Friday Reflection 05/08/09
On May 5, 2009, the Superior Court in Fresno heard oral arguments on our lawsuit seeking to recover assets still held by parties of the so called ”Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.” The judge had earlier issued “tentative rulings” that clearly favored the Episcopal Church and the Diocese. Most notably the Court tentatively found that I am in fact the Bishop of the Diocese, and as such, I am the incumbent of the Corporation Sole, which holds title to the real property and other assets of the Diocese and a majority of the parishes and missions of the Diocese. At the end of the oral arguments on May 5, 2009, the judge took the matter under submission and will issue a final ruling in the near future. Our Chancellor, Michael Glass, reported:
The Diocese’s motion for summary adjudication on the first cause of action for declaratory relief seeking judgment establishing Bishop Lamb as the incumbent of the Corp. Sole was argued today in Court along with the Diocese’s demurrer to the cross-complaint. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court took the matter under submission and will issue a final ruling in the near future, but not longer than 90 days. While I remain cautiously optimistic given the tentative rulings, no further comment can be made until we receive the final ruling of the Court.
We do not know when the final ruling will be handed down, but we need to be aware that this will not end the legal process for this diocese. I am, of course, very pleased with this tentative ruling, but I know there are more steps that we must take in order to recover our properties and assets.
There will be an end to all this, but it will not be this week or next, or the week after. We cannot expect an early end to this process, but we can hope for and work for a speedy conclusion.
In all this, we must remember our brothers and sisters who attempted to leave the Episcopal Church. We are rightly pleased with recent court decisions, but others will find them devastating. We should be reaching out to our friends and acquaintances who are suffering. Many members of the Episcopal fellowships remember vividly what it is like to lose your church. We cannot allow others to undergo that feeling of rejection or violation.
Once again, I direct your attention to the prayer attributed to St. Francis in the Prayer Book (BCP p. 833). I urge all clergy to use this prayer as an additional post communion prayer at all services.
From the Diocesan office…
Save the dates for upcoming ordinations: Plan to attend the ordination of Deacon Vern Hill to the priesthood at Grace Church in Bakersfield, May 30 at 7:00 p.m. Deacon Suzy Ward will be ordained to the priesthood on June 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the Church of the Saviour in Hanford.
Youth camping experience for Diocese of San Joauqin:
Where: Brannan Island State Park on the Sacramento River near Rio Vista
When: August 10-14
Who: Youth Junior and Senior High. Adults too!
What: We have a group camping area that can handle 30 total, we can
also get additional space as necessary. We will have at least two
boats for use, one speed boat for water skiing, one sail boat. We
would like at least ten adults.
Cost: $50 per participant.
Attention clergy spouses—a message from Jane Lamb: I am working with the National Church in forming our very own e-mail network. We are the only ones who will be part of it and it is a way to communicate with one another. There will be some common sense rules attached, and no other people will be part of it or be privy to it. Please send your e-mail address to me, email@example.com. I've tried to get email addresses when we've been together but I don't have every address. This will be a wonderful way to keep in touch, ask for prayers and share our lives with one another. Thank you in advance for your e-mail address,
Online training for Safeguarding God’s Children and Youth: Online training for Safeguarding God’s Children and Youth is here!. Church and diocesan leaders, church school teachers, parents, and any adults working with youth can access the training modules at their own computers. Program administrators are assigned to enroll participants in each congregation. Elected and appointed diocesan committee and commission members have already been enrolled. Church leaders need to take the training to be aware of the policies and issues of keeping kids safe. Please contact your site administrator to enroll. If you have questions call Juanita Weber at 209-952-0006 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Souls—Linda Huggard
Christ the King—Nancy Silva
Church of the Savior—Carol Dyer
Holy Trinity—Paul Colbert
St. Andrew’s—Linda Huggard
St. Anne’s—Juanita Weber
St. Clare’s—Barbara Conrad
St. Francis—Nedra Voorhees
St. John’s Lodi—Andee Zetterbaum
St. John’s Tulare—Rob Eaton
St. Mark’s—Mary Vaughn
St. Mary’s in the Mountains—Stan Coppel
St. Matthew’s—John Shumaker
St. Nicholas—Juanita Weber
St. Raphael’s—Paul Colbert
St. Sherrian’s—Bob Woods
Diocesan Altar Guild: A Diocesan Altar Guild meeting is scheduled for Saturday Saturday, May 16th, 2009 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, at Holy Family in Fresno. All altar guild members are encouraged to attend. The meeting will begin with Eucharist followed by the meeting where we will be placing our committee board and officers, discussing bylaws, and making other important decisions. The Episcopal Church Women of Holy Family will provide coffee and pastries for a continental breakfast. Susan Ohanneson, diocesan altar guild director especially wants to hear from those who might be interested in being the deanery representative to the Diocesan Altar Guild. Her e-mail address is email@example.com, or you can reach her by telephone at 661-391-8735.
Celebrating the Delta: The San Joaquin river defines the geographical nature of our diocese, and extends to the unique environment we call the California Delta. Three Episcopal dioceses are part of this complex region. The Dioceses of California, Northern California, and San Joaquin meet in this area, a source of concern, perhaps, but not, so often, a place to be celebrated. The Celebrating Creation Network of the Diocese of Northern California invites you to a Delta Day of conversation and exploration. On Saturday, May 16, we will gather at 10:00 a.m. at Brannan Island State Park on Highway 160 to hear a presentation from Sue Schaber and Amy Rhodes of Discover the Delta. We will talk together about this area critical to all of California’s environmental health and water supply, share lunch, swap stories and concerns about what our congregations are doing in environmental ministry, and participate in additional Delta environmentally friendly activities. Please car pool, saving on green house gases as well as money. The per auto day use fee is $6.00 per vehicle. Bring a sandwich and a refillable water bottle. Don’t forget sun protection, but leave dogs and alcoholic beverages at home. They are not permitted in the park. Please RSVP to Deacon Phina Borgeson firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions? Write to Deacon Susan Reeve email@example.com.
The Episcopal Church REALLY wants you! Volunteers are needed at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church July 8-17, 2009 at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is your opportunity to participate in this once-every-three-years event. If you have questions about volunteering at convention, talk to Evelyn Keddie, who has volunteered at several conventions, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also find information on the General Convention Web site and register as a volunteer online, http://www.gc2009.org/volunteers.
Save the date, Total MinistryTraining: Join us on Saturday, May 30 at Grace, Bakersfield for a day of information and preparatory exploration of Total Ministry, as we kickoff the Diocese of San Joaquin’s new journey of discovery, discernment, education and commissioning. When parishes become communities where all the members have the opportunity to use their gifts and to serve God and their neighbor in fulfilling ways, they are doing Total Ministry. The philosophy of Total Ministry is nothing new and is taken straight from the New Testament and the church’s teaching about baptism. The whole membership...the whole range of ministry...the wholeness of the church, fulfilling our baptismal covenant.
Deacon Phina Borgeson, with over thirty years of experience in congregational ministry development in the dioceses of Nevada, Los Angeles and Northern California, will facilitate the day’s activities. She will be assisted by the Rev. Linda Huggard, Kern County Missioner, who was trained in TM while serving in the Diocese of Northern California. The morning session will focus on gifts as the organizing principle in Total Ministry, with the afternoon focused on an introduction to the history and methods of Total Ministry development. Join us for the entire day or either session. Look for registration information and additional details in the coming weeks. We welcome and encourage all attending the workshop to join us in celebrating the ordination of the Rev. Vern Hill to the priesthood at 7:00 p.m.
Benedictine Experience at Bishop’s Ranch, Healdsberg: The Rev. Basil Matthews will be the director of the twenty-fourth Benedictine Experience at Bishop’s Ranch in the Diocese of California. To be held next summer, July 5-12, 2009, the Benedictine experience is a time spent in community designed for those—young and old, active and retired, laity and clergy—who wish to nurture and strengthen their daily lives through prayer and spiritual companionship. Modeled after that balanced way of life set out by St. Benedict in his Rule, giving due attention to body, mind, and spirit, the experience provides a framework for growth in personal faith and support for bearing witness to Christ at home, work, and church. For more information you may contact Fr. Basil at email@example.com.
Another opportunity for Anti-Racism Training: Because racism has existed for centuries, many of us are unaware how the history of racism affects how we all think, live and behave even today. In order to become more aware of our actions—personally, interpersonally and institutionally—and move toward a church without racism that openly welcomes all races. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church named racism a sin and has mandated anti-racism training for all church leaders, both ordained and lay. For more information, contact Diane Lovelace at DiLovelace@aol.com or 408/263-8945.
Wednesday-Thursday, June 3-4, 2009 Anti-Racism Training: 9am–5 pm
Location: St. Edward’s Episcopal Church, 15040 Union Ave., San Jose, CA 95124
COST: $60 (early bird special $50 by May 15, 2009)
Friday-Saturday, June 5-6, 2009 Anti-Racism Training for Trainers: 9am–5 pm
Location: St. Edward’s Episcopal Church, 15040 Union Ave., San Jose, CA 95124
Prayer Request: Please keep Fr. Fred Risard in your prayers. He is facing surgery during the first week in June.
News and Notes from Congregations...
This is a section of the Friday Reflection to post information about special events at your church, especially if the event will be of interest to others in the diocese. Send the information to Juanita at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lodi has an immediate part-time opening for a Nursery Care Provider. Must be able to work Sunday mornings, some evenings thru out the year, enjoy children, dependable and at least 18 yrs of age. Send resumes to email@example.com or call 369-3381 for more information.
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