Day of Discernment scheduled for Feb. 25

Would you like to explore some new discernment practices? Are you discerning a call to ministry within the church — either lay or ordained? Join for this one day workshop, grounded in the Baptismal Covenant, that can help frame your journey.

While the focus is on discernment for ministry in daily life, please note that Day of Discernment is a pre-requisite for application for postulancy in the Diocese of California.

When: Saturday, February 25, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WhereSt. James, 1540 12th Avenue, Oakland
Cost: $25; fee covers materials and lunch; scholarship assistance is available
Contact: Melissa Ridlon,

Try a “carbon fast” this Lent

Lent begins on March 1 this year, and Bishop Marc is inviting all members of the diocese to join him in a Lenten “carbon fast” — a prayerful effort to reduce daily actions that damage God’s creation. DioHouse staff are already beginning to make their Lenten commitments.

For example, Bishop Marc plans to walk or bike to work each day, Stephanie Martin Taylor, Working Group Head for Communications, will be giving up her morning ride-share to take public transit, and Melissa Ridlon, Vocations Officer, is committing to a ‘carbon tithe’ to offset the cost of planting new trees in hurricane-ravaged parts of Haiti. For Ridlon, the tithe amounts to 10% of the cost of gas she buys for her car and 10% of the cost of the ticket for her upcoming trip to Haiti.

You can find many inspirational resources and ideas for your carbon fast throughInterfaith Power & Light, the Episcopal Church Foundation, and the Anglican Communion Environmental Network — to name a few! And for more support and prayers, the Communications Department invites you to reach out to DioBytes,

“Creating a Culture of Peace” training Mar. 10-12, Albany

Creating a Culture of Peace provides a spiritually grounded and interactive learning time for being peaceful, hopeful people in a time of fear and violence — a practical foundation in the principles, practices, and power of active nonviolence. Recommended for people ages 15 and up.

Sponsor: Episcopal Peace Fellowship

Location: St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 1501 Washington Ave., Albany, CA 94706
Dates: March 10-12: Fri. 4-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 1-8 p.m.
3 dinners + Sat. lunch included in fee
Cost: $100   Limited scholarships available

What happens?

You will gain new tools, energy and concrete plans for taking action on issues you choose. CCP is a 15-year-old national network of peace trainings offered to Episcopal churches, seminaries and many other justice and peace organizations.

For more information or to register

Contact Deacon Kathleen Van Sickle,, 510-306-7292
Online registration form

Book reading & signing Feb. 25 to benefit Good Shepherd

Join Berkeley author Ellen L. Ekstrom for a reading from her forthcoming novel, Ascalon, and a Q&A session about her books. Copies of Ms. Ekstrom’s literary and historical fiction works will be available for purchase, and she will sign them if you ask!

See Ms. Ekstrom’s bio and book list at

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
6-8 p.m.
Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
1823 Ninth Street (at Hearst)
Berkeley, California

All proceeds from this event will go towards the Good Shepherd operating budget. Thank you, Ms. Ekstrom!

“Godly Play” featured at 9 a.m. Sunday Eucharist

We now offer a 9:00 a.m. service of Holy Communion on Sundays designed for families. Each week we present a Godly Play story especially for children – although adults love them as well! Bring your children, your nieces and nephews and your grandchildren. And of course, yourselves if you like an earlier service!

And we continue to celebrate at 11:00 a.m. with a choral Eucharist as well!

Scripture Exploration: The Gospel of Matthew

The Rev. Dr. Bill Countryman, professor emeritus of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, continues his always wonderful scriptural course on the first Sundays of the month. On Sunday, Feb. 12 (changed from the first Sunday to accommodate the annual meeting) he will begin a series of sessions on the Gospel of Matthew.

We meet after coffee hour (usually around 12:15) . As Este says, “Can’t wait!”

Donate new or gently used cold weather clothing

Do you really need all the warm clothing in your closet? Could you let a few pieces go?

We’re collecting new or (clean, good condition) used coats, hats, mittens/gloves, scarves etc. to give away to our needy neighbors. Rain gear is very welcome as well.

Bring your contributions to our parish hall (the building behind the church on 9th Street) on Monday or Friday mornings, or on Sundays.


Eagle poem, by Joy Harjo

12/12/2016: At last night’s Advent prayer gathering, I shared one of my favorite poems by poet Joy Harjo, and other attendees asked that I post it to our website. Here you go.

“To pray, you open your whole self

To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon,

To one whole voice that is you. …”

Read the complete poem on the Poetry Foundation website

Hear the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus sing the poem (I’m in the back row!)