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

Contemporary Catholic Conversations

Save the date!
Contemporary Catholic Conversations
Speaker: Massimo Faggioli

Sunday October 27, 2019
3:30 - 5:00 PM
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
100 Harter Road, Morristown, NJ

Our speaker will be Dr. Massimo Faggioli, Professor of Historical Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University. He is an expert on the history and administrative inner workings of the Catholic Church and of the papacy. Learn more.

The Compassion Connection

sistercatherinenerneyssj 37345592Save the Date! Your summer reading ...

The Companssion Connection: Recovering Our Original Oneness
Speaker: Sr. Catherine Nerney, SSJ

Sunday, September 22, 2019
3:30 - 5:00 PM
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
100 Harter Rd., Morristown, NJ

Sr. Catherine Nerney SSJ, the author of The Compassion Connection: Recovering Our Original Oneness is an associate professor of religious studies at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA. She has directed the col­lege's Institute for Forgiveness and Reconcili­ation since its inception in 2009. She will talk about ways to save the church we love.

What is going on with the Vatican? ...And why should I stay Catholic?

In this talk, Jamie Manson, columnist and editor at the "National Catholic Reporter" shared her thoughts, based on her recent trip to Rome for the sex abuse summit, about several hot button issues: Why wasn't more accomplished at the summit? Why did those women journalists resign from the Vatican newspaper? Did Frederic Martel's book, In the Closet of the Vatican, have any impact at all? She'll also talk about why she stays Catholic amid this constant barrage of drama, controversy, and deep institutional sin, and what hope she is seeing for the Church among the next generation of Catholics and prophets. 

Jamie Manson is a columnist and books editor at the "National Catholic Reporter."  She received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics. She is editor of Changing the Questions: Explorations in Christian Ethics, a collection of writings by Margaret Farley (Orbis, 2015). Her writing has won numerous awards, most recently the 2015 Wilbur Award for Best Online Religion News Story for her extended essay "Feminism in Faith: Sister Elizabeth Johnson's Challenge to the Vatican." Her activism on behalf of women in the church recently garnered her the Theresa Kane Award for Women of Courage and Vision from the Women’s Ordination Conference.

Presentation was held Sunday April 28, 2019, 3:30 p.m.at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Morristown, NJ 


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. Hard Copies will be also available at liturgies. 

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.

A New Family Arrives on June 9

We are very happy to report to you that, because of your support, we are now making plans to welcome our fourth family to America. Learn how you can help 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.

Advocate for the reform of the Statute of Limitation for child sex abuse victims in New Jersey and other states. Read VOTF Statute of Limitation Reform: Advocacy Guide here.

Lay Input in the Bishop Selection Process

The VOTF National proposal would restore to the selection process many of the lay-involvement practices followed throughout the first millennium and well into the second, and, at the same time, it would recognize the authority of the pope (as affirmed in Canon Law and Vatican II) to make the final appointment of a bishop, generally from the recommendations submitted for each diocese.

To facilitate lay involvement, VOTF National hosts a web form that enables Catholics in any U.S. diocese to send their thoughts on the needs of their diocese and the qualities they deem important for their next bishop directly to the U.S. Apostolic Nuncio. Learn more.

And ...

Coordinating Team Member Bernice Anglin has compiled an Overview of National Voice of the Faithful's Second Annual Study of the Online Financial Transparency of U.S. Catholic Dioceses with an emphasis on NJ Diocesan findings.

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

Eucharistic Liturgy
Liturgies will resume:

Sunday, August 8, 2019
4:30 - 6:00 PM
Saint Mark Lutheran Church
100 Harter Road, Morristown, NJ






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. Another New Jersey area IECs is the Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community (Andover, NJ), founded by a VOTFNJ member, Mary Ann Schoetlly.

Discover more...


Upcoming Events

18 Aug
Eucharistic Liturgies Resume
Date 08.18.2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Presider: Dick Rento

1 Sep
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 09.01.2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Presider: Ken Lasch

15 Sep
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 09.15.2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Presider: Dick Rento

22 Sep
The Compassion Connection
Date 09.22.2019 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Speaker: Sr. Catherine Nerney, SSJ

6 Oct
Eucharistic Liturgy
Date 10.06.2019 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Presider: Ken Lasch

votfnj s


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