Tomb"The tomb couldn’t hold him. He’s still around, he’s still loose in the world." ~Marcus Borg

"The Easter message proclaims that what awaited Jesus in death was not ultimate annihilation, but a homecoming into God's mystery. For Jesus personally, this means the abiding redeemed validity of his historical human existence in God’s presence forever. The hallelujahs that break out at Easter, however, are based on more than our joy for Jesus’ personal good fortune. I mean we’re glad for him, right, but we sing hallelujah because we know that Christ's destiny is not meant for himself alone, it is meant for the whole human race...

Does this have any meaning for the natural world of life? The logic of deep incarnation would say yes. Christ’s resurrection grounds hope for a blessed future, not only for humans, but for the whole community of creation. And the reasoning runs like this. This person, Jesus of Nazareth, was composed of star stuff and earth stuff. He was a genuine part of the biological community of earth, existing in a network of exchange with his ecological environment. If, in death, a piece of this world, real to the core, as Carl Rahner writes, surrendered his life in love, and is now forever with God in glory, then this signals in embryo the final beginning of the redemptive glorification, not just for human beings alone, but for all flesh, all material beings, every creature that passes through death. The evolving world of

life will not be left behind, but will be transfigured in the same resurrecting action of the creative spirit that brought Christ to life. Thus, the resurrection marks the beginning of the redemption of the whole physical cosmos. With this realization, Ambrose of Milan could preach in the fourth century, 'In Christ’s resurrection, the earth itself arose.' " ~ Elizabeth Johnson

 "What is most gripping in the resurrection myth is its power to transform. At a personal level, it depicts the frayed, bruised, humiliated Jesus exonerated in his essential, human dignity. At a structural, systemic level, it signifies that the political, cultural forces of injustice and oppression do not win out in the end. And at the global (holistic) level, it projects a world of unrealized possibilities, opening up into an eternal future. Resurrection elevates human yearning into infinite proportions and invites us to understand creation (the entire cosmos) as endowed with an eternal destiny. The myth of resurrection opens up global horizons for person and universe alike." ~ Diarmuid O'Murchu

All great religions offer humanity parables bigger than themselves. So also here. When Christ, rising from the dead after being executed for nonviolent resistance against violent imperial injustice, grasps the hands of Adam and Eve, he creates a parable of possibility and a metaphor of hope for all of humanity’s redemption.” ~ John Dominic Crossan in Resurrecting Easter

With Blessings,
Your Brothers and Sisters in Voice of the Faithful New Jersey

VOTFNJ will not have TRIDUUM Liturgies.
We invite you to join our Sister Community in Faith

Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community
celebrating the Triduum

Holy Thursday 7:00 PM
Good Friday 7:00 PM
Easter Vigil 7:30 PM
No Liturgy on Easter Sunday

The Center
65 Newton Sparta Road, Newton, NJ 07860

The Time is Now: A call to uncommon courage

By Sister Joan Chittister OSB

A VOTFNJ  Book Discussion
March 22, 2020
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
100 Harter Rd., Morristown NJ

Discussion Leaders: Peg and Bob Pipchick

We live in a world that we were told would last as it was with much stability. However the current world we are living in now defies everything we were taught to expect. We are living in a world of uncertainty and differences and it has gone badly askew, leaving us disillusioned and weary. We have a choice to quit and distance ourselves from this world, a choice to surrender to the forces of resistance that obstruct every step toward wholeness. Sister Joan Chittister asks those who read this book to make a choice that demands great courage, like the choice of the prophets.

We are not all prophets, in the classical sense of the word, but we are meant to be carriers of that same prophetic message of refusing to agree with the injustice of the world, creating a world of justice, freedom, peace and empowerment. In her book, Joan Chittister states "there is no one too busy, too old, too remote from the struggles of the world to have no way whatsoever to promote the Word of God in a world such as ours." Through teaching and reflection on topics such as risk, awareness, insight, patience and wisdom, she helps us recognize how we can Cry Out without fear within our community and be prophets in our time.

Click book jacket for details on Amazon.

Speaking Truth with Love & Wisdom: Sister Theresa Kane and the Catholic Women's Movement

Christine Schenk, CSJ with special guest, Theresa Kane, RSM
January 26, 2020

In 1979 Sister Theresa Kane's widely publicized greeting asking Pope John Paul II to open all the ministries of the Church to women galvanized the women's movement in the Catholic Church. Much has happened in the intervening 40 years and Sister Theresa provided leadership for the ongoing struggles, always speaking with deep faith.

Our presenter, Sister Christine Schenk, the founding director of
  FutureChurch,has also played an important role in pursuing a vision of equality and justice for women in the church and in society. She provided the creative energy behind the campaign to reclaim Mary of Magdala as the Apostle to the Apostles. In 2018 her book,  Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity, received a first place award from the Catholic Press Association. Most recently, she has written To Speak the Truth in Love: A Biography of Theresa Kane, RSMpublished in November 2019 by Orbis Books.

Sister Chris shared with us her perspectives on this important period of contemporary Catholic history when women religious exercised unparalleled leadership in speaking out for women's equality.

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Joining us as our special guest was Sister Theresa Kane who provided us with lively anecdotes of her story.

Please visit our audio library in the menu to listen to our January 26 program.

In the Prophetic Tradition: Raise Your Voice!

VOTFNJ NCR 2019 1Dear VOTFNJ brothers and sisters,

The self-inflicted wound of the clerical sexual abuse crisis has brought our beloved Church to the point of implosion--at least the hierarchical clerical culture of our Church. It is, in one way, a good thing! This means that the wound has been exposed and now the healing may begin; the rebuilding of the Church can commence. What is good can be retained and what has gone off course can be rooted out and left behind.

As members of the laity, committed to our baptismal promises, we can - and must - participate in the rebuilding of our beloved local New Jersey church. In this packet of materials you will find helpful resources, appropriate contact information, and informative background articles. May we suggest a few things that we all can do to move the healing forward?

VOTFNJ has developed an Action Packet of practical steps you can take to confront the abuse crisis in our Church.

Join Us to Support Refugees in New Jersey

 Refugee Assistance Update

RAMP tag stackedAt VOTFNJ's invitation, a steering committee for refugee assistance held its first organizational meeting on May 23, 2016 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. The result: a coalition of 14 member organizations which have named themselves, Refugee Assistance Morris Partners (RAMP). Their stated purpose: "...to assist vetted Middle Eastern and other refugee families to transiton to productive lives of dignity, safety, and hope in the Morris County area of New Jersey." The group has partnered with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and with the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ).

Learn more about RAMP here.
Learn more about RAMP's partnership with CFNJ here.
Donate to RAMP here.

For the latest news, read our latest newsletter here.
See RAMP's 2019 Fundraising Appeal here.

If you would like to join this multi-faith and civic effort, check for the opportunities available here. Contact RAMP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and to receive updates.






VOTF National News & Views

votfnj sStay in touch and informed!

Read In the Vineyard and stay abreast of VOTF national activities and views here.

Confronting the Systemic Dysfunction of Clericalism
Produced by the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests in collaboration with Voice of the Faithful and lay people and clergy across the nation; endorsed by FutureChurch.

When we were asked to prepare a document about clericalism within the Church, we quickly realized that our challenges would be two-fold. One was the sheer volume of books, articles,
editorials, and pronouncements on the topic. What could we say that would help advance the literature already available? What new perspectives or visions could we offer to move forward
on efforts to confront and root out clericalism?

Our other challenge was to produce a document that would “ring true” with both clergy and laity. Could we help us all to see the problem clearly and begin to recognize its manifestations? Could we frame the discussion so as to encourage clergy and laity together to confront actions and attitudes that contribute to clericalism?

Click above for more.

Road to Recovery

VOTFNJ is pleased to support ...

Road to RecoveryRoad to Recovery, a non-profit organization that offers compassionate counseling and referral services to survivors of sexual abuse. Launched in 2005 to provide direct assistance to victims of clergy sexual abuse, R2R has expanded its mission to include survivors of all sexual abuse. Learn more.

Next Eucharistic Celebration

Sunday, February 16, 2020HC
3:30 - 5:00 PM
Saint Mark Lutheran Church
100 Harter Road, Morristown, NJ

Anthony Padovano, Presider





THE VOICE - VOTFNJ's Monthly Newsletter

Click here for VOTFNJ monthly news and more...

OPTIMUM EMAIL CUSTOMERS: Please note if you are an OPTIMUM customer, we are having difficulty delivering our newsletter to your email inbox. Please call OPTIMUM and tell them of this issue. In doing so, you will need our email address. It is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please also ensure our email is in your contact list. Thank you.

Living the Gospel - Intentional Eucharistic Communities

Intentional Eucharistic Communities (IECs) are those small faith communities, rooted in the Intentional Eucharistic CommunitiesCatholic tradition, which gather to celebrate Eucharist on a regular basis. Born in the enthusiasm flowing from Vatican II for a church of the people, some IECs were instituted in parishes, some were created as alternatives to the parish, some retain close ties with the institutional church, and some function independently. VOTFNJ considers itself to be an Intentional Eucharistic Community.

Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community is the "Sister Community" of VOTFNJ. Their Morristown Liturgy meets the 2nd Sunday of each month at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 100 Harter Rd. Morristown, NJ at 4:30 p.m. Follow Sophia on Facebook.


Read more ...

Upcoming Events

1 Mar
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 03.01.2020 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Mike Corso, Presider

15 Mar
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 03.15.2020 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Dick Rento, Presider

5 Apr
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 04.05.2020 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Ken Lasch, Presider

19 Apr
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 04.19.2020 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
3 May
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 05.03.2020 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Dick Rento, Presider

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