January 2020
From Bishop Megan
Dear Friends in Christ,

I sent out a message last week as a call for prayer in our diocese concerning the situation in the Middle East. In the message, I recalled that our places of worship, the very pews that we sit in during our services, are soaked in prayer. They beg to be used as a holy place in which to lift prayers and seek solace. Because of this, I challenged you to open the doors of our churches to our neighbors; to invite them in to the holy spaces and to welcome people into our midst.

We could call this a holy experiment. Did you take part? Did you open your doors or advertise a time of prayer? What happened? I would love for you to collect photos and anecdotes from your impromptu or planned prayer times and share them with me and the rest of the diocese. Please send them to Jay Elmquist, Director of Communications, at communications@norcalepiscopal.org with "Holy Experiment" in the subject line. We will gather your submissions together and publish them out in the Aurora next month.

My message follows:
"I have been watching the international news this past week with growing anxiety. Drone and missile strikes are stretching diplomacy in the Middle East in an alarming manner. 

"While direct action in that arena is out of our hands, we do possess the ancient spiritual practices of prayer and gathered community. We gather. We pray. This has always been part of the way we stand with those in need, fear, or worry.

"We know that God is already in action everywhere: from our living rooms; to our board rooms; or to any place that is in crisis. We take our part in Jesus’ work, restoring our beautiful, blessed, and broken world through our acts of prayer, mercy, and leadership. So, in these days we are praying for courage and wisdom for all leaders; that a path without destruction may be found and taken. 

"When we gather, or pray alone, we use the Psalms as part of our devotions:

  • Psalm 90 (BCP 717) is a good place to begin. “Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another…”  
  • Psalm 62, (BCP 669) and Psalm 63 (BCP 670) encourage us to remember God is our stronghold and that we are to seek him out in quiet. 

"This is a time when we can open the doors of our churches to our community. Episcopalians are not the only ones who might have anxiety at this time. Our pews are soaked in sacramental prayer. They offer our neighbors a place for their own prayers and a chance to bring them before God.

"Let us open our doors in hope and prayer. Let us gather in both light and worship around our meal times. Find a large candle and place it in the spot the Advent wreath just vacated. Together we can recite the Prayer for Peace, shown below, or the "Keep watch..." prayer from Compline (BCP 134). 

"When anxiety and fear dim our world remember that the brightness of our candles and prayers, whether at home or in church, exist as a part of a greater light. The Paschal candle of Christ’s resurrection casts a great halo of light, hope, and peace. It shines light into every corner of our world and the darkness has not, and shall not, overcome it.

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn
but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the
strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that
all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of
Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and
glory, now and forever. Amen.
(BCP 815)"
In Christ,
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
Applications are open for Pathways 2020
Pathways is a youth event in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, open to all youth finishing grades 7-12. Join Bishop Megan and young people from around our diocese from June 14-19, as we learn from the experiences of those in Butte County and explore the aftermath of the Camp Fire. Together we will deepen our awareness of God’s creation, experience Christ’s reconciling love, and learn more about social justice and ecological sustainability. 

Pathways is a pilgrimage that unites youth to one another and to God, equipping them to be agents of truth, peace and reconciliation. Led by the young adults who started Pathways, we will spend the week together sharing meals, worshipping, having fun and traveling as pilgrims.

This fifth year of Pathways we journey to Butte County where we will explore matters of social and eco-justice as we visit the local congregations and communities supporting those who have suffered and been displaced due to the Camp Fire. We will also explore historical indigenous sites and grow in our awareness of the impact that care for creation has had and continues to have on people of every land. 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 (Early bird registration discount of $75 if application is received by February 1, 2020.)

You may download a Pathways flyer here. Please post in your parish and/or relay this information in your parish bulletin.
You can still make a gift to the Bishop's Partnership Appeal
Bishop Megan invites you to make a gift to the Bishop's Partnership Appeal , a year-end process that is designed to directly support the congregations and institutions of our diocese. Your generous, service mindset will fuel new ways to invite folks into what God is doing here in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California.
 
This year’s Appeal presents ministries in four different areas. You have opportunities to give in the areas of: 
 
  • Youth Campership and Young Adult Ministry
  • Feeding and Caring for Those in Need
  • Environmental Initiatives
  • Diocesan Addiction Recovery Ministry
You may also choose to donate to the Episcopal Foundation of Northern California here (click "Donation to EFNC").
 
If you would like to give to a specific ministry of the Appeal, please indicate your chosen ministry(s) in the note/memo line when you give.
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.
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 as the Rev. Robin Denney is instituted as Rector at St. Mary's, Napa . See the invitation here .
 
Where: St. Mary's, Napa
When: Friday, Jan 17, 6:00 p.m.
Clergy: Red Stoles
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and the Diocese of Northern California are excited to announce that we are accepting applications for Dean of Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento. In our previous search, we met and discerned with many exceptional candidates. Because of various unexpected twists and turns, we ended that search without making a call. Additionally, we are mindful that the process was congruent with the election and consecration of a new bishop, and all of the complexities of that time. Pausing for the holiday, we are now receiving names and will continue this discernment. We feel that God’s timing is just right. The cathedral is in a time of stability as the church continues faithful ministry and the deep work of an interim period under the excellent leadership of our Interim Dean, The Rev. Jim Richardson. He, along with the Cathedral Vestry, Applicant Review Committee, and Bishop Megan all have a common sense of calm and peace about this pace and our unanimous decision to pause and reopen. 

Bishop Megan Traquair is uniquely involved in this discernment process, in partnership with the Cathedral Vestry, and seeks applicants who are grounded in Holy Scriptures, passionate about our Episcopal liturgical and spiritual practices, and deeply prayerful. “I welcome the opportunity to join in ministry with a new dean at Trinity Cathedral. This is a special time in the life of our diocese, and at the start of my time here. My vision is for a collaborative, generative, and fruitful partnership between the cathedral and the bishop’s office. I look forward to this time of discernment as we listen prayerfully for the Holy Spirit to guide us in this decision.” 

Please contact Canon Andrea McMillin with any questions or to learn more about our diocese. To apply, please send an introductory letter, OTM materials, a two page resume, and an essay articulating how your experience and gifts speak to the ministry goals and vision for the cathedral. 

All materials should be saved as PDF and sent to: 

The Rev. Canon Andrea McMillin 

Include your last name and Trinity Cathedral Dean Search in the subject line.
Opportunities at the Office of the Bishop
We are excited to announce two newly-created positions open in the Office of the Bishop. Please forward this to people you know who might be called to this ministry. 
Executive Staff Support

This Executive Staff Support position has been created to work alongside with Michelle Karimi to enable the Canon to the Ordinary and related staff to carry out their mission and ministry in the diocese. 

This person must demonstrate and utilize overall knowledge of procedures, protocols, and expectations regarding the following: clergy transition processes, database management, Safe Church purpose and program, and other programs of the diocese. To apply, see instructions below. Position open until filled.
The Missioner for Evangelism & Discipleship

The Missioner for Evangelism & Discipleship focuses on Christian formation, Youth, and Evangelism/Church Growth through networking, and connecting churches together in order to build leadership capacity and grow churches.  

This is an exciting opportunity to join our staff at the beginning of Bishop Megan’s episcopate. We are working within a mixed economy of church growth and development: Church planting, growing existing churches, and exploring new communities and models of church.  

Our diocese contains several counties that are the fastest growing in the state of California, making this a fruitful time for church growth and development in this area.  

Our mission is to create healthy, multi-generational, vibrant, congregations that include a robust formation for youth and adults, connections with local communities, and faithful expressions of the Gospel in our local context. To apply, see below. Position open until filled. 
To apply for either open position, please send a cover letter and a copy of your resume to Jacqi Seppi, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, at jacqi@norcalepiscopal.org 

In the subject line of your email please note the position for which you are applying.
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 bws@briansp.com or at 734-358-0033. For more information see bit.ly/canterburyslochaplain or the position description here
NEWS AND EVENTS IN AND BEYOND OUR DIOCESE
Clergy transitions and announcements
The Rev. Lucretia Jevne
The Rev. Lucretia Jevne has led her last services at St. Brigid's, Rio Vista and at St. Matthew's, Sacramento and is anticipating a move to New England later this year. Lucretia has been a devoted servant of Christ in the years that she has invested in our diocese.

We wish her Godspeed and will miss her in our diocesan life.
The Rev. Anne Smith
The Rev. Anne Smith is in discernment about what the future holds after resigning her position as Priest in Charge at St Mary's, Elk Grove.

Our prayers are with Anne as she discerns her future.
The Very Rev. Mary Claugus
The Very Rev. Mary Claugus will be on sabbatical from Dec. 30 to April 1. The Rev. Jesse Vaughn, the Rev. Rod Davis, the Rev. Cindy Long and the Rev. Roy Whitten will also assist at the church while Rev. Mary is away.

We pray for revitalization and rest during her time away.
The Rev. Terri Hobart
The Rev. Terri Hobart and The Rev. Vanessa Glass were married by The Rev. Christy Laborda Harris on January 1, 2020 in an intimate ceremony surrounded by their families and closest friends. On January 5th during the celebration of The Feast of the Epiphany they had the privilege of being the first same sex couple to have their marriage blessed and registered a St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Woodland, CA. The Rev. Betsey Monnot presided and The Rev. Don Callison served as deacon. They will be moving to Denver where Vanessa has been called to serve as the Canon for Transition Ministry. Terri is in the process of bidding a fond farewell to the congregation at St. Luke’s. Her last Sunday will be March 1, 2020.

Our congratulations and best wishes go with them on their journey.
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.
Save the date: Lenten Clergy Quiet Day
When: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Where: Mercy Center; 535 Sacramento St., Auburn, CA 95603

Watch your email this week for information about program and registration.
Invitation to attend Nuevo Amancer 2020 issued
The Team of Nuevo Amanecer 2020, would like to cordially invite you to their biannual
conference on May 12-15, 2020. This year, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be joining the participants at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC.

Nuevo Amanceer, a biennial event that unifies and celebrates the Latino ministries from across The Episcopal Church, "welcomes a diverse group of participants who look forward to the support, networking, tools, formation, and fellowship environment that this conference offers," say the leaders of the conference. Lay leaders, clergy, diocesan missioners, parish staff, church planters, and anyone else interested in expanding their knowledge by sharing best practices and exploring new methods of church growth, discipleship and evangelism, are invited to attend.

Information about the speakers and the retreat, as well as registration are available 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.
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
There's still time to take avantage of this valuable resource. Jump in today!!

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.