The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin
The Friday Reflection Title

October 4, 2013




Dear Parents With Young Children in Church – By Jamie Bruesehoff


You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring.


I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling the infant car seat and the diaper bag as you find a seat. I see you wince as your child cries. I see you anxiously pull things out of your bag of tricks to try to quiet them.


And I see you with your toddler and your preschooler. I watch you cringe when your little girl asks an innocent question in a voice that might not be an inside voice let alone a church whisper. I hear the exasperation in your voice as you beg your child to just sit, to be quiet as you feel everyone’s eyes on you. Not everyone is looking, but I know it feels that way.


I know you’re wondering, is this worth it? Why do I bother? I know you often leave church more exhausted than fulfilled. But what you are doing is so important.


When you are here, the church is filled with a joyful noise. When you are here, the Body of Christ is more fully present. When you are here, we are re-minded that this worship thing we do isn’t about bible study or personal, quiet contemplation but coming together to worship as a community where all are welcome, where we share in the Word and Sacrament together. When you are here, I have hope that these pews won’t be empty in 10 years when your kids are old enough to sit quietly and behave in worship. I know that they are learning how and why we worship now, before it’s too late. They are learning that worship is important.


I see them learning. In the midst of the cries, whines, and giggles, in the midst of the crinkling of pretzel bags and the growing pile of crumbs, I see a little girl who insists on going two pews up to share peace with someone she’s never met. I hear a little boy slurping (quite loudly) every last drop of his communion wine out of the cup, determined not to miss a drop of Jesus. I watch a child excitedly color a cross and point to the one in the front of the sanctuary. I hear the echoes of “Amens” just a few seconds after the rest of the community says it together. I watch a boy just learning to read try to sound out the words in the worship book or count his way to Hymn 672. Even on weeks when I can’t see my own children learning because, well, it’s one of those mornings, I can see your children learning.


I know how hard it is to do what you’re doing, but I want you to know it matters. It matters to me. It matters to my children to not be alone in the pew. It matters to the congregation to know that families care about faith, to see young people…and even on those weeks when you can’t see the little moments, it matters to your children.


It matters that they learn that worship is what we do as a com-munity of faith, that everyone is welcome, that their worship matters. When we teach children that their worship matters, we teach them that they are enough right here and right now as members of the church community. They don’t need to wait until they can believe, pray or worship a certain way to be welcome here, and I know adults who are still looking to be shown that. It matters that children learn that they are an integral part of this church, that their prayers, their songs, and even their badly (or perfectly-timed, depending on who you ask) cries and whines are a joyful noise because it means they are present.


I know it’s hard, but thank you for what you do when you bring your children to church. Please know that your family — with all of its noise, struggle, commotion, and joy — are not simply tolerated, you are a vital part of the community gathered in worship.


Submitted by Treasurer Bill Latham


“Participating in God’s Reconciling Love”

  Register Now!!

   Dio seal

The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

54th Annual Convention

October 25 and 26, 2013

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Modesto

Participating in God’s Reconciling Love

” So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”

- Matthew 5:23-24


Click here for Registration Form




A reminder for all parishes and missions.  By Canon to have seat, voice, and vote at the upcoming diocesan Convention, participating parishes and missions must be current in their assessment payments.  To be considered current all assessments through September 2013 must be received at the diocesan office.  If you have questions about your assessment payment status please contact the Diocesan Administrator Ellen Meyer at 209-576-0104 or

From The Haiti Task Force …

A Friendship between the Dioceses of Haiti and San Joaquin


O God, who created all peoples in your image, we thank you for our rich diversity. Enrich our lives by ever widening circles of friendship, especially in Haiti and San Joaquin.  Show us your presence in each other until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

BCP p. 840, Adapted


How can you help widen the circles of friendship between our dioceses?

Become a member of The Haiti Task Force of the Diocese of San Joaquin.


What’s involved?  A small amount of time that has a positive impact. Several coordination conference calls  throughout the year; efforts to keep Haiti’s needs  ”top of mind” throughout our diocese; Haiti booth participation at our Diocesan Convention; coordination efforts to bring Haitian guests to San Joaquin and writing an occasional update in Friday Reflections.


So come join us and widen our circle of friendship with the Diocese of Haiti.To join and for more information, please contact Ellen Meyer at


Thank you,

The Haiti Task Force of San Joaquin


People News…

St. John the Baptist  in Lodi has called a new Priest-in-Charge. The Rev. Elaine Howlett Breckenridge comes to St. John the Baptist most recently from the Diocese of Spokane where she served as Rector of St. David’s Church for over eight years. Born and raised in Utah and the daughter of an Episcopal priest, she is a cradle Episcopalian. Ordained in 1987, she has twenty-six years of experience in parish ministry. She has served congregations in Pennsylvania, West Texas, Kentucky, Utah and Arizona. In parish ministry, she has worked inseveral different styles and sizes of congregations in the roles of rector, interim, associate, and assistant.


Elaine graduated from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1987. She graduated from Westminster College in Salt Lake City in 1980.

For Clergy…



We are pleased to announce that Sr. Ellen Stephen (Sr. ES) of the Order of St. Helena has agreed to be our retreat leader for the Fall Clergy Retreat. The retreat will be held from 4 pm on Sunday, November 3 through lunch on Tuesday, November 5. A description of the retreat and a biography of Sr. ES can be found  here.


The Fall Clergy Retreat will be held at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Three Rivers. A registration form can be found here and is due back to the Diocesan Offices by October 18, 2013. Please mark your calendars and register now for this fall gathering of the clergy of the diocese.


For Deacons…


San Joaquin Community of Deacons


There will be a meeting of the Community of Deacons at 4:00 p.m. or thereabout on Saturday, October 26th, 2013, at St. Paul’s in Modesto. This will occur right after the close of Convention, which is the reason for the “thereabout.”


All deacons, those in the ordination process, and those who may be contemplating entering the ordination process for the diaconate are invited.


The meeting will be primarily for the purpose of acquainting each other with ourselves, our current ministries, our interests and dreams for future ministries. It also satisfies canonical requirements that we meet from time to time.


Feel free to contact me with any questions or agenda suggestions


Carolyn Woodall+


For  Lay Parish Leaders…

The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF)

ECF seeks to bring about a growing number of healthy, vital, and vibrant congregations in service to God’s mission with the capacity to empower and support their members to live out the Gospel.

ECF was founded 60 years ago by then Presiding Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill as an independent, lay-led organization. Since our beginning, they have responded to the ever-changing needs of the Episcopal Church and worked to strengthen the mission of all Episcopalians.


Today, ECF provides programs, products, and services to Episcopal congregations, dioceses, and related organizations in the areas of financial resource development, leadership, and training.


As part of ECF’s on-going efforts to assist congregations, web conference’s are being offered this October:


Basics of Parish Finances-October 8, 2013, 7:00p.m.-8:00p.m. ET


Communications for Episcopal Leaders-October 15, 2013, 7:00p.m.-8:00p.m. ET


ECF web conferences are offered through Adobe Connect. When you register for a web conference, you will be emailed instructions and information.

To register and find out more about The Episcopal Church Foundation  and how it can help your parish or mission please visit ECF’s website at


ECF Vital Practices 

ECF Vital Practices offers vestry members and other people of faith, resources and tools to respond to the changing needs of the Church. Building upon the spiritually grounded, practical Vestry Papers articles that have inspired and informed vestry members since 1995, Vital Practices uses the Internet to both expand its offering and its audience.
Vital Practices explores new ways of supporting congregations by building online communities of Episcopalians who share their stories, experiences, and best practices, who learn from one another, and who discover support to help sustain their leadership and their ministries. It includes articles by experts and peers, blogs for sharing ideas about faith and leadership, stories about real life lessons of change and leadership, tools for stewardship, communications, and opportunities for you to share your stories and examples. Go to to get helpful ideas and tools for your parish or mission.


From the Northern Deanery…

Northern Deanery Meeting October 5, 2013, St. Francis, Turlock


Plan to attend the Northern Deanery meeting at St. Francis church in Turlock on Saturday, October 5. In addition to preparation for the Annual Convention, the agenda will include a presentation by Cindy Smith, Chair of the Sustainability Committee, and the election of the Northern Deanery lay member of Diocesan Council. The meeting will begin promptly at 10 a.m. The members of St. Francis have invited the deanery to join them for a luncheon after the meeting that is part of their St. Francis celebration. Although voting members of the deanery are the clergy and the elected delegates to convention, all members of the Northern Deanery churches are invited to attend and participate in the meeting.


Juanita Weber,

Northern Deanery President

From the Diocesan Office…

                                      October 20, 2013


Spirit Day is approaching quickly. In October of 2010 the observance of Spirit Day was celebrated with the wearing of purple in Canada to show support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LBGT) young people who were the victims of bullying. Bullying, in any form or against anyone, is obviously contrary to the Gospel of Jesus.


The color purple was chosen from the purple stripe of the rainbow flag and the color purple was defined by the creators of the rainbow flag to represent “Spirit.” Bishop Talton has approved the use of liturgical purple instead of liturgical green for this day in our churches onOctober 20, 2013, the first Sunday following the nation-wide observance of Spirit Day onOctober 17th.


The observance of “Spirit Day” was inaugurated as a response to the rash of widely-publicized bullying-related suicides of gay students. Bullying has been a major problem in schools, and not just LGBT students are the victims. Even those who may be perceived as LGBT, but are not, have been bullied. Those suicides are not as widely publicized now, but they are still happening.


It is hoped that by raising awareness of the bullying of the students among all of us, perhaps even our own children and grand-children, that we might prevent future tragedies among our young people who are being bullied each and every day among us.


From the Diocesan Office…


Please mark your calendar for these upcoming meetings and events. Watch for additional details in the Friday Reflection.

  • Northern Deanery Meeting, October 5, 2013, 10 a.m., St. Francis, Turlock
  • Convention Arrangement Committee Meeting, October 12, 2013, 10 a.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto
  • Commission on Ministry Meeting, October 12, 2013, 10 a.m., Holy Family, Fresno
  • Central Deanery Meeting, October 13, 2013, 3:00 p.m., Holy Family, Fresno
  • Northern Deanery Clericus, October 15, 2013, 11:00 a.m., St. Clare of Assisi, Avery
  • Sustainability Committee Teleconference Meeting, October 15, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
  • 54th Annual Convention, October 25-26, 2013, St. Paul’s, Modesto


Do you wish to see what else the Diocese is up to? Click here for The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin calendar.


From our Parishes and Missions…


St. Andrew’s, Taft is pleased to report that they have a new website.

 Check them out at







Join us at 4 pm on October 4th

on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi

in the Parish Courtyard




Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church

 414 Oak Street, San Andreas, CA





Church of St. Anne, Stockton presents…


First Friday Concert

Friday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m.


It’s a new fundraiser and a way to invite the community in to St. Anne’s.


On October 4, the guest artist is our own very talented musician, Cissandra Durkin. She is an accomplished pianist who has recorded many albums and has played all around the world. She will be joined by some friends, and the band will take us through the ‘American Songbook’. (There will be room for dancing if your feet just can’t be still!)


Tickets are $15 and will be available at the door. Please join us.

Church of St. Anne’s

1020 W. Lincoln Road

Stockton, CA 95207


Celebration of Animals

October 5th and 6th

St. Francis Episcopal Church,

915 East Main Street, Turlock

Come and Celebrate Our Animal Friends

Saturday, October 5th


1:00 PM Dog Training Demonstration

 with Augusta Farley

Dog Obedience, Grooming, Hygiene

(Augusta is owner and manager of Best Friends Pet Resort and

Canine Academy, Patterson, CA)

2:00 PM Sacred Heart 4H

Presentation of Animal Projects

(to include guinea pigs, chickens, goats, and rabbits)

3:00 PM A Very Special Presentation

“Feed Your Pet and Avoid the Vet!”

by Gilroy Veterinarian and

Author: Dr. Greg Martinez

 Dr. Martinez is the author of two books about pet care and nutrition

and hosts a special website that details pet care:


Food Fare available includes hot dogs, chips and a drink for a $2 donation


Sunday, October 6th

10:00 AM Bring your pets to church for a special “Blessing of the Animals.”

 The church service will be led by the

Rev. Kathie Galicia,

Priest in Charge at St. Francis Episcopal Church.

Bishop ChetTalton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin,

 and the Friars of San Damiano Friary in San Francisco

will be present for this special service.

“All Are Welcome.”





San Francisco Organist to Perform


 At St. Francis



San Francisco organist David H. Douma will be featured in a recital on Sunday, October 13, 3:00 PM, at Saint Francis Episcopal Church, 915 East Main Street, Turlock, California. He will also be the guest organist at the parish’s 10:00 AM Holy Eucharist. All are welcome to attend both the morning liturgy and the afternoon recital.


Mr. Douma is Minister of Music and Organist of Saint Giles’ Episcopal Church, Moraga. A former resident of Stanislaus County, he was Organist and Choirmaster of Saint Francis Episcopal Church, Turlock, from 1991 to 2000, and for 15 years prior to his ministry in Turlock he was Organist of College Avenue Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Modesto.


He will be performing unusual and seldom-heard works by Gaston Bélier, Michel Corrette, Johann Gottlieb Janitsch, Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Purvis, Félix-Alexandre Guilmant, Vicenzo Bellini, Robert Lau, Louis Vierne and Franz Liszt.


Saint Francis Parish’s unique 1952 Schoenstein pipe organ was rebuilt 13 years ago to specifications designed by Mr. Douma, and his recital is in celebration of the Episcopalians’ recent return to their church property.


For more information, contact Saint Francis Episcopal Church at 209-632-0896 or go to the parish website,


For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar…. click here

Bishop’s and Canon’s Calendars…

Bishop Talton’s Calendar



October 6                            St. Francis, Turlock


October 13                          St. Paul’s, Visalia


October 25-26                     St. Paul’s, Modesto, 54th Annual Convention


November 3-5                     Clergy Retreat




Canon Cullinane’s Calendar



October 6                            St. Nicholas, Atwater


October 25-26                     St. Paul’s, Modesto, 54th Annual Convention


November 3-5                    Clergy Retreat



Keep up to date on news and events with the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin website www.diosanjoaquin.orgClick here: Our Website

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