Behold your King comes to you Triumphant and Victorious is he Humble and riding on a donkey.

LOVE WINS ……BLESS THE WORLD

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The Friday Reflection Title
March 17, 2017

From The Rev. Canon Anna Carmichael

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Thank you for allowing me to share with you some brief reflections on stewardship and The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS) at our Special Meeting of Convention on March 4.  As a parish priest, I had to overcome a lot of obstacles–both personal and pastoral–to be able to talk about stewardship with any confidence.
Part of this lack of confidence on my part was because I was operating out of a place of scarcity.  I was worried that because I wasn’t a “tither” (a 10% giver) that I had no right or reason to talk about stewardship; that my financial contribution to the parish was insignificant.  But as I worked with my bishop, as I learned from TENS, as I spoke with other clergy in the area, I realized that my contribution was right along the national average for my income and household expenses–I’m a 5% giver.  After some serious conversation and prayer, I came to accept that I was not living in scarcity, but I was living in abundance.  And as a result, I felt freer to share my time, talent and treasure with my community.
Now, let me unpack these concepts of “scarcity” and “abundance” with you.
Abundance is about really living as a Christian–about knowing that we are called to be partners with God in making the world a better place.  Abundance is about seeing the world around us as a gift from God that it is freely given out of a place of love.  Abundance is about accepting the gifts from God that we have been given, and then sharing those gifts with others.  We can’t outdo God’s generosity, but we can share God’s love with others.
Scarcity, on the other hand, is about believing that you don’t have enough.  It’s rooted in fear and a sense of loss.  Scarcity is also about control.  When we feel like we are loosing control of things, we start grabbing at anything not nailed down, and ultimately we decide we don’t have enough.  Scarcity is the opposite of abundance (which may seem obvious), but really it’s the opposite of receiving the gifts freely given to us by God.
For me personally, the shift from scarcity to abundance was also about accepting my identity as a beloved child of God and of being created in the image of God.  Which means that the abundance of my life is meant to be shared with others; not kept only for myself.
As you think about stewardship, whether for yourself or your congregation, I invite you to consider how you live abundantly.  Where is the spirit of abundance rooted?  Is it in your care of your neighbor?  Is it in your sharing of your talents and skills?  How are you sharing your abundance?
God’s peace be with you all,
Canon Anna

Business Card Outreach

A few years back, my wife Terry and I were in Sarasota, FL to visit my sister and her family. While we were there, we attended church at St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church there in Sarasota. One of the things they gave to newcomers was a generic church business card with all the pertinent information. At the time we thought it was a great idea and we brought one home to show everyone. Although everyone back at Church of the Saviour liked the idea, the idea fell by the wayside. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and Terry and I were preparing for Ash Wednesday and Ashes to Go. Terry remembered the business card idea and thought it would be a good idea to hand them out during Ashes to Go, along with a flyer with Church of the Saviour’s Lent and Holy Week schedule. I had put together a business card template, at an online printer, that Church of the Saviour has been using for staff business cards and it was trivial to replace the name and title with “All are Welcome!” and service times. By the way, Ashes to Go was an overwhelming success with over 200 foreheads “ashed”.
It was obvious that the business cards could be used year round as an outreach tool and this last Sunday, our Priest-in-Charge; Father John Day introduced them to the congregation. He asked that parishioners take a few and give them out to friends, family, co-workers and anyone else when it seemed appropriate. This last Saturday at the Special Convention, Terry showed one of the cards to Bp. David, he loved the idea and asked that she write up something for the Friday Reflection. I was immediately “assigned” to write the article. This idea is certainly not new or original, but it is such a simple way to introduce your Church to others. It is also very inexpensive; our cards were $18.21 for 500 cards, including tax and shipping. We use Vistaprint online, but any online or local printer would obviously work. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at ecosoffice1@gmail.com.
Jeff March, Episcopal Church of the Saviour

A Day of Discovery
A Program for Discerning Ministry
in the Episcopal Church
May 13, 2017
10:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
St James Episcopal Cathedral
4147 E Dakota Ave, Fresno, CA 93726
Day of Discovery is designed to help Episcopalians broaden their understanding and appreciation of the four groups of ministers in the Episcopal Church. Participants will discover new arenas for ministry as well as see and experience the complementary relationship between all ministers of the Church.
Some people limit their definition of discernment as primarily an activity to find THEIR ministry, THEIR career, or THEIR place. This program, on the other hand, will define discernment as primarily a lifelong process of perceiving, listening, and responding to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
Most of all, Day of Discovery is designed to help people Discover and Appreciate the Mission and Ministry of Christ, how the Episcopal Church expresses that ministry, and how each person fits into that expression.

Click here for more information and registration form.

 2017 Theme:
 Journey to Generosity
The theme for the 2017 pledge drive materials provided by TENS will be, “Journey to Generosity”.  Bulletin inserts, letters and other support material will carry this theme and logo.  Look for additional information in January, 2017. Stewardship is year long!

Contact the Diocesan Office for the 2017 password!

SCHOLAR’S VIEW:
What’s All the Fuss About CRISPR?
with Dr. Ted Peters
Geneticists

Sunday, April 23, 2017
5:15 pm – Light dinner
6 pm – Lecture, followed by Q&A
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

Hosted by:

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in partnership with Merced Wesley Foundation, United Methodist Church of Merced,
Merced Episcopal Church,
 LifeSpring Church,
Unitarian Universalists of Merced,
and Unity of Merced.
Click here for more information.

El Señor sea con ustedes.
Spanish Language Eucharist is now being offered at St James Cathedral on the
2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 12:15.
We are grateful for The Rev. Canon Keith Brown’s pastoral leadership in
this new ministry being offered.
Regardless of your proficiency with Spanish, please know that you are always welcome!
Dios habla en muchos idiomas.
La paz del Señor sea siempre con ustedes.

Diocesan Events

       Standing Committee Meeting

Teleconference/Adobe
Tuesday, March 28
6:30pm

Diocesan Council Meeting Teleconference/Adobe
Thursday, March 30
6:30pm

Commission on Ministry
Saturday, April 8
10am-3pm
St. James Cathedral, Fresno

Chrism Mass
Tuesday, April 11
11am-1pm
St. James Cathedral, Fresno

Saturday, April 29
Diocesan Council Mtg 10am
Joint Meeting 12noon
Standing Committee Meeting 1pm
St. James Cathedral, Fresno

Northern Deanery Clericus
Wednesday, May 3
11am-2pm
St. Paul’s, Modesto

Clergy Retreat
May 9-11, 2017
St. Anthony’s Retreat Center
Three Rivers, CA

Day of Discovery
Saturday May 13
10am-3pm
St. James Cathedral, Fresno

Northern Deanery Meeting
Saturday, May 20th
10:00am-12noon
St. Paul’s, Modesto

Friday Reflection

All articles and special news can be submitted to the Diocesan Office at: emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org

All submissions are due MONDAY for the following Friday Reflection.
Submission requirements:

pictures -JPEG format
articles- word document
linked documents- PDF

Please send all information as attachments.
Please edit pictures for best brightness, contrast, and lighting before sending in.

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The Rev. Heather Mueller

St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Taft

 

_______________________Sorting through the words!

We are in the midst of a season of a multitude of words, phrases and speeches! Words are flying past us and into our ears from every direction! These many verbal presentations are coming to us in a variety of ways…. From the radio waves, the television, the mouths of friends, and family and especially from the people who want to be elected to serve as leaders in our governmental systems.

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The Friday Reflection Title
February 5, 2016
Called to Be…Deacons
Shortly after the Ascension of Jesus, the flourishing Church came to the point where the Twelve could no longer meaningfully preach and teach and effectively minister to the needs of the expanding community. This concern was addressed in Acts: “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables’.”(Acts 6:1-2) And so it came to pass that a small group was selected to serve in this capacity.
Over time, these servants or ministers became known as deacons. Their numbers grew and their role and contributions in the community evolved to meet the needs within their local context. Phoebe was a deacon in Greece who received accolades from Paul in his letter to the Romans (Rom. 16:1). Philip baptized an Ethiopian (Acts 8:26-40) and tradition holds that this newly baptized brother returned to his homeland and was instrumental in founding the Church there. St. Francis of Assisi was, (reluctantly), ordained a deacon and birthed the Order of the Franciscans.
While all Christians are called to be…ministers of Christ and his Church, we recognize that some are called to the particular ministry of the diaconate. This is an ordained ministry that, in part, helps to identify the needs of the community outside the walls of the Church and to work to meet those needs. Depending upon the circumstances, this work may take the form of community organizing, advocacy, and/or working side-by-side with existing organizations to partner with them by leveraging their expertise and lending much needed support.
Christian community ministry is always bathed in prayer. The deacon performs a distinctive role in the liturgy of the Church, taking the needs of the world to the worshiping community by offering prayers of intercession, (The Prayers of the People). Deacons also proclaim the Gospel and may preach on occasion to further inform the congregation of the needs of the suffering and their role as Christians to work diligently to alleviate class distinctions, hunger, poverty, and lift up those relegated to the margins of society.
Of course, this is not a comprehensive model of the diaconate. This ministry varies according to the needs of the communities served and according to the gifts of the minister. Gifts are as varied as are the individuals being called.
So here is the question….might you be hearing the call to the diaconate? Might you be feeling a restlessness, an urge, a longing?
Here are the first steps: pray, pray, pray. Pray for guidance. Pray for discernment. Pray for strength. Pray for courage. Pray for wisdom. Then go and talk with your priest. After listening and praying with you, he or she may convene a parish/congregational commission to help with the discernment process. The road to Holy Orders, (ordination), is one that is discerned and supported in community. From there you may be invited to enter into conversation with the bishop and may be referred to a diocesan Commission on Ministry to further discern the calling. In time, they may send you to the School for Deacons here in San Joaquin.
The School for Deacons in our diocese is a rigorous, intensive program, with small class sizes and hands-on mentors.
It meets once a month, eleven months a year. The academic portion of this formation is two years.
Is God calling you to this?
You will find yourself immersed in Holy Scripture and learning about Church History and theology.
Can you hear the call?
You will learn to lead the Daily Office, to become accustomed to reading with clarity and authority, and to teach with confidence.
Is God calling you?
Skills in community organizing, spiritual practices, and pastoral care are also offered.
Are you hearing the call?
Are you Called to be…a deacon?
The Rev. Michele Racusin

Human Trafficking News
Freedom Sunday
 February 7th

is a day to take time to proclaim freedom for all who are trapped in modern day slavery. Read more

Diocesan Events

Central Deanery Gathering – February 6- update 
The next gathering of the Central Deanery will be on Saturday, February 6 in Fresno. We will be joining Taizé Fresno at the First Congregational Church (also known as The Big Red Church on Van Ness) at 2131 N. Van Ness Avenue for a day of Taizé Prayer with a theme of Social Justice. The event starts at 8:a.m. with registration and refreshments, followed by Taizé prayer introduction by Sherah Moore and Sandy DeGraff.
The Rev. Suzy Ward of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Visalia will present the first general session, “Reflections on the Tour Against Trafficking,” at 9 a.m.  At 10:15 a.m., participants can choose between several prayer-experience sessions.  The final prayer session concludes at 3:45 pm. The cost is $25 if registered by February 1, and $30 after that date. Lunch is included.  No formal meeting will be held, but during the breaks and at lunch time, members of the Central Deanery and friends can meet and socialize. To view the brochure, and print the registration form for mailing, go to:http://www.earthprayers.net/taizeweekend.htm

Diocesan Events

Central Deanery Gathering, February 6, 8:00am,  First Congregational Church, Fresno

Commission On Ministry Meeting, February 13, 10am, Holy Family, Fresno

Diocesan Council/Standing Committee Retreat, February 19-20, ECCO

Southern Deanery Meeting, February 27, 11am, St. Sherrian’s, Kernville

Northern Deanery Meeting, March 19, 10 am, St. Paul’s, Modesto

Chrism Mass, Tuesday, March 22, 11am, Holy Family Fresno

News from St. Raphael’s, Oakhurst

New time!
St. Raphael Episcopal Church in Oakhurst is now holding their Sunday Service st 10:00am

They meet at 49777 School Road in Oakhurst

 From: ecf Vital Practices

Reboot’ Your Vestry”
by Nancy Davidge on February 3, 2016
Creating a vibrant and vital vestry is an ongoing task. The period following your annual meeting, when newly elected members join the vestry, is a good time to review and renew your congregation’s vision statement and to think about what putting this vision into practice looks like. This month our articles support you in these efforts, with our fourth article sharing a practice designed to free up meeting time to address these important issues.Read more

The Five Marks of Mission
The Five Marks of Mission
      
Click here for poster to post

Deacon Coat Ministry
We have a new Deacon Coat Ministry in our diocese! Click
here for more information and more pictures of the coats!

Congratulations to Amanda Gaona
Amanda Gaona, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield was selected by our 26th Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as a member of the Episcopal Church’s delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) during its 60th session.

Please see attached letter asking for financial support for Amanda to attend this very important event.  Click here.

We are very excited that a delegate was chosen from our Diocese. Please help Amanda get there.

Please contact the Diocesan Office if you which to donate.

Travel to the
Land of the Holy One

From The Rev. Heather Mueller

Dear friends in the Diocese of San Joaquin,

As many of you already know I am organizing a group for travel to the Land of the Holy One.
The pilgrimage is scheduled for September 23 to October 6, 2016, with the option of going to Jordan….Petra and possibly Ista #CDD7E9nbul.

It is time to make a decision about going and I will connect each person with the travel agent who will work out the travel details. Read more.

For Flyer click here.

Website Links
Tour Against Trafficking
The Episcopal Church
Episcopal Church Foundation
TENS
Episcopal News Service
Integrity USA

Calendars

Missional Bags

 
SUPPORT THE BAG!

Send your donations to The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355. Please write Yellow Bags in the memo line.
Thank you.

Friday Reflection

Stories of the Bag, Missional Days, Special Events Articles can be submitted to the Diocesan Office atemeyer@diosanjoaquin.org.

All submissions are due no later than the Tuesday before the FridayReflection. Pictures submitted are to be in jpeg format and forms to be attached to the FridayReflection are best in PDF format.

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PH 209-576-0104 F 209-576-0114 E contact@diosanjoaquin.org

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The Friday Reflection Title
January 22, 2016
From The Rev.’d Nick Lorenzetti,
St. Paul’s, Modesto

ENGAGING THE WORLD

In his book “Engaging the Culture, Changing the World,” Philip Eaton asks a question pertinent to the mission, the privilege and the challenge we embrace at St. Paul’s, Modesto. He asks: “How do we go about embracing a story of what is true and good and beautiful, embracing our ancient Christian story, so that we might bring hope and radiance and meaning into the world we serve?”
Over the past year I have asked that question (paraphrasing) to a significant number of my sisters and brothers here at St. Paul’s. Many respond without hesitation: (1) our distribution of yellow back-packs, (2) our adoption of a family through Interfaith Ministries at Christmas, (3)our housing of homeless families for one week through Family Promise, (4) our “program” about human trafficking, (5) our participation in the “CROP Walk” to fight hunger, (6) our canned goods collection for the Salvation Army, (7) preparing and serving hot meals at the Salvation Army once a month, (8) our monthly food distribution to needy families, and, well…you get the idea! While each of these responses is different, permit me to suggest that there is a similarity that runs through each of them. They are what we might call “bridge-building activities.” And indeed, they represent God’s work. Yet activities (acts) they remain, and each of them comes and goes, while the deeply rooted social injustices that they attempt to address remain constant.

Our call to be “missional,” the message inherent in the “Five Marks of Mission,” calls us, I believe, to perpetual reflection on our way of living in the world, only a part of which is constituted by individual good deeds. Our isolated actions must be demonstrative of our dispositions and attitudes as members of the human family. We must partner with government officials, social agencies, and our communities at large in order to effect meaningful, and hopefully, more permanent solutions to address the needs of those less fortunate. Our efforts must be consistent and ongoing. Godly behavior everywhere, it seems, is the best way to reach a hurting world.

At St. Paul’s, Modesto, we are striving to pick up and maintain a note of universal mission. This, admittedly, is not always easy. In fact, it’s a lot of work! How we live as God’s people is the vital link between our calling and our mission. God wants to use us to bless the world. And by His grace, we strive to live according to His standards – and draw others nearer to him.

Greetings from your Sisters and Brothers in Modesto.
Fr. Nick

Travel to the
Land of the Holy One

From The Rev. Heather Mueller

Dear friends in the Diocese of San Joaquin,

As many of you already know I am organizing a group for travel to the Land of the Holy One.
The pilgrimage is scheduled for September 23 to October 6, 2016, with the option of going to Jordan….Petra and possibly Ista #CDD7E9nbul.

It is time to make a decision about going and I will connect each person with the travel agent who will work out the travel details. Read more.

For Flyer click here.

Diocesan Events

Central Deanery Gathering – February 6- update 
The next gathering of the Central Deanery will be on Saturday, February 6 in Fresno. We will be joining Taizé Fresno at the First Congregational Church (also known as The Big Red Church on Van Ness) at 2131 N. Van Ness Avenue for a day of Taizé Prayer with a theme of Social Justice. The event starts at 8:a.m. with registration and refreshments, followed by Taizé prayer introduction by Sherah Moore and Sandy DeGraff.
The Rev. Suzy Ward of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Visalia will present the first general session, “Reflections on the Tour Against Trafficking,” at 9 a.m.  At 10:15 a.m., participants can choose between several prayer-experience sessions.  The final prayer session concludes at 3:45 pm. The cost is $25 if registered by February 1, and $30 after that date. Lunch is included.  No formal meeting will be held, but during the breaks and at lunch time, members of the Central Deanery and friends can meet and socialize. To view the brochure, and print the registration form for mailing, go to:http://www.earthprayers.net/taizeweekend.htm

Diocesan Events

Integrity Retreat January 22-24, ECCO
Standing Committee Adobe/ Teleconference Meeting, January 26, 6:30pm

Diocesan Council Adobe/Teleconference Meeting, January 28, 6:30pm

Central Deanery Gathering, February 6, 8:00am,  First Congregational Church, Fresno

Commission On Ministry Meeting, February 13, 10am, Holy Family, Fresno

Diocesan Council/Standing Committee Retreat, February 19-20, ECCO

Southern Deanery Meeting, February 27, 11am, St. Sherrian’s, Kernville

Northern Deanery Meeting, March 19, 10 am, St. Paul’s, Modesto

Missional Bags

 
SUPPORT THE BAG!

Send your donations to The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355. Please write Yellow Bags in the memo line.
Thank you.

Friday Reflection

Stories of the Bag, Missional Days, Special Events Articles can be submitted to the Diocesan Office atemeyer@diosanjoaquin.org.

All submissions are due no later than the Tuesday before the Friday Reflection. Pictures submitted are to be in jpeg format and forms to be attached to the Friday Reflectionare best in PDF format.

Human Trafficking Update
Freedom Sunday
 February 7th

is a day to take time to proclaim freedom for all who are trapped in modern day slavery. Read more...

Congratulations to Amanda Gaona
Amanda Gaona, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield was selected by our 26th Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as a member of the Episcopal Church’s delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) during its 60th session.

Please see attached letter asking for financial support for Amanda to attend this very important event.  Click here.

We are very excited that a delegate was chosen from our Diocese. Please help Amanda get there.

Please contact the Diocesan Office if you which to donate.

St. Francis Goes Blue for Advent
 Members of St. Francis in Turlock were proud supporters of the Turlock Police Department’s Operation Blue Santa, which is a program that provides toys and other donated items to families in need during the holiday and distributes important holiday safety tips! In addition to collecting toys to be donated to the entire operation, St. Francis was blessed to be able to adopt a family through the program.
On quite short notice, parishioners rallied to collect gifts for the kids, needed household items, and grocery gift cards for a family of five living below the poverty line in our community. While we all had a great time shopping, wrapping, and supporting our adopted family, our thoughts have turned to the need that will still exist after the presents are opened and the candy consumed. St. Francis looks forward to expanding our new partnership with the Turlock Police Department and the other city and non-profit organizations that strive to help those in need in our community.

T-Shirts!!

St. Andrew’s, Taft ordered their shirts!
Front and Back!!

 


Called to be… 
T-Shirts available!

$12.00

Orders are to be collected by each parish or mission  and emailed to
emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org.
Sizes still available are:
Youth Large
Adult Large
Adult X-Large
Adult 2X-Large
Adult 3x-Large
Adult 4x-Large
First come, first serve!
Contact your clergy or office for more details!

The Five Marks of Mission
The Five Marks of Mission
      
Click here for poster to post

Website Links
Tour Against Trafficking
The Episcopal Church
Episcopal Church Foundation
TENS
Episcopal News Service
Integrity USA

Calendars

ECCO

ECCO

First week in January

Pond is full!

                             null
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin  1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355
PH 209-576-0104 F 209-576-0114 E contact@diosanjoaquin.org

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The Friday Reflection Title

 

It’s Not About the Bag

Holy Family has become a sanctuary for numerous homeless persons who spend the night in what they perceive to be a safe place.

Click To See More

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The Friday Reflection Title

1-23-2015

March 6, 2015

A Story of a Bag

From Marilee Muncey

St. Nicholas, Atwater

After Bishop David’s Episcopal Visit with St. Nicholas I was thinking of the bag in my car still waiting for a joyful sendoff. Well, on my way home I had what might be (respectfully) described as “A Christ-encounter of the bag kind”. The number of individuals at off-ramps and intersections has decreased since the city passed an ordinance making it illegal to panhandle at major intersections; however, this time as I came down the off-ramp of the freeway I could see someone standing at the corner. With a smile I reached down for the bag. The intersection lights were blinking red which would give me time to stop. Often times a green light and a one-way street have prevented an encounter, so I was doubly glad of the mandatory stop and that there were no cars behind me! The man seemed a little surprised that I stopped, put down the window and handed him a bright yellow bag. The sign he was holding said “anything will help”. As I smiled and handed him the bag I asked his name. Dennis, he said as he asked me for mine. With names exchanged and mutual blessings given I went on my way literally rejoicing (and needing another bag)!

 

I called this a “Christ-encounter” because in our Baptism we are called to seek and serve Christ in all people. For me, on this particular day, his name was Raymond.

 

“Travel Light, leaving baggage behind.”

                                                                             Luke 10:1-12

From Bishop David…

Note from Bishop David:

When I met Phoenix last Sunday, I was enamored by the manner in which she has responded to the Holy Spirit as she told me her story. Yes, I said it, the Holy Spirit. I believe that whenever we are able to make changes in our lives, at whatever age or place, the Holy Spirit is somehow involved. We may not be aware of the Holy Spirit nor the activities of the Third Person in the Trinity, but I believe God’s Spirit is very much there. I asked Phoenix to write this story not because I believe all Episcopalians or all humans, for that matter, should be vegans. I asked her to share this part of her narrative because her life has changed, and changed dramatically, and as I have suggested, I believe God is all-in-that! So again, I’m not advocating that we give up meat for Lent or any other time in our lives. I am advocating that we become aware of the ways in which God is calling us to change, regardless of our age, regardless of where we live, regardless…

 

   Why I Became a Vegan

by

Phoenix Hocking

St. John Episcopal Church, Tulare, CA

I spoke with Bishop David Rice recently about how and why I adopted a plant-based diet. He asked me to write this piece for Friday Reflections.

I have recently become a vegan.  I’m sixty-six years old, and for pretty much my whole life I’ve turned a blind eye to the realities that produced the piece of meat, poultry, fish, or dairy on my plate or in my cup.  I loved a good juicy hamburger, and my Ben and Jerry’s Phish Phood ice cream in front of the television at night. You bet I did.

But, I think I knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that the conditions in which the animals were kept were bad. Quite frankly, though, I didn’t want to know. It took stumbling upon a video of a piglet being castrated without anesthesia, then being tossed, screaming, onto a pile of similar piglets that finally broke through the curtain of my denial. I still hear that scream in my dreams.

 

The packages that appear on your supermarket shelves look so neat and tidy, don’t they?  So innocent. It’s just chicken, just steak, just pork chops. They rarely bear much, if any, resemblance to the living, breathing creature it came from, and even if it does, we don’t think much about the life it lived before it came to the store.  We don’t want to know that it suffered before it died.  But 99% of the time, it did. We don’t want to acknowledge that that innocent piece of flesh was once a living, breathing, conscious, sentient animal that had a face, a mother, a bowel movement.

 

Many of us have pets in our homes. We have dogs and cats, hamsters, birds maybe. We know they have feelings and emotions. We know they are capable of feeling pain and pleasure, have concern for others, and care for their young. Why is it such a stretch to understand that the animals we raise for food have the same capacity for feelings and emotions that our household pets do?

 

The realities are harsh.  Virtually ninety-nine percent of the meat, poultry, fish and dairy products that Americans consume come from factory farms, where conditions are more reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno than Old MacDonald’s Farm.

 

Chickens are bred so they produce more white meat, but this means that many are so deformed they can’t even stand up.  They are crowded with others in crates so small they can’t flap their wings or turn around.  ”Free range” birds are kept in huge warehouses with barely enough room to move. They are denied the God-given natural behaviors of their species: perching, raising their young, social order, dust bathing.

 

Once hatched, male chicks, because they are useless to the egg industry, are put through a meat grinder, alive, or suffocated in plastic bags.  Egg laying chickens are kept in tiny cages where they can’t move, and often become entangled in the wires.  As babies, their beaks are burned off, with no anesthesia. This keeps them from pecking each other to death from sheer terror, or boredom.

 

To produce one single egg requires 3.25 pounds of grain and 51 gallons of water. To produce one pound of poultry requires 13 pounds of grain, and a whopping 520 gallons of water. When you extrapolate those figures out to the billions of chickens in the egg laying and meat industry, the numbers are staggering. In nature, a chicken can live to be eight years old. On a factory farm, she may last a year.

 

Bacon.  Ah, we all just love bacon, don’t we?  More!  Give me more bacon!  Really?  Female pigs are kept in gestation crates that are so small they can’t turn around.  At birth, their tails are cut off, and male pigs are castrated, all without anesthesia.  When a female pig gives birth, she is put into what is called a farrowing crate which is no bigger than a gestation crate.  Baby pigs are often crushed in their mother’s efforts to at least turn over to find a more comfortable position on a cold concrete floor.  At slaughter, many pigs are not stunned first, or the stunning is incomplete, and go through the process of gutting still conscious and struggling.

Pigs are highly social and loving animals, more intelligent than dogs (but don’t tell my Beagle that), and the factory farming system denies them their natural behaviors of foraging for food, caring for their young, social structure and mud baths that cool their skin. In nature, a pig can live to be twelve years old; the lifespan of a pig on a factory farm is six months.

To produce one pound of pork requires 7 pounds of grain and 718 gallons of water. Approximately one hundred MILLION pigs are raised on factory farms and slaughtered every year in America.

 

Milk.  Does it do a body good?  Nope, sorry.  Of all the atrocities in the industry, the dairy cow has one of the worst lives.  A cow will only give milk if she is pregnant or after giving birth.  Therefore, they are impregnated once a year.  The calves are taken from the mother within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after birth, and the mothers will often cry for them for weeks.

If the calf is female she is fed a diet of milk replacer until she is old enough to endure the horror of what the industry itself calls the “rape rack,” in which the cow is bred, sometimes by use of a bull (or many bulls), and sometimes by artificial insemination.

 

If the calf is male, he will probably be sold for veal.  A veal calf is locked into a tiny crate, not big enough for him to turn around. He is fed a substandard diet, which keeps the flesh milky and tender, and will be slaughtered at a few days to about a month old.

 

A friend once told me that the dairy processing center at which she works processes eight MILLION pounds of milk a day.  How many cows does it take to make eight million pounds of milk daily, just at one small processing plant in California?  How many, then, throughout the country?  They’re not all living on Old MacDonald’s farm.  How many calves, then, were stolen from their mothers so Americans can have milk on their breakfast cereal?  Dairy cows are milked sometimes as much as four times a day, creating a painful condition known as mastitis.  They are forced to stand on a cold, concrete floor for hours, hooked up to machines that suck them dry, so Americans can have extra cheese on their pizza.

It occurs to me that so many people are lactose intolerant because humans are not meant to drink the breast milk of another species. Cow’s milk is great, for calves, but not for humans.

 

You may have driven past many dairy farms in the Valley and seen the cows standing in an enclosure. Have you considered what they are standing on? Excrement and urine, their own and others’. They’re not out in a pasture, grazing peacefully, or caring for their calves, as God intended. In nature, a cow may live to be twenty years old. A beef cow on a factory farm is killed at eighteen months; a dairy cow is no longer profitable at four years and is sent to slaughter.

 

To produce one pound of beef requires 16 pounds of grain and 1848 gallons of water. To produce one gallon of milk requires 3 pounds of grain and 1078 gallons of water.

 

But, the factory farming industry is so big, so powerful, and I’m just one person. How can I possibly make any kind of difference?

 

For me, the shortest answer is to just stop consuming the flesh or dairy products that come from such inhumane and cruel conditions. And making a difference means I cannot, and will not, keep silent.

 

I became, literally overnight, a vegan.  Or at least, as much of a vegan as I can be.  I have shoes that I’ve worn for years that are leather, and a car I just bought (before I became a vegan) with leather seats.  Not much I can do about that.  But I no longer purchase or consume anything that used to be, or was produced by, a living creature.

 

So why here?  Why now?  Because silence kills.  I understand.  Really, I do.  I didn’t want to know all these things about where my food came from.  But once I knew, once I realized, I couldn’t just keep my mouth shut.  The animals cannot speak, but I can hear their cries, so I speak for them.  I hear their terror-filled voices on the way to slaughter.  I see the fear on their faces as they are prodded and hit and punched when they are being herded into cattle cars and tractor trailers on their way to slaughter. And I still hear that piglet screaming in my dreams.

Speaking truth to power does not make one a popular person. But what else can I do? I cannot be quiet.  I will continue to share what I know, because I can’t do anything else.

 

I read somewhere that for every year I remain a vegan, I will have saved the lives of one hundred animals. In the face of the billions of animals that are killed every year for food, one hundred may not sound like much, but to the animals I won’t be consuming, it means everything.

I encourage you to educate yourself to the realities of the food industry.  Watch the videos, read the literature.  Educate yourself.  Then join me as I speak for those who have no voice. Join me as I add my drop to the bucket that says, “No more.  Enough is enough.” That drop in the bucket matters.  I can make a difference.  You can make a difference.   Together, we can make a difference.

 

Resources:

“Earthlings” A video

“Food Inc.” A video

“Vegucated” A video

Farm Animal Rights Movement - http://www.farmusa.org/

Compassion Over Killing - http://www.cok.net/

Carnism – Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows - http://www.carnism.org/

Farm Sanctuary – Rescuing animals every day - http://farmsanctuary.org/

The Gentle Barn – Rescuing animals every day - http://gentlebarn.org/

Stewardship University…

  

 

 STEWARDSHIP UNIVERSITY

   

(Psst! Stewardship University has no tuition. It’s FREE!)

Lunch will be provided.

Click here  for registration form.

 

Registration forms are due by March 22

 

This exciting program is coming to San Joaquin on Saturday, March 28th, at Holy Family in Fresno. The Rev. Canon Timothy M. Dombeck will lead this workshop. The workshop begins at 10:30am and will continue to 3:30pm, lunch will be provided. Everyone is invited and it is important that at least one person from each of our congregations attends.

 

Why a “Stewardship University”?

Stewardship University is a one-day series of educational workshops for congregational leaders designed to assist churches in becoming more grateful, generous, sustainable, welcoming and hospitable communities of Christ-centered life transformation, outreach and worship.

 

How does Stewardship University work?

By the use of an engaging, workshop approach, Stew U (as it is affectionately called) educates and trains people in practical matters related to many aspects of hospitality, communication, story-telling, gratitude, and the concept of stewardship as it relates to people exercising their baptismal ministry through involvement in active ministry, including one’s life as a steward and giving of one’s time and abilities, as well as financial resources.

 

What topics get covered at a Stew U?

A typical Stewardship University event covers the broad topics of:

  • Understanding Giving
  • Practical Steps to Increase Giving
  • Planned Giving: Giving from the Heart and Soul
  • Year-round Stewardship That You Can Do, With or Without The Annual Pledge Drive
  • Enhancing Generous Hospitality: What We Can Learn from Starbucks and Why

Other requested topics presented at other meetings include:

  • Understanding Your Money in Your Life
  • How To Talk About Money: In the Culture, In the Church
  • Three Shifts in Stewardship

Additionally, you can request a particular topic that you would like addressed. Just have a talk with Timothy about what you want to achieve.

 

STEWARDSHIP UNIVERSITY™ is the creation of the Reverend Canon Timothy M. Dombek, Canon for Stewardship and Planned Giving in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona. Prior to entering seminary in the late 1980′s, Canon Dombek was a Certified Financial Planner based in South Bend, Indiana. Serving the needs of individuals and small business owners, Timothy worked with clients in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois.

From Our Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori…

ECF Fellows are lay and ordained scholars and ministry leaders who are making a significant impact on our Church.

 

The application deadline is March 13 for the 2015 Fellowship.

 

Read below for 4 things we ask all applicants to bear in mind & click here for the application.

 

4 things we ask all applicants to bear in mind:
  • ECF is committed to strengthening the leadership of lay and ordained members of the Episcopal Church.  All applicants to the academic and ministry tracks are asked to describe how they plan on developing the next generation of lay and ordained leaders for the Episcopal Church, whether this is in the context of academia, a local congregation, through a church-wide initiative, or in another setting.
  • ECF is a lay-led organization of the Episcopal Church. ECF is especially looking for scholars and ministry leaders who incorporate lay leadership development into their work. All members of the Church, whether lay or ordained, are invited to apply.
  • 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 effort and is due onMarch 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.

From the Diocesan Office…


For Clergy and Lay:
Missional Bags
Please contact the Diocesan Office if you are in need of more bags to fill and pass out to those in need. St. Paul’s Preschool, Modesto has asked for bags on the next order for the children. Please think of this if you have a youth group or a preschool that can be part of our “missional” outreach.

UPDATE: Bags have been ordered and will be distributed. If you have not made your request please email me at the Diocesan Office with your needs.

For Clergy and Treasurers:

Clergy….IMPORTANT: Please be sure to get your directories, contact forms, and other forms in packet into the diocesan office quickly! Many thanks go to Holy Trinity, St. Raphael’s and St. Matthew’s and  St. Andrew’sSt. John the Baptist, and St. Paul’s, Visalia for having all documents turned in!

All forms were due March 1, 2015.

 

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

For Northern Deanery…

Northern Deanery Meeting

 

The next Northern Deanery Meeting is Saturday, June 20, 2015. 10 a.m. to 12 noon,

St. Francis, Turlock.

For  Central Deanery…

Central Deanery Meeting

 

The next Central Deanery Meeting is Sunday, May 17, 2015,  2:00 p.m.,

St. Raphael’s, Oakhurst.

 

For Southern Deanery…

Southern Deanery Meeting

 

The next Southern Deanery meeting is scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2015,11:00 a.m., St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest.

 

Whats going on…

What’s Happening in the DIO  

 

Joint Deputation Meeting, Saturday, March 7, 2015, 9:00 a.m., St. Bart’s, Livermore

 

Northern Deanery Clericus, Tuesday March 10, 2015, 11:00a.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto

Spring House of Bishops March 10-22, 2015, Kanuga, North  Carolina

 

Standing Committee Adobe Meeting, March 24, 2015, 7:15 p.m.

 

Diocesan Council Adobe Meeting, March 26, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

 

Stewardship University, March 28, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Holy Family, Fresno

 

Chrism Mass, March 31, 2015, 11:00 a.m., Church of the Saviour, Hanford

 

Annual Convention, October 23-24, 2015, St. Paul’s, Modesto


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

 

From our Parishes and Missions..

SAINT MATTHEW’S CHURCH
            414 Oak Street  +  San Andreas
        INVITES YOU TO JOIN US at 6 pm      each FRIDAY THROUGH LENT
                                                            

      for our

Parish Lenten Devotions

 Stations of the Cross
and
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament


St. Pat’s at St. Matt’s

5 p.m. till 7 p.m.

CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE

MARCH 21st

Saint Matthew’s Church

414 Oak Street

San Andreas

Church of the Saviour,

Lenten Fish Fry

 

The Church of the Saviour is once again hosting its Lenten Fish Fry on Friday, 13 March. Serving will begin at 5:00 p.m., and the meal will include fish, fries, cole slaw and rolls. Beer and wine will be available for sale, as will be delicious baked goods. Tickets can be obtained by calling the church office, 559-584-7706 559-584-7706 or at the door on the day.

 

All are welcome.

Church of the Saviour

519 N. Douty Street, Hanford, CA

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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