St. Catherine of Siena Episcopal Church

Physical address: 10435 Double R Blvd. Reno, NV  89521

Mailing address: P.O. Box 17831 Reno, NV  89511-1033

A publication to promote our mission:
"In community, love God, love others, serve both."

Marlene and the Sam family
In-person services suspended until further notice.

If you find you're missing singing along on Sundays, we could use a couple more singers for our virtual choir, especially if you can sing different parts!  

All you need is the ability to listen to music, while recording yourself at the same time.  

Please email Beth if you would like to join in:

The Rev'd Thomas Blake

Charlie Dickinson
Senior Warden

Liz Skogerson
Junior Warden

Kevin Goss

Todd Kodet

Carol Lacy

Kris McCain

Donna Sanders

Sally Dickinson

Georgia Tachoires, 

JumpStart Kitchen
Kris McCain

Prayer & Recovery Ministries
Joann McKeeman

Lectors & EM's 
Anne Towner 
Altar Guild  
Linda Stetzell 

Lap Quilts for Seniors
Amy Heintz

Children's Blankets
Carol Dyer

Hosts, Greeters
& Oblationers
September 2020
The Rev'd
 Thomas Blake
Father Tom's Message

By the time you read this, Chad and I will be visiting family back East. Thanks to the Rev'd Dr. Bob Swope for presiding and preaching at our Zoom services at St. Catherine's while I am away.
I will keep it short this month, but I do have a few brief items to share.
First, the Rev'd Marla Asson, a bi-vocational priest new to town and working at Renown South hospital, will be affiliating with, and serving with me at, St. Catherine's. She has already joined us for a few of our virtual coffee hours (via Zoom). A brief introduction from her is included in this newsletter.
We continue to monitor Washoe County's COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates. Though (as of my writing this) our county's trend lines do not yet meet the requirements for us to submit a reopening plan to the diocese, the Vestry has organized a task force to explore ideas and possible next steps.
The Book Club and Hiking Group continue meeting on a monthly basis, and our collaborative Slow Cooker ministry continues serving families on a bi-weekly basis.
We are formalizing our association with the Northern Nevada community organizing group modelling itself after Nevadans for the Common Good. I am thankful that the Rev'd Deacon Veronica Galas preached at our Zoom service and guided us in conversation on 2 August about the group. I look forward to a report about the group's meeting on 25 August.
We continue exploring the possibility of getting a NETworX USA site established in Reno to address issues of poverty. Kevin Goss and I recently met with the Rev'd Maggie McNaught, a United Methodist pastor who was involved with starting a site in Auburn, Calif. She gave us some great advice about important initial steps. We will be lining up additional meetings in the months ahead.
That's all for now. I am confident that God is doing great things among us and we have much to celebrate. Please keep me in your prayers as I travel and know that you will be kept in mine.

Fr. Tom+
Welcome to our new assisting priest

DOB: 7/25/1963
Age: 57
Married to: Arthur Russell (Russ) Asson since 2004
By the Rev'd Marla Wright Asson

I was born and raised in Alabama.  My family was not active in church, so most of my early exposure was through attending Southern Baptist or Church of Christ services with friends as a teenager; churches in the Bible Belt invest heavily in youth ministry.  My first exposure to the Episcopal Church was through marriage, as that was the church my first husband's family attended.  I married at 22, divorced at 35, and married again at 41. 
During the years my children were growing up, I worked in my profession as a laboratory scientist and volunteered at church mostly in outreach and some youth activities. I was a substitute youth minister briefly, during a stint after our previous YM was terminated and before another could be hired, on the strength of knowing the kids from chaperoning their summer mission trip.  (Trust me -- I am now too old to take 17 kids to Chicago and sleep on concrete floors for a week!)  My passion, however, was Outreach ministry.
In 2009 I entered the diaconal school in Alabama (the diocese of Alabama trains deacons in 'classes') and in 2011, after the two-year training, I was ordained a vocational deacon and assigned to Holy Cross/St. Christopher's Church in Huntsville.  This congregation is situated at the edge of a historically black campus, and the parish is very intentional about being racially mixed and working toward racial reconciliation. In that parish we did outreach; I assisted with pastoral care and I preached every other weekend.  Beans-and-rice ministries are a fairly common outreach in Alabama, as are meal-pack ministries and backpack ministries.
In 2013, my laboratory career (and my Los Angeles-native husband) brought me to Nevada. He was winding up a 40-year career with the Department of the Army, as a division chief in the Army Missile Command. I was tired of pursuing my career in the lowest-paying region of the country and ready to try something new.  I was accepted at St. Paul's Church in Elko as a deacon; at the time, the church already had one deacon and two priests that shared duties. Over the course of the next 5 years, the other three clergy all left due various family needs.  Bishop Dan Edwards and I discussed the possibility of ordainment to the priesthood, and after training for another 2 years through CSDP and with Canon Catherine Gregg, I was ordained to the priesthood in August 2018.
My move to Reno was entirely due to the opportunity to become lab director for Renown Regional Hospital; this is sort of a career-capping dream job. I still love St. Paul's and left on good terms.  My reason for stepping down as their rector was simply that I cannot be in Elko during the week, and it is not uncommon for a congregation to need their priest during the week. It was an honor to have served as their rector for 18 months, and I would be honored to serve them in any capacity, at any time.  The hardest thing about moving to Reno is how much I miss my church family.
In my ministry, I have served prison inmates, worked with hospice in skilled nursing facilities, served as a chaplain to the hospital and to the Sheriff's department (primarily intended for the deputies, not the inmates, although I am fine with both),  and been both deacon and rector to a congregation.  

I believe that the church should be out talking to people in the street, in their daily life. The old saying is true: the church primarily exists for the sake of people who don't belong to the church.  We are the only evidence of God that some people can see, so if we're not out doing God's work He remains invisible and unnoticed.  It seems to me that one of the abiding illnesses of our culture is that there are so many people who are lonely, and that the church is called to befriend those who believe they have no friends.

It is a joy to me to find that St. Catherine's is so engaged in outreach work and has so many opportunities for people to talk and visit. I look forward to getting to know you better, and exploring whether St. Catherine's has work to do that I can contribute.
Vestry Corner

By Charlie Dickinson,
Senior Warden

The St. Catherine's vestry continues to meet on the second Wednesday of each month. During our August meeting we formed a task force, led by Kevin Goss, to look at how and when we might reopen St. Catherine's to in-person worship services.  

The task force is developing a plan to allow us to meet the requirements and suggestions issued by the diocese to allow us to meet safely.  If the plan is approved by the diocese, we would hope to begin holding Sunday services sometime by late September.  

The plan would be to start with one Sunday service while continuing to offer the service on-line via Zoom.  The plan is still under development, but we wanted to let the parish know that we are working towards meeting at St. Catherine's again.

Vestry members are continuing to contact parishioners on a regular basis to update them as to plans for worship and other parish activities and to keep in touch with the parish. If any of you are not receiving calls and would like to, please contact the parish office at 851-4168 so that we can add you to our contact list.

Church financial update

By Sally Dickinson, Treasurer

July 2020

YTD July 2020

Operating Expenses:

Net Income:
- $3,066

- $3,265

Let's keep feeding hungry families: Here's how to help 

By Kris McCain and Beth Osborne

Through our JumpStart Kitchen Slow Cooker Ministry, St. Catherine's parishioners have stepped up to help out our some of the most needy families in our community. Since May 27, we have provided recipes and ingredients for hot meals to feed 15 very grateful families (75 people) every other week, for a total of 525 individuals to date!  
All of these families have children in the home, many of whom are helping to put the meals together! Not only are we providing an easy, nutritious meal, but they now have a collection of seven recipes that they can use going forward, giving them options on ways to prepare the food they receive from the Food Pantry.

The circumstances changed for three of the families we originally delivered to, and they were gracious enough to offer their spots to others who needed the food more, so we have touched the lives of 18 different families during this critical time during the summer. Now with fall starting and the end of the eviction moratorium, we expect to see even more need.      
Many thanks to the six different St. Catherine's parishioners who have sponsored a meal (or two). 

If you are interested in getting involved, the following dates are available: Sep 23, October 7 and 21, November 11, and December 9. I addition, we would like to provide special holiday meals the Wednesdays prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We will be asking for contributions of food and/or money to help make these families' holidays special!  
The following steps detail what an interested participant should expect:
  1. Please contact parishioner Kris McCain at or 615-483-4678 to schedule one of the above dates and receive potential recipes to choose from (or choose your own).
  2. Once a recipe is selected, please email a copy of the recipe to Beth Osborne at She will have it translated and pass it along to The Community Food Pantry for them to check on which ingredients they are able to provide.
  3. By the Friday prior to your selected date (or sooner), Beth will let you know which ingredients will be available at the Food Pantry that week. You will be responsible for purchasing the remaining ingredients for 15 families. Please keep all receipts to turn into St. Catherine's for reimbursement. It is important that we document all expenditures. If you wish to donate, please do so separately, by writing a check to St. Catherine's and noting that it is for the Jump Start Kitchen ministry.  
  4. Certain ingredients like spices may be able to be purchased in bulk and broken down into smaller sizes according to the recipe. Feel free to contact Kris with any questions.
  5. As of September 23, the food pick-up time at the Community Food Pantry at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, will change to noon. If you are free at that time, Beth will meet you there to help unload you combine the food you've purchased with that donated by the pantry, and separate it all into 15 bags to be delivered to the families. If you aren't available at noon, we ask that you meet Beth in the parking lot of the Big Brothers Big Sisters office on Foster Drive, across from Reno High School at 5:00, to repackage the food and hand it out to the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and volunteer mentors who will deliver to the families.
  6. Turn in your receipts to St. Catherine's for reimbursement.
Thank you for considering being a part of this much needed Ministry!
Walking group meets Saturday, Sept. 5

Please join us for a St. Catherine's Sept. walk on Saturday, Sept. 5.

This is a chance to see some of the local countryside and get some exercise with St. Catherine's.  Mid-September is a great time to walk with pleasant temperatures.  

We will meet at the Starbucks adjacent to the Raley's on Mount Rose highway (18250 Wedge Parkway) at 9:00 AM.   We will probably walk 2-3 miles, but it will depend on who joins us and how far they want to walk.  All are welcome (including any 4 pawed friends that you want to bring). 

Please remember to bring water or something else to drink.  We hope to see you on Saturday, Sept. 5.

If you have any questions, please contact Charlie Dickinson (
Current book selection: The Reluctant Healer by Emily Gardiner Neal
Book Club meets Tuesday, Sept. 15

By Lajuana Bryan

We are having Book Club at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 15 at Carol Lacy's house. Please read chapter 2 and join us on Zoom or in person.  

Please RSVP to Carol (call 415-407-6533) if you plan on attending in person, as we are keeping the total number of participants to 10. 

We have a group email, too; if you are interested in being added please email or call 707-226-6809. Hope to see you on Tuesday, Sept. 15!
Audio sermons online

Fr. Tom has been recording sermons and services in his own voice.  You can listen to them for free via any internet connection on a website called Soundcloud. Whether you're on a laptop, iPad, desktop computer, or a smartphone, just click the link below and it will take you to the website -- there is nothing to download or purchase.  You may see a button that asks you to "listen through the app," and if you choose to download the app, you can do that for free. However, you don't have to ... you can just scroll to one of the sermons and click the orange "play" button, and listen without downloading anything.

Here's the link to Fr. Tom's audio files:
UTO Book of Prayers

By Georgia Tachoires

Every three years the United Thank Offering assembles a book of prayers.  This small book is one of the most popular items UTO gives out at the General Convention/Triennial. These prayers are from people throughout the Episcopal Church, in the following categories: Gratitude, Guidance, Healing, Love of God & Creation, Sorrow or Fear, Prayers for Morning, Prayers for Midday, Prayers for Night, and Other.  We all have more quiet time on our hands lately.  Please consider writing a prayer for the 2021 Prayer Book, and then submit it online 
St. Catherine of Siena Episcopal Church |
 E-mail: | Phone: 775-851-4168 
Physical address: 10435 Double R Blvd.  Reno, NV  89521
Mailing address: PO Box 17831 Reno, NV  89511-1033