Week of March 21, 2021

Welcome to 

The Church of St. Paul and Incarnation!

An Anglican / Episcopal Parish 
in the Heart of Jersey City

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

More than twenty years ago, when Sue and I first walked through the doors of St. Paul's, we stepped into a future we could not have imagined. At the time, I knew very little about the Episcopal Church and absolutely nothing about our church's history in Jersey City. But, I slowly began to learn our story as I got to know some longtime parishioners, including Bertha Young, Gertrude Wick, Frieda Fuss, Cortez Campbell, and, most of all, my predecessor and close friend, The Rev. Francis Carr, the 10th Rector of St. Paul's.

As you St. Paul's "old-timers" will remember, Fr. Carr lived out much of his retirement at 37 Duncan Avenue, just across the street from the church. When I knew him, blindness and other health challenges were heavy burdens, but Fr. Carr remained engaged with the world and the church right to the end. When I began to discern a call to ordained ministry, he was happy to tell me about his own priesthood, hoping that I would learn from his example. He often invited me over to his apartment for lunch, with our meal sometimes made a little merrier by a glass or two of sherry. Sometimes he included me when some of his clergy buddies would come to visit, faithful priests including Oscar Gonzalez, Jonathan King, and Jack Thorn. From these good men, I began to learn some threads, or at least some versions, of our Jersey City Episcopal history: the dramatic and controversial changes in the church, the frequent battles with "the Diocese," the struggle to keep churches open, the cooperation and friendship among clergy of different denominations and faiths, and the incredible privilege of walking beside people during some of the most important moments of their lives.

Not knowing much, I mainly kept silent as these spiritual grandfathers told their stories. Losing themselves in their memories, I think they sometimes nearly forgot that I was even in the room! I didn't realize it at the time, but these old priests passed on parts of a story that would become an essential part of my story, too. 

Although I'm not as old as Fr. Carr and his pals were back when we gathered for lunch and stories, my twenty-plus years of association with our church has filled my heart with many memories, many beautiful, some painful. And, all of this time together has given me some perspective on our church. So here is what I know: clergy come and go – we all come and go - each with our gifts and weak spots, and yet, by the grace of God, the community's essence endures.

When Sue and I first arrived here, we immediately noticed the beauty of our church building. The friendliness of the welcome, the skillful singing, and, yes, the exuberance of the peace all wowed us, convincing us to return the following Sunday, and for years to come. So much has happened over these two decades. Many people have moved away or died. New people with their own talents, hopes, and needs have arrived. Yet, no matter the changing faces, our community's essence endures, blessing those who come here and continuing to bless those who move on.

After I announced my upcoming departure, a few parishioners said or wrote, "Please don't forget us." Each time I heard or read those words, tears welled in my eyes, and I thought, "not a chance." The truth is that forgetting St. Paul and Incarnation is simply impossible for Sue and me! You are part of our story. Those who have gone on ahead of us - Alton, Joyce, Sidney, Eugenia, Lois, Veronica, Joe, Violet, Eden, Lyn, Ken, and so many others - are forever part of our story. We will carry all of you with us no matter where we go. Most importantly, I know that, with God's help, the beautifully hospitable church that welcomed us long ago will endure, offering a continued Episcopal presence in the heart of Jersey City, adding many more chapters to the story written by God and us.

With much love,


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, Jeff, Samantha, Eddie, and Eric.

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

The Rev. Jerry Pisani, retired Rector of Trinity Church, Bayonne

Those killed in the Atlanta Spa Shootings, including Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, and Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz.

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

We give thanks for:

The birthdays of Althea Maynard, Kirsten Ayala, Judith Rahilly, Malcolm Marsden, and Sonia Staine.

Calendar Highlights:

Sun., March 21: Youth Group Meeting, Noon

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)

Sun., April 4 Easter Day (Worship schedule TBA)

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 reminder from Bishop Hughes that in the Episcopal Church “all means all”:


Upcoming Event:

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

Sacred People, Sacred Earth

Along with many other congregations, our church has 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. For our fourth session (on March 24), please read Part Two: The Use and Abuse of the Bible, cont., pgs. 120-172.

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 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 can be viewed on our website: aspi-jc.org

ASPI Mugs and Tote Bags

It's here! Bring the work of local artists into your home 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

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: