Volume 1, Issue 21
June 05, 2019
Pentecost - June 09, 2019
Acts 2:1-21
Psalm 104:8-17
Romans 8:14-17
John 14:8-17, 25-27

One service this Sunday!

Ushers: TBD
Lector: Pam Johnston
Eucharist Minister: Pete Cabbiness
Preacher: Bishop Rice
Celebrant: Bishop Rice

Food Bank
2nd-4th Wednesdays @ 2:30PM

The Cottage Shop
Wednesdays @ 12:30PM-4:30PM
1st-3rd Sat. @ 9:00AM-1:00PM

Choir Rehearsal
Wednesdays @ 6:30PM
Baby Russell's Memorial Service
Saturday, June 8 - 12:00PM

Pentecost Sunday - Bishop Rice @ SJ
Sunday, June 9 - 9:00AM

Chapter Meeting
Sunday, June 9 - 11:00AM
Conference Room

Kathleen Gerner's Memorial Service
Sunday, June 23 - 3:00PM
Cathedral to host memorial service Saturday, June 8th
Many of you may already know that my beautiful and joyful 5 month old grandson Russell Joseph Mendez, died in the early morning of Friday, May 31, 2019. Russell came to us 6 weeks early on December 29, 2018, and left us too early. He died a few hours after the completion of his second open heart surgery, which was done in an effort to improve his compromised circulation. I commend Russell’s mom, our oldest daughter Gabriella, who made the best decisions, and always the correct decisions, on Russell’s behalf throughout his life. 

Russell’s funeral will be this Saturday June 8, 2018, at 12:00PM. Liturgical Services will be at the St. James Episcopal Cathedral (Northwest corner of Dakota and Cedar) 4147 E Dakota Ave. Fresno CA 93726. Everyone is welcome at the Episcopal Church. All children are welcome in the Cathedral. For young children there’s a play area in the back of the cathedral. There will be a lunch at the cathedral after the service.

We are asking that in lieu of flowers, to make a donation to Valley Children’s Hospital Willson Heart Center in memory of Russell Joseph Mendez. To donate, visit Valley Children's and under “Designation” select“Willson Heart Center Endowment.”

Russell was born with Down Syndrome and a severe congenital heart defect with both his aorta and the pulmonary artery coming off a single right ventricle. Essentially he had half a heart that had to do the work of a whole heart in order to provide blood to his lungs to get oxygen, and to pump blood with oxygen throughout his body. His mother, Gabriella knew early in the pregnancy that he had Down Syndrome and felt that as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse, and with family support, she could provide a good life for him. She decided to continue rather than to terminate the pregnancy. Later in the pregnancy she found out that he also had the single right ventricle heart defect. She had a consultation with a pediatric cardio-thoracic surgeon who advised her of the difficult road a child with a single ventricle would have. She still felt that she could continue the pregnancy, and she did. 

In the early morning hours of December 29, 2018, he stopped moving inside the womb and was delivered by c-section shortly after Gabriella got to the hospital. That afternoon he was transferred to Valley Children’s Hospital on a ventilator. He was able to be taken off the ventilator and we all were able to hold him. His mom and/or my wife Barbara and I stayed with Russell at his bedside 24 hours a day, every day throughout his prolonged and difficult hospital stay. Barbara and I stayed overnight a few times and also went to the hospital every day to allow Gabriella time away from the hospital. 
Ryan Newman (the Dean of our church, St. James Episcopal Cathedral), and Deacon Nancy Key came to the hospital to baptize Russell on Jan 2, 2019. He underwent his first open heart surgery on January 7, 2019, that helped better balance his systemic and pulmonary circulations. Post-operatively he did not make any crying noises because the nerve going to the left vocal cord was injured during the surgery. Oh, the happiness I experienced when he finally made crying noises on February 4, 2019!!!  

Before he could leave he had to be a certain weight, and to be taking adequate nutrition of his mom’s fortified breast milk. His mom did a fantastic job of getting him to bottle-feed post-operatively, but at the time of discharge he still needed a nasogastric tube to supplement his oral feedings. He was alert, making eye contact, moving around and interacting with his mom and family.

He was finally stable enough, taking adequate nutrition and weighed enough to leave the hospital February 21, 2019. 4 days after leaving the hospital Gabriella pulled out the nasogastric tube because she thought he would feed better without it. She was right and he started taking his feedings better. He really blossomed when he got home. His weight rapidly went up linearly. His personality began to be uncovered. He seldom cried, and smiled and laughed easily. We waited every morning for a text from Gabriella of how Russell was doing. We took care of him at our house when Gabriella returned to work. 

When his mom thought it was safe to take him out of the house, he began attending St. James Episcopal Cathedral. The people in the congregation just loved him. He had excellent attendance. The members of St James Episcopal Cathedral had prayed for him since before he was born. They have continued to pray and offer support for him and us in so many ways. Besides church he also attended a few political activities with us. He brought joy, happiness and pleasure wherever he went.
Russell had a cardiac catheterization to evaluate his heart before undergoing his second open heart surgery at Valley Children’s Hospital. The goal of the second surgery was to make it easier for his heart to pump, and to improve the oxygen level in his blood. Based on the results of the catheterization, it was decided he was in satisfactory condition to undergo what is called a Bidirectional Glenn procedure. He went to the Operating Room early in the morning of May 30, 2019. Even though his surgeons, anesthesiologist and cardiologist did all they could, the surgery did not go well. Russell’s physiology did not tolerate the procedure. He spent 18 hours in the OR before he was stable enough to be taken to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Shortly after arriving in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on the morning of May 31, 2019, he died with his mom and his family at his side.  

All of Russell’s family are thankful for the great care Russell received from the nurses and staff at @Valley Children’s Hospital. It is a blessing to have Valley Children’s Hospital making care available to all the children in the Valley. In particular, we want to thank Russell’s pediatrician Peter Nakaguchi, MD, Russell’s cardiologist, Jeremy Fox, MD and Russell’s cardiac surgeon, Malcom MacDonald, MD. for their kind, compassionate and excellent care of Russell. We also understand how hard Russell’s passing has been on all Gabriella’s friends and nursing colleagues who work with her at Valley Children’s Hospital. We thank them for their kind words, their visits to Gabriella and support.

We remember him as a perfect, beautiful baby with a joyous, outgoing personality and big smile. For Gabriella, caring for Russell during his short life was a treasured labor of love. Please pray for her and her other children, Danielle, William and West.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” - 2 Timothy 4:7 New International Version (NIV)

Peace and Grace to you all,

Jim Mendez
Holy God, your beloved Son took children into his arms and blessed them. Help us to entrust Baby Russell to your never failing loving-kindness. Comfort us as we bear the pain of his death, and reunite us in your good time in your Paradise; through Jesus Christ our Savior who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gracious God, we come before you this day in pain and sorrow. We grieve the loss of Baby Russell, a precious human life. Give your grace to those who grieve especially his mother, Gabriella, and all of his family, that they may find comfort in your presence and be strengthened by your Spirit. Be with this your family as they mourn, and draw them together in your healing love; in the name of the one who suffered, died, and rose for us, Jesus our Savior. Amen.
by Emily Niblick
If you were settling in for an evening of radio on Saturday, January 29, 1938, at 6:15pm you might have heard something like this:

“Fresno Bee radio station KMJ now invites you to listen to a new program featuring three religious leaders of our community. We hope you will enjoy it.”

Still in the throes of the Great Depression, reading of civil war in Spain, and fraying diplomatic relations between what would be called the Axis countries and the free world, one might have wanted to turn to the news with H. V. Kaltenborn instead but somehow, before you can touch the radio dial you are interested to find that these three men of faith want to talk about unity, tolerance, and just plain getting along with each other. And so you listen for fifteen minutes of sanity in the midst of what may seem like an insane world.

And so the Radio Forum of Understanding was first heard in Fresno. The program was a success, lasting for almost seventeen years until it ended in 1954.
But that was hardly the beginning. In the mid 1930s a young Irish born Catholic priest named James G. Dowling came to Fresno to be placed in charge of Saint Theresa Catholic Church. Being of a progressive mind, he discovered that the local Rabbi of Temple Beth Israel, David Greenberg had similar concerns as he did. Both grew to be friends as heads of the Jewish Welfare and Catholic Charities organization, working to better relations between migrant cotton pickers and growers. 

In 1937, a new Dean arrived at Saint James Cathedral. Rabbi Greenberg approached the newly appointed Dean James M. Malloch and invited him to join in their work. Dean Malloch agreed and joined the Rabbi Greenberg and Father Dowling in forming the Council of Social Agencies, which each of the trio chaired at one time or another.

During Brotherhood Week in 1937, the National Council of Christians and Jews were holding a meeting in Fresno. A Catholic priest who was supposed to address the group canceled at the last minute, and Father Dowling was asked to step in and take his place. In the process he became convinced that the misunderstanding and ignorance of religious matters leads to prejudice and intolerance in society. He contacted his two close friends and the Radio Forum for Better Understanding was born.

As Rabbi Greenberg said; “How can we understand others if we don’t know what they stand for or what they believe in?” 
Over the years which followed, the group would discuss all manner of topics, always with an understanding of how their positions on issues fit in with their beliefs. Sometimes they would disagree, but major disagreements concerning faith were never discussed. For this reason, each show was scripted by the trio beforehand, to make sure disagreements or arguments would not erupt. Topics included not only social problems of intolerance, poverty, and discrimination in American life, but also issues concerning war and peace. The object was unity. Not only amongst various religious factions, but within society itself. By helping listeners to learn what their respective faiths believed, and why, they hoped to achieve more of a tolerance for different approaches to the serious problems America and Fresno would face during war and the post war years.

One might think that this might cause some uncomfortable moments among the trio. But they maintained their relationship and even admitted that they liked each other! Friends they were. Many occasions proved this. For instance, when Rabbi Greenberg’s wife was about to give birth at St. Agnes Hospital, Rabbi Greenberg was out of town in the Bay area. So he called his friends. It turned out that Father Dowling paced the hospital floor as expectant fathers would do, while Dean Malloch was praying with the Rabbi’s wife!

A story that they liked to tell involved a New Year’s Eve party hosted by Rabbi Greenberg. New Year’s Eve fell on a Friday, and Rabbi Greenberg was serving turkey. Since it was Friday Father Dowling, of course, couldn’t eat meat. So the Rabbi figured he would serve the meal after midnight, but then he found that since Father Dowling was celebrating mass Saturday morning, he couldn’t eat then because church law required that as a priest he had to fast from midnight until mass. It so happened the Rabbi had an Irish cook, who solved the problem by fixing a very un-Irish gefilte fish dinner before midnight.
Finally, the Rabbi enjoyed telling this one: When his daughter Rochelle was fifteen, she was riding in an elevator with the Rabbi at St. Agnes Hospital when two nuns boarded the elevator with them. Rochelle, being polite, said to the nuns “Good morning sisters”, to which the sisters replied “What a nice Catholic child.”

In 1952, on the eve of the sixteenth season of the Forum, the trio was awarded a Certificate of Honor by the Seventh Annual Religious Radio Workshop of New York City, sponsored by the Broadcasting and Film division of the National Council of Churches of Christ. The reasons for the award were given as the effort and skill put in by the three as well as the validity of their purpose and appeal to a significant minority, being rare for a local broadcast station. Dean Malloch’s comment was “the world needs this program more than it ever has.”

Lasting almost seventeen years it is obvious the program was very successful Always on KMJ, the time it was heard varied over the years, the last spot being on Sunday evenings. At one point it was run on other radio stations in California as well as KMJ and, during World War II was sent to the GIs in Europe via Armed Forces Radio and to the people of Europe via the Voice of America after the war.

The program ended in 1954 due to Dean Malloch’s declining health. They did get together occasionally on both radio and television in the fifties.

Dean Malloch died in 1960 after serving 23 years as Dean of Saint James Episcopal Cathedral. He also served on the Board of Education from 1941 to 1950, and an elementary school in Fresno is named after him.
Father Dowling was elevated to Monsignor in 1950. Rabbi Greenberg served Temple Beth Israel for a remarkable forty years. He passed away in 1994. A Fresno elementary school is also named after Rabbi Greenberg—the only public school in the United States name for a Rabbi.

In 1969, a sculpture portraying the three around a table doing the show was unveiled in Courthouse Park.

These three gentlemen served our community well. Their aim was one of love, unity, tolerance, and brotherhood. Perhaps their voices need to be heard again today.
“Tolerance Series Begins On Radio” Fresno Bee, January 29, 1938.
“Fresno’s Interfaith Forum Is Extolled”, Fresno Bee, February 3, 1952.
“Fresno Radio Forum Wins Workshop Honor Certificate”, Fresno Bee, October 5, 1952.
“Sunday Rite Will Recall Early Effort Toward Understanding”, Fresno Bee, March 7, 1969.
“Promoting Social Tolerance In The Depression Era”, Fresno Past & Present, Fall 2017.
On Sunday, February 17th, during both the 8:00AM and 10:00AM services, we are inviting the Cathedral Congregation to participate in the quarterly free-will offering to support the St. James Food Bank. On this special Sunday, all cash gifts and any checks with the memo line “Food Bank” offered during the collection will be given to support the ministry of the St. James Food Bank.

The St. James Food Bank is blessed to have YOUR support—YOUR financial and food donations. This ministry is thriving because of your generosity and prayers. THANK YOU!

Please support the St. James Food Bank on Sunday, June 23rd. 
Upcoming conference at ECCO offers great opportunity
Curious about Latino Ministry and what it looks like in San Joaquin? Join us at ECCO as we welcome The Rev. Cn. Anthony Guillen and the Hispanic/Latino Ministries Team, August 25, 6PM (dinner)-August 29, 4PM.

Topics of conversation: History of Latin America, Popular Religion & Liturgical Celebrations, Scrappy Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Multicultural Ministry, Social Media & Latino Ministry.

Registration deadline is August 9th. Please register online through the diocesan website. $110/person for program materials plus lodging at ECCO.
Beat the summer heat? Guess it is "Aloha Sunday!"
The Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry
New podcast coming June 9, 2019
Coming the week of Pentecost: a new podcast from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry;  The Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry. This episodic podcast will offer more ways to engage with the Way of Love, Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life, The Episcopal Church’s intentional commitment to a set of practices as a way to follow Jesus.

Audiences will listen to stories of people from around the Church as they put the Way of Love practices of Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest, into action.

The Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry launches on Pentecost [June 9].

The Way of Love: with Bishop Michael Curry, is available on all podcast apps and atepiscopalchurch.org. Visit the Way of Love podcast webpage to subscribe to the podcast through Apple iTunes, Google Play or Spotify and to sign up for notifications of new seasons as well as additional featured content.

Those making the pledge, affirm that they "long to grow loving, liberating, life-giving relationship with the whole of God’s Creation" and that they "pledge to protect and renew the Earth and all who call it home."
If you have any feedback, comments, or questions for the Midweek Missive Editors, please email us . Submissions to the Midweek Missive are welcomed and must be submitted to midweek@stjamesfresno.org by Tuesday at noon.