This Mission Minute shows just some of the creative ways congregations have taken their communities and their worship outside their doors and into their neighborhoods, starting conversations and building relationships.
At St. Luke’s , Phillipsburg the high school football stadium is adjacent to the church, and Friday night games are VERY popular. On game nights St. Luke’s hosts a hospitality table at the curb with free snacks and a screen showing a rotating display of recent events.
Several congregations hold public Good Friday walks, including Good Shepherd Episcopal Church of Lincoln Park and Montville; the three Jersey City congregations, St. Paul’s In Bergen, Grace Van Vorst and Incarnation; Church of the Redeemer in Morristown; and in Newark, Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral, House of Prayer and Grace Church.
For the 5th year in a row, congregations joined Bishop Mark Beckwith and Canon Greg Jacobs in offering “Ashes to Go” during morning and evening rush hour at train stations, bus stops and other public locations.
Bishop Mark Beckwith continued the “Ashes to Go” concept throughout the year by periodically offering “Blessings to Go” at Newark Penn Station.
For their fall Homecoming celebration, Church of the Redeemer in Morristown put up a tent by a high-traffic sidewalk and offered a picnic where members, townsfolk and soup kitchen guests sat side-by-side, as well as an outdoor service and multi-cultural music.
Three congregations experimented with taking “Dream Boards” to neighborhood events: St. Andrew’s, Harrington Park; St. David’s, Kinnelon; and Church of the Messiah, Chester.
Several congregations held public Pet Celebrations Blessings of Animals, including Church of the Holy Spirit, Verona; Church of the Messiah, Chester (along with their dream board); and St. Agnes’, Little Falls.
Elect to Pray: Community Prayer during Election Season – On and around Election Day, many churches held services of community prayer for our country, and kept their doors open for neighbors who sought a safe place for quiet reflection.
Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral takes advantage of its location in the heart of downtown Newark to create eye-catching public displays. “Memorials to the Lost” includes T-shirts displayed on the Cathedral lawn bearing the names of neighbors lost to gun violence. The Living Nativity dramatically tells the Christmas story with live animals, meditative music and special lighting.