22. June 2018 · Comments Off on Friday Reflections June 22, 2018 · Categories: Bishop, Friday Reflections, Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
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The Friday Reflection Title
June 22, 2018

  From The Rev. Heather Mueller, St. Andrew’s, Taft
The Diocese has a Labyrinth
Several years ago St Andrew’s in Taft borrowed the Diocesan Labyrinth. We used it several times and now the canvas labyrinth has been returned to the diocese and it is at ECCO.  This is a good place for it. The chapel is a large enough space for it to be laid out and I would imagine that some of the groups which use that beautiful place would be interested in using the labyrinth in their programs.
A Bit of History-
Labyrinths are not mazes!
A labyrinth is a path which leads to the center and the same path which leads a person out from the center. There are no blocks or barriers in a labyrinth. Labyrinths have been found on ancient gravestones in several countries and they were used in cathedrals in the middle ages. The process of pilgrimage is part of the Christian experience and  since it was too dangerous to make a pilgrimage to a place far away, the pilgrimages were instead taking place in the safety of the cathedral.
Some Recent History-
In the early 90’s The Rev. Lauren Artress, (an Episcopal Priest)  did a spiritual retreat and at that time experienced walking a labyrinth. She became very inspired and searched out the one on the floor in Chartres Cathedral, in France.
Lauren was serving at Grace Cathedral, in San Francisco, and with the support of the dean she arranged for a canvas labyrinth to be placed in the cathedral. From there, many people experienced it and churches throughout the United States created labyrinths. There is even one painted on the floor of the Methodist Church, here in Taft!!!!! Labyrinths are designed with rocks, bricks, and some are painted on floors or driveways.
There are many styles of Labyrinths but the most common one is the 11 circuit one like the one in Chartres Cathedral.
My Labyrinth Experience-
The church I served on Maui created a labyrinth in 1996. We painted it on our driveway. For many years we held walks on the evenings of the full moon. We surrounded the labyrinth with candles. We welcomed a lot of people from the category of, “I am spiritual but not religious”! It really put St John’s on the map for a number of people. We were the first to have a labyrinth on Maui and now there are many throughout the island. The Rev. Lauren Artress came to Maui and blessed our labyrinth and us with her presence and knowledge.
What the Labyrinth Can Be-
I call the experience of walking the labyrinth as a “massage of the soul”!  Many people consider it a healing experience. People from the senior programs would often come to walk the labyrinth. One day a woman said she was healed  from vertigo when she walked the labyrinth. Another day a woman came to me with a heavy question on her heart. She needed to decide whether to sue or not to sue a doctor who had made some destructive decisions about her health. I suggested that she ask the question, walk the labyrinth and see if she could get an answer. She did and did!!!
A St. John’s, on Maui, Story-
It was a summer night in August and there was a, full moon candlelight labyrinth walk, scheduled for that evening. I went to the church and in the park, across the street, there was a reggae band doing their jamming at full volume!
I wondered for a bit about how to handle this situation.  I decided to go to the park and explain the situation!!!!
As I approached the group, one of the guys said, “Hey, you da pastor who married my sista!” Another one of the group said, “I rememba you….”you buried my Grandmudda!”
I went on to explain the program for the labyrinth walk and I said that after about 45 minutes in the church we would go out to the labyrinth for the walk.  All was quiet for the lecture and when we went out to walk, the strains of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” came wafting across the airwaves!!!!
The labyrinth is a gift and my hope is that people will take the time to lay it out and make the pilgrimage on the labyrinth. The Diocese of San Joaquin is blessed to have it.
The name of the organization which has been created by The Rev. Lauren Artress and others, is “Verititas” and it is based in Petaluma, California. If you check it out you will see that there are opportunities to make pilgrimages all over the world. They organize trips to Chartres, and there is even a labyrinth in Israel.
If I can help anyone find more information about the labyrinth please feel free to call me.
May you pilgrimage on the labyrinth be a meaningful adventure!!!!!

What is the General Convention?
* The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church. It is a bicameral legislature that includes the House of Deputies, with more than 800 members (up to four clergy and four lay persons from each diocese), and the House of Bishops, with over 300 active and resigned bishops.
* General Convention gathers every three years. The 2018 meeting will convene in Austin, Texas for a nine- day legislative session (July 5 -July 13, 2018), and will be the 79th General Convention of the Church.
* The work of General Convention includes adopting legislation of concern to the Church; amending the Book of Common Prayer, the Constitution, and the Canons of the Church; adopting a triennial budget for The Episcopal Church; and electing candidates to offices, boards and other committees. This work is undertaken in support of the mission and ministry of the Church, and with prayerful gratitude and spiritual discernment.
Now, that’s an Introduction to General Convention which can be found on the Episcopal Church Website.  It is certainly accurate and concise, consistent with good “Anglican Order;” however, it doesn’t go great lengths in capturing what I believe to be the most significant aspect of the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.  In other words, it doesn’t occupy an abundance of space regarding what the heart of our General Convention can and must be.  This GC provides the opportunity, as did previous conventions, to show one another and the world the way we gather as church in a context which is both worshipful and legislating.  This is a context where we frame dreams and aspirations, responsibilities and tasks.  This is the forum in which we show how we can work and play together and how that working and playing translates into the ways we are
Called to be…Church, in the days following convention.  This is our opportunity through conversations, through speaking and hearing one another, through debate and resolutions, to provide a roadmap and description concerning how we are growing into the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.
It will be my responsibility and honor to Chair the Legislative Committee:
Care of Creation and Environmental Stewardship.  Your Deputies from the EDSJ will also be serving on their own respective Legislative Committees.  In this prayerful and faithful work to which we have been called, we will constantly be aware of how we represent you, our Sisters and Brothers in the Diocese, moreover, how we represent the ways in which we are emerging as theJesus Movement in San Joaquin.
Our EDSJ Deputation includes:
Kathie Galicia
Suzy Ward
Anna Carmichael
Robert Woods
Nancy Key
Carolyn Woodall
Cindy Smith
Barbara Inderbitzen
Jan Dunlap
Cathy Henry
Alexis Woods
Nedra Voorhees
And our Chancellor, Michael Glass will be serving as:
Chair of the House of Deputies Resolution Review Committee
We ask for your prayers.  Actually, these aren’t simply nice closing words to finish this article.  I am asking, nay, I am calling you to pray for the 79th General Convention.  Pray for everyone gathered.  Pray for your Deputation.  Pray that everything we do reflects the heart of God.  Please set aside intentional time for prayer leading up to and during the convention.
 Warranting Your
Attendance and Prayers

Upcoming Deanery Meetings:
June 23, 2018
Northern Deanery Meeting
The Episcopal Church of St. Anne’s, Stockton
 Agenda click here.
June 23, 2018
Southern Deanery Meeting
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Ridgecrest
Agenda click here.
All are welcome to attend!

In case you missed Thursday email!
Statewide Action to End Family Separation & Incarceration of Our Children
Friday, June 22nd + Saturday, June 23rd + Sunday, June 24th
 US / Mexico International Border in San Diego, CA
Click here to find out how you can participate

In case you missed the Bishop’s email this week!
A Call To Prayer and Action for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin
I constantly return to the words our Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, preached at Saint Paul’s, Bakersfield during our Revival last year. The theme of our Revival was
Called to be.. A Safe Place for All of God’s People where we gave particular attention to how these words apply to Dreamers (DACA Recipients). Bishop Michael proclaimed with great vigor as he is known to do these words:
“It’s not political, it’s biblical.” X 3.
Click here to read more of special email

St. James’ Episcopal Church, Sonora will be the setting for a new dramatic play. The highly respected local playwright, Rick Foster, will premiere his latest work “Abolition” with 9 performances in July and August.
The play dramatizes the sometimes stormy friendship between John Brown and Frederick Douglass, two lions of the abolition movement. They first met in the Free Church of Springfield Mass, in the fall of 1847. Playwright Foster says he’s delighted that in this premiere the two will now meet in another socially conscious church, the historic Red Church of Sonora, which incidentally was built the same year that John Brown was martyred while trying to free the slaves of Virginia.
Like many of the plays by Rick Foster the subject is based on social conflict or problems. “Abolition” explores the greatest social problem this country ever faced and indeed many of the residual effects from the conflict are with us still.
This play brings into focus the differing perspectives of these two important men and a refreshing view of a pivotal period in our nation’s history.
JULY 26 – 28, AUGUST 2 – 4, AUGUST 9 – 11
More details coming in future Friday Reflections!

Diocesan Labor Day Service
Weekend at ECCO
August 31 – September 2, 2018
ECCO is our Diocesan Retreat and Conference Center located just outside Yosemite National Park. The center, located on a beautiful 163-acre property of forest, ponds, and meadows, features comfortable hotel-style lodging and delicious meals prepared under the guidance of our very own Executive Chef.
There will be a variety of service projects to choose between – really something for everyone – from painting to planting, and from organizing to window-washing. Come, relax, help, visit, worship, and explore. Click here for more details.

Need some? Get some! Contact



Emergency Relief Fund
Your donations have been helping the victims of recent fires and donating will build our fund to help when disasters strike again.
Donations can also be made by check. Please send  your check donation to The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, Memo: ERF

Diocesan Events
Northern Deanery Meeting

June 23, 10am
St. Anne’s, StocktonSouthern Deanery Meeting
June 23, 10:30am
St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest
The Episcopal Church
General Convention
July 3-14, 2018
Austin, Texas
Deacon Retreat
July 31-August 2, 2018
Immigration Task Force Retreat
October 12-13, 2018
59th Annual Diocesan Convention
October 19-20, 2018
Advent Clergy Retreat


Friday Reflection

The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355
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19. June 2018 · Comments Off on ROTA & Readings For July · Categories: Readings, ROTA · Tags: , , ,

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July 2018 readings

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