AUGUST 8, 2017
Reading the Bible at Camp: The Bible Challenge

By the Rev. Anne Clarke, Lifelong Christian Formation Coordinator

"When she couldn't hide him any longer she got a little basket-boat made of papyrus, waterproofed it with tar and pitch, and placed the child in it. Then she set it afloat in the reeds at the edge of the Nile. The baby's older sister found herself a vantage point a little way off and watched to see what would happen to him."

In a glade of trees about 7000 miles away from the Nile, at Camp Living Waters in Humboldt County, a little girl crouched behind a rock and pretended to look through a pair of binoculars, while another kid laid down nearby, waved his arms and legs in the air, and pretended to float down a river. A suggestion comes from an onlooker to this drama: "You should probably cry. You're a baby floating alone down the river-you would NOT look that happy."

From there, we acted out the rest of the story. Pharaoh's daughter scoops the baby out of the water (with further commentary from the crowd: "Wait, does that make her, like, a princess?" "She might have killed the baby.") and clever Miriam emerges from her hiding place and suggests a solution ("Did she know that the Pharaoh's daughter wasn't mean?" "What happened when the baby grew up?").

From here, we all sat down to talk about the drama they had just helped to act out: What do you think Miriam felt when she went up to Pharaoh's daughter? How would you have felt? ("Scared!" "Probably nervous but also excited because she knew exactly what to do." "Smart, like the midwives were when they tricked Pharaoh before, but they were probably scared too.") Why do you think she did it anyway, even though she was scared? ("She loved her brother.")

It was a great joy to get to join this mighty community of faith for a few days and get to help lead these reflections on some of the great stories of our faith.  At Camp Living Waters ...continue reading.
Bishop Barry is on vacation for the first half of this month. 
Watch for his message in the September Aurora.
Reminder: Convention Resolution Forms are Due Sept. 1 

Please note:  There are two r esolution forms, both of which must be sent to Elizabeth Vang via email at, as well as  the Rev. Betsy Monnot  at The Resolution forms and more information can be found  here

To those of you who have completed and submitted your Certificate of Lay Delegate forms - thank you! Please note: filling out your Certificate of Lay Delegate forms does NOT count as registration. The registration deadline for 2017 Diocesan Convention is Oct. 2; you may register here.
New Executive Assistant to the Bishop  

We are pleased to announce that Jacqi Seppi has accepted the position of the Bishop's Executive Assistant. She will start in the position effective Aug. 23. Jacqi's knowledge of the Diocese, along with her connections to clergy and lay leaders, makes this a smooth transition.
Last Chance to Join the Appeal - Deadline Aug. 14

Time is running out to join in the Bishop's Appeal! If you are interested in joining, please send your ministry name, a 30 word description of your ministry and your mailing list (Excel document are preferred) to Jacqi Seppi via email by Aug. 14.

View a letter from the Bishop and more information on the Appeal  here .
Open Clergy Positions
  • Office of the Bishop, Missioner for Leadership Development and Networking: Receiving names
  • Christ Church, Eureka Receiving names for rector
  • St. John's, Roseville: Receiving names for assistant rector
  • St. Patrick's, Kenwood: Reviewing names for rector
  • Grace Church, Fairfield :  Receiving names for priest-in-charge
To learn more about these positions and others, click here.
Bishop's Visitation Schedule
  • Aug. 20 - Grace, Wheatland
  • Aug. 27 - St. Barnabas', Mount Shasta
  • Sept. 3 - Good Shepherd, Cloverdale
  • Oct. 1 - Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento 
  • Oct. 8 - St. Peter's, Red Bluff 
  • Oct. 15 - St. John's, Petaluma 
  • Oct. 22 - Christ the King, Quincy 
  • Oct. 29 - St. Luke's, Auburn
The Bishop's full 2017-2018 visitation schedule is available here. 
Retired Clergy & Spouses Lunch - Oct. 26

From the Rev. Dr. Christine Leigh-Taylor, Chaplain to the Retired Clergy 

Please save the date of Thursday, Oct. 26 to enjoy lunch with the bishop  and your fellow/sister retired clergy and spouses at St. John's, Roseville. We will gather at 11 a.m., have Eucharist at 11:30 a.m. and share a catered lunch at noon. The sharing is always bountiful! There is no charge, but  reservations are required so we have enough food.

Mailed invitations will go out in Sept. If you are newly retired in the Diocese of Northern California, please take care to alert the Office of the Bishop. If you have special issues please contact me at Bishop Barry and I both look forward to spending time with you.
Update on Minerva Fire near Quincy

The last two days have seen tremendous progress in containing the Minerva Fire, said the Rev. Matt Warren, vicar of Christ the King, Quincy.
Much of the firefighting effort is transitioning towards mop up operations and strengthening the containment perimeter. Rev. Matt also urged all his parishioners to update their family emergency plans.

Wrote Rev. Matt: "My father often said "the best work of the Church is often performed in the worst of circumstances." I am so grateful to all of you who demonstrated the best qualities of the Church under trying circumstances! 

"May God continue to bless you all."

"O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live
in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, 
who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never
forget that our common life depends upon each other's toil;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Comings and Goings

The Rev. Christy Laborda Harris, rector of St. Stephen's, Sebastopol, and her husband Kai added to their joyful little family on Aug. 2, welcoming a 6-pound, 1.5 ounce boy, measuring 20". Mother, son and the rest of the family are doing well.
The Rev. Christopher Seal, rector of Holy Trinity, Nevada City, is retiring. A party  will be at St. Canice Center at the end of Reward Street in Nevada City on Aug. 27 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The Rev. John Mangels, priest-in-charge, and the Rev. Mary Boeger, deacon, were treated to cake at St. John's, Marysville, after services on Aug. 6. They will both be in the ranks of the retired by the end of this month.

The Very Rev. Paul Blanch, rector at All Saints, Redding, is leaving for England at the end of August and will be installed on Sept. 4 as Vicar of SS Peter & Paul, Kirton in Holland, SS Peter & Paul, Algarkirk, and All Saints, Fosdyke, by Christopher, Bishop of Lincoln and the Archdeacon of Boston. As he posted on Facebook  recently: "This is an open invitation to friends and clergy colleagues everywhere to be with us that evening if you can. It would help to inform the Churchwardens via the parish website for catering purposes if you are able to be with us. Clergy to robe."
Is God Calling Someone in Your Pews to Ministry?
Has someone in your congregation been trying to determine what your role in serving God and neighbor should be? The archdeacons in this diocese will once again be conducting a highly successful workshop series to assist individuals in the process of discernment, beginning Sept. 16 at Epiphany, Vacaville. Read more about this series and how to sign up, here.
A Pilgrimage Back to Their Roots

T he Rev. Deb Sabino and Deacon Stephen Shortes made a local and unusual pilgrimage last month; they attempted to retrace the paths that  Church of Our Savior, Placerville , founder Charles Caleb Peirce walked as the "Apostle of  El Dorado County." 

Their walk took them to Kelsey, Georgetown, Cool (where they met the great-great-great-grandson of the man who founded the Free Church in Coloma, shown at left , in the 1860s, also walking into town) and Greenwood, before the Rev. Deb's knee gave out. The next day the deacon continued the journey and evangelized the people in Coloma Club over a cold beer. 

Read more on the Rev. Deb and Deacon Stephen's experience here, as well as more on the history of Charles Caleb Pierce.
St. Mary's, Elk Grove, Is Turning 30 
St. Mary's, Elk Grove, will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Aug.  1 2 with a  fiesta from 2-6 p.m. A worship service will follow. Former parishioners and neighbors are planning to attend, and all are welcome. 
Services for Canon Stefani at Grace Cathedral Saturday

The life of Stefani Schatz, Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of California and wife of the Rev. Dr. Joe Duggan, priest-in-charge at St. Francis, Fair Oaks, will be celebrated at  a service in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, on Aug. 12. More information and an obituary from the Diocese of California is  here.  The sermon from her Santa Barbara service on July 30 is  here . Please hold Joe, and Stefani's mother Iva, in your prayers. Canon Stefani  died in Santa Barbara on July 12. 
Province VIII 2017 Deacons' Conference 

Save the date for the Province Vlll 2017 Deacon's Conference, hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada. The conference will take place  Nov. 10-12, in Reno, Nevada, and topics such as mass incarceration, school-to-prison pipeline and more, will be discussed. More information is available  here, or you may contact
Fasting in Solidarity With the Poor - Aug. 21 

For Such a Time as This: A Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy  is the joint  statement issued by Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

Please consider joining us in prayer and fasting on the 21st of each month (Aug. 21 falls on a Monday) through December 2018, at which time the 115th Congress will conclude. The 21st was selected because 90% of the SNAP (food stamp) benefits across the nation are used up each month by that date. 
From the Episcopal Church...

The House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church is asking church leaders to complete two online surveys: 

* One about the Church Pension Fund,  here;
* The other about the Episcopal Church's social justice work,  here.
The data that the committee collects will be used to prepare its report on the state of the church for the 79th General Convention in 2018.


The Diocese of Bethlehem is  accepting applications in the search for its ninth bishop. The diocese will accept names until Sept. 11, and completed applications are due a week later.  The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, Bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania, was elected bishop provisional in 2014. The Rt. Rev. Paul Marshall, the diocese's eighth bishop, resigned in December 2013.

If you have a news story or event of interest to others in the diocese, or if you would like assistance with your church or ministry communications, contact Lori Korleski Richardson, Interim Communications Director at, 916-442-6918, ext. 226.