In This Issue
Everyday is 'Earth Day' in Visalia
You're all invited
Women's Retreat
Spreading the Gospel mission
Prepared before disaster strikes
Deputies to General Convention
Tweeting the Good News
Important Calendar Dates

Diocesan Council Meeting  

May 19, 10 a.m., Holy Family, Fresno


Youth Commission 

May 19, 11 a.m., Holy Family, Fresno


Education for Ministry Graduation 

May 27


General Convention Deputation 

June 8 and 9, Fresno


Southern Deanery Meeting 

June 9. 10 a.m., St. Andrew's, Taft


Northern Deanery Clericus 

June 12, 11 a.m., St. Anne's, Stockton


Diocesan Convention Planning Meeting 

June 16, 11 a.m., St. Paul's, Modesto


Standing Committee Meeting 

June 16, 1 p.m., St. Paul's, Modesto


Northern Deanery Meeting 

July 28, 11 a.m., St. Matthew's, San Andreas


Diocesan Altar Guild Central Regional Gathering 

June 23, 11 a.m., Hanford


Family Camping at Camp San Joaquin 

July 19 to 22


77th General Convention July 5-12, Indianapolis


Ministry Retreat 

August 31 to September 2 at ECCO

News from ...
Around the San Joaquin Diocese...

Save the Date: Christian Music Concert June 9 in Riverbank  Christ the King, Riverbank is hosting a Christian music concert and dinner on Saturday, August 25. Please plan to attend. More information will be published in upcoming issues. Reserve now, space is limited.

Haiti, disaster preparedness featured June 9 at Southern Deanery meeting    Haiti and disaster preparedness will be among the agenda items when the Southern Deanery meets at 10 a.m. June 9 at St. Andrew's Church in Taft. The Rev. Harold Clinehens, a chair of the diocesan task force on Haiti, will discuss his recent trip. The Rev. Karin and Steve White, who lead the diocesan disaster preparedness task force, will discuss their work.


Book Mark Prayer Reminder available for Haiti   The Haiti/San Joaquin Friendship Task Force is distributing bookmarks, imprinted with contact information for the Foyer Notre Dame and a daily prayer, for $1.00 each. Proceeds will be used to print additional bookmarks and to support our friends in Haiti. Each congregation is asked to appoint a person to receive and distribute bookmarks for Haiti and to forward funds raised to the diocesan Haiti fund. Please send the name and contact information to the Task Force.  jweber@diosanjoaquin.org.

Send Eye Glasses for Haiti to diocesan offices by May 16  The sisters of the Society of Saint Margaret have requested that we send used eyeglasses or sturdy drug store glasses to distribute to children at St. Vincent's School for handicapped children and indirectly to the Foyer Notre Dame. Bishop Chet Talton and Canon Kate Cullinane are attending the consecration of Bishop Suffragan-elect Ogé Beauvoir May 20-25 in Port-au-Prince and will take the eyeglasses with them. The gift of improved sight is a gift beyond measure. Let's flood the diocesan offices with eyeglasses by May 16.


Les Petits Chanteurs  Click on the link to see a trailer for a film about the wonderful Holy Trinity music school in Haiti, past and present. A full length documentary will be released in the fall of this year. http://vimeo.com/34091806      


Around the Episcopal Church ...  


Los Angeles: Court rules in favor of Episcopal Church, Los Angeles Diocese http://episcopalnews.ladiocese.org/dfc/newsdetail_2/3153213 


For other news visit the Episcopal News Service at:  http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/ 


The Anglican Communion at  http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news  

Quick Links





Bishop Talton's Calendar  


May 15

Central Deanery Clericus


May 19 

Diocesan Council and Finance Committee


May 19 

Youth Commission


May 20 - 25 

Consecration of Suffragan Bishop Oge Beauviour, Haiti


May 27  

EfM Graduation


June 3 

St. Matthew's, San Andreas


June 9 

Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Andrew's, Taft


June 10 

Visitation, Grace, Bakersfield


June 16 

Convention Planning Meeting, Modesto


June 16 

Standing Committee Meeting, Modesto


June 17 

Visitation, St. Francis, Turlock


June 23 

Diocesan Altar Guild Central Regional Gathering, 11 a.m., Hanford



Canon Cullinane's Calendar   


May 19

Diocesan Council, Fresno


May 19

Finance Sub-committee, Fresno


May 19

Youth Commission, Fresno


May 20 - 25

Consecration of Suffragan Bishop Oge Beauvoir, Haiti


May 27

St. Nicholas, Atwater


June 9

Southern Deanery Meeting, St. Andrew's, Taft


June 10

Grace, Bakersfield

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Dear Diocesan Community:
We are trying out this new format for our Episcopal Life San San Joaquin (ELSJ) monthly digital publication on the recommendation of the consultants at the communications consultation at Holy Family Church in Fresno in March (see related story). A printed edition of the ELSJ will be published in July, as planned. Please be patient as we experiment with various formats. We invite your feedback. Blessings,

Pat McCaughan, Episcopal Life San Joaquin Editor  


Everyday is 'Earth Day' in Visalia
St. Paul's celebrates with a garden workday   

By the Rev. Suzy Ward


Canon Kate Cullinane (lef) and Kris Kleinsteuber were among the volunteers who observed Earth Day with a community garden work day at St. Paul's, Visalia

Photo by the Rev. Suzy Ward


Earth Day for the people of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Visalia is not just an annual event. Reverence for God's creation is an on-going experience that most notably is represented by the community garden they began three years ago.


In fact, the congregation celebrated this year's Earth Day on Sunday, April 22 not only with special prayers and a visit from diocesan Canon to the Ordinary Kate Cullinane, but also with a special congregational workday in the community garden after 9 a.m. morning services.


St. Paul's garden is ably managed by Teri Van Huss. She guides the congregation with her enthusiasm for growing food and feeding people. Three years ago Van Huss and the Rev. Suzy Ward, who serves as priest-in-charge of this remnant congregation, went to the board of Congregation B'nai David where this Episcopal community meets, to ask permission to use this strip of weed-filled, rocky land next to the parking lot.


With love, many hands, and lots of sweat equity the congregation has now for three summer seasons produced bushels of healthy and tasty vegetables. Van Huss, who currently attends the School for Deacons at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, is assisted by many in the congregation who meet weekly, early in the morning to weed, water, and harvest. However, at least once a season the whole congregation puts on their jeans to come to church and then to pitch in to accomplish the big jobs.


On this 42nd annual observance of Earth Day the many volunteers, with lots of wheelbarrows, shovels and pitchforks in hand, made a small dent in a huge pile of mulch that a local tree trimming business donated. They also planted chili peppers, sweet peppers, squash, cucumbers, corn and tomatoes. The produce from this garden is shared with a local low-income senior community as well as people in the neighborhood. Some food is also taken to a local group that assists low-income families who have disabled children.  


Earth Day is not just observed by the people of St. Paul's Church; they know that as they nurture the earth, they are also taking care of the hungry people of the community. Next weekend the congregation will bless the hands, the tools, the seeds and all the food produced with their annual Garden Blessing Service.

You're all invited:
Camp San Joaquin's 'magical' family camp set for
July 19-22


Campers will enjoy a "magical" time in the High Sierras at the "Hogwarts" Camp San Joaquin Family Camp this July 19-22.


There'll be magic in the air, sports, games, crafts, wand making, and transfiguration classes as Bishop Nedi Rivera and other leaders present four days of camping fun, adventure and an exploration of the magical world of Harry Potter.



Camp San Joaquin is located in the High Sierra region of the Great Sequoia National Monument at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Outdoor activities include swimming, archery, tetherball and volleyball, and hiking and many other sports and activities.


The camp has something for everyone-for children and youth, young people, singles and families-and will explore "why love is truly the greatest magic that exists," according to the brochure, available through the diocesan website.


Volunteers are encouraged to contact Chuck Sheaffer at cbshea@pacbell.net or Vicki Rivera at victoria931c@hotmail.com to help with the planning.


Participants may register via the diocesan website at:  http://www.diosanjoaquin.org 


Bishop Nedi Rivera (aka Minerva McGonagall) is the daughter of former San Joaquin Bishop Victor Rivera. She is the provisional bishop of the Diocese of Eastern Oregon. She grew up in the Diocese of San Joaquin and is well acquainted with Camp San Joaquin.
Women's Retreat


Both lay and ordained women of the Diocese of San Joaquin gathered May 3 - 5 at ECCO for their second Women's retreat. The Rev. Karin White, a retired priest from El Camino Real and now living in Oakhurst and helping throughout the diocese as a supply priest, was the retreat leader.


Various participants doing the Labyrinth walking meditation

An eclectic assortment of meditation experiences were offered over the course of the retreat including; Labyrinth walking, collage making, lectio divina, poetry reading and reflection, scripture reading and yoga. Morning and evening prayer drew from both Native American and New Zealand sources while the poetry session included prayers from the Celtic tradition.



Of course, time for fun and relaxation were also included as part of the retreat. Participants shared social time, gathering sessions with groups and the final evening included a bonfire with singing and marshmallows.


Saturday evening the participants were able to review the ministries of the Episcopal Church which have traditionally been organized and led by women. The group pondered the idea of a larger focus for all women's ministries rather than a diffuse effort at resurrecting or creating new groups of traditional Episcopal Groups. It was decided to ask the bishop to help support the idea through activating the Women's sub-committee of the Commission on Equality and also by the possibility of creating a list-serve for women in the diocese.


Eucharist: (l-r) Susan Reeve, Karin White and Carolyn Woodall
The retreat concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist and a Rogation Day Procession. Rogation Days are days in the church year which celebrate the gifts God has given us through nature and creation and they are a time of thanking God for the abundance God provides through crops and agriculture. Historically the priest would go to the four "corners" of the parish's geographic boundaries to pronounce a blessing on all the land within the parish. At the retreat the participants sang as they walked around the ECCO lake and stopped four times for prayer thanking God for the beauty of


Carole Foote of St. John's, Lodi leads the Rogation Procession around the ECCO lake with a box as a drum.

It was unanimously decided to plan for another retreat for women in the diocese. Please to plan to join us next year in May.
Spreading the Gospel mission:
Bakersfield church launches Tehachapi mission

by Stef Donev, Grace Episcopal Church 


If it hadn't been for the fact that everyone sat on chairs, the first service at Grace Tehachapi, a mission congregation of Grace, Bakersfield, could have been called a déjà pew experience.


Debby Spaine, the Rev. Dr. Tim Vivian, and Malcolm Schleh were among worshippers who gathered at Malcolm and Debby's home for the first meeting of Grace, Tehachapi
The gathering at Debby Spaine and Mal Schleh's mountain home in Alpine Forest, just outside Tehachapi, on Sunday March 4, included a number of similarities to Grace Bakersfield's own formation in 2007.


The first meeting of what was to become Grace Bakersfield took place at the Beale St. Library in Bakersfield in January of 2007. A number of Episcopalians met there to figure out what they could do to continue worshipping together, since the former bishop was in the process of taking the three Bakersfield parishes out of the Episcopal Church.


That led to the founding of Grace, Bakersfield, and its first home church service that March.


Sixteen people attended the first Tehachapi service, 10 from Bakersfield and 6 from the mountain. Two of the attendees, Stef Donev and Tim Vivian, were also founding members of Grace Bakersfield.


The former bishop had banned Vivian from functioning as a priest, so he attended the early services as a parishioner. The ban was lifted when the San Joaquin Diocese came under the direct supervision of Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, who appointed Tim "missionary priest" for Grace in 2008.


The early Bakersfield meetings moved from house-to-house until meeting in the chapel at First Congregational Church for All Saints' Sunday in 2007, then renting the chapel on a permanent basis in early 2008.


By comparison, Grace Tehachapi will continue to meet at Mal and Debby's home at 2 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of every month for the foreseeable future.


Like the founding members of Grace Bakersfield, the founding members of Grace Tehachapi also lost their church, St. Jude's in the Mountains, when the former bishop left the diocese. Several of then started attending services at Grace in 2011 and, as the number of Tehachapi members grew, so did talk of having their own church
Prepared before disaster strikes:
An update on the diocesan task force

By Steve White, coordinator  


The Rev. Karin and Steve White, coordinators for the San Joaquin diocese's disaster preparedness task force, are available to assist individuals, families and congregations in developing plans to deal with emergencies, disruptions and disasters before misfortune strikes.


Three versions of Preparedness Planning Guides for congregations are available for download from the diocesan website at:  www.diosanjoaquin.org. It is suggested that each congregation complete the simplest version (bronze) right away, which provides basic contact and insurance information. Other versions may be completed later.


Episcopal Relief and Development works to inspire, connect, and equip Episcopalians to mitigate the effects of disasters and to help vulnerable people in our communities to make a full and sustained recovery. These guides are intended to aid all congregations in their planning.


After attending an initial training organized by Episcopal Relief and Development ( http://www.er-d.org), the disaster relief agency of the Episcopal Church ( http://www.episcopalchurch.org), in Burlingame, California earlier this year, the Whites led an April 21 presentation to the Northern Deanery meeting at St. John's, Lodi, and are hoping to plan similar events throughout the diocese.


The meeting was very well attended and participants received packets of information and ideas to begin to develop plans within their respective congregations.


They have also been working with a subcommittee from St. Raphael in Oakhurst, where the Whites attend church, to model and facilitate an effective disaster preparedness plan for a small congregation.


To accomplish this, the team is utilizing a combination of the "bronze" and "silver" plans available on the diocesan website, to develop and record their progress. The first step was to hold a congregational meeting after a Sunday service to gather ideas, goals and basic biographical data. Next steps include organizing the information and using it to build a specific action plan for St. Raphael and our parishioners.


The Whites look forward to assisting others throughout the diocese in developing disaster preparedness plans for each individual, and family and congregation. They are also hoping to form a small diocesan team to assist them with this important work.

Anyone interested in participating in these efforts is asked to contact the Rev. Karin Reed and Steve White at karinreedwhite@gmail.com or trampatb@gmail.com or through the Diocesan offices at 209-576-0104.


Bishop Chet Talton has made disaster preparedness a priority. He has said that during his tenure as Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles, there were three major earthquakes and several catastrophic fires as well as other unexpected and disruptive events.

Deputies to General Convention:
See, we are (still) doing new things! 

By Nancy Key  


At the October 2010 annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, eight deputies (four clergy, four lay) and eight deputy alternates (four clergy, four lay) were elected in preparation for the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church to be held July 5 through 12, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Though the primary work of deputies is in preparation for General Convention and during General Convention, deputies serve for the triennium from when the time of their election until the next deputy election. There are currently 12 deputies since two have moved from the diocese, one resigned due to illness and one, Carolyn Woodall, was recently ordained and can no longer serve as an elected lay deputy.






Mark Hall, The Rev. Canon

Nancy Key, Ms. (Chair)


Luis Rodriguez, The Rev.

Cindy Smith, Ms.


Glenn Kanestrom, The Rev.

Bill Latham, Mr.


Kathryn Galicia, The Rev.

Janice Dunlap, Ms.



Michele Racusin, The Rev.

Judith Wood, Ms.


Paul Colbert, The Rev.



Kathleen West, The Rev.



Structured similarly to the two house of legislature of the US Government, General Convention is made up of two houses, the House of Bishops (which Bishop Chet will attend) and the House of Deputies. Legislation is authorized only when the same resolution is passed by both houses of General Convention. There are 851 deputies from more than 100 dioceses of The Episcopal Church comprising the House of Deputies.


Deputies have special responsibilities in the Episcopal Church. They are not "delegates" who represent their diocese; instead they are elected by their diocese because they are trusted to be informed about issues, to study and to pray. In the words of Bonnie Anderson, D.D., President of the House of Deputies, "we are trusted to cast our votes informed by prayer, factual information, and the workings of the Holy Spirit."


Eight deputies and two alternates (clergy and lay) will officially attend General Convention on behalf of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. They will work hard - when General Convention is not in session. Legislative Committees hold hearings and perfect resolutions. There are a total of 23 legislative committees, covering the business of the church including structure, evangelism, education, social and urban affairs, and stewardship to name just a few. Three members of our deputation have been asked to serve on these committees: the Rev. Mark Hall will serve on the Committee on Structure, the Rev. Glenn Kanestrom will serve on the Committee on Small Congregations, and Nancy Key will co-chair the Committee on Ministry.


Deputies Nancy Key, The Rev Kathryn Galacia, The Rev Luis Rodriguez at gathering of California deputations 

Our deputation has already begun to meet in preparation for General Convention. We've met two times with other California deputies, in April 2011 on the campus of California Divinity School of the Pacific, and again with the Diocese of California on February 25, 2012 at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Livermore. At each meeting our deputies joined with other California deputies in discussing issues that would come before General Convention. Deputies will meet once more, in June, to prepare for General Convention.


Deputies will be very busy between now and General Convention. The "Blue Book," which contains all reports of the bodies which have worked between General Conventions and their proposed legislation in 759 pages, was published online in April. Our deputies will divide the book into sections according to individual interests and report at a May meeting to the entire deputation. In this manner, our deputies will be able to discuss the "A" resolutions (those proposed by Commission, Boards, Agencies and Committees of The Episcopal Church). Other resolutions proposed by Bishops, Dioceses, and Deputies; are available online at http://generalconvention.org.


In addition to serving on legislative committees, our deputies have also indicated particular interest in issues related to inclusion and equality, especially LGBT issues; Christian formation; small dioceses and congregation; liturgy and music; ministry of all the baptized; and world mission and evangelism. Some of the issues that will be of particular interest to this general convention include resolutions for reconciliation of Episcopal relationships, a rite for blessing of same-sex relationships, the proposed Anglican Covenant and of course, the budget. Our deputies will participate in this and other committee work through leadership positions and through observing and testifying at the hearings.


Stay tuned for reports on General Convention - and please pray for deputies as they conduct the work of the Episcopal Church at General Convention. 


--Nancy Key is a parishioner at Holy Family, Fresno.

Tweeting the Good News: 
March workshops inform, inspire diocesan communications task force 

By the Rev. Canon Kate Cullinane   


Jim Naughton and Rebecca Wilson of Canticle Communications ( http://www.canticlecommunications.com), a media relations and strategic communications firm, led "Media and the Gospel Message: Communicating Jesus in the 21st Century," a two-day workshop at Holy Family Church in Fresno in late March.


Representatives from about one-half of our diocesan congregations attended the event, designed to assist congregations with their communications efforts in the digital age and to learn new ways to further the Gospel message in the Central Valley.


The workshops included Evangelism by Media, Website Discovery and Social Media Matters. The Evangelism by Media workshop included media relations as well as strategies for making congregations more visible and compelling to people in local communities.


In the Website Discovery workshop participants learned more about the nuts and bolts of creating and maintaining a website for their congregations. And finally, the Social Media workshop explored ways in which congregations can use Facebook and Twitter to promote communication within and without the congregation.


The Communications Task Force of the diocese also began strategizing a communications plan and formulating a message for the diocese. The task force began with the central themes of a vision statement developed at a previous diocesan convention. That visioning work included the following:


Here in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, we care for one another and the communities of Central California. We feed the hungry, care for the poor, and seek to act as Christ's hands and heart in the world.


We seek and recognize holiness in our midst through worship, prayer, and service. Our souls are fed by God's love for us, for creation, and for the world around us.


Our community values and honors all people. In the Episcopal Church, everyone's voice matters and everyone is invited to belong.


We have made a choice to follow Jesus together, and we are building a strong and faithful church. Come build with us.


The Communications Task Force will continue to work on ways to further the communication of our central message and with new approaches to crafting the Gospel message for the church of our future. 
Episcopal Life San Joaquin is a publication of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin,
1528 Oakdale Rd., Modesto, CA 95355 Phone: 209-576-0104; Fax: 209-576-0114
Edited by Pat McCaughan

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