Episcopal Diocese of

San Joaquin

Friday Reflection

2/19/2010

Dear Friends,

When we gather with our congregations this First Sunday of Lent, we will hear the story of Jesus tempted by the devil after his forty days in the wilderness. A core belief of our Christian faith is that Jesus was truly, fully, human along with being God’s only Son. Since Jesus was truly human he was tempted as we are all tempted to put ourselves first and ignore other people and our relationship to God. During the middle ages this theme of the temptations of Jesus was a favorite for the artists of the day. There are graphic paintings of Jesus and the devil on the highest pinnacle of the temple. But, Jesus would not give in to the temptations and defeated the devil by turning constantly to scriptures and their references to God and God’s Law for his people.

I believe that the church lays out this event so that we will remember that in the midst of temptation, God is with us and we can overcome evil by God’s grace.

Correction: In last week’s reflection, I said that the recent suit filed by this diocese did not include individuals, but only the parish corporation. Chancellor Michael Glass has corrected my misstatement. The suit is also suing the individuals that are hold themselves out to be the clergy and vestry controlling the property.

In peace,

+Jerry

From the Diocesan office…

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.

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.

The Vestry of St. John's, Tulare, has issued a letter requesting support of the international relief effort from parishioners, making it clear that money is the first salvo. Fr. Eaton shared his conversation in the letter with Bp Ambrose Gumbs of the Virgin Islands, in which he asked advice from an Islander perspective. The bishop said they are making weekly appeals in all the congregations for money first, and then at the same time are receiving such items as blankets and clothing which are being stockpiled. In another month they will then load up as many ocean transport containers as they have supplies for, and send them along. We will be taking the same measures. The Vestry also identified three worthy agencies to be able to have suggestions for those who ask: ERD, Food for the Poor, and Partners in Health, all of which have some Episcopalian connection. The first appeal, made on a Sunday morning after the earthquake, totaled over $1000. This has been sent on to ERD.

The second appeal, including encouraging the process of beginning to set aside blankets and clothing, was made on Sunday (the Last Sunday after the Epiphany), which has also been of late known as World Mission Sunday.

St. Anne’s, Stockton’s Sunday school and Tweens group hosted a coffee hour and sold valentine cards and little valentine bags of candy. All the proceeds went to the Haiti relief fund. It was about $250.

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 jweber@diosanjoaquin.org.

Fr. Connor Lynn shares this letter with us:

Dear Connor,

The new year has certainly brought with it challenges for the Sisters of St. Margaret.

The earthquake in Haiti on January 12 destroyed most of the buildings that the Sisters have ever lived, worshipped or worked in - Couvent Ste. Marguerite (the Convent itself), Cathedrale Ste. Trinite (Holy Trinity Cathedral), Ecole Ste. Trinite (including the Elementary School, the Trade School, and the Music School), the Foyer Notre

Dame (our home for the indigent elderly), Universite Episcopale d'Haiti (The Episcopal

University of Haiti), St. Vincent's School for Handicapped Children (founded by

Sr. Joan in 1949), and Seminaire de Theologie Eglise Episcopale D'Haiti (the Episcopal Theological Seminary).

According to the Diocese of Haiti, "millions of people are now homeless. College

St-Pierre, one of the best high school in Port-au-Prince, was unfortunately completely destroyed. The soccer field, however, is being used as an emergency shelter for approximately 3,000 displaced people coming from all over the capital without any consideration given to religion, creed and social class." We have been deeply touched by the outpouring of prayer and concern for the Sisters'welfare. Many have donated funds and many people have also written touching notes which we are saving for the Sisters in Haiti once they are in a position to read them. A special account has been set up at the Boston Convent for the Sisters in Haiti. The funds received will be used to restore and re-establish the mission of the Society of St. Margaret in Haiti. Initially, some of these donations may provide respite care for the Sisters once they are able to move to more beneficial living quarters. Sr. Marjorie Raphael has arrived at the Boston Convent after an arduous journey from Haiti. We are thankful for her safe return after such an ordeal. The morning following her arrival in Boston she had an appointment with her physician and was given a good report. Sr. Marie Margaret and Sr. Marie Therese remain in Port-au-Prince.

Among our contacts within the Episcopal Church we hear talk of rebuilding. But it is far too soon to be able to say in any detail what the plans might be. What we can say is that the ministry that has been is continuing and will continue. We pray for a stronger and renewed presence of the Society of St. Margaret in Haiti in the coming months and years. We are reminded of our mortality on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, by having an ashen cross traced on our foreheads. The people of Haiti have had more of a reminder of their mortality than anything that we could EVER imagine! This year, you might consider a real dedication and discipline regarding one of the cornerstones of Lenten practice - almsgiving. Almsgiving can become a much more meaningful experience when you know where the money you are giving will go, when you know the people it is given to personally, and when you know that eventually you will be able to see the difference that money makes in Haiti. Let us not forget their plight as time marches on and as the news agencies move on to the next big news story.

May God be with you to strengthen and guide you this Lent.

The Sisters of St. Margaret

A note to treasurers from Bill Latham, Diocesan Treasurer: 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 please forward a copy of your 2010 budget to the Diocesan office at 1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto, CA 95355, or to wjlatham@sbcglobal.net. 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, jweber@diosanjoaquin.org or me at (209) 571-3467. Your support as we continue on this important journey is most appreciated.

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 sko355@aol.com.

CPC SUNDAY (Church Periodical Club) May 2, 2010: This message is from Priscilla Magar: Thank You for posting this date nown as preparations for celebrating this Annual CPC event need to be started early by all parishes and missions in the Diocese. For any and all CPC Information or assistance, I am available as: San Joaquin CPC Diocesan Director as well as Province VIII CPC Representative.

            Priscilla Magar 661- 763-3081 pjcats@bak.rr.com

813 Pierce St,

Taft, CA. 93268

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, jweber@diosanjoaquin.org.

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.

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. Matthew’s, San Andreas, St. John’s, Lodi, and Remain Episcopal, have all signed up to sponsor an issue in 2010. Please contact Doris Hall ddhhaall@aol.com 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/.

Resource Center in Sunnyvale: The Resource center is available to the Diocese of San Joaquin as well as the bay area dioceses. The next Open House at the Resource Center will be Thursday, March 11, 11:00 – 3:00 with emphasis on new Vacation Bible School items and confirmation. A light lunch is always served. Join other teachers and program coordinators for refreshments and conversation.

Carol Campbell

Episcopal Resource Center

Diocese of El Camino Real

Diocese of California

231 S. Sunset Avenue

Sunnyvale CA 94086

408-736-4155

ResourceCenterECR@sbcglobal.net

Online Catalog: http://66.80.1.30/

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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 jweber@diosanjoaquin.org.

St. John’s, Lodi will hold a celebration for Father Harold Clinehens’ 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.

The Arts at St.John’s, 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. John’s, Lodi Episcopal Church’s Lenten Study series will feature a study of the trials of Jesus in the wilderness. Why is Lent 40 days? Partly because that’s how long Jesus fasted in the desert! Anne Smith will lead a study of Jesus’ encounter with temptation. Together we will explore how Jesus’ 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.

Interfaith at Grace!

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."

Everyone’s welcome to everything!

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