Episcopal Diocese of

San Joaquin

Friday Reflection



Dear Friends,


This Friday Reflection contains the Authorization for the Blessing of Sacred Union which becomes effective on June 12, 2016.  I commend this to the Diocese of san Joaquin.




Since its reorganization in March 2008, the Diocese of San Joaquin has made incredible progress in recognizing a basic truth expressed in 1976 in Resolution A069 of the 65th General Convention, which stated in part, “That it is the sense of this General Convention that homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church.”

Since that time the Church has continued to examine what that full and equal claim means. In 2009, the 76th General Convention passed Resolution C056, which directed the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to “collect and develop theological and liturgical resources” as they relate to the blessing of same gender relationships. That task is in progress and the results are to be reported to the 77th General Convention in 2012. In the interim, Resolution C056 stated that, “bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church.” With respect to the nature of the relationships being considered, they are described in Resolution D025, a related resolution as, “lifelong committed relationships ‘characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God’ (2000-D039).”


In 2009, at its Annual Convention, the Diocese of San Joaquin adopted a resolution supporting C056. Further, following the Annual Convention in 2010, the Commission on Equality, along with Bishop Lamb, hosted a forum on the issue of blessing same sex unions. The forum was well attended and the sense of the forum was that the Diocese is ready to take the next step in full inclusion and support the blessing of these unions.


California currently finds itself in an odd position regarding same sex marriage and unions in that for a short time in 2008, same sex marriages were lawful. The passage of Proposition 8 in November 2008 added a provision to the California Constitution which limited marriages to the union of a man and a woman. This was swiftly challenged. The California Supreme Court, in the case Strauss v. Horton, ruled that Proposition 8 was valid, but would not apply to those same sex couples who were lawfully married prior to the November 2008 general election. This constitutes approximately 18,000 couples whose marriages are legally recognized despite Proposition 8.


California also permits the formation of Domestic Partnerships under state law for same sex couples as well as opposite sex couples if one or both of the persons is 62 years of age or older. These Domestic Partnerships confer upon the couple all of the rights and responsibilities which pertain to marriage under California law.[1]


We must also recognized that there are same sex couples in relationships which reflect the characteristics set forth above who have not entered in Domestic Partnerships, perceiving them to be inferior to marriage, and who, for various reasons, did not or could not marry during the brief time when same sex marriages were legal. 


Couples in such relationships are part of the Diocese of San Joaquin. They are in our congregations and in positions of leadership at the Diocesan level. They are our friends, neighbors, and brothers and sisters in Christ. It is now time, to the extent permitted by California law and the Canons of The Episcopal Church, to extend to these couples the “generous pastoral response” necessary to meet their needs as members of this Church.


Effective immediately, clergy in the Diocese of San Joaquin may, at their discretion and in accordance with the conscience of each priest, perform blessings of same sex civil marriages, domestic partnerships, and relationships which are lifelong committed relationships characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God. Said relationships shall be called Holy Unions for purposes of blessing these relationships and purposes of recognition of said relationships. For those same sex couples who are legally married, the blessing performed may be termed the Blessing of a Civil Marriage.


It must also be recognized that the Canons of the Church currently limit marriages to opposite sex couples[2], as does California law. Accordingly, until such time as both the Canons and state law permit the solemnization of the marriage of a same sex couple, and specific authorization of the bishop is given, no priest of this Diocese shall attempt to solemnize a marriage between two persons of the same sex.


Specific policies, as well as liturgies authorized for use within the Diocese, will be published separately. Clergy are encouraged to engage in open discussion of this matter, as well as the policies and liturgies, with members of their congregations, particularly those who are members of Vestries or Bishop’s Committees.


[1] Neither Domestic Partnerships nor same sex marriage is currently recognized under federal law. Currently, both Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act are being litigated in federal courts and, as a result, same sex marriage may be restored in California and same sex marriages and unions may be recognized by the federal government in the near future.

2 Title I, Canon 18, Section 2(b).



May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters,







From the Diocesan office…


About the Women’s Retreat: Registration and refunds for the Women’s retreat are closed. Everyone’s plans should be confirmed by now. Those who registered for the February date and those who have joined the retreat for May 6-8 are looking forward to a great time at ECCO with Barbara Crafton, the retreat leader.


Introducing RiteFormation: Morehouse Eduction Resources, a division of the Church Publishing Company is offering a free, no-risk, complete 30-day trial of its online Christian education resources.  Part of the riteseries, right formation is a library of class-tested curriculum from well-known curriculum publishers and programs. It includes thousands of theologically sound activities: crafts, dramas, games, discussion guides, movement, and much more for children, youth, and adults. You may try the complete content of riteformation by signing up at www.riteseries.org/formation for a no-risk 30-day trial.


Safeguarding Workshop: If you would rather have a face-to-face training than take the online course, it is available in the Diocese of Northern California. When: Saturday, June 4, 8:30am - 3:30pm Where:  St. George's, Carmichael. Come to the Safeguarding God's People and Safeguarding God's Children Workshop, presented by Monica Romano, Youth and Young Adult Ministries Coordinator in the Office of the Bishop Bisner. The workshop covers prevention and response to sexual exploitation, harassment and child abuse in communities of faith. Together participants will explore and consider issues surrounding Safe Church practices by watching a series of video presentations and engaging in group discussion. For information or to reserve your place, contact Barbara Girard at St. George's Church: (916) 487-5600, or barbara@sgec.us.  


Mark your Calendars for the Lay Ministry Conference

Labor Day Weekend. Septtember 2, 3, & 4: The Diocese of San Joaquin will gather at ECCO in Oakhurst to celebrate Lay Ministry at a weekend conference.  Plan to attend and share in the fun.  Enjoy the beautiful autumn weather in the majestic Sierra Mountains.  Musicians, Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Guild, Artists and other lay ministers will have the opportunity to learn new skills in small group workshops and share their expertise with others.  If you have an interest in leading or attending a particular workshop, please contact the Diocesan office, 209-576-0104 or emeyer@diosanjoaquin.org. 


Bishop Chet is on Facebook: Join the conversation on Bishop Chet Talton’s Facebook page.  Follow this link to “Chet Talton.”


Northern Deanery Meeting:The Northern Deanery will meet Saturday, May 14 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the Parish Hall. There will be a wedding in the church on that date, so those attending this meeting are asked to park in the back by the Parish Hall, or in the adjacent parking space behind St. Paul’s.


There are plans to discuss the possibility of coordinated missionary efforts within the Northern Deanery, and possible coordinated youth activities and events.  Bishop Chet Talton will be with us for our meeting.  All members of parishes and missions in the Northern Deanery have seat and voice at deanery meetings.  Please plan to be with us and share your ideas and inspiration. 


Southern Deanery Meeting: A Southern Deanery meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at All Soul’s episcipal Church, Historical Society Building, 230 W. Ridgecrest Boulevard in Ridgecrest.  For more information contact Southern Deanery president, Susan Read at 760-793-0314.


Conference planning team for NEHM sends invitation to San Joaquin:

To Diocese of San Joaquin,

This is being forwarded to you from the Conference Planning team for National Episcopal Health Ministries.  Could you please get the "good news" out about our conference to your Diocese of San Joaquin.  Also please forward info to anyone you feel might have an interest in healing & health ministries (Parish Nursing).

Lenten Blessings,

Susan Walstrom


Join Us at NEHM's Annual Conference!

May 19-21, 2011

Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA

We are blessed to have as our keynote speaker Sara Miles, Journalist, Author of Take This Bread, and Director of St. Gregory's Food Pantry.


For more information about the conference, please see our Featured Event page here.  

Your all-inclusive entry fee includes lodging, meals, spiritual renewal, fellowship, joy, and wonderful learning opportunities. We look forward to seeing you there! 

  • See our full conference brochure for more information, including workshop listing.
  • Daytimer rates are available for those who do not need lodging.  
  • Sign up soon! Early registration discount is over April 15!


SIGN UP NOW!  Seeing the Face of God in Each Other

(anti-racism & intercultural appreciation training)      The Diocese of El Camino Real invites us to participate.  Learn about the history and culture of racism and its impact on how we think, live, and behave, even today

       Explore your cultural makeup and that of your community

       Understand white privilege and internalized oppression

       Examine how power operates in our society

       Develop intercultural sensitivity

       Plan a strategy for a grace margin

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23 & 24, 2011      Anti-Racism Training: 9:00 am–5:30 pm

LOCATION: Church of the Good Shepherd, 301 Corral de Tierra Road, Salinas

COST: $60 ($50 early bird special by Sept. 1, 2011)

For more information, contact Diane Lovelace at DiLovelace@aol.com or at 408/ 263-8945.


Another opportunity for Anti-Racism Training: The Commission for Intercultural Ministry in the diocese of Northern California is pleased to offer an Anti-Racism Training event, required for all church leaders -- ordained and lay.  Lelanda Lee of the Diocese of Colorado will be presenting this one-day workshop.

When: Saturday, July 23, 9am - 5pm

Where: Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento

Cost: $ 45.00  (Includes lunch, and snacks). Registration payment is by check only, and must be received by the cathedral by Friday, July 15.

Questions? Please contact: Fr. Bayani Rico - (415) 797-2240, rector_ascension@sbcglobal.net; Fr. Ray Hess - (916) 753-9939, FatherRay@frontiernet.net. 



v vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


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. Note: Deadline for information to be published in the Friday Reflection is Thursday, 12 noon.



Joy of Easter

Organ Concert at the Episcopal Church of the Saviour

519 N. Douty St.

Hanford, California


On Sunday, 1 May, the Episcopal Church of the Saviour welcomes Mr Scott Horton as he again offers a concert on the church's magnificent and historic organ.  Entitled "The Joy of Easter", the concert will begin at 3pm and include music from the works of Louis Vierne, Johannes Brahms and J.S. Bach.  No tickets are required and the concert is free.  However donations will be gladly accepted to defray its costs, and for the work and mission of the Church of the Saviour.  Further information, please call the church office at (559) 584-7706.


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Mother, Daughter Tea

Saturday May 7, 2 p.m. in the Parish Hall

1528 Oakdale Road, Modesto

Keynote speaker, Pastor Kathleen West

Violinist, Amy Sullivan

A light lunch will be served along with tea, coffee, and punch.

There will be a silent auction.

For tickets contact Annamary at 209-480-9513

Tickets are $10.00 each

Table of 8 $75.00


v vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


Your Health this Week.    

 The logo is from the Episcopal Church Medical Trust


The July 2010 issue of Health and Wellness News included a list of 100 small changes for improving your health. It is available at http://download.cpg.org/healthcare/publications/pdf/healthnews_jul10.pdf. Pick a suggestion or two and get started. If you’ve already made a change, we invite you to take another look and choose another one, perhaps from a different category. You’ll find suggestions for all aspects of life: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, financial, and spiritual. There’s bound to be something in there that could improve your quality of life. Then think about what a reasonable goal would be and what you need to do to achieve it.

Remember: you don’t have to make changes alone

You can invite other people to make them with you. Try teaming up with a friend, coworker, or family member. Start a local walking group with your neighbors, work colleagues, or fellow parishioners. Trade healthy recipes and weight loss tips with others. and with the Friday Reflection too. (Send to jweber@diosanjoaquin.org.) Ask the people you know if they are in the process of making changes and then help each other to stick to your plans.

Take that next small step now!

If you’re having success with one step, try adding one more. If you backslide, don’t get down on yourself. Draw strength from your earlier success, review your plan, and get back on track. It’s not easy to make lifelong changes, but you can use the strategies to help you succeed.


Watch this Peter K Video. Learn how to make healthy swaps in meals with this comfort food makeover.

Oven Fried Chicken and Fish http://www.cpg.org/productsservices/wellness.cfm


v vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


Bishop Talton’s Calendar

May 1                          Bishop Visitation St. Anne’s Stockton    

May 14                         Bishop Visitation St. Mark’s Tracy

May 14                         Northern Deanery Meeting, 2 p.m. St. Paul’s, Modesto

May 15                         Graduation, School for Deacons, 4 p.m. Chapel of the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley




Please forward the Friday Reflection to anyone you think will be interested in the content.



[1] Neither Domestic Partnerships nor same sex marriage is currently recognized under federal law. Currently, both Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act are being litigated in federal courts and, as a result, same sex marriage may be restored in California and same sex marriages and unions may be recognized by the federal government in the near future.

[2] Title I, Canon 18, Section 2(b).