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Free & Fit Visit - All Saints Hoboken Triduum Worship Research as part of PTM2 Module at GTS

Free & Fit Visit - All Saints Hoboken Triduum Worship Research as part of PTM2 Module at General Theological Seminary

All Saints is an Episcopal Church located on Washington and 7th in the hustle and bustle of Hoboken High Street. Conveniently located next to one of the towns busiest bus stops and located next to America’s infamous Dunkin Donuts All Saints has a considerable footfall outside of its beautiful doors. Next door to the Church is All Saints Day School which recently became an independent non-denominational school. All Saints is not a small Church in terms of its property, the Church is also twinned with another Church building on 4th and Hudson in Hoboken which has recently been renovated. The Parsonage is also located on this property next door to the All Saints Day Prep-School which is also independent of the school. I myself have had the pleasure of coaching tennis to the schools students and cant speak very highly of the indoor space, students teachers and faculty at the school.  In preparation for the Triduum gathering I was able to reach out to Mother Elaine who was very helpful in the process of navigating to join their online community. Coming from a Church of England background, and similar to the Catholic model of Parish Church’s, I view All Saints Hoboken as my local parish Church. The Church I attend at Christmas, Easter and on special occasions. Mother Elaine is a gifted teacher and spiritual encouragement to many local families and friends in the Hoboken area and she is certainly a good neighbor to my wife and I.  Currently All Saints website is down for maintenance In its absence All Saints has redirected us to their Facebook page which was great with a morning prayer, which I prayed along with Mother Elaine this morning and various resources including recordings of morning prayer, live services and all the liturgical resources required for the Easter weekend. It also includes their statement of faith, fellow Facebook followers and access to telephone number, email, address and other contact information. You can also find details about the Jubilee Center of Hoboken which is another part of the Church’s outreach along with their support with the Hoboken Homeless Shelter and the Hoboken Episcopal and Lutheran partnership formed with the local ELCA Church in Hoboken St Matthews.

In preparation for my visit online I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to tune in live for when the Church services were happening and that I would miss coffee hour on Easter Sunday due to a clash with my other final project Church which I am also currently visiting in Hoboken the Evangelical Free Church. However Mother Elaine assured us all throughout the weekend that the recordings would be posted live and that we should be able to watch later if not live. Mother Elaine was responsive via Facebook Messenger and helped me to identify the way to navigate through the liturgical services. In terms of figures All Saints has reported 646 members with a current plate and pledge of $215,114 and average attendance of 109 members. Membership appears to have risen from 400 up to 600+ in 2017. This has not impacted giving though, in fact the reverse response. The plate and pledge fell dramatically in between 2014 and 2015, but returned to a healthier figure in 2017. The average worship attendance has dropped by about 40 members since 2008 with a spike of around 9 to 10 new members on 2017 year end figures. These are fairly healthy statistics and during this time All Saints Hoboken has relocated and downsized previously in 2001 with a merger between Holy Trinity parish Church and All Saints parish Church.  Without access to the building and with all services being streamed online it seems as though All Saints has had a painful, like most Church’s, transition to going online, but they are resolute and fighting to sustain community through Facebook Live, Facebook Page, zoom and Diocesan redirections via the Dioceses of Newark. My own general interpretations is that All Saints to look out for its congregants, they are praying devoutly, seeking Christ and working towards helping any way they can in the local Hoboken community. For example, Mother Elaine is the resident Fire Chaplain and continues to run, cycle and exercise in the neighborhood respecting social guidelines, keeping social distancing and supporting where ever possible at interfaith prayer gatherings and promoting works of fellow organizations including the Hoboken Homeless Shelter on their homepage. In conclusion, All Saints Hoboken is a beautiful Church and provides an open and affirming welcome to all which reminds me of my parish Church back home in the UK. I would thoroughly recommend All Saints Hoboken to local residents and neighbors. In advance of attending for the Easter Triduum I felt encouraged, expectant and to feel the love of Christ when attending online service. Thank you All Saints.

Love & Blessings Tim & F&F Team

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