Bloy House News
 August 2019
New Academic Year Begins at Bloy House

On Saturday, August 24 Bloy House officially began the new academic year by matriculating our four newest students: Robert Amore of Trinity, Covina, Benjamin Galán of St. Luke's, Long Beach, Hart Roussel of St. Andrew's, Fullerton, and Joshua Wong of Thad's. These four join the three women, Heather Blackstone of St. Edmund's, San Marino, Kathryn Nishibayashi of Kaleidoscope Institute, and Susie Simpson of Grace and Peace Chapel, who we matriculated in January; together making up the 2019 incoming class. On August 17 the whole class had the opportunity to meet and hear one another's spiritual autobiographies at our new student orientation.

This remarkable group of individuals includes an actor, an educator, a children and youth pastor, a shoe designer, a Biblical Studies professor, a retired social worker and special education teacher, and a non-profit development specialist. Two were ordained in other Christian denominations before coming to the Episcopal Church. Together these seven bring a wealth of wisdom and experience to the Bloy House community, and we are blessed to have them as part of the community.
Robert Amore
Benjamin Galan
Hart Rousssel
Joshua Wong
Susie Simpson
Kathryn Nishibayashi
Heather Blackstone

Alumna Mary Crist (2011) Joins Episcopal Church Center Staff as Indigenous Theological Education Coordinator

The Rev. Canon Mary Crist, Ed.D. has been appointed Indigenous Theological Education Coordinator for The Episcopal Church, a member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff.

Quoting a June 6 Press Release by the Communications office of the Episcopal Church. "In this new position, Crist will work with the Rev. Dr. Brad Hauff, the Missioner for Indigenous Ministries, and within the Department of Ethnic Ministries.

This new position was approved by General Convention in 2018 in response to Resolution D010, “ Create Position of Indigenous Theological Education Coordinator . ” As the Indigenous Theological Education Coordinator, Crist will work with the clergy and lay leaders serving Indigenous dioceses and congregations to equip them for congregational ministry and leadership, discernment and ordination processes, and continuing education programs. She will also assist with the development and implementation of Indigenous curricula and the Doctrine of Discovery workshops that are a response to the General Convention Resolution D-011, Doctrine of Discovery Training .”

Crist will begin her duties on August 1. She will be based in the Los Angeles area, where she has served as a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and as a longtime university professor.

Meet Mary Crist
The Rev. Canon Mary Crist, Ed.D., is enrolled Blackfeet (Amskapi Pikuni) from the Douglas family in Babb on the reservation Montana. She is a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, serving at St. Michael’s Riverside. She is married to The Rev. Will Crist , the mother of an adult son and a daughter, grandmother of five, and great grandmother of one. She earned the Doctor of Education at Teachers College Columbia University in New York, the Master of Divinity at The Episcopal Theological School at Claremont/Claremont School of Theology, and the Bachelor of Arts at The University of California Berkeley. She is the former Dean of the Metcalf School of Education and professor in the Online and Professional Studies Division at California Baptist University in Riverside. She has been active in Indigenous Ministry in The Episcopal Church for many years, as a member of the Executive Council’s Committee on Indigenous Ministry, and is now a member of the Indigenous Missioner’s Advisory Council. She was a preacher at the Holy Eucharist featuring Native Americans at General Convention in 2012."
Worship at Bloy House

This year Gerti Garner of St. Athanasius, Los Angeles will be serving as Liturgical Coordinator for Bloy House. The year began with Friday night worship led by Gerti commemorating Martin de Porres, Rosa de Lima, and Toribio de Mogrovejo, three South American saints of the church. Our Saturday opening Eucharist was a celebration of Aidan of Lindisfarne and community members had the opportunity to worship using one of the Iona Eucharistic rites. We were delighted to have Deacon Carlos Ruvalcaba of St. Mary's, Mariposa as our deacon for the service.
Gerti Garner, Professor Jim Dunkly, and Susie Simpson
Paula Walker, Dean Sweeney, Deacon Ruvalcaba, and Stephanie Herrman
This summer Ollie Lim of St. Paul's, Pomona had the opportunity to write an icon. As a part of our first eucharist, the community together blessed the icon, offering prayers for all those who would be blessed by praying with it. In past services Ollie has invited us to gaze upon other icons, so we hope we will spend some time with this image later this year.
Professor Kujawa-Holbrook Contributes to Book on Interfaith Worship and Prayer

The Rev. Dr. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook , Dean of Faculty and Professor of Practical Theology and Religious Education at Claremont School of Theology and Professor of Anglican Studies at Bloy House, is a contributor to Interfaith Worship and Prayer: We Must Pray Together, published in July by Jessica Kingsley Publishers . The book, which features a foreword by the Dalai Lama, is described as "a ground-breaking book explaining the importance and benefits of interfaith prayer and worship, with contributions from 12 different religions: Hinduism, African Traditional religion, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Shintoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Unitarianism and Bahá’í. Interfaith worship and prayer can present challenges, but this book demonstrates that in a world of many religions and cultures, there is an urgent need for religions to come together both at times of crisis and at times of common commitment (for example, to the environment)." The book is edited by Christopher Lewis, an Anglican priest and former Dean of Christ Church in the University of Oxford; and Dan Cohn-Sherbok , Reform rabbi and professor emeritus of Judaism at the University of Wales.

Full of insights and examples of practice, the book demonstrates how religions can be a powerful means of unity and compassion. The book opposes the 'clash of civilisations' model as a way of interpreting the world and promotes peace, hope, and the possibility of cooperation. Religious believers can be sincere and committed to their own faith, while recognizing the need to stand firmly together with members of other religious traditions.
Preaching Excellence Program Attendees Return with Gifts to Share

In May of this year Steve Swartzell (19) and Nancy Wallis (19) attended the Preaching Excellence Program sponsored by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation. In the June issue you had a chance to hear about their experiences. Wanting to share the wealth of what they had received, Nancy and Steve donated copies of one of their favorite books from the conference for the next two preaching classes. The book is Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing--and How We Can Revive Them.

As America rapidly becomes a pluralistic, postmodern society, many of us struggle to talk about faith. We can no longer assume our friends understand words such as  grace  or  gospel.  Others, like  lost  and  sin,  have become so negative they are nearly conversation-enders.

Jonathan Merritt knows this frustration well. After Jonathan moved from the Bible Belt to New York City, he discovered that whenever conversations turned to spirituality, the words he'd used for decades didn't connect with listeners anymore. In a search for answers and understanding, Jonathan uncovered a spiritual crisis affecting tens of millions. 

In this groundbreaking book, one of America's premier religion writers revives ancient expressions through cultural commentary, vulnerable personal narratives, and surprising biblical insights. Both provocative and liberating,  Learning to Speak God from Scratch  will breathe new life into your spiritual conversations and lure you into the embrace of the God who inhabits them.

If you have been wondering how to reach people through your preaching, or how to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers about issues of faith using a language that is not jargony or off-putting, I think you will find this a fascinating and immensely helpful read.
Nancy Wallis and Steve Swartzell
Episcopal Evangelism Society Offers
Rooted in Jesus • Jan. 21-24, 2020 • Atlanta

"Rooted in Jesus" is a gathering of those who are engaged in Christian formation, discipleship and evangelism in the Episcopal Church and beyond. Participants will have the opportunity to be inspired by some of the most interesting and innovative practitioners in the church today, and to inspire others with their own experiences and ideas. Bishop Michael Curry will offer one of the keynote addresses, and will help root this conversation about evangelism and lifelong faith formation in the rich soil of our own experiences with Jesus.

Bloy House hopes to send two seminarians to the "Rooted in Jesus" Conference this January. This event will give our seminarians an opportunity to meet and share with other seminarians and those preparing for ministry through local formation programs across the Episcopal Church. EES will sponsor registration for a team of 2 students from each seminary and formation program. Contact the Executive Director, Day Smith Pritchartt, for details and the registration code.
Save the Date: Graduation 2020
Our Last Graduation on the Claremont Campus
Saturday, May 16, 2020 11 a.m. Kresge Chapel
Bishop John Taylor Preaching and Presiding

After fifty years, we are fast approaching the time to leave our beautiful Claremont School of Theology campus and proceed to our new home. Please join us next May for one last event on the CST campus as we say goodbye to that sacred space and prepare to enter a new one. The new location has been chosen and as soon as we have a signed lease and move in date, we'll be announcing our new location. But for many of us, Kresge Chapel and the classrooms of CST have been the setting for life transforming moments, deep challenges, and fulfilled dreams. We hope that many of you who share our love for that place will be able to be present for this final graduation on the site. See your spring Bloy House News for more information about our special graduation festivities for that day.
Checks can be sent to
Bloy House, ETSC
1325 N. College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
or donate online at
Preparing for Liturgical Renewal
From the first Book of Common Prayer of 1549 (which was itself a liturgical revision of ancient liturgies) down through the ages, Anglicans have been a people of the book who understood that the book must speak to the lives of the people praying with it As the Episcopal Church continues to move deeper into a new time of liturgical experimentation and renewal in preparation for a new prayer book and/or new authorized rites, Episcopal liturgical scholars gather at the North American Academy of Liturgy annual conferences to discuss important topics related to liturgical renewal and to talk about ways in which liturgical scholars can be a resource to those exploring renewal in their own communities as well as in the broader church.

One clear imperative that has been identified is the need for materials to help Episcopalians understand the priorities regarding renewal that were established by General Convention 2018. To that end, members of the Anglican Colloquium of NAAL are working with Church Publishing to publish a resource for use in congregations. The book will address issues of renewal including; the importance of affirming and continuing the baptismal ecclesiology articulated in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, expanding our relationship to the created world in our prayers, engaging in more inclusive and expansive language in worship, the need for multi-cultural and multi-lingual sensitivity in prayer book revision. Dean Sweeney, as the convener of the Anglican Colloquium, serves on the editorial board for the upcoming book. Watch future Bloy House News articles for a publication date and title for what will be a very worthwhile resource for clergy and laity alike.
Academic Calendar 2019-2020
August 17 orientation 
August 23-24 
September 6-7  
September 20-21 
September 27-28 
October 11-12
October 25- 26
November 8-9
November 22-23
December 6-7
December 13-14
January 17-18
January 31-Feb. 1
Feb. 7-8
Feb, 21-22
March 6-7-8 (Long Retreat Weekend)
March 20-21
April 3-4
April 17-18
May 1-2
May 15-16
From the Dean

This sermon was preached at St. Mark's, Altadena on August 18. I share it here because it is my feeble attempt to speak to this moment in history that we all find ourselves living in. The first line of the sermon is taken from the Jeremiah lesson for the day. The second comes from the appointed Gospel, Luke 12:49-56

"Is not my word like fire?"
"Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!"
For those of us in this room who are baby boomers, these words often feel uncomfortable even antithetical to what we expect to hear from God. We the Woodstock generation who know the peace sign as the symbol of our generation. We do not want to think of Jesus as someone who brings division. Jesus, Jesus is peace incarnate. Jesus is the one who shows us all the good that humanity is capable of.
If only everyone in the world lived and loved as Jesus does!
If we do not close our eyes and block our ears to the truth, we who live in this twenty-first century reality have to acknowledge what millennials have learned from the time they were old enough to read or go to the movies. They know that there is a spiritual battle being waged in our world: a battle between good and evil, and we like all the children of Hogwarts dare not mind our own business and just pretend that everything is going to be okay. No! Everything may not be okay if we just sit back and let things take their course. There is a battle to be fought against the forces of evil, and we: We are the ones who must fight that battle.
Evil it seems, never takes a rest. Harry Potter, the Christ figure of our millennials’ meta-narrative, did not want to battle evil every day. He did not choose to be a fighter. But evil chose to battle him, and for the sake of good he would not run away or acquiesce. Harry knew that evil forces care nothing for peace. They will use division and strife, jealousy and hatred, greed and narcissism to achieve their ends. They will even use the world’s longing for peace if it will lull good people into complacency so that evil can triumph. 
In this Gospel passage Jesus is reminding us that his very presence in the world: His message of freedom and love and justice. His commitment to speaking out against all that stands in the way of God’s love being made visible in this world: All of this puts Jesus and all who follow him at enmity with those who prize power, wealth, safety, security, position, or possessions above all else.
We live in a time when there is so much hatred in the world! If left unchecked toxic, virulent, action and rhetoric have the capacity to poison our society. We have to be willing to go to battle against those forces. Left unchecked they corrupt our streets, our justice systems, our schools, and eventually even our homes and our churches. Evil sneaks into our lives when we choose complacency and cease being vigilant.
Tolerating hatred, greed, and corruption for the sake of keeping the peace and avoiding division does not give us peace. It gives us a dangerous vacuum empty of good. Empty of God’s fiery word. It gives us slave trade and the trail of tears, Auschwitz and Armenia, My Lai, Rwanda and Myanmar. It gives us Golgotha; the place where humanity truly shows all the evil it is capable of. 
Loving God and loving one’s neighbor doesn’t mean just getting along with everyone. It means loving our neighbors enough to stand up for them and to stand with them when they are being hurt and abused. Always in our lives a day comes when true love requires us to be courageous. 
Courage is a fourteen year old high school girl who when witnessing another kid being bullied steps in to defend that kid. Courage is a seventy year old woman who brings a refugee family into her home so that they can find safety and be reunited with one another. Courage is a community of believers who lock arms and walk the streets to stand in solidarity with a marginalized community. Courage is a prison chaplain who looks for the humanity within those whom society has thrown away. Courage is working for peace even when it requires entering into ugly, hate-filled corridors of exploitation, violence, and division. Courage means going beyond passive fear to courageous action for the sake of carrying goodness into streets and byways crowded with evil. 
The early church was a church whose hallmark was love. And most every loving act we read of within those faithful communities required courage of its members. It took courage for the women to remain at Golgotha as Jesus was dying. It took courage for all the disciples to gather in the upper room after Jesus' resurrection. It took courage to visit brothers and sisters in Christ who had been imprisoned for their faith. It took courage to leave home and venture out to proclaim Christ across the Roman Empire. It took courage to break societal norms so that women and men, slave and free, Gentile and Jew all knew themselves to be equally beloved children of God. 
In our day just as was true in the early days of the church, it takes courage to live the life of Christ. Our presence is offensive, even threatening, to those with sinister motives for their actions. We are no more welcomed by purveyors of the diabolical than Jesus was or early Christians were.
In our time and day when information is so available and untruths are pervasive. When the whole planet is our missionary field. When unprecedented power and influence can be so easily wielded by the few. In this day the temptation is to believe we are powerless, that there is nothing we can say or do that will make things better. Sometimes we feel tied to the railroad tracks with the train screaming toward us, powerless to free ourselves or anyone else. 
But this is precisely the place where faith finds its greatest strength. In these moments we cannot know the full effect of our actions. We cannot know all the ways in which God is marshaling the forces of good to fight against an evil that to our eyes seems invincible. Faith strengthened by courage articulated as love is the force that has the power to break the hold of evil in our world. But make no mistake, courage is required. 
As we make our way through this unholy, un-peaceful, division-laden age, do your part. Be of good courage. Speak truth. Love openly. Stand in solidarity with those in need of friends. Offer sanctuary to the battered and abused. Refuse to be cowered by angry voices or hate filled action. Be on God’s side when the world stands divided. Act justly. Speak compassionately. Give generously of yourself and your resources. 
In a world filled with division because evil is seeking to undo good, may our unity, our love, our peace be an instrument of God.
Our closing hymn today was specifically chosen to go with this Gospel on this day. It is the Battle Hymn of the Republic, a song that in our American history has been symbolic of a nation’s commitment to justice and freedom in the face of its deepest divisions. It took courage for this nation to stand up against slavery. The cost in lives of our countrymen and women was obscene. So much blood shed. So much pain and suffering experienced. So many families and communities devastated by grief and loss. 
As a member of my generation a part of me says surely there must have been another way to freedom, to justice. There must have been some better way than fighting this obscene and tragic war. How much courage it must have taken for black men and women in this country to say, “No more!” How much courage it must have taken for cultural, church, and civic leaders to stand strong against slavery even when the clear and inevitable result would be division of the nation and a long and bloody civil war! 
It takes so much courage to stand up for what is right! But Thank God they did. Thank God that thousands more black men and women did not have to live their lives in shackles and die in poverty and deprivation, because good Christian white people preferred to turn a blind eye rather than to fight for justice.
History tells us that for too long Americans made a deal with the devil. For the sake of unity, of keeping the peace, they tolerated evil in their midst. But God does not partner with evil, not for a day, not for a generation, not for now and not for always. If the only choice is either division or a continuation of injustice, God will allow division every time. 
Division has come to our time, our land, and our world. When the world stands this divided, there is no demilitarized zone we can try and straddle, no neutral Switzerland to hide in. There is no pocket of peace we can escape to. Peace must be fought for and won. Peace can and will come one day with God on our side if only we have the courage to fight the fight before us!
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