DECEMBER 18,  2018
A Christmas message from Bishop Barry

Dear Friends in Christ:
Sunday by Sunday, the Collects of Advent have had us praying for grace and power: to turn from darkness to Light; to transform our lives in ways that bring us closer to God, closer to being the persons God has made us to be, closer to each other, in true community; to prepare the Way of the Lord, and to prepare ourselves to more faithfully follow Jesus in that Way.

Christmas is the answer to those prayers: it brings again the Light of God, which nothing can ever dim or darken, shining bright, showing us the transforming power of God's constant love. It brings the grace and power we have been needing, in these times of challenge and change. It brings joy, even amidst loss and grief. It brings peace, peace that passes understanding.

May all these gifts of Christmas come to you and remain with you. May they be yours in abundance, filling every aspect of your life, brimful and spilling over. May all the grace and power we've been praying for come to you. And may God bless you this Christmas, and always.
Yours in Christ,

Bishop's Signature

Presiding Bishop Curry's Christmas message 

"Love came down at Christmas, because God so loved the world, that he gave," Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry said in his 2018 Christmas message.  View his full message  here .

Special Electing Convention - Saturday, Feb. 9

The Special Convention for the election of the 8th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California  will be Feb. 9, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. at Faith, Cameron Park, located at 2200 Country Club Drive. The election is free, but all must register to attend. Register here.

For more information on the Bishop Search, visit .
Join the 2019 Bishop's Partnership Appeal

Bishop Barry Beisner invites you to consider a gift for the Church you love, joining with the Episcopal Foundation of Northern California for the Bishop's Partnership Appeal.  

" When  we  give  in this way,  our Church  becomes  stronger  and  better  able
 to  reach  out  and  engage  in  the  work  God calls  us  to  do ," Bishop Barry said.

You may give online  here This year, EFNC is contributing a challenge grant of $2,000 if the annual appeal reaches $30,000 in donations.

A list of our participating ministries is  available here. T hank you for your support! 
Changes to the Office of the Bishop staff

We are pleased to share that Michelle Karimi is the new Executive Staff Support reporting to the Canon to the Ordinary. Michelle is responsible for administrative support to the Canon to the Ordinary and the Episcopal Foundation of Northern California and as well as provide Ordination Process Support.

Michelle joins us from the east coast, and she brings valuable experience from working on the Presiding Bishop's communications team.  She earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York. Michelle enjoys spending free time with family, and has a passion for photography. 

You may contact Michelle by phone at 916-442-6918, ext. 215 or by email at

Mary Ellen Ferguson has announced that she will step back from her position as Ordination Coordinator. We are grateful for her presence here at the Office of the Bishop and her guidance for those in the ordination process. Mary Ellen will spend a few months training her replacement, Michelle Karimi, before she departs.
Office closure Dec. 25, Jan. 1; next Diocesan e-News Jan. 2

The Office of the Bishop will be closed at noon on Dec. 24 for Christmas Eve and will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, 2019. 

The Diocesan e-News will not be published the week of Christmas; the next edition will be released Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. 
Bishop's visitation schedule  
  • Jan. 6 - Epiphany, Vacaville 
  • Feb. 3 - St. Paul's, Sacramento 
  • Feb. 17 - St. Stephen's, Sebastopol
Bishop Barry's 2019 visitation schedule is available here.
EPPN and California bishops call for refugee assistance

The Episcopal Public Policy Network of California, along with all seven bishops of the six Episcopal dioceses in California, hav e signed a statement on assisting Central  American refugees. Here is an excerpt:

In recent days, over 6,000 migrants have gathered at the California-Mexico border fence seeking appointments with American immigration officials to petition for asylum. With wait times projected to last for months, many are forced to live in shelters where food is scarce, and privacy is non-existent, and some become 

...As Christians during the season of Advent, we recognize the ancient echo of the Holy Family's flight into Egypt, when Mary and Joseph hid the infant Jesus from the murderous Herod. We also recognize our obligation to help the oppressed and the homeless. We urge our fellow Episcopalians to appeal to government officials to speed up the processing of asylum seekers and to provide adequate shelters and legal assistance in the U.S. for recent immigrants.

Read the full statement from the California bishops and the California EPPN.
Brad Helmuth elected Rector in Nevada City

The vestry of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is honored to announce the unanimous election and appointment of the Rev. Bradley M. Helmuth as the 33rd Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Nevada City. 

Please save the date for Rev. Bradley's Celebration of New Ministry, which will be Feb. 28, 2019. 
Blue Christmas in Rancho Cordova, Dec. 20; Benicia, Dec. 21

Though Christmas is often called "the most wonderful time of the year," it can be far from that for those mourning the loss of a loved one, those far from home, those dealing with illness, suffering, or estrangement. 

St. Clement's, Rancho Cordova, will be offering a service and fellowship with others who are struggling this season on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.

St. Paul's, Benicia, will be offering a quiet, reflective interdenominational service on Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.
Discuss The Book of Joy with author Douglas Abrams, Feb. 4

The UC Davis Campus Community Book Project's 2018-2019 book is  The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, also the Fall Bishop's Book for 2018. 

UC Davis is hosting several events in the coming year to discuss various topics in the book, one of which includes an author's visit with one of three writers of the book, Douglas Abrams. There are two chances to see Abrams,  Monday, Feb. 4, from 4-5 p.m. and 7:30-9 p.m. at the Modavi Center at UC Davis. B oth events are free and open to the public.

More information on this event and others is available here.
Strengthen your baptismal ministry and learn about your faith

Our diocese has established a partnership with the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership which will allow lay and clergy members of our diocese to enroll in online courses at a discounted rate. Whether you are working on a new Lay Ministry license or are looking for a continuing education opportunity, CALL may have a course that is right for you. 

One of our very own deacons, the Rev. Phina Borgeson, is teaching one of the classes available this winter. Here is her description:
Images of Diakonia is a seven week exploration for those discerning a call to the diaconate, deacons, and anyone who'd like to deepen their understanding of the church's diakonia to which we are all called in baptism. "Images" was designed by Deacon Maylanne Maybee who adapted elements of it for the recent deacons' retreat here at Bishop's Ranch. Since Maylanne is unable to teach it this year, Deacon Phina Borgeson is pinch hitting, and looking forward to helping students connect images from liturgy, their communities, and popular culture.

Visit the CDSP website  for more details, and if you want to register, please email Betsey Monnot at  for information about receiving the discount. The winter term begins on Jan. 21, 2019. 
Sign up for SUMMA Debate Camp

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 camp session of SUMMA Student Theological Debate Society. SUMMA is an exhilarating and eye-opening experience for high school students entering grades 9-12 that hope to build their faith intellectually and articulate ideas with confidence. Through the course of eight days, campers will learn tools for critical thinking and analysis, knowledge of the Christian theological tradition, skills in public speaking and debate all while engaging with cutting edge topics on religion, science, and social ethics. 

Apply for the Episcopal Service Corps

Young adults (21-32 years old) are invited to apply to serve as a member of the 2019-2020 Episcopal Service Corps.

Episcopal Service Corps is a nationwide network of locally organized and incorporated programs designed to provide young adults with an opportunity to serve others, promote justice, and live simply in intentional communities focused on providing participants tools and resources to deepen their spiritual awareness and discern vocation.

New this year, ESC has created a short, fun quiz to help potential Corps members jumpstart the process of discerning which of the more than 20 ESC programs are the best fit for them. The discernment quiz is here.

Click on an area of interest in the program map to learn more about where ESC serves. The 2019-2020 application is here; the deadline to apply is Jan. 15, 2019.
Recent features from the Episcopal News Service

The Episcopal Church has heard Presiding Bishop Michael Curry herald the message of God's unconditional love ever since he was elected in July 2015. In May, his message went global and viral when he preached at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and now it has earned him the title of "religious newsmaker of the year."

The Religion News Association  said that Curry's sermon had "raised his profile as a progressive religious voice."  Read the full story .

Other stories:

Anglican clinic's collapse in Gaza prompts call for emergency donations in support of diocese

Episcopal Church eyes investing in gun manufacturers to press for greater gun safety

'In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form and void'

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