Weekly News from the Episcopal Diocese of California
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Weekly News from the Episcopal Diocese of California
February 14, 2017

A living history of ministry for the LGBTQ+ community — Part 2: From fear to friendship

Pentecost fell on June 7 in 1981, and in the three months between the lease signing and official dedication and blessing, many groups had already started using space at The Parsonage for regular meetings. These groups included Community United Against Violence, Council for Religion and the Homosexual, Department of Social Justice of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Bay Area chapter of Integrity, and an Alcoholics Anonymous group specifically for gay people. 

General Convention 2018 draft schedule announced

[The Episcopal Church public affairs office | February 7] The Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, Executive Officer of General Convention, announced the draft schedule for the 79th General Convention, available here in both English and Spanish. The 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church will be held Thursday, July 5 to Friday, July 13, 2018 at The Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas (Diocese of Texas). 
Banner: At Saturday's Equipping the Beloved Community and Vestry/Bishop's Committee Day, the keynoter, the Rev. Nancy Frausto also taught a breakout session on bilingual congregations. She taught in Spanish, while the English speakers listened to her through translation equipment. Photo credit: Caren Miles.

Northern California Episcopal churches turn out for Oroville Dam evacuees

[Episcopal News Service | February 14] More than 180,000 Northern California residents were ordered to evacuate on the afternoon of Feb. 12, after officials said the emergency spillway from the Oroville Dam might fail. The first tweet from the California Department of Water Resources came in at 4:24 p.m. and sketched the situation in the darkest of tones: “EMERGENCY EVACUATION: Auxiliary spillway at Oroville Dam predicted to fail within the next hour. Oroville residents evacuate northward.”

read  more
Photo: California Department of Water Resources


Annual Absalom Jones and Richard Allen commemoration at St. Paul’s, Oakland

Come join members of the Afro Anglican Commission, the Union of Black Episcopalians, and DioCal to celebrate the legacies of Absalom Jones and the Rev. Richard Allen at St. Paul’s, Oakland. Jones and Allen were friends, activists, and fellow evangelists who were active in The Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  Absalom Jones, ordained priest in 1802, was the first African American priest of The Episcopal Church and first rector of St. Thomas African Orthodox Episcopal Church, Philadelphia. Allen was the first African American ordained in the Methodist Church (1816) and was the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Both men were leading abolitionists of their day. This year the commemoration is especially honored to have Bishop Marc Handley Andrus as the celebrant and guest homilist Bishop Clement Fugh of the Fifth Episcopal District, AME Church. Additional guests include a choir of the California Conference of the AME Church. Love to sing? Watch this space as for information on the DioCal festival choir forming to sing at the commemoration!

When: Saturday, February 18, 10:45 a.m. (choral concert), 11 a.m. (Eucharistic celebration), 1 p.m. (reception)
Where: St Paul’s, 114 Montecito Avenue, Oakland
Cost: Free
Contact: the Rev. Eric Metoyer,

DioCal Lenten Carbon Fast

With the season of Lent quickly approaching, Bishop Marc is inviting all members of the diocese to join him in a Lenten ‘carbon fast’ — a prayerful effort to reduce daily actions that damage God’s creation. DioHouse staff are already beginning to make their Lenten commitments. For example, Bishop Marc plans to walk or bike to work each day, Stephanie Martin Taylor, Working Group Head for Communications, will be giving up her morning ride-share to take public transit, and Melissa Ridlon, Vocations Officer, is committing to a ‘carbon tithe’ to offset the cost of planting new trees in hurricane-ravaged parts of Haiti. For Ridlon, the tithe amounts to 10% of the cost of gas she buys for her car and 10% of the cost of the ticket for her upcoming trip to Haiti.
You can find many inspirational resources and ideas for your carbon fast through Interfaith Power & Light, the Episcopal Church Foundation, and the Anglican Communion Environmental Network — to name a few! And for more support and prayers, the Communications Department invites you to reach out to DioBytes,, to share your carbon fast plans with fellow readers!

Rectors and Vicars: Report your lay delegates and alternates to Diocesan Convention

The names of your congregation’s lay delegates and alternates to the 168th Convention of the Diocese of California can be entered on the online form available here.  Please take some time today to complete the online form. Questions may be directed to Denise Obando,

Annual Clergy Reports

While you are updating forms and providing annual information to the diocese, why not complete your annual Clergy Report? Document your 2016 learning or ministry completions on the Continuing Education and Training Report. Complete the Report of Non-Parochial Ministry if you are an active clergy not currently affiliated with a congregation in this diocese. The report for retired clergy is also available on our website. Please complete these forms prior to the April 30 deadline. If the canonical requirements are unclear you can contact the Rev. Eric Metoyer,, 415.869.7810. If you have a problem completing a form online, please contact Denise Obando,, 415.869.7804.

Day of Discernment 

Would you like to explore some new discernment practices? Are you discerning a call to ministry within the church — either lay or ordained? Join for this one day workshop, grounded in the Baptismal Covenant, that can help frame your journey. While the focus is on discernment for ministry in daily life, please note that Day of Discernment is a pre-requisite for application for postulancy in the Diocese of California.

When: Saturday, February 25, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WhereSt. James, 1540 12th Avenue, Oakland
Cost: $25; fee covers materials and lunch; scholarship assistance is available
Contact: Melissa Ridlon,

Health and wellness grants available through Episcopal Impact Fund Action Networks

The Episcopal Impact Fund is kicking off 2017 with $75,000 in new grant funding for organizations that are working to create pathways out of poverty! This year's granting focus area is health and wellness. Attend an Action Network meeting in your deanery and bring your ideas of organizations that are making a difference in your region. Action Network meetings are open to all members of the community, including staff and board members of nonprofits interested in learning more about this funding opportunity. Each Action Network will meet twice in 2017. The following is a schedule of the first meeting in each deanery:

Alameda Action Network Meeting
Tuesday, February 28, 7 p.m.
Where: Our Saviour, 1011 Harrison Street, Oakland

Contra Costa Action Network Meeting
Tuesday, February 21, 7 p.m.
Where: Resurrection, 399 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill

Marin Action Network Meeting
Thursday, February 16, 7 p.m.
Where: St. Paul’s, 1123 Court Street, San Rafael

Peninsula Action Network Meeting
Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m.
Where: Holy Child and St. Martin, 777 Southgate Avenue, Daly City

San Francisco Action Network Meeting
Wednesday, February 15, 7 p.m.
Where: St. John the Evangelist, 1661 15th Street, San Francisco

Southern Alameda — To be announced


Touch of the Irish — the spring concert supporting the San Francisco Night Ministry

Begin your St Patrick’s Day celebrations with the San Francisco Night Ministry Spring Concert, Touch of the Irish. Hear songs to remember the Emerald Isle performed by members of the San Francisco Opera Chorus, with special guests! Following the performance, join the artists and members of the San Francisco Night Ministry for a reception in Heritage Hall. The San Francisco Night Ministry provides a presence to the most vulnerable persons of the central city through programs of the Crisis Line Counseling call center, Open Cathedral, and the Night Ministers, who have been on the streets of the Tenderloin every night for over fifty-two years. The mission of the Night Ministry is supported by the Diocese of California.

When: Sunday, March 123 p.m.
Where: St Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell St, San Francisco
Cost: $25 (at the door), $20 (seniors/students)

These are our bodies’: talking about faith and sexuality in youth and family ministry

Parents, clergy, and lay leaders are invited to the fifth annual CDSP Youth Ministry Symposium with keynote speaker Leslie A. Choplin, D.Ed.Min., co-author of These Are Our Bodies: Talking Faith and Sexuality at Church and at HomeChoplin received her doctor of educational ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary and spent a decade as a director of Christian education, sexual misconduct prevention trainer, facilitator, and speaker in Episcopal congregations across the United States. In addition to the keynote address, the symposium will include opportunities for training and certification in safe church practices in accordance with the national policy.

When: Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; those taking advanced Safeguarding training will continue to 5:30 p.m.
WhereChurch Divinity School of the Pacific, 2451 Ridge Road, Berkeley
Cost: $25 (Youth Ministry Symposium, including standard Safeguarding workshops); $75 (Youth Ministry Symposium plus advanced Safeguarding training). Scholarship and travel funding is available from the Diocese of California, Diocese of Northern California, and Province VIII.
Contact: For registration, Alissa Fencsik, For Provincial or Northern California scholarship aid, Anne Clarke, For Diocese of California scholarship aid or questions about Safeguarding training, Caren Miles,

New preacher announced to teach with Bishop Marc at preaching symposium at the Bishop’s Ranch — Register today!

There are relational and scriptural foundations for preaching justice. The Diocese of California and Church Divinity School of Pacific offer a preaching symposium this year that will look at Jesus and Paul through the lens of advocates for justice, and will explore the concept of interbeing, the relational base for doing justice work, including preaching justice. The preaching symposium is offered as a time of learning, inspiration, refreshment, and community. You will find new companions for your journey as a preacher, hear some great sermons, gain new perspectives on the art of preaching, and not be asked to preach yourself! Join Bishop Marc and the Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye Wilson for this preaching symposium designed for clergy who preach regularly. The Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, Sandye has been, since 2004, rector of The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and Holy Communion, South Orange, NJ, a GreenFaith parish full of diversity and vitality, focused on being the presence of Jesus in the world. A contemplative activist, she is passionate about connecting the dots of justice and strong lay leadership, strengthening congregations, coaching clergy, and nurturing young people in their vocation in the world.
When: Tuesday, March 21 to Friday, March 24
WhereThe Bishop’s Ranch, 5297 Westside Road, Healdsburg
Registration: click here
Cost: (3 nights/9 meals) $600 single occupancy (very limited number of rooms); $490 double occupancy; $440 standard occupancy (3-4 per cottage); $340 commuter/camping rate; Scholarship funds are available.

Join Executive Council book group: At Home in Exile by Dr. Russell Jeung

At the annual Executive Council retreat, the group selects a book to read over the year, creating a book group. This year Canon Stefani suggested At Home in Exile: Finding Jesus among my Ancestors and Refugee Neighbors — a memoir of living in Oakland. The group wanted to extend the invitation beyond the Executive Council, to the diocese as a whole. The Executive Council will have a conversation with Dr. Jeung about his book at Santiago / St. James, Oakland on March 21. There will be expanded discussions that day about community organizing and living in mutuality within neighborhoods. Executive Council encourages you to finish the book by the gathering. Would you like to read along?

When: Tuesday, March 21, 5:30 p.m. (appetizers); 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (book discussion)
WhereSantiago / St James, 1540 12th Avenue, Oakland
Book: At Home in Exile on Amazon


Jere Torkelsen (baritone) and Sibel Demirmen (soprano) in concert at Incarnation, San Francisco

A vocal recital with baritone Jere Torkelsen and soprano Sibel Demirmen in a program of art songs by Purcell, Britten, Korngold, Debussy and songs from musicals ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Kiss Me Kate,’ ‘The Music Man,’ and more. Jere Torkelsen has been a member of the San Francisco Opera chorus since 1987.  During his tenure he has performed many roles, including Gen. John Rawlins in Philip Glasses Appomattox, Melisso in Handel’s Alcina, The Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly, and The Journalist in Berg’s Lulu. Hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as a “superb singer” with a “crystalline voice,” Sibel Demirmen is a versatile soprano praised for her charming stage presence and colorful coloratura sound. She has sung with many Bay Area companies, including Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Townsend Opera Players, Berkeley Opera, and others.

When: Friday February 17, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Incarnation, 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Cost: $20 (general), $15 (seniors/students)
Contact: Mathew Chacko,, 415.564.2324


Other upcoming events at Incarnation

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper with live music
Tuesday, February 28, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. $12 (general),  $6 (children under 12)

Journey to Rwanda and Kenya with Dr. Barry Levine (SFSU) – An Incarnation Travelogue Series
Saturday, March 4,  5:30 p.m., free. Please bring a dish to share at the potluck.

Shawnette Sulker (soprano), Victor Khodadad (tenor), in concert
Saturday, March 11, 7:30 p.m., $20 (general), $15 (seniors/students)

Patrick Galvin (violin) in concert
Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m., $20 (general), $15 (seniors/students)

St. Cuthbert's, Oakland, hosts spaghetti feed and drag show

For the 6th year in a row, St. Cuthbert's, Oakland, will host Mama Portugal's Spaghetti Feed & Drag Show, a fundraiser for the Royal Grand Ducal Council of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties (in the non-drag world, Mama Portugal is known as Don Silva, a parishioner at St. Cuthbert's). The event will feature entertainers from Oakland and San Francisco, a spaghetti dinner, a raffle and an auction. 80% of proceeds benefit the Ducal Council's charity fund, which in the past has supported organizations like the Lavender Seniors of the East Bay, Bay Area Women Against Rape, Oakland East Bay Gay Men's Chorus, the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic (serving low-income women with cancer), and Project Dignity (serving homeless veterans). 

When: Saturday, February 18, 5 p.m. (show), 6 p.m. (dinner)
Where: St. Cuthbert's, 7900 Mountain Blvd (at Keller Ave), Oakland
Cost: $15 (at the door, but the event often sells out, so call or email ahead to reserve your tickets)
Contact: Mama Portugal,, 510.261.6353

Carey Perloff: A Thousand Splendid Suns, at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

ACT’s Artistic Director will take the audience behind the scenes for the world premiere adaptation of the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini that tells the epic story of three generations of Afghan women and opens at the Geary Theatre in February.

When: Sunday, February 19, 9:30 a.m.
Where: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St, San Francisco
Cost: Free


Other upcoming events at Grace Cathedral

Gabriel Gold + Sam Jackson
Saturday, February 18; 7 p.m.; free

ODC Behind the Scenes
Wednesday, February 22; 7:30 p.m.; free

Help to save lives by packaging nutritional meals in partnership with Stop Hunger Now at St. Mary the Virgin, San Francisco

Please join parishioners at St. Mary the Virgin on Saturday, March 4, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., in packaging high-protein meals for an impoverished Third World community in partnership with Stop Hunger Now, a U.S. nonprofit dedicated to eliminating global hunger. The goal of the event is to package a total of 15,000 meals for those who suffer from a chronic lack of food. Volunteers from all ages are invited!  Please register asap. Space is limited!

When: Saturday, March 4, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: St. Mary the Virgin, 2325 Union St., San Francisco
Cost: Free
Contact: Deacon Tim Smith,, 415.921.3665, ext. 352

Sacred end of life planning workshop at St. Timothy’s, Danville

Give yourself the gift of peace of mind and join us for this free workshop exploring the practicalities associated with end of life planning and face the future with confidence.  You will receive the information you need to begin the conversation about topics ranging from wills, trusts, probate, estate tax, powers of attorney, advance care directives and charitable giving.  Topics such as hospice, elder abuse, as well as essential practical matters such as planning and arranging a funeral and cremation/columbarium will help you explore your preferences and avoid uncertainty. Get your questions ready and join us for this critical workshop. Everyone is welcome! A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

When: Saturday, March 4, 9 a.m to 3:30 p.m.
Where: St. Timothy’s, 1550 Diablo Road, Danville
Cost: Free
RSVP: Lisa Perry,, 925.785.8015, with your contact information and special dietary or accessibility needs. 

Seekers and Saints, Women of Transformation, at Resurrection, Pleasant Hill

Church of the Resurrection presents a special performance of Tiffany Hoover’s one-woman show: Seekers and Saints, Women of Transformation. The eighty-minute performance includes three monologues depicting the lives and epiphanies of three stunning, strong, and spiritual women: Dorothy Day, Ruth, and St. Teresa of Àvila. Tiffany Hoover created the script for her Master of Theological Studies. She also holds a Master of Theater degree and has performed in many local productions during her 20-year career. A light supper will follow the performance in the parish pall along with a discussion about what we can learn from these diverse women. All are welcome.

When: Sunday, March 5, 5 p.m.
Where: Church of the Resurrection, 399 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill
Cost: free will offering
Contact: Tracy Barber,, 925.685.2288

Help support St. Dorothy’s Rest — a new monthly giving program!

St. Dorothy’s Rest has started a “monthly sustainer” giving program. It’s easy to sign-up for, and the hope is that everyone can participate! When asked why she decided to give to St. Dorothy’s monthly, Director of Programming, Sara Gunter, had this to say: "It has been an honor and a thrill to get to work and live at St. Dorothy’s Rest this past year. This place gives life to many, is a home for many. It has certainly been both for me in very concrete and personal ways. I decided to make St. Dorothy’s part of my regular giving, in part because I care about the work we do here and want to be a part of its daily maintenance and its growth.” If you would like to give to St. Dorothy’s Rest, our monthly sustainer program is one of many ways you can support their ministry. To find out how you can help click here.

Upcoming events at St. Dorothy's Rest

Choral Evensong at Grace Cathedral
Thursday, February 23, 5:15 p.m.

Family Camp at St. Dorothy’s Rest
Friday, April 7 to Sunday, April 9

Camp Open House at St. Dorothy’s Rest
Saturday, April 8


16 to 19 | ReIGNITE: A new program for those nearing retirement at Pacific School of Religion | Berkeley
17 | Icons in Transformation at St. Michael's and St. John's | Concord and Clayton
18 | Annual Absalom Jones and Richard Allen commemoration at St. Paul’s | Oakland
19 | Third Sunday series concert: João Kouyoumdjian, classical guitar at Church of the Advent | San Francisco
20 | President's Day | Diocesan office closed
22 | Marin Deanery Meeting at Resurrection | Pleasant Hill
23 | St. Dorothy's Rest choral Evensong at Grace Cathedral | San Francisco
25 | Enneagram spirituality at The Bishop’s Ranch | Healdsburg
25 | 2017 Faith and innovation conference | Saratoga

4 | Peninsula Deanery Meeting at Good Shepherd | Belmont
4 to June 3 | Small group leaders training at All Souls | Berkeley
17 | Contra Costa Deanery Meeting at Resurrection | Pleasant Hill
18 | Listen, love, and pray: a day of healing prayer with The Rev. Nigel Mumford at St. Clare’s | Pleasanton
18 | ‘These are our bodies’: talking about faith and sexuality in youth and family ministry
19 | Music at the intersection of faith and social justice at St. Cuthbert’s | Oakland
21 | Preaching symposium: Relational and scriptural foundations for preaching justice at the Bishop’s Ranch | Healdsburg
Go to full Diocesan Calendar
Clergy positions — DioCal
Rector :: St. Timothy’s :: Danville

All postings are available on the diocesan website:
Go to Lay Employment
Go to Clergy Employment
Please address all inquiries and applications to Transition Minister Denise Obando,, unless otherwise noted.
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