Episcopal Diocese of
This coming Wednesday, February 17, 2010 is Ash Wednesday, and it signals the beginning of Lent. But, before we begin Lent, the church sets before us the story of the Transfiguration from the Gospel of Luke. In the story, Jesus goes to a mountain to pray and takes some of his disciples with him. While on the mountain they see Jesus in all his glory. He manifests the Glory of God, and the Father gives him His blessing as the messiah, His beloved. The church retells this story on this Sunday before Lent to remind us that we are to be transformed by Godís grace, and Godís glory should shine through us and transform the world. We have a clear goal for our Lenten discipline. In the call to keep a Holy Lent (BCP p. 265), we are to renew our repentance and faith. Lent is not about giving something up. Lent is about preparing to meet the Risen Christ, in all his glory, the glory that the apostles saw on the occasion of the transfiguration.
Please join your brothers and sisters in keeping a Holy Lent.
Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find information on two items of interest.
ďBelieve Out LoudĒ (BOL) is a three year program launched by seven denominations (United Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, American Baptist, Disciples of Christ, and Presbyterian) to support our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters. The aim of this program is to transform our attitudes and beliefs in our church regarding the full inclusion of everyone in our pews, in leadership positions in our churches, and in the wider society.
The second item is an announcement that the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has filed suit in the Stanislaus County court for the return of the church property known as St. Francis Church in Turlock, California. The suit was filed against St. Francis Anglican Church, Inc. and is not a suit against any individuals. This suit comes after two years of attempts to recover property that belongs to the Episcopal Church according to the California Supreme Court ruling handed down in January 2009.
From the Diocesan officeÖ
Press Release posted on the Diocesan Web site: As Bishop Lamb mentioned in his reflection, the Diocese of San Joaquin is beginning the process of reclaiming Episcopal church property directly from parishes. A copy of the press release regarding this action has been posted on the Diocesan Web site. http://www.diosanjoaquin.org/dfc/newsdetail_2/197 . The pdf of the press release is
Messages regarding the earthquake in Haiti:
Episcopal life Online continues to be a good source of information about the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and the response to the earthquake by Episcopal Relief and Development. It can be read at www.episcopalchurch.org/episcopal_life.htm.
Updates on HaitiÖCheck the Haiti page of The Episcopal Church for news, updates, resources, videos and important information: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/haiti.php
To donate to the Haiti Fund, visit www.er-d.org or call 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129.
Gifts can be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, P. O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058. Please put "Haiti Fund" in the memo line of all checks.
We would like to hear more stories about how the people in your church have responded and are reaching out to the people of Haiti. Send the information to email@example.com.
A note to treasurers from Bill Latham, Diocesan Treasurer: Thanks to all for the great participation in the recently completed Wardens/Treasurers training conferences. The turnout was spectacular, but more important was the obvious interest and dedication inherit in one of our most challenging, but often unrewarding, responsibilitiesóhanding the Churchís business. Please let me know what you would like to add in the future that we failed to cover this time. As with the new Treasurers Manual, this is a work in progress.
As the Diocesan Council reviews the budget process for this year, a valuable tool would be a copy of the parish and missions budgets. To help in our planning we request that each parish and mission forward a copy of your 2010 budget to the Diocesan office at 1518 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355, or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please understand that this is not a test or an evaluation. There are no right or wrong ways to do a budget. Any format is acceptable. We just need to make sure we use our best tools as we plan for the future. This will also give us another way to assess the state of the Diocese. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Juanita Weber at (209) 576-0104, email@example.com or me at (209) 571-3467. Your support as we continue on this important journey is most appreciated.
Clergy Conference February 26-27: The clergy conference will begin at the Irwin Street Inn in Hanford with social time starting about 5:00 p.m. Friday Evening, we will have dinner hosted by Fresh Start at 6:00 p.m. We will have a two hour session on Friday evening. After the session we will have compline followed by social time. The next morning will be breakfast, followed by a four hour session until noon, when we will have lunch, then a two hour wrap up in the afternoon. The entire weekend is sponsored by Fresh Start. We will have Lynn Schmissrauter from the Fresh Start Faculty leading session, and Rick Cluett will also be with us. This is a great opportunity to gain an understanding of Fresh Start, and learn techniques to use these ministry transition tools in your congregation. We will also have with us the trained lay Fresh Start coordinators. Please call the office to RSVP. There are limited rooms available at the Irwin Street Inn, and we may have to house some at a near by hotel.
Diocesan Altar Guild will hold a board meeting on Saturday, March 13, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to noon at Holy Family, 1135 E. Alluvial Ave., Fresno, CA, (559) 439-5011. Coffee will be served, and we will gather at a restaurant for lunch afterward. Please RSVP to Susan Ohanneson, (661) 391-8735 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introducing the Diocesan Center for Spiritual Leadership: This announcement and Invitation from Bishop Mary to the Diocese of El Camino Real was recently shared with us in the Diocese of San Joaquin. Our neighboring diocese has graciously extended the invitation to us.
You are the center of spiritual leadership for another human being at any given point in your Christian life. Are you ready?
There has been a growing need in The Diocese of El Camino Real for lay leadership development. Cursillo, as well as other training programs, have over the years, provided wonderful and effective contexts for formation of Christians in The Episcopal Church. Such communities have provided fellowship, leadership, and spirituality: people have been built up in the faith and The Episcopal Church has been gifted with many long-serving leaders that are the wealth of our church. Garnering support from the Cursillo community now as well as other diocesan leaders, we believe it is time in El Camino Real to offer an additional diocesan vehicle and community for the development of lay leadership in the Christian faith.
Since 2007 the diocesan staff has been in prayer about such a community. During this time of discernment Bill Dolby, a lay leader at St. Timothyís, Mountain View and a Silicon Valley executive, approached me in order to offer a vehicle by which a community for Christian spiritual leadership could emerge. Over the past year, Canons Brian and Jesus have met with Bill, adding other diocesan leaders, Rick Matters (Rector of All Saintsí Carmel), Jerry Witherspoon and Greg Troxell (parishioners at St. Judeís), Caro Hall (Priest-in-Charge of St. Benedicts, Los Osos) and Peggy Bryan (Deacon of Calvary, Santa Cruz) into the mix of discerning and planning the format and the content of such a program. Our hope is that we will accomplish, with the grace of God, a number of goals through the Diocesan Center for Spiritual Leadership:
Every session will have four components:
We are a diverse diocese in culture, economy and faith expression. We also feel very strongly about getting along graciously and living as one body. While it may seem that this is a recipe for conflict, in fact, it is our greatest strength. In Christ, it is possible to be extremely diverse and still be one. This is the essence of Christian unity. We see this in the diversity of the human and the divine natures of the one Jesus Christ. We see this in the writings of Paul as he coached divided communities on how to be united. We see this in our own lives as we seek to be the body of Christ in an individualistic culture increasingly polarizing into self-selected groups of sameness and safety. Indeed, we know our unity and our sense of safety are found in God alone.
To that end, we seek to create a Center for learning and formation that inspires and mobilizes leaders. Respecting the diversity of expressions of Christian faith, encouraging tolerance and personal responsibility, and responding to Godís work within self and community will be at the heart of the Centerís vision.
Clergy and lay leaders, we pray you will consider how the Diocesan Center for Spiritual Leadership might support your congregationís ministry. We ask that you select and send to the program: 1) At least two members from your congregation, and 2) Clergy and Vestries/Bishopís Committees are invited to attend, too.
We will begin the curriculum this year on February 20th at St. Paulís in Salinas Ė 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All sessions will be held quarterly on Saturdays. While we encourage you and your team to attend all sessions, the curriculum will be presented in self contained units so that anyone can begin at any session. We are aware that this context for ministry formation will build over time, and it is our hope that this program will be ongoing for many years to come. Cost per session will be $20 which includes refreshments, lunch, and all handout material. Dates for the 2010 are as follows: February 20, May 8, August 14, and October 23 Ėat St. Paulís from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
As always, this comes with my love and respect for you and your ministry, and of course, great honor in serving as your bishop.
Bishop, El Camino Real
Annual Convention Delegate Certification: The form for certification of lay delegates to the 2010 Annual Convention to be held in October is posted on the Web site www.diosanjoaquin.org. Congregations elect delegates and alternate at annual meetings held between November 1 and January 21. The completed form is due to the diocesan office by July 1, 2010.
Parochial Reports for 2009: Although not due until March 1, churches can start on the Parochial Report. You should have received a mailing from the Church Center with access and instructions for posting the report online. When the report is completed and signed, please send a copy to the diocesan office. If you have questions or need help in completing and submitting the report call Juanita in diocesan office. 209-576-0104, email@example.com.
Check the 2010 Calendar: A monthly and yearly calendar is posted on the diocesan Web site. www.diosanjoaquin.org Commission and committee members are encouraged to plan their meetings ahead and get them on the calendar. Congregations are encouraged to check the calendar when they plan events so conflicts with diocesan events can be avoided. They also can notify the diocesan office of parish events that will be of interest to others in the diocese so all events can be coordinated.
Believe Out Loud: Believing that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons should be welcomed in the Episcopal Church isn't enough. We need to Believe Out Loud. Believe Out Loud, a 3-year, multi-denominational effort to promote LGBT equality, will go public on Valentine's Day 2010. The goal of this effort is to transform attitudes and beliefs among mainline Christian clergy and lay leaders regarding full LGBT inclusion as a means of promoting justice for LGBT individuals in the broader society. It is here -- among congregations who are committed to the welcome and affirmation of LGBT people and their families -- that this new movement will gather its strength.
Since 1974, Integrity has been the voice of inclusion with the Episcopal Church. Integrity's leadership teams, both nationally and locally in San Joaquin, are excited to see this new campaign calling for people of faith to make their private beliefs and care for LGBT people and their families known publicly, in addition to expanding the dialogue among those who, for whatever reason, are struggling with this issue in their lives.
The program includes a detailed set of self-reflective steps to assure that congregations really are inclusive of LGBT people. We know that many congregations are already "there" and others may think they are, but have never been challenged to examine what it actually means. The materials in the Believe Out Loud program will be a great resource to all congregations who wish to be introspective regarding their commitment as inclusive.
If your congregation is interested in the Believe Out Loud effort and would like more information and materials, please contact Integrity-San Joaquin co-conveners, Jan Dunlap (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Cindy Smith (email@example.com).
Sponsor Episcopal Life San Joaquin: In addition to subscriptions, additional sponsorships of $200 for each issue will be required to fund the publication and mailing. This practice is continued from this past year. Holy Family, Fresno, St. Matthewís, San Andreas, St. Johnís, Lodi, and Remain Episcopal, have all signed up to sponsor an issue in 2010. Please contact Doris Hall firstname.lastname@example.org if you, a group in the church, or the whole congregation will sponsor an issue of Episcopal Life in 2010.
Materials for Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday: At the 2009 General Convention, Lent was officially designated as a time to encourage diocese, congregations and individuals to remember and support the life-saving work of Episcopal Relief & Development. All Episcopalians are invited to join together on the first Sunday of Lent, February 21 to pray for those in need and to consider a special offering in support of our mission to assist people living in poverty worldwide. Resources such as sermon notes, special prayers and bulletin inserts are available at www.er-d.org/Lent/.
News and Notes from Congregations...
This is a section of the Friday Reflection to post reports and 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 email@example.com.
The Episcopal Church of St. Anne in Stockton presents PUB NIGHT, Friday and Saturday nights, February 12 and 13, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. For family fun, authentic English pub foods, entertainment, games, raffles and of course St. Anneís Ale brewed by the Brewerís Guild to taste, get your tickets at St. Anneís, 1020 Lincoln Road, Stockton CA, 95307. $30 includes admission, meal, souvenir glass, all beverages and dessert. For more information call 209-473-2313.
St. Johnís, Lodi will hold a celebration for Father Harold Clinehensí 30th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood on Sunday, February 28 after the 10:30 am service (around noon). There will be a reception/celebration after the liturgy.
St. Johnís, Lodi has their annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Tuesday, February 16 from 5:00 pm Ė 7:30 pm. The youth will be cooking up all the trimmings for a delicious pancake supper. All proceeds will benefit St Johnís youth mission trip to the Wiyot Indian reservation in July. Tickets $7 each.
Ash Wednesday Liturgies at St. Johnís Episcopal Church, Lodi, Wednesday, February 17. Imposition of Ashes and Holy Eucharist: 7:00 am and Noon in the Chapel and 7:00 pm in the church with music.
The Arts at St.Johnís, Lodi presents Debra Cowan and Brooks Williams Saturday, February 27 at 7:00 pm. Debra performs a blend of traditional and contemporary folksongs with bluesy acoustic guitarist, Brooks. Tickets on sale now. www.artsatsaintjohns.com or call 369-3381.
St. Johnís, Lodi Episcopal Churchís Lenten Study series will feature a study of the trials of Jesus in the wilderness. Why is Lent 40 days? Partly because thatís how long Jesus fasted in the desert! Anne Smith will lead a study of Jesusí encounter with temptation. Together we will explore how Jesusí example speaks to our lives today. Classes will convene three Wednesday evenings: February 24, March 3, and March 10. Program begins at 6:30pm ending promptly by 7:30 p.m. For more details call 369-3381. All are welcome.
Grace Episcopal Church in Bakersfield will be hosting our annual Shrove Tuesday pancake supper on February 16th, 5:00-8:00 p.m. Please join us for the great food and the annual pancake races!
Grace, Bakersfield now has an Interfaith Group with members of Temple Beth El and the Unitarian-Universalist Church. We held our second meeting on Monday. Here are some upcoming events:
∑ Soup Supper, Wednesday, February 24, 6-8. Grace has invited the Interfaith Group to join us at our first Lenten soup supper.
∑ Interfaith Meeting: Monday, March 15, 6-7, in the Chapel of First Congregational Church.
∑ Unitarian-Universalist Potluck, "Food for the Spirit," Tuesday, April 6. 6:30-8:30. Prof. Liora Gubkin Malicdem from the Religious Studies Department at CSUB will facilitate a discussion on "Passover: Its Universal Moral & Ethical Dimensions."
The Episcopal Church of the Saviour, Hanford,
invites you to the second of its Centennial Lectures on
Sunday, 21 September at 4pm.
The Feminine in the Arts and Crafts Movement:
This illustrated lecture will consider the 1882 chapel at Hanford's Church of the Saviour in light of the English influence on the Arts and Crafts movement. The talk will also include the critical role which women played, both in this church and in the Arts and Crafts movement in general.
The speaker, Karana Hattersley-Drayton, is the City of Fresno's Historic Preservation Officer. Ms. Drayton has an M.A. from U.C. Berkeley and has completed three years of coursework toward a Ph.D. in architectural history.
While this is a free event and collection will be taken to benefit our Church Preservation Fund. There is not need for tickets or reservations, simply come along. If you have any questions, please call the church office on (559) 584-7706
Bishop Lamb's Calendar
February 13 St. Markís, Tracy
February 13 Grace, Bakersfield (evening)
February 14 St. Paulís, Visalia
February 14 Governance Committee (Diocesan Futures Group) Holy Family 3:00 p.m.
February 20 Joint Standing Committee/Diocesan Council
February 21, St. Francis, Turlock
February 22 to
March 26 Las Cruces, New Mexico
Canon Hallís Calendar
February 14 St. Anneís, Stockton
February 14 Governance Committee (Diocesan Futures Group) Holy Family 3:00 p.m.
February 19, 20 Vestry Retreat, Church of the Saviour, Hanford
February 21 Holy Family, Discernment Committee and Vestry
February 28 30th Anniversary of Ordination of Fr. Clinehens, St. Johnís, Lodi
February 26-27 Clergy Conference, Fresh Start training, Hanford
March 7 Church of the Saviour, Hanford
March 14 St. Nicholas, Atwater/Merced
March 21 St. Clare of Assisi, Avery
March 28 St. Johnís, Tulare
April 4 St. John the Baptist, Lodi
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