December 2019
From Bishop Megan
Dear Friends in Christ,

I greet you in the midst of Advent and after our energizing diocesan convention in November.
Advent is a season of preparation so we may enter more fully into the joy of Christ’s birth and follow his life throughout the year. When a diocesan convention has functioned particularly well, we find the same forward movement in effect. Having prepared with convocations and celebrated together at convention, we are ready to launch into the new year.

Our theme of New Beginnings featured our keynote speaker, Mary Parmer. She showed us the many ways an Episcopal church can invite, welcome and connect with community members who become guests. Everyone wants to do each of these steps well, but we often feel ill-equipped to tackle evangelism in an effective way.

I have heard from churches large and small, about how they are already making use of the tools we received from the convention workshop. One church has revamped how they do their coffee hour by eliminating the number of seats available and encouraging folks to stand and mingle. I commend this forward movement. Studies have found that coffee hour time feels more welcoming when there is more movement and even a bit of chaos involved. Having everyone sitting at tables is much less successful at communicating welcome than we imagine.  

I tackled this at one of my parishes. We found that retaining enough tables for those who needed to sit and making space for free movement of small conversational groups was a good compromise. Some folks had a more dignified, seated, coffee time while guests and the younger generation did not feel worried about finding an open seat nor guilty about their desire to get up and talk to additional folks. Perhaps Advent and Christmas are a time to try a different kind of welcome. I invite you to try.

Some of our congregations are working the Invite*Welcome*Connect book and others have revitalized their newcomer welcome process. In all of these efforts I see the work of God’s Holy Spirit. We are verbalizing the good news of God in our own personal lives and inviting others to love and worship our God and to care for people in the neighborhood.

Acts 8 Movement, a group of Episcopalians who are serious about evangelism in our church provide free, short videos to invite people to celebrate Christmas with your congregation. They can be customized with information from your own church and are a great tool of invitation. The article and videos can be found here: I think that the second option, with its lovely art, may be best for the churches in our diocese.

Fellow workers in the vineyard, thank you for a wonderful first convention together.  I believe God has great days ahead of us. May your celebration of Christmas be joyful and holy; full of wonder at the mighty acts of God in our lives.

In Christ,
St. Nicholas Day at St. Michael's Day School
It was a beautiful, sunny
St. Nicholas Day
"Can any of you share with me something you could do to be kind or generous in the weeks before Christmas?"
The three bags of gold coins given by St. Nicholas
Bishop Megan observed the Feast of St. Nicholas, Dec. 6, by visiting the students and teachers of St. Michael's Episcopal Day School in Carmichael.

Vested in red and gold, she made her way classroom to classroom, telling the story of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Bishop Nicholas was known for his kindness and generosity. With props in hand, Bishop Megan told of the way that St. Nicholas gave three bags of gold coins to a family, one for each of their daughters, so they would not have to be sold into a life of servitude.

In honor of St. Nicholas' gift, Bishop Megan gave each student a gold coin, made of chocolate. It was a wonderful morning spent with the youngest members of the Church of Christ, and their teachers.
Bishop Megan gifted each child a gold coin to commemorate St. Nicholas' gift
The students were
enraptured by Bishop Megan's storytelling
Thank you to the Rev. Canon Lynell Walker, Chaplain;
Ms. Mary Heise, Head of School; and the teachers and staff at St. Michael's for facilitating our visit
Ordinations at Cloverdale
Bishop Megan and the priests who were present lay on hands, asking the Holy Spirit to make Tim a priest
Following their ordinations,
the two new priests assist Bishop Megan during
the Eucharist, along
with the archdeacon
Her family looks on as the bishop and the priests
lay hands on Jane,
ordering her into the
Sacred Order of Priests
Bishop Megan spend the Second Sunday of Advent with the clergy and people of Good Shepherd, Cloverdale. This was an extraordinary visit, as she ordained the Rev. Jane Snibbe and the Rev. Tim McDonald as priests in the Church of God. Good Shepherd was packed with a standing room only crowd, including clergy visiting from across the diocese. Bishop George Hunt, retired bishop of Rhode Island, and his wife were also guests at the service. Bishop Hunt resides in the Russian River Deanery and is well loved by our diocese. Bishop Megan was attended by the Ven. Gary Brown, Archdeacon, and from the Office of the Bishop: The Rev. Canon Andrea McMillin, Canon to the Ordinary; Kati Braak, Director of Operations; and Jay Elmquist, Director of Communications.

Following the service, there was a lovely reception hosted by the church. The hospitality and joy shared by the people of Good Shepherd was much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed. Congratulations to our two new priests!
The Rev. Jane Snibbe and
the Rev. Tim McDonald
bid the peace as they are introduced to their people
Principal participants in the ordination service: (L-R) The Ven. Gary Brown, Archdeacon; the Rev. Jane Snibbe, Ordinand; the Rev. Ed Howell, Preacher; the Rt. Rev. Megan Traquair, Bishop; the Rev. Tim McDonald, Ordinand; the Rev. Sally Hanes Hubbell, Litanist; and the Rev. Bob Scott, Deacon
Rev. Tim and Rev. Jane
are beaming as
they leave the church
Office of the Bishop closed at noon on Christmas Eve; closed on Christmas Day
Just a reminder that the Office of the Bishop will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 24 starting at noon. We will also be closed for Christmas the following day.
Bishop Megan's official portraits available for purchase
Bishop Megan sat for new official portraits, which are now available to order. There are two portrait options from which you can choose. Additionally, you can order the photo by itself, or order it framed and/or matted.

All orders will be placed directly between the individual or congregation and Eleakis & Elder Photography; no order forms should be sent to the Office of the Bishop. Please download the order form here for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact Eleakis & Elder Photography directly via phone at 916-451-4892.
Ordinations to the Sacred Order of Priests: Dec. 11
Join Bishop Megan and the people of St. Michael's as the Rev. Ann-Marie Genato, the Rev. Alexander Price Leach and the Rev. Julie D. Vice are ordained into the Sacred Order of Priests. A reception will follow. Clergy: red stoles, please.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.
Where: St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 2140 Mission Ave., Carmichael
Save the date for a Celebration of New Ministry for the Rev. Robin Denney: Jan. 17, 2020
All are invited to the Celebration of New Ministry for the Rev. Robin Denney, Rector at St. Mary's, Napa, Friday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at the church.
Office of the Bishop staff transition
Loretta Robinson, previously the Receptionist and Administrative Assistant, has accepted another position. Her last day as a part of the Office of the Bishop staff was Nov. 8.

Taking her place is Jenice Rover, our new Receptionist and Administrative Assistant. Jenice will provide human services support with a concentration in management. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Human Services while attending on-ground classes with the University of Phoenix. Jenice currently has a goal of graduating with her Masters in Social Work, emphasis in Advanced Clinical Practice. Jenice’s hobbies are noticing and collecting art, cooking and spending time outdoors with loved ones.

You may email Jenice at
Bishop Megan's visitation schedule
  • Dec. 15: St. John's, Lakeport
  • Jan. 5: St. Clement's, Rancho Cordova
  • Jan. 12: Grace, Fairfield

See more visitation dates here.
Fresh Start Retreat at The Bishop's Ranch
Printmaking as an exercise toward wellness; the Rev. Annie Mertz, the Rev. Robin Denny, the Rev. Karen Lawler, the Rev. Bob Scott and
the Rev. Tom Gartin work together.
Peaceful, finished prints made for a rainbow of colors and a show of diversity in design and composition.
The Rev. Cindy Woods prepares the medium
for her print.
The Rev. Julie Vice works intently, while the Rev. Anny Genato looks on.
An icon written by the
Rev. Paul Colbert.
This past week the new clergy of our diocese traveled to The Bishop's Ranch and participated in a two day retreat called Fresh Start. Through this program, the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California shepherds clergy who are new to the diocese in a two-year cycle of orientation, formation and collegiality.

The Rev. Canon Andrea McMillin lead the team of trainers, which also included the Very Rev. Sara Potter and the Rev. Gary Brown. The focus for this retreat was wellness. Together, they explored the theme, "Jesus is coming and he wants you to be well".

Join us in praying for this extraordinary group of people as they continue their ministries across the breadth of our diocese.
Commission for Intercultural Ministries receives Becoming Beloved Community Impact Grant from TEC
Congratulations to our Commission on Intercultural Ministries for being awarded a $5,000 Impact Grant from The Episcopal Church's 2019 Becoming Beloved Community grant cycle! We would like to thank Lynn Zender and Linda Jensen who did the groundwork on applying for this grant, and we look forward to seeing how this grant is used to "support relationships among cultures" in our diocese.

[From the Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Media Release on Dec. 6] At their fall 2019 meeting, the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church awarded forty-two Becoming Beloved Community grants totaling $350,600 to catalyze the church’s work of racial healing, reconciliation and justice. Allocated by the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church (GC 2018 Resolution D002), the intent for these grants is to build capacity and increase Episcopal parish, diocesan, and agency engagement in four primary fields: telling the truth about our churches and race, proclaiming the dream of Beloved Community, practicing Jesus’ way of healing and reconciliation, and repairing the breach in institutions and society.
Two types of grants were awarded: Seed Grants, geared for groups launching new projects and/or evolving the scale of an existing project; and Impact Grants, for growing capacity, impact, and reach of communities and institutions already working to advance racial justice, healing, and reconciliation. The full announcement is here.
2020 Anita Weaver grant now accepting applications
Episcopal Community Services and the Episcopal Foundation of Northern California are once again offering a special grant opportunity for the Anita Weaver Funds. These have been designated to help indigent seniors with housing.

This is a two year grant of $15,000 in the first year, and if successfully completed, $7,500 for the second year. This grant provides an opportunity to develop a longer term program in collaboration with other congregations and/or city or county resources.

For complete information please see the Request for Proposal. Grant applications will be due by Jan. 15, and the grant award will be announced by Feb. 15.
Join Christ Church, Eureka, for their Advent soup suppers and discussion: Dec. 10 and Dec. 17
This year, Christ Church, Eureka's Tuesday Advent Soup Suppers include soup, presentations and discussions by Pastor Dan Price and Karen Price. The focus will be on Richard Rohr's Universal Christ and theologian Karl Barth.

When: 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17
Where: Christ Episcopal Church, 625 15th Street (15th & H Sts.), Eureka (in parish hall)
St. Clement's Thrift Shop closing sale: Dec. 14
St. Clement's is sad to announce that the Thrift Shop run so lovingly for the last 10 years by Denise and Emilito Smith is closing its doors.Everything must go!

When: Saturday, Dec.14, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Where: St. Clement's Episcopal Church, 2376 Zinfandel Dr., Rancho Cordova
Center for Bible Study Archaeology Conference on Jan. 11
The Center for Bible Study is holding a one-day conference on Biblical archaeology. The theme is "Archaeologists Have More Fun," and speakers include Professor Cynthia Shafer Elliott as well as students.

When: Saturday, Jan. 11, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: St. John's Episcopal Church, 2351 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville
Cost: $15, lunch is included. Register here.
Contact: The Rev. Peter Rodgers: (916) 337-5319,
Canterbury San Luis Obispo Chaplain search
The Canterbury Foundation Board of San Luis Obispo, California, requests enthusiastic applicants for the position of Chaplain. This will be a part-time (40%/16 hrs/wk) position, filled by an ordained Deacon or Priest of The Episcopal Church (or a practicing Lay Episcopalian with a Master of Divinity or equivalent degree in ministry, theology, pastoral or religious studies, or related field). 

This position begins on Aug. 1, 2020. To apply please submit letter of interest, résumé and references by April 1, 2020 to Brian Spolarich, Board Chair, at or at 734-358-0033. For more information see or the position description here
Episcopal Migration Ministries webinar on Supporting Asylum Seekers toolkit: Dec. 12
Join Episcopal Migration Ministries on Thursday, Dec. 12, 1-2:30 p.m., for an overview and introduction to the new resource, Supporting Asylum Seekers: A Toolkit for Congregations. Presenters and practitioners from across the country and The Episcopal Church will speak to group discernment, ministry models, and important considerations when engaging in ministry with asylum seekers.  
Registration is required and is available here. The webinar will be available on-demand following the event. 
Call for proposals: The Theology of Gratitude
The United Thank Offering (UTO) and Bexley Seabury Seminary invite scholars in philosophy, religion, theology, and other relevant disciplines to offer proposals for papers on The Theology of Gratitude.
This call for proposals comes in recognition that gratitude has become a phenomenon in popular culture and is written about in books ranging from self-help to the Harvard Business Review. Scholarly engagement has developed primarily in the psychological community, which has demonstrated the correlation between gratitude and improvement in personal health and the development of strong, healthy relationships.
Scholars representing diverse perspectives and experiences from all disciplines, generations, and cultural groups are invited to submit a 1000-1500-word proposal plus bibliography of how they will engage in a rigorous exploration of human expressions while living in a complex world. Submit proposals here by Jan 15, 2020.
Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of thought leaders in The Episcopal Church. Six proposals will be selected for presentation at the Convocation and Scholars Conference on the Theology of Gratitude in Chicago, April 23–24, 2020. Learn more.
Episcopal Migration Ministries offers 2020 Epiphany curriculum
Episcopal Migration Ministries is offering a seven-lesson Epiphany curriculum for individuals and congregations. This free resource is Episcopal Migration Ministries’ contribution to the Good Book Club, a project that invites all Episcopalians to join in reading the Gospel of John during Epiphany 2020. More information about the Good Book Club is here.