The ROTA for January 2015 is available on the calendar page by clicking here.

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The Friday Reflection Title

12-26-2014

As we enter Bethlehem this week, “Come, let us adore him” as he truly is,  a baby – dependent, vulnerable and Hope Incarnate.

As we enter Bethlehem this week, “Come, let us adore him, as he becomes, a baby who grows through adolescence into adulthood – dependent, vulnerable and Hope Incarnate.

As we enter Bethlehem this week, “Come, let us adore him, as we, too, were born to be – dependent, vulnerable and Hope Incarnate.

May that which is both gift and burden be ours this Christmas – dependency, vulnerability and Incarnating Hope.

Christmas Blessings San Joaquin

+David, Tracy, Ian, Zoe and Lexi

“Travel Light, leaving baggage behind.”

                                                                             Luke 10:1-12

From the Diocesan Office…

For All Clergy:
 

HOUSING ALLOWANCE: Dear Clergy, please remember that you need to have a housing allowance resolution passed by your Vestry/Bishop’s committee in December of 2014 for the 2015 tax year. If you have any questions about this process or would like a recommended format, please contact Canon Kate.

 

For Clergy, Vestries and Bishop Committees:

The Bronze Disaster Preparedness Plan:  

Is to be completed by all parishes and missions and turned into the Diocesan Office. Many thanks to St. Clare of Assisi- Avery, St Matthew’s- San Andreas, St. James- Sonora, St. John the Baptist- Lodi, St. Raphael’s- Oakhurst, Holy Trinity- Madera, Church of the Saviour- Hanford,  St. Paul’s- Bakersfield, St. Paul’s, Modesto, St. Sherrian’s, Kernville, St Anne’s, Stockton, St. John the Evangelist, Stockton and St. Paul’s, Visalia.
For those parishes and missions who have not completed this: They need to be turned in ASAP.

For Clergy and Treasurers:

Be on the look out for manila envelopes arriving right after the first of the year. Clergy will receive the yearly reports and forms that are required by the Episcopal Church and the Diocese and Treasurers will receive forms and information for assessment reporting.

 

ALL MAIL

for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, Bishop, Canon, and Administrator is to be mailed to 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355.

Thank you,

Ellen Meyer,

Administrator

3rd Annual Diocese of San Joaquin Integrity Chapter Retreat..

The Time to Register is Now.
Do Not Miss Out!

    

  • Friday, January 23rd - We gather in the evening for fellowship, snacks, a movie and discussion as we arrive at ECCO in Oakhurst, south of Yosemite.
  • Saturday, January 24th - Canon Randy Kimmler leads our retreat program throughout the day.
  • Sunday, January 25th - After morning Eucharist with Bishop David and free time, we enjoy lunch together before departure.

 $130 per person/double room

2 nights, 5 meals

Registration

 

For questions or to register contact:

Integrity Diocesan Organizer,

Jan Dunlap 661.201.2630661.201.2630

Email: jan@kerncomputer.com

 

Meet Canon Randy Kimmler, our 2015 Retreat Leader.  

 

Randy is Missioner for Vocations in the Diocese of Los Angeles, where he supports and oversees clergy development prior to and after ordination. About 8 years ago, he helped plant the Community of the Holy Spirit (CHS) in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles. Lay-organized and led, the group is an emergent progressive Christian community that is being studied by many Episcopal dioceses. “It’s not a church. It’s not a mission. It’s an

anomaly and dioceses around the country are trying to figure out what to do with groups like us that are springing up all over the place.” Those who attended the 76th General Convention 2009 in Los Angeles experienced wonderful worship services and worship spaces designed by Randy and his team. Randy attends St. John’s ProCathedral in Los Angeles, serves on the Bishop’s Commission on LGBT Ministries and has been recognized by Bishop Jon Bruno for his significant service to the wider church.

Interfaith …

 The Dalai Lama and Karen Armstrong are confirmed keynote speakers! Already more than 3,200 people have registered for the 2015 Parliament of World’s Religions in Salt Lake City. This may well be the largest interfaith gathering ever convened. The meeting is intended to move beyond talk to action, addressing three important issues for all human beings: climate change and ecological sustainability, the increasing wealth-poverty gap, and religious hate speech and violence.

If you are involved in interfaith work, this meeting will provide you with important information, personal connections, and inspiration! If you would like to begin interfaith work, attending this conference is a very good way to begin.

Information about registration and program proposals can be found here:
http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/index.cfm?n=35&sn=1
Finally, I would like to extend my personal invitation, as a Trustee of the Parliament, to all in the Diocese of San Joaquin. I would love to see you there!

In God’s Peace,
Rev. Dr. Anne Benvenuti

For Northern Deanery…

Northern Deanery Meeting

 

10:00 a.m., St. John the Evangelist, Stockton

 

For Southern Deanery…

Southern Deanery Meeting

 

11:00 a.m., St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest.

 

Whats going on…

What’s Happening in the DIO  

 

Diocesan Council Teleconference Meeting, January 22, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

 

Northern Deanery Meeting, January 31, 2015, 10:00 a.m., St. John the Evangelist,Stockton

 

Integrity Retreat, January 23-25, 2015, ECCO, Oakhurst

 

Diocesan Council and Standing Committee Retreat, Friday-Saturday, February 20-21, 2015, ECCO, Oakhurst


   Click on the link below to see more upcoming events and meetings around the diocese.

 

From our Parishes and Missions..

Diocesan Website and Facebook…
 Have you checked it out?

Keep up to date on news and events with our
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin website 

www.diosanjoaquin.org  

 

Facebook  
Check out postings from Bishop David and Canon Kate at 
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

The Episcopal Church Website

Episcopal News Service

For the Bishop and  Canon’s Calendar…

Bishop David’s Calendar -Click Here
 
Canon Kate’s Calendar- Click Here

 

For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar….click here

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The Friday Reflection Title

11-28-2014

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has issued the following statement on the way forward from Ferguson:

 

The Episcopal Church joins many others in deep lament over the tragic reality that continues to be revealed in Ferguson, Missouri. The racism in this nation is part of our foundation, and is not unique to one city or state or part of the country. All Americans live with the consequences of centuries of slavery, exploitation, and prejudice. That legacy continues to lead individuals to perceive threat from those who are seen as “other.” The color of one’s skin is often the most visible representation of what divides God’s children one from another.

 

Michael Brown’s death was and is a tragedy, and has become a powerful witness to those divisions between human beings in this nation. His death also carries the potential to become a sacramental offering – if it continues to challenge us to address our divisions and the injustices in this nation that are far more than skin deep.

 

This nation was founded with a vision for freedom, a vision that has required repeated challenges in order to move toward true liberty for all the people of this land. Christians understand the sacred vision of the Reign of God as a society of peace with justice for all. May the life and death of Michael Brown drive us toward reconciliation that will shake the foundations of this nation toward the justice for which we were all created. The Episcopal Church will continue to partner and push for racial reconciliation in Missouri and across this land. I ask you to stand with hands extended in love, to look for the image of God in every neighbor, and to offer yourself in vulnerability for the sake of reconciliation across this land. May we become instruments of God’s peace and healing, made evident in communities of justice for all.

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

“Travel Light, leaving baggage behind.”

                                                                             Luke 10:1-12

From the Diocesan Office…

For All Clergy:
 

HOUSING ALLOWANCE: Dear Clergy, please remember that you need to have a housing allowance resolution passed by your Vestry/Bishop’s committee in December of 2014 for the 2015 tax year. If you have any questions about this process or would like a recommended format, please contact Canon Kate.

 

For Clergy, Vestries and Bishop Committees:

The Bronze Disaster Preparedness Plan:  

Is to be completed by all parishes and missions and turned into the Diocesan Office. Many thanks to St. Clare of Assisi- Avery, St Matthew’s- San Andreas, St. James- Sonora, St. John the Baptist- Lodi, St. Raphael’s- Oakhurst, Holy Trinity- Madera, Church of the Saviour- Hanford,  St. Paul’s- Bakersfield, St. Paul’s, Modesto, St. Sherrian’s, Kernville, St Anne’s, Stockton, St. John the Evangelist, Stockton and St. Paul’s, Visalia.

 
For those parishes and missions who have not completed this: They need to be turned in ASAP.
For All Clergy and Parishioners:

The Diocesan Staff would appreciate your assistance in getting the contact information for the Provost, Chancellor, Dean, or President of the public and private universities, colleges and junior colleges in our geographical location. If you know who to contact, please call the diocesan office or email emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org.

ALL MAIL
for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, Bishop, Canon, and Administrator is to be mailed to 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355.

Thank you,

Ellen Meyer,

Administrator

News of  the Archbishop of Canterbury…

 Most Rev’d and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Dear friends and fellow parishioners,

The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the second-largest Christian denomination in the world.

It’s important for us at St. Paul’s to always remember that we are part of larger entities: the diocese, the province, the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion.
Below is the link to a talk by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, our spiritual head. I hope you’ll take the time to read it.

As E.M. Forster says in his novel Howard’s End, “Only connect.”

To find out more about Archbishop Welby click  here.

The Rev. Tim Vivian,
St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

Ordination to the Deaconate Steven Karcher…

          

Pictures of the ordination ceremony for Steven Karcher held at St. Paul’s, Bakersfield  November 22, 2014 including a diocesan “selfie”  that is becoming a tradition in the Diocese of San Joaquin.

Congratulations and many blessings go to The Rev. Steven Karcher, Deacon serving at
St. Sherrian’s, Kernville.

News of St. John the Evangelist ‘s Celebration for Fr. Andres…

  St. John the Evangelist, Stockton

San Joaquin honors pioneer Filipino priest

Diocese contemplates revitalized ministry

[Episcopal News Service] The pioneering missionary spirit of the Rev. Justo Andres just may help spark a revival of Filipino ministry at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist in Stockton, California, according to the Rev. Fred Vergara, missioner for Episcopal Church Asiamerica Ministries.

 

Some 30 years ago, Andres founded the Holy Cross Filipino Mission at St. John’s, in theEpiscopal Diocese of San Joaquin, and on Nov. 16 the diocesan community gathered to celebrate that legacy and his 85th birthday as well as possibilities for new ministry.

 

San Joaquin Bishop David Rice officiated at a Eucharist in Andres’ honor. He said the service commemorated Andres’ 1983 call to the Stockton community and “the ministry he has provided and the significant place he represents in the life of the Diocese of San Joaquin and in the Filipino community and ways in which he has so faithfully lived out his priesthood in our midst.

 

“This is a response to our context as we’ve seen, experienced and engaged it in the Stockton area,” added Rice. “We think that responding to that part of our landscape, part of our population and community is the right thing to do.”

 

Andres often conducted services for migrant workers in the fields and for the sailors aboard ocean-going ships that docked at the Port of Stockton. The Holy Cross Mission served as a satellite agency of the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, assisting many in attaining their naturalized U.S. citizenship.

 

He also served as a translator within the Stockton court system and was a member of a police advisory committee.

 

In a telephone interview with the Episcopal News Service, Madeline Ruiz, sister-in-law of Andres, speaking for Andres who suffers from age-related hearing loss, described him as excited “but surprised about the celebration.

 

“He asked me why are they honoring him,” said Ruiz. “I said it’s because you started a Filipino ministry at St. John’s and now that they got the church back, they want to honor you.”

 

Under Andres’ leadership, the Holy Cross congregation flourished and included Filipinos, Latinos, Southeast Asians and Anglos among its membership. The congregation disbanded when theological differences split the diocese in 2008. St. John’s property had been held by a breakaway group, but was returned to the Episcopal Church earlier this year.

 

Rice said the diocese is considering revitalizing its ministry among the Filipino community. “We are discerning, praying through, contemplating, pondering and giving thought to how we might continue to engage and develop that ministry.”

 

The Rev. Canon Kate Cullinane, diocesan canon to the ordinary and St. John’s priest-in-charge, said nearly 200 well-wishers attended the gathering and a joyous reception afterward.

 

The reception included traditional Filipino food and dancing as well as line dancing, she said. There was also a serenade of Andres, with participants each presenting him a flower.

 

“I loved the fact that so many people from the neighboring Filipino congregations and the neighboring congregations from the deanery came” to support Andres and this service, Cullinane said in an e-mail to ENS.

 

Rekindling the ministry will be a collaborative effort within the diocese, she added. “We don’t see this as a St. John’s project, but a northern deanery project,” she said.

 

Andres was born in Bacarra, in the Ilocos Norte Province of the northern Philippines, the youngest of seven children. He was educated at St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary and the Far Eastern University in Manila and was ordained to the priesthood in 1955 by the Most Rev. Isabelo Delos Reyes Jr., obispo máximo of the Philippine Independent Church.

 

His first parish assignment was to Ozamiz City in the southern Philippines’ region of Mindanao, before accepting a call to Maui. He was among a trio of priests who were part of the first wave of Filipino priests called to the Episcopal Church.

 

Two other priests, the Rev. Timoteo Quintero and the Rev. Jacinto Tabili, also accepted calls to Hawaii. Quintero founded St. Paul’s Church in Honolulu and Tabili served in Hilo on Hawaii’s big island but later returned to become a bishop in the Philippines, according to Vergara. In the early 1960s, Andres was called to serve Good Shepherd Church in Wailuku on the island of Maui.

 

In 1983, Andres accepted a call to St. John’s in Stockton. He is the sole survivor of that first wave of Filipino priests serving with the Episcopal Church, Vergara said. Raquel Nancy Andres, his spouse and partner in ministry, died in 2009.

 

Vergara, who preached at the Nov. 16 Eucharist, noted that St. John’s was organized a year after the city of Stockton was founded and played a key role in the development of the city. The church has an equally important role in the future of the California city, he said.

Asians and Pacific Islanders account for 22 percent of Stockton’s 300,000 residents, according to 2013 U.S. Census data.

 

“We gather here today in the name of Christ to witness the work of a creating and re-creating God,” Vergara told those who gathered at the bilingual worship service at St. John’s.

“In this beautiful city of Stockton, God will start this work with you and me. Together, we shall be God’s instrument in starting the revival, renewal and re-creation of St. John’s.

“This is the challenge to us, to rediscover the treasure that is at St. John’s and to invest our talents to pray for the revival of Stockton’s destiny,” he said.

 

“Just as its history is tied with Stockton’s history, so is the revival of Stockton to be tied to the revival of St. John’s – and the destiny of Stockton be tied to the destiny of St. John’s. With the spiritual revival of St. John’s, will follow Stockton’s revival in peace, progress and prosperity.”

 

-The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.

 

Advent  Devotions…

 Advent is the liturgical season that occurs four weeks prior to Christmas, beginning on Sunday, November 30.  Advent is a time of reflection and preparation.

 

The resources are ideal for personal, congregational and community planning and scheduling of Advent observances.

 

Devotions from leaders

The leaders of The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Anglican Church of Canada and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have prepared devotions for each of the four weeks of Advent.

 

Downloadable devotions are available here.

 

Advent 1 (November 30) Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

Advent 2 (December 7) The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church

 

Advent 3 (December 14) Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

 

Advent 4 (December 21) The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

 

From Bishop David and the Deacons of the Diocese of San Joaquin…

 ”. . . for I was hungry,

 

 

and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35-40

What do most people do when they see a homeless person? They look away and pretend they didn’t see the person. Some will give a little money. We, as Christians, are called to do more. Spare change won’t buy the toiletries they need for basic hygiene, and a little food can tide someone over until the next soup kitchen opens.

Bishop David and the Deacons in the Diocese, are coordinating a program to help. Each congregation will soon be receiving a shipment of drawstring backpacks. They need to be filled with some basic items, carried in our cars, and given to those we see in need. It’s simple and can make a world of difference to someone on the streets.

The list below is merely a suggestion. Most of these can be obtained at dollar or 99 cent stores, and WalMart will often have a better price. Be sure to ask the stores for donations of these items – you may just get them for free.

Depending on the needs in your particular area you may wish to change some of the contents. There are many more things which could be added, but these backpacks are meant to be carried around and handed out – weight is an issue. Choose carefully and prayerfully the items you put in your backpacks.

 

Bottled water

Toothbrush/toothpaste

Deodorant

Hand Wipes

Comb

Razor

Soap

Shampoo, Conditioner, Lotion (from motels when you travel)

Tissue

Emergency Blanket

Small Microfiber Towel (Amazon.com)

Hand Sanitizer

Socks

Scarf

Hat

Cookies

Sandwich Crackers (peanut butter or cheese, for example)

Granola Bars

 

Deacon Carolyn Woodall

 

NOTE: Backpacks just arrived and will be distributed to the churches!

Stole Making Workshop Fundraiser for Car-thedra Fund…

Deadline to sign up is NOW!! 

 

Stole-Making Workshop

in Support of the Diocesan Car-thedra Fund

Saturday, 6 December 2014

9am-5pm

Episcopal Church of the Saviour, Hanford

 

Fr. Luis Rodriguez will be leading an all-day practical workshop on traditional stole-making techniques (all by hand). The day’s aim is that each participant will leave with a completed stole, and so reasonable sewing skills are a requirement to help move things along smoothly. This workshop is limited to only 10 participants so that each can get individual attention. It will meet at the Episcopal Church of the Saviour in Hanford and the cost is $100, the entirety of which will go the Diocesan Car-thedra Fund. A sack lunch will be provided. The registration fee does not cover materials, but good fabrics for stoles can be easily and relatively inexpensively acquired. To register download, complete and return to the diocesan office the linked registration form (click here) along with a check to cover the cost. Please do so as soon as possible, and Fr Luis will email you with a list of materials. If you have any questions, please contact Fr Luis by email (hanfordrector@gmail.com) or phone 559-584-7706.

Office of Public Affairs…

Over the past five decades, the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) has named over 200 scholars and ministry leaders as ECF Fellows. Today, I am pleased to announce that the application for the 2015 Fellowship is now open(click open)

 

Please forward this email to an emerging scholar or ministry leader who you believe would benefit from ECF’s support. We believe that by supporting individuals at an early stage in their ministries, scholars and ministry leaders can make a lasting impact on the wider Church.

Applicants to the Fellowship Partners Program should bear the following in mind:

*ECF is committed to strengthening the leadership capability of the Episcopal Church. Applicants to the academic and ministry tracks are asked to describe how they will be developing the next generation of leaders for the Episcopal Church, whether in the context of academia, a local congregation, through a church-wide initiative, or in another setting.

*An ECF Fellowship provides both financial support and networking opportunities. ECF has typically awarded three to four Fellowships per year. New awards range up to $15,000 for the first year and are renewable for an additional two years. In addition to this financial support, new Fellows join a wide network of past Fellows and ECF partners with them so that they may share their knowledge, experience, and best practices with the wider Church.

*The application requires a significant commitment of time and is due on March 13, 2015. The selection process for an ECF Fellowship is highly competitive and a strong application requires a significant investment of time and effort. We encourage all applicants to begin this process early. ECF will announce the 2015 Fellows in late May.

Please visit the ECF website, http://www.episcopalfoundation.org/, to learn more about the Fellowship Partners Program, the application process, and be sure to review our list of Frequently Asked Questions. You will find profiles of the 2014 Fellows here and our complete list of all ECF Fellows here. Please email me or my colleague Brendon Hunter, Associate Program Director, should you have any questions about this program or the application process.

United Thank Offering Grants…

 

 

2015 United Thank Offering Grants

 

In recognizing the Five Marks of Mission, especially “to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation”, the United Thank Offering is seeking to address the current culture of violence by supporting the mission of peace as expressed in the Gospel. The Gospel of Love proclaimed by Jesus Christ is the focus for the United Thank Offering Grants during the 2014-2015 period.

The 2015 United Thank Offering Grant Application is now available. The following information should be helpful in preparing a United Thank Offering grant application. All additional forms necessary for the completion of a United Thank Offering Grant are also included below. The deadline for submission of a completed application (and required documents) is 5pm (EST) on Friday, January 15, 2015.

Click here to go to The Episcopal Church website  for application forms OR

here to new United Thank Offering Website.

3rd Annual Diocese of San Joaquin Integrity Chapter Retreat..

 

    

  • Friday, January 23rd - We gather in the evening for fellowship, snacks, a movie and discussion as we arrive at ECCO in Oakhurst, south of Yosemite.
  • Saturday, January 24th - Canon Randy Kimmler leads our retreat program throughout the day.
  • Sunday, January 25th - After morning Eucharist with Bishop David and free time, we enjoy lunch together before departure.

 $130 per person/double room

2 nights, 5 meals

 

Registration Deadline – Dec. 20th.

For questions or to register contact:

Integrity Diocesan Organizer,

Jan Dunlap 661.201.2630

Email: jan@kerncomputer.com

 

Meet Canon Randy Kimmler, our 2015 Retreat Leader.  

 

Randy is Missioner for Vocations in the Diocese of Los Angeles, where he supports and oversees clergy development prior to and after ordination. About 8 years ago, he helped plant the Community of the Holy Spirit (CHS) in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles. Lay-organized and led, the group is an emergent progressive Christian community that is being studied by many Episcopal dioceses. “It’s not a church. It’s not a mission. It’s an

anomaly and dioceses around the country are trying to figure out what to do with groups like us that are springing up all over the place.” Those who attended the 76th General Convention 2009 in Los Angeles experienced wonderful worship services and worship spaces designed by Randy and his team. Randy attends St. John’s ProCathedral in Los Angeles, serves on the Bishop’s Commission on LGBT Ministries and has been recognized by Bishop Jon Bruno for his significant service to the wider church.

For Central Deanery Clergy…

Central Deanery Clericus:  

 

December 4, 2014 at 11:30 AM.
Dear Clergy,
We have been invited to meet with Father Mike Lastini at his church in Hanford for prayer, lunch and discussion about community organizing.

Site: Immaculate Heart of Mary, 10355 Hanford-Armona Road, Hanford.  His office phone is 584-8576.

 

Suzie Ward+

For Southern Deanery…

Southern Deanery Meeting

 

11:00 a.m., St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest.

 

Whats going on…

What’s Happening in the DIO  

 

Central Deanery Clericus, December 4, 2014, 11:30 a.m., Emmaculate Heart of Mary, Hanford

 

Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony’s, Three Rivers, December 9-11, 2014

 

Diocesan Council and Standing Committee Meeting, Saturday, December 20, 2014,

11:00 a.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

Integrity Retreat, January 23-25, 2015, ECCO, Oakhurst

 

Diocesan Council and Standing Committee Retreat, Friday-Saturday, February 20-21, 2015, ECCO, Oakhurst


   Click on the link below to see more upcoming events and meetings around the diocese.

 

From our Parishes and Missions..

                                                     

THIS WEEKEND!

Dear long- time and new friends of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church,

 

We are writing to inform you of a very important gathering which is coming up on the Feast of St. Andrew, November 30, 2014.

 

We are hoping that you will mark your calendar, save the date and plan to attend the celebration here at St. Andrew’s which will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone. The laying of the cornerstone, for the structure of the church building, was November 30, 1934. It was the beginning of a community-wide project. We are told that many people, in Taft, were involved in the making of the adobe bricks. They were formed out of the soil in this place.

 

We request the honor of your presence at the 10:00 AM service on November 30, 2014. The Rt. Rev’d David Rice, The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, will preside at the worship service.

The service will be followed by a luncheon gathering, and at that luncheon we will have members and previous members reminisce about some of the important events in the history of St Andrew’s.

 

To honor our Scottish connection, we will also share in a wonderful Scottish meal. So far the menu will include…..Cottage Pie, Cock-a-Leaky soup, Scottish eggs, clootie dumplings and Short bread. I hear there may even be haggis???

 

The congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, is looking forward to welcoming everyone who has had and does have, a connection with this beautiful church. Let us gather to celebrate our past and look forward to the future, of this important place of worship in Taft, California!

 

Let us celebrate together, In Christ,

 

The Congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

 

 

Diocesan Website and Facebook…
 Have you checked it out?

Keep up to date on news and events with our
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin website 

www.diosanjoaquin.org  

 

Facebook  
Check out postings from Bishop David and Canon Kate at 
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

The Episcopal Church Website

Episcopal News Service

For the Bishop and  Canon’s Calendar…

Bishop David’s Calendar -Click Here
 
Canon Kate’s Calendar- Click Here

 

For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar….click here

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The Friday Reflection Title

11-21-2014

From Bishop David
Last Sunday I was driving on The 99 in the Car-thedra (Great Episcopal Ride by-the-way [thanks again everyone]) and I switched to one of my programmed stations on the radio.  If you must know, it is 98.9, a self-proclaimed “soft rock” station.  Periodically, a lad by the name of John Tesh appears espousing tid-bits for better living, Tesh isn’t important to this reflection, in other words, I am digressing.  Now, instead of the typically groovy tunes on 98.9, I encountered on the day in question, yes, on the 16th of November, non-stop Christmas Jingles.  I found myself working on the presupposition that 98.9, in their infinite wisdom and/or commercialized foresight, was playing a “Wee Yultide Teaser” for mid-November listeners.
Yesterday (Tuesday), I returned to The 99 and whilst driving I turned to 98.9 only to hear, you may not be surprised at all, Christmas Jingles.  After listening to these “Yule Tunes” for two hours (yes I did) I realized this was not a teaser at all.  Again, perhaps it is no surprise to you, 98.9 is playing, as I craft these words, non-stop Christmas Ditties.
I must say sisters and brothers, I like listening to Bing, Nat and Burl as much as the next person, in fact, possibly more than the next person  The thing is, as much as I am perhaps nostalgically inclined, I simply cannot bring myself to listen (more than I already have) to “songs of the festive season.”  In addition, I am struggling with the fact that we are already inundated by Christmas Decorations and Ads on the tele.  San Joaquin, for your bishop, this is simply too much, too soon.
It is not that I am a proponent of “liturgical” or “seasonal” approaches like absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder or the hide-and-seek of the nativity.  In other words, it is not helpful or healthy to pretend that the Incarnation hasn’t occurred.  However, if we begin to observe and celebrate the feast-in-question, a month in advance, we will run the risk of being completely and utterly exhausted by the time 25 December arrives or worse yet, feel “done with it” before it happens.  The other aspect of my meandering reflection involves one of the loveliest not-to-mention poignant Seasons in the Christian Year, namely Advent.  Advent affords us the opportunity of rediscovering important Christian concepts and human responses like anticipating, expecting and “actively waiting.”  Please, please, thricely please, let’s not give that away for the premature “Ho-Ho-Ho’isms” we are already encountering.
For almost twenty years we have lived in a place where Christmas was about anticipating a Bar-B-Que on the beach with family and mates and preparing for the summer holiday.  I write this because the Cappel Rices will observe and celebrate this Northern Hemisphere Christmas in a very big way indeed, however we will not start before Thanksgiving or before Advent.  I look forward to singing O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus and Lo! How A Rose E’er Blooming with you in the days of anticipation and expectation and waiting before us.
Blessings
+David

 

“Travel Light, leaving baggage behind.”

                                                                             Luke 10:1-12

From the Diocesan Office…

For All Clergy:
HOUSING ALLOWANCE: Dear Clergy, please remember that you need to have a housing allowance resolution passed by your Vestry/Bishop’s committee in December of 2014 for the 2015 tax year. If you have any questions about this process or would like a recommended format, please contact Canon Kate.

 

For  All Clergy and Lay Employee: LAST DAY!

MEDICAL AND DENTAL RENEWALS: Those of you currently covered through the Episcopal Church Medical Trust for your health and/or dental insurance will see a letter coming to your home in the very near future. If you wish to change your plans in any way a response will be required by November 21st. Watch for the notice in the mail.

 

For Clergy, Vestries and Bishop Committees:

The Bronze Disaster Preparedness Plan:  

Is to be completed by all parishes and missions and turned into the Diocesan Office. Many thanks to St. Clare of Assisi- Avery, St Matthew’s- San Andreas, St. James- Sonora, St. John the Baptist- Lodi, St. Raphael’s- Oakhurst, Holy Trinity- Madera, Church of the Saviour- Hanford,  St. Paul’s- Bakersfield, St. Paul’s, Modesto, St. Sherrian’s, Kernville, St Anne’s, Stockton, St. John the Evangelist, Stockton and St. Paul’s, Visalia just completed their report. Thank you!
For those parishes and missions who have not completed this: They need to be turned in ASAP.
For All Clergy and Parishioners:

The Diocesan Staff would appreciate your assistance in getting the contact information for the Provost, Chancellor, Dean, or President of the public and private universities, colleges and junior colleges in our geographical location. If you know who to contact, please call the diocesan office or email emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org.

ALL MAIL
for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, Bishop, Canon, and Administrator is to be mailed to 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355.

Thank you,

Ellen Meyer,

Administrator

Sacred Order of Deacons…

Dio seal

By the Grace of God

 

The Right Reverend David C. Rice

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

 

will ordain

 

Steven Michael Karcher 

 

to the Sacred Order of Deacons

 

 

Saturday, November 22, 2014, at 4:00 p.m.

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

2216 17th Street

Bakersfield, California 93301

 

 

Clergy Vest with Red Stoles

 

From Bishop David and the Deacons of the Diocese of San Joaquin…

 

 ”. . . for I was hungry,

 

 

and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35-40

What do most people do when they see a homeless person? They look away and pretend they didn’t see the person. Some will give a little money. We, as Christians, are called to do more. Spare change won’t buy the toiletries they need for basic hygiene, and a little food can tide someone over until the next soup kitchen opens.

Bishop David and the Deacons in the Diocese, are coordinating a program to help. Each congregation will soon be receiving a shipment of drawstring backpacks. They need to be filled with some basic items, carried in our cars, and given to those we see in need. It’s simple and can make a world of difference to someone on the streets.

The list below is merely a suggestion. Most of these can be obtained at dollar or 99 cent stores, and WalMart will often have a better price. Be sure to ask the stores for donations of these items – you may just get them for free.

Depending on the needs in your particular area you may wish to change some of the contents. There are many more things which could be added, but these backpacks are meant to be carried around and handed out – weight is an issue. Choose carefully and prayerfully the items you put in your backpacks.

 

Bottled water

Toothbrush/toothpaste

Deodorant

Hand Wipes

Comb

Razor

Soap

Shampoo, Conditioner, Lotion (from motels when you travel)

Tissue

Emergency Blanket

Small Microfiber Towel (Amazon.com)

Hand Sanitizer

Socks

Scarf

Hat

Cookies

Sandwich Crackers (peanut butter or cheese, for example)

Granola Bars

 

Deacon Carolyn Woodall

 

NOTE: Backpacks just arrived and will be distributed to the churches!

Stole Making Workshop Fundraiser for Car-thedra Fund…

Deadline to sign up is NOW!! 

 

Stole-Making Workshop

in Support of the Diocesan Car-thedra Fund

Saturday, 6 December 2014

9am-5pm

Episcopal Church of the Saviour, Hanford

 

Fr. Luis Rodriguez will be leading an all-day practical workshop on traditional stole-making techniques (all by hand). The day’s aim is that each participant will leave with a completed stole, and so reasonable sewing skills are a requirement to help move things along smoothly. This workshop is limited to only 10 participants so that each can get individual attention. It will meet at the Episcopal Church of the Saviour in Hanford and the cost is $100, the entirety of which will go the Diocesan Car-thedra Fund. A sack lunch will be provided. The registration fee does not cover materials, but good fabrics for stoles can be easily and relatively inexpensively acquired. To register download, complete and return to the diocesan office the linked registration form (click here) along with a check to cover the cost. Please do so as soon as possible, and Fr Luis will email you with a list of materials. If you have any questions, please contact Fr Luis by email (hanfordrector@gmail.com) or phone 559-584-7706.

 

Deacons in Our World Today…

Coming Anon to a Service Near You!
During the upcoming months, and starting on November 9th, Bishop David will be accompanied by a deacon when he visits your congregation. The deacon and Bishop David will be showing the video “Deacons in Our World Today,” and answering questions about the vocational diaconate. You will need to have a DVD player and television, or laptop, speakers and a projector available. Please notify Ellen Meyer (emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org) at the Diocesan office if your congregation lacks this equipment so arrangements can be made.
Deacon Carolyn Woodall

Office of Public Affairs…

   

Office of Public Affairs

 

Applications now accepted online for

Episcopal Church Young Adult Service Corps

2015-2016 placements

 

[November 6, 2014] The Episcopal Church offers untold opportunities for young adults to live, work and pray with brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion through the Young Adult Service Corps. Commonly known as YASC, applications for 2015-16 are now being accepted for the Young Adult Service Corps from young adults between the ages of 21-30.

“YASC provides an opportunity for young adults to explore their faith in a new capacity and to live out the Baptismal Covenant by seeking and serving Christ in all persons,” noted the Rev. David Copley, Mission Personnel Officer. “Applicants must have a high degree of maturity and possess a faith commitment and the willingness to be a humble guest, and the ability to be an authentic companion.”

 

The application is available online here www.episcopalchurch.org/yasc The application deadline is Friday, January 2, 2015.

 

Where are the YASC?

 

Current YASC members can be found throughout the Anglican Communion. They are working in administration, agriculture, development, education, and technology. They are serving Brazil, Burundi, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Haiti, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain and Uruguay.

 

Read their thoughts and reflections on their blogs herehttp://www.episcopalchurch.org/content/blogs/yasc

 

Among the possible placements for 2015-16 are Brazil, Burundi, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Uruguay and Zambia.

 

For more information contact Elizabeth Boe, Global Networking Officer, at eboe@episcopalchurch.org.

 

The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org

YASC: www.episcopalchurch.org/yasc

Facebook: www.facebook.com/episcopalian

Twitter: twitter.com/iamepiscopalian

 

On the web:

Applications now accepted online for Episcopal Church Young Adult Service Corps

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/notice/applications-now-accepted-online-episcopal-church-young-adult-service-corps-0

 

For more info contact:

Neva Rae Fox

Public Affairs Officer

The Episcopal Church

publicaffairs@episcopalchurch.org

212-716-6080 Mobile: 917-478-5659

United Thank Offering Grants…

 

2015 United Thank Offering Grants

 

In recognizing the Five Marks of Mission, especially “to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation”, the United Thank Offering is seeking to address the current culture of violence by supporting the mission of peace as expressed in the Gospel. The Gospel of Love proclaimed by Jesus Christ is the focus for the United Thank Offering Grants during the 2014-2015 period.

The 2015 United Thank Offering Grant Application is now available. The following information should be helpful in preparing a United Thank Offering grant application. All additional forms necessary for the completion of a United Thank Offering Grant are also included below. The deadline for submission of a completed application (and required documents) is 5pm (EST) on Friday, January 15, 2015.

Click here to go to The Episcopal Church website  for application forms OR

here to new United Thank Offering Website.

Godly Play…

 

  

Interested in Godly Play Training?  

 

Holy Family Fresno is considering hosting a Godly Play training possibly Spring 2015. We are trying to gauge the interest of parishes that would like to participate and share the cost of the training. Cost depends on how many parishes attend. We will advise final cost and dates of training after we have an exact count on attendees. If you know of a parish outside our diocese that might be interested in participating, please pass along this information.

 

What is Godly Play? Check out the link below:

http://www.godlyplayfoundation.org/

Here is a sample of a Godly Play lesson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw_mrzZJx00

Contact:

 

Cathie Olivas

559-676-5088

catherineolivas@gmail.com

3rd Annual Diocese of San Joaquin Integrity Chapter Retreat..

 

    

  • Friday, January 23rd - We gather in the evening for fellowship, snacks, a movie and discussion as we arrive at ECCO in Oakhurst, south of Yosemite.
  • Saturday, January 24th - Canon Randy Kimmler leads our retreat program throughout the day.
  • Sunday, January 25th - After morning Eucharist with Bishop David and free time, we enjoy lunch together before departure.

 $130 per person/double room

2 nights, 5 meals

 

Registration Deadline – Dec. 20th.

For questions or to register contact:

Integrity Diocesan Organizer,

Jan Dunlap 661.201.2630

Email: jan@kerncomputer.com

 

Meet Canon Randy Kimmler, our 2015 Retreat Leader.  

 

Randy is Missioner for Vocations in the Diocese of Los Angeles, where he supports and oversees clergy development prior to and after ordination. About 8 years ago, he helped plant the Community of the Holy Spirit (CHS) in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles. Lay-organized and led, the group is an emergent progressive Christian community that is being studied by many Episcopal dioceses. “It’s not a church. It’s not a mission. It’s an

anomaly and dioceses around the country are trying to figure out what to do with groups like us that are springing up all over the place.” Those who attended the 76th General Convention 2009 in Los Angeles experienced wonderful worship services and worship spaces designed by Randy and his team. Randy attends St. John’s ProCathedral in Los Angeles, serves on the Bishop’s Commission on LGBT Ministries and has been recognized by Bishop Jon Bruno for his significant service to the wider church.

For Southern Deanery…

Southern Deanery Meeting

 

11:00 a.m., St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest.

 

Whats going on…

What’s Happening in the DIO  

 

 

Ordination for Deacon -Steven Michael Karcher, Saturday, November 22, 2014, 4:00 p.m., St. Paul’s, Bakersfield.

 

Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony’s, Three Rivers, December 9-11, 2014

 

Diocesan Council and Standing Committee Meeting, Saturday, December 20, 2014,

11:00 a.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

Integrity Retreat, January 23-25, 2015, ECCO, Oakhurst

 

Diocesan Council and Standing Committee Retreat, Friday-Saturday, February 20-21, 2015, ECCO, Oakhurst


   Click on the link below to see more upcoming events and meetings around the diocese.

 

From our Parishes and Missions..

                  

Sounds of Expectation

A Community Concert Series

Sunday November 23, 2014

3:00 p.m.

  

Click Here for more information 

 

The Episcopal Church of the Saviour

519 North Douty Street

Hanford, CA

559-584-7706 

 

                                                     

 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

 Wednesday Educational Events  

  6:30 p.m. -8:00 p.m.

  703 5th Street, Taft, CA

November 26, 2014

Women of the Bible

with Ashley Musick

 

Educ

                                                     

Dear long- time and new friends of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church,

 

We are writing to inform you of a very important gathering which is coming up on the Feast of St. Andrew, November 30, 2014.

 

We are hoping that you will mark your calendar, save the date and plan to attend the celebration here at St. Andrew’s which will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone. The laying of the cornerstone, for the structure of the church building, was November 30, 1934. It was the beginning of a community-wide project. We are told that many people, in Taft, were involved in the making of the adobe bricks. They were formed out of the soil in this place.

 

We request the honor of your presence at the 10:00 AM service on November 30, 2014. The Rt. Rev’d David Rice, The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, will preside at the worship service.

The service will be followed by a luncheon gathering, and at that luncheon we will have members and previous members reminisce about some of the important events in the history of St Andrew’s.

 

To honor our Scottish connection, we will also share in a wonderful Scottish meal. So far the menu will include…..Cottage Pie, Cock-a-Leaky soup, Scottish eggs, clootie dumplings and Short bread. I hear there may even be haggis???

 

The congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, is looking forward to welcoming everyone who has had and does have, a connection with this beautiful church. Let us gather to celebrate our past and look forward to the future, of this important place of worship in Taft, California!

 

Let us celebrate together, In Christ,

 

The Congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

 

 

Diocesan Website and Facebook…
 Have you checked it out?
Keep up to date on news and events with our
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin website www.diosanjoaquin.org  

 

Facebook  
Check out postings from Bishop David and Canon Kate at 
Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin 

The Episcopal Church Website

www.episcopalchurch.org

 

For the Bishop and  Canon’s Calendar…

Bishop David’s Calendar -Click Here
 
Canon Kate’s Calendar- Click Here

 

For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar….click here

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Sermon
Proper 28, Year A

This is another gospel that is difficult for me to understand, let alone try to tell it as good news to you. Matthew has a theme, last week with the maidens and their oil lamps, this week servants and talents, and next week the separation of the sheep and the goats. There was an earlier ‘kingdom of God is like’ where a king throws a banquet for his son and those invited do not come. The ending to all these parables is that someone is left out or thrown out in the darkness where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Our challenge is that Matthew’s audience was different than those of us listening to his words today. Matthew writes, primarily, to Jewish Christians who are struggling both with the delay in Jesus’ return, the parousia (pair-oo-see-ah), and the Jewish population surrounding them. They have differentiated themselves from their Jewish family and are not sure how to embrace the Gentile Christians. It seems the end time has come – the temple in Jerusalem has been destroyed, and yet Christ has not returned as they expected he would. As time went on Christians began to focus more on how to act than on preparing for the arrival of the son of man in the near future.
Looking at the gospel in the terms of what it meant to Matthew’s audience may give us ideas as to how this is good news for us today. The ‘talent’ in the gospel story is a huge sum of money. Five talents today would be around 4 million dollars. It is only important to know that it was a great amount of wealth to leave with a servant.
“In the Parable of the Talents, the master showed great trust by leaving so much money in the care of three servants. The FIRST servant honored that trust by using the master’s money wisely. Likewise the SECOND servant. Those two servants respected the master. They knew what he wanted, and did their best to give it to him. The THIRD servant, though, acted quite differently. (Perhaps) he acted differently because he felt differently toward the master.
He didn’t respect the master. He didn’t love the master. He feared the master. He thought of the master as a hard man, even though the master has been generous to all three servants. This third servant didn’t care what the master wanted, so he didn’t try to do what the master wanted. The third servant cared only about himself –– his own life. So instead of using the master’s money wisely, he buried it in the ground. In the culture of that time, he would not be held responsible for the sum if he buried it and it became lost. Because he didn’t want the responsibility, he just hid it away. But it didn’t work. The master left the money to be used. He expected his servants to DO SOMETHING –– to make the world a little better place –– to make someone happy –– to put the money to work. “ (Sermonwriter, Dick Donovan)
God gives us gifts, abilities that we call talent. We are expected to use those gifts. When they are used, they multiply, and spread the goodness of God’s kingdom. When we hide them, ignore them, or choose to not do anything (like burying them away), we do lose them. They remain unused or worse fade away to nothing. God asks that we use the talents that have been bestowed upon us.
I tend to picture God as a merciful, loving, forgiving, creator. To see a judgmental, condemning God is difficult for me. That third servant pictures a God that is indeed unmerciful, unloving and most definitely unforgiving. Fear of the consequences of losing what God has entrusted to him leaves him one option – to hide it all away. Would God care if we try to use our talents and end up losing them? I don’t think so.
It seems that God is most upset and hurt when we turn away and hide – only because God knows that in the end we will be hurt by our own actions.
How you respond to God by either boldly using your gifts/talents or hiding them away will indicate the way you envision God. Are you the beloved child of a loving, merciful, caring, forgiving God? Or are you the servant of a Master “who is harsh, reaping where he does not sow, and gathering where he did not scatter seed”? Paul tells us that we are “children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness…God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Over the next week, reflect on three things: What has God given you? What are you doing with those gifts? What should you be doing? Next week’s gospel will outline how we are to use our God given gifts/talents. It is a special Sunday, Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday in the season after Pentecost. It is the last Sunday in our church year. We can continue this conversation next week…

Sermon
Proper 27, Year A

How many choices have you made in your life, and how many choices has life made for you? It feels that way sometimes; we don’t get to choose. Life happens and we find ourselves dealing with it. There is seemingly so much beyond our control that we hold on to the things that are familiar, comfortable or stable – until someone or something comes along and messes with our life. Perhaps that’s why religion survives. We need the hope that all will be well.
The Israelites have made it to the land that God had promised them. They have been on a journey for years and almost nothing is the same. Sure they have something to eat and water to drink, but they still longed for the ‘good ole days of slavery in Egypt’. But now, they have settled in their new land and they are asked to make a choice – a choice for how they will live out their lives. Joshua gathers the tribes and says, “choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods our ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living, …or serve the LORD.” It is an important decision because if they choose to follow God, their LORD, then they can’t change their mind later without paying the consequences. The God of the Israelites was a vengeful and jealous God, and yet the people choose to follow the one God, to forsake all those other gods. They make their choice publically in front of the assembly so as to be held accountable. They choose to stay with the God that has protected them and done great works in their sight.
This morning Jesus tells another parable about the kingdom of heaven. This one has to do with 10 maidens and their lamps. Five bring extra oil – just in case. Five do not. Well, the bridegroom is delayed and all ten lamps are low on oil. The five that brought the extra oil are present when the bridegroom comes and get into the wedding feast. The others are late because they had to run to the market to get more oil and get locked out. Culturally, at that time, “the bridegroom has gone to the home of the bride to determine and sign the marriage contract with the bride’s father and then he will return with the bride to his home (or that of his father). Since negotiations about the terms of the marriage contract could get involved, perhaps the groom’s delay should not be considered unusual. At the return with his bride, the wedding feast could begin at the bridegroom’s household. The ten maidens await the groom’s return with his bride.” (Sacra Pagina, Matthew, page 349).
Hard to say what choices were made by the maidens that led some to get extra oil and some to not bring any. Did some choose to go have manicures/pedicures in preparation for the banquet and then not have time to get to the market? We can identify with this scenario. We’ve overscheduled our day so that we don’t have time to pick up something at the market or we are late for a meeting or we miss our child’s event? And we’ve done it more than once! That’s one lesson to take from the story. Don’t get so involved with doing, that you forget to take care of living.
Jesus was speaking in parable using events from everyday life. The people listening to Matthew’s gospel would understand that he is the bridegroom and that the “maidens become positive and negative models on how to act in view of the Son of Man’s delayed arrival.” (Sacra Pagina, Matthew, page 350). This parable reiterates the need to be prepared, to be ready, “because you do not know the day or the hour.” Another lesson to take from this parable is not so much about judgment or the character of God as about being ready for the kingdom of heaven and what the time of Jesus’ return will be like.
There are two ways of looking at the “end time”. One is called cataclysmic, and the other is the continuum. The people to whom Matthew was writing lived with a belief of a cataclysmic eschatology. The Son of Man would suddenly return and if you weren’t prepared, you got left out, like the foolish maidens at the wedding banquet. My preference is the continuum, that the end time comes with the reign of God. All people on earth will work together and bring about the reign of God. We are all ready, because it can’t happen unless the whole earth is one family. It rather goes along with the vision of a loving, merciful, God. It also makes our job harder. We not only have to get our own lives in order, we need to help and support each other. In this way, we need to use the resources we receive to help bring about the reign of God (heaven on earth). That is the lesson to take from the readings today. For the people in Matthew’s day, they thought Jesus was coming at any time and had to be prepared. For us, so much time has passed; it is a matter of continuing to work more than being prepared.
We gather our pledge intentions this morning. The money is used to continue our work in bringing about the kingdom of God here in our community. I pray that we share our gifts and talents with each other and with those in need, believing that God will continue to provide for us. We, as Christians, have promised to serve the LORD. Let us follow the role model of the wise maidens and be prepared to do this work. AMEN.

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BEFORE her drinking spiraled out of control, Sylvia Dobrow “drank like a lady,” as she put it, matching her wine to her sandwiches: “Tuna and chardonnay, roast beef and rosé.” But soon she was “drinking around the clock,” downing glasses of vodka and skim milk.

“When you try to hide your drinking from your grandchildren, you do whatever you can,” said Ms. Dobrow, 81, a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother living in Stockton, Calif.

A former hospital educator, Ms. Dobrow’s alcohol consumption became unmanageable after she lost her job and subsequently “lost my identity,” she said.

One night in early 2007, after a particularly excessive alcohol binge, Ms. Dobrow fell out of bed and suffered a black eye. That was when her two daughters, one of whom was a nurse, took her to Hemet Valley, a recovery facility in Hemet Valley, Calif., that caters to adults age 55 and older. Ms. Dobrow, who was 73 at the time, stayed for 30 days, which cost roughly $20,000, about $13,000 of which was covered by insurance. When she returned home, she continued with a 12-step program. She has been sober ever since.

An estimated 2.8 million older adults in the United States meet the criteria for alcohol abuse, and this number is expected to reach 5.7 million by 2020, according to a study in the journal “Addiction.” In 2008, 231,200 people over 50 sought treatment for substance abuse, up from 102,700 in 1992, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a federal agency.

While alcohol is typically the substance of choice, a 2013 report found that the rate of illicit drug use among adults 50 to 64 increased from 2.7 percent in 2002 to 6.0 percent in 2013.

“As we get older, it takes longer for our bodies to metabolize alcohol and drugs,” said D. John Dyben, the director of older adult treatment services for the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. “Someone might say, ‘I could have two or three glasses of wine and I was fine, and now that I’m in my late 60s, it’s becoming a problem.’ That’s because the body can’t handle it.”

Many, although certainly not all, of these older individuals with alcohol problems are retired.

Over the course of 10 years, Peter A. Bamberger and Samuel B. Bacharach, co-authors of “Retirement and the Hidden Epidemic,” conducted a study funded by the National Institutes of Health on substance abuse in older adults. They found that the impact of retirement on substance abuse was “anything but clear cut, with the conditions leading to retirement, and the economic and social nature of the retirement itself, having a far greater impact on substance use than simple retirement itself,” said Mr. Bamberger, who is also research director of the Smithers Institute at Cornell University.

But events that arise in later life often require coping skills older adults may not possess. Some retirees are lonely and depressed, and turn to alcohol or drugs to quell their anxieties. Others may drink to deal with late-life losses of spouses, friends, careers and purpose.

“In retirement there can be depression, divorce, death of a spouse, moving from a big residence into a small residence,” said Steven Wollman, a substance abuse counselor in New York, . “For anyone who’s an addict, boredom’s the No. 1 trigger.”

Sandra D., 58, who works in the financial services industry in Toronto, said that her father’s drinking increased so much after he retired that she often took the car keys away from him.

“He and his friends meet for cocktails at about 3 or 4 and then he passes out, which he calls a ‘nap,’ ” said Ms. D., who asked that her full last name not be used. “My dad didn’t plan out his retirement well. My mom was very ill for many years before she passed away, and my dad was a caregiver. He was pretty well looking after the house and taking care of her. When she passed away, there was a very big void for him.”

Ms. D. said her father, an 82-year-old former maintenance worker, doesn’t believe he drinks too much, a common perception among many seniors.

“People are really good at redefining things,” said Stephan Arndt, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa and director of the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation. “They say, ‘I don’t have a problem, I just like to drink.’ Or, ‘I’m a big guy, I can handle it.’ In the case of prescription drugs, it’s, ‘Well, I got it from my doctor, and it’s for my pain. It’s medication.’ Consequently, they don’t seek help.”

Physicians often aren’t trained to talk to their older patients about chemical dependency — or, perhaps more pointedly in an era of managed care, they often don’t have the time to thoroughly screen a patient. Also, many signs of chemical dependence like memory loss and disorientation resemble normal symptoms of aging. “Is this person confused because they’re messing up their meds, or is it dementia?” said Brenda J. Iliff, the executive director of Hazelden, a residential treatment center in Naples, Fla., that offers special programming baby boomers and older adults for about $21,000 a month. “Is their diabetes out of control, or did they fall and break their hip because they were woozy from Atavan?”

Another misconception is that older adults don’t benefit from treatment. “There’s this lore, this belief, that as people get older they become less treatable,” said Paul Sacco, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, who researches aging and addiction. “But there’s a large body of literature saying that the outcomes are as good with older adults. They’re not hopeless. This may be just the time to get them treatment.”

Pamela Noffze was 58 when she arrived at Hazelden‘s center in Naples for treatment. At her worst, she was drinking a case of light beer a day, but she didn’t think she had an issue until her daughter threatened to ban her from seeing her grandsons again unless she sought help. “That’s when I knew I had to do something,” said Ms. Noffze.

On her first night at Hazelden, she discovered that she was also addicted to Klonopin, an anti-anxiety medication that her psychiatrist had prescribed in 2009 to help her cope with a divorce. Weaning herself off prescription medications was harder than stopping drinking, she said. Still, she has not had a sip of alcohol or any pills since rehab.

Ms. Noffze, now 61, who lives in Naples and is unemployed, regularly attends 12-step meetings. She said she was astonished at the number of people who “have their cocktails every night, and the next thing they know they find themselves addicted because some doctor gave them Ambien to sleep or they were on pain pills for arthritis or whatever,” she said. “You put those two together and you put yourself over the edge.”

As for Ms. Dobrow, she was so emboldened by her recovery that in 2010 she went back to school to get a credential as a substance abuse counselor. She now works part time counseling older adults at Hemet Valley.

“Losing your purpose in life is the singular thing that hurts people,” said Ms. Dobrow. “We involve so much of our ego in our career, but these last seven and a half years have been the most fulfilling of my life, because I can help people. What is when people used to wear a sandwich board and walk around in a commercial? I feel that mine says ’Hope’ on the front and on the back.”

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Racing with Susan C. Hall and Bob Glass in the Great San Francisco Schooner Race. I am calling off the number of feet between us and the Race Committee Boat to our fearless skipper Mark Hall.

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