February 2020
From Bishop Megan
Dear Friends in Christ,

In November, at diocesan convention, we all heard the presentations by Mary Parmer of Invite*Welcome*Connect. She gave us words of encouragement; a clear call to examine whether we function as a friendly church or a church of friends. She also told stories of how evangelism has worked for other Episcopal congregations. Finally, she shared tools with us to help welcome our guests no matter what our current habits.

Our churches, from St James of Jerusalem, Yuba City, to Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento, have been responding with enthusiasm. There are vestries who have purchased Invite Welcome Connect and are studying it chapter by chapter. Some folks have rearranged their church times.  Other congregations are using the detailed implementation tools offered on the implementation page of their website

As clergy, we need to model the new behavior of inviting others to church. We have to get out of our offices and do the work of inviting. One way we might do this is to cultivate a relationship with the recovery groups that meet in our Sunday School rooms. Going to their meetings, as appropriate, getting to know them, and praying for the groups during the Prayers of the People - praising God for the healing that occurs there (i.e. Bless, oh God, the 9 pm recovery group and we ask for your healing to those that attend). If we understood them as ministry partners in God’s restoration of the world, we could involve them in our work and our community; we could ensure that attendees felt welcome to come pray in our sanctuary; and we could invite them to a Taizé service, for example, which would be an excellent entry point for seekers. 

In the upcoming season of Lent and Easter we have a perfect opportunity, as church leaders, to help our congregations experience the transformative power of evangelism, hospitality, and belonging. This is a good time to run some holy experiments. I might suggest trying Ashes to Go on Ash Wednesday, for example. This puts us straight at the cross roads of evangelism and pastoral care for our neighbors. ( click here for another Ashes to Go resource)

Many of our congregations are located near health care facilities. Health care workers at care homes, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities rarely have time to get away for worship on Ash Wednesday. A visit to one of these places in your town, with a supply of ashes and a small prayer card that mentions the name of your church and its service times, can be a lift to the men and women who work so hard. It may give us a chance to minister to the needs of the elderly residents, as well. And finally, it could start a relationship with that institution, where our members offer support to the staff. A staff which the beleaguered HR folks cannot support in this way.

Mary Parmer noted that the deep truth of connecting is the “Sacred Act of Listening”. While many clergy have this skill, it is up to us to recognize and give permission for this ministry to those in our churches who have this particular gift. It would be interesting to ask: 
  • Who is a natural connector in our church? 
  • Who listens and makes connections happen?
Be careful to look in all groups in your church. Age makes surprisingly little difference with this charism - it all works! 
St Patrick’s, Kenwood has been working with Invite*Welcome*Connect for several years. They have invited two nationally recognized speakers to come and offer a two-day workshop, called Evangelism 101, in the skills of evangelism, hospitality, and belonging. This workshop is happening on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22 at St. Patrick’s. There are registration instructions and detailed information here and mentioned later in this newsletter.  

I encourage you to send a team to all or part of this weekend. In fact, I’d encourage you to send the listeners you’ve identified. Ask them to listen for how God is guiding your congregation into next steps for the health of your church and how to bless those who will find a worshiping home with you.

May God bless you in your ministries. Serving as clergy is hard, daily work and also one of the greatest glories we can experience; all bundled into one mighty and messy ministry.

In Christ,
Clergy reminder: Lenten Quiet Day
The theme for this Lenten Quiet Day is “Mystical Voices of our Christian Tradition”. Four gifted teachers from among our own clergy will be interviewed concerning a Christian mystical voice of their choice:
  • The Rt. Rev. Megan M. Traquair on Brother Lawrence
  • The Very Rev. Richard Yale on Jean-Pierre de Caussade
  • The Rev. Pamela Dolan on Julian of Norwich
  • The Rev. Anne Mckeever on Teresa of Avila.
These interviews will be followed by a contemplative practice. The day will offer several moments of learning, interwoven with times to be still.

The quiet day facilitator will be The Rev. Rodney Davis who is an associate priest at St. Michael’s in Carmichael.

When: Wednesday, March 18, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: Mercy Center

This clergy event is free and registration is required. Please register here.
College for Congregational Development dates announced
The College for Congregational Development (CCD) is a program designed to build skills and increase capacity for participants to develop congregations of all sizes, locations and conditions into more vital, faithful, healthy and effective communities of faith. CCD equips participants with tools to assess the needs of their congregations, develop strategies for growth, prioritize their needs and focus energy on those areas.

CCD also gives participants the skills to lead change processes, manage conflict and articulate the identity and purpose of their congregation. This training helps participants refine their facilitation skills, so they can lead effective meetings, small groups, and teaching sessions.

  • Weeklong
  • Sun, May 31, 2020, 1:30 PM – Fri, Jun 5, 2020, 4:00 pm PT
  • Click here to register for the weeklong session.

  • Weekends:
  • Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 9:00 am - Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 4:00 pm PT -AND-
  • Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 9:00 am - Sun, Mar 21, 2020, 4:00 pm PT
  • Click here to register for the weekend sessions.

Where: The Bishop's Ranch
Registration for Pathways 2020
The deadline for registration is April 1. More information is available here.

Dates: June 14-19, 2020
Location: Butte County
Participants: Those finishing grades 7-12
Young adult leaders: Ages 18-30
Cost: $600 per participant

You may download a Pathways flyer here and a bulletin insert is available here. Please post in your parish.
Changes in the clergy newsletter
In order to increase our communications as a diocese, we will be publishing our e-news to every week. Please watch for that, and for additional adjustments and improvements on direct communication from Bishop Megan to the clergy of the diocese.
Save the date: Clergy Conference 2020
We look forward to gathering with you. Mark your calendars now!

When: May 19-21, 2020

Where: The Bishop's Ranch

Registration: Coming soon!
Employment opportunities highlighted on the website
There are several open clergy postitions in our diocese. There are also lay positions available at the Office of the Bishop. You can access information about these openings on our homepage, where you can click the banner above or the Employment Opportunities button. The banner and the button are clickable here, as well.
An Invite*Welcome*Connect learning opportunity
Want to share the Good News and grow your church? St. Patrick's, Kenwood is offering a workshop called: EVANGELISM 101 WORKSHOP - A program of The Episcopal Church.

Please join Jerusalem Greer, Staff Officer for Evangelism for The Episcopal Church, Office of the Presiding Bishop; and Rev. Nancy Frausto, Associate Rector at St. Luke’s, Long Beach; for an informative and inspiring experience learning how to share the joy of our faith in the communities we serve.

When: Feb. 21 and 22
  • Friday dinner and presentation $35
  • Saturday workshop and meals $45

Where: St. Patrick's Episcopal Church

  • Print the informational flyer and registration form here or
  • Call or email Miriam Casey at 650-380-2747 or mlcasey5@yahoo.com 
Clergy transitions and announcements
The Rev. Charlie Knuth
The Rev. Charlie Knuth has accepted a call as rector at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Columbia Falls, Montana. Rev. Charlie's last Sunday at Trinity, Folsom will be Mar. 22 and he starts his new call on April 1.

Blessings to Rev. Charlie as he and his wife, the Rev. Mikayla Dunfee, make this change and follow God's call.
The Rev. Jocelynn Hughes
St. David's, San Diego has announced the calling of the Rev. Jocelynn Hughes as their rector. Rev. Jocelynn, who grew up in Sacramento, began her ministry among us in 2008 when she was called to the Belfry as campus chaplain. She was instrumental in bringing LEVN to our diocese in 2012.

"I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues here," Rev. Jocelynn says, "I'm so grateful for this time together and will miss everyone!"

We are so thankful for the fruit of her ministry here in Northern California and we wish her and her family Godspeed in her new call.
The Rev. Susan Napoliello
The Rev. Susan Napoliello has been recognized on epsicopaldeacons.org for her work at St. Luke's, Calistoga. An article about her work was reported in the Weekly Calistogan and then picked up by the Association for Episcopal Deacons.

Thank you Rev. Susan for your devotion to your call and the people of St. Luke's and Calistoga.
Day Of Discernment dates announced
Discerning a call to ordained ministry? Be sure to register for the Day of Discernment! Attendance at the Day of Discernment is mandatory for those seeking ordination in this diocese and for their sponsoring clergy. 

During the Day of Discernment, presentations on the priesthood, the diaconate, and religious orders active in our diocese will be provided. There will also be an overview of the ordination process (including handing out an application packet and a copy of The Manual and Guide for Ordination). Spouses are welcome to attend the Day of Discernment. 

There will be two Days of Discernment in 2020: 

  • Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Office of the Bishop in Sacramento
  • Saturday, September 12, 2020 at a location TBD.

Advance registration is required. For more information and to register, click here.
Episcopal Community Services grant cycle begins for 2020-21
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.
Presiding Bishop Curry requests support for special campaign
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, encourages congregations and supporters to support the ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE campaign through observance of Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday on March 1, 2020. 

“Lent is a time of reflection and of following Jesus, demonstrating his love for the world,” said Presiding Bishop Curry. “I invite all congregations to devote a Sunday in Lent to reflect on the transformational work of Episcopal Relief & Development (EDR), particularly their work with children, and to tangibly demonstrate God’s love by giving generously to support ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE.”   Read More...
As mentioned in the article, you can order the EDR 2020 Lenten Meditations booklet at Forward Movement. Only shipping is charged. Click here to order. Read more...