Dear Friends in Christ:
Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ! I write this having just returned to the OOB from Mercy Center, Auburn and a pre-ordination retreat. Once again, I was blessed to be able to have Cookie Clark as retreat co-leader. Attending were Donalee Hart (St. Francis’, Willits—who will be our first deacon to be part of a Total Ministry Team!), Brad Helmuth (Trinity, Nevada City), and Matt Warren (Christ the King, Quincy). Since these ordinations are not in the usual end-of-semester time frame, and will be at their respective congregations and not at the Cathedral, I hope that you will be especially mindful of them. Hold these persons in your prayers. If it is at all possible for you, be present at these ordinations. We are being given the gift of three splendid new colleagues. They will be wonderful additions to our clergy community, and I dearly hope that you will welcome them and show your support for them. Donnalee’s ordination will be part of their Total Ministry anniversary service on November 24th, and the ordination of Brad and Matt will be October 13th at Christ the King in Quincy following the Sierra Deanery Convocation.
I said last month that I would have more to say about General Convention. (Less venting this time, I promise.) We are in the process of sifting through the nineteen resolutions referred by GC to dioceses for “action,” and the twenty-six resolutions referred to dioceses for “consideration or information.” Some of these will be handed to various program and governance groups in the diocese; some will be handled by staff; some may be deemed superfluous (as in, “We’re already addressing that concern.”) There are three, however, that have already been brought forward for follow-up and for your attention. At the Fall Deacons’ Gathering in Ukiah last month, Cookie and I placed these in the hands of our deacons for their exploration, and asked them to help bring to them to rest of you. (I invite you to go to the GC website to see the full text of these resolutions for yourselves.) The first is A128 (“Direct Dioceses to Examine Impact of Doctrine of Discovery”). Lew Powell, our Missioner for Native American ministries, is a particularly valuable resource to us on this topic, and he is available to you with assistance in thinking about how best to approach that one. The second is B008 (“Focusing on Those Living in Poverty”), a revision of that onto which I signed as an official endorser, and which was supported and encouraged by the Association for Episcopal Deacons. That original resolution asks that at every level of church governance we make it a regular part of doing business to ask the question, “How will what we are doing here affect or involve those living in poverty?” The revised resolution doesn’t put forward that particular exercise explicitly, but it certainly doesn’t preclude it. Ask a deacon to help you bring this question into the governance of your congregation. Third, is D022 (“Churchwide Response to Bullying”). Again, I invite you to ask a deacon to help guide your congregation’s exploration of this issue. I thank God for our deacons!
Please remember to be working on positive proposals for comprehensive apportionment reform, to be discussed at Convention.
Please get ready for The Bible Challenge.
And please join me in thanking God that the attempted arson at Incarnation, Santa Rosa failed as it did. This reminds us once again that our churches are vulnerable. God help us manage that vulnerability so as to be the best stewards, and the most effective witnesses possible—work that is all part of transforming our communities for Christ.
Yours in Christ,
Fri, October 10, 2014
by Nicole Baxley filed under