JULY 17,  2018
That's a Wrap: 2018 General Convention

The deputation for General Convention 2018 the morning of July 12. 

From left: deputies  Myles Clarke , th e Rev.  Brian Baker , and Charles Mack; alternate Jim Jordan, filling in for deputy  Charis Hill ; deputies DonnaJo Woollen, Canon  Andrea McMillin , the Rev. Sara Potter and the Rev.  Lewis Powell

At right:  Our deputation unanimously supporting B012, ensuring marriage will be available to every Episcopalian in the US.

Read the ENS story on this resolution.

Visit our   General Convention Facebook page  for more photos, or visit the General Convention Media Hub for videos and more. The Episcopal News Service overview of what happened at General Convention is here.

The View from the Convention Floor: 
Our Bishop, Deputies and Others Tell of Their Experiences 

Bishop Barry Beisner, author of  Resolution B003, Status of Jerusalem:
"It's never a surprise that debates on Israel/Palestine issues reveal deep divisions and strong emotions-which is why we need to be having these discussions in places other than General Convention, with plenty of time for respectful conversation, framed by prayer. I am personally grateful that the resolution on Jerusalem which I put forward was adopted, even if in a greatly amended form."

Canon to the Ordinary Andrea McMillin, chair of our deputation 
and Title IV subcommittee member:
"It was an honor to serve the diocese as the chair of our General Convention Deputation. We had a healthy number of first time deputies, including myself, and we were all grateful for the experience and guidance from our bishop and long-time attendees. We  met monthly in the lead up to convention, functioning as a real team with individuals focusing on different areas of interest and experience. That approach served us well as we shared the effort to educate, follow legislation, and encourage representation as the hearings commenced. 
"I was among the 47 women invited by House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings to serve on the House of Deputies Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation. Working on a robust timeline, we met weekly and crafted 24 pieces of legislation, most of which passed in both the House of Deputies and House of Bishops. It was a watershed moment for the church, as we have not previously had this many women work together to address sexism and harassment in the church. Our common work, with the support of both houses, brings our church closer to reflecting God's kingdom where all are treated equally and respectfully."

Grace Flint, seminarian from St. Paul's, Benicia: 
"I have often heard folks refer to General Convention as a "big family reunion" and that was certainly my experience of GC79. I caught up with friends from all aspects of my life as an Episcopalian, but the true joy of attending my second General Convention was building and deepening relationships with the Diocese of Northern California's deputation and my colleagues from CDSP. It was a privilege to see the deputation in action as important topics such as racial reconciliation, marriage equality, disability access, and trans inclusion, all of which speak to our commitment as Christians in the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement to respect the dignity of every human being. I am grateful for the opportunity to be present with the Diocese of Northern California at GC79 and I am humbled by the good work done by our members in Austin."
Lay deputy Myles Clarke, St. Martin's, Davis:
"I was especially pleased with our (Stewardship and Socially Responsible Investing) committee's work on addressing the church's investments that may support Israel's occupation of Palestine. We were able to offer the convention several options. In the end, both houses agreed to join our full-communion partners in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and take a mixed approach that would blend a human rights screen for investment holdings, positive investment in Palestine, and shareholder advocacy. This gives Executive Council's Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility tools to speak and act forcefully for peace in the Holy Land, along with the flexibility to do so thoughtfully."
Clarke said he also looks forward to bringing some ideas back to the youth group at St. Martin's. "The Rev. Stephanie McDyre Johnson spoke about caring for creation out of love for each other and God's handiwork, instead of obligation to 'do the right thing.' I think that could be a powerful, generative way to talk about this issue, especially with our younger members."
Lay deputy Charis Hill, Trinity Cathedral:
"At General Convention I had countless opportunities to be a voice for and with people with disabilities, deaf people, people with undertreated pain, poor people, and nonbinary/queer people.  As a first-ti me deputy I authored a resolution (D048) that passed both the House of Deputies and House of Bishops without amendment. This resolution calls for a review of language in our Church's Constitution and Canons related to the use of the words 'disabled' and 'disability.' 

"Being a deputy to General Convention reminded me how powerful that 'still small voice' can be, and how empowering it is to be heard. We tell stories in The Episcopal Church, and we also do our best to listen and move into being a more loving, radically embracing institution."
Lay alternate deputy Jim Jordan, Shepherd by the Sea, Gualala: 
"By the time we got to Salt Lake City (site of the 78th General Convention in 2015) most of the tension (around the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson and before that, women) had drained away. We knew we were going to move forward, but we weren't sure what the path we would be taking. When we got here (in Austin) we knew what we had to do, and we got a lot of it done."
Clergy deputy the Very Rev. Sara L. Potter, rector of St. Alban's, Arcata:
"This was my first convention and it was an eye opening if somewhat overwhelming occasion.  The General Convention is part family reunion and it was fabulous to connect with everyone from a dear mentor priest to the priest at the closest Episcopal Church in Oregon.  The legislative process was fascinating to learn and observe - the back and forth between the two Houses and the willingness to compromise to achieve the greatest good for the whole church. The joint sessions with the Bishops on racial reconciliation, evangelism and creation care brought together powerful presenters and provided an opportunity to engage the material with respect to our local contexts. If I have a critique of convention it is that there did not seem to be a lot of focus on strengthening the capacity of the local congregation. A related concern is simply wondering how much of the resolutions that were considered and passed can reasonably be carried out in the manner envisioned in the next three years? As the rector of a small congregation these are concerns close to my heart."
From clergy deputy the Rev. Brian Baker's Facebook page:
"Here is a fuller picture of what General Convention did on marriage: 
  1. Gave clergy everywhere in the U.S. the authority to use the marriage equality marriage rites, regardless of the theological leanings of the bishop. It allows a more conservative bishop to connect the priest/couple/congregation to a same-sex-marriage-friendly bishop for pastoral support. Resolution B012
  2. Authorized the use of a blessing rite to bless same sex couples living in jurisdictions where same sex marriage is not legal (such as Honduras and Haiti.) These rites are under the direction of the bishop so they can't be used if the bishop doesn't approve. Resolution A086
  3. Put off for another 3 years a blessing rite for opposite-sex couples who cannot get married for financial reasons but who want their relationships blessed by the church. This was referred to two committees 'for further review and recommendations including a comprehensive study of the legal implications and other ecclesial options.' It is found at the end of A086."
Clergy alternate deputy the Rev. Jim Richardson, interim dean, Trinity Cathedral, included this in his July 15 sermon:
"A member of this cathedral, Charis Hill, had a profound impact on this convention. Charis brought light into a place of neglect in our church. Because of her and a resolution she sponsored, there will be a day when the rubric in the prayer book that now says, 'All stand' will say 'All stand as able.'  Her resolution requires that any revision of the Book of Common Prayer must take into consideration the disabled. And because of her, soon there will be a task force that will take a hard look at all the other ways we exclude those who are disabled." 

Hear the rest of his sermon, including his reflection on joining Bishop Barry and other people of this diocese who took buses  to a detention center in Hutto, Texas, here.
Certificate of Lay Delegates for Convention Due Aug. 3

Thank you to the 15 churches that have submitted their Certificate of Lay Delegates forms for the 2018 Diocesan Convention! If you're one of the remaining churches that hasn't submitted your form to the Office of the Bishop, please note that the due date is Aug. 3. 

The 2018 Certificate of Lay Delegates form and more information is  available here. Please note that filling out this form is NOT convention registration for delegates. See link below for convention registration.
Registration Open for Our Convention in Redding, Nov. 9-10

The annual Diocesan Convention will be held in Redding on Nov. 9-10, 2018. 
The Pre-Convention packet is available on our  website.

Convention registration is now open! P lease purchase your tickets as soon as possible to avoid the late registration fee of $25.00 and to help the Office of the Bishop prepare most efficiently for convention. For those who volunteer (a minimum of four hours; delegates are excluded from this), registration is free. General registration will close Sept. 28.

And save the date for Deanery Convocations, which will be Oct. 20, 2018.
Third Annual Pre-Convention Gathering 
to Focus on Baptismal Ministry - Register Now!

This year's Pre-Convention Gathering topic is " Following God's Call: From Church Chores to Ministry."  How can our church communities cultivate and support ongoing vocational discernment for brand new and long-time leaders? How can we cultivate spiritual practices that sustain each person's baptismal ministry inside and outside the walls of our churches?

Join us for a morning of learning, discussion, and discernment about these questions.  The event is free, and lunch will be provided. Learn more here .

  Download a flyer  to post at your church hall or in your church newsletter.
Staff Transition and Our First Intern!

In case you missed the full announcement that went earlier, we are excited to share that Kati Braak has been offered and has accepted the promotion to Director of Operations for the Office of the Bishop.  Kati began this work on Monday, June 18. Kati, Bishop Barry, and Canon Andrea met and established the beginning of her work as a part of the executive leadership team of the diocese.  You may contact Kati via email at  kati@norcalepiscopal.org , or via phone at (916) 442-6918, ext. 228. 

Anna Wileya student at Vassar College, is our first Communications Intern Anna has been studying in Madrid but will be living in Carmichael this summer. She is a Pathways young adult leader, has worked as a tutor for Spanish-and English-speaking students, and has been a research assistant in the Vassar Religion Department, as well as an intern at the California State Library. She will be helping with communications and program duties this summer. You may contact her at youth@norcalepiscopal.org.
Bishop's Visitation Schedule  
  • July 22 - Holy Trinity, Willows
  • July 29 - Holy Spirit, Lake Almanor
  • Aug. 26 - Sts. Martha & Mary, Trinidad
  • Sept. 2 - St. Nicholas', Tahoe City 
  • Sept. 9 - St. Luke's, Calistoa 
  • Sept. 16 - Trinity, Folsom
The Bishop's full 2018 visitation schedule is available here
New Rector Called by St. Paul's, Benicia
The Rev. Annie Pierpoint Mertz, at right with her son and husband Andrew, sent this letter to St. Paul's, Benecia. Her
first Sunday will be Sept. 2.

"I am so excited to serve as your next rector! It has been a joy to learn about this place and the amazing work that God is doing with and through you. I'm impressed with the way this community looks to the future while maintaining a solid foundation in tradition, and I see my own values reflected in the way you incorporate children and youth into the life of the church. It will be an honor to come alongside you and join in your ministry. ...

" I sense that God has great things in store for this parish, and I'm delighted to be a part of it.  'Til we meet again, may God bless and keep you!"
Rector Maryly Adair,  St. Peter's, Red Bluff, Retires

Pathways 2018:  A Successful Third Year

During the week of the 2018 Pathways Youth Pilgrimage, participants engaged with truths from California's history and listened to each other's stories and perspectives. This year, the 70 Pathways participants and leaders hailed from all over Northern California, from Eureka to Yuba City to Benicia. They traveled to Marin Headlands and Angel Island, and hosted a variety of speakers and educators on the Sonoma State University campus

Pathways, which just completed its third year, developed after a group of youth and adults from our diocese traveled to North Carolina for the Lift Every Voice Freedom Ride (LEV). LEV was a three-year initiative held in North Carolina and Cape Town, South Africa. It focused on bringing to light the historical truths of racism and preparing young adults from the United States, Botswana and South Africa to lead their dioceses' programming on race and reconciliation. After returning from the first year of LEV, the participants developed Pathways to highlight similar themes in Northern California.

Retreats Offered in Auburn, St. Dorothy's Rest; Pneuma 2018

Save the date
On Sept. 21-23, two quality retreats will be offered in two different locations in our diocese:

A Men's Retreat will be at  Mercy Retreat Center in Auburn. Keynote speaker will be the Rev. Seth Kellerman of  Emmanuel, Grass Valley, since 2009. Before being called home to Northern California, he served in churches in the Dallas, Texas area. Prior to embarking on full-time ministry, he was a sergeant in the U.S. Army serving with 2nd Ranger Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment. He served in Afghanistan, in Operation Enduring Freedom, as a machine gun team leader. Seth is passionate about missions, evangelism, spending time with the Lord, and seeing people grow in their love and faith in Jesus Christ. He enjoys  spending time with his wife of 20 years, Tara, and their four very active daughters, coaching them in sports, and is always up for an adventure.  For more details on the retreat, contact the Rev. Stephen Shortes, deacon at Our Saviour, Placerville, at  stephenshortes@gmail.com .

The Way of Love: The Spirituality of Therese of Lisieux will be sponsored by the Sisters of the Transfiguration at St. Dorothy's Rest in Camp Meeker, near Occidental. The retreat will be conducted by the Rev. Suzanne Guthrie, noted author and spirtual guide who is an associate at St. Martin's, Davis, and also has been a visiting professor at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. For more information or to register, contact Virginia Pankoski at vpankoski@sbcglobal.net.

On Oct. 1-4 at the Bishop's Ranch, the  PNEUMA 2018 Conference will focus on tools to help build up wellness in ourselves as leaders and wellness-based spiritual formation in our churches. "Imagine that your church is known as the 'Wellness Center' in the community - a place where teens, adults and families can learn ways to live healthier in every aspect of their lives.  This isn't just about healthy eating or exercise.  This is about psychological, emotional, and spiritual health as well." Register here.
Three Items From St. Francis, Fair Oaks Closure Still Available
As you may recall earlier this year, the folks at St Francis offered up a lot of their precious items to the rest of the churches around the diocese. This was a very successful and smooth process, and "we thank the wonderful folk at St. Francis, Fair Oaks, for their work on this," said Lynn Zender of St. Martin's, Davis, who shepherded the dispersal.  

"There are three items still available. Please see below for a listing of the items. You may send an email to lynnzender@sbcglobal.net if you are interested, or if you have questions, or for photos of the items. Also, please take into consideration that you would need to go to Fair Oaks and pick up the item and arrange for its transportation to your congregation, at a time and date to be arranged."
  • Baby Grand Piano - this piano was donated by a family in Grass Valley. It has stipulations that the piano needs to be given to an Episcopal Church in Northern CA. Thom Greathouse from Emmanuel, Grass Valley, worked with the family. The piano is in very good condition.
  • Aldrich Upright Mahogany Piano - good condition, S/N 72910
  • Allen Organ -  good condition, S/N 150327
"We are sure that these items will go to a wonderful place!  We will be giving the instruments to the first congregation which requests it and can make pick-up arrangements," Zender said.
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