News & Notes - January 17, 2021
The Second Sunday after the Epiphany:
The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Online Service: 9:30 a.m.
From the Rector: Practices for Traumatic Times
Dear friends,

Last Wednesday’s events at the U.S. Capitol are continuing to resound through our collective consciousness. The news is coming quickly as more information emerges about the violent intentions and capabilities of some of those who invaded the Capitol, as Congress debates various forms of response, and as the nation prepares with both hope and unease for next week’s inauguration. Right now we are in a moment of national trauma, and for many of us it is hard to know how to respond.
We have resources in our faith that can help orient us. Here are a few practices that might be helpful.

  • Sit and breathe. “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:11) God’s sovereignty does not depend on us or on any human authority. In times of peace and times of chaos, God’s strength is eternal. We can rest in that strength. Taking time to sit quietly in God’s presence and to slow down our bodies and breath is a way of recognizing the constancy and protection of God.

  • Pray. “Let prayers, petitions, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for everyone, including rulers and all in authority, that we may lead a calm and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2) Prayer matters. It is part of how God’s creation works. We don’t know the effect our prayers will have, but praying for ourselves and others is a positive act of intervention. While glib promises of “thoughts and prayers” aren’t enough in the face of crisis, as Christians we believe that prayer is one way of acting, coupled with others. For your personal prayers, I’d especially recommend any of the “Prayers for the National Life” in the section beginning on page 820 of the Book of Common Prayer (or find it at bcponline.org under “Prayers and Thanksgivings”). We also have a chance to pray with others from around our diocese. Beginning tonight, each evening at 6:00 p.m., Bishop Megan and our regional deans will be leading us in prayers for the nation--see Bishop Megan's invitation below.

  • Serve. “Whatever you did to one of the least of these, you did to me.” (Matthew 25:46) Do something to help others. This doesn’t have to be something directly connected with national politics. It may be helpful to think local: our neighbors' needs in Sonoma County haven't gone away even as national issues demand our attention. Volunteer at Open Table or another local organization that feeds hungry people, houses people without homes, or works toward racial equity.

  • Give. “Give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) Especially during the pandemic, it can be harder than usual to go volunteer physically. Donating money is another way of serving others. Give what you’re able, whether it’s $5 or $50,000, to a cause you believe helps advance God’s mission in the world.

  • Speak truth in love. “Putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.” (Ephesians 4:25–27) In a country deeply divided between contradictory views of basic facts, it is more important than ever for us as Christians to learn how to advocate forcefully for the truth, and to make productive use of our righteous anger, while recognizing the basic humanity of those who are our opponents. We can strengthen these muscles. A high-stakes shouting match with a relative or a social media firefight may not be the best place to start (although there are times when we need to speak up in these situations). Are there ways you can practice telling the truth both assertively and respectfully in smaller contexts in your daily life so those muscles will be strong when the tougher situations arise? The Episcopal Church is about to launch a campaign called "From Many, One," urging Episcopalians to engage in the spiritual practice of listening and honest conversation across differences, starting with our simple questions: What do you love? What have you lost? Where does it hurt? What do you dream? To sign up for updates on this campaign, click here.

  • Be informed, not obsessed. “The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing.” (Ecclesiastes 1:8) The 24-hour news cycle and the lure of our electronic devices makes it easier than ever to be glued to a screen, awaiting new developments, or even just new commentary on old developments. Right now it is essential to be informed citizens, but there’s a threshold of frequency beyond which we can easily make ourselves anxious without adding to our real knowledge. If you’re finding yourself in a state of anxiety about the news, consider reading a good newspaper or checking a reputable news site once a day, and doing the same with social media, rather than scrolling endlessly or clicking every new link that appears.

We are living in fearful times. God calls us to be faithful, to do everything we can to work for the good within the spheres we can influence and to pray for what we can’t directly influence. God also calls us to trust. The love that created the stars and each of us is at work redeeming this beloved and broken world. Pray for that world this week.

In Christ’s love,
From the Director of Spiritual Formation
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation
 A Hopeful Story

Human beings fall easily into despair, and from the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting, that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that life had meaning and value is not about opting out of this world, but about enabling us to live more intensely within it. —Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth

Nearly two decades ago, Brian McLaren began urging Christians to embrace a more healing, compassionate story by which to live. His words are just as relevant today:

In these dangerous times, our whole planet now needs more than ever a good story to live in and to live by. There are a number of stories competing for the hearts and imaginations of humanity as we emerge together into this new century and millennium: the regressive stories of fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity, or the progressive stories of secular “scientism” or American consumerism, for example. Once taken to the heart of human culture, each of these stories will produce its own kind of world. The story we believe and live in today has a lot to do with the world we create for our children, our grandchildren, and our descendants one hundred thousand years from now (if?)

I have to admit that twenty years ago most of us probably thought a hundred thousand years of human thriving sounded likely, but I’m afraid that it sounds almost fanciful to many of us today. Great and hopeful thinkers like Joanna Macy, Brian Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Ilia Delio and others give us the faith, scientific understanding, and courage to continue to do our small part. In one of his more recent books, Brian writes with his friend Gareth Higgins about a “Seventh Story.” It is a cosmic and all-inclusive story which, if believed and lived out, leads to a very different future, one of healing instead of conflict.

Around the margins, another narrative has been taking shape during these most recent moments of history. In this narrative, humans envision learning to live in harmony with one another and with the boundary conditions (or laws) of nature. We imagine seeing all our fellow humans—and all living things—as part of one family of relations, sharing in the same unfolding story or song of creation. We imagine ourselves creating conditions in which peace and well-being are not only possible but normal, and in which inevitable conflicts can be resolved through justice, kindness, wisdom, and love.

As the amazing 13.8 billion-year story of the cosmos continues to unfold, in this little corner of the universe, we hope to tell a story of justice and joy, love and peace, for the benefit of future generations who will be born into the story that there is no [us and] them at all. [2] This is a cosmic and inclusive story that demands healing more than punishment.

To receive Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations click here

Daphne Vernon, Director of Spiritual Formation
From our Bishop: Nine Days of Prayer for the Nation
Dear Friends in Christ,
 
I invite you to join with me in nine days of prayer leading up to, and surrounding, Inauguration Day on Jan 20, 2021.

Each night, at 6 pm, starting on Thursday, January 14, one of our Regional Deans or our Cathedral Dean will lead us in prayers, following The Order for Worship for the Evening. I will lead the prayers on Wednesday, January 20. 

The Zoom link and additional call in numbers may be found HERE.
 
Whenever we are confronted with moments of great import, we gather as the people of God to pray together. The fellowship and grounding we receive gives us strength to engage in a non-violent manner with critical events such as those arising last week.
 
This worship is my call, to all our members, to engage in the hallmark of our vocation as Christians: to be peacemakers, who engage one another across difference to create bonds of friendship and connection in the power of the Spirit.

Please join us as we pray for our nation.

In Christ,

+Megan
Online Services
During this time of pandemic, our worship continues. Using technology, we can gather from wherever we may be and join together in the Word and in prayer.

Here's more on how to use Zoom.

Sunday Services:


We are also live streaming each Zoom service on our Facebook page, so you can also watch the service on Facebook, and it will be archived there for viewing later in case you're not able to join in live. You don't need to be a Facebook member to see the live stream on the Facebook page by clicking the link above.
Coming Right Up...
Tuesday, January 19, Remembering and Honor the Lives Lost to COVID-19

On Tuesday, January 19, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time, Incarnation's bells will be rung as part of a national moment of unity and remembrance to remember and honor the lives lost to COVID-19 in cities and towns across the country. A lighting will be held around the Lincoln Memorial Reflection Pool in Washington, D.C., at the same time (5:30 p.m. Eastern time).
Tuesday, January 19, Incarnation Book Group
Living Buddha, Living Christ
The Incarnation Book Group continues to meet on the Third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm via Zoom. Please join us on Zoom in reading Living Buddha, Living Christ, by Thich Nhat Hanh. Here's what the publisher has to say.

"World-renowned thinker and scholar Thich Nhat Hanh, considered by many to be a 'Living Buddah', explores the spiritual crossroads where the traditions of Christianity and Buddhism meet. Living Buddha, Living Christ reawakens our understanding of both religions and the connections between them.

The best-selling author of Creating True Peace, and one of the most beloved Buddhist teachers in the West, Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh has been part of a decades-long dialogue between the two greatest living contemplative traditions. In lucid, meditative prose, he explores the crossroads of compassion and holiness at which the two traditions meet, and reawakens our understanding of both. 'On the altar in my hermitage,' he says, 'are images of Buddha and Jesus, and I touch both of them as my spiritual ancestors.' "

See you Tuesday, January 19, at 6:30 pm PST.

Contact Linda Sevier to order your copy through Incarnation’s Bookstore sevierlinda@gmail.com
For more information and Zoom link, please contact Paul Mallatt at 707-312-3870, pauly@me.com
Living Buddha, Living Christ is available on kindle and available audible.

Save the date! Annual Meeting, Sunday, January 24, 10:45 a.m.
At our Annual Parish Meeting, we reflect on and celebrate the year gone by, look ahead to the year to come, and do some important work by electing new vestry members and delegates to Diocesan Convention.

This year our Annual Meeting will be held on Zoom after the 9:30 a.m. worship service (using the same link as for worship). Please plan on attending, whether or not you are a member of Incarnation. In order to vote in the parish elections, you need to be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • A member on the rolls of the parish for at least six months (that is, since July 24, 2020, or earlier)
  • A communicant (in other words, you have received Communion at least once during the past year)
  • A giver of record (in other words, you have made a donation with your name attached to it, such as by check or by using a giving envelope with your name)

A link to the online election ballot will be provided during the Annual Meeting.

Come and celebrate our congregational life together on the 24th.
Vestry Candidate Biographies Now Available
We have four candidates standing for election to the Vestry at our Annual Meeting: Allan Bolchazy, Sara Joslyn, Patrick Lancaster, and Kathleen Robarts. Photos and bios of the candidates are available on our website at the link below:


If you are interested in nominating yourself for Vestry, please contact Vestry members, Nancy Wegge, 916-600-5458, nancywegge@yahoo.com, or Connie Sinclair, 707-849-4240, constancesinclair@hotmail.com.

Eligible Vestry candidates must be enrolled in the Register of the Parish, be at least 16 years old, be regular in attendance at services, and be a steward of their time, talent and treasure for the support of the church.
Please Take Note...
Through the Ear to the Heart
Sing the Music of St. Hildegard of Bingen
A contemplative practice in the medieval oral tradition
Open to everyone who enjoys singing. For complete information click here.
No Outdoor Services in January
We will take a break from outdoor services for January and perhaps February. With the colder, wetter weather and the likely post-Christmas increase in COVID-19 cases, this will give us a chance to take a break, re-evaluate our plans for in-person worship as we get deeper into 2021, and to plan for what an eventual return to indoor worship will look like. Thanks to all who have participated in outdoor services during the fall; please watch for more updates in the new year.
Prayer for America
Every Monday at 3:00 p.m.
Do you feel helpless to effect change in our pandemic hobbled world? Add your voice to assist in the healing of a divided nation. A group of Incarnation parishioners is praying together every Monday at 3:00 pm on Zoom. The meeting is short (about 15 minutes) and centers on prayers from the Book of Common Prayer. Our nation needs your help. Please join us!

For Zoom link, please email Brad, bradsmith51@yahoo.com.
The Way of Love with Bishop Michael Curry - Podcasts Series
These podcasts offer ways to engage with the Way of Love, The Episcopal Church’s intentional commitment to practicing faith by following Jesus.

Hear stories and get practical advice from Bishop Michael Curry and others who are putting the Way of Love practices (Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest) into action.

To learn more about the Way of Love podcasts visit The Episcopal Church website.
Prayers
Prayer requests will stay on our list for 3 weeks. After that, if you would like long-term which is for 3 months, please notify the office. Prayers for those who have died will remain on for 6 months.

Your prayers are requested...
..Lorin, Betty, Dawn, Alice D., Cammie, Cory, Caleb, Dicksie, Matt C., Jeremy R., Virginia, Cindy P., Don B., Amy C., Francoise, Gene & Elizabeth, Rob M., Hugh & Angela, Mary, Robyn, Monique & Kirk, Amanda, and Nancy H.

...for those who have died: Bruce Cronan, Marlene Broce, Kay Conner, Mario & Henni P., Harry Dingwall, Athy, Bill Whidden, Marjorie Thoreson, Maureen Green, Alberta Jacobson, Ellen Meuse, Geoff Wright, Carole Jean Martino, Susan Hedges, Jerry Angel, Marilyn Payne.
 
...for the victims of the fires: specials prayers for the first responders, and all those who have suffered injury or loss.
 
...for the victims of COVID-19:  especially we pray for those affected by the COVID-19 virus, and for all who are in danger.
 
...for our city, county, and community; the city council, the board of supervisors, for those who serve the common good in law enforcement and the courts.
 
click here for the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer.
click here for the Anglican Cycle of Prayer.
This Coming Week...
Sunday, January 17

Monday, January 18 - OFFICE CLOSED

Tuesday, January 19
  • 6:30 pm - Incarnation's Book Group
  • 7:00 pm - Through the Ear to the Heart: contemplative singing. Contact Devi Mathieu to request the Zoom invitation: info@singhildegard.com, 707-829-0815.

Wednesday, January 20
  • 6:00 pm - Alleluia Choir: Zoom
  • 7:30 pm - Anam Cara: Songs and Silence, Zoom

Thursday, January 21
  • 5:00 pm - Rainbow Group
  • 6:00 pm - St. Cecilia Choir

Friday, January 22
  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Open Table prep
  • 10:00 AM - Daughters of the King, Zoom

Saturday, January 23
  • 9:00 am - 11:00 am - Open Table Prep

Sunday, January 24

Pastoral Care
Talk with Stephen
Could you use a prayer or a listening ear? Do you have ideas you'd like to share? Although our offices are closed, Pastor Stephen is available to talk by phone or via Zoom. If you'd like to find a time to talk with Stephen, you can call Alison at 707-579-2604 or email Stephen directly at sshaver@incarnationsantarosa.org.
Need Support?
If you know of anyone, including yourself, who could use a communion visit or a prayer, please call the church office (707-579-2604) or email alison@incarnationsantarosa.org
 
If you have a pastoral emergency after hours or on weekends, please call the church office (number above) and follow the prompts for the Priest-on-Call.