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"Great needs still surround us, and we are called to help" - Bishop Hughes' Advent letter on the Alleluia Fund for Outreach

Advent candles

“Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss thy kingdom’s goals.”

Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969)
Hymn 594/595 in The Hymnal 1982

Dear Companions on the Journey,

When Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote the words to that grand old hymn “God of grace and God of glory” in 1930 the world was reeling. Widespread hardship had followed the collapse of the stock market the year before. Banks were failing. Unemployment was swiftly rising. Uncounted numbers of people were homeless. The Great Plains suffered from over-farming and drought. The Dust Bowl days would soon begin.

Some were stunned when Fosdick’s hymn, written for the joyous dedication of Riverside Church in New York, criticized people and the church for their sins and failings. He wrote about “warring madness,” pride, “weak resignation to the evils we deplore,” and a selfishness that led to being “rich in things and poor in soul.” Fosdick might have written a hymn for a building, but he believed that a church was more than its building. That’s a lesson we have been learning since mid-March 2020.

Much changed for the better this year. Vaccines greatly reduce our vulnerability to COVID-19. Their availability has meant businesses, offices and our church buildings are safely re-opening. Many of us are trying out a new way forward. For many, life feels a bit easier.

Yet, great needs still surround us, and we are called to help.

For over a decade, the Alleluia Fund for Outreach has been helping some of the most vulnerable among us. As recipients of Alleluia Fund grants, nonprofit partners in our cities and towns, along with programs as far away as Kenya and East Jerusalem, are living examples of the gospel in action.

This year, because of the generosity of donors like you, the Alleluia Fund made 28 grants totaling $145,000. The work of these nonprofit groups goes on all year long. Your generosity today will help that work continue, feeding people, helping them find shelter, and providing them with educational resources here and around the world. Through it all we are constantly striving towards the kingdom’s goal of a world where dignity, justice and peace reign.

Your generosity is so important! Please join with others in this diocese to continue “serving thee who we adore” by supporting our work towards bringing about God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven by making a generous gift to the Alleluia Fund this year.

Giving to the Alleluia Fund is easy. All the information you need is here. Your generosity truly will make difference. Thank you!

Grace and peace,

The Rt. Rev. Carlye J. Hughes
XI Bishop of Newark