Daily Reflection

Daily Reflection:
Monday, June 15, 2020

My brothers and sisters in Christ,
St. Thomas More Parish is an active member of the San Diego Organizing Project (SDOP) and we have been for many years.
Sr. Maureen Brown CSJ, our Pastoral Associate, is the Parish Liaison to SDOP.
This “connection” allows us, as a Parish, to be challenged by the Gospel demands of working for justice in order to achieve peace.
Below you will find a statement signed by a number of white clergy, including Sr. Maureen Brown, Sr. Madeline Fitzgerald, myself, our Diocesan Bishops McElroy and Dolan, and a number of interfaith clergy committing ourselves to continuing to work to help end systemic racism.
Please take time to read and reflect…
--Fr. Mike
Bishop Robert McElroy, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, delivers opening remarks at this morning's press conference.
This morning (6/11/2020), 20+ clergy from across the County came together to deliver a message: in this moment, white clergy and people of faith are called to dismantle and reimagine the systems and institutions that allow police to commit racist violence against the black community, and police must be held accountable by the communities they serve.
The press conference was hosted by SDOP at the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego and led by Bishop Robert McElroy. Clergy from more than ten different faiths and denominations attended the conference and co-signed the message and demands presented by speakers. Altogether, 30 local clergy members from SDOP's network signed on to our organization's platform to transform local law enforcement and eradicate white supremacism and racism in our faith community.
At the end of this morning's conference, Bishop Terrell Fletcher of City of Hope International Church reminded white clergy and people of faith of their responsibility in the fight against anti-black racism in our communities: “The average racist is not at my church. The white supremacist in on your board, and I’m calling on you to do something about it. We have to become the first generation to turn the world upside down and refuse to allow injustices like this. We must deal with what’s uncomfortable and do what’s right, not just write reforms on paper but see them come to pass.”
Bishop Terrell Fletcher, City of Hope International Church, closes the conference with a call to action to white clergy and people of faith.

SDOP's statement from white clergy and demands to local government and law enforcement can be read in full below:

White Clergy Statement
“They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
saying ‘Peace, Peace’ when there is no peace”
Jeremiah 6:14, Hebrew Scriptures
As White faith leaders and clergy, we are called to take responsibility for our part in the struggle against anti-blackness and for racial justice. Many of us, and particularly our white Christian traditions, have been complicit with racism through colonization, slavery, segregation, lynching, and racialized mass incarceration.
At the dawn of the Summer of 2020, our nation is in a crucible wrought by racist systems and structures that permeate every facet of life in the United States, including health care, employment, education, wealth, the criminal justice system, and housing, and they infect far too many faith institutions and traditions.
Every time we forget that each person is made in the image of God, we move further away from our own humanity. Ideas and systems that support white supremacy are a cancer that eats away at our minds, hearts, and souls.
We are calling all White clergy and faith leaders to join us in uprooting theologies and practices that promote or accommodate interpersonal, structural, and systemic racism, and replace them with life-giving ways of making meaning, building relationships, and reconstructing just systems and structures.
On our journey we will REPENT , AFFIRM , and LEAD :
  • We REPENT for our silence and complicity in the face of systemic racism.
  • We AFFIRM the need to build redemptive power with our black colleagues, to bring systemic and structural change to our nation.
  • We will LEAD our congregations in learning about systemic anti-black racism and taking responsibility for our part in the struggle against anti-blackness.
Lastly, law enforcement agencies must be held accountable for abusing their power, especially in ways that disproportionately impact the Black Community. The death of George Floyd, and other Black lives stolen because of police violence, demand we approach police accountability as a holistic transformation.
This moment calls on us to be bold in our policy-making if we truly want #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd and to show actions towards dismantling Anti-Black Racism. We call on all local law enforcement agencies to adopt these policy reforms in their entirety:
Father Tommie Jennings, Christ the King Catholic Church (left) and Rabbi Devorah Marcus, Temple Emanu-el (right) give reflection and testimony on the role of faith communities in this moment.

Demands from the San Diego Faith Community
  • Pass PrOTECT, a model policy that would end invasive policing practices used disproportionately to search and interrogate Black people. PrOTECT would require officers to have probable cause in order to stop, ask for identification, question and/or search an individual.
  • Strengthen community oversight to ensure police are held accountable. (CRB) We need an oversight board that is independent, community-led, has real powers to conduct independent investigations, subpoena powers, and more.
  • Adopt strong de-escalation policies. Having strong de-escalation requirements have been shown to significantly reduce the use of deadly force.
  • Immediately implement the H.E.A.T. (Hiring, Equipment, Accountability, and Training) process: We need to reimagine how police are hired, the equipment they use, how they are held accountable, and the training they are given. We demand the public safety servants who are best positioned to understand and be responsive to the diversity that many of our neighborhoods reflect.
  1. HIRING (THE WHO) Communities are seeking public safety servants who are best positioned to understand and be responsive to the diversity that many of our neighborhoods reflect. Far gone are the days where a monolithic group is expected to be successful in culturally competent service that is constitutional and experienced as legitimate by the public. We believe we are at a moment when we need to consider, together, how our hiring practices around public safety need to be rebooted out of strategic partnership of community voice and those currently sworn to protect them.
  2. EQUIPMENT (THE HOW) The procedures and tactics used to provide public safety must be reimagined with a commitment to ensuring that safety is provided for in ways that don’t dehumanize or terrorize the public. 
  3. ACCOUNTABILITY (THE WHY) Trust is achievable when we, as a shared community, can expect transparency in our relationship. Determining, on local levels, how transparency can be implemented in practice will create a much needed culture to move the conversation forward. We believe that determining the necessary mechanisms for ensuring neutrality and transparency are core to pioneering a new narrative around community to public safety system relationship.
  4. TRAINING (THE WHAT) Community members have a valid perspective on what the public safety system should know about providing their service to them. Procedural Justice focuses on respect, fairness, listening, and building trust as pathways to public safety officials to be seen as legitimate with communities who have a historical reason to mistrust. This concept, along with other educational tools, should serve as opportunities to discover the kinds of trainings the public safety system is currently using and what new ideas we should all be considering to serve an ever-changing public narrative. We believe that providing better education about practice and each other’s stories will empower a different relationship over time.
The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego
Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego
Most Reverend John P. Dolan, Auxiliary Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego
Rev. Dr. Andrew A. Taylor, Bishop, Pacifica Synod of the ELCA (encompasses San Diego)
Rev. Jason Coker, Lead Pastor, The Oceanside Sanctuary
Rev. Kathleen Owens, Lead Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego
Rev. Darryl Kistler, Senior Minister, Kensington Community Church, San Diego
The Very Rev. Penny Bridges, Dean, St. Paul’s Cathedral (Episcopal)
Rabbi Scott Meltzer, Ohr Shalom Synagogue, San Diego
Sr. Maureen Brown, CSJ, Pastoral Associate, St. Thomas More Catholic Church
The Rev. Brenda Sol, Rector, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Encinitas
Rev. Dan Koeshall, Senior Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego
Rev. Richard Hogue Jr., Vicar - Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Carlsbad; Associate Priest - St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Encinitas
Rev. Dr. Caleb J. Lines, Senior Minister of University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)/United Church of Christ
Rev Alisan Rowland, Volunteer Clergy, Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego
Rev. Mary Sue Brookshire, Pioneer Ocean View UCC, San Diego
Rev. Michelle Kirby, Chaplain, Metropolitan Community Church, San Diego
Rev. Dr. Beth Johnson, Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Vista
Rev. Kurt R. Christenson, Pastor, First Lutheran Church, San Diego
The Rev. Janine Schenone, Rector, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, San Diego
Rev. Michael Ratajczak, Pastor, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Oceanside
Rabbi Devorah Marcus, Senior Rabbi, Temple Emanu-El, San Diego
The Rev. Iona Dickinson, University City United Church, San Diego
RJ Lucchesi, Seminarian, Claremont School of Theology / Disciples of Christ
Sr. Madeline Fitzgerald, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Vista
Pastor Sandy Roberts, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), San Diego
Rabbi Yael Ridberg, Congregation Dor Hadash, San Diego
Rev. Caedmon D Grace, Minister of Congregational Life, Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego
Rev. Kelly Ryan, The Table: United Church of Christ La Mesa
The Rev. D. Rebecca Dinovo, Minister of Congregational Life, St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, La Jolla

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Welcome Back to Mass in Person!

If you made a reservation for one of the in-person Masses, we'll see you there!

Seats are still available for Tuesday, June 16, at 8:15am. Please call 760-758-4100 x100 to reserve a seat.

Seats are still available for Thursday, June 18, at 8:15am. Please click HERE or call 760-758-4100 x100 to reserve a seat.

Remember that you can watch Mass Online any time after 6:00am on Sunday or Wednesday. Bishop McElroy continues to dispense everyone from the obligation to attend Mass in person.

If you wish to attend Mass in person, please choose just one of the following so that we can better accommodate all who wish to attend. Only 100 people may attend each Mass.

Tuesday, June 16, 8:15am
Thursday June 18, 8:15am

Reservations will open Monday, June 15, after 8:30am for June 20-25.

Saturday, June 20, 5:00pm
Sunday, June 21, 8:30am
Sunday, June 21, 10:30am
Tuesday, June 23, 8:15am
Thursday, June 25, 8:15am

Calling All 2020 Graduates!

Please click on the image above for more information if you are a 2020 graduate of kindergarten, fifth grade, eighth grade, high school, and beyond. We would like to recognize your accomplishment and include you in prayer the weekend of June 27-28!

Hello Faith Formation Families!

We would like to share some information about our Religious Education Program (REACH) for the Fall. Please click on the images above for more details and to request your enrollment packet. Thank you!

Many of us make our contributions when we attend Mass each week. Our Parish still needs our weekly contributions even though we cannot attend Mass, so that we can continue providing services and ministering to you. Please consider giving online, using text-to-give, or mailing in your contributions to STM at 1450 S. Melrose Dr., Oceanside, CA 92056. Thank you!

If you know Parishioners or have family/friends who do not have access to email, please share this information with them. Thank you!

If you or anyone you know needs anything, please contact the Parish Office. We are closed but checking voice mail regularly and will do our best to help. You may also call
2-1-1 for assistance with resources of various types.

The bulletin link is available in every email we send (see golden orange button below. People without email or internet access will be able call the Parish Office and leave a message requesting a bulletin via snail mail each week during this time. Thank you!
Take a photo of your family celebrating Mass at home with online video.
Click HERE to upload the photo.

The Larger Church 
Small Group Series Opportunity for Young Adults

Dear Friends,
Please join, seminarians, religious sisters, deacons and wives, and faithful Catholics who will host a seven week series called Baptized in the Lord. The series begins on the week prior to the Sunday of June 21 and concludes on August 2. These leaders are excited to host Zoom meetings for groups of up to ten members. Reflect on the Sunday’s Readings through the Christ in Our Neighborhood process. There are no fees for these meetings. It is simply our hosts way of letting you know you are loved. There is a limit of ten members per group, so register early.
Simply select a day and hour that meets your schedule and our Christ in Our Neighborhood Team will connect you with your host. 
Thank you and bless you!
--Bishop John Dolan

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