Weekly News from the Episcopal Diocese of California
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Weekly News from the Episcopal Diocese of California
March 7, 2017

Eye on the state: Our housing crisis is a moral crisis

[SF Examiner | February 28 | by The Rev. John Kirkley] What makes local community sustainable and meaningful? This is a question that is too often ignored in discussions of the affordable housing crisis in California. It is a larger question of values that underlies debates about housing markets and policies. Before we can decide where and what kind of housing to build, we have to ask ourselves, “What kind of community do we wish to be?”

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SF Mission Church offers Sanctuary to Undocumented Community

[Mission Local | March 1] The Mission’s Episcopal Church of St. John’s the Evangelist on Wednesday joined a number of churches in the San Francisco area and beyond in vowing to protect their immigrant community from deportation. “We’ve given sanctuary to many over the years,” said the Rev. Richard Smith, St. John’s vicar, to a group of some 50 community members gathered in front of two red doors marking the entrance of the church at 15th and Julian streets.

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see DioCal photos from event
Photo by Lola M. Chavez

Banner: On Ash Wednesday, St. Aidan's, San Francisco, offered "ashes on the way" outside of the Diamond Heights Shopping Center. Photo credit: The Ven. Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain.

Curry, Jennings take lead in Supreme Court brief on transgender-bathroom policy

[Episcopal News Service | March 2] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings are the lead signers on an amicus brief filed March 2 by 1,800 clergy and religious leaders in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving transgender-bathroom use policies.
The “friend of the court” brief comes in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, which the American Civil Liberties Union and its Virginia chapter filed on behalf of Gavin Grimm and his mother, Deirdre Grimm, in June 2015.
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Photo: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service

Bishop Marc Andrus welcomes Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to EcoJustice: Safeguarding Climate, Food, and Water

Save the dates!

Conference: Thursday, May 18 to Friday, May 19 at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Eco-Confirmation: Saturday, May 20 at Golden Gate Overlook in the Presidio, San Francisco

New DioCal Working Group Head for Faith Formation: Amy Cook

Bishop Marc is pleased to announce that Amy Cook has accepted the role as the Working Group Head for Faith Formation. “We are excited to welcome Amy Cook to fill this vital role in our ministry,” said Bishop Marc. “Amy brings to our diocese a wealth of creativity and experience, and her enthusiasm for Christian formation for all ages is infectious. Please join me in welcoming her to the Diocese of California.”

Originally from Virginia, Amy is currently the Missioner for Education, Formation, and Discipleship for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. She has worked in the area of formation for thirteen years at the diocesan offices and five years before that as the Director of Christian Education at Trinity Episcopal Church in Concord, MA. She also leads Sunday School every week at her own parish in Wakefield, MA, making movies of Bible stories using Legos. In her other life, Amy serves on the board of a community theater group and has a passion for acting, directing and costuming; and she can also be found in an online soap opera. She is married to Ron Cook who is a senior warden, a Windows server consultant, and also an actor, director and musician. They share their lives with two black cats, Nick and Nora, who deign to allow their humans to attend their needs.

Amy will be coming on board in early July. In the meantime, please continue to contact Associate for Faith Formation Caren Miles for all of your faith formation questions,

Help DioCal camp properties while helping us meet our goal: 500 new DioBytes subscribers!

For the next three months, the Diocese of California will pledge $1 to our camp properties at The Bishop’s Ranch and St. Dorothy’s Rest each time we get a new signup for DioBytes. We’ll keep giving until we reach our goal: 500 new subscribers by June 7. Simply click here to sign up. And if you’re already a subscriber, please send the link to your congregations, vestries, choirs, youth groups — anyone you think would enjoy reading the latest news and events from the Diocese of California, while helping a great cause! Only one sign-up per person allowed.

‘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 has spent a decade as a director of Christian education, sexual misconduct prevention trainer and speaker. 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 (general); $75 (with train the trainer). Scholarship and travel funding is available
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,

Last chance to register for Preaching Symposium – deadline is March 13

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, has been, since 2004, rector of The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and Holy Communion, South Orange, NJ, which is 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, 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; (New!) $130 daily rate for Wednesday or Thursday; scholarship funds are available.

At Home in Exile book discussion with author 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. 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 evening about community organizing and living in mutuality within neighborhoods. Executive Council is inviting the diocese to join the conversation — even if you are not able to finish the book by March 21, we expect the dialogue to be rich and meaningful for all who attend.

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
RSVP: Facebook event

Nightwatch at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Nightwatch is an overnight “lock-in” program in Grace Cathedral. Join youth from around the diocese and Northern California for fellowship and fun. There will be facilitated community building, active and contemplative activities, art, music, and prayer. Nightwatch can also be a time for youth ministers from thorough the diocese to spend casual time together. All youth must be accompanied by a designated adult leader. 

When: Friday, March 31, 6:30 p.m. to Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m.
Where: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, San Francisco
Cost: $20, ample scholarship available
Register for adult leader:
Contact: Caren Miles, Associate for Faith Formation,, 415.869.7815

Chrism Mass 2017

The annual Chrism Mass and lunch for clergy is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11, 12:10 p.m. at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. At this Mass the oils for baptism, confirmation, and healing are blessed and clergy are invited to renew their ordination vows. Lunch will follow. If you plan to attend the Mass and lunch, please RSVP here by Thursday, April 6. For more information or questions, please contact Jennifer Seaman. Reminder: Please bring your own containers for your holy oil.

When: Tuesday, April 11, 12:10 p.m.
WhereGrace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, San Francisco
Deadline: Thursday, April 6 
Contact: Jennifer Seaman,

Common Life young adult retreat – Fully Alive

Common Life — the annual gathering for diocesan young adults takes place this year at the Bishop’s Ranch, April 21-23. This year’s theme is ‘Fully Alive.’ Over the weekend there will be talks focused on how you construct a ‘grammar of vocation.’ What does a grammar of vocation mean? Any language requires learning the basic tools of communication to express meaning. The speaker, Dr. David Cunningham, will guide attendees in constructing a language that expresses the meaning of their lives. Additionally there will be a guest offering constructive tools for everyday engagement with purpose and being fully alive. But it won’t be all work! There will also be time for rest, reflection, fun, community, prayer, and, of course, exploring the Sonoma Countryside in the full glories of spring.

When: Friday, April 21 (evening, after dinner) through Sunday, April 23 (lunch)
Cost: $100, scholarships available upon request
Contact: Tom Poynor,

A living history of ministry for the LGBTQ+ community — Part 5: The intersection of God’s work

To round out 1983 and recognize the fifth anniversary of the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, the Diocese of California held a service of thanksgiving for their lives on November 26, which was sponsored in part by The Parsonage. Moving into 1984, The Parsonage began the work of finding its role within the worsening AIDS crisis. It had offered to be a host of the Brother Philip’s program — a weekly social gathering for people with AIDS — but its specific location on Castro Street was outside of the Western Addition, where most of the AIDS population lived at the time, which made it a mostly inaccessible option.
From the DioCal Intern Blog

Discerning God’s Call

Everyone knows that the two things you should “never talk about” are religion and politics. Living in a religious intentional community working on social justice issues makes it nearly impossible to abide by this adage. With every new introduction I am only one or two questions away from explaining how I live at a seminary with five other people and am on the frontlines of the affordable housing crisis. Such a response usually sets the person I am talking to aback as they were almost certainly expecting me to say I came here to work in tech.

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photo: Susi Franco


Shawnette Sulker (soprano), Victor Khodadad (tenor), and Kevin Korth (piano) in concert at Incarnation, San Francisco

Join soprano Shawnette Sulker and tenor Victor Khodadad, in an evening of love songs and duets by Gilbert and Sullivan, Mozart, Gounod, Sondheim, and Bernstein, among others. Acclaimed for her “heart-breaking poignancy” and “beautifully tuned soprano” by the San Francisco Chronicle and for her “enchanting vocal splendor” by the Leipziger Volkszeitung, soprano Shawnette Sulker is a sought after artist in the United States and abroad. A classically trained actor and singer, Mr. Khodadad received his MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and a Graduate Professional Diploma in Vocal Performance from The Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT. The concert will also feature guest artists Amy Bouchard (mezzo-soprano) and Branislav Radakovic (baritone). Visit our website for additional details.

When: Saturday March 11, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Incarnation, 1750 29th Avenue, San Francisco
Cost: $20 (general), $15 (seniors/students)
Contact: Mathew Chacko 415-564-2324 or
Other upcoming events at Incarnation
Patrick Galvin (violin) and Jungeun Kim (piano) in a chamber music concert featuring works by Beethoven, Debussy, Franck
Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m., $20 (general), $15 (seniors/students)
San Francisco Guitar Quartet performs music by Paul Dresher, Phillip Houghton, as well as pieces written for the SFGQ by Christopher Gainey and Garry Eister
Saturday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., $20 (general), $15 (seniors/students)
Choral concert with Masterworks Serenade, Dr. Bryan Baker, director
Sunday, April 23, 7 p.m., $20 (general), $15 (seniors/students)

Annual Trinity Institute addresses Water Justice at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

From Flint, Michigan, to Standing Rock to the West Bank, water has become a major currency in repression and injustice.  Join others around the Episcopal Church in a downlink to the live presentations at Trinity Church, NYC for their annual conference with opportunities for local discussion and strategies for action. CEU’s available.

When: Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Wilsey Conference Center, Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, San Francisco
Contact: Mark Stanger, Canon for Formation,

Bishop Marc to preside at beach cleanup Eucharist with Holy Hikes and SF Baykeeper

Each month, Holy Hikes leads a Eucharistic hike through one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s green spaces. These draw a diverse demographic from young children to seniors. On Saturday, March 25, Holy Hikes will be partnering with San Francisco Baykeeper and woven into the Eucharistic will be a clean-up of the East Creek Slough, one of Oakland's "trash hotspots." Bishop Marc Andrus will preside over the service. The structure of this event will be as follows:

10:00 Gathering Prayer                11:30    Prayers of the People / Peace
10:15 Orientation & Scriptures     11:45    Walk and Clean-up
10:30 Walk and Clean-up             12:45    Liturgy of the Table, then refreshments

When: Saturday, March 25, 9:45 a.m. (gather); 10 a.m. (event starts)
Where: East Creek Slough, Oakland
Contact: the Rev. Justin R. Cannon,
RSVP: Please RSVP if you are able to if you plan to join us for this beach cleanup.

Contemplative Easter Weekend Retreat, St. Columba’s, Inverness

Please join New Skellig for a contemplative retreat in celebration of the Triduum (Easter Weekend) at St. Columba’s Retreat House, Inverness. Retreatants will have time to reflect on the Paschal Mystery in light of its cosmic, social, and interior spiritual dimensions. These themes will be explored in the liturgies, through silent reflection, communal faith sharing, meditation, trail hikes, and beach visits in the beautiful environs of Point Reyes National Seashore.

When: Maundy Thursday, April 13 to Easter Sunday, April 16
Where: St. Columba’s, 12835 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Inverness
Cost: $230 inclusive (shared accommodation); $100 for commuters (includes meals); all liturgical services open to the public.
Deadline: Monday, March 20
Contact: For further information or to inquire if there is still availability, please email The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, Vicar, St. Columba’s,

7, 14, 21, 28 | Lenten series at St. Anselm’s | Lafayette
9 | Newbigin House presents: a conversation with Sara Miles — Faith and food | San Francisco
10 | “Holding the Edge” Benefit for Sojourn Chaplaincy — Celebrating 35 years! | San Francisco
10 to 12 | Episcopal Peace Fellowship — Creating a Culture of Peace training at St. Alban’s | Albany
11 | The School for Deacons 2017 Annual Inquirer’s Day | Berkeley
12 | Second Sunday Evensong and organ recital at St Mark’s | Berkeley
12 | Touch of the Irish — the spring concert supporting the San Francisco Night Ministry | San Francisco
16 | 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
18 | St. Patrick's dinner at Grace | Martinez
18 | 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
21 | Executive Council book group event: At Home in Exile by Dr. Russell Jeung at Santiago / St. James | Oakland
31 | Nightwatch at Grace Cathedral | San Francisco
Go to full Diocesan Calendar
Lay positions — DioCal
Children's Choir Director :: Trinity :: Menlo Park

Clergy positions — Outside DioCal

Dean :: St Mark’s Pro-Cathedral :: Hastings, NE
Rector :: St. Luke’s :: Los Gatos, CA

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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