Our parish will celebrate Black History Month with special guest speakers during the Sunday Mass who will speak about various aspects of Black History as it touches women, men and youth. The month will culminate in a concert on Sunday, February 24 in the church at 3 PM. Entitled “Music: Culture & Heritage,” the concert is presented by the North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club under the direction of Philip Field, and the Imania Women’s Chorus under the direction of his wife, Dee Jackson Field. The requested donation is $20 per person; children 12 and under are admitted free. A reception will follow.

2019 Black History Month Speakers

Sunday, February 3 The Rev. Sheila Thorpe

Rev. Sheila L. Thorpe serves as the Assistant Pastor and Minister of Christian Education at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Plainfield, NJ.  She directs SIBLE (Shiloh Institute of Biblical Learning and Education), a Christian body of over 300 adults and young people, in an hour-long study each Sunday following the worship service. She leads a staff of over 40 teachers and assistants, develops curriculum, and facilitates Christian Education Training on a monthly basis.

She has oversight of the Women’s Fellowship Ministry and has assisted them in providing four Annual Women’s Conferences that numbered over 500 participants each and two retreats.  The topics offered have been spiritual growth, finance, health, wellness and other women’s issues.  As Assistant Pastor, she provides spiritual counseling to the entire congregation through her preaching, teaching, and counseling ministry.  Moreover, she is the worship leader of the church, Bible Study developer and teacher.

Her experiences are not contained within the Shiloh Baptist Church as she shares her gifts of preaching, teaching, workshop facilitator, and conference leader with churches, other organizations and conventions all over the state. 

Sunday, February 10 Ms. Janelle Grant

Janelle Grant is an active young adult in the Diocese of Newark and  St. Paul’s Church in Paterson is her church home. As a young person at St. Paul’s, Janelle served as an acolyte throughout her middle and high school years and was head acolyte during her senior year of high school.  She was called to be part of the children’s ministry at St. Paul’s and served as a youth group leader for middle and high school students.

Janelle participated in Diocesan and National youth events and served as District 10’s youth delegate at Diocesan Convention. In 2006, Janelle was a part of a group that visited our companion Diocese in Panama. She attended General Convention in 2006, 2009, and 2012, as an observer. She was elected the first Alternate Lay Deputy to the 2015 General Convention and was elected a full Lay Deputy to the 2018 General Convention. In the Diocese of Newark, Janelle served on Diocesan Council and currently is a member of Namaste, the Diocesan anti-racism dialogue group.

Janelle is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of New Jersey and currently manages a supportive housing program for adults diagnosed with mental illness and substance abuse.

Sunday, February 17 Mr. Robert Cottingham, Jr.

Robert Cottingham is Chairman and CEO of Sabre88, a seventy (70) person diversified services firm located in Newark, New Jersey.  Recognized as one of the fastest growing inner-city businesses in the country five years in a row, the company serves federal government customers including the Navy, General Services Administration and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the areas of telecommunication, program management and acquisition services.  In 2015 Cottingham was named New Jersey Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA).

Bob previously served as the District Director for the Honorable Donald M. Payne, Sr. (NJ-10), a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Education and Labor. In that capacity he was responsible for all district activities. He developed goals, missions and operating plans for the calendar year and Congressional session. He researched and analyzed issues related to legislation pending before the committees and served as the liaison between the Congressman, federal agencies, constituents and lobbyists.

A member of the United States Fencing and Columbia University Halls of Fame, Bob was a member of the 1988 and 1992 United States Olympic fencing teams, which competed in Seoul, Korea and Barcelona, Spain respectively. He was also the 1990 United States National Sabre Champion and the 1988 NCAA individual Sabre champion. Robert is a four-time All American and All-Ivy fencer and was captain of two of Columbia’s NCAA championship teams in 1987 and 1988. 

Bob is a member of Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church. He is married to Alison Thomas-Cottingham and they have two children, Bobby and Allie.

Sunday, February 24 The Rev. Canon Gregory Jacobs

Canon Greg Jacobs has been with the Diocese of Newark since September 2008, initially as Canon for Ministry Development, and as Canon to the Ordinary and Chief of Staff since 2009. His job is to assist and advise the Bishop in matters concerning congregations, clergy and staff.

For congregations, Greg engages in the areas of congregational growth, development and revitalization, strategic planning, overseeing congregational consultants, and transition ministry. For clergy, he manages transitions into congregations, recruits and deploys clergy, works with interim clergy, and provides guidance in their ministry development.

Staff responsibility includes overseeing the work of property management, missional church, youth/young adult ministry, communications and technology, and training and resources staff, as well as all staff personnel issues.

Canon Greg Jacobs has two adult daughters and two grandchildren. Outside of work he is the consummate sports fan, loves Star Trek in all its versions and still carries on his teenage love affair with Marvel comics and movies.