LIFT Power Faith & Community Forum

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

11:00am – 2:00pm

Fresno Convention Center, 848 M St, Fresno, CA 93721 

Click here to register today! 

Join over 1,500 Central Valley families, elected officials, candidates, faith leaders, and community partners as together we proclaim a NEW vision for life in the Valley rooted inracial, economic, and environmental dignity for all people during this critically important election year. 

Together we will launch Faith in the Valley, a new faith-rooted grassroots community organization in California’s Central Valley of 120 congregations representing over 100,000 families from Kern, Fresno, Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Counties.

We believe a different, better future is possible for the Central Valley if we work together. A future in which everyone is included, treated as sacred, has a chance to thrive and live a decent life. A future in which no one is seen as “less than” or lives in fear because of the color of their skin, their legal status, or the amount of money they earn. A future where everyone has access to good jobs, clean air and water, and alternatives to incarceration

Today, too many people cannot find work that pays enough to support their families. Too many young people feel they have to leave the Valley to make a life. The reason is clear – we’ve allowed our Valley economy to be dominated by extraction rather than investment, extraction from our people through poverty-wage jobs, extraction from our land and our air through uncontrolled water and air pollution, extraction from our communities through mass incarceration.

We’re coming together to create a different, a better future and take control of the Central Valley for its families and communities.  Bus transportation from Stockton to Fresno and return is provided.

 This can only happen if we unite together across region, race and religion.

Join us on September 10th!

 Click here to register today! 

 For more information: 

info@faithinthevalley.org

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Sermon

Proper 25, Year A

          The collect asks God to increase in us the gifts of faith, hope and charity; make us love what you command.   In the time of Jesus, God’s commands were numerous – over 600 rules for the Jewish person to heed.  How difficult to keep all the laws, and yet the Pharisees and Sadducees and the chief priests and the elders of the temple did it.  They kept the letter of the law, but not necessarily the heart of the law.  So this morning they are still trying to trap Jesus with a test.  What is the greatest law?

          Who knows what they expected him to say.  Instead he gives us the commandment, the law that we try to live by today…”love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” is part 1 and the part 2 is to “love your neighbor as yourself”.  I’m thinking that they are impressed with his answer – not that they like it, but he sure had a good answer.  Jesus returns the favor and asks them a question, a question they cannot answer and it ends the game.  “From that day no one dared to ask him anymore questions.”  Can you love what God has commanded? 

          The theme for the Diocesan Convention was ‘travel light…leaving baggage behind.’  We spent heard about baggage from Bishop David and why it’s necessary to leave it behind.  Baggage can be things –possessions we can’t give up; possessions we love more than God or our neighbors.  Baggage can be relationships that have hurt us and hinder us from moving forward – like a diocese that has been isolated and abused.  Baggage can be ideas or habits that we’ve had for so long, we aren’t able to hear or see what new things God is doing in our community. 

Bishop David demonstrated with an amusing visual on Friday evening.  He left the Renewal of Baptismal Vows service at the peace.  When he returned he had traded his cope and miter for a fishing vest, waders, sunglasses and a hat.  He talked about when he first began fly fishing he got all the equipment and clothing so that he could fit in with other fly fishermen.  Then he proceeded to show us what he wears when he goes fly fishing.  He removed the heavy 39 pocket vest filled with all the gear.  He removed the waist high waders.  He was left in a pair of shorts, his clergy shirt, and he slipped on a pair of sandals.  Okay, I’m sure that he wears a t-shirt instead of his purple clergy shirt, but we got the idea.  Baggage needs to be set aside.  It weighs us down and hinders our ability to act.

          This reminded me of an experience I had at a women’s cursillo many years ago.  I’ve told this story before.  We were half way through the weekend and were doing an exercise of washing each other’s hands.  One woman sat at her table and sobbed.  She couldn’t have her hands washed.  Now understand she is one of the those people who are so positive, generous and loving to others that they make your day brighter just by being with them.  It took several minutes, but she was able to share her thoughts with us.  She carried so much baggage that she literally felt like she was holding it all in big shopping bags.  She couldn’t open her hands to let someone wash them because she would drop all her bags, and so she could only clench her hands shut.  Yes, she eventually was able to open her hands and place them in the basin of water, but we had no idea that she felt that way or that she carried such burdens.  We could see the joy that came from setting that baggage down.

          If we are holding on to baggage, we need to spend our time and energy focused on it – holding it, carrying it.  We can’t focus on God or on the people around us, our neighbors.  We can’t keep God’s commandment to love God with all we have and to love ourselves and our neighbor.  That is why Jesus tells those who will listen that those are the greatest commandments and all the laws are encompassed by them.  Putting God first helps us to let go of baggage.  What helps you remember to put God first?

          Our meditation this morning uses the example of making the sign of the cross.  The cross is a symbol many Christians use to help them remember to put God first, but something else may be more relevant or helpful for you.  Prayer beads, an icon, the Lord’s Prayer, a butterfly, a rainbow – whatever works for you. 

This week, think about what helps you focus on God being present.  What baggage would you like to give up?   What do you need to give up?  What do we as the community of St. Anne’s carry as baggage?  I invite you to mentally bring that baggage to the altar at the Eucharist and set it down.  Leave your baggage and open your hands to receive Christ.  Then you will be able to go out with love to put God first.   AMEN.

Sermon

Proper 18, Year A

 Do this for the remembrance of me…

Note:  This is a Children’s sermon, and there are props and dialogue which will not be recorded in this sermon because it hasn’t happened yet.

 For those who are not here in person, this is the set-up.  I bring out a small table and a large bag.  The children are invited to come forward.  I begin to pull things out of the bag and set them on the table.  Some wrapped boxes…toy plastic flutes…some party hats…a pan with something baked in it…a package of candles.  Put some candles in the cake (that’s what is in the pan).  

Ask the children if they know what all of this might be for.   A birthday party?  Yes!  Do we all have birthdays?  Do you celebrate your birthday with most of these things?  Would you have a party with cake and candles, hats, presents and maybe toys to share?  We commemorate (remember in a special way) our birthday.  In the Hebrew scripture this morning we hear a story about the first commemoration of the Passover.

Moses and Pharaoh have been arguing about letting the people of Israel go from slavery in Egypt.  God has sent plagues to make Pharaoh and the Egyptians miserable so that he will let the Israelites leave.  The tenth plague is coming – “about midnight, the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die”, from Pharaoh to the slave to the livestock.  God tells Moses to have the people prepare, and put the blood of the lamb around their door.  When God comes through in the night, God will “pass over” the homes marked with blood and no plague shall destroy the firstborn of that house.  Further, God says, “This day shall be a day of remembrance for you.  You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord…”  And it happened just like God said.  To this day our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate the Passover feast in the spring remembering how God saved the people that night and how God has saved the people many times before and after.  To the children: Now if you will have a seat in the front or you may return to your parents if you wish.

As Christians, we don’t celebrate Passover.  The last time Jesus was in Jerusalem and celebrating the Passover meal in a room with his friends, he changed the commemoration.  He did something new.  “While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat: This is my body.’  Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”  (Matthew 26:26-28) 

Does that sound familiar?  That is our Christian Passover.  Every Sunday we remember how Jesus has given us life.  We celebrate the eucharist as a commemoration of what Jesus did.  He gave himself to heal the world.  Our part is to remember his gift and to try every day to love each other. 

God is always present.  Usually we need God the most when we are alone.  How can you remember that God is always with you?  For many Christians, the cross is a way to remember that God is present all the time.  I know that some of you have crosses you wear that have special meaning – maybe they were a special gift or a birthday present.  This morning, I have a cross that I invite you to take.  It’s one that can be stuck above your bed, or on the dash of your car, or on the door of your locker; somewhere you can see it to remind you that God is there.  When you need to talk to God, you can.  Put it where you might need a reminder to feel God’s presence in your day.              AMEN.

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2-28-2014

Over the years, there has been an inordinate amount of ink spilt on the significance of first impressions, what I have typically coined as the image of the “shop-front-window.” These impressions and images can leave rather indelible and memorable imprints upon our lives.

Our first encounter of San Joaquin, and I hasten to add impression, was the moment Tracy and I walked through Customs in SF Airport and awaiting us was our Diocesan Chancellor, Michael Glass. Michael acted as chauffeur and tour guide throughout our journey from SF to Fresno. Michael, I wish to say to you and before the readers of this installation of The Friday Reflection, you provided an absolutely wonderful introduction to and impression and image of San Joaquin for us. Thank you.

Upon our arrival in Fresno and following a most welcomed night of sleep, we were greeted by Canon Kate. Kate was immediately warm and welcoming, not-to-mention, exceedingly helpful in the ways in which she offered gentle guidance and counsel and care. Thank you Kate.

We next met Ellen Meyer in the office at St. Paul’s in Modesto and how wonderful it was to attach the voice and written words to the person. Thank you Ellen for the lovely and efficient ways you have prepared for and given attention to our arrival and beginning in SJ.

Our first occasion in the diocese was Pub-Night at St. Anne’s, Stockton. I want to express my appreciation for and congratulations to Rev’d Lyn and everyone who contributed to this stunning event. On the night we experienced much laughter, singing of very familiar songs and we even enjoyed imbibing a good ole English ale or two. What fun it was, thank you Lyn and everyone from St. Anne’s.

Sunday morning was my first “visitation” and said visitation was at St. John the Baptist, Lodi. It would be completely-and-utterly remiss of me if I didn’t say, San Joaquin, you could not have scripted this any better. The welcome and reception and hospitality were, well in a word, extraordinary! Rev’d Elaine, to you and everyone who contributed to this marvelous “first-visitation” experience, many thanks. And thank you to the people of St. John the Baptist for the assortment of wine (Go Lodi!) and the other gifts.

And of course there was Sunday afternoon at St. Paul’s in Modesto. The Service of Dedication and Celebration was beautifully crafted and I trust the liturgy reflected the hope and aspirations of The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. To Rev’d Kathleen and to everyone at St. Paul’s, thank you, thank you, three times thank you for the noteworthy day that was.

I also want to seize this opportunity to thank my soon-to-be predecessor Bishop Chet for his generosity and grace in ensuring that this transition is as seamless and healthy as possible. Thank you +Chet. I will endeavor to continue the wonderful work you offered to SJ and Bishop Jerry before you. And I also wish to offer words of appreciation and gratitude to Rev’d Michele and the Standing Committee for the many ways in which you helped us to “Hear what the Spirit was saying to us” as we discerned the possibility of shifting to San Joaquin. Your words of hope, enthusiasm and encouragement certainly made “praying to this point” far easier. Thank you.

So, as far as first impressions and images are concerned, the “shop-front-window” is full of promise. Rich hospitality, genuine care, significant laughter and sincere hope speak well of us and will continue to serve us well and all of God’s People now and in the days before us.

Lastly, in the words of the Presiding Bishop which she expressed to me on Sunday,
“Now, let’s get to work!”

Blessings
+David Rice

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 The Friday Reflection Title

 2-28-2014

 

Over the years, there has been an inordinate amount of ink spilt on the significance of first impressions, what I have typically coined as the image of the “shop-front-window.” These impressions and images can leave rather indelible and memorable imprints upon our lives.

 

Our first encounter of San Joaquin, and I hasten to add impression, was the moment Tracy and I walked through Customs in SF Airport and awaiting us was our Diocesan Chancellor, Michael Glass.  Michael acted as chauffeur and tour guide throughout our journey from SF to Fresno.  Michael, I wish to say to you and before the readers of this installation of The Friday Reflection, you provided an absolutely wonderful introduction to and impression and image of San Joaquin for us.  Thank you.

 

Upon our arrival in Fresno and following a most welcomed night of sleep, we were greeted by Canon Kate.  Kate was immediately warm and welcoming, not-to-mention, exceedingly helpful in the ways in which she offered gentle guidance and counsel and care.  Thank you Kate.

 

We next met Ellen Meyer in the office at St. Paul’s in Modesto and how wonderful it was to attach the voice and written words to the person.  Thank you Ellen for the lovely and efficient ways you have prepared for and given attention to our arrival and beginning in SJ.

 

Our first occasion in the diocese was Pub-Night at St. Anne’s, Stockton.  I want to express my appreciation for and congratulations to Rev’d Lyn and everyone who contributed to this stunning event.  On the night we experienced much laughter, singing of very familiar songs and we even enjoyed imbibing a good ole English ale or two.  What fun it was, thank you Lyn and everyone from St. Anne’s.

 

Sunday morning was my first “visitation” and said visitation was at St. John the Baptist, Lodi.  It would be completely-and-utterly remiss of me if I didn’t say, San Joaquin, you could not have scripted this any better. The welcome and reception and hospitality were, well in a word, extraordinary!  Rev’d Elaine, to you and everyone who contributed to this marvelous “first-visitation” experience, many thanks.  And thank you to the people of St. John the Baptist for the assortment of wine (Go Lodi!) and the other gifts.

 

And of course there was Sunday afternoon at St. Paul’s in Modesto.  The Service of Dedication and Celebration was beautifully crafted and I trust the liturgy reflected the hope and aspirations of The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.  To Rev’d Kathleen and to everyone at St. Paul’s, thank you, thank you, three times thank you for the noteworthy day that was.

 

I also want to seize this opportunity to thank my soon-to-be predecessor Bishop Chet for his generosity and grace in ensuring that this transition is as seamless and healthy as possible.  Thank you +Chet.  I will endeavor to continue the wonderful work you offered to SJ and Bishop Jerry before you.  And I also wish to offer words of appreciation and gratitude to Rev’d Michele and the Standing Committee for the many ways in which you helped us to “Hear what the Spirit was saying to us” as we discerned the possibility of shifting to San Joaquin. Your words of hope, enthusiasm and encouragement certainly made “praying to this point” far easier.  Thank you.

 

So, as far as first impressions and images are concerned, the “shop-front-window” is full of promise.  Rich hospitality, genuine care, significant laughter and sincere hope speak well of us and will continue to serve us well and all of God’s People now and in the days before us.

 

Lastly, in the words of the Presiding Bishop which she expressed to me on Sunday,

“Now, let’s get to work!”

 

Blessings

+David

 

“Participating in God’s Reconciling Love”

Call to Special Convention…

 

Dio seal

The Recognition and Seating

of the

 Provisional Bishop

The Right Rev. David Rice

 

March 29, 2014

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bakersfield

 

2216 17th Street

Bakersfield, CA 93301

Click here for Special Convention Schedule 

Check here for Special Convention Registration Form

 

Registration is due February 27, 2014

For Northern Deanery

 DON’T MISS THE BUS!

Get your reservation in! 

 

The “Party” Bus to Special Convention Continues to Fill! 

 

Take off is 5:30 a.m. on March 29th from the Park and Ride lot on the west side of Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto. March 8th remains the cutoff date for the $50 rate. All reservations after the 8th (if available) go to $65.00 until the bus is filled. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in this Special Convention at one of the diocese’s newly returned churches.  For information and reservations contact (209) 869-1075, or  ctkriverbank@sbcglobal.net. Be there or be square!

 

                 

For Youth EYE…

Episcopal Youth Event 2014

WHO:

       Anyone in high school during 2013/14 year

WHEN:    

July 9 – July 13, 2014

WHERE:  

Villanova
University, Philadelphia, PA

WHAT?    

The upcoming event marks the twelfth EYE, which remains a popular and well-attended event.  EYE14 is geared for youth in grades 9-12 during the 2013-2014 academic year and their adult leaders.  The cost for EYE is $325.  Included are transportation to/from the Philadelphia airport, your room, meals, event T-shirt, and activities. Transportation to Philadelphia is extra.

ADD-ON

    3 Days of Urban Mission is offered for all EYE14 participants. It is an event designed to give delegates an opportunity to engage mission in an urban environment. The participation criteria for EYE14 continue to apply throughout 3 Days of Urban Mission.

Participants should expect to engage in hands-on labor, which might include everything from painting and hauling debris to childcare and preparing meals. Participants should bring work clothes, work gloves, and closed-toe shoes.

 

 

3 Days of Urban Mission will commence with preparatory training and evening prayer at 8 p.m. on Sunday evening, July 13, and will end of Tuesday, July 15, with an evening worship service.

 

The cost is $275, which includes three nights of lodging (including pillows and linens), meals on Monday and Tuesday, and a breakfast to-go on Wednesday morning. Delegates will register for 3 Days of Urban Mission online with EYE14 registration

 

So are YOU ready to go?

Next step is to contact your priest or youth director and let them

 

Click here for EYE Flyer
                 Click here for  EYE Registration Form

 

From ECF Fellows…

 

The ECR Fellows application deadline is March 14, 2014

 

Dear Friends,

The application deadline for ECF’s Fellowship Partners Program is less than one month away. As theMarch 14 deadline draws near, we are asking that all our friends and colleagues consider whether they know of an innovative scholar or ministry leader, lay or ordained, whose work fills them with a sense of hope. If so, please forward this email to them and let them know about ECF’s Fellowship Partners Program, a program that has been building a vibrant network of scholars and ministry leaders across the Church for 50 years.

Here are a few 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.
Please visit the ECF website 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 2013 Fellows here and our complete list of all ECF Fellows here. Please email me or my colleague Brendon Hunter, Assistant Program Director, should you have any questions about this program or the application process.

All of us at ECF are excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fellowship Partners Program, and we eagerly anticipate welcoming and announcing the 2014 class of Fellows in late May.

 

Faithfully,

 

Miguel Escobar
Program Director, Leadership Resources

From the Diocesan Office…

Heartfelt thanks go to to all who assisted with the Dedication and Celebration of Bishop David this last Sunday. The event was a huge success. Many thanks also go to all those who attended and celebrated this very special day in our diocese.

 All mail for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin,

Bishop, Canon and Administrator

is to go to the current address:

1528 Oakdale Road

Modesto, CA 95355

 

Dio seal

If there is anything time sensitive

please email

emeyer@diosanjoaquin

or fax:

209-576-0114

 

Attention Clergy!
A Friendly Reminder
DUE YESTERDAY!
All forms sent to you in January via the post office are due to the Diocesan Office by February 27th. The forms are also on our website: www.diosanjoaquin.org.
The following forms are due:

2013 Parochial Report . Congregational Contact Form
 2014 Certificate of Lay Delegate Form . Disaster Preparedness Form

Many thanks to

Holy TrinitySt. RaphaelSt. James
for having all forms completed and turned in!!

Whats going on…

Want to know what is happening in the Diocese of San Joaquin?

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

From Our Parishes and Missions…

   YOU ARE INVITED

on Saturday March 15th to

SAINT PAT’S  AT  SAINT MATT’S

from 5:00-7:00 pm at Saint Matthew’s Church in San Andreas

to enjoy a traditional Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner

The donation is $ 7.00 and the money raised goes to

   The American Cancer Society Relay for Life

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
414 Oak Street, San Andreas, CA
209-754-3878 

 

ASH WEDNESDAY 

 

Begin your Lenten Journey with us at Saint Matthew’s Church in San Andreas

NOON  –  LOW MASS   (with the imposition of ashes)

5 — 5:30 pm  Confessions will be heard at the Altar Rail

6 pm  SOLEMN MASS  (with the imposition of ashes)

EVERY FRIDAY IN LENT

PARISH LENTEN DEVOTIONS

6 pm  STATIONS OF THE CROSS
and

BENEDICTION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

(followed in the Parish Hall with a Soup Supper)

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church

414 Oak Street,

San Andreas, CA

209-754-3878

 

SAVE THE DATE!!
Christ the King Episcopal Church, Riverbank

will be hosting YOU at our Ladies’ Tea to be held on Saturday May 3rd. Put this important date on your calendars!!  There will be food, music, raffles, prizes for best tables, and even a fashion show. Tickets will be available soon!!  Watch this space for more info.

For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar….click here

Bishop’s and Canon’s Visitations Calendars… 

Bishop Talton’s Calendar

 

March 29                         Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

Bishop Rice’s Calendar

 

March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 2                             St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest

 

March 5                             Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 9                             St. James, Sonora

 

March 16                           St. Paul’s, Visalia

 

March 16                           Central Deanery Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 30                           St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 

Canon Cullinane’s Calendar

 

March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 2                             St. John’s, Tulare

 

March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 9                             St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 Have you checked it out?

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

www.diosanjoaquin.org
Click here:  Our Website  

Contributions to the Friday Reflection are most welcome and are due by the Tuesday before the Friday Reflection is scheduled to go out. Articles are to be submitted in word document format and pictures in jpeg format for best results.

Contact Information: Ellen Meyer
emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org

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 The Friday Reflection Title

 2-14-2014

 

The geese are flying south again; I hear them honking in the sky and I go out to look for the long waving V that is the shape of their communal life. It is mid-February, and the geese should have been flying south over Kernville last November.  I check again; yes, they are going south, lots of them. Winter was late in coming, and so are the geese, I guess. But this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I don’t know whether to delight in the geese or to feel the rage (of a long time teacher of scientific thinking) about the fact that politicians keep “playing” with climate change, or to fear the loss of the seasons and the order of the world as I’ve known it. Which is to say that I have skipped over my one real choice, namely to show up fully for and in the present moment.

 

The readings for this Sunday hammer on the theme of radical choice, and they tell us to choose God. Over and over they say that we have to be radical in choosing God in order to choose life, in order to avoid death, in order to avoid being caught up in legal fascinations that lead to death. From Ecclesiasticus: “Before each person are life and death, and whichever one chooses will be given.” From Deuteronomy: “See today I set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity. . . . Choose life then so that you and your descendants may live. . . .” From First Corinthians: “For as long as there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not behaving according to human inclinations?”

 

From the Gospel, it is given even more radically by Jesus that, if there are impediments in your consciousness, attend to those; get rid of anything and everything that separates you from God, even your own body parts!

 

In times of uncertainty, the guidance is clear: show up with all your heart and mind for the present moment. It’s not enough to check off in the rulebook that you did all the right things in all the right ways. It’s not enough that you were in the correct political alignment with the best of all bishops. You do not belong to Bishop Chet or to Bishop David-one plants, the other waters, but you are God’s field, God’s building, God’s very place of residence.

Yes, it is a time of change in the Diocese of San Joaquin, another time of change, change upon more change, but one thing is constant: that if we as individuals and congregations and as the collective that is the Diocese of San Joaquin show up for the present moment, neither clinging to the past, nor engineering the future, but just meeting reality as it presents itself, we will be saved.

If we fall into the reality of the present moment, giving our real selves in full trust, saying what we really mean, as Jesus habitually did, we will certainly fall into God’s embrace, as Jesus also did. In surrender to the present, we make the most radical choice; we are the wisest of fools because reality, shifting and changing moment by moment, meets our hearts as they too shift moment by moment. And that dance is where God lives, where God meets us in infinite embrace.

Falling Upward

 

At last I lay my head
in the lap of life.
All my sorrows have

brought me home

 

To this moment.
All that I wanted has

betrayed me.

All I have not wanted

has set me free.

 

Faithfully,

 

Anne+

 

Rev. Anne Benvenuti, Ph.D., is an assisting priest at St. Paul’s, Bakersfield, a professor of psychology and philosophy, and a published poet. She is the author of the forthcoming interdisciplinary treatise on human-animal relations, Spirit Unleashed (Wipf and Stock 2014).

“Participating in God’s Reconciling Love”

On the Move…

 

 The Rice’s are on the move!

For Clergy…

 

The Clergy Spring Retreat: Feb 25-27, 2014

Registration forms due February 14, 2014  

That’s today!! 

 

 

The clergy conference this Spring will be held at St. Anthony’s retreat center in Three Rivers. The Rev. Gay Jennings will be our retreat leader for this pre-Lenten retreat. The Registration form can be found here.

 

 

From The Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin …

 

  Madonna and Child

From the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

Service of Dedication and Celebration

of the Ministry of

 

David Rice

 

as a Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presider

 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

4:00 p.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

1528 Oakdale Road

Modesto, CA 95355

209-576-0104

Bring your Banner…..

Banners for the Service of Dedication and Celebration with Bishop Rice on February 23.

All Churches in the diocese are invited to send their banner (along with banner stand) and a banner bearer (with their own alb or other vestments) to the service welcoming Bishop Rice as a bishop in the diocese and as he takes the oath of conformity. Please let Canon Kate know if you will be bringing a banner and who your banner bearer will be by emailing: kcullinanne@diosanjoaquin.org.

Call to Special Convention…

 

Dio seal

The Recognition and Seating

of the

 Provisional Bishop

The Right Rev. David Rice

 

March 29, 2014

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bakersfield

 

2216 17th Street

Bakersfield, CA 93301

Click here for Special Convention Schedule 

Check here for Special Convention Registration Form

 

Registration is due February 27, 2014

For Northern Deanery

 DON’T MISS THE BUS!

 

Up date to last week’s announcement

 

Your glass maybe half empty, but the Northern Deanery bus to the Special Convention is over half-full!!  

 

Remember March 8th is the cutoff for the $50.00 fare to the March 29th Special Convention in Bakersfield. If seats remain, the fare goes to $65 afterwards. The bus will depart the Modesto Vintage Faire Park and Ride promptly at 5:30 AM with an evening return. Continental breakfast on the way out and refreshments on the way home included in the fare. For information and reservations contact (209) 869-1075, or  ctkriverbank@sbcglobal.net. Be there or be square!

 

                 

From the Diocesan Office…

 All mail for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin,

Bishop, Canon and Administrator  

is to go to the current address:

 

1528 Oakdale Road

Modesto, CA 95355

 

Dio seal

If there is anything time sensitive  

please email  

emeyer@diosanjoaquin  

or fax:

209-576-0114    

 

Attention Clergy!
A Friendly Reminder
All forms sent to you in January via the post office are due to the Diocesan Office by February 27th. The forms are also on our website: www.diosanjoaquin.org.
The following forms are due:

2013 Parochial Report . Congregational Contact Form
 2014 Certificate of Lay Delegate Form . Disaster Preparedness Form

Many thanks to

Holy Trinity and St. Raphael
for having all forms completed and turned in!!

Upcoming Meetings and Events:

 

  • Standing Committee Meeting, Saturday, February 15, 2014, 10:00 a.m. Holy Family, Fresno
  • Diocesan Council Teleconference Meeting, Thursday, February 20, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
  • Celebration of Ministry for Bishop Rice, Sunday,  February 23, 2014, 4 p.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto with The Most Rev. Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presiding
  • Clergy Retreat, February 25-27, 2014, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers, CA
  • Southern Deanery Meeting, Saturday, March 1, 2014, 11:00 a.m., St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
  • Northern Deanery Meeting, Saturday, March 8, 2014, 10:00 a.m., St. Anne’s,     Stockton
  • Central Deanery Meeting, Sunday, March 16, 2014, 3 p.m., Holy Family, Fresno
  • Special Convention, Saturday, March 29, 2014, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
  • Annual Convention, October 24-25, 2014, 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…

 

It’s time again for…

 

 

Join us for a fun evening of food, drink, singing,

games, a raffle and silent auction.

 

February 21 & 22, 6:00 -8:30 p.m. 

 

Adults $30.00 and Children under 12 $15.00

 

Your ticket includes dinner, an alcoholic beverage, soda, coffee,

and all the festivities.

 

Purchase tickets in advance at:

1) PubNight2014.eventbrite.com

2) PubNight.EpiscopalChurchOfStAnne.com

3) the church office by calling 209 473-2313

 

1020 W. Lincoln Road, Stockton, CA 95207

 

SAVE THE DATE!!
Christ the King Episcopal Church, Riverbank

will be hosting YOU at our Ladies’ Tea to be held on Saturday May 3rd. Put this important date on your calendars!!  There will be food, music, raffles, prizes for best tables, and even a fashion show. Tickets will be available soon!!  Watch this space for more info.

For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar….click here

Bishop’s and Canon’s Calendars… 

Bishop Talton’s Calendar

 

February 20                     Diocesan Council Meeting

 

February 23                     Service of Dedication and Celebration of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

March 29                         Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 

Bishop Rice’s Calendar
February 20                      Diocesan Council Meeting

 

February 23                      St. John the Baptist, Lodi
     

February 23                       Service of Dedication and Celebration of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

February 25-27                 Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers

 

March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 2                             St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest

 

March 5                             Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 9                             St. James, Sonora

 

March 16                           St. Paul’s, Visalia

 

March 16                           Central Deanery Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 20-26                      House of Bishops

 

March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 30                           St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 

Canon Cullinane’s Calendar

 

February 20                       Diocesan Council Meeting

 

February 23                       Church of the Saviour, Hanford

Service of Dedication and Celebration  of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

February 25-27                 Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers

 

March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 2                             St. John’s, Tulare

 

March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 9                             St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 Have you checked it out?

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

www.diosanjoaquin.org
Click here:  Our Website  

Contributions to the Friday Reflection are most welcome and are due by the Tuesday before the Friday Reflection is scheduled to go out. Articles are to be submitted in word document format and pictures in jpeg format for best results.

Contact Information: Ellen Meyer
emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org

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          The Friday Reflection Title

 2-7-2014

 

COVENANT COMMITTEE

 

The Diocese of San Joaquin has enjoyed financial, emotional and spiritual from the Episcopal Church during our sojourn. About two years ago a Covenant Committee was established as a means of creating better communication between our diocese and the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Chet has appointed four people (Cindy Smith, Michael Glass, The Rev. Michele Racusin and Canon Kate Cullinane) and Executive Council appointed four people (The Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Dr. Fredrica Thompsett and Anne Watkis) to that committee. The committee meets by teleconference in advance of every Executive Council meeting.

 

The Covenant Committee met last week and we were asked as a diocese to produce some positive highlights to be shared by our Executive Council members at the Executive Council meeting in February. Below is a copy of those highlights:

 

Positive Highlights in the Diocese of San Joaquin (February 2014)

 

1. The diocese received five properties back over the summer of 2013. In four of those five properties we had parallel congregations prepared to go back into the church buildings. All four of those congregations have experienced growth since returning to their properties.

 

2. The fifth property is currently rented to a Free-Will Baptist group and they are expressing interest in purchasing that property from us.

 

3. We are very excited about the anticipated arrival of Bishop David Rice from New Zealand in just a few weeks.

 

4. We are extremely grateful that the Province VIII bishops have given the diocese a grant of $100,000 over the next four years [$40,000 (2014), $30,000 (2015), $20,000 (2016), $10,000 (2017)] to help defray the costs of a full-time, non-retired bishop and assist us with a pension and benefits package.

 

5. There is growing excitement about the arrival of the Presiding Bishop for the Service of Dedication and Celebration as Bishop Rice takes the Oath of Conformity. Her presence with us at this time is being interpreted as on-going significant support.

 

6. We are also thrilled that the President of the House of Deputies has agreed to be our retreat leader for the first clergy retreat we will share with Bishop Rice.

 

These highlights are being shared with Executive Council this week.

 

I thought all of you in the diocese would like to see the report and know also of the very positive outlook in the diocese just now.

 

I pray many blessings on all of your ministries.

 

Canon Kate+

“Participating in God’s Reconciling Love”

People News…

 

Cindy Smith, from St. Paul’s, Bakersfield has been elected chair of the 2015 deputation to General Convention.

 

 

Click here to read article about Bishop Rice and family on the Anglican Communion News Service web site.

 

For Clergy…

 

The Clergy Spring Retreat: Feb 25-27, 2014

Registration forms due February 14, 2014 

 

 

The clergy conference this Spring will be held at St. Anthony’s retreat center in Three Rivers. The Rev. Gay Jennings will be our retreat leader for this pre-Lenten retreat. The Registration form can be found here.

 

 

From The Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin …

  Madonna and Child

From the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

Service of Dedication and Celebration

of the Ministry of

 

David Rice

 

as a Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presider

 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

4:00 p.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

1528 Oakdale Road

Modesto, CA 95355

209-576-0104

Bring your Banner…..

Banners for the Service of Dedication and Celebration with Bishop Rice on February 23.

All Churches in the diocese are invited to send their banner (along with banner stand) and a banner bearer (with their own alb or other vestments) to the service welcoming Bishop Rice as a bishop in the diocese and as he takes the oath of conformity. Please let Canon Kate know if you will be bringing a banner and who your banner bearer will be by emailing: kcullinanne@diosanjoaquin.org.

Call to Special Convention…

 

Dio seal

The Recognition and Seating

of the

 Provisional Bishop

The Right Rev. David Rice

 

March 29, 2014

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bakersfield

 

2216 17th Street

Bakersfield, CA 93301

Click here for Special Convention Schedule 

Check here for Special Convention Registration Form

 

Registration is due February 27, 2014

For Northern Deanery

 DON’T MISS THE BUS!

 

Up date to last week’s announcement

 

The Charter coach to the Special Convention on March 29th is now over one third filled!

 

This coach departs Modesto at 5:30 a.m. on the 29th, with a same day return at approximately 8:00 p.m. Round trip fare is $50.00, which includes on-board refreshments both ways. If seats remain after March 8th, the fare  increases to $65.00. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a very special event, whole leaving the driving to someone else. For reservations contact (209) 869-1075, orctkriverbank@sbcglobal.net.

                 

From the Diocesan Office…

Did you know 

that one of the 2014 Football Top Recruits rated by 247Sports Rating  is Tre’ Williams?

 

Tre’ is an inside linebacker for St. Paul’s Episcopal High School in Mobile, Alabama and is in the Class of 2014.

 

Go Tre’! Go Episcopal!

 

From the Diocesan Office…

Upcoming Meetings and Events:

 

  • Standing Committee Meeting, Saturday, February 15, 2014, 10:00 a.m. Holy Family, Fresno
  • Diocesan Council Teleconference Meeting, Thursday, February 20, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
  • Celebration of Ministry for Bishop Rice, Sunday,  February 23, 2014, 4 p.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto with The Most Rev. Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presiding
  • Clergy Retreat, February 25-27, 2014, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers, CA
  • Southern Deanery Meeting, Saturday, March 1, 2014, 11:00 a.m., St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
  • Northern Deanery Meeting, Saturday, March 8, 2014, 10:00 a.m., St. Anne’s,     Stockton
  • Central Deanery Meeting, Sunday, March 16, 2014, 3 p.m., Holy Family, Fresno
  • Special Convention, Saturday, March 29, 2014, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
  • Annual Convention, October 24-25, 2014, 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…

Julian of Norwich  

Love Suffering and the Cross:

A Retreat with Julian of Norwich

 

February 12-14, 2014

 

Due to lack of interest this event was cancelled

 

 

It’s time again for…

 

 

Join us for a fun evening of food, drink, singing,

games, a raffle and silent auction.

 

February 21 & 22, 6:00 -8:30 p.m. 

 

Adults $30.00 and Children under 12 $15.00

 

Your ticket includes dinner, an alcoholic beverage, soda, coffee,

and all the festivities.

 

Purchase tickets in advance at:

1) PubNight2014.eventbrite.com

2) PubNight.EpiscopalChurchOfStAnne.com

3) the church office by calling 209 473-2313

 

1020 W. Lincoln Road, Stockton, CA 95207

 

For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar….click here

Bishop’s and Canon’s Calendars… 

Bishop Talton’s Calendar 

February 20                   Diocesan Council Meeting

 

February 23                      Service of Dedication and Celebration of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

March 29                          Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 

Bishop Rice’s Calendar

 

February 23                      St. John the Baptist, Lodi
     

February 23                      Service of Dedication and Celebration of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

February 25-27                 Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers

 

March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 2                             St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest

 

March 5                             Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 9                             St. James, Sonora

 

March 16                           St. Paul’s, Visalia

 

March 16                           Central Deanery Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 20-26                      House of Bishops

 

March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 30                           St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 

Canon Cullinane’s Calendar

 

February 20                       Diocesan Council Meeting

 

February 23                       Service of Dedication and Celebration  of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

February 25-27                 Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers

 

March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 16                           Central Deanery Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

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          The Friday Reflection Title

 

1-17-2014       

 

The Book of Common Prayer and the Constitution of the Episcopal Church require that each person ordained as deacon, priest and bishop make a Declaration of Conformity. The Declaration reads:

 

     In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

I, (name), chosen Bishop (or Priest or Deacon)

of the Church in the Diocese of San Joaquin,

solemnly declare that I do believe that the

 Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be

the word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation;

and I solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline and

worship of the Episcopal Church.

 

Because, Bishop David Rice was ordained as bishop in the Anglican Church of New Zealand he has not made the Declaration of Conformity. He must make this declaration as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

 

Bishop Rice will make the Declaration of Conformity within a Celebration of the Holy Eucharist and in the presence of The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts-Schori. The service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.

 

Bishop Jerry Lamb, Bishop Barry Beisner and other bishops will also be present. It is most important for the clergy, vested in white, to be present for this service and it is important that lay members of the Diocese be present to witness as Bishop Rice makes the Declaration and to celebrate the occasion.

 

I look forward to being with all of you and Bishop Rice and our Presiding Bishop for this important time in the life of the Diocese.

Faithfully,

 

+Chet Talton

“Participating in God’s Reconciling Love”

IF You Borrowed…..

If you borrowed the white vinyl banner that has the Episcopal shield and the words  The Episcopal Church Welcomes You please call the Diocesan Office at 209-576-0104 immediately. We need it back! Thank you.

From Integrity of Diocese of San Joaquin…

 

  It’s Not Too Late to Register! 

 

Join the Integrity LGBT and Allies Winter

 Retreat at ECCO!!

The 2nd Annual Winter Retreat for the San Joaquin Chapter of Integrity will be held at ECCO in Oakhurst on January 24 - 26, 2014.  We are thrilled to have the Rev. Dr. Caroline ‘Caro’ Hall, President of Integrity USA, as our 2014 Retreat Leader.  The retreat beginsFriday evening, January 24th as we arrive at ECCO and gather for fellowship, snacks and a movie.

On Saturday, the Rev. Dr. Caro Hall, Integrity President, leads our retreat program throughout the day. On Sunday, after morning Eucharist (joined by our friends from St. Raphael’s, Oakhurst) and free time, we enjoy lunch together before departure.

Accommodations at ECCO are $119 per person/double room and include 2 nights lodging and 5 meals. Registration deadline is January 6th. For questions or to register contact the Integrity – San Joaquin Diocesan Organizer, Jan Dunlap at 661.201.2630 orjan@kerncomputer.com. Click here to get registration form.
About our Retreat Leader: One of Caro’s passions is helping people who feel excluded from a Christian faith community because their beliefs don’t fit the mold, to realize that Christianity is a lot bigger and broader than they thought and that God’s abundant love is available to everyone. Her background is in social work and non-profit management. Caro is English but has lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years – most of them in Los Osos, where she is now priest-in-charge of St. Benedict’s. She met her spouse at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland where she lived for several years in the 1980s.  Caro is the author of the just-published “A Thorn in the Flesh: How Gay Sexuality is Changing the Episcopal Church”.  She also serves on the board of People of Faith for Justice, and is a founder of the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations.

From The Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin …

 

  Madonna and Child

From the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

Service of Dedication and Celebration

of the Ministry of

 

David Rice

 

as a Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin

 

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presider

 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

4:00 p.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

1528 Oakdale Road

Modesto, CA 95355

209-576-0104

For Clergy…

 

The Clergy Spring Retreat: Feb 25-27, 2014

 

Can you believe it? The President of the House of Deputies has agreed to be our retreat leader! The Rev. Gay Jennings has agreed to be our retreat leader. Gay is not only the President of the House of Deputies, she was also a former faculty and administrator for CREDO before her retirement. She is an experienced retreat leader and she welcomes this opportunity to come and be with the clergy of the diocese of San Joaquin. This retreat will be a Pre-Lenten opportunity for the clergy of our diocese to get into a spiritual and reflective place in their own lives in order to lead members of our congregations into a reflective Lenten mode.

 

Can you believe it? That the President of the House of Deputies has agreed to be our retreat leader?

 

Can you believe it? That this will be the first opportunity for most of our clergy to actually meet Bishop Rice?

 

Can you believe it? That we will once again be at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center which has the space for us all to meet at the lowest cost per person that we have ever been able to acquire?

 

There are times when everything does come together. Can you believe it? This is one of those times. Dear clergy, please do sign up now by using the retreat registration form found here.

 

I wish us all blessings on our retreat together.

 

Canon Kate+

 

Call to Special Convention…

 

Dio seal

The Recognition and Seating

of the

 Provisional Bishop

The Right Rev. David Rice

 

March 29, 2014

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bakersfield

 

2216 17th Street

Bakersfield, CA 93301

Click here for Special Convention Schedule 

Check here for Special Convention Registration Form

 

Registration is due February 27, 2014

Postulant/Candidate Book Grant Fund Director…

 

                      Postulant/Candidate Dio seal Book Grant Fund

 

Many of you will have visited the book sale at our last Diocesan Convention. Over $200.00 was raised to help establish a new diocesan initiative - The Postulant/Candidate Book Grant Fund. Spearheaded by the Commission on Ministry, the purpose of the fund is to provide annual book grants to all postulants and candidates in training. It is humbling to bear in mind the amount of time and energy many of them contribute so that they might better serve our diocese, the Church and world; not to mention, the financial costs entailed which are extensive and in most cases come entirely from their own resources.

The hope is that each parish or mission in the diocese would be willing to contribute $100.00 annually to enable the new fund. Such a contribution would not only send a wonderful message to those who are committing themselves to Christ’s work in this particular way, but will ultimately benefit our Church as they continue to exercise their ministry among us.

Please speak to your Vestry or Bishop’s Committee members and encourage them to make this part of your community’s regular planned giving. Of course, individuals may also contribute to the fund and are encouraged to do so. Checks can be made out to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin with a note in the memo – P/C Book Grant Fund. These can be sent directly to the diocesan office.

The Rev. Luis Rodriquez

From the Diocesan Office…

Upcoming Meetings:

 

  • Diocesan Council TELECONFERENCE Meeting, 10:00 a.m.
  • Standing Committee Meeting, 12:00 p.m., Holy Family, Fresno
  • Integrity Retreat, January 24-26, 2014, ECCO, Oakhurst
  • Celebration of Ministry for Bishop Rice, Sunday,  February 23, 2014, 4 p.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto with The Most Rev. Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori presiding
  • Clergy Retreat, February 25-27, 2014, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers, CA
  • Southern Deanery Meeting, Saturday, March 1, 2014, 11:00 a.m., St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
  • Northern Deanery Meeting, Saturday, March 8, 2014, 10:00 a.m., St. Anne’s,     Stockton
  • Central Deanery Meeting, Sunday, March 16, 2014, 3 p.m., Holy Family, Fresno
  • Special Convention, Saturday, March 29, 2014, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
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…

Julian of Norwich  

Love Suffering and the Cross:

A Retreat with Julian of Norwich

 

February 12-14, 2014

 

Fr. Luis Rodriguez, the Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Saviour in Hanford, is leading this special retreat at St Anthony Retreat House in Three Rivers.

 

In large part it is the one he led for the diocesan women’s retreat last year; but, of course, this is open to both women and men.  While Julian of Norwich lived almost 700 years ago, her writing still seems fresh and profoundly resonant.  Her visions of Christ’s suffering reveal the depths of love, and surprisingly convey a sense of peace and joy.

As we look to begin Lent, come to St.  Anthony Retreat House to learn about and pray with this extraordinary woman.  Fr.  Luis, is a Friend of the Julian Centre in England, has visited there many times and led a number of pilgrimages to this holy place.

Please  feel free to arrive between 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. and to settle and enjoy the quite beauty of St.  Anthony’s.  The retreat begins with dinner on Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. and ends with lunch on Friday.  For a registration form  and further information, follow this link:

http://www.stanthonyretreat.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Julian_of_Norwich-retreat-2014.pdf.

Alternatively, you can contact Fr. Luis directly via email at hanfordrector@gmail.com.

For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar….click here

Bishop’s and Canon’s Calendars… 

Bishop Talton’s Calendar

 

January 18                       Diocesan Council Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

Standing Committee Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

 

February 23                      Service of Dedication and Celebration of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

March 29                          Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 

Bishop Rice’s Calendar

 

February 23                      St. John the Baptist, Lodi
     

February 23                      Service of Dedication and Celebration of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

February 25-27                 Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers

 

March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 2                             St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest

 

March 5                             Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 9                             St. James, Sonora

 

March 16                           St. Paul’s, Visalia

 

March 16                           Central Deanery Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 30                           St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 

Canon Cullinane’s Calendar

 

 

January 18                        Diocesan Council Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

Standing Committee Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

 

January 19                        St. John’s, Tulare

 

January 24-26                   Integrity Retreat, ECCO

 

February 23                       Service of Dedication and Celebration  of

the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto

 

February 25-27                 Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers

 

March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton

 

March 16                           Central Deanery Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno

 

March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 

 

 

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

www.diosanjoaquin.org
Click here:  Our Website  

Contributions to the Friday Reflection are most welcome and are due by the Tuesday before the Friday Reflection is scheduled to go out. Articles are to be submitted in word document format and pictures in jpeg format for best results.

Contact Information: Ellen Meyer
emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org

Share and Enjoy

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Adapt or Die

By Ken Howard, part of the Vestry Papers issue on Vestries: Listen to God’s Call (January 2014)

At a recent conference I was asked to speculate about what our parishes would look like a decade from now. My answer was brief: “One thing I can say with certainty is this: The only way our churches will look like they do now is if they have been stuffed and mounted and displayed in a museum of natural church history.”

The context in which our congregations exist is shifting so dramatically that mere tweaking of method and message can no longer return us to health, let alone vitality. We are facing radical change – radical as in going to the root – requiring of us both radical recognition and radical response.

As congregational leaders, we must confront the fact that our churches are dying. While we may wish they were timeless and eternal, at the core our churches are living human organisms, and dying is what all living organisms eventually do. But first they are born, live, adapt, create new life, and pass on their DNA to the next generation. We cannot insulate our churches from death without isolating them from the very process that would empower the next generation, not just to survive but also to thrive.

To guide our churches into a vital future, vestries and other church leaders must help our congregations to embrace their organic nature – to see death not as the ultimate failure but as the door to greater life. We need to help our congregations learn how to die in a way that plants the seeds of their resurrection. But how? How can we as congregational leaders learn this radical response and walk this counterintuitive, paradoxical path? How do we help our congregations live into a more incarnational Christianity that values organism over organization?

Changing the Paradigm

If we as leaders are to help our congregations change their ways of doing Church, we first have to recognize that our old and familiar paradigm of Church is fading away, and that a new and unfamiliar paradigm of Church is emerging. And because the new paradigm is not yet fully present, we have to help our congregations learn to explore its pathways and boundaries.

Leading congregations in a time of paradigm shift is no easy task. Be wary of any who call themselves experts in times like these; when a paradigm shifts, everyone goes to zero. There are no experts, only fellow learners. While I do not claim to be an expert in the emerging paradigm of Church, I do have some experience in helping my own congregation – as well as a few other congregations and dioceses – to explore it. And I am willing to share some of what my congregation and I have learned since it was born in 1995.

My congregation began its journey into the emerging paradigm with an exploration of the Apostle Paul’s image of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12):

There are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (NRSV)

We began to ask ourselves what our congregation would be like if we took this passage seriously. If in this passage Paul is expressing his deeply organic understanding of the nature of Christian community, then how is God calling our own Christian community to live? As we engaged this question with imagination and prayer, our image of Church began to shift. We began to think of Christian community less as an organizational structure in which people occupy various fixed and static roles, and more as a living organism that grows, adapts to its environment, reproduces, thinks, and moves – one which has a vision and a calling implanted in its DNA by the Spirit of God.

As our paradigm of Church began to shift, our behaviors as leaders and as a congregation began to shift as well. We began asking ourselves additional “so what” questions. If we were to answer the call to become an organic, incarnational Christian community, how would we need to change:

  • The way we think of congregational unity?
  • The way we develop and articulate our congregational vision?
  • The way we think about the lifecycle of our congregation?
  • The way we organize to get things done?
  • The way we develop our leaders, followers, and various working groups.

What this Means

Wrestling with questions like these have led to profound shifts in how we think, what we do, and how we do it – shifts which are summarized in the following outline.

  1. Unity: Moving from boundary-set unity to centered-set unityWhen we think of church as an organization, unity is achieved by clearly defining boundaries. Leadership asks, “What characteristics (e.g., doctrines, practices, etc.) separate THOSE WHO ARE A PART OF US from THOSE WHO ARE APART FROM US?”When we think of church as an organism, unity is achieved by clearly defining focus. Leadership asks, “WHO is the center of our community?” (The answer was/is “Jesus”) and “HOW do we clarify our focus (on Jesus) and invite others to share with us in it?”The implication of this shift is that we avoid making others into copies of ourselves and instead allow all of us together to be transformed into God’s image.
  2. Vision: Moving from vision-setting to vision-birthingWhen we think of church as an organization, leadership creates and propagates an organizational vision. Leadership asks, “What is God calling this congregation to be and to do?”When we think of church as an organism, leadership facilitates the emergence of a shared vision from the congregation. Leadership asks, “How can we help our congregation discern what God is calling us to be and to do?” Leadership does this by paying attention to the gifts and callings of those participating in the life of the community and those God is calling into it.The implication of this shift is that we remind ourselves to remain attentive to the Spirit’s movement in our congregation and in the world around us.
  3. Moving from organizational permanence to congregational vitality

    When we think of church as an organization, leadership assumes current structures and processes are there for a good reason. Leadership asks, “HOW can we do WHAT we’re already doing more effectively?”When we think of church as an organism, leadership assumes nothing. Leadership first asks, “WHY do we exist?” then, “HOW do we organize and behave to fulfill that calling?“ then, “WHAT specific activities is God calling us to carry out?” Leadership also asks, “What does the congregation do that is so unique and valuable that it would be missed if the congregation ceased to exist?” and, “If our church were to die today, what would the community around us write as our epitaph?” Leadership pays attention to what feeds and energizes the congregation (and the leadership) and finds ways to do those more of those kinds of things, while letting those things that do not promote congregational vitality die.The implication of this shift is that we continuously rediscover and reconnect with our spiritual DNA, and allow ourselves to be watered and pruned by God’s Spirit.
  4. Moving from hierarchical structure to organic networksWhen we think of church as an organization, leadership (and followership) is organized and structured via power, position, and turf. Leadership asks, “What COMMITTEES should a healthy church have?” and “Who can we get to lead and staff them?”When we think of church as an organism, all congregational structures and processes are functional and provisional. Work is accomplished through small-group, co-led teams, which can expand and contract, as needed. Leadership asks, “What needs to be done?” then, “Who is called to be on a TEAM to do it?” then, “Which of its members are called to lead the team?”The implication of this shift is that we assure that our structures and processes are nimble and flexible, capable of growing and adapting to our context.
  5. Moving from individual perfection to interconnected completenessWhen we think of church as an organization, leadership strives to help every individual person and part of the organization become as self-sufficiently effective as possible. Leadership asks, “What does this person/committee need to be the best, most well-rounded person/committee possible?”When we think of church as an organism, leadership strives to help every person and part of the organization become more complete through interconnectedness with others. Leadership asks, “What connections can we forge between persons/teams that make them more complete in their interconnectedness?The implication of this shift is that we allow each person to give their best gifts and strengthen our organic interdependence as the body of Christ.

An Invitation to Exploration

What I have offered above is not intended to be a quick fix or a step-by-step guide. It cannot be that because the new paradigm is still emerging. Think of it rather as an example of the kinds of questions your vestry will have to ask yourselves and your congregations if you commit yourselves to this journey.

One thing I can promise is this: Embracing the organic and incarnational nature of Christian community can both make your congregations more vital in the present and enable them to face the “changes and chances” of the future with adaptability and resilience. And it will make your job as leaders more exciting and creative, and perhaps even fun.

Ken Howard is the author of Paradoxy: Creating Christian Community Beyond Us and Them(Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press, 2010), the founder and director of The Paradoxy Center for Incarnational Christianity at St. Nicholas Church, and the rector of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Germantown, Maryland. St. Nicholas Church was the first successful church plant in its diocese in nearly forty years. Growing steadily since its start in 1995, it is in the top third of diocesan congregations in size and the top 5% in per capita giving. Ken’s blog, Paradoxical Thoughts may be found at PracticingParadoxy.com.

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Photography By: William O. Woolley

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