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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

Episcopal ShieldDio seal

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.

BEFORE her drinking spiraled out of control, Sylvia Dobrow “drank like a lady,” as she put it, matching her wine to her sandwiches: “Tuna and chardonnay, roast beef and rosé.” But soon she was “drinking around the clock,” downing glasses of vodka and skim milk.

“When you try to hide your drinking from your grandchildren, you do whatever you can,” said Ms. Dobrow, 81, a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother living in Stockton, Calif.

A former hospital educator, Ms. Dobrow’s alcohol consumption became unmanageable after she lost her job and subsequently “lost my identity,” she said.

One night in early 2007, after a particularly excessive alcohol binge, Ms. Dobrow fell out of bed and suffered a black eye. That was when her two daughters, one of whom was a nurse, took her to Hemet Valley, a recovery facility in Hemet Valley, Calif., that caters to adults age 55 and older. Ms. Dobrow, who was 73 at the time, stayed for 30 days, which cost roughly $20,000, about $13,000 of which was covered by insurance. When she returned home, she continued with a 12-step program. She has been sober ever since.

An estimated 2.8 million older adults in the United States meet the criteria for alcohol abuse, and this number is expected to reach 5.7 million by 2020, according to a study in the journal “Addiction.” In 2008, 231,200 people over 50 sought treatment for substance abuse, up from 102,700 in 1992, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a federal agency.

While alcohol is typically the substance of choice, a 2013 report found that the rate of illicit drug use among adults 50 to 64 increased from 2.7 percent in 2002 to 6.0 percent in 2013.

“As we get older, it takes longer for our bodies to metabolize alcohol and drugs,” said D. John Dyben, the director of older adult treatment services for the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. “Someone might say, ‘I could have two or three glasses of wine and I was fine, and now that I’m in my late 60s, it’s becoming a problem.’ That’s because the body can’t handle it.”

Many, although certainly not all, of these older individuals with alcohol problems are retired.

Over the course of 10 years, Peter A. Bamberger and Samuel B. Bacharach, co-authors of “Retirement and the Hidden Epidemic,” conducted a study funded by the National Institutes of Health on substance abuse in older adults. They found that the impact of retirement on substance abuse was “anything but clear cut, with the conditions leading to retirement, and the economic and social nature of the retirement itself, having a far greater impact on substance use than simple retirement itself,” said Mr. Bamberger, who is also research director of the Smithers Institute at Cornell University.

But events that arise in later life often require coping skills older adults may not possess. Some retirees are lonely and depressed, and turn to alcohol or drugs to quell their anxieties. Others may drink to deal with late-life losses of spouses, friends, careers and purpose.

“In retirement there can be depression, divorce, death of a spouse, moving from a big residence into a small residence,” said Steven Wollman, a substance abuse counselor in New York, . “For anyone who’s an addict, boredom’s the No. 1 trigger.”

Sandra D., 58, who works in the financial services industry in Toronto, said that her father’s drinking increased so much after he retired that she often took the car keys away from him.

“He and his friends meet for cocktails at about 3 or 4 and then he passes out, which he calls a ‘nap,’ ” said Ms. D., who asked that her full last name not be used. “My dad didn’t plan out his retirement well. My mom was very ill for many years before she passed away, and my dad was a caregiver. He was pretty well looking after the house and taking care of her. When she passed away, there was a very big void for him.”

Ms. D. said her father, an 82-year-old former maintenance worker, doesn’t believe he drinks too much, a common perception among many seniors.

“People are really good at redefining things,” said Stephan Arndt, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa and director of the Iowa Consortium for Substance Abuse Research and Evaluation. “They say, ‘I don’t have a problem, I just like to drink.’ Or, ‘I’m a big guy, I can handle it.’ In the case of prescription drugs, it’s, ‘Well, I got it from my doctor, and it’s for my pain. It’s medication.’ Consequently, they don’t seek help.”

Physicians often aren’t trained to talk to their older patients about chemical dependency — or, perhaps more pointedly in an era of managed care, they often don’t have the time to thoroughly screen a patient. Also, many signs of chemical dependence like memory loss and disorientation resemble normal symptoms of aging. “Is this person confused because they’re messing up their meds, or is it dementia?” said Brenda J. Iliff, the executive director of Hazelden, a residential treatment center in Naples, Fla., that offers special programming baby boomers and older adults for about $21,000 a month. “Is their diabetes out of control, or did they fall and break their hip because they were woozy from Atavan?”

Another misconception is that older adults don’t benefit from treatment. “There’s this lore, this belief, that as people get older they become less treatable,” said Paul Sacco, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, who researches aging and addiction. “But there’s a large body of literature saying that the outcomes are as good with older adults. They’re not hopeless. This may be just the time to get them treatment.”

Pamela Noffze was 58 when she arrived at Hazelden‘s center in Naples for treatment. At her worst, she was drinking a case of light beer a day, but she didn’t think she had an issue until her daughter threatened to ban her from seeing her grandsons again unless she sought help. “That’s when I knew I had to do something,” said Ms. Noffze.

On her first night at Hazelden, she discovered that she was also addicted to Klonopin, an anti-anxiety medication that her psychiatrist had prescribed in 2009 to help her cope with a divorce. Weaning herself off prescription medications was harder than stopping drinking, she said. Still, she has not had a sip of alcohol or any pills since rehab.

Ms. Noffze, now 61, who lives in Naples and is unemployed, regularly attends 12-step meetings. She said she was astonished at the number of people who “have their cocktails every night, and the next thing they know they find themselves addicted because some doctor gave them Ambien to sleep or they were on pain pills for arthritis or whatever,” she said. “You put those two together and you put yourself over the edge.”

As for Ms. Dobrow, she was so emboldened by her recovery that in 2010 she went back to school to get a credential as a substance abuse counselor. She now works part time counseling older adults at Hemet Valley.

“Losing your purpose in life is the singular thing that hurts people,” said Ms. Dobrow. “We involve so much of our ego in our career, but these last seven and a half years have been the most fulfilling of my life, because I can help people. What is when people used to wear a sandwich board and walk around in a commercial? I feel that mine says ’Hope’ on the front and on the back.”

06. August 2014 · Comments Off on Update For Donations To The Homeless · Categories: Community, Donations · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It took a few days to deliver the donations to the group of homeless people because they have to constantly keep moving. They were very happy to receive the items and are doing well. They are still building bicycles and pursuing their dreams.


Rev. Anne Smith


June 8, 2014: Day of Pentecost, Year A

Text: Acts 2:1-21, 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13, John 20:19-23

Among the lesser-known Jewish holidays is Shavuot. The day of Shavuot marks seven weeks since Passover each year; Shavuot means “weeks”, and the English translation of the name for this Holy Day is the Feast of Weeks.
In the ancient Jewish tradition Shavuot was a feast of obligation—it was the time to bring the first fruits of the harvest to the Temple to be a thanksgiving offering to God.
But in Jesus’s day a shift was taking place, and Shavuot gained significance as a memorial of the covenant God had made with humankind, ultimately symbolized by the giving of the law, or Torah, to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
Even as the meaning of the day has shifted, it has always represented a significant occasion for acknowledging and giving thanks for what God has provided.
The most common name for this day is actually from the Greek. Seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot makes the celebration fall on the 50th day, and so the Greek word for “fiftieth” became its name: Pentecost.
Pentecost, a holy day for Jews from every nation to gather in Jerusalem and offer thanks to God, remembering God’s goodness and love toward them and their commitment to serve God in return.
And one year long ago, there amid the Jews renewing their commitment to the divine covenant, a gathering of the disciples of Jesus issued an invitation for people to turn to God in a brand new way. A sound like rushing wind rose up, and tongues of fire came to rest on the disciples, and they spoke. Into a crowd of Jews from every corner of the empire, the disciples spoke languages they could scarcely have named before, and foreigners caught the familiar cadences of home in speech plainly sensible to them though it came from the mouths of a few yokels from that provincial backwater, Galilee.
There on that day the Holy Spirit was poured out and people’s hearts were set ablaze. They heard a message of God’s saving power, a power made real in the person of Jesus.
Here amid a cacophony of different languages this morning we too hear this message, emerging in clear, sensible speech. The Spirit comes and we hear the message of God’s power at work from the beginning of time and even now.
We hear the song of the Psalmist recall the movement of the Holy Spirit in creation, the wisdom with which God made all things, the variety present everywhere we look! Creation is God’s delight, and the Holy Spirit is the very breath of life.
We hear the words of the prophet Joel, as he speaks of the Holy Spirit being poured out on all flesh, bringing forth new life in the midst of death, saving not just the chosen ones of Israel but people of all nations, to God’s greater glory.
We hear Jesus himself offering shalom, a word of peace and well-being, as he sends his followers into the world as he himself had been sent by God. He breathes on his friends and the Spirit comes and fills them with power, the surprising power of offering forgiveness and accountability.
Those who receive the Holy Spirit as Jesus offers it here are given the power to release the sins of any or retain the sins of any. Friends, this is the power to break the world open, to give freedom to captives and to bring justice to the oppressed.
Do you remember how Jesus practiced forgiveness? Jesus went into places where sin cast people’s lives into darkness and shadow, and he brought them healing and release. Those who suffered from blindness, paralysis, fever, bleeding, leprosy, and disease received the healing of their bodies; those who suffered analogous ailments of heart, mind, and soul received blessed release. Jesus offered forgiveness that restored suffering people to wholeness and connection with God.
But Jesus retained the sins of some. Everywhere Jesus went, he challenged the lies that held power over people’s lives. When Jesus found the tellers of lies, he confronted them with the truth. Jesus held them accountable for their sin, the sin of leading people away from God. When the Pharisees burdened the Jewish people with lies about what God required of them, Jesus held them accountable. When anyone in power dismissed another person as less than worthy for any reason—gender, status, age, ethnicity—Jesus exposed the lie. He affirmed the dignity and value of all people, but he held anyone accountable who propagated the lie that some are less-than, the lie that some are unbeloved.
Jesus gave his friends the Spirit and the power to forgive, and we have received these gifts too. In baptism, we invite the Holy Spirit to reside in us, and what potential is ours because of it! The Spirit comes and expectations break apart, and the immovable breaks free. Forgiveness, release, and new life become possible. The Spirit is poured into every believer, every servant of God, and we have such gifts to offer because of it. This body of God-loving, sin-forgiving, healing-bringing, lie-exposing faithful people, still learning ourselves to walk by grace, gets to spread the love of God and the forgiveness that frees us into every corner of the world.
Like the Jews gathered in Jerusalem at Pentecost the year of that first Easter we come to this day to give thanks to God and acknowledge all that God has provided, and to be reminded of the covenant we have made with God. We renew our baptismal vows, the promises we make about how we will live our life in Christ. And I pray that we also see the continuous outpouring of the Holy Spirit and that we will receive anew our commission to bring light and love and forgiveness and justice into the world.





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The Friday Reflection Title
Lent is a season of reflection that begins on Ash Wednesday (March 5) and concludes on Easter (April 20).
The following is the Presiding Bishop’s Lent Message 2014.
The reality is that the season of Lent, which Christians have practiced for so many centuries, is about the same kind of yearning for greater light in the world, whether you live in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere.
The word “Lent” means “lengthen” and it’s about the days getting longer. The early Church began to practice a season of preparation for those who would be baptized at Easter, and before too long other members of the Christian community joined those candidates for baptism as an act of solidarity.
It was a season during which Christians and future Christians learned about the disciplines of the faith – prayer and study and fasting and giving alms, sharing what they have.
But the reality is that, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, the lengthening days were often times of famine and hunger, when people had used up their winter food stores and the spring had not yet produced more food to feed people. Acting in solidarity with those who go hungry is a piece of what it means to be a Christian. To be a follower of Jesus is to seek the healing of the whole world.
And Lent is a time when we practice those disciplines as acts of solidarity with the broken and hungry and ill and despised parts of the world.
I would invite you this Lent to think about your Lenten practice as an exercise in solidarity with all that is – with other human beings and with all of creation. That is most fundamentally what Jesus is about. He is about healing and restoring that broken world.
So as you enter Lent, consider how you will live in solidarity with those who are hungry, or broken, or ill in one way or another.
May you have a blessed Lent this year, and may it yield greater light in the world.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
“Participating in God’s Reconciling Love”
For Lent…
Walk through Lent with beautiful daily devotions,
The Lent App (for iPhone)
Illustrated with art by the inimitable Roger Hutchison, author of The Painting Table, and inspirational daily reflections by beloved author and Spiritual Director Mary C. Earle provide food for the journey. A built in journal function lets you record your own thoughts, and you can share Scripture, the daily image, or your own thoughts via email or social media.
Learn More
Since 1922, Episcopalians have supported the ministries of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East through the Good Friday Offering. Through the work of the Episcopal dioceses in the Middle East, Christians maintain a peacemaking and stabilizingpresence in the region, serving their neighbors regardless of faith background.
To make a donation to the Good Friday Offering, please write a check payable to the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, write “Good Friday Offering” in the memo line, and mail to:
DFMS – Protestant Episcopal Church US
P.O. Box 958983
St. Louis, MO 63195-8983
Click here for Good Friday Offering Resources
Call to Special Convention…
Dio seal
The Recognition and Seating
of the
Provisional Bishop
The Rt. 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
Still accepting reservations till March 14, 2014
Invitation to Sing at Special Convention…
The Choir of St. Paul’s Church in Bakersfield and director, Christopher Borges, would like to invite members of the Diocese to participate with them in singing at the service for the Seating of Bishop David Rice on Saturday, March 29. There will be a rehearsal that Saturday morning at 11am in the Choir Room.
If you are interested in singing with them, please contact Fr. Vern at for an email advance copy of the music.
For Northern Deanery…
This Saturday’s Northern Deanery Meeting will be the last opportunity to insure the discounted $50 around trip rate to the March 29th Special Diocesan Convention in Bakersfield. Remaining reservations after this Saturday will increase to $65. Remember the coach departs Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall Park and Ride on the 29th at 5:30 AM returning to Modesto that evening. On your luxury coach there will be a continental breakfast in the morning, with libations and snacks for the return trip. Reservation agents will be on hand at the Deanery meeting to help with your payment and answer questions, or they can be contacted at (209)-869-1075. See you on the bus!
People News…
The Rev. Keith Brown has been appointed as Interim Priest at St. John’s, Tulare.
The Southern Deanery recently elected new officers. Their new President is Marilyn Metzgar of St. Paul’s, Bakersfield.
The Rev. Heather Muellerof St. Andrew’s, Taft has been elected the new Vice-President.
Richard Hendricks of St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest is the new Secretary.
Thanks to all who completed a term and thanks to the newly elected for being willing to serve.
For Youth EYE…
Episcopal Youth Event 2014
Anyone in high school during 2013/14 year
July 9 – July 13, 2014
University, Philadelphia, PA
The upcoming event marks the twelfth EYE, which remains a popular and well-attended event. EYE14 is geared for youth in grades 9-12 during the 2013-2014 academic year and their adult leaders. The cost for EYE is $325. Included are transportation to/from the Philadelphia airport, your room, meals, event T-shirt, and activities. Transportation to Philadelphia is extra.
3 Days of Urban Mission is offered for all EYE14 participants. It is an event designed to give delegates an opportunity to engage mission in an urban environment. The participation criteria for EYE14 continue to apply throughout 3 Days of Urban Mission.
Participants should expect to engage in hands-on labor, which might include everything from painting and hauling debris to childcare and preparing meals. Participants should bring work clothes, work gloves, and closed-toe shoes.
3 Days of Urban Mission will commence with preparatory training and evening prayer at 8 p.m. on Sunday evening, July 13, and will end of Tuesday, July 15, with an evening worship service.
The cost is $275, which includes three nights of lodging (including pillows and linens), meals on Monday and Tuesday, and a breakfast to-go on Wednesday morning. Delegates will register for 3 Days of Urban Mission online with EYE14 registration
So are YOU ready to go?
Next step is to contact your priest or youth director and let them
Click here for EYE Flyer
Click here for EYE Registration Form
From the Diocesan Office…
Since you have asked….
Bishop David now has an email and it is:
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
Time sensitive material can be emailed to or
faxed to 209-576-0114.
Attention Clergy!
Please get your forms in this week!
All forms sent to you in January via the post office were due to the Diocesan Office by February 27th. The forms are also on our website:
The following forms are past due:
2013 Parochial Report . Congregational Contact Form
2014 Certificate of Lay Delegate Form . Disaster Preparedness Form
Many thanks to
Holy Trinity, St. Raphael, St. James and St. Clare of Assisi
for having all forms completed and turned in!!
IONA: A CELTIC PILGRIMAGE OF RENEWAL, July 12-19, is a weeklong retreat for clergy and lay leaders who are renewing our congregations and restoring our world, held at Bishop’s House on the sacred Hebridean island of Iona in Scotland. Application deadline: March 31. More details click on “Iona Retreat”.
Whats going on…
Want to know what is happening in the Diocese of San Joaquin?
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, 11:00 a.m. March 29, 2014, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
Registration starting at 9:30 a.m.
Chrism Mass, Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11.00 a.m. Church of the Saviour, Hanford
Annual Convention, October 24-25, 2014, St. Paul’s, Modesto
Click on the link below to see upcoming events and meetings around the diocese.
Meetings and Events
From Our Parishes and Missions…
on Saturday March 15th to
from 5:00-7:00 pm at Saint Matthew’s Church in San Andreas
to enjoy a traditional Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner
The donation is $ 7.00 and the money raised goes to
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
414 Oak Street, San Andreas, CA
(followed in the Parish Hall with a Soup Supper)
St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
414 Oak Street,
San Andreas, CA
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 Visitations Calendars…
Bishop Talton’s Calendar
March 29 Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
Bishop Rice’s Calendar
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 29 Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
March 30 St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
Canon Cullinane’s Calendar
March 9 St. Anne’s, Stockton
March 16 Central Deanery Meeting, Holy Family, Fresno
March 29 Special Convention, St. Paul’s, Bakersfield
March 30 St. Andrew’s, Taft
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

St Anne Hosted the Northern Deanery Meeting and Bishop David Rice and his wife Tracy were in attendance. He shared his passion and vision for the future of the San Joaquin Diocese and took questions from those in attendance. He is both inspired and inspiring with his plans to see our congregations reaching out into the community.  He received an enthusiastic welcome and we shared a delicious lunch.