DECEMBER 18, 2019
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25
Preacher: Deacon Terrance
Celebrant: Dean Ryan
Usher: William Patterson & Justin Vigil
Lector: Kourinthia Burton
EM: Joe Vigil
Preacher: Deacon Terrance
Celebrant: Dean Ryan
2nd-4th Wednesdays @ 2:30PM

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

Thursdays @ 6:30PM

Sundays after 10AM Service (White Room)
SUN. DEC 22 @ 11:30AM






WED. DEC 25 9:00AM

SUN. DEC 29 9:00AM
Dear Cathedral Family,

We are only a few days away from celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christmas at the Cathedral promises to be a beautiful and inspiring experience. 

We hope you can join us for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day at the Cathedral! On Christmas Eve, services are at 4:00PM, 6:00PM, and 11:00PM. Before our 11PM service, at 10:30PM, we will begin with the singing of carols. On Christmas Day, we will gather at 9:00AM in the Chapel. Also, please invite your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and even strangers to Christmas at St. James! If you are traveling during Christmas and would like recommendations on a church, please do not hesitate to contact me.

As you know by now, we have added a service this year—a Children’s Christmas Eve service at 4:00PM. The Children's Service is designed to support families who want a Christmas worship experience accessible to the whole family, especially for the youngest kids. The service will be simple, relaxed, family-friendly, and will run about 35-40 minutes. Eucharist will be celebrated at the service. Even though we are offering a special service focused on the younger ones in the congregation, please know that children are welcomed at all our Christmas services!

For so many of us, Christmas is a wonderful, uplifting time of year. However, it is also important to acknowledge this time of year can be very difficult for some people for a variety of reasons. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with those in our community who are struggling and/or grieving during this holiday season. If there is anything we can do for you, please reach out to any of the clergy.

On behalf of our whole Cathedral Family, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the blessing of God, our coming Savior, be with you. And may you be a blessing to others this holiday season.

Faithfully in Christ,

The Very Reverend Ryan D. Newman
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it
St. Paul's hosts event bringing together many faith communities including many congregations from the Diocese of San Joaquin.
On Monday, December 16th, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Bakersfield, in partnership with other local faith communities and the Episcopal Diocese San Joaquin, hosted a "Las Posadas" during this season of Advent.

Las Posadas, Spanish for “the inns,” is an Advent celebration of hospitality in Mexico and some parts of Central and South America. The Posadas symbolize Mary and Joseph’s long, frustrating search for a place to stay where Jesus could be born.

Traditionally, different neighborhood families take turns scheduling a night to host the Posada, beginning December 16th and ending on the 24th. The host family acts as the innkeepers, while the other neighbors act as pilgrims, or “peregrinos,” going from house to house singing about Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay. The pilgrims are turned away at every house until, reaching the hosts’ home, they are welcomed for the night.

The Posadas began at St. Paul's and traveled eastward through the streets of Bakersfield stopping at various points as Mary and Joseph attempted to seek refuge. Per tradition of the Posada, Mary and Joseph were repeated turned away. The group of about 40 people were led by the Cross and Mariachi band.

The profound moment of the evening occurred when the Posadas arrived as the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Center. With barbed wire fences in the background, the Posadas paused at the Mesa Verde Center to pray for our immigrant brothers and sisters, especially those who are detained and separated from their families.

"Continuing the tradition of the Pilgrimage of Hope, 'we walk because they walk,'" said Dean Ryan. "Tonight, we trace the steps of Mary and Joseph. We also continue to walk in the footsteps of our sisters and brothers who yearn for a better life, freedom, safety, and opportunity. That is their story and it is also the story of our faith--the holy parents and the Christ child."

The Posadas concluded at the First Christian Church of Bakersfield with food, music, and festivities.
Mary and Joseph seek shelter but are turned away.
Mariachi group performs.

One Service

Sunday, December 29th St. James will be holding one service at 9:00AM. This service will be a spoken Eucharist (no music). All are welcome!
Angela Lerena, Diocese Administrator, Bishop's PA, & Cathedral Curate
Our newest Deacon and Cathedral Curate Angela Lerena has been on the journey to Ordination for 10 years. Kourinthia interviewed Angela for this week' s "Missive." Kourinthia's questions are in bold , Angela's responses are in italics.

How long were you in process before your ordination this past weekend?
I started the process in the Nazarene Church 10 years ago. I started the process in the Episcopal Church 3 1/2 years ago.

Where were you ordained and why?
Grace Cathedral in Nampa, Idaho. It's the tradition in my Diocese to ordain in the sending parish when joining the Diaconate.

Who preached at your ordination and on what?
Bishop David Rice from the Diocese of San Joaquin preached on Living into who you are "Called to Be," because you understand and know you are the Beloved.

What personal touches did you add? Music? Scripture? Etc.?
The ordinand plans everything in my sending Diocese. Music, stole, who attends, scripture, everything.

Who all attended?
The pastor of the Nazarene church I grew up in, he was my pastor for 15 years. He baptized and dedicated me. When I served him communion he was very emotional. My youth pastor from Seattle was also there, as well as my Nazarene professor. Mentors and best friends came to support me, even Rico's (her husbands) best friends were there. My husband, of course. But uncommonly there were two Bishops in attendance (Bishop David and the Bishop of her sending diocese).

Do you have a life verse you'd like to share?
Matthew 6:34-“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today."
Angela's favorite gift of the weekend was the Gingerbread Grace Cathedral.
The “ What Can We Be” campaign will be a year-long stewardship campaign focused on broadening our community’s definition and understanding of stewardship. This year, the Stewardship Packet contains not one but three pledge cards—a time pledge card, a talents pledge card, and a treasure (financial) pledge card.

Last Sunday, we began the ingathering of treasure (financial) pledge cards. Throughout December, we are inviting members of the Cathedral Congregation to submit their pledge card during the offertory, mail, or drop-off their pledge card at the Cathedral office. Our goal is always 100% participation!

For the other two pledge cards, "Time" and Talents," we are going to ask you to hold onto those pledge cards until after our Annual Meeting/Ministry Fair gathering on Sunday, January 26, 2020. Our “Time” and “Talent” pledge cards will be gathered together on Sunday, February 9, 2020—a day we are calling “Shining Light Sunday” inspired by that Sunday’s Gospel reading from Matthew; “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (MATTHEW 5:16) 

Below is a link to the full 2020 Stewardship Packet, including copies of pledge cards. Packets are also available in the Cathedral Office and at the entrance of the Cathedral and Chapel.

If you have any questions or concerns, or need additional information, please do not hesitate to speak to the Dean, Deacons, and members of the Cathedral Chapter.

We thank you for your continued support of St. James through your gifts of time, talents, and treasure!
This will be very special Sunday for St. James. We will gather together for an amazing all-Cathedral experience . . . worship, annual meeting, ministry fair, and luncheon... all in one venue and all at the same time. Imagine the “Lollapalooza” of annual meetings. It will be a spirit-filled, engaging, empowering, and fun gathering. We begin the festivities at 10:00AM in Zoe Eden Gym.

Your attendance and participation are greatly needed and appreciated!
The Food Bank's Yellow Bag Ministry is very busy during the Holiday Season and the need is great this year!!

Members of the community are in need of hats, gloves, socks, scarves, coats and blankets. Donations can be brought to the Chapel/Cathedral on Sundays or to the Cathedral Office during the week.

Please help the Food Bank serve those in need, especially during this season! The St. James Food Bank continues to be thankful for the congregation's continued generosity in helping with this vital ministry.
Sunday, December 22
All hands on deck to help load in Christmas trees, poinsettias, lights, wreathes, etc. to decorate our beautiful Cathedral for the Christmas service!

We invite to join us for the “Greening of the Cathedral” on Sunday, December 22rd after the 10:00AM service. This is a great family-friendly activity. All are welcomed!
For the 4th Week of Advent
A family member lights the first three candles and then the fourth, saying: “I light these candles to remind us that we must prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child.”

Prayer for the Fourth Week of Advent:
“Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at His coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for Himself; and forever. Amen. Amen.” (BCP 212)

Read: Luke 2:1-20
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Read or Sing (Hymn 53-Once he came in blessing):
“Once he came in blessing, all our ills redressing; came in likeness lowly, Son of God most holy; bore the cross to save us, hope and freedom gave us. Still he comes within us, still his voice would win us from the sins that hurt us, would to Truth convert us: not in torment hold us, but in love enfold us. Thus, if thou canst name him, not ashamed to claim him, but wilt trust him boldly nor dost love him coldly, he will then receive thee, heal thee, and forgive thee. One who thus endureth bright reward secureth. Come, then, O Lord Jesus, from our sins release us; let us here confess thee till in heaven we bless thee.”   

Closing Prayer:
Lord Jesus, the Son of God, our Father, born in a stable among the oxen and sheep because there was no room in the inn; come into our hearts and dwell in them forever. Help us to cast out all that is unworthy of Your Holy Presence. Grant that the peace and good of which the angels sang may shine forth in our lives. Amen.
January and February Worship Ministers Schedule Now Available

If you are interested in serving during Worship Services please talk to a member of clergy or Kourinthia.

The Schedule is available here in PDF format and also in the Forms section of our Church Website.
This last Saturday the Youth Group hosted an event for all ages! Those who joined us for Zoo Lights were delighted to listen to Christmas music while walking through beautifully lit and decorated zoo exhibits. Without a doubt the Stingray Bay Aquarium section was the highlight. It was a fairly large group of youth, children, and adults. We're glad to end the year on a high note and look forward to what 2020 has in store!

For more information on the St. James Youth Group contact Kourinthia.

The St. James Episcopal Youth Group will be painting their new dedicated Youth Room!

Saturday, January 11th 9:30AM-12:30PM in the Upper Room of Zoe Eden (The Gym).
Youth ages 10-18 are invited to come and paint the room, lunch and snacks will be provided.

Sunday, January 12th following the 10:00AM service the Upper Room will be blessed and an Open House for all members of the congregation will follow.
The next Midweek Missive will be published in two weeks on January 8th, 2020. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The 2020 Chapter Retreat will be at ECCO Friday, January 17th-Sunday January 19th.
The mid-week Bible Study will return in January. The study is led by Emily Niblick and meets weekly on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 10:00AM to 11:00AM, in the Fireside Room.
The next breakfast gathering is scheduled for Saturday, January 4th, 7:30AM at Yosemite Falls Cafe (across from the Cathedral).
The next meeting will be Saturday, January 4th, at 9:00AM in the Conference Room.
The next meeting will be Sunday, January 5th, at 11:30AM in the Conference Room.
The Rev. Chantal McKinney has earned praise and churchwide support for her church-planting efforts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but the congregation she now leads in worship every Sunday as Christ’s Beloved Community didn’t sprout overnight. It started years ago with a lot of knocking on doors.
As bishops from across the Anglican Communion prepare to gather next summer in Canterbury for the 2020 Lambeth Conference, human sexuality remains a divisive topic, though reconciliation may be possible through appreciation for creation, deep listening and following ecumenical examples toward unity.
Last December, 10-year-old Prakash Keeley proudly donned the gold-and-white bishop’s robe and miter, gripped a staff that towered over him by a half-foot, and blessed a kneeling congregation with the words of Jesus: “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall never enter it.”
The United Nations Climate Change Conference known as COP 25 went into overtime, running two days later than scheduled, but ended on Dec. 16 without taking the actions scientists say are necessary to avoid a catastrophic future. The United States and other wealthy, high-emitting countries refused to implement carbon pricing or address the losses and damages that smaller, poorer states are suffering.
A hymn writing competition has been launched to help mark the centenary of the Church in Wales which will be celebrated across all its dioceses next year.

The Diocese of St Davids is inviting entries to find a new liturgical hymn to celebrate the 100th anniversary and that of the Church in Wales in 2020
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.