Merry Christmas!
Let the heavens rejoice, and the Earth be glad! Come and hear the story of the Messiah--the birth of Christ. Merry Christmas!

Join us on the Diocesan Facebook page or YouTube channel as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ:
Dec. 24 at 5pm - Youth Pageant live broadcast
Dec. 24 at 10pm - Cathedral Rebroadcast of Midnight Service
Dec. 27 at 10am - Diocesan Lessons and Carols
Youth Ministry: Christmas - Epiphany Pageant
The Youth Christmas & Epiphany Pageants are now available.

Our Christmas Pageant is a 17-minute short film that focuses on Angels Gabriel and Gabrielle as they journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, supporting and proclaiming scriptural characters along the way. This script exercises some warm-hearted artistic license while concentrating on the Nativity story from Luke 2. Sing-a-long hymns, from parish musicians from across our diocesan family, act as tentpoles as student actors guide us through the story.

Our Epiphany Pageant is a ten-minute video that continues the light-hearted look at the saga of the Holy Family with the addition of Herod and other familiar faces culminating in our Bishop, Canon to the Ordinary, and Cathedral Dean as our three Magnificent Magi then gently discussing Holy Innocence.

Altogether, more than a third of our congregations participated in these short films, reminding us that we are capable of wonderful things. Both exciting, funny, touching, kind-hearted videos can be downloaded from edsd.org/pageant to be embedded in your Christmas and Epiphany services.

Starting Christmas Eve, you’re welcome to view both videos from our YouTube channel to watch as a family, use during a youth ministry Zoom or parish formation session, and more. The sky’s the limit!

The completed pageants are available at edsd.org/pageant for download or the Diocesan Youtube channel for use in your worship services or post for your congregation to enjoy. 
School for Ministry Registration Closes Dec. 28
Spring Term registration closes December 28. Join students from throughout the diocese this spring as we deepen our knowledge of Christ together. This spring the School for Ministry is offering: New Testament 2, Church Mission & Society, Theology, and Christian Spirituality. Learn more about these amazing offerings on the School for Ministry website.
Youth Ministry: Dismantling Racism
This Epiphany, Diocesan Youth will journey through The Dismantling Racism Curriculum for Youth created by the Diocese of Atlanta and Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing. This six-unit virtual discussion group is open to youth grades 6-12 willing to engage in tough conversations to deepen their understanding of racism, identity, privilege, and healing as part of the life-long work of dismantling racism. 

This six-week series will be held virtually. Registration will open on December 1, 2020. There are 20 spots available. Contact youth missioner Charlette Preslar, cpreslar@edsd.org, with any questions.
Diocesan Office Closed for Christmas & New Years

The Diocesan Office will be closed from December 24 - January 4. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the diocesan staff in the case of an emergency during this break. May you have a very Merry Christmas!
Lay Preaching: Episcopal Preaching Foundation
Trinity Church Wall Street team has awarded $100,000 to the Episcopal Preaching Foundation for the first of what is hoped will be a three-year program to train and support lay preachers in The Episcopal Church.

The overarching vision of the foundation’s new Lay Preacher Training Initiative is to establish lay preaching and lay leadership as a fourth dimension of diocesan leadership in The Episcopal Church alongside bishops, priests, and deacons. Read More
Christian and Muslim Awareness Event
You are invited to attend this first virtual event designed to meet and learn about your Muslim neighbors on Thursday, January 14 at 7 pm.
Many people don’t know the most basic facts about Islam. The overwhelming majority of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims share the same values that are common to humanity everywhere – and long for a peaceful and prosperous life for their families.

Together the Reverend Joe Dirbas and Salaam want to bring Muslims and non-Muslims together.

“I would encourage all those interested in learning more to attend this session. Come with an open heart and an open mind and together we will learn to love and respect each other,” said Dirbas.

County Grant Funds Available
Your church may qualify for a share of about $4 million from the County Housing and Community Development Services’ Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

The funds are available for projects in the following areas:

  • Public services such as grocery delivery, food pantries, rent or mortgage assistance programs, diagnostic testing and health care job training.

  • Construction or rehabilitation of testing or treatment community facilities.

  • Acquire or rehabilitate housing related to isolation and quarantine.

All activities must benefit residents in the unincorporated areas of the region, as well as the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway and Solana Beach. More Here.
New Grant Procedures 
The Diocese is implementing a new procedure for grants to congregations. Previously, grant requests were received in June/July and decision-making as to which grants would be awarded was made prior to diocesan convention. After the approval of the budget at convention, funds were dispersed early the next year. This means that seven or eight months had transpired between the grant request and receiving the funds. Things can change a lot in seven months (and oh, don’t we know that now!) and plans would often have changed, key people might have moved on, etc.  

This year, the approved budget includes $ 119,000 for Missional Congregational Development Grants to be awarded in February/March 2021. The Missional Congregational Development Grants take the place of Congregational Operating Grants, Fearless Love Grants and Multicultural Grants. The Executive Council voted to have the following priorities for grants in the coming year: racial reconciliation, community engagement, and outreach/multiculturalism. These are not the only possibilities, just priorities.  


Applications are due by January 31, 2021. After your request is received you will have a consultant assigned to review it with you.  

If you have questions, please contact the Rev. Canon Gwynn Lynch at glynch@edsd.org
Amendments to Congregational By-Laws
A number of congregations are concerned about how to hold annual meetings as required by their by-laws, including whether virtual meetings would be required. The Standing Committee is required to approve any amendments to congregational By-Laws. Below, we are offering a template for By-Law amendments that could be approved by the Bishop and Standing Committee under a streamlined process.
 
This process is based on the changes made to the diocesan canons to accommodate complications of the pandemic. These changes hinge on a Declaration of Extraordinary Circumstances, which includes the Coronavirus Pandemic. Once the Declaration is in effect, the Bishop and Executive Council have significant latitude in modifying our methods of doing business, which could include granting a “waiver, relaxation or other adjustment of the mandates of bylaws or other governing documents that would be applicable to a congregation.” 
 
Accordingly, we are offering this template to congregations to use if they wish. If your Bylaws do not allow for virtual annual meetings, you may either work these into your Bylaws or adopt them as an addendum to the Bylaws. 
 
If your Vestry or Bishop’s Committee votes to incorporate the Amendment below into its By-Laws, you MUST apply for the Bishop’s approval under the streamlined process that has been approved.

Building Intentional Small Groups 
The purpose of an intentional faith-based small group is to build trusting relationships with God and one another. When we meet each other for conversation, practice, and prayer, we learn how to love. Call it a small group, discipleship circle, neighborhood group, life group or cell gathering – whatever the name, a small group provides space for prayerful support and accountability as we seek to live the Jesus Way.

Your small group may be a new discipleship group or you may decide to add a new level of intention to a circle like the vestry, Bible study, youth group, altar guild, choir, or chapters of the Episcopal Church Women, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, or Daughters of the King. The goal is to open the door for God to works on us, in us, and through us, in powerful ways in the context of a small, intentional, dedicated group of disciples. 

In order to help encourage this kind of discipleship, The Episcopal Church has created a comprehensive small group guide, entitled "Building an Intentional Small Group Ministry." This resource, as well as others, can be found at DiscipleshipEDSD.org

If you would like to know more about small group discipleship, or would like assistance starting a small group ministry in your congregation please email Canon Christian Gillette at cgillette@edsd.org
Beware of Phishing Attempts
If you receive a suspicious email from an address that seems to be Bishop Susan, but it is not from an @edsd.org email account, it is a phishing attempt. Bishop Susan will never email you asking for funds or financial support by way of gift cards. Nor will the bishop's emails be filled with grammatical errors. Every official email from the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego comes from an @edsd.org email address.
Phishing is a cyber attack that uses disguised email as a weapon. The goal is to trick the email recipient into believing that the message is something they want or need — a request from their bank, for instance, or a note from someone in their company — and to click a link or download an attachment.
Faith to Go: Your weekly formation resources
A Weekly, On The Go Resource for Parents and Non-Parents Alike

Hosted by the Faith To Go team in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, David Tremaine and Charlette Preslar. Joined each week by a special guest, the Faith To Go team highlights themes from the Sunday Gospel reading for you to take into your faith discussions and reflections throughout the weekMore Here
Revive: A Discipleship Resource for Lay Leaders
Revive is a discipleship resource created by Forward Movement to help active lay leaders—wardens, property and finance officers, committee chairs, vestry members, church school teachers, youth ministers, pastoral visitors, and liturgical ministers—grow in confidence as spiritual leaders. Revive is about transformation through spiritual formation. In just 10 months, this small-group program transforms leaders of practical church ministry into confident spiritual leaders who love God and participate in Christ’s ministry. 

If you would like more information about Revive, or would like to offer Revive to your congregational lay leaders, please talk to your clergy or contact Christian Gillette, Canon for Evangelism and Discipleship​ at cgillette@edsd.org. 
EDSD.org Under Construction
404 Error: Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.

EDSD.org is going through some changes. You may find that your bookmarked or saved links are now broken, or that information you're used to finding has been moved.

Please be patient as we work to update EDSD.org to better serve you into the future. If you have questions or come across a broken link, please email Director of Communications, Chris Tumilty. Thank you for your help while we work to better our digital presence.
Resources for Emotional Support
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is changing life for all of us. You may feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, bored, depressed, lonely or frustrated in these circumstances.

You’re not alone!

Find resources to connect with real people that can help, here.
Grants Available to Churches
Our diocese is pleased to offer a grants program to support you in enhancing online and outdoor worship. Grants of $250 to $750 will be provided to help cover the cost of sound and online equipment, and may be used to cover purchases dating back to March 15, 2020. To apply for a grant, please click here.

In addition to our technology grants, please remember that we have raised funds under our “For Such A Time As This” campaign to help those who are suffering from the economic downturn. I am happy to help your congregation start a feeding program, support your members who have lost jobs, or otherwise relieve suffering that you know about. To apply for a grant, please send me an email describing the need and the amount you are requesting. I am eager to help.
TENS Offers Resources for Virtual Stewardship
The Episcopal Network For Stewardship (TENS) provides virtual stewardship materials that are free to all congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego via our diocesan TENS membership. This year, TENS is providing resources that help congregations with virtual stewardship campaigns. 
 
TENS member resources are available to all congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego via the diocesan membership. For login information, contact Director of Communications, Chris Tumilty at ctumilty@edsd.org or Executive Assistant to the Bishop, Keren Mondaca, at kmondaca@edsd.org.
Public Statement of our Commitment
Any church in our diocese is welcome to use this statement, for instance as a clergy-vestry joint statement, or as an ongoing statement in your bulletin.
As part of the Jesus Movement and the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, we pledge to love our neighbors and protect the most vulnerable among us, remembering our baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” We live these pledges out by actively engaging in dismantling racism. For many of us, this will mean learning more about our racial identity, listening to those who have experienced racial prejudice, speaking out against racism, and showing up alongside those in our community working to change unjust systems in our society. We also live out this pledge at worship during this pandemic, by wearing face-coverings, respecting distancing guidelines, foregoing the common cup and refraining from congregational singing.
The Roles of a Production Team
Checklist to Resume In-Person Worship
Due to a spike in Covid-19 cases, indoor worship is suspended in our diocese. Both the bishop and the state of California have issued guidelines for in-person worship. A congregational checklist that consolidates and simplifies these guidelines can be found here.

Some counties have also issued separate guidelines and requirements, so please check your local county guidelines. Please note that San Diego County requires that a Reopening Plan be posted in a public place. The template for the plan can be found here. 
COVID-19 Resources
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego is here to support you through this difficult time. The sudden impact of COVID-19 on our community-life does not mean we need to give up community. Find a list of resources that can help here: including a bulletin for Morning Prayer, resources for online giving for your congregation, help in setting up video meetings, Faith at Home resources, and more.
If you have or need any type of resource that is not listed here, please email Christian Gillette, Canon for Evangelism and Discipleship with your materials or request. 
Diocesan Staff: Working Remotely
holy trinity building
Due to COVID-19 the Diocesan Staff will be working remotely. You can find contact information for each of the staff members here. Feel free, as always, to call Bishop Susan, Canon Gwynn, Canon Christian, Rev. Kirby, or Chris for any reason. Please email the other members of the Diocesan Staff as their cell phone numbers are not listed.