HAWTHORNE, NJ - On Sunday, November 17, St. Clement’s Episcopal Church hosted a visit from Bishop Carlye Hughes of the Diocese of Newark. The Right Reverend Carlye J. Hughes is the first woman and African American to serve as bishop of this diocese.

Bishop Hughes led a special 3:00 p.m. service at the parish along with the Reverend Deacon Erik Soldwedel. Suzanne Hesse, Christian Adams, Pixy Ferris, and Sheryl Oliveri also provided support during the service.

During her sermon, Bishop Hughes spoke about the political divide occurring in many American homes today. She spoke of the fear in the back of many Americans’ minds of the separation becoming so great that it is irreparable, referring to the Civil War and families and states being divided. 

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In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Bishop Hughes urged parishioners to remember their religious teachings. “There is no way to bless the hatred, there is no way to bless the division, there is no way to bless the separation.” As Christians, she said, God will provide the words and wisdom, but to remember that Christianity is for all. 

Following the service, Bishop Hughes joined the parish for a potluck dinner, provided by members of the church. While enjoying the generous dinner, the bishop discussed some problems facing not only the Episcopalian community but American society as a whole. Depression and suicide rates, she said, have skyrocketed in recent years, and that people must remember to reach out to others and check on their well being. 

Bishop Hughes also blessed the parish’s new memorial garden for pets during her visit on Sunday. Church members are welcome to lay their animals' cremains to rest in the sanctified ground beside the church and reflect from the bench. 

The bishop also took time to bless St. Clement’s new community food pantry, Martha’s Pantry. The food pantry is the first of its kind for St. Clement’s Church and aims to provide assistance for Hawthorne residents. Community members are urged to donate as they can, especially items that are not covered by SNAP benefits: toilet paper, napkins, trash bags, diapers, women's sanitary pads, laundry detergent, paper towels, and cleaning products. Martha's Pantry will next be open on Saturday, December 7th from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.. For more information contact the church office at 973-427-8118.

St. Clement’s offers services on Saturday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. For more information, please visit http://stclementsnj.org/

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