Saturday, January 26, 2008

San Joaquin Rises from the Ashes

Today was a great day in the Diocese of San Joaquin, California. And the reason was to be found in a church in the city of Hanford.

Today, Episcopalians of the Episcopal Church USA gathered from all over the diocese to begin anew, to literally rise from the ashes of their old diocesan convention held on December 8, 2007. And it was a beautiful scene to behold. Episcopalians from all across the nation tuned in via webcast on the Internet to be present at "Moving Forward: Welcoming All" with our brothers and sisters in Christ as they began a new dawn, a new life and future for the Episcopal Church in San Joaquin amidst the ruins of the old diocese. You can see it for yourself here.

President of the House of Deputies, Bonnie Anderson, was the keynote speaker, following Cindy Smith, the founder of Remain Episcopal. Before the business of the day was started, the day began at 10am with a Eucharist at Church of the Savior Episcopal Church in Hanford.

The service was packed, and began a little late when a bus load of 40 Episcopalians from Stockton showed up. And we think we have it bad at Trinity when we have to sit 5 to a pew! Watching them fit everyone in with a smile gave a whole new meaning to "love your neighbor"!

It was indeed a holy and healing service. I know of no other church where you can tune into a webcast of a service, and sing the hymns, say the liturgy and pray with a body of believers like you can in the Episcopal Church. Nothing compares. I was literally "there" in spirit and mind, sharing the peace, praying the prayers, reciting the Creed, responding to the service of the Eucharist, and receiving a blessing before the Body and Blood of Christ.

A letter was read from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori by the Reverend Canon Bob Moore, interim pastoral presence appointed by Bishop Katharine, to those assembled. Following the reading of her missive, they also viewed a video message from Bishop Katharine, sending a very loving, strengthening and encouraging message as well. This message can be seen and heard at the end of the video webcast available here. The Episcopal News Service has a very good article on the meeting here. You can also view an image gallery here.

Remain Episcopal is still collecting monetary donations to get missions and programs up and running, as well as continuing to meet the needs of the remaining Episcopalians that are reconstituting their diocese. If you feel led to help, here is the address:

Remain Episcopal
2067 W. Alluvial
Fresno, CA 93711

They have also begun asking for donations of liturgical supplies as well. They are in need of vestments, prayer books, hymnals, candles, brass, vessels, fair linen, altar books, Gospel books, liturgical furniture, and any other things needed for services that we take for granted each Sunday. You can email Amanda Gaona [] with your offerings and she will let you know where to send them. If you wish to give a monetary gift online you can go here to do so.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sneeze and Sniffle Warning

I am in the midst of my first real cold in a few years, and frankly I feel lousy and quite uncreative in the writing department. So I ask your prayers for healing of the common cold so that I can resume writing and perhaps more importantly, going to church and work.

I ask you prayers also for a fellow blogger. Psalmist is really going through the ringer and needs our prayers very much. Visit her here at The Psaltery to get a better picture of her situation. So if you are reading this MadPriest, please include her in your Blogger Down section.

If you get a chance and want to catch up with As The Anglican World Spins, go over to Katie Sherrod's blog in the blessed [yes, because of the real Episcopalian Anglicans there, like Katie] Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth, and read the latest installment. There is a wonderful, in fact
hilarious, joke there that really exemplifies that no matter the facts, the neo-cons still find fault with Bishop Katharine. They should know by now that a squid scientist can too swim! To understand this go here.

That should keep things for a bit. Stay well and safe with all the storms and such.