TH E E P I S C O PA L C H U R C H I N TH E SA N F R A N C I S C O BAY A R EA
Take and read
Reading the Bible in the Diocese of California 162nd Diocesan Convention â€” October 21 and 22 FALL 2011 VOL. 148 NO. 3
From Holy Trinity Music School (École de Musique Ste. Trinité in Port-au-Prince, Haiti) a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti
Les Petits Chanteurs In concert
Haiti’s internationally renowned boys choir is coming to the San Francisco Bay Area for four enchanting concerts. This is your opportunity to experience a grace-filled choir that has brought hope to the Haitian people.
Friday, September 30, 7:30 p.m. St. Paul’s, 1924 Trinity Avenue, Walnut Creek
Saturday, October 1, 7 p.m. St. Stephen’s, 3 Bayview Avenue, Belvedere
Sunday, October 2, 4 p.m. Christ Church, 815 Portola Road, Portola Valley
Monday, October 3, 7:30 p.m. St. Paul’s, 415 El Camino Real, Burlingame
Les Petit Chanteurs will also perform private concerts and meet students at Episcopal Schools in the Diocese of California.
Presented by Music for Haiti, an initiative to rebuild École de Musique Ste. Trinité at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-au-Prince. Music for Haiti is a partnership between the Episcopal Dioceses of Haiti and California. For ticket information or to become a sponsor, visit diocal.org/musicforhaiti.
Donations of musical instruments in good condition (especially the oboe, English horn, bassoon, piccolo, viola, and bass) will be accepted at each concert or at the offices of the Diocese of California, 1055 Taylor Street, San Francisco 94108. For more information, contact Matthew Burt, email@example.com.
École de Musique Ste. Trinité photos: © 2011 Marcel Cabrera
Table of Contents
Sun, Sep 11 Contemplative Eucharist Grace Cathedral, Bishop Marc will preach Wed, Sep 15 – Tue, Sep 20 House of Bishops, Quito, Ecuador Tue, Sep 20 – Thu, Sep 22 Clergy Conference, Bishop’s Ranch Sat, Sep 24 Celebration of New Ministry: the Rev. Matthew T. Woodward, Transfiguration, San Mateo
Fri, Sep 30 – Mon, Oct 3 Les Petits Chanteurs in concert, throughout the diocese
Sat, Oct 1 Woods-to-Waves Trek-aThon, St. Dorothy’s Rest
Sat, Oct 8 Celebration of New Ministry: Vanessa Glass, St. Francis of Assisi, Novato Sun, Oct 9 Bishop’s Society Tea, Grace Cathedral Fri, Oct 21 & Sat, 22 162nd Convention of the Diocese of California, Grace Cathedral
Tue, Oct 25 – Thu, Oct 27 Vicar,s Retreat, Bishop’s Ranch
Sat, Nov 5 Pennies from Heaven — Episcopal Charities 2011 Night of Light Fri, Nov 11 Major donor weekend, St. Dorothy’s Rest
Sat, Nov 12 General Confirmation, Grace Cathedral
Sat, Nov 19 – Tue, Nov 22 American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Moscone Convention Center Mon, Nov 28 & Tue, Nov 29 Ordinand’s Retreat, Bishop’s Ranch
Thu, Dec 1 World AIDS Day Service, Grace Cathedral, Bishop Marc will preside Sat, Dec 3 Ordination, Grace Cathedral
Sat, Dec 10 Celebration of New Ministry: the Rev. Beth Sherman, St. Francis, San Francisco
From the Bishop 4 The Lord’s Prayer by the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus
Guest Editorial 5 Take and read by Julia McCray-Goldsmith
Around the Diocese 6 & 7 Episcopal Youth Event by Annie Pierpoint; Asian Commission Consultation by the Rev. Connie Lam; Adopt-A-Family Bikes
Feature News 8 & 9 Community Bible Reading at St. Stephen’s, Orinda by the Rev. Larry Hunter
Feature 10 – 12 Respect between text and reader: a conversation with Roger Ferlo and Judy Fentress Williams by Julia McCray-Goldsmith
162nd Diocesan Convention 13 – 15 Feature Column 16 & 17 The Daily Office: How Anglicans should learn to stop worrying and love the Bible by the Rev. Bertie Pearson
InFormation 18 The Bible as conversation by the Rev. Matthew Dutton-Gillett
News in Photos 19
S E P – N OV 2011 VO L . 148 N O. 3 Pacific Church News is published by the Diocese of California, The Episcopal Church. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to 1055 Taylor St., San Francisco, CA 94108. The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, publisher; Canon Sean T. McConnell, editor; Francesca Pera, managing editor. The Diocese of California seeks to enter a new era of the Church’s life emphasizing diversity, embeddedness, and collaboration. We believe The Episcopal Church has a charism, a gift, to be a generous form of Christianity. The Diocese of California has embraced the vision put forth a hundred years ago by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, later espoused by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that we should manifest “the beloved community” — the living out of our essential interrelatedness in Christ. If you would like to submit an article to Pacific Church News, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pacific Church News i Fall 2011
THE RT. REV. MARC HANDLY ANDRUS
From the Bishop
The Lord’s Prayer
he King James’ Bible, or the Authorized Version, is celebrating its 400th birthday this year. This Bible version was religiously, politically, and linguistically a signal achievement, so weighty that even its errors have endured well into the 20th century, taken up by subsequent versions and not corrected until the publication of the New Revised Standard Version in 1989. Within the Bible, any version of the Bible, the Lord’s Prayer is certainly among the most used and beloved passages. While individual phrases from the King James Version have made their way into common usage in English, “raising Cain,” or “wild ass,” few whole passages are committed to memory. In my own pastoral experience, it is the 23rd Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer that a dying person, even one whose consciousness has almost wholly withdrawn from the mundane, will join in saying, and is often such a person’s last utterance in this world. Over the last ten years of service in the church as a bishop I have become more and more interested in the Lord’s Prayer, both in terms of its meaning, and its enactment in our congregations. Translating the Lord’s Prayer I mentioned the power of the King James Version to even help perpetuate errors because the translation of the Lord’s Prayer in the King James’ Bible is the one most of us have learned by heart. It is accurate, but are there better ways to translate this enormously potent and important prayer? The New Zealand Prayer Book supplies a version of the Lord’s Prayer that deviates dramatically from that we know in the KJV. Here it is: Eternal Spirit, / Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, / Source of all that is / And that shall be, / Father and Mother of us all, / Loving God in whom is heaven. The hallowing of your name / Echo through the universe. / The way of your justice be followed / By the peoples of the world. / Your heavenly will be done / By all created beings! / Your commonwealth of peace and freedom / Sustain our hope and come on earth. With the bread we need for today, / feed us. / In the hurts we absorb from one another, / Forgive us. / In times of temptation and test, / Strengthen us. / From trials too great to endure, / Spare us. / From the grip of all that is evil, / Free us./ For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, / Now and forever. / Amen. I find this version quite beautiful, and indeed expressive of the theology of the prayer. However, it has been criticized as not really a translation, but rather a paraphrase. I’m not sure about that; to me it actually seems like more of a genuine translation than the very cautious one found in the KJV that has shaped so many subsequent translations. Compare the New Zealand Prayer
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Book version with the amazing version produced by Neil DouglasKlotz, working from the Aramaic version of the Bible: O, Birther of the Cosmos, focus your light within us — make it useful / Create your reign of unity now / Your one desire then acts with ours, / As in all light, / So in all forms, / Grant us what we need each day in bread and insight: / Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, / As we release the strands we hold of other’s guilt. / Don’t let surface things delude us, / But free us from what holds us back. / From you is born all ruling will, / The power and the life to do, / The song that beautifies all, / From age to age it renews. / I affirm this with my whole being. Even less recognizable than the New Zealand Prayer Book version, as it is perhaps even less like the KJV Lord’s Prayer that has been the model for the Lord’s Prayer for so many of us. In other words, I think that some people judge whether a Lord’s Prayer version is a translation or a paraphrase, or good or bad by how closely it squares with the KJV, rather than how well it carries into English the meaning of the biblical text. What do you think about these versions of the Lord’s Prayer? I’d love to hear your responses. I’d also like to hear responses about this translation question of the Lord’s Prayer that refer to study you may have done on the meaning of the prayer. If you’re interested in some background reading that is totally stimulating, I recommend Simone Weil’s exposition on the Lord’s Prayer in her book, Waiting for God (1951).
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Take and read
t was in a garden in Milan, in about the year 385, when a dissolute young Augustine of Hippo famously heard a child’s voice chanting “Take and read, take and read.” He opened a nearby book of Paul’s letters and found himself improbably overwhelmed by grace. “It was as though the light of confidence flooded into my heart and all the darkness of doubt was dispelled,” he later wrote in his Confessions. I wish it had been that easy for me during the two years I spent hefting unwieldy commentaries and slogging my way through the Oxford Annotated Bible that was my constant companion in the Education for Ministry (EfM) program. As a young convert to the Episcopal Church, the Bible was something of a mystery to me, albeit a compelling one. Nobody in my church suggested that the Bible was God’s infallible Word, so what made this collection of texts so important? It was only when I started studying the Bible in community that I experienced the power of Holy Scripture to “rewrite” the way I understand myself and my own story. And in that experience of being transformed by Scripture, I am not alone. As guest editor of this issue of Pacific Church News, I invite you to meet fellow travelers who wrestle faithfully with our Biblical tradition in contemporary contexts. Judy Fentress-Williams and Roger Ferlo, both professors at Virginia Theological Seminary, engage in a dialogue about the dialogical nature of our sacred texts. Bishop Marc
Andrus invites us to consider different translations of the Lord’s Prayer. Larry Hunter, rector of St. Stephen’s, Orinda, introduces us to a parochial community in common Bible study. Bertie Pearson and Matthew Dutton Gillett share their liturgical and devotional practices of Scripture study, and a variety of other DioCal Bible students give us glimpses into the window of their love of the Bible. “This is, I believe, why we call the Bible God’s ‘living’ word,” writes Episcopal priest and author Barbara Brown Taylor. “For all the human handiwork it displays, the Bible remains a peculiarly holy book. I cannot think of any other text that has such authority over me, interpreting me faster than I can interpret it. It speaks to me not with the stuffy voice of some mummified sage, but with the fresh, lively tones of someone who knows what happened to me an hour ago. Familiar passages accumulate meaning as I return to them again and again.” In the 400 years since the publication of the King James Version of the Bible — the peculiarly Anglican attempt by James I to unify the Puritan and Catholic tendencies within the Church of England — the words and imagery of the Bible have embedded themselves deeply in the English language. We know the phrase “with the skin of my teeth,” but do we know that this translation of Job 19:20 is one of more than 250 contemporary idioms drawn from the King James? It might just become for you a “labor of love” (1 Thess. 1:3, KJV) to meet these familiar phrases again. However and whenever you find yourself called to “take and read,” be assured that you have a broad and diverse community of fellow Bible readers listening for God’s words (notice the plural) amidst a lively — and strangely holy — human dialogue.
Why do you like the Bible?
For me, the Bible is really about what passages and books I spend the most time praying with. I love the Psalms and Isaiah, John’s Gospel and Acts. No other book has so deeply and profoundly shaped my literary imagination and polished the lens through which I see the world. Pacific Church News i Fall 2011
Around the Diocese
them to actively seek new experiences. In an evening prayer service called “Life, Our Great Mission” designed by the Rev. Sam Dessordi Leite, each participant reflected on what their calling might be as individuals and members of the wider church. E.Y.E. was similar to other conferences in that there were plenary sessions, keynote speakers, and workshops. There was also worship, reflection groups, and free time structured into the day. All of these tanding in a university auditorium with more activities fostered an intentional Christian community than 700 Episcopalian teenagers, 300 adult that was infused with youthful energy. Most of the leaders, 50 bishops, and a rockin’ band of six programming was planned and presented by teenagers. musicians, one can’t help but think of the global Daily worship sessions began with music. energy crisis. If only there were some way to harness Marguerite Cauchois said “the singing reminded me the energy in this room – of BREAD camp. It was the singing, dancing, feeling beautiful – my favorite of connection to each part.” More than 1,000 other and the wider world attendees gathered for – surely we could power these sessions to pray, every building and car in hear sermons, and share America. the Eucharist. The first But this energy had a worship session featured much higher calling, as well the Most Rev. Katharine as a divine source. Why Jefferts Schori as celebrant light up buildings when and preacher. we could light up discourE.Y.E. speakers aged faces? Why feed our presented different cars gasoline when we could perspectives on mission, feed the hungry? The 11th and talked about how the DioCal E.Y.E. delegates and adult leaders pictured with Bonnie Episcopal Youth Event youth could take what they Anderson, president of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church. (or E.Y.E.) was a fivelearn on mission trips into day testament to the fact that God is working in and their congregations and their daily lives. They inspired through Episcopal youth across the nation. the delegates to find their voice in the wider church. The Diocese of California sent five capable, ener“[E.Y.E.] has given me motivation to become more getic youth delegates to Bethel University in St. active in my diocese,” said Hannah Foote. Paul, Minnesota, June 22 – 26. Each of the delegates Workshops like “Taking Your Passion for Missions expressed enthusiasm about representing DioCal into Your Community,” and “Theater Performance in at the national level and a desire to share what they Mission” offered opportunities for reflection. Nicole learned. The five young women were Nicole Patera, Patera noted, “It was cool to have the focus be on the Olivia Bisel (both from St. Stephen’s, Orinda), Hannah relationships formed rather than having mission work Foote (Christ Church, Alameda), Olivia Kern (St. to do.” Adult leader Shannon Eng offered two workAlban’s, Albany), and Marguerite Cauchois (St. John’s, shops, presenting the tools and basic framework for Oakland). Greg Brown (Postulant, General Theological groups to make mission trips in San Francisco through Seminary), Annie Pierpoint (Postulant, Virginia her startup, Palms Up Missions. Theological Seminary), and Shannon Eng (Youth “My experience has changed me because it opened Leader, St. Stephen’s, Orinda) served as adult leaders. my eyes to the enormity of the Episcopal Church and Before the delegates and adults departed, the group its youth,” said Hannah Foote. Mealtimes were stagmet to worship, build relationships, and start thinking gered to accommodate everyone, but that did not stifle about the bigger picture. In a video message, the Rt. the sense of community. Not a single meal passed Rev. Marc Andrus asked the group to think about what without at least one loud cheer, flash mob, or singing of they would bring back to the diocese, and challenged happy birthday – often there were several of each.
DioCal sends eight to Episcopal Youth Event
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On the trip home, the delegates reflected on the ways this experience had changed them. Aside from the “swag” they traded for from other dioceses, what were they bringing back home to the Diocese of California? How were they going to answer Bishop Marc’s call to action? Olivia Bisel said she gained a global perspective: “Not only did I learn about the lives and hardships of the people who we help in mission, I also discovered that there are many similarities between myself and kids all over the country. E.Y.E. has inspired me to help others, whether at home or abroad, because of my new understanding of our diverse world and myself.” Olivia Kern agreed, “It’s nice to know that there are so many other Episcopalians, both in the area and across the country, outside of my smaller parish.” She is hoping to “bring back the energy that was present during E.Y.E. and the motivation for fundraising and mission. I got a LOT of good ideas and perspectives.” Marguerite Cauchios said “[E.Y.E.] inspired me to be more involved in my own youth group and make future mission trips more meaningful.” The next Episcopal Youth Event will be held in the summer of 2014. It’s a wonderful opportunity for DioCal youth to gain a broader perspective about the church, and to get excited about the bright future that awaits them. As Marguerite Cauchois said, “This experience gave me faith in the Episcopal youth of this generation. Seems like we’re on to great things!” — Annie Pierpoint
Around the Diocese First Asian Commission Consultation
n June 10 and 11, the first Asian Commission Consultation convened 65 participants at Christ Church, Alameda, with the promise to educate, equip, and empower not only individuals from Asian and Asian-American ministries, but also, and especially, those from non-Asian cultures interested in reaching out to the people of Asian ancestry in their communities. Presenting a new model of stewardship for Asian communities, the Rev. Dr. Fred Vergara, Asian American Ministries Officer for The Episcopal Church, gave a plenary calling on the five elements traditional to some Asian cultures: fire, wood, earth, metal, and water. This model reflected on common Asian concepts, challenging participants to draw inspiration from within, instead of an imposed Eurocentric model. Workshop leaders gave presentations focusing on particular issues faced by Asians, Asian-American youth, and multi-ethnic congregations. In one workshop, the Rev. David Ota unpacked the differences between “multi-ethnic” and “multicultural” congregations while pointing out that each congregation is in itself “a culture.” Other workshops covered urban ministry in the changing neighborhood, multi-generational ministry, youth ministry, and how immigration impacts Asian communities. The event was highlighted with Christian Tai Chi (led by Vergara), fine food, engaging entertainment, and informative field trips to church sites. Attendees commented that they had been equipped and empowered for church ministries within their changing neighborhoods. Because of this, the Asian Commission plans to have similar events in the future. — the Rev. Connie Lam
he Adopt-A-Family Bikes program at St. Timothy's, Danville, was recently featured in Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices. For the past ten years, St. Timothy’s volunteers have refurbished used bicycles for distribution to agencies helping those in need during the Christmas season. The program has grown to over 50 volunteers, and last year distributed over 250 bikes to nine different agencies. To read the entire story by high school sophomore Ryan Mahoney, go to www.ecfvp.org and click on the vestry papers link. Pacific Church News i Fall 2011
Feature News Community Bible Reading at St. Stephen’s, Orinda by the Rev. Larry Hunter A Dilemma and an Opportunity It began with an idea hatched at a lunch meeting between our Children’s Ministries Coordinator, Roxanne Rhoades, and me last October. We had just completed and were debriefing the “My Bible” course that we offer our third grade Sunday School children, part of our Milestones for Children and Youth program. My Bible is a six-week survey of the Bible designed to introduce our children to the foundational text of our faith. Parents are welcome to attend so they will know what their children are learning. Our learning from the course was that, not surprisingly, biblical literacy was not Roxanne Rhoades, Children’s very high at St. Stephen’s Ministries Coordinator and the Rev. Larry Hunter, Rector of St. for our children or for Stephen’s, Orinda adults. We both agreed we wanted to find a way to get more people to read and engage with Scripture. We could offer more Bible studies, but with the schedules our parishioners have, we knew that would only attract a few. Our conversation went something like this, although who said what is unclear.
Day — how about one chapter a day? Great! We can produce a reading schedule and some helps. How about a blog? You want me to do a blog?! (That, I remember saying.) Sure, we can call it “Father Larry’s Blog” and we have a parishioner, Lynne Noone, who can help set it up. Great! What shall we call the challenge? How about, “The Great St. Stephen’s, Orinda, Advent Bible Reading Challenge?” Terrific! What shall we have for lunch? Making it Work
An Inspiring Conversation
In short order, we produced a brochure which included a daily reading schedule, an introduction to Matthew, and a list of recommended Bible translations for children and adults. We began advertising the Challenge in our newsletter, via weekly e-mail blasts, in the Sunday bulletin, and at announcements. Thanks to Lynne Noone’s invaluable help I was able to get the blog up and running in plenty of time. On the blog, I would write an introduction and short reflection on the Gospel chapter for each day, and comments and questions would be encouraged. Each blog post had links to the day’s chapter in an online NRSV Bible. The blog also had links to Forward Day by Day’s daily reflection, to our parish website, and to the introductory document to the reading challenge. We were blessed by our parishioner Mel Ahlborn, well-known artist and CEO of Episcopal Church and Visual arts, who posted a link each day to art online that related to the chapter being read. One of our associates, the Rev. Mary Hudak, planned a bi-weekly Bible study and discussion group on Matthew. We put it all out to our parishioners, and then we waited. How would the people of St. Stephen’s respond?
What if we came up with a challenge? People here love to rise to a challenge, love to accomplish something. So, what if we give our parishioners a challenge and a goal? What should we call it and when should we do it? Well, let’s see, Advent begins the year of Matthew, so why not challenge the parish to read Matthew during Advent? Hmmm, Matthew has twenty-eight chapters and there are twenty-eight days from the first Sunday of Advent through Christmas
There was a lot of interest and even excitement about the upcoming challenge. One could hardly escape the advertising, so most people had at least heard about it by the time the First Sunday of Advent came around. What a response! Of the 400 households on the parish roles, we estimate that over 250 engaged with Matthew to some extent during Advent. The blog, fatherlarrysblog.wordpress.com, had 50 subscribers,
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The Parish Responds
Feature News who automatically received the blog posting each day via email. Subscribers to the blog include some parishioners from St. Brigid’s Church in Rio Vista. In addition to the subscribers, the blog had an average of about 120 visitors per day, and on one day there were 180 visits. Many, many parishioners used the published reading schedule instead of the blog. And people were talking about the Bible — about Matthew! One family of four told me that their six-year-old son insisted that they read each day at the Christmas tree. One parishioner, well over eighty, who had never read the Bible before, was so engaged that his wife told us he had them begin reading Genesis after they finished Matthew. He never missed a Bible study either. My wife, the Rev. Jan Holland, and I were at dinner with two couples from the parish during Advent, and our conversation was all about Matthew’s Gospel. That was a first! These are just a few examples of how engaged the members of St. Stephen’s became with The Gospel According to Matthew during Advent.
both Advent and Lent, and even in July we had over 150 visits. As the rector, this experience of daily engaging with the Gospel and trying to write something that would be helpful to our people was energizing and inspiring for my own ministry. The many, many conversations about Matthew and Luke that my
Lent with Luke We had no sooner finished the Great St. Stephen’s Advent Bible Reading Challenge than people began asking what we were going to read next. Another conversation among the staff ensued. How about during Lent? How about reading Luke? Sure, we can read Luke during Lent. We’ll call it Lent with Luke! With the same format, but with more time to read the Gospel, we designed a reading course consisting of a half chapter of Luke each day during Lent, with the last chapter to be read on Easter Day. We published a similar brochure for Lent as for Advent, the blog continued during Lent, with art links again provided by Mel Ahlborn. A new Bible study on Luke, facilitated by the Rev. Jan Holland and the Rev. Tom Trutner, was added to the Matthew study that had continued beyond Advent and is still going on. What we learned When we provided an opportunity for parishioners to engage with the Bible on their own time, with appropriate support and resources, many people responded. Financial outlay was minimal. Return on investment was phenomenal. We also learned that many parishioners were reading on their own schedule, as visits to the blog continued steadily after
colleagues and I experienced with our parishioners have been engraced moments for us. We have been daily “surprised by grace” through this experience. What’s next for St. Stephen’s? As soon as the Lenten reading experience was over, people began asking what we would read together next. Our plan is to continue our reading through the gospels and beyond. In Advent 2011 we will read the Gospel according to Mark. In Lent 2012 we will read the Gospel according to John. We’re looking at the Acts of the Apostles and the Psalms for future readings. Want to know more? We believe this community Bible reading experience is replicable in most churches. In the spirit of The Beloved Community and perhaps expanding our understanding of Area Ministry, we are happy to share our media from Advent with Matthew and Lent with Luke with any parishes or missions in the diocese. Looking forward, if any would like to participate or partner with us in Advent 2011 and or Lent 2012, just let us know. Pacific Church News i Fall 2011
Feature Respect between text and reader: a conversation with Roger by Julia McCray-Goldsmith
oger Ferlo is Associate Dean and Director of the Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership at Virginia Theological Seminary, and Professor of Religion and Culture. His Ph.D. from Yale (where he also received the Faculty Prize for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching) focused on the rhetoric of magic in the literature of the English Renaissance. Roger is also the author of several books, including Opening the Bible (Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 1997). Judy Fentress-Williams is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary. She received her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Yale University in 1999. Her approach to Scripture is rooted in Bakhtin’s dialogic theory of literature. She has contributed to several edited volumes including The Africana Bible (Fortress 2010) and Bakhtin and Genre Theory in Biblical Studies (Society for Biblical Literature 2007). She recently completed a commentary on the book of Ruth to be published by Abingdon Press in the spring of 2012. What’s your personal connection to the Bible? Was there someone or something in your life that said “take and read,” or was your heart strangely warmed or what? JFW. In the world I grew up in, Bible study was really not optional; it was central to faith development and life. In my formative years, Biblical interpretation was very narrow; it became vocational when I discovered a way to read text that was freeing, and invited imagination. But the relationship was never optional; it was “wrestle with text or die.”
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RF. Bible study is for many people an intimidating phrase, particularly for Episcopalians. I prefer to use the Yiddish word lernen, which always implies reading sacred texts in the company of other readers—reading as a form of dialogue. It was especially important to me to understand how Jewish readers understood the Biblical texts. The conversation with the Talmud page is analogous to the breadth of Christian readership. All are welcome and nobody’s interpretation has pride of place. A text can engender an entire community of readers in the presence of an expert reader. I wonder if our people have had much opportunity to “wrestle with the text,” as Judy describes. What are some of the obstacles to Bible study in Episcopal settings? JFW. So many people I know have been hurt by the Bible. When I go to groups to talk about Old Testament, and I find that people are scarred. Scarred by the text, by images of God they found in the text, and by the interpretation of the text. Unfortunately, they often replace the single voiced reading that hurt them with another, single voiced reading of their own. RF. The cultural default is a monological—singlevoiced—and literal reading of Scripture. Given this assumption, you are already wrong before you open the book. In addition, source, redaction and form criticism tended to fragment the Bible. Most readers of the Bible, however, have respect for the integrity of the text. They bring an assumption of coherence, even with the multiplicity of voices present, which allows people to enter the dialogue for themselves. Most Episcopalians experience with Bible is in the lectionary and preaching, which functions as a canon within a canon. One of the ironies is that literalist Bible believing churches are just as selective in their reading as our lectionary is.
Feature Ferlo and Judy Fentress Williams How is the Bible best taught in Episcopal settings? JFW. I think good Bible teaching happens when a community is invited to enter into a dialogue with the text. People are empowered when they are given context. They deserve to know what kind of literature it is, why was it written, to whom was it written; that opens the conversation up considerably. RF. Interpretation of Scripture needs to be text-centered, relational, and embodied; all three. But textcentered does not mean that the text is univocal, and relational does not mean that everyone simply argues over authority. Scripture has its full meaning when its embodied in the prayer life of the community. My own practice as a priest has been liturgical, so I know that Scripture study does not stand alone. Just as a Shakespeare play does not stand apart from its performance, the Bible does not stand apart from worship and the mission and common life of the Episcopal Church. JFW. As a professor of Old Testament who interprets Scripture within and outside of faith contexts, I believe communities that engage the text must remember they do so alongside others. The work we do is part of a much larger dialogue. I’ve heard Judy say “when you open the Scripture, there’s already a party going on,” which I understand to mean that the Bible is a collection—maybe even a raucous collection—of many voices. Isn’t this confusing for ordinary readers? RF. It’s the multiplicity of voices within the text—the poetry and repetition itself—that invites a
dialogical reading of Scripture. People don’t know that the Bible is so multi-voiced. Every time I teach this within parishes it’s a revelation and a relief, because then the conversation with the community can be open-ended. JFW. An analogy I use is learning to read music in parts. A good musician can read one line and know it’s not the only line. When the music is performed it will include so much more than your part. The good news about Scripture is that there’s not a singular message. The bad news is that we’ve often tried to read it like a single voice, which does a disservice to the text and to our traditions. RF. It’s still hard, though, because the Bible is an ancient group of texts with an even more complex afterlife. Our church needs to identify people who love to teach Scripture and can get people to deeper conversation with the text. Then it becomes deeply generative. Generative of conversation, and also of what I call mental cramp; the complementarities and contradictions that make us both curious and uncomfortable. JFW. When you are reading the Bible and it makes you uncomfortable, pay attention! There are any number of reasons why Scripture might make us uncomfortable. Some bad, some good, but we don’t know the difference until we really listen to the contrary voices. For example, I don’t think we can arrive at a real turning of the other cheek until we fully engage our anger. Perhaps what the laments are trying to teach us is to turn our rage over to God. But we’ll never get there if we close the Bible at Psalm 137 and say “I don’t like this.” It’s the complexity of the text that
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Pacific Church News i Fall 2011
Feature Roger Ferlo and Judy Fentress Williams calls us into new ways of understanding. RF. This is one of the ways we teach discernment. We say “hear what the spirit is saying to God’s people.” OK then, what do you hear? Let’s gather a community around the text and talk about it. The community in conversation reconstitutes the book, and the reading aloud of Scripture reconstitutes the community. So it still matters that we read and wrestle with Bible in Episcopal congregational settings? Why? RF. Knowing the Bible is intrinsically worth it, because its part of our belief as Christians. This is the testimony we’ve been given. But testimonies need to be unpacked and critiqued as well as embraced. JFW. Unpacking and critiquing Scripture is the path to embracing Scripture. Understanding that what
The Lord’s Prayer
God communicates to us through Scripture requires work. But that’s why it needs to be read and studied in The Episcopal Church. We need to be able to model intelligent engagement with the text. RF. And we have to read with bold humility. Don’t be afraid, and recognize that the text is bigger than you are: that you are in a community of readers that extends across space and time. Reading Scripture well demands a relationship of mutual respect between text and reader. JFW. Yes, and… I don’t want our words about the work and challenges of biblical interpretation to obscure the fact that there is joy and wonder and delight as well. The work that goes into the study of Scripture is outweighed by the joy of discovery, again and again.
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Enacting the Lord’s Prayer How blessed Sheila and I are to be given the opportunity to worship in all our varied congregations! In them I experience both a commonality that has to do with participation and formation within the Episcopal Church, and I also witness beautiful diversity in practice. This diversity of practice extends to the enactment of the Lord’s Prayer; it is chanted in some places, sung in others; some congregations hold hands while praying the prayer; it is said or sung in Spanish, English, Cantonese, and other languages. To give you an idea of what Sheila and I are privileged to experience as we visit our congregations: a RimskyKorsakov’s version sung at All Souls’, Berkeley; another sung in Cantonese to a Chinese folk melody at Our Saviour, Oakland; an Afro-Caribbean version sung at St. Augustine’s, Oakland. Sean McConnell has produced some striking multi-media examples of how the Lord’s Prayer is enacted in our congregations. Visit diocal.org/pcn to enjoy these online.
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Why do you like the Bible?
I like the Bible because everyone is there, and we are shown time and time again that God can and does make use of the good, the bad, and the merely human. I started EfM to study the Bible because the Old Testament stories disturbed me, and I wanted them to make sense — I keep studying it in community because working through it with others inspires me to think and to greater faith.
162nd Diocesan Convention — October 21 and 22 Nominees to diocesan offices SECRETARY OF CONVENTION
St. Stephen's, Belvedere Marin Deanery Nominated by Roulhac Austin
St. Aidan's, San Francisco San Francisco Deanery Nominated by Kenneth Letsch and Cynthia Clifford
Why do you like the Bible?
Church of Our Saviour, Mill Valley Marin Deanery Nominated by Warren Wong
Jude Hill, SSF
Advent of Christ the King, San Francisco San Francisco Deanery Nominated by Michael Schreiber
Grace Cathedral, San Francisco San Francisco Deanery Nominated by Jack Jensen
STANDING COMMITTEE 1 Lay position (Class of 2015) and 1 Lay position (remainder of Class of 2013)
St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco San Francisco Deanery Nominated by Paul Fromberg
Education for Ministry really helped me to love the Bible. Why? Before it was like this ancient treasure chest full of jewels, yet I had no idea where the treasure map was hidden. EfM taught me that the map is best explored together, in a faith community of pilgrims on a journey.
STANDING COMMITTEE 1 Clergy position (Class of 2015)
St. Cyprian's, San Francisco San Francisco Deanery Nominated by Eric Metoyer
St. Timothy's, Danville Contra Costa Deanery Nominated by Mary Louise Gotthold
Christ Church — Sei Ko Kai, San Francisco San Francisco Deanery Nominated by Sue Thompson
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 2 positions; at least 1 position to be Lay (Class of 2014)
All Souls, Berkeley Alameda Deanery Nominated by Mary Louise Hint
Debra Low-Skinner St. Bartholomew's, Livermore So. Alameda Deanery Nominated by Carol Purcell
Grace Cathedral San Francisco Deanery Nominated by Dana Corsello
St. Paul's, Walnut Creek Contra Costa Deanery Nominated by Mary Louise Gotthold
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162nd Diocesan Convention — October 21 and 22 A labor of love, and of many
o you know how many people and moving parts there are behind the scenes of convention? Members of the diocese and diocesan staff come together making sure that the many pieces of convention are in place for our annual two days of fellowship, worship, and business in October. These dedicated people also work hard — primarily because they love the Diocese of California. One group oversees the resolutions process. Splitting into subcommittees, they work with presenters of each resolution to make sure the resolution is ready for presentation. Another group communicates to the diocese that nominations for offices are being received. Making sure the nominations have the necessary pieces in place, they compile materials on each nominee for publications and presentations. Still another group looks very closely at the business that needs to come before convention. They craft and produce an agenda, thus making sure the convention runs as smoothly as possible. Others consider the rules of convention; and more prepare the budget. Another group insures that proposed canonical changes are in order. Others take responsibility for voting and elections. Others plan worship. And yet another group makes sure all the congregations are represented and delegates are certified. There are people responsible for hospitality and nourishment. There are the deanery officers and delegates who come together and review the work, and there are the officers of convention who work very hard to make sure they have the pieces in place to help move business along. Finally, there are the members of Grace Cathedral’s staff who prepare the space for our use and clean up after we’ve gone. Suffice it to say that on October 21 & 22, hundreds of hours of human effort will blossom into the gathering that is the 162nd Convention of the Diocese of California. Because much of this work is ongoing, in this issue
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of Pacific Church News we would like to give you a brief overview of what you can expect. Nominations for offices to be elected by convention are on page 13. And here are some other helpful overviews. For the up-todate information on the 162nd Convention, visit diocal.org/convention. Convention theme This year’s convention will use as its guide, the Beloved Community Visioning Principals that were adopted by a special convention of the Diocese of California on May 10, 2008. These principals call us as a diocese to a common life rooted in spirituality, and committed to church vitality, embodied justice, and inclusive community, with transparent and accountable leadership. At the time of this writing, the Committee on the Dispatch of Business is still developing the agenda, but they are already working to make sure that the day’s worship, learning, and business fall under these themes. The day’s full agenda will be posted at diocal.org/convention soon. To live into our rooted spirituality, the full diocesan community is once again invited to join in the convention’s opening Eucharist on Friday night, October 21, at 7 p.m. Members of the diocese who are not delegates of convention are encouraged to pray for God’s blessing on the work of the diocese during the day’s business on Saturday. All are welcome to join their diocesan community before the opening Eucharist for an art opening featuring photographs by Paulo Porto of the landless, indigenous peoples of our companion diocese, Curitiba in Brazil. The photographs and small wooden animal sculptures will be on display in Gallery 1055, housed inside Diocesan House. The opening begins at 4:30 p.m. Dinner will be served to all on the cathedral’s plaza at 6 p.m.
162nd Diocesan Convention — October 21 and 22
Summary of resolutions submitted for consideration by convention This year’s business session on Saturday will consider only three resolutions and two canon changes. The resolutions are:
Publication of Consents Mr. Warren Wong has proposed that the Diocese of California forward a resolution to the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church (July, 2012) that would change the Canons of The Episcopal Church to increase transparency in the election of bishops. If adopted by General Convention, the amended canon would require publication of the consents given to the elections of new bishops by diocesan Standing Committees and sitting bishops within thirty days after the time to consent has closed. Dissenting votes would also be disclosed. Boycott of and Disinvestment from Israeli Settlements The Rev. Vicki Gray has submitted a resolution that urges “Episcopalians of the Diocese of California to divest from all companies that enable the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and to boycott all products manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank or East Jerusalem.” Her resolution also calls for individuals with specific retirement plans to urge those plans to follow similar actions. Campus Ministries A third resolution submitted by the Rev. Rob Keim and the Rev. John Sutton encourages the creation of a joint commission between the Diocese of California’s campus chaplaincies and our ecumenical partners (which currently include the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the United Methodist Church) to expand campus ministries and to raise funding for that expansion. Full texts of the most recent editions of all three resolutions are available at diocal.org/convention Summary of canon changes to be considered by convention Boundary Between Alameda and Contra Costa Deaneries (Canon 9.01)
Effect: Transfers St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Crockett from the Alameda Deanery to the Contra Costa Deanery.
Proponents: Alameda Deanery and Contra Costa Deanery.
Minutes Kept by Secretary, Executive Council, and Standing Committee (Canons 5.03, 8.02, and 16.01)
Effect: Modernizes the canons to conform to California law; makes explicit the duty of Executive Council and Standing Committee to keep minutes; defines rights of inspection of minutes. Proponents: Committee on Canons (as instructed by 2010 Diocesan Convention). Schedule of convention events at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Friday, October 21, 4 – 6 p.m. Registration for delegates, alternates, and clergy: Cathedral Nave
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Gallery 1055 Opening (DioHouse): Indigenous + Landless in the Diocese of Curitiba: The Photographs of Paulo Porto
6 p.m. Diocesan community dinner on the Cathedral’s plaza 7 p.m. Opening Eucharist, the Very Rev. Mark Richardson, Dean and President of CDSP, preaching
Saturday, October 22, 8 a.m. Registration opens: Cathedral Nave Exhibit Hall opens: Wilsey Conference Center 9 a.m. Convention is called to order
Noon Lunch and breakout sessions on resolutions 4:15 p.m. Closing prayer and adjournment
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The Daily Office: How Anglicans should learn to stop worrying by the Rev. Bertie Pearson Anglicans suffer from a selfimposed deprecation: We think Anglicans don’t know the Bible very well. In heated discussions with friends and family from fundamentalist traditions, we get asked questions like “Oh, yeah? But what about Nehemiah 5:10?” and we instantly freeze up. We think I really should know this... Ok, Nehemiah was one of the prophets, it was after the captivity... I think... and he... was upset about something? Right? So I’m just going to say... “Well, sure but what about the Beatitudes?” We get the feeling that they’ve really studied the Bible, memorized it, know it chapter and verse, and it makes us a little insecure. In reality, this is not because Christians from Fundamentalist traditions know the Bible better than Anglicans do, but because they read it in a different way. For many fundamentalist traditions, the essential Christian activity is Bible Study. Whether as a lone reader, from the pulpit, or in a Bible college, one reaches God through learning God’s many messages to God’s people. For Anglicans, however, the path to God is all about praying the Bible, meditating on God’s Holy Word. Take my close, personal friend George Fredrick Handel for example. Handel’s Messiah, or at the least
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its Hallelujah Chorus, has become an integral part of Christmas. It’s on countless X-Mass compilations, is pumped through the tinny speakers of every mall in America — and for hundreds of Episcopalians in the Diocese of California, going to hear The Messiah at Grace Cathedral is as much a part of Christmas preparation as Advent wreaths and eggnog. Thus, it may come as a surprise to learn that The Messiah was an oratorio written for Lent (All those hallelujahs in Lent?! Shocking!) and that narrative of The Messiah is not a Christmas story at all. Oratorio is a form of narrative concert: basically an opera minus the acting, props, and horned helmets. The plot is told entirely through the lyrics of the songs, and the libretto requires good, clear story telling to make the narrative comprehensible. Far from being limited to the birth of Christ, The Messiah is perhaps the most ambitious oratorio plot ever attempted: it spans the whole of Salvation History. Charles Jennen, Handel’s collaborator who wrote The Messiah’s libretto, tells the entire story of God’s relationship to humanity by weaving together tiny snatches of Biblical quotation. A line from Malachi here, one from Matthew there, then a snippet of a Psalm, a few words from Romans conjoined with
a phrase from Isaiah, and on and on. It’s a tapestry of Biblical quotations without attribution, and would be thought cruel and unusual if set before seminarians to identify as part of a Biblical literacy exam. For those lacking a profound grounding in Holy Scripture, it’s impenetrable; at best, a bunch of disconnected quotes which probably have something to do with Christmas. In a normal oratorio, each phrase would be expected to develop or reinforce the story with new information, but Jennen and Handel forge a new path: In The Messiah, each line evokes a whole theme of Biblical thought. In the minds of listeners intimately familiar with the Bible, each quote of The Messiah conjures up an entire world of imagery and theology. It is so all over the place, so meditative, so strangely cursory yet deep, that to understand the narrative — to draw any story arc from the piece at all — requires an intimate familiarity with the Old and New Testaments. Astonishingly, given all this, The Messiah did not produce uncomfortable shifty glances and awkward silences among its 18th and 19th century Anglican audiences. Instead, according to one opening night critic, writing for the Dublin News in 1742, “Words are wanting to express the exquisite delight it afforded to the admiring crowded audience. The sublime, the grand, and the tender, adapted to the most elevated, majestic and moving words, conspired to transport and charm the ravished heart and ear.” Its listeners completely understood the
g and love the Bible scope of the sweeping narrative, it was a hit. According to scholars, the completely mysterious popularity of The Messiah was attributable to one single factor: The Daily Office. In Handel’s day, a great swath of the British population, made up of every single Anglican clergy person, their families, and a great number of devout lay people, was habituated to saying The Daily Office: daily Morning and Evening prayer according to the BCP. Because of the ambitious lectionary set forth by Thomas Cranmer, this meant that a big chunk of the population read, marked, learned and inwardly digested nearly the whole of the Bible every two years. Thus it was not a shocking occurrence to meet someone who had read almost all of scripture 30, 40, or even 50 times, over the course of a lifetime. Not only read the Bible, but read it contemplatively, meditatively. Taking small pieces, one day at a time and praying them. Thus the British public of Handel’s day could hear a line from Malachi, and instantly recognize its context, its resonance with Genesis, Matthew, and Revelation and extrapolate from it to the whole of God’s relationship to humankind. They were not isolating passages to learn them, but taking passages and experiencing them; within the whole of God’s Holy Writ and within their own lives of faith. The Daily office is a reduction of the medieval Breviary, itself a portable reduction of the daily regimen of prayer outlined in monastic rules like that of Saint Benedict. Cranmer’s logic seems to
have been that all Christians, not merely clergy and religious, should lead lives in constant dialogue with God; each morning and evening sharing with God their hopes, needs, fears, and desires, and spending time contemplating God’s Holy Word — and lots of it. From the 16th century on, there has been endless controversy over Scripture among Anglicans. Do we keep it in Latin? How broadly poetic can our translations be? Should we listen to the new schools of criticism? Do we take it literally or figuratively? Can we come to an understanding of an historical Jesus outside the text? Just between the pages of this slender magazine, you may encounter a myriad of models of “correct” Anglican Biblical interpretation. While we may disagree on how we interpret Scripture, we have a common way of reading it. In the Daily Office, we live with and in God’s Word daily, letting it shape us, become us, sink into our bones. As theologian Owen Thomas points out in his wonderfully enlightening little book Christian Life and Practice: Anglican Essays, we are of a tradition that essentially defines itself neither by a shared creed nor by a shared conversion experience, but by our practice. Regardless of the interpretive lens through which each of us views Holy Scripture, as Anglicans we don’t read the Bible to find easily quotable passages that prove that we’re right, nor do we read in the expectation of being bowled over by emotional experience. Instead, we read scripture as an act of prayer — as a stream of our lifelong dialogue with God. Early church theologians spoke of the fundamental importance
of askesis in coming to God. This Greek term is sometimes translated as asceticism, but this translation has the danger of being misunderstood as penitential self-denial; I think a better translation of askesis is Spiritual Jazzercise. The basic idea behind askesis is this: just like building a muscle, the development of a relationship with God, and the capacity to emulate Christ’s life of selfless love, takes exercise. The Daily Office is an intensive Anglican cardio program for enlarging the soul and growing in likeness to our creator. One of its most important exercises is a hefty daily dose of the Old Testament, a passage from the Epistles, Acts or Revelation, and a portion of the Gospels. The beauty of praying the office as askesis — not just as an occasional experience, but as part of a rule of life — is that, like having a personal trainer, you get your workout even when you don’t feel like it! This means you keep growing in relationship with God when you’re at your holiest and most Christlike and in the other 95% of your life. It’s interesting to think about those 18th and 19th century Anglican Messiah fans who clearly knew the Bible as well as a fundamentalist preacher, but as deeply as a mystic. What would it be like if the Daily Office made a major comeback? If each of us could afford to carve out 20 to 40 minutes of each day to give to God, to read almost the whole of Scripture in two years and deepen our lives of faith? What would it be like to become a fan of the Messiah like a fan of The Messiah, and make a commitment to say Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, or both for the next two years or more? Pacific Church News i Fall 2011
THE REV. MATTHEW DUTTON-GILLETT
The Bible as conversation
have recently returned to a spiritual discipline I had gotten away from for a while: a more focused reading of the Bible. You might be surprised to read that I had gotten away from regular Bible reading. After all, aren’t clergy supposed to be reading the Bible all the time? You would be surprised. Mostly, I deal with the biblical passages that are to be read in church the upcoming Sunday. But when that is the focus of your biblical reading, you notice after a while that your sense of the Bible becomes a bit disjointed, because you are really interacting with Scripture in a piecemeal way: a passage here, a passage there. So, I’ve returned to following a scheme that is rooted in an Eastern Christian monastic practice, which is to read one chapter of a Gospel and two chapters of another New Testament writing in order. When one begins, for example, one starts by reading the first chapter of Matthew (the first Gospel in the order of the New Testament) and then the first two chapters in Acts (the first book after the gospels). The next day, you then read the second chapter of Matthew and the third and fourth chapter of Acts, and so on. The practice is also accompanied by a reading of the Psalms in order over a period of about 20 days. While it is true that this scheme leaves out all of the Hebrew Scriptures except the Psalms, it also reflects the fact that, as a follower of Jesus, the primary biblical texts for me are the New Testament writings. It is into the image of Christ that I seek to be formed. What I find valuable about this practice is that it allows me to become more immersed in the Bible, like a kind of spiritual marinade. Sustained reading of the biblical text allows it to gradually seep into me. And it brings me into a kind of sustained dialogue with the Bible and, through the Bible, with the Spirit. And it is this dialogue that to me constitutes the most valuable way of approaching the Bible. Rather than treating it like some kind of textbook as some people seem to do, I find it valuable to place myself in conversation with the Bible. In doing so, I often find myself challenged by the text and I find myself challenging the text in return. I don’t always agree with everything I find in the Bible; sometimes I am led to the conclusion that the biblical authors missed something or got something wrong. That process forces me to ask myself what I may be getting wrong. This back and forth with the Bible leads me, I think, to a place of deeper encounter with the living God. It is a sacred dialogue that helps to form me as a follower of Jesus. So many people seem to think that the Bible is supposed to be the end of the conversation. In fact, I am increasingly sure that it is meant to be the beginning of a conversation that lasts a lifetime. The Bible is not the limit beyond which we cannot go; rather, it is the jumping off point, a springboard
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into friendship with God. Renovaré’s The Life with God Bible If we are to put ourselves in conversation with the Bible, one of the first decisions we need to make is which Bible to use. The Life with God Bible (previously published as The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible) is a good option because it unites two types of Bibles into one. While one can find a number of options for study Bibles as well as devotional Bibles, rarely does one encounter a Bible that seeks to be both. The Life with God Bible presents the scholarly insights and devotional reflections of 51 different contributors who represent an impressive cross-section of the Christian community. Rather than adopting one particular perspective, the Renovaré Bible allows a number of different perspectives to coexist in the same text. What unites those perspectives is what the editors call the “Immanuel Principle,” the conviction that God is with us as we live our lives. To quote Quaker theologian and Renovaré founder, Richard J. Foster: “The Bible is all about human life ‘with God’. As we read Scripture, we should consider how God is with us in each story and allow ourselves to be spiritually transformed.” The Renovaré Bible uses the New Revised Standard Version, widely considered the best English translation ever produced, and is available in two editions, one containing the Apocrypha and one without.
News in Photos In July, the board of Episcopal Charities announced that they had hired Kathleen Piraino as the organization’s new Executive Director. Piraino received her Juris Doctor from University of Chicago Law School and is a longtime parishioner at Our Saviour, Mill Valley, where she has served as Senior Warden, Stewardship Chair, and Capital Campaign Chair. She has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, including serving as Chair of the Board of Governors of Ohlhoff Recovery Programs and on the boards of several schools. She is a supporter of the emerging “area ministry” model within the church, and is excited about working with Episcopal Charities Action Networks.
Ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday afternoon, June 4: standing with Bishop Marc (left to right) the Rev. Justin Russell Cannon, the Rev. Patricia Ann Waychus Pearson, and the Rev. John F. Trubina. On July 27, the Rev. J. Cameron Ayers was received into The Episcopal Church in a service at the Chapel of St. George at The Bishop’s Ranch. The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus presided. Ayers was formerly a priest of the Society of Jesus in the Roman Catholic Church.
Once again, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Lutherans and Episcopalians and their supporters gathered for the San Francisco Pride Eucharist and Parade on June 24. The Eucharist got the day going for these pride-filled people of faith. This year, Bishop Marc was away from the diocese, and the Bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson celebrated the Eucharist and participated in the parade on Bishop Marc’s behalf. The crowds along the parade route gave the Lutheran and Episcopalian contingents a warm and heart-filled reception. (Photos: the Rev. Sam Dessordi Leite)
Since the last issue, the Diocese of California lost two of our beloved priests. The Rev. John Beverly Butcher, author and former rector of St. Peter’s, San Francisco, died on June 18. The Rev. William (Bill) Merrill Fay, beloved associate priest at All Souls, Berkeley, died on August 5.
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Fall 2011 • Vol. 148 No. 3 • The quarterly magazine of the Diocese of California, The Episcopal Church