News for the week of July 7, 2020
Three things from the Office of the Bishop

  • The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California receives United Thank Offering grant for The Playground at St. Stephen's, Sebastopol

  • Online Day of Discernment, Saturday, September 12 registration is open

  • A message from Bishop Megan - new state guidelines

New state guidelines - a message from Bishop Megan
On Friday, July 3, Bishop Megan shared a message regarding the new state guidelines that have recently come out about safe practices for places of worship during this pandemic.

Our priorities remain:
  • Protect the Vulnerable
  • Follow state and county health guidelines
  • Flatten the curve (slow transmission)

As we learn more about Covid-19, we get a clearer understanding of how to keep one another safe. The new guidelines give us additional information to protect everybody.

You can download the new state guidelines issued on July 1, 2020 by the California Department of Public Health  here.

Major updates include:

  • Discontinue singing (in rehearsals, services, etc.), chanting and other practices and performance where there is increased likelihood for transmission from contaminated exhaled droplets.
  • Places of worship should continue to provide services through alternative methods (such as via internet and/or recorded streaming, telephone, drive-in, etc.) whenever possible.
  • Required use of masks/face coverings for both members of the public and workplace settings where there is a high risk of exposure.

The public health authorities and leaders in this area (CA) understand the difficulties we face “on the ground," which is why we are looking to them for guidance on how to keep our communities safe.

It is becoming clearer with each day, that infection numbers are rising in California, and that is why we must each do our part in protecting those most vulnerable in our communities.

We will faithfully continue our efforts to stay physically distant, and wear masks/face coverings where we cannot physically distance.

I am grateful for your resilience in keeping ahead of the virus and still connecting our people to the Living God through Jesus Christ.

May God bless us and our nation with health and the ability and will to care for others.

In Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Bishop Megan
We are pleased to welcome you to the One Hundred Tenth Annual Diocesan Convention of The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this convention will be held online. Below are a few dates to keep in mind as we head toward our convention.


Important Dates (Clergy in charge, lay delegates and alternates, please add these to your calendar):
August 3 - Certificate of Lay Delegates due
August 28 - Resolutions due
September 11 - Nominations due
October 10 - Deanery Convocations
October - Second filing for Nominations (if needed) due
November 6-7 – Diocesan Convention
Registration will be posted and available by July 17, 2020.

More information on convention is available at  norcalepiscopal.org/convention, including the full Pre-Diocesan Convention packet, and forms.
Racial Reconciliation as the People of God:  LEARN

LEARN + PRAY + ACT

As Christians, we are committed to the healing of divisions in our society: particularly right now learning about and facing the racism that affects all of us. Our focus right now is on our Black siblings who have repeatedly called for attention and action as they suffer violence at the hands of police, discrimination in our institutions, and aggression in daily life. 

We are called to LEARN + PRAY + ACT
Pathways Youth Pilgrimage: still time to participate
Time for connection, music, prayer, and learning - we are walking together in youth planned and youth led events.

5:00 - 7:00 PM Thursdays until July 30 (registration is ongoing - youth grades 7-12 may join any time.)




CLERGY NEWS
June extraordinary ordinations in extraordinary times
June was a busy month for ordinations. The Rt. Rev. Megan Traquair ordained six people in our diocese to Holy Orders last month.

  • Sat, Jun 13, 2020 - Grace Flint, Portia Hopkins, and Libby Vincent were ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento
  • Sat, Jun 20, 2020 - Laurie Warren was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at St. John's, Petaluma
  • Fri, Jun 26, 2020 - John W. Heidel and Karen Joyce Lawler were ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests at Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento

While the in-person groups were small the online presence was wonderful. Many friends and family were able to join in from throughout the country for these special days.
June 26 - Rev. John Heidel, Bishop Megan Traquair, Rev. Karen Lawler
ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE: BENEFITS
Telehealth Services & Virtual Provider Visits

In response to COVID-19, the Medical Trust is waiving member costs entirely if a member uses a telehealth platform offered by Anthem, Cigna, or Kaiser Permanente (e.g., Anthem’s LiveHealth Online , AmWell for Cigna , MDLive for Cigna , etc.) through 12/31/2020. For Kaiser Permanente, you can access Kaiser’s telehealth platform services by calling the number on the back of your ID card.

The Medical Trust is also allowing claims for virtual visits with network and out-of-network providers that do not use a telehealth platform offered by Anthem or Cigna. Standard levels of benefits and coverage will otherwise apply. This is an exception for medical and behavioral health services rendered through 12/31/2020. Please note standard copay, deductibles, and co-insurances apply for virtual visits with network and out-of-network providers that do not use a telehealth platform offered by Anthem or Cigna.

For more information, click here to download the PDF, or here to be taken to CPG’s COVID-19 Support Resources. 
RESOURCES AND LINKS
Mental health resources from Ministries of Health
During this challenging time of pandemic, mental health may be more significantly impacted. We hope these resources give you additional tools to add to the wonderful work in which you are currently engaged.  Click here for resources...

Be well…

Diocesan Partners in Ministries of Health
Susan Wahlstrom RN, Coordinator
Questions?  (209) 304-8321  email:  wahlstrom@volcano.net
Here are additional resources from Church Publishing on mental health.
NEWS AND EVENTS IN AND BEYOND THE DIOCESE
Presenters will include Sarah Stonesifer Boylan, VTS digital missioner, and Merrill Whatley, Membership Vision.
eFormation 101: Presentations and Coaching
Presented by the  eFormation Learning Community  and  Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary , the eFormation 101 conference will give the opportunity for those new digital ministry leaders to dive into a few different platforms and then have follow-up opportunities to ask questions and context-specific information. This unique setup will create multiple opportunities to learn and then apply the information within your ministry. We look forward to learning with you and expanding our ministry horizons!

Fridays in July, there is still time to register.

Presiding Bishop Curry offers a word to the Church
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, released a word to the Church last week. He said, “Our long-term commitment to racial justice and reconciliation is embedded in our identity as baptized followers of Jesus. We will still be doing it when the news cameras are long gone.”

Click here to read this important message.
POSTPONEMENTS AND CHANGES
A message from Camp Living Waters

Dear Camp Families,

We have made the very difficult decision to cancel in-person Camp Living Waters for 2020, b ased on Humboldt county’s current guidelines for summer programs, along with concerns of our staff and church officials. If anyone has questions or would like to discuss the cancellation further, you can send an email to our Coordinator Emily Armstrong Buck, or contact The Very Rev. Sara Potter at email.

We make this announcement with heavy hearts. This is a huge disappointment for many campers as well as staff, and we intend to offer a day of online camp programming as well as activities through the mail: information on that is forthcoming. Beyond that, we look forward with great joy to our reunion in 2021.

Emily Armstrong Buck, Camp Coordinator
Camp Living Waters Task Force
A letter to Episcopalians from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings on June 5, 2020 announces that the General Convention 2021 may be postponed or canceled.

To submit news/events, please email communications@norcalepiscopal.org. The submission deadline is the Wednesday before the Tuesday publication.