Bloy House News         View as Webpage
 November/December 2018
Wishing You All a Most Blessed Advent and Christmas
Convention 2018
Bloy House was once again deeply involved in participating in the events of this year's diocesan convention for the Diocese of Los Angeles. From the Bloy House booth, to the workshop on lifelong learning led by Dean Sweeney, to the Bloy House/CST luncheon, to the presentation and video about Bloy House during the convention, to the many happy reunions of former classmates. With appreciation to Bob Howe for once again providing us with wonderful pictures of life in community!
What is Education for Episcopal Leadership?
Bloy House has always been open to and supportive of lay participation in course work. However about eight years ago we realized there was no easy way for lay persons to apply to attend Bloy House if they wanted to take a single class or an occasional class to further their own spiritual development or their ministries. To that end we developed the Education for Episcopal Leadership track at Bloy House. Our EEL students include those participating in the Li Tim-Oi Center classes, Fresh Start for Lay Leaders, the Instituto de Liderazgo, workshops and conferences, and those taking graduate level course work as auditors. By setting up this track we not only affirmed our commitment to lay formation as a critical aspect of our mission, but also created a much simpler process by which lay persons could be accepted to the school and apply to take classes. If you are interested in attending a Bloy House class as an EEL student, visit our website at and go to the prospective student section. In that section you will see a link to materials about applying to the school as an EEL student.
Bloy House Welcomes Incoming Students
Susan Simpson
Kathryn Nishibayashi
We are happy to announce that while we continue to accept applications for the spring 2019 term, there are two new students who we know will be joining us this spring.

Kathryn Nishibayashi is a person well known to many in the Diocese of Los Angeles. She has served on numerous committees of the diocese including as a delegate to General Convention. She is currently a member of the Kaleidoscope Institute staff and will use her time at Bloy House to further enrich her knowledge base for this important ministry.

Susan Simpson is a member of Grace and Peace Chapel in Desert Hot Springs, California, a congregation of the Episcopal Free Church. She brings a wealth of experience in Special Education and Social Work to her studies.

Welcome to both of these gifted lay leaders as they continue to discern their particular calls to ministry and develop their gifts and talents for ministry to the church and the world.

If you are interested in attending Bloy House this spring either as an Education for Episcopal Leadership non-degree student or as a student seeking a degree, diploma, or certificate, please contact us immediately. There is still time to apply. More information about our programs can be found at

Next semester's course offerings that do not involve a necessary prerequisite are

Spiritual Care and Counseling taught on Friday night by t he Rev. Dr. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook
Mystical Theology taught on Saturday morning by Dr. Mike McGrath
Episcopal History and Polity taught on Saturday afternoon by the Rev. Dr. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook
In Memoriam
It is with great sadness that we remember two Bloy House alumnae and beloved deacons of this diocese who died during the month of November. Valerie Ward class of 2015 died of lung cancer at her home in Lamar, South Carolina where she moved prior to her death in order to be closer to her son. Ann Dumolt class of 2010 and 2014 died of brain cancer while in hospice care near her brother in San Diego. Both of these women were passionate lovers of their God and modeled that love every day through their service to the church and most especially to the poor, the sick, and the vulnerable in our society. If ever you wanted to know what it means to have the heart of a deacon, one need only to have talked to either of these two women. How you have blessed our lives Ann and Valerie! Pray for us that we too may have the heart to truly follow Christ.
Deacon Valerie Ward
Deacon Ann Dumolt
Bloy House Student On Time Magazine Cover
This fall seminarian Sister Greta Ronningen, a monk and co-founder of the Community of Divine Love, was participating in an interfaith event in Los Angeles. Following the event she was invited to join a number of religious leaders from across the city for a photo shoot for Time Magazine that was a 21st century reinterpretation of Norman Rockwell's beloved "Freedom of Religion" painting. As a religious, Greta represents both monastic communities of the world and Christianity through her presence in this picture. As we continue our deeply enriching relationship with Claremont School of Theology, all our Bloy House students have the opportunity to learn about and celebrate the deep religious diversity of our country and of the world. (Greta is pictured in the top right hand corner of the page.)
Dean Sweeney Preaches at Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel
Mandarin Language Service
At the invitation of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Ni, Dean Sweeney preached at the Mandarin service of Church of Our Saviour, San Gabriel on the third Sunday of Advent. This service was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with many of the students of the Li Tim-Oi Center as well as get to know the greater Mandarin speaking community of Church of Our Saviour. The sermon was on the Philippians lesson for that Sunday and included sharing by members of the COS community. Thomas Ni translated.
Anniversary Dinner Postponed

Many of you have been saving the date for our 60th anniversary celebration in January. Unfortunately a catering glitch has forced us to postpone this event until sometime in spring. Watch upcoming Bloy House News editions for the new date and other important details.
As you are considering where to make your charitable donations here at year end, please consider giving to Bloy House. Bloy House, like all seminaries in this country, cannot operate without donations. This is all the more true for us since there are no endowments we can draw from to help support our budget. There were several new courses we had hoped to offer this academic year that we have had to put on hold because of financial considerations. Your gifts make it possible for us expand both the course offerings and the vision for our seminary. They are absolutely critical to keeping our tuition rates at an affordable level far below that being charged by other seminaries. This means our students are still able to finish seminary, receive a Master of Divinity degree, and to do so often with little or not debt. Please help us keep seminary affordable and of the high academic caliber we value so deeply in this diocese.

The best way to give is still by check. When you do so 100 percent of your gift goes directly to the school. We also have a donate button on our website that will allow us to accept credit card gifts at a reasonable cost to us and as responsible stewards of your gifts.

If you care about ministry in the Diocese of Los Angeles and believe in the work Bloy House is already doing to support people in their ministries, and you want to support an expansion of our mission, we ask you to give.

Checks can be sent to
Bloy House, ETSC
1325 N. College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
Fresh Start for Lay Leaders Returns in January 2019
One of Bloy House's first intentional ventures into specifically lay leadership formation was the establishment of the Fresh Start for Lay Leaders program at Bloy House in 2011. This excellent program was first designed to speak particularly to wardens and key lay leaders in congregations that were in the midst of clergy transitions. What we have found over the years is that the skills learned in this class have much wider applicability than just to congregations looking for new clergy leadership.

We live in an age when the church is in constant transition as we seek to refine our mission and our ministry to meet the needs of our ever-changing, increasingly less Christian social and cultural context. In the insightful, capable hands of Canon Joanna Satorius, lay leaders of the church have the opportunity to explore how this new world impacts the nature of church life and the church's ministry to the world. Congregations that have chosen to take part in the Fresh Start for Lay Leaders program find that the clergy of their congregations have knowledgeable and prepared partners for ministry with skills to help guide communities through the changes and challenges our life in faith. What no one can accomplish alone often becomes possible through the shared efforts of a strong clergy/lay team. Fresh Start teaches lay leaders how to be part of such a team.

Those interested in taking part in Fresh Start for Lay Leaders should contact Canon Joanna Satorius to learn more about the program.

Spring 2019 Academic

Spring Semester
January 18-19
January 25-26
February 8-9
February 22-23
March 1-2
March 15-16
March 29-30
April 12-13
April 26-27
May 10-11

Bold dates indicate the second of back to back weeks in the semester.

Bloy House is currently accepting applications for spring term 2019. Applications can be found by going to the prospective student section of the Bloy House website, . Those seeking to take for-credit course work should fill out the long application. Those wishing to audit classes without academic credit may fill out the Education for Episcopal Leadership application.

From the Dean

I only heard of it second hand. I was not privy to the actual event, although in their telling the whole amazing experience came alive in my own imagination. It was the brain child of Sister Greta who is, if you don't yet know her, a woman prone to giving birth to brain children. This particular dream, for that was what it was, was years in the making. When you work in prison ministry you know it can often be a long way from the kernel of a dream to its reality.

Sister Greta spends many of her days involved with Prism Ministry, the Episcopal ministry to those incarcerated in the LA Country jails. For years she and Brother Dennis Gibbs and their team of well trained lay ministers have served the spiritual needs of many of the incarcerated of Los Angeles. Some years ago Sister Greta imagined how wonderful it would be to bring Christmas to the women's jail by bringing carolers to the women housed there. After years of working with the jail administrators, having every caroler go through a background check, and all the other bureaucratic hoops involved in working with a system expressly designed to keep its residents from interacting with the outside community, Greta finally got the green light. A dozen hand chosen carolers were allowed into the jail to share the Gospel light and deepest joys of Christmas with those who would not be spending Christmas at home with their families. For these women when Christmas came there would be no tree loaded with gifts, no sumptuous feast, no Christmas pageant, Midnight Mass, no candle lit singing of Silent Night. But that did not and could not mean that on December 25th Christmas would pass these women by.

And so on the Saturday before Advent III, on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. On a day when so many are frantically preparing their homes, their churches, and their families to welcome the miracle of Christmas; a dozen kind, generous, loving Christian people stepped away from their busy lives and out of their comfort zones to follow prison guards through open social areas crowded with prisoners, along hard concrete corridors, and finally straight into cold solitary cells to sing the songs of Christmas to a community of human beings who so needed to touch Christmas with all its hope, it's comfort, and its peace.

There were hugs and tears and love poured out like a mountain stream at spring runoff. There was gratitude and compassion and dignity shared. There was a moment when those who live with so much could acknowledge that even a cell is a home, and that those who live within it deserve by virtue of their humanity to have that home honored and blessed and sanctified. For all who were a part of this simple, elegant, grace filled moment, Christmas became more real. The holiness of a stable that could turn a cell into a place for hope and prayer became real.

At one particular stop on their caroling a woman made a special request of the carolers. "I don't remember the name of it, but can you sing that song about tidings of comfort and joy?"

And so they sang,

"God rest ye merry gentlefolk, let nothing you dismay.
Remember Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas Day.
To save us all from Satan's power when we had gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy.
Comfort and joy.
O tidings of comfort and joy. "

I think that what God did was come to us in our cell on that first Christmas morning. Christ came to our world often filled with loneliness and pain and fear and sorrow. God came to a stable in an occupied land and instead of standing back at some safe distance, God entered in. God stood in the cell of human suffering and brought to that place and that people a promise of freedom, of deliverance, of peace and wholeness and comfort and joy and hope. Life was changed by that visit. We are changed and made whole because of a God who chose to enter the most ignominious corners of human reality and fill them with beauty and truth, goodness and life.

Oh tidings of comfort and joy!

Bloy House | 1325 N. College Ave. | Claremont | California | 91711 |
Feature Heading
Place article copy here. Be sure to make the articles short and concise as people tend not to read much more than a couple of paragraphs. Place article copy here.