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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

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

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
Episcopal News Service
Integrity USA


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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