The Bishop’s Church Emergency Fund (BCEF) provides financial support for church buildings in the diocese needing repairs and renovation, usually with a special focus on emergency and unforeseen needs. Through the BCEF, you can support the critical needs identified by the Bishop.
The first BCEF call of 2020 is for school sprinkler system upgrades at All Saints Parish, Hoboken. You can donate online, or mail a check payable to BCEF with Call #1 in the memo line to: BCEF, c/o Diocese of Newark, 31 Mulberry St., Newark, NJ 07102.
All Saints Episcopal Parish in Hoboken is centrally located on Washington Street, the main thoroughfare of the “Mile Square City,” as this Hudson County community is often called. Designed by noted architect Richard Upjohn, the distinctive 1853 building was one of three Episcopal parishes that were consolidated to form All Saints Parish in 1983. The parish still owns one of the now-unused church buildings, as well as a nearby rectory and, next door to the church on Washington Street, the independently operated All Saints Episcopal Day School.
This coming spring, the Rev. Elaine Thomas, a graduate of Yale Divinity School, will celebrate her second year as rector of All Saints. She believes that All Saints has always been “at the forefront of progressive thinking about Christianity,” as the parish website states. Worship and social action, she suggests, are mutually empowering. She explains that a central goal of her ministry at All Saints is to encourage and build Christian formation and discipleship.
Attendance at All Saints’ three Sunday worship services averages a little over one hundred. There is a quieter, contemplative 8 am service, a very energetic 9 am family service, and a Choral Eucharist at 11 am. Pastor Elaine describes the worship style for the later service as traditional, inspiring, and having a special emphasis on music. The parish has a large choir—a blend of both talented amateur and professional singers. In addition to an active altar guild, readers, and ushers, there is a growing acolyte program and a group that bakes the bread used at parish Eucharists.
All Saints also has an active role in serving the surrounding community. The All Saints Community Service and Development Center was instrumental in founding Hoboken’s Jubilee Center, which currently provides quality after-school programs for over 100 children. The parish also supports Hoboken’s Shelter for the Homeless which offers evening meals and sleeping arrangements for 50 guests each night. The congregation joins other churches in supporting In Jesus’ Name, a food pantry that has assisted Hoboken’s poor since 1981.
Like many churches with aging buildings, All Saints, while in good repair, also has its share of deferred maintenance issues. Over the past summer however, it was determined that the sprinkler system serving the school was not functioning and needed immediate attention. Corrective measures entailed expensive excavation beneath two parking spaces behind the church. The expense was unexpected and had to be paid for out of the parish’s operating funds. This, our first BCEF call for 2020, aims to reduce the heavy financial burden this emergency has placed upon the people of All Saints and the vital ministries they undertake. Please consider their need prayerfully and be as generous as you can in helping them.
+Carlye J. Hughes
The Rt. Rev. Carlye J. Hughes
Bishop of Newark