All Saints' Church

Princeton, NJ

Clergy

Rev. Dr. Hugh Brown

Rector

Hugh Brown came to All Saints’ Church as rector in May 2007. He has been active in parish church and social justice ministries, having served parishes in Virginia, Ohio, and the Washington, D.C. area. In Washington, he served as associate rector at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square and as Development Director for Sojourners. He worked in Sojourners’ initial organization of Call To, a network of churches and other faith-based organizations working to promote anti-poverty efforts as a priority for national public policy.

Rev. Dr. Elly Sparks Brown

Priest Associate

Elly Sparks Brown is the former rector of historic Trinity Parish in Southern Maryland, the Diocese of Washington, D.C. Elly has also taught in the Literature Department of The American University in D.C. and the honors program at The University of Maryland, College Park, MD. In 1991, she earned an interdisciplinary Doctor of Ministry degree in theology, literature and visual art at Wesley Theological Seminary in D.C.

Rev. Canon Joan E. Fleming 

Priest Associate

Born and educated in England, Joan came initially to Princeton in 1961, engaged to John V. Fleming, with whom she has now racked up 54 years of married life. At first resistant to the idea of women priests, she nevertheless felt drawn to enter seminary in the mid-70s, and by the time of graduation in 1979 had begun to entertain thoughts of entering the priesthood—only to have to give priority instead to the unexpected arrival of a third child. By 1986, however, she was ordained deacon and entered parish ministry.

Rev. Joy Kulvicki

Ministry Associate

As the daughter of a Lutheran Home Mission Pastor, Pastor Kulvicki’s faith walk has been and will always be a creative adventure. After graduating from Princeton Seminary, she served as the Hospice Chaplain for Princeton Hospital which was a formational and deep growing experience in ministry for 7 years. She then became an Intentional Interim serving 7 churches in the Reformed Church and the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). She found this ministry to be both exciting and challenging.

Rev. Canon Jack Belmont

Priest Associate

Jack Belmont, a lifelong Episcopalian, was born and raised in Ewing Township, New Jersey. He graduated from Rider University in 1968 with a B.A. in Secondary Ed., and from the Philadelphia Divinity School with an M.Div. in 1971. He was ordained to the Priesthood in October of 1971 at Trinity Cathedral, Trenton. He received the degree of Master of Sacred Theology from New York Theological Seminary in 1981 with a specialty in Pastoral Counseling. He served at St. Andrew’s, Camden and St. Luke’s, Gladstone prior to being called as Rector of St. Matthew’s, Pennington in 1976, where he served for 37 years until his retirement in June of 2013.

Rev. Dr. Karl F. Morrison

Priest Associate

Karl Morrison entered the priesthood during a career as a scholar-teacher and has continued to serve in a bi-vocational ministry. While appointed as Lessing Professor of History and Poetics at Rutgers-New Brunswick, and a parishioner at All Saints’, he began discussions about ordained ministry These led to his ordination as deacon in the Diocese of New Jersey, first as deacon (1998) and a year later as priest. Since ordination, he has served as curate at Christ Church, New Brunswick, priest-in-charge at St. Michael’s Chapel, Rutgers (New Brunswick-Piscataway), priest associate of All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor in Oxford, England, and priest associate at All Saints’.

Staff

Kevin O'Malia

Organist & Director of Music

Kevin J. O’Malia holds Bachelor’s Degree Master’s degrees, with honors, from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. His concentrations of study were in organ, choral conducting and church music history. Mr. O’Malia is also extremely active as an instructor, as an adjunct professor at several colleges, and as frequent clinician for the American Guild of Organists and the Royal School of Church Music in America. He currently lives in Lawrenceville with his husband Tom and their dogs, Riley and Brian.

Sarah Nickelson

Parish Administrator

Sarah Nickelson, a lifelong Princetonian, comes from a diverse background of management and non-profit building experience. Sarah studied Political Science and Philosophy at Rutgers University where she had the opportunity to build NGOs abroad. Her aspirations to work in business management led her to exciting and fast-paced positions in the restaurant industry for 17 years. Sarah happily returned home to All Saints Church, where she had performed in youth choirs from the age of 8, to fulfill her call to work in non-profit administration. In addition to her varied responsibilities for the management and administration of all things All Saints, she is a soprano in the All Saints Choir and is an avid student and teacher of Yoga.

Rev. Maddy Patterson

Director of Children & Youth Ministries

The Reverend Maddy Patterson, ordained 3 years ago in the Reformed Church in America, has been a member of ASC since 1976. She earned a MBA from Rutgers Newark and worked as an accountant for 40 years before turning to the ministry. Maddy and Roland together have 4 grown children and live in Cranbury, NJ. Their great passion is youth ministry, at which they have been working for 17 years, both as youth leaders and as teachers. Their other enthusiasms are for choir and for drama ministry, bringing the stories to life to make them accessible.

Brian Kirby

Sexton

Brian Kirby was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey and graduated from Trenton Central High School. He is gifted in writing songs and poetry and has written several for All Saints’ Church including, "16 All Saints Road," "Early Morning Service," and "He's Pastor Hugh E. Brown." He also enjoys playing the acoustic guitar. Several years ago, he started doing odd jobs for All Saints’ and was later hired as the Sexton. As Sexton, he cares for the cleanliness of the buildings and grounds and is always willing to help out wherever else he is needed!

Lois Laverty

Director of Music, Emeritus

Lois Laverty has enjoyed a triple musical career as singer, college professor and church musician. As a lyric soprano she has performed at home and abroad in opera, oratorio, concert, recital and church. Her teaching career spanned 34 years at Michigan State University and at Westminster Choir College, her alma mater. She has led music in churches in Richmond VA, East Lansing MI, Vienna, Austria; and lastly for 19 years at All Saints’, Princeton, retiring in 1998.

Tom O'Malia

Director of Social Media & Online Marketing

Tom O'Malia, a Bucks County native, has spent his life around computers of all shapes and sizes. He attended Franciscan University of Steubenville and Temple University studying International Marketing and Information Technology, and currently works for a major internet service provider while managing our Facebook, Instagram, and Live-Streamed services. Together with his husband, our Director of Music Kevin O'Malia, he seeks to spread acceptance and understanding of faith through the LGBT+ community. He currently lives in Lawrenceville with his husband Kevin, and their dogs, Riley and Brian.

A sermon preached on the 4th Sunday of Advent, December 20, 2020, Year B, Luke 1: 26-38, by the Rev. Hugh E. Brown, III, D. Min, MSW, LSW, Rector, All Saints Parish, Princeton, NJ

                                      The Light of Love

“How can this Be?”

In June of 2016, the day after Father’s Day, I did something I thought I could not do.

My mother and I had just received two telephone calls from the Lewis Gale Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. 

The first telephone call was to tell us Dad had been admitted to the ICU.  The family is always notified when this happens.

The second call…. …”I’m so sorry but we need to tell you.”

It was so quick; a matter almost of minutes in between the calls.

At first, I felt this strange since of peace and—remarkably—a lack of surprise.  After all, through decades of ministry I had known so many deaths in this way—directly following a key life event.

A time such as my Mother, my sister—and me---at Dad’s beside in the hospital on Father’s Day—for what would be—the last time.

But—then, this thought: “I can’t do this.”

“I can’t go to the hospital; enter that ICU room—and get his things; the items he took to the hospital.”

Like shoes I remember; a shirt I would know; his electric razer;  Dad was a proud man; yes, it would be even in the ICU—used or not.

But we all do what we have to do.  I have heard that often in 32 years of ordained ministry.

Upon my entrance into the ICU of Lewis Gale—the entrance where you must push some kind of button—then—and wait for some voice in the Intercom---I walked to the front desk.

A nurse stood up when I approached.

Yes, she stood for me;  and then she smiled.

Smiled.

I don’t remember really what she looked like to this day; can’t remember her features.

But I remember the smile.  And I remember that smile following me into Dad’s room.

That smile being with me as a picked up—yes, some clothing; some shoes; his electric razor.

And something else.

Light;  the smile; that light.

As I said, I don’t remember her features.

But I remember a light as radiant, as blinding; as akin to furnace illumination with fire—as I will ever know.

On my bucket list—someday—is a visit to some goodness known place in the North—to see the great Aurora’s.

I’m not sure I will see anything like that smile.

I’ve thought of her a lot—that nurse with the smile—and the Light.

I have thought of her much during these past few months.

I have wondered if she Face-timed or Zoomed with patients and their lives ones in the ICU.

I have wondered if she stood with---kept vigil with—patients on their way to eternal life; like she might have done for Dad; I never asked her.

I have wondered if she was afraid; or comforted the fears of others.

I have wondered if she might have taken the risk to hug and enfold a dying COVID patient—like that amazing photo all of us saw within the past few weeks.

I have wondered if she relayed clothing—shoes—an electric razor—to the sons of Father’s lost.

But of this I have no doubt; if she did these things;  there was Light; smile; burning fire.

That light empowering sons doing for their fathers—for the sake of love—something that they thought they could not do.

I am not sure that she would call herself a hero.

No—just in Camus’ words, just decency; and fire; and light; and love.

All of this came back when I was scrolling through visual images of the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to a young Jewish teen named Mariam.

For an angel of God came to a village called Nazareth; in a region torn by occupation, revolution, war; and no doubt the grinding illness and economic deprivation which all come in occupied areas of armed conflict.

The Angel, according to Luke, gives Mary a message—as all Angels do; that is what Angels are; not supernatural beings; but above all—messengers of God; in Billy Graham’s words God’s secret agents.

The message:  that she would bear the Messiah; but not only that; that she would do so—of the Holy Spirit; for her child would not only be human; but divine.

The American artist, Henry Ossawa Tanner conveys this moment of Angelic message and Mariam’s response

It graces the bulletin cover this morning.

So many artists have attempted to capture this moment—this Angelic Visitation to Mary; so many have imagined the Angel Gabriel’s appearance.

Tanner does something different—to convey this moment that changed the course of human history; but more than that—changed forever—God’s relationship with humankind.

What does Mary experience—when she receives the knowledge, understanding, and word—that she will bear the Messiah; and bear him under a risky and potentially life-threatening way?

For who would believe her?  Who would think she was anything other than unweed pregnant teen?  Who, in the eyes of many would be shamed and alienated?

Light.

But more than that.

I have always thought that the Annunciation to Mary was more than “You will.”  Even “You will” as assurance and promise.

From the beginning—the so-called promise was riven with expectations overturned!

Mary was being asked to do something without precedent; and without any support from her tradition.

I can’t imagine that going through Mary’s mind was the question:  “I’m not sure I can do this.”

Yes, before, “I am the handmaiden of the Lord,” perhaps came indeed, “How can this be.”

But—there was Light.

Light.

The kind that no doubt was with Mary when old Simeon told her that a sword would pass through her soul.

The kind that no doubt assured her before Joseph believed her.

The Light that no doubt was with her when the children around her were all killed in a pogrom in Bethlehem.

The Light that would be with her when her Son was on the cross; and she stood with him; when few others would.

The Light that was with her when she was in the upper room with his disciples and perhaps, just perhaps was one of the leaders in the early Christian movement.

The Light that never left her.

For the Light shines in the Darkness; and the Darkness does not overcome it.

As do we—experience that Light.

Over these past few months of crisis.

Light; in ICU’s; on the Streets of protest; when our nation’s constitution and election systems are under assault.

The Annunciation Light is always there.

Always there.

For you; as for me; as it was for Mariam.

Dear friends—blessed Annunciation Sunday.

Remember all those who, as we worship—are providing Light to those who “don’t’ know if they can do this.”

Remember that Light can birth new Messiah’s--and create new Magnificat’s.

For, perhaps, a yet unborn soul-gift is in you, waiting to bless the World.

Waiting for you to nurture it into fullness.

With terrifying dignity and empowering hope.

Do you see Light?

This very Morning?

Providing the Word: With God, nothing is Impossible.

For Smiles and Light are waiting…

…..even in the ICU.

Open weekdays

9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Sunday Services

8:00 am & 10:15 am

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