In and Around Our Diocese

  • St. Paul’s Gives Shelter From Floods

    By Paula Schaap, Communications DirectorIt may signal the end of a long, hard drought for California, but the storm that blew in the weekend after New Year’s also brought flooding and misery, especially for those with no shelter.With the Russian River near Healdsburg cresting at close to 20 feet in one day on Sunday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – 23 feet is considered flood stage – people who call the bank of the river home had to be moved q...

  • Californian Episcopal Bishops Send Letter of Concern to Trump

    December 29, 2016Donald J. TrumpPresident-elect of the United States of AmericaTrump Tower735 5th AvenueNew York, NY 10022Dear President-elect Trump,Recently (December 12, 2016) our brother and sister bishops in the Episcopal Church in the State of Massachusetts wrote you to strongly question and oppose your nomination of a climate-change denier to be the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Like the bishops in Massachusetts, we, the Episcopal bishops in the State of California oversee a...

  • Welcoming Special-Needs Families to Church

    By Paula Schaap, Communications DirectorBig stuffed monkeys scattered on the floor in front of the altar and beanbag chairs weren’t what you’d expect to see at St. James’, Lincoln, Lincoln, which usually holds services in its simple white-washed church building in traditional prayer book fashion.But on December 17, the parish had prepared its worship space for a different kind of service – a Christmas service for special-needs children and their families.Just as the Chris...

  • Witnessing at Standing Rock Prayer Gathering

    There have been confrontations – some violent – between police and those protesting the building of an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. On November 3, those who gathered for an interfaith service to witness to the concerns of indigenous people could still see burnt-out vehicles from prior clashes.But Miriam Casey, a parishioner at St. Patrick’s, Kenwood, who traveled to Cannon Ball, North Dakota, with fellow parishioner Kendall Brown, said ...

  • St. Matthew's Seeks to be a Center for All People

    By Paula Schaap, Communications DirectorAs a park ranger for Sacramento County for 15 years, Cynthia “CeeCee” Coleman often interacts with homeless people who travel through and camp out in the area’s extensive park system.Coleman’s work with the homeless in her official capacity also fuels her passion for St. Matthew’s, Sacramento, where she serves as the senior warden, and its plans to transform itself into an outreach center for its community.As Coleman puts it: ...

  • California Episcopal Bishops Issue Statement Supporting Prop 62, Repeal of Death Penalty

    Grace and peace to you, in the Name of Jesus Christ. We are the bishops of the six dioceses of the Episcopal Church in California. We believe that the citizens of our state face a profound moral choice this November in the form of Proposition 62.

  • Rev. Lewis Powell Reflects on His Visit to Standing Rock Reservation

    The Rev. Lewis “Sitting Panther” Powell has traveled all over the world. Recently, as the Native American missioner for the Diocese of Northern California, he journeyed to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in their peaceful protest over the Dakota Access pipeline, which has been scheduled to be constructed on sacred lands protected by treaties, as well as under the Missouri River just upstream of the reservation.Even after all his travels, the deacon was awed by the sight of the flags of more ...

  • Summer 2017 - Youth Discipleship in the Diocese of Northern California

    Summer - A Time for Fun and DiscipleshipA number of wonderful opportunities are available for youth to join - and to lead - in the life of our diocese this summer. This is the time to encourage the young people in your congregations to participate. Your congregation can also offer to sponsor a young person or offer prayers for these opportunities for young people to grow in their life of faith.If you want to learn more or get involved, please contact the Rev.

  • Bishop Beisner's Letter to the People of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

    September 15, 2016To the People of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation:May God’s grace and peace be with you always, dear Sisters and Brothers, and especially now in this time of great challenge. I am grateful that Deacon Lewis Sitting Panther Powell is able to be with you, representing the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, and conveying this message of solidarity.  We stand with you because Scripture teaches us that the Creator has entrusted all humanity with the care of the ...

  • A Garden Grows at St. James, Lincoln

    by Paula SchaapIf you drive north to Lincoln on State Route 99 from Sacramento, you quickly pass from housing developments and shopping malls to fields and irrigation canals. Especially if you come up on a quiet Sunday late-summer morning, snowy egrets fly over your car, their necks crooked as they seek out more of the tender rice paddies for feeding, and great blue herons stand as sentinels to welcome the dawn.It fits that parishioners at St. James, Lincoln, when the church was able to buy a de...

  • St. Stephen’s Celebrates Peace Week

    by Deacon Kate SeftonTo celebrate International Peace and Nonviolence Week, parishioners at St. Stephen’s, Sebastopol, lovingly crafted and decorated their own Peace Pole.With offerings of prayer and music, more than 60 people, including congregation and community members, gathered on the evening of September 20 to plant the pole alongside the church.Prayers and hopes for peace between people, communities and nations were read aloud.One of the musical offerings was an original song, "...

  • Office of the Bishop Contributes to Fire Recovery Efforts

    by Paula Schaap, Communications DirectorLast year, Nancy Carter, a parishioner at St. John’s, Lakeport, was struggling to get through a mound of clothing and other items donated to the church’s thrift shop to help people displaced by the Valley fire. The thrift shop volunteers had closed the store for a short time to allow them to sort things out.Carter saw, out of the corner of her eye, a man entering the shop.

  • Bishop Beisner Ordains Eight Vocational Deacons

    by Paula Schaap, Communications Director Eight church members were ordained into the Sacred Order of Deacons to serve God’s holy, catholic and apostolic church in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California. The Right Reverend Barry Beisner ordained Mara Arack, Calvin Cornils, Elizabeth Gaines, Pamela Gossard, Babette Haggenjos, Patricia Park, Anne Susan Pierson and Katherine Sefton on August 13 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento. As vocational deacons, they are called to serve ...

  • Youth Leaders Reflect on a Journey of Reconciliation

    by Paula Schaap, Communications Director This summer, Maddison Vernon, a young adult leader at Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa, had a chance to see how a journey to learn about reconciliation, carried out over time and in different countries – and in her own community – can bear fruit.Vernon was nominated to represent the Russian River Deanery on the North Carolina Freedom Ride that took place in the summer of 2015. That trip was crafted as a three-year pilgrimage to help parti...

  • A Meditation on the Pathways 2016 Pilgrimage

    by Anne Clarke, Lifelong Christian Formation CoordinatorKeeping all the details and logistics of an event like Pathways together is complicated work, as many of you know from similar experiences. There are a lot of calculations when you go on a journey with a group. Would this delay mean we’d need to add another bathroom break?

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