The Friday Reflection Title


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


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


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


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

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

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

Falling Upward

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

brought me home

To this moment.
All that I wanted has

betrayed me.
All I have not wanted
has set me free.

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

“Participating in God’s Reconciling Love”

On the Move…


 The Rice’s are on the move!

For Clergy…


The Clergy Spring Retreat: Feb 25-27, 2014

Registration forms due February 14, 2014  

That’s today!! 

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

From The Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin …


  Madonna and Child

From the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin

Service of Dedication and Celebration

of the Ministry of


David Rice


as a Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin


The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presider


Sunday, February 23, 2014

4:00 p.m.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

1528 Oakdale Road

Modesto, CA 95355


Bring your Banner…..

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

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

Call to Special Convention…


Dio seal

The Recognition and Seating

of the

 Provisional Bishop

The Right Rev. David Rice


March 29, 2014

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bakersfield


2216 17th Street

Bakersfield, CA 93301

Click here for Special Convention Schedule 

Check here for Special Convention Registration Form


Registration is due February 27, 2014

For Northern Deanery



Up date to last week’s announcement


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


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



From the Diocesan Office…

 All mail for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin,

Bishop, Canon and Administrator  

is to go to the current address:


1528 Oakdale Road

Modesto, CA 95355


Dio seal

If there is anything time sensitive  

please email  


or fax:



Attention Clergy!
A Friendly Reminder
All forms sent to you in January via the post office are due to the Diocesan Office by February 27th. The forms are also on our website:
The following forms are due:
2013 Parochial Report . Congregational Contact Form
 2014 Certificate of Lay Delegate Form . Disaster Preparedness Form
Many thanks to

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

Upcoming Meetings and Events:


  • Standing Committee Meeting, Saturday, February 15, 2014, 10:00 a.m. Holy Family, Fresno
  • Diocesan Council Teleconference Meeting, Thursday, February 20, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
  • Celebration of Ministry for Bishop Rice, Sunday,  February 23, 2014, 4 p.m., St. Paul’s, Modesto with The Most Rev. Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presiding
  • Clergy Retreat, February 25-27, 2014, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers, CA
  • Southern Deanery Meeting, Saturday, March 1, 2014, 11:00 a.m., St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
  • Northern Deanery Meeting, Saturday, March 8, 2014, 10:00 a.m., St. Anne’s,     Stockton
  • Central Deanery Meeting, Sunday, March 16, 2014, 3 p.m., Holy Family, Fresno
  • Special Convention, Saturday, March 29, 2014, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
  • Annual Convention, October 24-25, 2014, St. Paul’s, Modesto
Do you wish to see what else the Diocese is up to? Click here for The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin calendar.

From Our Parishes and Missions…

It’s time again for…

Join us for a fun evening of food, drink, singing,
games, a raffle and silent auction.

February 21 & 22, 6:00 -8:30 p.m. 

Adults $30.00 and Children under 12 $15.00


Your ticket includes dinner, an alcoholic beverage, soda, coffee,
and all the festivities.
Purchase tickets in advance at:
3) the church office by calling 209 473-2313
1020 W. Lincoln Road, Stockton, CA 95207


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

For our Diocesan Prayer Calendar….click here

Bishop’s and Canon’s Calendars… 

Bishop Talton’s Calendar

February 20                     Diocesan Council Meeting

February 23                     Service of Dedication and Celebration of
the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto
March 29                         Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
Bishop Rice’s Calendar
February 20                      Diocesan Council Meeting

February 23                      St. John the Baptist, Lodi

February 23                       Service of Dedication and Celebration of
the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto
February 25-27                 Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers
March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
March 2                             St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest
March 5                             Holy Family, Fresno
March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton
March 9                             St. James, Sonora
March 16                           St. Paul’s, Visalia
March 16                           Central Deanery Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno
March 20-26                      House of Bishops
March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
March 30                           St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
Canon Cullinane’s Calendar
February 20                       Diocesan Council Meeting
February 23                       Church of the Saviour, Hanford
Service of Dedication and Celebration  of
the Ministry of Bishop Rice, St. Paul’s, Modesto
February 25-27                 Clergy Retreat, St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers
March 1                             Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
March 2                             St. John’s, Tulare
March 8                             Northern Deanery Meeting, St. Anne’s, Stockton
March 9                             St. Anne’s, Stockton
March 29                           Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield

 Have you checked it out?

Keep up to date on news and events with our
NEW Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin website
Click here:  Our Website  
Contributions to the Friday Reflection are most welcome and are due by the Tuesday before the Friday Reflection is scheduled to go out. Articles are to be submitted in word document format and pictures in jpeg format for best results.
Contact Information: Ellen Meyer

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