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 fourth BCEF call of 2019 is for driveway repaving at St. Peter's, Livingston. You can donate online, or mail a check payable to Diocese of Newark with BCEF Call #4 in the memo line to: BCEF, c/o Diocese of Newark, 31 Mulberry St., Newark, NJ 07102.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is centrally located on East Mount Pleasant Avenue (also known as Route 10) in Livingston, an Essex County township of some 30,000 residents. The Rev. Elizabeth Wigg-Maxwell, St. Peter’s rector, has served the parish since 2009. “One of the things I love most about our congregation is its adventuresome spirit,” she says. “We have been an enthusiastic participant in the diocese’s Going Local program and it has been a transformative experience for us. Everyone here is always willing to step up to a new challenge to serve.”
The church’s congregation is largely drawn from Livingston and the surrounding communities including Roseland and West Orange. Its membership is also highly diverse, with many members having roots in Latin America and the Caribbean Islands. Each Sunday St. Peter’s celebrates a 10 o’clock Eucharist with an average attendance of 25 adults and about 15 children. St. Peter’s has an Adult Choir, a Women’s Ensemble, and a music program for children. All these are enhanced by an historic pipe organ from the well-known firm of Casavant Fréres. “Music lifts our spirits and souls and carries the words we are saying to new heights,” says the parish’s website.
A primary outreach ministry of St. Peter’s is its large and busy Thrift Shop. Shoes, clothing, toys, home goods, and baby items are all offered at affordable prices. The shop has new addition called the Annex that specializes in bed linens. The congregation also provides the use of its facilities to the surrounding community. Its school specializes in early intervention for children on the autism spectrum. Space is also provided to a 100-year-old Boy Scout troop, a weekly AA meeting, and a Korean congregation that worships in the sanctuary each Sunday.
St. Peter’s property consists of a beautiful brick church dating from 1960, a school wing, a parish hall, and a rectory. Recently the parish’s façade was restored and all the church buildings are in excellent condition. Importantly, the congregation has also partnered with the Greenfaith organization to honor St. Peter’s commitment to environmental stewardship—an effort that has resulted in the installation of a new energy-efficient boiler.
In addition to the buildings however, St. Peter’s many ministries are also dependent on keeping its large parking lot in good repair. After many years of continuously patching potholes, the parish recently had no choice but to repave the entire lot. This costly project has been largely financed by a loan from the diocese. To help St. Peter’s with this expense, I urge you to make a generous contribution to this, our fourth and final BCEF call for 2019. Please make a donation today to help this wonderful congregation continue their vital ministries.
+Carlye J. Hughes
The Rt. Rev. Carlye J. Hughes
Bishop of Newark