The Friday Reflection
August 7, 2020
Toni Alvarez, Postulant from St. James Cathedral

My second year at Seminary of the Southwest begins on Monday August 31st. I will begin my Field Education assignment at Proyecto Santiago a Spanish-speaking mission at Saint James Episcopal Church in Austin. One could say that leadership is on my mind as I continue my formation for Holy Orders; one of the many things that I have learned is that as Christians and as Episcopalians we turn first to the Scriptures and to the example of our ancestors in the faith.
This coming Sunday’s lessons are a feast when we attend to them carefully, though what they teach us about leadership takes a bit of digging. This Sunday’s Gospel is the well-known story of Christ walking on water, and bidding Peter to join him found in Matthew chapter 14. We generally focus on Peter and the disciples in this story, but if we focus on Jesus here, we can learn a little about Jesus as a teacher and a leader.
Jesus sends his disciples on ahead of him, and he seeks solitude on a mountain. Here is the first lesson and probably the hardest for us, it definitely is for me: Christian leadership flows from prayer and contemplation. A specifically Christian leadership begins with our communion with the Triune God: Jesus will teach us the way if we listen to his Spirit.
Jesus then joins the disciples he sent ahead of him on the stormy sea. Jesus goes to where he is needed and provides the lesson that his disciples need. After contemplation comes right action; the Spirit of Christ sends us out to do the work that we are called to do, but only after we invite it to. As Saint Peter shows us. We often focus on Peter’s failure, but he is the first of the disciples to follow in Jesus’ steps. He calls on Jesus, and he steps out onto the waves; yes, he falters, and sinks but he cries out again, and again Jesus is true to his word and Peter is saved. Peter is starting to learn from his teacher and ours. Haltingly, by steps and with setbacks on the stormy sea he follows his teacher who is there to teach and to save.

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop David
Sisters and Brothers of EDSJ,
I am aware that pastoral letters from my hand and heart reached you in March (two separate), April (again, two), May and June.  The last correspondence came to you on June 2nd.  Immediately following the issuing of that pastoral letter, a diocesan working group, as you know, put together recommendations for diocesan guidelines and protocols in our response to the pandemic. Subsequently, those recommendations were discussed and endorsed by Diocesan Council and Standing Committee and then made available to you.
Since June’s pastoral letter, much has occurred. We spent the month of July in the largest social platform gathering in EDSJ’s history.  Over one hundred gathered for five consecutive Wednesdays exploring and discussing realities of white supremacy, entitlement and privilege. We discussed the prevalence of institutional racism in our midst and explored how we might move from complicity to holy action. I know you join with me in thanking Constance and Dain Perry for facilitating this important work with us.
Continue reading the letter HERE.

“Those who live south of our border and who seek a better life in ‘the beautiful north’, those who patrol that same border, and those detained at the border are not stock players in a political drama. They aren’t one-dimensional characters in a newsreel, and while stereotyping and typecasting them may make it more comfortable or manageable for us to deal with the ‘problem’ as a whole, it distances us from their humanity, and consequently, I would argue, from our own.” – The Rev. Luis Rodriguez

The collection of artwork comes from the Tornillo Children’s Detention Camp where close to 3,000 unaccompanied minors from Central and South America were held. Art was a way to express their faith, the love of their family and friends, and pride in their homeland.
To learn more about the artwork, read this article from the New York Times

EDSJ Virtual Bible Study
No Longer Strangers: Exploring Immigration Issues
The study is scheduled for consecutive Tuesdays in August (11th, 18th, 25th) and Tuesday, September 1st from 6-7 pm via Zoom. No Longer Strangers was developed by Forward Movement in conultation with staff from Episcopal Migrations Ministries and the Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church. It examines the complex issue of immigration and offers a chance for discussion of this topic from a Biblical perspective.

Please share the flyer with your congregation and invite them to participate in a Bible-based study about this important and timely issue. Each meeting will be co-facilitated by an EDSJ clergy person.

Eat Less Plastic
Plastic, it is a major part of our lives. Our food is wrapped in it, toys are mad from it, it is found in devices we use everyday. But what you may not know is we are not only using plastics we are also ingesting them.
When you eat a bite of food or even take a sip of water you may be taking in tiny plastic particles along with it. Some researches believe the average person consumes about 5gm of plastic every 7 days. That’s like eating a credit card every week.
Humans have produced more than eight billion metric tons of plastic mostly since the 1950′s, and less than 10% of it has ever been recycled. There is so much plastic all around that we likely breath in tens of thousands of tiny plastic fragments or fibers every year.
Why is there so much plastic in our food, water, and the air around us? Plastics are very durable materials. Things made out of plastic can last quite a long time. However, they are not perfectly durable. Which means plastics can degrade through normal wear and tear. Just think about all the ways in which plastics are used. Everything from food containers to cell phone cases. The wear and tear from repetitive use can produce tiny microscopic fragments, which are called micro-plastics. Over time, these micro-plastics make their way into the environment. Like our lakes and rivers, the soil, and even into our oceans. These materials ultimately end up contaminating our food and water supply.
We don’t completely know for sure what effect ingesting all the micro-plastics might have on us. More research is needed to determine at what levels exposure becomes particularly dangerous. Experts recommend a precautionary approach.
Here are six tips you can do to reduce your exposure to micro plastics.
  1. Drink water from your tap. Drinking water is one of the biggest contributors to micro plastic ingestion. Bottled water has double the level of micro plastic level of tap water. So unless you know your tap water is unsafe, it is best to drink tap water instead of anything from a plastic bottle.
  2. Don’t heat food in plastic. Heated plastics have been known to leach chemicals into food. So, if you are warming up food use a pan in the oven or on the stove, or if you are microwaving use a glass container. You should also avoid putting plastics into your dishwasher.
  3. Avoid certain plastic food containers with known issues. The American Academy of Pediatrics has noted that plastic food containers with recycling codes 3, 6, and 7 may indicated the presence of some potentially harmful chemicals. You may want to avoid using containers that have those codes unless they are labeled bio-based or greenware.
  4. Eat fresh food. Fresh foods are less likely to expose you to concerning chemicals. Especially when compared to anything wrapped in plastic. Also, many food cans are lined with concerning chemicals.
  5. Minimize household dust. Dust in your house can contain chemicals that are found in plastic. So you should vacuum regularly.
  6. Thing big picture. Plastic production is expected to more than quadruple between 2015 and 2050, which means the amount of plastic contamination in the environment will rise along with it. Consumers should opt for products packaged in glass instead of plastic and use reusable non-plastic containers whenever possible.
If you follow these tips you can remove the amount of plastic in your life and in your body.

 Friday Reflection
All articles and special news can be submitted to the Diocesan Office at:
All submissions are due MONDAY for the following Friday Reflection.
Submission requirements:
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articles- word document
document to link- PDF
Please edit pictures for best brightness, contrast, and lighting before sending.

Events Warranting Your
Participation and Prayers

   Diocesan Events
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
SJRAISE – Virtual Bible Study

August 11 | 6:00 PM
Mary Meditation
August 12 | 6:30 PM
Bishop and Canon Visitation
August 12 | 7:00 PM
Taft – ZOOM
COVID Clergy Conversations
August 13 | 12:30 PM
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
SJRAISE – Virtual Bible Study

August 18 | 6:00 PM
Creation Care Commission Animators/Advocates Gathering
August 18 | 7:00 PM
Bishop and Canon Visitation
August 19 | 7:00 PM
Ridgecrest – ZOOM
COVID Clergy Conversations
August 20 | 12:30 PM
Deacon’s Gathering with Bishop David
August 22 | 10 AM
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
SJRAISE – Virtual Bible Study

August 25 | 6:00 PM
Bishop and Canon Visitation
August 26 | 7:00 PM
St. John’s, Stockton – ZOOM
COVID Clergy Conversations
August 27 | 12:30 PM
DC/SC Joint Meeting
August 29 | 10 AM
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship

Mary model of Christian life and believer in the promise of the Eternal Life
Join us on Facebook live for our monthly bilingual gathering on the study of Mary.
August 12 at 6:30 PM on Facebook live!

St. James Sunday School launches digitally on Sunday, September 13th. During the digital church period, St. James Sunday School is open to all school-aged children in the Diocese. Registration is required to participate! The kick-off session will begin with student check-in at 9:00AM and the lesson will begin at 9:15AM. The first day of Sunday School is designed for the whole family to join-in. The morning will include the blessing of the teachers and the students. We invite you to check out the St. James Children’s Ministry web page for more about our ministry with children and our curriculum Weaving God’s Promises.
Teacher recruitment period is now! If you feel called to the ministry of the spiritual formation of children, please send an email to Teachers can be members of any Episcopal congregation in the Diocese.
Prior to the first session, Dean Ryan and the Sunday School Committee will host via ZOOM an Orientation and Training session for all interested teachers. No prior teaching or Sunday School experience is required-all that is required is a willing and committed heart to educating the next generation of the Church. In addition to the Orientation and Training session, teachers will be required to take an online training module called Safeguarding God’s Children–an in-depth educational and training program for preventing and responding to child sexual abuse in everyday life and in ministry.
Classes are Sundays at 9:15AM on ZOOM. Registration for Sunday School opens August 1st. Please visit St. James website for link to registration. The first session is Sunday, September 13th and the whole family is invited to participate.
Weaving God’s Promises is a comprehensive, three-year Christian education curriculum for children developed and written exclusively for the Episcopal Church. Weaving God’s Promises’ 30-minute lesson plans are accessed online. There will be a “take-home” paper, Threads, that will be emailed to every family after each lesson. Threads allows families to continue the conversation and theme throughout the week.
  1. Gathering and Greeting
  2. Sunday School Prayer
  3. Sunday School Song
  4. About the Scripture Story
  5. Telling the Story
  6. Activity Related to the Story
  7. Weaving Our Faith: Conversation about the story
  8. Closing Prayer
(Developed by Sunday School Committee)
With God’s Help I Covenant 
To practice the spiritual disciplines of scripture reading and prayer.
  • Worship on Sundays and be an active member of the St. James community or other church in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
  • Be prepared: Read the curriculum and plan my lessons.
  • Grow in my faith and understanding of my work through educational opportunities as offered.
  • Practice inclusive hospitality as Jesus teaches us the love of God is the love of neighbor.

The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 4147 E Dakota AVE, Fresno, CA 93726
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Solar panels were installed at St Anne last week. They will help fulfill our commitment to be good stewards of the environment as well as keeping our utility costs down.


Family Promise Program

St Anne and several other churches in the Stockton area are working together to set up this successful nationwide program here in our area.

The goal of the program is to assist families with the resources that they need to get themselves into stable homes that will benefit them as well as the community.

By clicking on the links below you can access a lot of information

Family Promise Program

Family Promise FAQs

Family Promise Affiliates

Family Promise Typical Host Week

Stockton’s Family Shelter was very happy to receive a donation from St Anne. The donation was made possible by the generosity of the attendees at Pub Night 2016. Due to a clerical error the donation was a little late but never the less it will still help with the great work that the shelter does.

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The Episcopal Church

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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:

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
Episcopal News Service
Integrity USA


Missional Bags


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

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.

Dio seal
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin  1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355
PH 209-576-0104 F 209-576-0114 E

Who’s it going to be Denver Broncos or the Carolina Panthers.

It looks like Denver is slightly favored right now

Where’s the love for Carolina

It’s a classic East West Battle that may be decided by either Chicken Noodle or Minestrone.

St Anne’s Annual Souper Bowl Drive to feed those in need has begun.

Cast your votes now with a can of soup.

You can vote as often as you like and everyone is a winner!

Click to see the new T3 Page

The Friday Reflection Title


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


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


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


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


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

“Travel Light, leaving baggage behind.”

                                                                             Luke 10:1-12

From the Diocesan Office…

For All Clergy:

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


For Clergy, Vestries and Bishop Committees:

The Bronze Disaster Preparedness Plan:  

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

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

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

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,


News of  the Archbishop of Canterbury…

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

Dear friends and fellow parishioners,

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

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

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

To find out more about Archbishop Welby click  here.

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

Ordination to the Deaconate Steven Karcher…


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

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

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

  St. John the Evangelist, Stockton

San Joaquin honors pioneer Filipino priest

Diocese contemplates revitalized ministry

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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


Advent  Devotions…

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


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


Devotions from leaders

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


Downloadable devotions are available here.


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


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


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


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


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

 ”. . . for I was hungry,



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

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

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

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

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


Bottled water



Hand Wipes




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


Emergency Blanket

Small Microfiber Towel (

Hand Sanitizer





Sandwich Crackers (peanut butter or cheese, for example)

Granola Bars


Deacon Carolyn Woodall


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

Stole Making Workshop Fundraiser for Car-thedra Fund…

Deadline to sign up is NOW!! 


Stole-Making Workshop

in Support of the Diocesan Car-thedra Fund

Saturday, 6 December 2014


Episcopal Church of the Saviour, Hanford


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

Office of Public Affairs…

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

United Thank Offering Grants…



2015 United Thank Offering Grants


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

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

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

here to new United Thank Offering Website.

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



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

 $130 per person/double room

2 nights, 5 meals


Registration Deadline – Dec. 20th.

For questions or to register contact:

Integrity Diocesan Organizer,

Jan Dunlap 661.201.2630



Meet Canon Randy Kimmler, our 2015 Retreat Leader.  


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

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

For Central Deanery Clergy…

Central Deanery Clericus:  


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

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


Suzie Ward+

For Southern Deanery…

Southern Deanery Meeting


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


Whats going on…

What’s Happening in the DIO  


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


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


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

11:00 a.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto


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


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

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


From our Parishes and Missions..



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


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


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


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

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


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


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


Let us celebrate together, In Christ,


The Congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church



Diocesan Website and Facebook…
 Have you checked it out?

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


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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Proper 28, Year A

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

Proper 27, Year A

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