July 2019
From Bishop Megan
Dear Friends in Christ,

I must begin with words of thanks and praise. Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and worshipers who made the Consecration such a Holy Spirit filled event; and praise to God for gathering us together to serve as the Church in this place.

It seems very suitable that the Propers for June 30, included the story of Elijah and Elisha. Passing on leadership is rarely simple. Elisha showed a dogged focus and persistence in following his master, the prophet Elijah. While the challenges today are different, passing on leadership and drawing forth new leaders is still difficult.

While some persons manage to pass the baton of leadership smoothly – we often experience the opposite. As rector or vicar we sometimes have a leader whose interest in a role far outlasts their health or ability to perform it. At the same time finding a volunteer willing and ready to serve can be equally challenging.

Volunteers for ministry have very different expectations than they did 20 years ago. Volunteers today show up because of shared values with their organization, and are interested in being part of movement toward a mission goal. They prefer to serve for the tenure of a given project – not indefinitely.

We also are surrounded by persons searching for meaning in their lives – both inside our churches and in the surrounding community. And into this need we can share good news. The Church – the Body of Christ – is founded on the One who is the source of all meaning and purpose – Jesus Christ.

Our call as clergy is to verbalize our “Why” or to “… give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15b. This need for a clear sense of purpose is what drives congregations and Non Profits in general to develop mission statements. The mission at St Mark’s, Mesa, Arizona, for example, is: Seek God, Serve Others, Transform Lives . This statement was formed out of the hard work of identifying, sharpening and reworking until the mission and purpose was clear.

When our mission is clear it can be named and repeated in our congregation and used by our teams and committees. Everyone can re-connect with our original purpose and passion. It is easier to take on an apprentice leader and pass the baton of leadership when a larger purpose is proclaimed and embraced. A retiring leader is not leaving the river of life, just switching their position within that stream. A person thinking about jumping in to volunteer can understand our values, engage in the mission and see others who are already excited about it.

There is an extra blessing for clergy leaders in this too: reclaiming our mission lifts our activities from a weary to-do list, to a journey whose end is reconciliation and whose path is grace in Christ. Go back and read the very first words of 1 Peter 3:15a. Then may we, like Elisha, follow so closely in the steps of our master that the Sprit of Christ may fall upon us in abundance this year.

In Christ,
Bishop Megan is pictured in her red and white consecration vestments
Bishop Megan visits Epiphany, Vacaville
On Sunday, July 8, 2019, Bishop Megan made her first visitation to the people of Epiphany, Vacaville.
Separation of Families: What you can do
A Statement From Bishop Megan Traquair and the other Episcopal Bishops in California:

We, the bishops of the Episcopal Church in California, write to express our opposition to the inhumane conditions in which our government is holding migrant children. Our commitment to our Christian faith compels us to speak out for justice and care for the most vulnerable.

The recent news stories of lawyers visiting detained children in an overcrowded facility in Clint, Texas underscore the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. Lawyers sent there to assess the conditions found traumatized children, many of whom have relatives waiting for them in the United States. They were untended by adults, fending for themselves, and sleeping on concrete floors with no blankets. The lawyers described filth and stench due to a lack of basic sanitation supplies such as soap, toothbrushes, and showers. Our practice of separating migrant children from their families and neglecting them in detention centers not only threatens their physical health; it also creates serious emotional and spiritual trauma.

Read more of the bishops' message  here and learn what you can do to help separated families.

The Episcopal Church has released a statement on this issue as well;  read it here.
Camp Fire gift cards for those struggling to make ends meet
St. John's, Chico, continues to be actively involved in helping folks impacted by the Camp Fire in Paradise. As a part of this work, the church is requesting gift cards that they can hand out to those who need assistance. Specifically, they have found that Safeway cards are the best as recipients can use them for either gas or groceries. The gift cards can be mailed directly to St. John’s, Chico (address below).

St. John's Episcopal Church 
c/o The Very Rev. Richard Yale 
2341 Floral Avenue 
Chico, CA 95926 

You may also donate to the diocesan disaster fund  here. Want to send a check? Make checks out to EDNC, with "Disaster Relief" in the memo line. The diocesan office address is below.

Episcopal Diocese of Northern California
Disaster Relief
350 University Ave., Suite 280 
Sacramento, CA 95825
Buddhist and Christian meditation: Living and breathing on a common path
For over 25 years, the Pacific Center for Spiritual Formation has been offering this unique opportunity to experience both Buddhist and Christian contemplative practices, through brief instruction, extended periods of silent meditation practice, and generous time for unstructured quiet and solitude.

It will be held July 21-26 at St. Francis Retreat in San Juan Bautista. Scholarships are available. Full details are available here
Racial reconciliation training in the Sierra Deanery: Aug. 10
The Sierra Deanery racial reconciliation training will be held on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. at St. Luke’s, Auburn, 124 Orange St. This training will be facilitated by leaders from our diocesan Commission for Intercultural Ministries. The day will provide an opportunity to come together as congregational leaders to learn how to help our worship communities appreciate and welcome the great diversity of people among us and around us, and to develop tools to work against the forces of racism in our world, and to be communities of reconciliation.

In our diocese, this training is required for all clergy, for all lay people who are engaged in ministries of governance (diocesan boards and commissions, as well as vestries and mission committees), along with licensed lay ministers.  

This event is free, and lunch is included, but registration is required. Please register here by Aug. 2. If you have any questions, please contact Commission for Intercultural Ministries Co-chair Linda Jensen, at lmjensen.rio@gmail.com.
Week-long iconography workshop in Grass Valley: Aug. 12-16
Peter Pearson will lead an iconography workshop at the Grass Valley United Methodist Church, Grass Valley, from Aug. 12-16. The workshop will begin at 3 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 12 and end at noon on Friday, Aug. 16. No painting experience is needed; all supplies will be furnished. Space is limited, so please indicate your interest as soon as possible. The estimated cost of the workshop will be $275. For further information, contact Rev. Paul Colbert at pcolbert@peacenet.org

Peter Pearson, M. Div., Th. D. has studied under nearly a dozen master iconographers and has been painting icons for fifty years. He's been teaching iconography for more than half that time and has authored three books on the subject. Icons by his hand grace the walls of churches, monasteries, and retreat houses, mainly in North America but have also found their way throughout the world.