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December 10, 2023


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In pastoral letter, Archbishop Naoum of Jerusalem diocese asks for contributions, prayers

[The Episcopal News – December 6, 2023] Archbishop Hosam E. Naoum of the Diocese of Jerusalem, with which the Diocese of Los Angeles has a longstanding companion relationship, recently issued a pastoral letter and an Advent calendar of daily reflections and prayers, and included a plea for contributions to the diocese for Christmastide relief efforts.

Citing the 13th chapter of Mark's gospel, "Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come," Naoum writes that his diocese has limited church Christmas celebrations to prayers, liturgies and carols "due to the current situation in our beloved Holy Land and the heartbreaking scenes that have shattered our hearts."

According to news reports and the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 16,000 Palestinians and about 1,332 Israelis have died in the conflict that began Oct. 7 with an attack on Israeli villages by Hamas, an Islamist organization controlling Gaza, triggering retaliatory strikes and a declaration of war by Israel. Hamas still holds some of the approximately 248 hostages it took in the initial raids, though about 50 were released during a seven-day cease-fire in November. The majority of the Palestinians killed are women and children; the hostages held by Hamas included more than 30 minors. Thousands of people have been wounded; as many as 1.8 million displaced. Of the 35 hospitals in Gaza, 27 have been shut down due to damage and lack of supplies and power. 

Calling on readers to reflect on the birth of Christ and the conditions in Israel and Palestine at that time, Naoum writes, "During the first Christmas, the Holy Family had difficulty finding a place for their son's birth. There was the killing of children. There was military occupation. And there was the Holy Family becoming displaced as refugees."

He asks friends of his diocese to contribute to its ministries to needy and struggling children and families, and to meditate on the gospel virtues of "hope, peace, joy and love."

Full text of the archbishop's letter is here. The Advent calendar booklet is here.

Donations to the diocese's institutions supporting the poor and displaced may be made securely through the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

Local interfaith leaders call for commitment to tolerance, human dignity

Bishop John Harvey Taylor of the Diocese of Los Angeles is one of some 30 faith leaders who recently signed "A Call and Commitment of the Faith and Interfaith Organizations of Southern California," published online by the South Coast Interfaith Council. The full text with a list of signatories is here.

A Call and Commitment of the Faith and Interfaith Organizations of Southern California

In an increasingly fragmented world defined by conflict and war, we, as leaders of various faith and interfaith communities, stand united to confront the disturbing escalation of antisemitism and Islamophobia, both in our local neighborhoods and on a global scale. This surge of intolerance starkly conflicts with our faiths' core values, including respect, understanding, empathy, and the universal human values of dignity and compassion.

As a community, we commit to transcend divisive rhetoric and extend support and solace to each other in this time of pain and grief. No doubt the practice of the moral principle of compassion shared by all our faith traditions reaches its zenith when we stand together for justice for all, regardless of faith, belief, nationality or background. Together, in our diverse and rich religious and spiritual traditions, we stand united against all forms of discrimination, inequality, and intolerance. Our collective moral compass, guided by the wisdom of our varied faiths, compels us to uphold the dignity and rights of every individual.

As people of conscience, we choose to create an environment of understanding and mutual support in both our words and actions by offering the best of ourselves and our faith boldly and strive to model among ourselves the quality of relationships that we would like to see fostered in our larger world. To this end, acknowledging the complexities of the situation at hand, we pledge to bring forth messages of unity and care in our everyday dialogue with one another as well as sermons and religious talks shared with our community of faith by continuing to advocate for human rights, uphold the dignity of humankind, acknowledge the shared oneness of humanity, and promote the eradication of violence and prejudice of all kinds.

This joint statement marks our unwavering dedication to bridging divides and upholding the dignity and worth inherent in every faith and individual so as to create a world defined by peace for all. We call you to please join us in doing the same and thank you for being a part of our interfaith community here in Southern California.


The Rev. Ron Byrd to keynote annual MLK celebration on Jan. 14

The Diocese of Los Angeles, through the Program Group on Black Ministries, will present its annual Martin Luther King Day celebration on Sunday, Jan. 14, 4 p.m. at Christ the Good Shepherd Church, Los Angeles.

Featured speaker will be the Rev. Ron Byrd, missioner for African Descent Ministries for The Episcopal Church. 

Byrd, who took part in a panel discussion on new communities at the L.A. diocese's Nov. 10 - 11 annual convention, is a strong proponent of entrepreneurial ministry and leadership development. He worked for 20 years in executive management, including positions at four Fortune 500 companies. He has served as a deputy to General Convention, a design team member for international Black clergy conferences; and as lead consultant for the Episcopal Church Foundation’s newest leadership development program, Vital Teams.

In 2011, Byrd and the congregation of St. Katherine’s Episcopal Church in Williamston, Mich., created and launched Forster Woods Adult Day Center, a facility that ministers to persons living with dementia and other physical and mental impairments.

A soul food reception will follow the service. All are welcome.

By Your Side training sessions to begin Jan. 23

By Your Side, a program of Episcopal Communities & Services, will begin its winter training session for end-of-life companions on Tuesday, Jan. 23 and continuing on Tuesdays through Feb. 20, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

The sessions will be held at MonteCedro, ECS's senior living facility at 2212 El Molino, Altadena 91001.

Since 2011, the mission of By Your Side has been to support people in times of change and difficulty, particularly in health crisis, and to be at their bedside at the end of their lives as needed. By Your Side has trained more than 500 volunteers to be a compassionate presence.


"We continue to develop teams of people to serve in hospital and long-term care settings, especially in our ECS communities," says By Your Side administrator Susan Brown. "Team members have had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of what it means to really be “with” the residents they support; residents become even more aware of the needs of neighbors having difficulty with changes in their lives, with challenging diagnoses or increasing frailty. In the larger community, individuals and spiritual care teams strengthen their understanding of what being together through the end of life can really look like. We all gain tools for taking care of ourselves while being present for those around us."


There is no obligation to volunteer after training. For further information and to register for the winter training session, contact Brown at or 626.403.5424. A fee of $70 (which includes all materials) is due by the second class. Scholarships are available. CE (12 hrs.) for nurses is available for an added $30 under California Board of Registered Nursing Provider CEP 16239.

The Gathering invites all to Advent service Dec. 17

The Gathering: A Space for Asian Pacific American Spirituality invites the diocesan community to a special Advent service at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17 at St. John's Cathedral, 514 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles.  

All are warmly welcome to this celebration service that will weave together Asian American Pacific Islander identity and Christian joy. Advent music will be offered by musicians from Laós Chamber Music.

In-person guests are encouraged to stay after the service for fellowship and an Asian-inspired light meal. 

The service will be livestreamed at the cathedral's website, and the recording will be available afterwards at The Gathering's channel.

Onsite parking is limited, but additional secure parking will be available one block away at the Bank of America at 2703 S. Figueroa. Street parking also is available along W. Adams Blvd. 

Camp Stevens announces first Black Family Camp

Camp Stevens has announced its first-ever Black Family Camp, to be held Jan. 4 - 7 at the diocesan facility in Julian, Calif.

The program is designed by and for Black families to create a safe and inclusive camp experience and to highlight/promote Black culture. The camp will also welcome non-Black parents and children who are part of transracial or multiracial families with Black children. 

According to the camp's announcement, "In an effort to combat the history of Black people in the U.S. being excluded from camping and to increase Black families’ access to outdoor spaces, this extended weekend excursion is designed to give Black families access to camping.

The weekend schedule may include activities such as archery, the climbing wall, garden projects, tie-dye, campfires with s’mores, culinary projects, trivia, family fun games, visits with goats and pigs, beer and wine tasting, and more.

For information, email To register, click here.

The Bishop's Blog (click here for additional entries)

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Visiting St. Philip’s Church, Los Angeles

December 3, 2023

I love all our amazing Episcopalians. But it’s not every Sunday, during lunch after church, when one meets the cofounder of a city and great university in one person. When I visited St Philip’s Episcopal Church in Los Angeles today, a highlight was sitting at the knee of Gil Smith, who spearheaded establishment of the City of Carson in the sixties and served as its first mayor of African descent.

Read more here.

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RIP: Henry Kissinger

November 29, 2023

Negotiating with Henry Kissinger in April 1994, I understood how his North Vietnamese counterpart Lê Đức Thọ may have felt at the Paris peace talks. As director of the Nixon library, I was working on the program for 37’s funeral in Yorba Linda. The ceremony would end with a flyover by four fighter jets, which would come at a time certain. I was struggling to get Kissinger to promise to stick to eight minutes in his eulogy.

Read more here.


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La Crescenta church to celebrate new ministry

Bishop John Harvey Taylor will install the Rev. Guy Leemhuis as vicar of St. Luke's of the Mountains Church, La Crescent, at a Celebration of a New Ministry on Saturday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. Reservations are requested by Thursday, Dec.7 at Clergy: cassock, surplice and red stoles. St. Luke's is located at 2563 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta 91214.

Leemhuis is pictured preaching at the 2023 Juneteenth service at St. John's Cathedral. Photo: Janet Kawamoto

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Three to be ordained to priesthood Jan. 13

Bishop John Harvey Taylor will ordain three transitional deacons to the Sacred Order of Priests at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13, at St. John's Cathedral in Los Angeles. 

Ordinands are the Rev. Joshua Hing Shing Wong, the Rev. Melvin Maximiano Soriano, and the Rev. Jonathan Timothy Stoner


The prayers and presence of the diocesan community are requested.

Requiescant in pace

The Reverend Canon

Peter Davis Haynes

July 30, 1946 – November 28, 2023

The Rev. Canon Peter D. Haynes, 77, former rector of St. Michael & All Angels, Corona del Mar, and dean of Deanery 10, died Nov. 28 after an extended illness. 

Survivors include his wife, Frances B. Bolles Haynes, and their son, Don.

Bishop John Harvey Taylor will officiate at Requiem Eucharist set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 16, at St. Michael & All Angels, 3233 Pacific View Drive, Corona del Mar. 

Before becoming rector of St. Michael's in 1988, Haynes was associate rector of All Souls Church and St. Mark's Church in Berkeley. During that time he also was involved with the Episcopal Society for Ministry in Higher Education (ESMHE) and the Berkeley Area Interfaith Council, and served as a chaplain at UC Berkeley.

Read more here.

Events & Announcements
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Diocesan staff to observe Christmas, New Year holidays

Update will be on hiatus

Diocesan offices at St. Paul's Commons and elsewhere will close on Friday, Dec. 22 for Christmas Eve and Monday, Dec. 25 for Christmas Day, as well as Friday, Dec. 29 for New Year's Eve and Monday, Jan. 1 for New Year's Day.

The Episcopal News Update will be on hiatus for the weeks of Dec. 24, and 31. Announcements of January events should be submitted to by noon on Tuesday, Dec. 11 to be included in the last issue (publication date Dec. 13; issue date Dec. 17) before the hiatus.

Each issue of the Update is emailed on Wednesday and dated for the following Sunday. Weekly deadline is Tuesday at 12 p.m.


March discernment event will help church members answer calls to ministry

The Commission on Ministry of the Diocese of Los Angeles invites any Episcopalian who feels a call to lay or ordained ministry to attend a Diocesan Discernment Information Gathering (DIG) on Saturday, March 16, 2024, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. at St. Paul's Commons, 840 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles.

"How is God calling YOU? We’re often surprised that God calls us ... all of us," says the event announcement. "Today’s world pulls us in so many directions that it's sometimes hard to discern. Have you been wondering where God is calling you in your life, your work, your church and beyond? The COM wants to help those seeking answers to these questions. Join us as we explore what answering a call can mean in your life."

Registration will open soon; for now, save the date.

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Jan. 6 fiesta, immigration justice forum set for historic Church of the Epiphany, Lincoln Heights

[The Episcopal News] All in the diocese are invited to join the historic Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Lincoln Heights, in celebrating the congregation’s Jan. 6 feast day and sharing in a strategic immigration justice forum.

Well known as a hub used by activists Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in organizing the United Farmworkers union, Church of the Epiphany continues its legacy of civil rights work, a central focus for the Saturday-afternoon immigration forum and related community resource street fair.

Organized under the theme “Epiphanies: A Festival of Discovery,” the 2 p.m. forum will include a panel discussion shared by leading local immigration justice advocates.

The congregation’s Mariachi procession and Eucharist for the Feast of the Epiphany will follow at 5 p.m. recalling decades of the congregation’s similar bilingual Latin American observances. Portions of a new gallery exhibit tracing Epiphany’s history will be on view during the fiesta and forum. Traditional foods and beverages of the season will be served.

The Jan. 6 events also will highlight the upcoming launch of the Lydia Lopez Center for Community Empowerment, an initiative honoring the late Canon Lydia Lopez, who was active in neighborhood, diocesan, and international ministries for more than 50 years. Formed to equip new generations, the center will focus on immigration, education, cultural and history resources.

Read more here.

Bloy House continues formation classes for laity


Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological School at Los Angeles, continues to offer formation classes. These courses are designed to meet requirements for the new diocesan lay licensing program, but are of general interest as well, and all are welcome. The fee for each class is $25. Click here for more information and to register.

Introduction to the Bible for Lay Licensing

Tuesdays, January 9, 16, 23, and 30; 7 - 8:30 p.m.

While this course has been designed for the new diocesan lay licensing program, the topic is of general formation interest as well. How did we get the Bible we have today, and how do we best read and interpret it? We will cover the composition and construction of our Hebrew and Christian scriptures and pay close attention to the diverse voices and major themes that we encounter. These discussions will develop tools for interpretation and study of our sacred scripture. Facilitated by the Rev. Jerry Sather of St. John Chrysostom Church, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Linda Allport, dean of Bloy House. This course is required for licensing of lay preachers, evangelists, and pastoral leaders, and recommended for worship leaders and catechists. 

Help Ramallah orphanage replace furnace through LA - Jerusalem companion diocese ties

Contributions especially welcome amid current tensions

Amid suffering and tensions escalated by the Oct. 7 Hamas attack against Israel, support for charitable projects in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem is doubly appreciated. Concrete initiatives include replacement of the 57-year-old furnace at Ramallah’s Arab Evangelical-Episcopal Home and School. 

Donors are invited to join Bishop John Harvey Taylor and others in the Diocese of Los Angeles in contributing via this secure link on L.A.’s diocesan website to assist the $60,000 furnace replacement project, increasingly important as fall weather gives way to winter cold.

Fundraising efforts – highlighted by the Rev. Fadi Diab, rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ramallah, and his wife, Ruba Gammoh, during their visit to the United States this past summer – have succeeded in raising nearly $20,000 toward the effort, with additional gifts from congregations and individuals requested to meet the goal.

Read more here.

Diocesan Convention Reports 2023

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2023 Convention Reports

Click on the titles below to read The Episcopal News' coverage of Diocesan Convention, held Nov. 10 - 11 at the Riverside Convention Center.

Convention videos

Videos of convention sessions and addresses, plus reports of several diocesan ministries and the 2023 Necrology, are available on the diocesan YouTube channel at the following links:

From the wider church

Presiding bishop recovering from surgery after falling, suffering a brain bleed

[Episcopal News Service – December 4, 2023] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry fell while visiting Syracuse, New York, and suffered a subdural hematoma, or brain bleed, that required surgery, The Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs said in a news release. The Dec. 3 surgery was successful, and Curry is now recovering in a hospital near his home in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Curry’s present hospitalization comes about 2 1/2 months since he underwent surgery Sept. 20 to remove an adrenal gland and a non-cancerous attached mass following treatment earlier for episodes of internal bleeding.

Read more here

Diocese of California elects Austin K. Rios bishop coadjutor

[Diocese of California – December 2, 2023] The Rev. Austin K. Rios was elected bishop coadjutor on Dec. 2 in an election held at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. 

He will become the ninth bishop of the Diocese of California when the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, who has served the diocese since 2006, retires. Rios will be the first Latino to hold the position.

Rios currently serves as rector of St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy. He was chosen from a field of three nominees. On the second ballot, he received 95 clergy votes and 195 lay votes.

Rios was born in Texas. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, and a bachelor of arts degree from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. He was ordained a priest in 2005. Rios is fluent in both Spanish and Italian. He is married to Maleah Rios and has one child.

Read more here.

Sandra Day O’Connor’s ancestor founded the first Episcopal church in Wichita, Kansas

By Melodie Woerman

[Episcopal News Service – December 5, 2023] Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who died on Dec. 1, was a lifelong Episcopalian. But her family’s roots in The Episcopal Church stretch back more than 150 years, to the days of pioneers on the Kansas prairie. Her great-grandfather, John Hilton, an Anglican layman who had arrived in Wichita, Kansas, from England, was the founder of the city’s first Episcopal church, St. John’s, in December 1869.

The church website says Hilton undertook the founding through an appointment from the Diocese of Kansas’ first bishop, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Vail.

The first gathering was a service of Evening Prayer in the Munger house, the first home built in the city that still stands today. The little St. John’s congregation built its first building, a small log structure, a few months later, in March 1870.

Read more here.


UTO matching grant challenge to support ministries of Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem

[The Episcopal Church - November 2, 2023] The United Thank Offering – in partnership with the Good Friday Offering – will match up to $100,000 of donations given through Dec. 15 to help sustain outreach ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, which operates across several countries or territories and includes churches, schools, medical facilities, and other ministries.

United Thank Offering has supported the diocese with over $1 million in grants since 1973, thanks to the generosity of Episcopalians everywhere,” said UTO Board President Sherri Dietrich. “We know people want to help those projects continue their work through and after the current heartbreaking conflict; this challenge grant will allow us all to make a powerful contribution to those impacted by this conflict.”

Matched donations to the United Thank Offering will be given in 2024 as a grant to the diocese to disburse where the needs are greatest.

Read more here.

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Interested in giving input on the 2025-2027 Episcopal Church budget?


[The Episcopal Church] The Joint Budget Committee of the Executive Council will hold open hearings via Zoom to receive feedback from the wider church on the 2025-2027 working budget. The working budget was presented to the Episcopal Church Executive Council during its Oct. 24-27 meeting and is available publicly for review and input.


Register to be a speaker or listener at the following hearings, held via Zoom:

  • Saturday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m. (2 p.m. ET)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 12, 4 p.m. (7 p.m. ET)

Click here to register for hearings. Written responses regarding the budget can be emailed to


Read the budget committee’s recent update to the Executive Council here.



Episcopal Students of UCLA

St. Alban's Episcopal Church

580 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles


We are a group of Christians, looking to further our relationship with God and strengthen our bonds in Christian community. Meeting in the library at St. Alban's Episcopal Church (right near campus), we are a welcoming community whose goal is to live out the truth of the gospel through spiritual growth, community experience, and service. 

FRIDAYS, 6 - 7 p.m.

Vigil for Peace

St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church 

3233 Pacific View Drive, Corona Del Mar, 92625

Information here Zoom Meeting ID: 912 3096 9532; Passcode: 080100

Worship bulletins here

Join us every Friday in the St. Michael’s sanctuary and on Zoom as we pray for peace in our community and around the world.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 12 – 2 p.m.

SAGES Lunch & Speaker Series

All Saints' Episcopal Church

504 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills


Marilyn Wells, founder of Stories from the Front Line. A psychologist by training, Dr. Wells leads a citizen-based outreach organization to the homeless in the city of Los Angeles. Her team is tireless in their pursuit of various solutions to homelessness in our local communities. Come hear her understanding of the biggest issues facing the unhoused, as well as the most viable solutions. Suggested donation: $15. SAGES is All Saints' fellowship ministry for mature adults. We gather two Thursdays a month for lunch, friendship, prayer and engaging presentations.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 7 - 8 p.m.

Advent Taizé Heartfulness Service

St. Mary's Episcopal Church

428 Park Avenue, Laguna Beach 92651 

Join us the first Thursday of every month for a prayerful service, including prayer, meditative music, readings, silence, and healing. All faith traditions are always welcome. 


Advent Retreat 2023: 'Cultivating a Discerning Spirit'

Immaculate Heart Community (Los Angeles)

Via Zoom

Register here

Led by Carolyn Metzler, who will help us to explore how we discern with: the unfolding patterns of our lives, including the ones we would rather not look at; useful and diverse tools of discernment; the ways we sabotage our own discerning; responsible Christian faith guiding us in the deliberations of our lives. Through poetry, music, stories, movement, art, silence and conversation we can encounter each other in this work together. All people are welcome, regardless of where each is in life. This is a gathered community via Zoom. Hours: Friday, Dec. 8, 5 - 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 10, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Suggested donations of up to $50 are appreciated.


'O magnum mysterium': Choir of Clare College, Cambridge University

St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church

1031 Bienveneda Avenue, Pacific Palisades

Tickets/Information here or 310.573.7422

A survey of more than five centuries of beloved choral repertoire appropriate for the Advent and Christmas seasons, including settings of the text "O magnum mysterium" (O great mystery) by Spanish composer Cristóbal Morales (16th century) and more contemporary settings by Francis Poulenc and Morten Lauridsen. Also featured on the program will be carols from seventeenth-century France and Germany, plus seasonal works by Herbert Howells, John Tavener, John Rutter, Will Todd and Lucy Walker. Tickets: $45 or Music Guild Season pass. A free pre-concert lecture offered by Music Guild president Tom Neenan will begin at 7:10 p.m.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Spiritual Retreat for Women: The Desert Mothers

Trinity Episcopal Church

2400 N. Canal Street, Orange

Reservations: 714.528.2995

Julie Mussche, a spiritual director with the Center for Spiritual Development in Orange, will lead a half-day spiritual retreat for women on the subject of desert mothers. She will use the books The Way To Discernment by Elizabeth Liebert and The Desert Mothers by Mary Earle. Co-sponsored by Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Placentia. Cost is $35, which includes continental breakfast and lunch. Cash and checks (payable to Blessed Sacrament Church, with "Women's Retreat" in the memo area) will be accepted at the door. 


Documentary Screening: The Philadelphia 11

The Laemmle Theater

450 W. 2nd Street, Claremont 91711-4664

Reservations here

The film follows the story of 11 women deacons who, convinced of their call to the priesthood and frustrated by the Episcopal Church's refusal to authorize the ordination of women, were made priests in 1974 by a group of supportive bishops at a service in Philadelphia. Although their action caused enormous controversy at the time, it influenced the next General Convention's vote to ordain women as priests. A panel discussion with speakers who were present at these historic events will follow the screening. Reservations are requested. Parking is available on the street, in the parking structure at the corner of College Avenue and First Street, and in several public lots.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 11:30 a.m.

Women’s Guild Christmas Luncheon

St. Mark's in-the-Valley Episcopal Church

2901 Nojoqui Avenue, Los Olivos 93441

Reservations: Jill Bader, 805.688.8110 or Yvonne Lowe, 805.688.1815

St. Mark’s invites all to its annual Women’s Guild Christmas Luncheon, the traditional opening of the holiday season in the Santa Ynez Valley. Lunch will be catered by Alex Reyes of A&R Catering. The afternoon features hors d’oeuvres and champagne in the courtyard, a festive meal, and a raffle, with holiday entertainment featuring local vocalists and musicians led by parishioner and choir member Marnie Olmsted. Tickets: $50. Proceeds support scholarships for the preschool, the community kitchen, college scholarships for local students, or Hillsides (which provides help for children, youth, and families). Space is limited and reservations are recommended. 


The Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus Holiday Program 

All Saints' Episcopal Church,

3847 Terracina Drive, Riverside

Information here

The chorus will be singing selections from "Ring! Swing! Sing!" their annual holiday concert. The Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus was organized in 1999, and debuted as a guest ensemble for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. They received an enthusiastic welcome from the desert community, and are now in their 24th season. PSGMC's mission is to entertain, inspire and educate its culturally diverse community through musical excellence, community outreach, and civic responsibility.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 4:15 p.m.

Advent Service of Lessons and Carols

St. James in-the-City Episcopal Church

3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010

Information here

Patterned after the ever-popular service of Nine Lessons and Carols originating from King’s College, Cambridge, England, this service on the Second Sunday of Advent is offered by the Choir of Saint James. Selections include; Advent Responsory by Richard Marlow; "This is the Truth from Above" by Ralph Vaughan Williams; "Vis Aeternitatis" by James Buonemani (music director at St. James'); "My Lord has Come" by Will Todd; "Alleluya, a New Work" by William Mathias; "I Wonder as I Wander" by Aaron McDermid; "Angelus ad Virginem" by Andrew Carter; "The Shepherd’s Carol" by Bob Chilcott; "O Magnum Mysterium" by Morten Lauridsen.


Lessons & Carols

All Saints Church

132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena 91101

A candlelit service featuring the Coventry Choir singing motets, carols and canticles. The service also will be livestreamed.


Service of Lessons and Carols 

Blessed Sacrament Church 

1314 N. Angelina Drive, Placentia 92870

Come and enjoy the traditional readings of the anticipation of Christ's birth along with many wonderful carols sung by the Bethlehem Choir and Luminaria Women’s Chamber Singers. Admission is free. A reception will follow the service.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 7 - 8 p.m.

Advent Lessons and Chants Taizé

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

525 E. 7th Street, Long Beach 90813

Information: 562.436.4047

St. Luke’s invites all to this quiet hour of prayer, chant and renewal. Taizé services will be held online throughout the year. Online services available here or by joining on this Zoom link. Zoom meeting ID: 864 4405 5548; Password 525.


Advent Lessons and Chants Taizé

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

1432 Engracia Avenue, Torrance 90501

The mutual ministry of St. Andrew's and Christ Church, Redondo Beach, invite all to this monthly candlelit service of music, meditation and prayer. Taizé services will be held in-person or online throughout the year. Online services available here.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1 - 4 p.m.


Camp Stevens

1108 Banner Road (Hwy 78), Julian 92036

Reservations: or 760.765.0028

Get creative in Camp Stevens' cozy dining hall. Enjoy fireside hot cocoa, cookie decorating, wreath making, eco-friendly crafts, and more. Make a day of it and visit the historic town of Julian before or after the Crafternoon to see Main Street decorated for Christmas. $15 per person suggested donation.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Pasadena Symphony Orchestra Holiday Candlelight Concert

All Saints Episcopal Church

132 N. Euclid Avenue, Pasadena

Information/Tickets here

Featuring the Donald Brinegar Singers and JPL Chorus, Los Angeles Children's Chorus, L.A. Bronze Handbell Ensemble, soloist Jamal Moore and conductor Jenny Wong. Top off your holiday season and enjoy fully reserved seating arrangements in the architecturally exquisite and acoustically sonorous All Saints Church. Tickets: $65 - $165. 


Procession with Lessons & Carols for Advent

St. Thomas the Apostle Church

7501 Hollywood Blvd (at Gardner Street), Hollywood (Los Angeles)

The Schola Marialis under the direction of Sean Smith will sing music from the Middle Ages through the 21st century by Palestrina, Praetorius, Tallis, Gibbons, Terry, Woodward, Willcocks, Vaughan Willams, Paish, and more. Parking is available in the lot north of the church. A reception will follow the service.


Orange County Women’s Chorus: Dancing Day

St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church

18631 Chapel Lane, Huntington Beach 92646

Information/Tickets here

The concert’s focal point is John Rutter’s "Dancing Day," accompanied by the ethereal sounds of the harp. This work will serve as the anchor of OCWC’s holiday program, interweaving a tapestry of carols and seasonal songs to immerse the audience in the festive spirit. Tickets: $30 ($25 for seniors; $15 for students). 


Orange County Women’s Chorus: Dancing Day

St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church

18631 Chapel Lane, Huntington Beach 92646

Information/Tickets here

The concert’s focal point is John Rutter’s "Dancing Day," accompanied by the ethereal sounds of the harp. This work will serve as the anchor of OCWC’s holiday program, interweaving a tapestry of carols and seasonal songs to immerse the audience in the festive spirit. Tickets: $30 ($25 for seniors; $15 for students). 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 4 - 6 p.m.

Live Nativity

Christ Episcopal Church

408 S. Broadway, Redondo Beach 90277

An outdoor family Christmas celebration starring a live camel, donkey, goat, and sheep! Children can dress up and take part in a pageant, and all can sing along to carols and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. Presented by the Mutual Ministry of St. Andrew's, Torrance, and Christ Church, Redondo Beach.


A Christmas Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols

All Saints Episcopal Church

504 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills 90210

Information here or 310.275.0123 or

All Saints’ Choir, Parish Choir and Choristers; featuring beloved Christmas carols for

congregation & choir.


Classical Sundays at Six: Cristina Montes Mateo, harp & Friends

St. James in-the-City Episcopal Church

3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010

Information here

With David Rejano Cantero, trombone; Susan Greenberg, flute; Judith Farmer, bassoon. Unanimous winner of the first prize in the XII Edition of the “Torneo Internazionale di Musica” (Rome, 2006) and the first prize in the International Harp Competition “V. Bucchi” (2009), Cristina Montes Mateo is recognized throughout the world as one of the leading harpists of her generation. Read more about the artist here.


Luminaria Women’s Chamber Singers: Christmas Concert

Blessed Sacrament Church 

1314 N. Angelina Drive, Placentia 92870

Information: 714.528.2995

Featuring works by Palestrina, Abbie Betinis, Peter Dyson and a world premiere by Brigitte Bellavoine. Suggested donation: $20. 


Celebration of Life: The Rev. Peter Rood

Holy Nativity Episcopal Church

6700 83rd Street, Westchester (Los Angeles) 90045

Reservations (requested) here

All are invited to a celebration of life for the Rev. Peter Rood (July 29, 1955 - April 20, 2023). A reception will follow the service, music, food, and dedication of the parish garden in Rood's memory. "In honor of Peter's enduring commitment to aiding those in need, we will be collecting blankets and socks for individuals in unhoused communities," according to the announcement. "Additionally, we warmly invite you to share any photos or videos of Peter. These will be used to craft a special slideshow, intended to honor the many lives he has touched throughout his life." Photos or videos may be emailed to


Classical Sundays at Six: Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra

St. James in-the-City Episcopal Church

3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010

Information here

Featuring Vittorio Ponti, piano. Carlo Ponti, conductor. Selections will include Nocturne in B Major, Opus 40, by Antonín Dvořák; Concerto in D Major for String Orchestra by Igor Stravinsky; Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052 by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra is a dynamic ensemble devoted to the advocacy and support of music education. The ensemble was founded in 2013 on the core belief that an orchestra is a unique educational resource. Read more about the artists here.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 12 – 2 p.m.

SAGES Lunch & Speaker Series

All Saints' Episcopal Church

504 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills


Suzi Digby, Baroness Eatwell OBE. A choral music director of considerable reputation for some time, Lady Eatwell has conducted the popular Golden Bridge Concert series at All Saints, where she explores fascinating comparisons of modern and classical composers. Additionally she comes to Los Angeles as a visiting lecturer at USC, where she teaches conducting. She is an extremely dynamic speaker and performer, and we are very fortunate to have her join us! She will share highlights of her career, including her collaboration with All Saints’ own Dr. Craig Phillips. Suggested donation: $15. SAGES is All Saints' fellowship ministry for mature adults. We gather two Thursdays a month for lunch, friendship, prayer and engaging presentations.


Taizé Service

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

1432 Engracia Avenue, Torrance 90501

Our candlelit evenings of music, meditation, and prayer return for another season! Join us at St. Andrew's on the second Thursday of each month to experience this powerful, spiritual service.  

SUNDAY, JANUARY 14, 4:15 p.m.

Solemn Evensong

St. James in-the-City Episcopal Church

3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010

Information here

The Choir of Saint James will perform Responses by William Smith; Gloucester Canticles by Herbert Howells; "Jesu, the Very Thought of Thee" by Paul Halley; and "Ave Maria" by Franz Biebl.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 7:30 p.m.

A Service in the style of Taizé

All Saints Episcopal Church

504 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills 90210

Information here or 310.275.0123 or

Begun many years ago at the ecumenical French monastic community called Taizé, these services, with candlelight and singing of chants, are a wonderful way to refresh in the midst of a busy week.

Events to be included in the online diocesan calendar and the Update may be emailed to



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Food Pantry

Our Saviour Center

4368 Santa Anita Avenue, El Monte

With lower pandemic numbers and everyone back at school and work our Food Pantry is in need of volunteers. Lend a hand on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., rain or shine, to help us help the neediest families in our community. Volunteers should be age 16 and up. Street parking is available on Santa Anita, McGirk and Lambert avenues. Please wear a mask. All activities are outdoors; dress appropriately and wear close-toed shoes. For information or to sign up (not required), email


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October 7 – 17, 2024

Italy Pilgrimage

Join the Rev. Steve De Muth and the Rev. Barrett Van Buren for an 11-day pilgrimage across Italy. We will visit Venice, Florence, Assisi, and Rome. The tour price includes roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles, first class/select hotels, most meals, professional tour director, comprehensive sightseeing, all hotel service charges and local taxes, porterage and entrance fees. Cost is $4,549 per person from Los Angeles including $520 taxes/airline surcharges. For information, contact Steve De Muth, 100 N. Third Ave., Covina, CA 91723 or 626.967.3939 or A full itinerary is here.


Listings may be sent to There is no charge.

CORONA DEL MAR: Director of Music. Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church seeks a director of music to help us create inspiring and transformative liturgical experiences in the English Cathedral tradition. The successful candidate will be an outstanding musician, choral director, and organist, with a track record in cathedral music or a similar setting. At present, the position is part-time with hopes of increasing the position to full-time in the next couple of years. A full job description and application information can be found here.

COSTA MESA: Music Minister, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. Working in conjunction with, and directly reporting to the rector, the Music Minister serves as organist/pianist and choir director. The Music Minister is encouraged to use traditional Episcopal hymns along with contemporary music, using a variety of hymnals, instruments and accommodating the abilities of volunteers. As this is a worship leadership position in our church, the qualified candidate must understand himself, or herself, as first and foremost a person who worships God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). This is a non benefited part-time job position. A full job description with application information is here.

COSTA MESA: Parish Administrator, Saint John the Divine Episcopal Church. The Parish Administrative Assistant (AA) serves the church working directly with the rector of the parish. The AA is responsible for a wide variety of communication and administrative tasks and is the key contact (with the clergy) for groups using the facility, and visitors. The non-benefited position is approximately 15 hours a week, currently Tuesday-Thursdays, 10 - 3 p.m. A full job description with application information is here.

MANHATTAN BEACH: Choir Section Leaders, Trinity Lutheran Church. Nine month contract – Saturday morning rehearsal 9-11 a.m. Sunday morning 9 a.m. call for 10 a.m. service. Also Christmas, Holy Week, and Easter. Benefits as per California employment law. Compensation is essentially $100 a week on a per-call basis. Solo opportunities as well. Looking for good readers and strong singers to thrive in a vocally healthy and creative environment. For questions, or to set up an audition, please send resume and possible sound clip to Director of Music & Liturgy James Koenig; or text 323.309.9532.

PASADENA: Childcare staff. All Saints Church is seeking two part-time employees to care for groups of five to 20 children on-site during Sunday services (8 a.m. - 1 p.m.). Hours will vary during other days of the week, usually focused around afternoons and evenings depending on program status and family needs. Total hours per week are a minimum of 5 on Sunday, and will not exceed a total of 8 hours per week. A full job description is here.

SANTA MONICA: Music Director. St. Augustine by-the-Sea, an inclusive and progressive Episcopal Church, is seeking a creative and dynamic music director to lead its music program. An organist and adult choir are in place. The music director will select choral offerings and help plan music and manage the church's music program, rehearsing and directing the choir. Full job description is here. Compensation: $25,000+. Starts Summer 2023 (negotiable). Send resume and references to the Rev. Nathan Rugh, rector, at

TUSTIN: Sexton. St. Paul's Episcopal Church. 25 hours/week. The sexton serves to maintain a high standard of cleanliness and readiness of Church facilities to enable the work and ministry of the congregation and to create a pleasant atmosphere for members, guests, and staff. Job description here. Contact:

The Episcopal News Update is published on Wednesday afternoons. News items, job listings, calendar items, questions and comments may be sent to Weekly deadline is Tuesday at 12 p.m. Photos are welcome: please include them as email attachments (rather than embedded in a document). To subscribe, click here.

— Janet Kawamoto, editor