WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Right Reverend Mark M. Beckwith, Bishop of the Newark Episcopal Archdiocese, paid a visit on November 17 to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, located on Main Street in West Orange. Beckwith's visit was part of his ongoing tours of Newark Diocese churches, totaling over 100 in the Northern New Jersey area.
The Bishop lead the congregation in a special service, spoke to the children, and thanked the small-yet-fruitful church for their ongoing outreaches to the community. Holy Trinity Episcopal runs a bustling Thrift Shop, Christine's Kitchen, a weekly soup kitchen every Saturday, and the Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry, which provides food for up to 500 people per month. The church is celebrating 106 years of service to the West Orange community.
The Bishop encouraged the children to do good and reminded them that they would always see God's love in the faces of those that loved them.
He then shared with the congregation about his experiences while on sabbatical over the summer. Bishop Beckwith traveled to Nepal, New Delhi, and to a Navajo reservation in New Mexico to see the world in a different way and find new ways to connect to the world around him.
While in New Delhi, he stayed with a monastic organization that had, over the past 100 years, assisted thousands in the area. When he asked them how they did it and where do you start, they replied "one soul at a time."
While attending the ordination of an Episcopal priest on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico, Beckwith noted that they incorporated the Navajo tradition of "Smudging," a ceremony where sage is burned to dispel bad spirits, feelings, or influences, and to keep bad spirits from entering the area where a ceremony is performed. Beckwith said his initial reaction was to question the smudging as non-Episcopalian, but quickly realized that it did indeed have its place a part of of the uniqueness of the participants. Bishop Beckwith came away with a renewed sense of understanding of the spiritual connectedness of all people.
For more information on Bishop Mark Beckwith, go to http://www.dioceseofnewark.org/.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is located at 315 Main Street. Services are held each Sunday at 9:30 am; the Thrift Shop is open Thursdays 10-3 and Saturdays, 10-1; Christine's Kitchen is held each Saturday between 12-1; and the Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry is open the last two Tuesdays and Fridays of the month between 9-1 and the last Monday of the month between 6-8. Please email Heidlercumming@aol.com for more information.