A Night of Diversity, Community and Dialogue in San Jose
Santa Clara Deanery members join hundreds to combat racism and violence
Members of Saint Andrew's, St. Philip's, St. Jude's & St. Timothy’s churches attended a landmark evening at Emmanuel Baptist Church in East San Jose. “Claiming the Beloved Community” on January 15 was an evening of music, testimonies and discussion designed to launch a Santa Clara County movement for peace, equity and healing.
More than 300 people attended – faith leaders, community members, elected officials and law enforcement officials -- in response to recent events in Missouri, New York, and in local communities. Guided by the principles of love and justice from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the kickoff program included testimonies from people of different faiths and cultures, plus dialogue to build understanding across cultures and develop priorities for working together.
“It was an absolutely amazing event – a powerful illustration of respectful dialogue between a plethora of races and cultures,” said The Rev. Peggy Bryan, who represented St. Andrew’s church and led one of the table discussions.
“Along with many expressions of pain, fear, frustration, and anger, there was also a prevailing feeling of hope and even joy. The energy in the room was very high and positive,” said Joanna Shreve of St. Timothy’s. “We heard a series of testimonials from a very diverse group of people – the mayor of San Jose, a young woman who grew up in Ferguson and still has family there, a young Jewish mother, a female pastor of Korean ethnicity, a young Hispanic girl who read a poem she’d written, and others.”
After hearing the testimonials, the diverse crowd adjourned to smaller groups and people shared their personal responses to three questions: “What troubles you most about recent events? What do you think is the heart of the problem revealed by these events? In light of all this, what do you hope that we can build together?”
Because the turnout was double the amount that organizers expected, they didn't have enough small group facilitators, Shreve explained. “I offered to facilitate the conversation at my table and used the Kaleidoscope Institute's tool of mutual invitation. None of us knew each other. Some of the thoughts shared were extremely difficult to hear. I came away feeling very humbled by what I heard, and yet so hopeful about the fact that the dialogue has begun!”
Bryan said the program will next be held Thursday, February 19 at the Bible Way Christian Center in San Jose, then continue over the next 10 months; watch for more information in next week’s issue.
“The energy in the room was high & positive,” added Snookie Montfort of St. Philip’s. “The speakers spoke from their hearts. There was sincerity, people working toward a common goal. I personally have not seen support like this for racial, healing and understanding, since I was a teenager in the early sixties. I encourage others to join us, since this will be a monthly opportunity to visit other centers of faith and continue what we began.”
“Every so often over the course of my life I've seen a glimpse of heaven,” added Bryan. “This was one of those times.”
(Photos courtesy of The Rev. Peggy Bryan)
Celebrating a New Ministry at St. Philip's
Congratulations to The Rev. Margaret Lucie Thomas, who was installed by Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves as Priest-in-Charge at St. Philip's in San Jose on January 18.
El Camino Real was well represented at the School for Deacons' annual retreat early this month at The Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg, Cal. Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves led this year's retreat, which was attended by Susan Arnold, Bertram Nagarajah, Archdeacon Jo Weber, Stephenie Rose Cooper, Robin Poppoff and others. (Susan, Robin and Bertram are students at the school.) All are seen above in a group picture with students, spouses and staff. (click to enlarge)
Episcopal Church Women: Save the Dates
Mark your 2015 calendars for these upcoming events:
WOMEN’S DAY -- On May 9, we invite all the women of the diocese to Women’s Day, a day of learning through workshops on many topics, for spiritual growth, education, and celebration.
MARY LOU THOMPSON RETREAT -- On August 6-7, we will sponsor a time of respite, prayer, and fellowship. The retreat will be held at the St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista.
HONORED WOMEN’S DAY -- Then on October 10, our Honored Women’s Day will be a wonderful time to celebrate the women nominated from each congregation who have made outstanding contributions and service to their church, the diocese and community.
Discover God's Healing at OSL Weekend in Pacific Grove
The three central coast chapters of the Order of St. Luke are sponsoring a spirit-filled healing mission on April 24 and 25 at St. Mary’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Pacific Grove. The Rev. Josh Acton will be teaching and leading prayer.
Fr. Josh has long been a leader in healing ministry. He is Executive Director of Desert Call Ministries and Sr. Pastor of both the Rancho Vineyard Church in San Diego Church and Church of ACTS in Hemet, CA. He has pastored Episcopal and Anglican churches for over 20 years.
Fr. Josh is also the founder and former executive director of the Center for Christian Healing, a diocesan ministry to the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. He is president on the North American Board for the International Order of St. Luke the Physician.
The Friday evening program from 7-9 p.m. will include music, the first of Fr. Josh’s talks, titled “Faith is spelled R-I-S-K,” and time for individual prayers with prayer teams. Everyone is welcome. There is no registration or fee.
On Saturday participants will learn how to trust the God of all comfort, rather than trusting circumstances (walking by faith and not by sight). Three teachings will be interspersed with music, discussion and prayer. Registration check-in will start at 8:30 a.m. The program will conclude at 4 p.m. following prayers for healing. The $30 registration fee for Saturday includes the program, continental breakfast, and sandwich lunch. Advance registration is preferred so we know how many lunches to order, but registration at the door on Saturday will also be accepted. For more details, contact Annette Foisie at (831) 655-3564 or email@example.com.
Learn, Get Inspired at Feb. 21-22 Stewardship Workshops
Next month the Stewardship Commission is hosting a special series of Stewardship Workshops led by The Rev. Canon Timothy Dombek, Canon for Stewardship and Planned Giving of the Diocese of Arizona.
How can we as stewardship leaders talk about money in this new way? How can our conversations about money produce greater understanding, increased giving and inspire excitement about the work of our church? Come to the Stewardship Deanery Workshops! They will take place Saturday, February 21, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. Stephen’s in San Jose, and then from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at St. Paul’s in Salinas, followed by Sunday, February 22 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at St. James' in Paso Robles.