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
January 6, 2017

Happy New Year to all and Happy NEWS Year!
Many thanks go to our readers for your loyalty to The Friday Reflection. We appreciate the support of news articles and pictures from our parishes and missions and we encourage clergy and laity to continue sending in the Good News of the Diocese of San Joaquin.
In The Friday Reflection we also bring news from the Church at Large to increase awareness of who we are as Episcopalians and to bring awareness of the many ways The Episcopal Church can help us with our missions. This year’s focus of The Friday Reflection will be on Stewardship, which encompasses everything from Creation Care to Annual Giving. Please take advantage of the resources that are available to your congregation. Weekly, The Friday Reflection lists links to organizations within the church that offer news, inspiration, education, and support. With a click on a link one can find many valuable tools that help with leadership, stewardship, grants, service and mission. For example, in this email issue of The Friday Reflection free webinars from the Episcopal Church Foundation are highlighted and the link to TENS is a site that offers yearlong stewardship ideas and tools. Our Diocese pays dues for this service so please take advantage of TENS.
Canon Anna is also available to help direct you to resources, brainstorm creative ministry ideas and assist your congregation with leadership development, stewardship, and grants through The Episcopal Church. Please feel free to contact her to ask for support; much of what the Church has to offer is user-friendly and easy to access.
We ask your assistance with promoting The Friday Reflection to all in your praying community. Signing up is easy. Please direct others to our Diocesan Website (www.diosanjoaquin.org) where there is a link to subscribe to The Friday Reflection. We also strongly encourage those in our diocese who serve as a Vestry or Bishop Committee member or Treasurer, a Delegate/Alternate to Diocesan Convention, a Deputy to General Convention or as a Diocesan Committee member to read The Friday Reflection weekly to stay informed.
Fill up with the Good News that will inform, guide, assist and inspire!
Peace,
Diocesan Staff

Dear friends,
I can remember watching CNN as they covered the election of Gene Robinson to become the Bishop of New Hampshire. I was in my parent’s living room and my mother’s response was “How can the church let this happen”…I responded “How could it not?” For me, the election of Bishop Gene meant that finally, my sister, my friends, and many colleagues were now welcome in a church that had claimed “All Are Welcome” for years, but didn’t necessarily mean it. It was my great pleasure to meet Bishop Gene at the General Convention in Indianapolis during the Integrity Eucharist, where I shared this story with him.
This story is one of many in my family of origin around sexuality. Chances are you have some of these stories of your own, or know someone who does.
In our current political climate, the church is being called even more to a place of welcome. We have the unique opportunity to really practice and believe that “All Are Welcome.” One way we can practice that is by learning about and celebrating the lives of our LGBTQI brothers and sisters, so that we can be better allies and friends.
If you are unfamiliar with Integrity, which is The Episcopal Church’s LGBTQI ministry, I encourage you to check out their website (http://www.integrityusa.org), but more importantly, I encourage you to attend the Integrity Retreat which is scheduled for Jan 20-22 at ECCO. If you’ve never attended the Integrity Retreat, I hear it’s a weekend not to miss…good food, good drink and great company! Bp David and I will be there and hope that you will join us!
I pray that we may all live in a world and church where we can “proclaim and embody the all-inclusive love of God through worship, education, and advocacy.”
Peace be with you,
Canon Anna

Women’s Retreat
Saturday, February 4, 2017
St. James Cathedral, Fresno
10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
What do you know about Mary?
Women of the Diocese of San Joaquin and their friends and neighbors are invited to attend a one day retreat at St. James Cathedral, 4147 E. Dakota Avenue, Fresno. Canon Anna will lead us in an Epiphany study of Mary. After a morning of welcome, prayer, and reflections, we will break for lunch. In the afternoon you will have your choice of activities ranging from quiet time, arts, and meditative to allow the Holy Spirit to work within you. For more information and registration form click  here.

Leadership Webinars
ECF’s free webinars are a great way to get your congregational leadership teams engaged in the strategic, leadership, and financial topics that are essential to the health of your congregation. The 2017 winter schedule includes webinars on vestry leadership, investment strategies for 2017, planning for the end of life, preaching and leadership, understanding congregational conflict, and more.
  • Vestry Orientation, January 12, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST: This webinar will help you understand roles, responsibilities, and best practices for vestries.
  • Vestry Covenants: A Great Start to 2017, January 24, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST:
    A covenant can be a powerful tool for helping a vestry or other leadership team to establish group expectations and accountability
  • Investment Strategies for Endowments for 2017, January 25, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST: How should you position your endowment/investment fund portfolio for 2017 with the advent of a new administration in Washington?
  • Spirits in Scripture and in Today’s Church, January 26, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST:
    The Rev. Reed Carlson, 2015 ECF Fellow and a doctoral candidate in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Harvard University, presents on spirits in early Judaism and Christianity.
  • Fulfilling your Wishes and Planning for the End of Life, February 1, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST: Few things are more important than making certain that your assets are distributed as you wish at your death, or ensuring the kind of funeral/memorial service you would desire.
  • [Spanish webinar] Orientación de la junta parroquial, February 7, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EST: Este webinar le ayudará a entender los papeles, responsabilidades, y las mejores prácticas para la junta parroquial.
  • Vestry Orientation, February 9, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST: This webinar will help you understand roles, responsibilities, and best practices for vestries.
  • Ways to Let God Lead Your Vestry, February 23, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST:
    Presented by the Rev. Dr. Blair Pogue, Rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, MN, this webinar will discuss how clergy and vestry leaders can re-envision their vestry so members can help the church stay focused on what matters most: what God is up to in the lives of church members and their neighbors.
  • Preaching and Leadership, March 7, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST: This webinar will feature three panelists who will discuss and take questions on the connection between preaching, formation, and congregational leadership, as well as their practices for preparing to preach on Sunday.
  • First Steps in Understanding Congregational Conflict, March 9, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST: This one-hour webinar will introduce a theological and biblical context for seeing and understanding that conflict is essentially relational.
  • You Can Do It Too – Succeeding by Failing Faithfully, March 30, 2017 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST: Presented by the Rev. Dr. Robert K. Leopold, ECF Fellow, this webinar is crafted for leaders devoted to discerning the work of the Holy Spirit in their context and wondering how they might get on board.

Welcome to the Jesus Movement:
Episcopal Church slates 2017-2018 Revivals
[December 19, 2016] The Episcopal Church is working with diocesan teams to organize a series of Episcopal Revivals in 2017 and 2018, six major events that promise to stir and renew hearts for Jesus, to equip Episcopalians as evangelists, and to welcome people who aren’t part of a church to join the Jesus Movement.
“I love the surprised response when people hear we’re organizing Episcopal Revivals,” said the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, the Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Stewardship of Creation. “Why wouldn’t we? A revival is a movement of the Spirit among the people of God, a concrete sign that we want to share God’s love out loud with each other and with new people. That sounds like the Jesus Movement.”
The six Episcopal Revivals will vary in design, but most will be multi-day events that feature dynamic worship and preaching, offerings from local artists and musicians, personal testimony and storytelling, topical speakers, invitation to local social action, engagement with young leaders, and intentional outreach with people who aren’t active in a faith community.
The Revivals rise from partnerships of diocesan leadership and the Presiding Bishop’s Office for Evangelism Initiatives Neighboring dioceses are welcomed and encouraged to join. For more information: www.episcopalchurch.org/evangelism 
Revivals are multi-day events filled with such elements as energizing worship and prayers services, dynamic preachers, mesmerizing music, personal testimony and storytelling, topical speakers, and a call to action.
“These ‘Jesus Movement’ Revivals will motivate, equip, and mobilize dioceses to love and follow Jesus and to engage in his work of evangelism and reconciliation,” said Carrie Boren Headington, the church’s Consulting Evangelist for Revivals, who also serves as Missioner for Evangelism in the Diocese of Dallas. “We’re beginning months beforehand with research and training for leaders to learn about the locations where God has placed them and to build faithful relationship with their neighbors and communities. Then we work with local teams to shape an inspiring gathering that shares the good news in word and deed.”
Spellers explained that the Revivals serve as a foundation for continued service to the Jesus Movement. “Every Revival will have a clear plan for follow-up, to continue to water seeds the Spirit has planted. There might be a new church plant or new Mission Enterprise Zone,” she explained. “It might be a Jubilee Ministry born of new, reconciling relationships in the community. Most of all, we hope these Revivals help Episcopalians and our neighbors everywhere to fall more deeply in love with Jesus – a loving, liberating, life-giving God they might never have met before.”
Revival Dates
Six Episcopal Church Revivals have been slated for 2017 and 2018, and more will be planned in the years ahead:
February 3 – 5: Diocese of Pittsburgh (pilot)
May 5 – 7: Diocese of West Missouri
September 23-24: Diocese of Georgia
November 17-19: Diocese of San Joaquin
April 6 – 8, 2018: Diocese of Honduras
July 2018: Joint Evangelism Mission with the Church of England
The first Revival will be held in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, called The Presiding Bishop’s Pilgrimage for Reconciliation, Healing and Evangelism in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It will feature a worship service celebrating Absalom Jones and other gatherings that invite people across boundaries and into reconciling relationship with each other and with God. Many of the events will be live-streamed or available on demand here. www.episcopalchurch.org/evangelism.
For more information on the Revivals contact Headington at ccboren1@gmail.com or Spellers at sspellers@episcopalchurch.org. For information on the Revival in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, contact Rich Creehan at media@episcopalpgh.org or check the website here:

 AGAINST TRAFFICKING FUND RAISER
WITHOUT PERMISSION

Go To: https://withoutpermission.org/2017-benefit-dinner/

Province VIII logo

Californian Episcopal bishops send letter of concern to Trump: Calls for reconsideration of Environmental Protection Agency head and cabinet appointments

During the month of December, the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of California, gathered support from all Episcopal bishops in the state of California on a group letter voicing concern over President-elect Trump’s intended appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The bishops also state their continuing support for all people in the United States and call for him to be “a leader for all [...] but especially [a] protector for the vulnerable” by reconsidering his cabinet choices. The letter was sent today, December 29, to President-elect Trump in hard copy and electronic form. For letter in full click here.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month
The Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking(KCAHT) is holding muliple events in Bakersfield. Read more

Episcopal Youth Event (EYE17) will be held in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma from July 10-14, 2017 on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond.
If you are interested in being an adult chaperone contact the Diocesan Office.
For more information on EYE2017go to:

2017 Lenten Resources

We invite you to commemorate Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday on the first Sunday in Lent, March 5, 2017, or another convenient date during the Lenten season.
To help your congregation prepare for this special Sunday and for the Lenten journey, we encourage you to order the 2017 Lenten Meditations guide. Available in English and Spanish, this year’s devotional focuses on creating economic opportunities and strengthening communities, with a particular focus on empowering women. The daily readings are co-authored by a group of leaders from across the Anglican Communion, who bring a range of perspectives as they reflect on Scripture and other sources of spiritual wisdom.

- See more at:

Erskine Fire at Lake Isabella: Help Still Needed!

Thank you very much for your donations to help the parishioners whose property was damaged by the Erskine Fire at Lake Isabella. Trailer and water pump needs have been supplied!

Financial donations are needed to assist with installation and repair, hook-up costs and other needs to get our people on their own again.

Donations can be mailed to:

St. Sherrian’s Episcopal Church P.O. Box 1837,
Kernville, CA 93238.
Memo: Erskine Fire Assistance

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!

Who are your neighbors?

This information for your community can be found on The Episcopal Church website at:

The Five Marks of Mission
Click here for poster to post

  Safeguarding God’s Children
Please review your Safeguarding God’s Children program in your parish. Are all volunteers working with children current with the training or have gone through the program?
Please contact Stephanie Gilmer, Diocesan Coordinator at mzgilmer@att.net.

Missional Bags

Please 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.

Diocesan EventsNorthern Deanery Meeting
January 14, 10am
St. Francis, Turlock
Integrity Retreat
January 20-22, ECCOStanding Committee
Teleconference Meeting

January 24, 6:30pm

Diocesan Council Teleconference Meeting
January 26, 6:30pmCentral Deanery Meeting
January 28, TBD
St James Cathedral, Fresno

Women’s Retreat
February 4, 10am-3pm
St. James Cathedral, Fresno

Commission on Ministry Meeting
February 11, 10am
St. James Cathedral

Diocesan Council/Standing Committee Retreat
February 17-18, ECCO

Southern Deanery Meeting
February 25, 11am
St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

Diocesan Special Convention
March 4
St. James Cathedral

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.
Thank you.
Ellen Meyer, Administrator
                    null  
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin  1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355
PH 209-576-010209-576-0104 F 209-576-0114 E contact@diosanjoaquin.org
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355

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Click on one of the links below to view either January’s Rota or Readings

 

January 2017 ROTA

January 2017 readings

 

You can always view them on the Calendar Page by clicking on the page tab at the top of the page or clicking on this link

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The Newsletter is now available on the Newsletter page. Click anywhere to see.

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The Friday Reflection Title
February 12, 2016

From Fr. John Shumaker,
St. Matthew’s, San Andreas
In “Rule for a New Brother” (Templegate Publishers, 1976, Benedictine Priory ‘Regina Pacis’ 1973, London) it states: “By the grace of God you have been called to a life in which everything is inspired by the Sacrament of the Eucharist. You must grow in daily knowledge of this mystery, and in a greater love for the Lord who gives Himself in it.   The celebration of the Eucharist is the center of your life. It is the highest expression and the strongest support in your life in community. It is the beginning and end of your actions; the source and consummation of your service to God.”
Everything of who we are, and what we shall be, is rooted and centered solely in Jesus Christ present in our midst in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
Why is the Holy Eucharist so important, and what relation does that have to do with “….called to be” and “the mission of the Church?”
Without the Holy Eucharist we have no reason to exist…..no reason for being.   In Jesus Christ we are called to be. “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…”    (Acts 17:28).
With Jesus living within our lives we find our ground as well as our being. Awareness of this great treasure we have in our midst, Jesus Christ Himself, is the cause of our being.
All of our activities within, and without, Saint Matthew’s Church in San Andreas stem from our oneness with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. As Christians, Jesus makes it possible to be who we are Called to be…
We receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at the Altar, and leave that sacred place to go out into the world to BE the Church.
In reaching out beyond ourselves into our community and perceiving Jesus in our midst, even in the least of our sisters and brothers, we welcome many groups of individuals in the use our facilities throughout the week.   Various Twelve Step Groups gather in our Parish Hall throughout the week: Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and also the Regional Meeting for Alcoholic Anonymous.
Also meeting during the week is a Painting Class, The Calaveras Food Hub, a class learning American Sign Language, and a PTSD Veterans Meeting.  Among individual ministries within our Parish Family, one woman has a “Quilt Ministry” to the local Convalescent Home in her visitations. Many parishioner belong to Service Clubs reaching out into the community in many ways, including scholarships, donations, and service in local charities, as well as their faithfulness in parochial activities. Near Saint Patrick’s Day we have an Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner Celebration of Saint Pat’s at Saint Matt’s with the total proceeds of that dinner going to the Calaveras Relay for Life in their outreach to cancer victims, and on-going cancer research.
During the Butte Fire, Saint Matthew’s Parish Hall became a safe haven responding to human need for those individuals that had to evacuate their homes. In the ongoing need for those who have lost their homes in that fire, one of our parishioners has organized ‘an overnight warming center’ in the Mountain Ranch Town Hall, as well as providing a hot meal.  The E.C.W. does extensive outreach into the community through support of Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, A Christmas to Remember, and the Resource Connection/Food Bank/Crisis center. They also provides desserts for a ‘weekly community dinner,’ hold a weekly Bridge Tournament (an overwhelming majority of the participants are not members of our parish), they coordinate our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner (held in one of the local restaurants, open to the community), and coordinate “The Yellow Bag” ministry, and many other things with the remembrance of the Scriptural admonition: “In as much as you have done it to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done it to me.” (Saint Matthew 25:40)
As we leave the church building following Mass throughout the week, we bear the gospel of Jesus Christ…….the good news of love, care, acceptance, justice, freedom and life into the community (and beyond), by our attempt to live the gospel faithfully in BEING THE CHURCH.
Again quoting from “Rule for a New Brother”: “Our only ambition must be to proclaim in word and deed Christ’s gospel of freedom, justice and life. The love of Christ will not let you rest. Your work is no escape into activity, but a sharing in the upbuilding of the Body of Christ. You can do this only on the basis of an intimate union with Him in purity of heart and selflessness.”

Meeting with Presiding Bishop Curry in NYC
Pictured – Bishops: Scott Mayer (Fort Worth), Dorsey McConnell (Pittsburgh), Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, myself and Charlie vonRosenberg (South Carolina).
This week, a few bishops of what I typically refer to as “missionary dioceses” (others use references: continuing or emerging dioceses) gathered in NY with our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for a two day conversation. This conversation was initiated and choreographed by the EDSJ (cheers Ellen Meyer for your work). By way of explanation, my use of the term “missionary diocese” is simply identifying that dioceses like our own and FW, Pitt and SC are engaging in a new mission field, a field otherwise unfamiliar to the Episcopal Church. This mission field, as we know, has less-and-less to do with buildings and an “inward inclined ecclesiology of the past” and more to do with joining God in the streets, lanes and cul-de-sacs, namely, in the public square where people live and God is at work.
The conversations with ++Michael were designed to ensure that he has a knowledge and understanding of our narrative of the past and the new stories we are creating. I want you to know sisters and brother of the EDSJ, our Presiding Bishop has heard from us and his response was, among many, “this is about resurrection not rebuilding.” I look forward to sharing more with you in the days before us regarding those significant two days in NY.
Also, we can look forward to our Presiding Bishop visiting us next year.
Lenten Blessings one-and-all
+David

Parish and Mission Events

Saint Matthew’s Church, San Andreas 

Invites you to their weekly Lenten Devotions
Every Friday at 6pm

Stations of the Cross and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

(Followed in the Parish Hall by a ‘lite’ Lenten Soup Supper
414 Oak Street
San Andreas, CA

Diocesan Events

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

Diocesan Council/Standing Committee Retreat, February 19-20, ECCOSouthern 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 FresnoAnnual Convention, October 28-29, 2016, Location TBD

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 theFriday Reflection. Pictures submitted are to be in jpeg format and forms to be attached to the Friday Reflection are best in PDF format.

Ash Wednesday at
St. John the Evangelist, Stockton

Deacon Stephen Bentley

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

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. Readmore.
For Flyer click here

.

News from Ann Lynne, President, AFEDJ 
 on her recent trip. 

The Board of Trustees of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem,
15 members from across the U. S., just returned from a visit to the institutions we support in Israel, Palestine and Jordan, including Gaza.  It was a packed itinerary with visits to 13 schools, hospitals and institutes for the disabled in many cities, towns and even villages.  Every visit was filled with inspiration.  We talked with teachers, doctors, therapists, cooks and priests making do with little, offering compassion and love to all they encountered, regardless of religious, ethnic or economic background.  You should be very, very proud of the work your denomination is doing in your Holy Land.  And you should visit it.
What we didn’t see was anything that caused fear or concern for our safety.   We did have the kind of transformational experience which will stay with us for the rest of our lives, informing both our faith journey and our understanding of the political news.  There are pilgrim groups there now and another coming from the west coast next week.    We hope you’ll seriously consider this opportunity.
Warm regards,
Anne Lynn, President

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

Calendars

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

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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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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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January 15, 2016
The Friday Reflection Title
From Bishop David,

I wish to offer these words from our Presiding Bishop to his fellow Primates:

“Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome,” Curry said in remarks he later made available to Episcopal News Service.

“Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.  While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”

“For so many who are committed to following Jesus in the way of love and being a church that lives that love, this decision will bring real pain,” he said. “For fellow disciples of Jesus in our church who are gay or lesbian, this will bring more pain. For many who have felt and been rejected by the church because of who they are, for many who have felt and been rejected by families and communities, our church opening itself in love was a sign of hope. And this will add pain on top of pain.”

Curry told the primates that he was in no sense comparing his own pain to theirs, but “I stand before you as your brother. I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain.

“The pain for many will be real. But God is greater than anything. I love Jesus and I love the church. I am a Christian in the Anglican way. And like you, as we have said in this meeting, I am committed to ‘walking together’ with you as fellow primates in the Anglican family.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I must admit, I am writing this brief reflection from a position of disbelief, that is to say, this morning when I read the Primates’ decision to suspend the church which I now serve from participation in Anglican Communion leadership and decision making, I could not fathom the words I read.

According to Section 7 of the Statement, here’s what suspension means:

“It is our unanimous desire to walk together.  However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”

I have served in different parts of our Anglican Communion and one of the reasons I was attracted to my “adopted” church was the belief that the umbrella under which the church lived and had its being provided enough room for all.

Today I am deeply saddened.  It feels like there isn’t enough room for us, at least for three years!

And so Sisters and Brothers, we pray, we pray for all, we pray for those of us who are “suspended” thus relegated to the weather beyond the umbrella and we pray for those who supposedly remain protected from the weather.

Blessings
+David

Celebration for Canon Kate Cullinane

Ho`olaule`a

(Celebration)
For
 Canon Kate Cullinane
Ho’olu komo la kaua
(Come join us)
 to see Canon Kate off to Hawaii!

Canon Kate is moving to serve the Episcopal Church
 in the Diocese of Hawaii

January 16, 2016
2-5pm
Holy Family Episcopal Church
1135 E. Alluvial Avenue
Fresno, CA

See you there!

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 Taize’ Fresno at First Congregational Church (also known as The Big Red Church on Van Ness) at 2131 N. Van Ness Avenue for a day of Taize Prayer with a theme of Social Justice. Registration is at 8am, with the final prayer session concluding at 3:45 pm. The cost is $25 and includes lunch. To view the brochure, and print the registration form for mailing, go to:http://www.earthprayers.net/taizeweekend.htm

Diocesan Events

Standing Committee Meeting January 16, 12:30pm, Holy Family Fresno

Celebration for Canon Kate, January 16, 2-5pm, Holy Family, Fresno

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

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.

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

Integrity Retreat
January 22-24,2016

Not too late to register!

Friday, January 22nd

to Sunday January 24

 

 $145 per person/double room, $195 single room
2 nights, 5 meals
For questions contact:
Integrity Diocesan Organizer,

Jan Dunlap 661.201.2630 661.201.2630

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

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 theFriday Reflection. Pictures submitted are to be in jpeg format and forms to be attached to theFriday Reflection are best in PDF format.

                             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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December 4, 2015
The Friday Reflection Title
ADVENT
From Canon Kate Cullinane
I read an article recently where the author reports about a Christmas card that he reads every year. The card came to him from a friend who had cancer. Much to his surprise the card received from his friend was upbeat even after the chemotherapy and hair loss. In his friend’s last paragraph she mentions the ornaments on the tree, support of family and friends and moments of laughter. Her last paragraph read:
“Cancer’s darkness is strong, but faith’s light is stronger. So as the darkness grows, it is the little things which help me see the light. After all, God sent a tiny Child to bring light into the world. So I choose to look for the light.”
Look around you over the next few weeks. You will see lights everywhere; on houses, on trees, candles in windows. Little lights will be everywhere.
We are entering the season of Advent when we anticipate the coming of Jesus once again this Christmas. We have the custom in our church of using an Advent wreath with four candles to mark the Sundays as we near Christmas. And please do notice: the lighting of the Advent candles is not a task for the clergy. For centuries the Church has said to Christians in this ever-darkening world and season; ‘Go home, gather with those you love and light another candle on your Advent wreath at home. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. You should light another candle!’
The message is clear. Your candle may seem small against the darkness, but light it anyway. And do that precisely when the darkness seems to be winning and life appears too overwhelming.
The candles on the Advent wreath remind us that Christ does not just call us to see the light; we are also called to be the light. The darkness will only get greater if we fail to be the light of Jesus right here and right now.
There is darkness everywhere. There is homelessness, hunger, human trafficking and suffering. But Jesus promises us that the darkness can be overcome. We are often paralyzed and frightened by the darkness.
Yet, Jesus calls us to not only to see the light but to be the light of the world. He says in Matthew 5:14,  ”You are the light of the world.” And he meant it.
So now, it is time to light another candle. This season of Advent leads to the birth of the tiny One who is, after all, the Light of the World.
We can all choose now to look for the light and to be the light. At our Diocesan Convention our theme was “Called to be…”
In Advent I believe that we are “Called to be…” the light.
Canon Kate

ECF- Advent

Advent is frequently described as a season of joy, expectation, and waiting. In the midst of this busy season, the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) has the tools and resources to keep your congregation running smoothly. This Advent, ECF will be offering tools and  webinars on a wide variety of financial and leadership topics from different parts of the Church. Clickhere.

ADVENT CALENDAR
This Advent calendar is created each year by the Rev. Thomas Mousin and the Rev. Merry Watters. Beginning on the First Sunday of Advent and concluding on December 24th, the calendar offers a scripture reading and suggested devotion for each day of the season. This year, musical settings for the calendar’s poem can be downloaded, along with the calendar at:
Permission is granted to reproduce and distribute the calendar and music for the 2015 Advent season.

Integrity Retreat – January 22-24, 2016
  • Friday, January 22nd – We gather in the evening for registration, introductions, fellowship, and snacks as we arrive at ECCO in Oakhurst, south of Yosemite.
  • Saturday, January 23rd – Canon Randy Kimmler leads our retreat program throughout the day.  We gather for a movie, discussion and social time in the evening
  • Sunday, January 24th – After morning Eucharist with Bishop David and free time, we enjoy lunch together before departure.
 $145 per person/double room, $195 single room
2 nights, 5 meals
  Registration Deadline – Dec. 26th.
For questions contact:
Integrity Diocesan Organizer,
Jan Dunlap 661.201.2630 661.201.2630
Canon Randy Kimmler returns as our 2016 Retreat Leader.
Even before the end of the 2015 gathering, it was consensus that we wanted to have Randy return to lead our next retreat in 2016!

xt retreat in 2016! Randy is a recently retired Missioner for Vocations in the Diocese of Los Angeles, where he supported and oversaw clergy development prior to and after ordination. About 8 years ago, he helped plant the Community of the Holy Spirit (CHS) in the Silver Lake district of LosAngeles. Lay-organized and led, the group is an

emergent progressive Christian community that is being studied by many Episcopal dioceses. “It’s not a church. It’s not a mission. It’s an anomaly and dioceses around the country are trying to figure out what to do with groups like us that are springing up all over the place.”  Randy attends St. John’s ProCathedral in Los Angeles, serves on the Bishop’s Commission on LGBT Ministries and has been recognized by Bishop Jon Bruno for his significant service to the wider church.

For Clergy
Friendly reminder to all clergy: December is the month that you should be thinking about having a housing allowance passed by your Vestry or Bishop’s committee for tax purposes in 2016.
Clergy Retreat December 15-17, 2015- Register Now!
Click here for information about retreat, registration, and speaker.

Diocesan Events

Diocesan Council Meeting, Dec 5, 10am, Holy Family, Fresno

Joint Meeting of Diocesan Council and Standing Committee, Dec 5, 12 noon, Holy Family, Fresno

Standing Committee Meeting, Dec 5,1pm, Holy Family, Fresno

Southern Deanery Clergy Christmas Party,Postponed

 
Central Deanery Clergy Christmas Party, December 12, 3pm, Home of Bishop David and Tracy
Clergy Retreat, December 15-17, St. Anthony’s

Northern Deanery Christmas Party, December 19, 4pm, Home of The Rev. Nick Lorenzetti and Wil Colon

Integrity Retreat January 22-24, ECCO

Lost- Please Find
LOST:
Canon Kate Cullinane has lost a black Book of Common Prayer/Hymnal someplace during her travels to various congregations throughout the diocese.
Her name is imprinted with gold lettering on the front cover.
Please look for it and if you find it, please let her know at kcullinane@diosanjoaquin.org.  Thank you.

T-Shirts!!

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!

Missional Bags

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

Please consider a year end donation for this very important program!

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.

  Trafficking Awareness Event

St. Clare of Assisi, Avery  
Tuesday, December 8

6:00 pm

Murphys Inn and Suites
134 Hwy 4
Murphys, CA
  

Last Chance to Order
 Tour Against Trafficking Merchandise!

To order Tour Against Trafficking merchandise

Last day to order is December 31, 2015

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

Parish and Mission News and Events

Annual Cookie Walk

Need an inexpensive gift for your family or a unique gift for your office mates? Never Fear, the Cookie Walk is here!
St. Paul’s, Modesto presents their annual Cookie Walk.

December 12th from 9am-3pm and on December 13th to 12 noon.

Click here for more info.

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

Calendars

Check It Out!

Go to:

http://episcopalmarketplace.org/

Friday Reflection

Articles for Friday Reflection are needed:
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 Reflection are best in PDF format.
                             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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