suspended. Like churches all across our diocese and beyond, we scrambled to set up online worship. (And, by “we,” I mean my wife Sue.) That first Sunday, with just the two of us in church, I got my first taste of preaching into a cellphone camera.

When I think of those early days of the pandemic, I remember the frighteningly empty supermarket shelves. I remember the unsettling hush that fell upon the city. I remember air that was cleaner than any of us have ever breathed in this densely populated place. I remember the flocks of birds that took over the abandoned ball fields in Lincoln Park, hundreds of robins free to hunt for worms without human interruption. I remember the first time I picked up a takeout order from a local restaurant. I was not totally comfortable with the idea but wanted to support local businesses, people who are our friends and neighbors. I came home, handed the bags to Sue, and then began a thorough process of “decontamination.” And, maybe most vividly of all, I remember the long line of out-of-state ambulances parked along Montgomery Street near the Medical Center. In a country often described as divided - that is so often divided - help had come from all over.

The pandemic has changed us forever. This powerful virus has taken some wonderful people, abruptly ending lives, depriving us of the kind of future we expected and perhaps took for granted. Those of us who are still young and generally healthy now recognize our vulnerability, our uncomfortable dependence on other people doing the right thing. The pandemic has changed the church forever. Yes, we have proved to be more creative and resilient than we may have thought, but the hard truth is that our community will never return to exactly what it was in the “before time.” Some of our old ways are gone forever. I do not doubt that at least some of us will continue to attend church virtually, appreciating the convenience, comfort, and safety. I can’t imagine us passing the Peace quite as enthusiastically as we did before. I don’t think we will ever again “intinct” our wafers. And, when will we feel safe enough to squeeze into Carr Hall for coffee hour? On the other hand, we will continue to reach people who live far from Jersey City, giving us the exciting opportunity and difficult challenge of finding ways to include them in our newly expanded community. What exactly does church membership mean now?

I’m trying to hold onto some lessons from this challenging year. I’ve always talked a good game about the importance of community, but I never really understood how much I depend on being with others – being with you – until now. I’ve always poked fun at people who resist change, who say, “But, we’ve always done it this way!” Well, this year I learned that I have been one of those people! And I’ve learned that it’s not as hard as I think to try new ways, to experiment, to trust the skills of others. And, maybe most of all, having experienced empty store shelves, the unsettling taste of scarcity and panic, I hope that we will be more compassionate and generous towards the countless people, near and far, who get way more than a taste of that kind of poverty and fear.



Prayers and Thanksgivings:

We pray for:

All those on our parish prayer list, especially Gina, Jean A., Anaiayah, Linda M., Vicki B, Julio, Marisol, Marisa, Robert, Samantha, Jeff, and Eddie.

We offer special prayers for Sonia and her family.

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:

Alton Avaloy

Jenny Compton, the sister of Nica Buescher’s brother-in-law

Msgr. James Finnerty

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

We give thanks for:

The birthdays of Nelly Onyebeke, C.J. Onyebeke, Lai-San Ho, Laura Cronk, Koren Frankfort, Kayla Ho, and Angelo Dias

Calendar Highlights:

Sat., March 13: DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME RESUMES (clocks ahead one hour)

Sun., March 14: “Light in the Never-Ending Shade” 

        Opening, 4:00PM (Zoom info below)

Wed., March 17: Lenten Book Study Session 3 

Wed., March 24: Lenten Book Study Session 4

Sun., March 28: Palm Sunday Liturgy, 10:00AM (Facebook)

        Distribution of the Palms, 12:00PM – 1:00PM (Churchyard)

Wed., March 31: Lenten Book Study Session 5

Thurs., April 1: Maundy Thursday Liturgy, 7:00PM (Facebook)

Fri., April 2: Good Friday Stations of the Cross Procession, 9:30AM (Zoom)

        Good Friday Liturgy, 7:00PM (Facebook)

Sat, April 3: Holy Saturday Liturgy, 9:00AM (Facebook)

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.

You may 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 call from Bishop Hughes to pray for our nation:


Upcoming Events:

A Special Service Marking One Year of Living With Pandemic, Saturday, 3/13, 10:00AM. This service will be broadcast on the Diocese of Newark’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DioNewark

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)

Sacred People, Sacred Earth

On Thursday our church, along with many other congregations, declared that we are united by a fundamental belief that all people, all living things, and the Earth are sacred.

Thank you to Susan Den Herder, Lorna Woodham, Shari Gill, and all the participants, for putting together this powerful video, which can be found on our Facebook page:


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 third session (on March 17), please read Part Two: The Use and Abuse of the Bible, pgs. 69-119. Contact Fr. Tom for log-in 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:

“Light in the Never-Ending Shade”

Our beautiful new art show opens this Sunday at 4:00PM on Zoom.

Contact arts@stpaulsjc.org for log-in information

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 the Arts at St. Paul & Incarnation website for more information:


New Jersey Together:

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, first responders, and those with certain pre-existing conditions!

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: