Who We Are
Founded in the 1920’s in the midst of a residential neighborhood in Ridgewood, New Jersey, St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church has grown to be a congregation characterized by worship according to The Book of Common Prayer, a vibrant Church School for young people, a love of music represented by three parish choirs for people of all ages, an extensive outreach ministry to people in need, and lively fellowship events throughout the year.
Many of our members are families with school age children; many are adults without children at home. Political views range from conservative to liberal, and the majority of our members grew up in other religious traditions. Normal Sunday attendance is about 20 at 8:00 am, about 150 to 200 at 10:00 am, and about 50 to 90 at the 10:00 am chapel service for children from pre-K to second grade.
The promises of the Baptismal Covenant in the Prayer Book (p. 304 – 305) define the core values of the congregation. The vows and descriptions of ordination (p. 535 -551) describe the ministry of our clergy. Our liturgical style draws on the rich tradition of Anglican Worship, whose elements derive from both Roman Catholic and Reformed practices and theology. Sunday services follow either traditional or contemporary forms and alternate from week to week between Morning Prayer and the Celebration of the Eucharist. Every Sunday morning at 8:00 am we offer a traditional celebration of the Eucharist (Rite I) without music. Every weekday at 8:30 we offer a simple service of Morning Prayer without music or preaching. Principal Feast Days are usually observed on weekdays with a celebration of the Eucharist, Rite II, at 6:30 am.
St. Elizabeth’s includes a Memorial Garden just to the north of the sanctuary where we inter the ashes of members who have entered their larger life with God. Every All Saints’ Day we include in our prayers the names of all who have been interred in the Garden. In 2004 we opened our new Parish House, with new classrooms, a new chapel, expanded offices and spaces for fellowship events, and a courtyard and gardens. A generous gift enabled us to establish a Children’s Garden at the entry to our new building.
About 95% of our annual income derives from the annual pledges of current members. We seek those pledges in late October of each year and, from their total, make up a budget for the coming calendar year. As an Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Newark, we are governed by the canons of the Episcopal Church and of the Diocese, and are under the pastoral supervision of our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith.