Cow Hollow Church News
The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
St. Mary’s at 125: A Story of Amazing Grace
The Very Rev. Dr. Donald Brown, Interim Rector
One of the most popular hymns in America is “Amazing Grace.” Written in 1773 by Anglican clergyman, John Newton, it recounts the miraculous ways in which the love of God both sustains and transforms our lives.
I’ve taken much comfort in the words of this hymn, especially during my time here at St. Mary’s. This 125th anniversary year has been a time of struggles in part because of the sudden and necessary departure of the former rector. There has also been friction arising from a long‐needed effort to create a working environment in which all our staff and volunteers can feel valued and exercise their skills in a harmonious and positive environment.
As the vestry, staff, clergy, and other lay leaders have been working through these concerns, I have often been reminded of the “Amazing Grace” of God and how that grace, even in the most inauspicious of times, has sustained St. Mary’s over the last century and a quarter.
Fr. William Bolton, founding rector of St. Mary’s in 1891, established that the parish would be Anglo‐Catholic in ceremonial practices. His churchmanship brought him into conflict with other diocesan clergy, and in 1898 he resigned his rectorship. The next rector lasted one year. The third rector arrived in 1899 and drowned in a swimming accident in 1900. The fourth rector arrived later that year and continued the Anglo‐Catholic traditions at St. Mary’s and in 1903 abandoned the Episcopal Church for Roman Catholicism. Following his departure the parish went into a long and serious membership decline. It would not be until 1942 that the parish census rebounded. The financial situation had become so desperate in 1918 that the parish became a mission of Grace Cathedral, then of the diocese, and it did not become a parish again until 1940. With the rectorship of Fr. Keppel Hill (1948‐1966), St. Mary’s vitality and ministry improved markedly, and this continued with the coming of Fr. Richard Fowler in 1966 whose tenure ended with his retirement in 1999. One major controversy during his rectorship came when his assistant, Fr. William Barcus, came out in a sermon as a gay man in 1978. But with this and every other difficulty, St. Mary’s was saved by the grace of God.
As the fourth verse of “Amazing Grace” reminds us: “Through many dangers, toils and snares [we] have already come; ‘tis grace that brought [us] safe thus far, and grace will lead [us] home.” St. Mary’s is still here at the corner of Union and Steiner precisely because our parish has been “Saved By Grace.”
God’s grace will be leading us this fall and winter as the pace picks up on September 11 with Rally Day, recently known as “Homecoming.” Our Church School and Youth programs are fully staffed and welcoming
new and returning students. More opportunities for adults to grow and deepen their faith and understanding will be offered. All of our beloved musical and liturgical traditions will continue as usual. With the fine outreach work being led by Deacon Tim Smith, we will be looking for new ways to impact our neighborhood and the world beyond. Relatedly, planning is underway for St. Mary’s delightful December outreach fundraiser.
All of us have personally experienced strain and separation in relationships in our personal lives. Here at St. Mary’s, some parishioners have found themselves with differing opinions on matters of parish life. In order to assist each of us in moving forward in a more positive direction, David Crosson and a leadership team he has assembled, are offering quarterly programs. The first one, titled, “Listening to the Spirit in Community with Indaba” is detailed in the story on page 13.
One of the most amazing and helpful lay ministries in the life of St. Mary’s is called “Stephen Ministry” after Stephen the first deacon appointed by the apostles to help those in need in the early church. We will begin training new lay ministers this fall. Most people who participate in Stephen Ministry training have told me that it’s proven to also be helpful in how they navigate issues in their families and at work. See the story on page 19 for details.
News of Note from the Sr. Warden Jim Griffith 125 Reasons to be Thankful
We at St. Mary’s are thankful for an amazing number of gifts in our lives. We are also thankful for many things at St. Mary’s. In our 125th anniversary year, it is fitting to remember all that is so wonderful about our parish. Here are 125 things (in no particular order!) about our church that make me thankful. May this list remind you why this community is a blessing, and worthy of your spiritual and financial support.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
St. Mary’s has indeed been “Saved By Grace” and so has each of us. Theological author, Frederick Buechner, tells us, “The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.” He adds, “There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it.” There are many opportunities where you can experience the grace of God at St. Mary’s this fall. I urge you to reach out and take them. Page 2
The sconces with real candles. Magnificent flowers on the altar, every Sunday. Wednesday morning Holy Eucharist. The fountain in the courtyard. Watching two‐year olds almost fall into the fountain! Coffee after the 8:00 a.m. service. Coffee after the 9:00 a.m. service. Coffee after the 11:00 a.m. service. Chatting with friends, waiting for Sunday school to be over. The classic copper steeple. The deep community that is St. Mary’s. Walking the side garden. Wisteria in bloom over the garden gate. 14. Marta Johnson. 15. The organ, especially with Eric Choate. 16. Creaking pews. 17. Children’s homily by Mike Stafford. 18. Fran Hegeler’s hats. 19. The Parish Choir. 20. The Handbell Choir. 21. Children and Youth Choirs. 22. The Mary statue in the garden: absolutely captures the emotion. 23. Summer in the City’s great line‐ up of speakers! 24. The 1928 prayer book: at least the memory of it! The Santa Lucia Pageant. The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
26. The Three Kings Pageant and the amazing banners and make‐up! 27. The Courtyard mural—and Lauren MacDonald’s amazing history! 28. The sound of the fountain. 29. Sandy Stadtfeld en kilt. 30. The animals at the 3:00 p.m. Christmas pageant. 31. Claire giggling. 32. Phil Woodward and his long standing leadership of Confirmation Classes. 33. Carla’s organization and good nature. 34. Huddling in the courtyard on a typical S.F. summer day. 35. The Legacy Society. 36. Pat and Mike Lusse’s endless contributions. 37. All Acolytes and the memory it brings me from years ago. 38. We have solar panels! 39. Shrove Tuesday pancake supper. 40. The children’s collection after the children’s homily. 41. The beautiful St. Mary’s banner behind the pulpit. 42. The annual Youth Mission Trip. 43. Kevin Bulivant’s Canadian humor. 44. The 22 Fillmore bus stop is 25 steps from the church. 45. Sandy Briggs. 46. Ted Thompson’s listening gift. 47. The crèche in the rear of the church at Christmastime. 48. The heavy, foreboding iron gates. 49. All things the Outreach Committee touches. 50. Don Brown’s dry humor. 51. Sandra Gary’s patience with the contributors to the Cow Hollow Church News. 52. Greeting the priest after a particularly great sermon. 53. Memory of Dixon Heise greeting folks at the 8:00 a.m. service. 54. Claire’s blessing at service end. 55. “Just the right amount” of incense at high holy holidays. 56. The Leonardo Raffaello Madonna hanging above the pews. Cow Hollow Church News
63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73.
82. 83. 84. 85.
86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91.
57. 33 steps to the kneeling rail from the back of the church. 58. Jan Bolles. 59. Hearing English accents. 60. Deb White’s recall of facts. 61. Peter Musto, the consummate usher. 62. Easter morning. Sitting in the balcony. A brother or sister holding a candle for their newly baptized sibling. Mary Morganti’s historical posters. Foyer Groups. Cynthia MacKay. Mystic Vision painting above the altar. Stephen Ministry. The always clean bathrooms. Eating anything Steven Currier has made for the Christmas Pantry Sale. The amazing savings from the solar panels! David Crosson and Natalie Hala. 74. Rose’s Café just across the street! 75. The St. Mary Magdalene Fund for scholarships for girls. 76. The best Sunday School program in S.F. 77. The beautiful landscaping. 78. Manny’s many years of service. 79. Short sermons. 80. Scott Richardson’s contributions to St. Mary’s during his three years as rector. 81. Arriving early at the 8:00 a.m. service and having the place to yourself. Babies acting like they truly like the baptisms. The three best Nancys: Nancy Bryan, Nancy Clark, and Nancy Clothier. Midnight Christmas Eve service. Wishing everyone “Merry Christmas” after the midnight service—and not having to say “Happy Holidays” to be PC. Anytime there is cake in the courtyard to celebrate anything. The pure joy of children seeing their friends in the courtyard. Copy machines that work. Will Long and Ray Hahn. The beautiful St. Mary’s Christmas cards. The Christmas Pantry Sale. Fall 2016
92. The beautiful wreaths sold at Christmas. Sunday School News 93. The rich history of St. Mary’s and how it Nancy Clark, Sunday School Co‐Director survived many challenges. 94. “Notes from the Archive” publications in the “Homecoming,” “Rally Day,” “Opening Day”— Sunday Bulletins. whatever you choose to call it, Sunday, September 95. The amazing “Stop Hunger Now” effort. 11 will be the start of our program year at St. 96. The strong lay leadership that has always been Mary’s and the first day of Sunday School. Families St. Mary’s. can register on‐line at www.smvsf.org or in the 97. The thoughtful, thorough work by the Search courtyard on Sundays in September. As always, Committee. our aim in Sunday School is to include all our 98. All Stewardship Chairs. children in community life at St. Mary’s. Feeling at 99. The classic “lych gate” entrance to St. Mary’s. ease in the Sunday School classrooms, meeting 100. Candlelight Concerts. children from other schools, learning a new prayer 101. “Telling Our Stories” project. or two, hearing Bible stories, learning about saints 102. The annual Bishop’s Ranch Retreat. and heroes, figuring out what we do in church and 103. The St. Francis statue in the north garden. why we do those things ‐‐ those are components of 104. The dogwood tree in the courtyard garden. our Sunday School “curriculum.” 105. Belle McBride. A schedule for the first 106. A well‐balanced church budget. semester of Sunday School 107. A healthy church endowment. will be posted soon. Regular 108. www.smvsf.org. classes will meet every 109. Tim Smith. Sunday in the fall except the 110. The dedication and commitment long weekends of the of the Lay Eucharistic Visitors. Columbus Day holiday and 111. Guy Kornblum: he fixed the copy Thanksgiving. Packed into Children engaged in our summer machine issues! that first semester will also program, “Brick by Brick.” 112. 125th Anniversary logo. be special activities for St. 113. Serenity of the columbarium; and, Francis Day, and the combined Dia de los seeing it from an outside view. Muertos/Halloween/All Saints holidays. Built into 114. The memory of Richard Fowler. the schedule will be the Bible Times Market and, 115. My daughter being baptized over a during Advent, the Virgin of Guadalupe and Santa Thanksgiving weekend. Lucia celebrations. We’re also planning a spirited 116. The Outreach Grant efforts. family Bible Heroes Bingo/Lotto game. 117. My wedding ceremony 29 years ago over a Labor Day weekend. We look forward to a spirited, productive Sunday 118. The gold lettering above the lych gate. School year, appropriate for the continued 119. My daughter’s confirmation at Grace—and celebration of our 125th year. Remember, our St. Mary’s having the largest class! parish started as a tiny mission Sunday School 120. Serving as a chalice bearer. right here in Cow Hollow. We invite you to join the 121. Jan Griffin’s sermons. team of Sunday School teachers. All materials are 122. Rebuilding Together. provided, as well as on‐going support and 123. St. Mary’s long service to Rafael House. encouragement. Benefits of this ministry abound, 124. “Ashes to Go” and the stories that came not only for the children themselves but also for the from it! well‐being of our parish and the advancement of 125. YOU spiritually moral citizenship in the years to come. 0B
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Creation Care Re-Boot
Saturday evening, my husband came home and said, “Put on your boots and get over to St. Anna Sylvester, Chair Mary’s—that Creation Care Banner is on display. I saw it from the 45 bus.” Of course I tore over, and I From time to time, every computer, every ministry, cried when I saw how beautiful the banner looked and every one of us needs a re‐boot. in the spot Manny had chosen, just above our natural spring. In the two years since I joined St. Mary’s, I’ve learned a few things about how things work and The July 10 Summer in the City forum, given by the who to ask for what. I read the 2015 Annual Report Very Rev. Mark Richardson, Dean of the Church but didn’t see anything Divinity School of the about the Creation Care Pacific, was aptly titled, Ministry. I was surprised, “Life of the Spirit and and asked Stephen Koch, Connection to the Earth.” It the person most was a call to nurture the responsible for our solar relationship between panels, to fill me in. spirituality and care for Stephen gave me some creation. Creation Care background and Sunday liturgy and prayers encouraged me to go ahead emphasized these thoughts and try for a re‐boot. and spoke eloquently to our ministry’s stewardship. With support from Seminarian Christie The Feast of St. Francis is a Fleming and the Rev. Deb special day for all of us San White, I called a meeting to Franciscans. We love the discuss a re‐boot of the story of St. Francis, his Creation Care Ministry. character, his love of God’s Ellen McLean, Anna creation. To celebrate our Sylvester, and Sandra City’s Patron Saint on Anna Sylvester on Earth Day, re‐booting Creation Care. Gary met—later joined Sunday, October 2, we will by Kim Regan— to work offer a blessing of animals in our unique setting. St. on the Earth Day liturgy and other ways to Mary’s has a lovely statue of St. Francis in our celebrate Earth Day in April. The Rev. Deb White sweet north garden on Union Street, and our checked the appointed liturgy for the day and we church courtyard is blessed with a natural spring. all agreed it was perfect. We suggested hymns Our spring’s Koi and Goldfish will play their roles, which Christie took to Associate Director of Music and there will be a guest appearance by “Ace,” a Eric Choate for the choir. Deb promised to deliver beautiful, gentle Golden Retriever. Pam Sauer, our one of her signature homilies. We also decided to Creation Care Ministry consulting artist, is put on a “sustainable coffee hour” with nothing designing something wonderful for us. paper (ceramic cups instead) and a special organic coffee on our table that displayed our Creation If you want to be involved with the Creation Care Care Banner. Ministry, want to learn more, have some ideas, or want to help out, please talk to me or email me at Sunday July 10 was the next of St. Mary’s quarterly firstname.lastname@example.org. Creation Care Sundays. On the preceding 1B
Cow Hollow Church News
Youth Mission Trip to Kenya 2B
Mike Stafford, Director of Youth Programs
Seven teens and two adults traveled all the way from St. Mary’s to Western Kenya for our annual Youth Mission Trip. The destination was the Nambale Magnet School (NMS), a Pre‐K through 8th grade school in the western part of the country. The two‐week trip exemplified why Youth Mission Trips are important: the teens bonded as a team, accomplished meaningful service, and most importantly broadened their understanding of who their neighbors are, and how to love and serve them in the name of Christ. As Missioner Stella Smith says, “Our trip to Africa really changed my life. You donʹt really understand how the people there are living until you live with them. I will be forever grateful for getting to experience it, and it is something I will never forget.”
Travel to Nambale was arduous. After a 24‐hour journey, we got to Nairobi, Kenya, where we spent the night in a hotel. The next morning we flew across the country to Kisumu, where two SUVs
Mike and Riley watching a football match from the comfort of the playground.
Founded by the Rev. Evalyn Wakhusama in 2002, the Nambale Magnet School has a specific mission: to serve some of the poorest of the poor. With financial support from American and Kenyan donors, a third of the 300 students at the school are on full scholarship and would not otherwise have access to education.
took two hours to get us to the school. Immediately upon our arrival we were greeted with love and enthusiasm. Evalyn met us, along with Gama Ondre, the Head Teacher. We toured the school grounds and farm, and then got to meet the kids. Dozens of little kids swarmed us, played with us, taught us Kiswahili (the local language), braided our hair, and just connected with us. The mutual joy of our presence at the school was palpable. We were lucky to stay for most of the trip at the school’s newly‐constructed guest house; called “Karibu House” (Karibu means welcome in Kiswahili). Our main service to the school was painting the exterior of buildings. We worked to finish the guest house, the dining hall, and the two dormitories. Every morning was dedicated to painting, led by Simon, also known as “Dr. Marangi” (the Paint Doctor). The intense heat made the painting Enjoying the newly‐painted NMS Guest House (Karibu House). From challenging from time to time, but we left to right: The Rev. Evalyn Wakhusama, Stella Smith, Maddie persevered. The Paint Doctor brought us Vestal, Bayard Walsh, a Kenyan laborer, Virginia Norris, Duncan gifts as well as paint, including handmade Walsh, Simon (the Paint Doctor), Joey Moore, Ginny Woodworth, Mike Stafford, and Riley Haggin. bracelets, a jackfruit, and sugar cane. It was
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lovely to see a lasting and meaningful transformation come to the school buildings.
After cleaning up the paint, we would have a late lunch and then spend time with the NMS students after their classes. Sometimes we would join a football game, or simply talk, or sing with the kids. Tea was served every afternoon, and not long after that came dinner, followed by evening devotionals with the students. That was an incredibly beautiful event to witness; the abundant faith and hope expressed in song and prayer moved our hearts significantly. Our group would return to the guest house for our own evening reflection and some time to unwind by playing cards.
experience an East African Market Day. When the students returned from their break, we were back to our daily routine.
Finally, after ten days of service and forging relationships, it was time to leave the Nambale Magnet School and head out on safari. The students sang a beautiful blessing to our group, and we experienced a poignant mixture of joy and sadness as we took leave of the school.
One very special day was called Sports A long drive by Ginny Woodworth and Maddie Vestal getting Day. The entire student body was divided their hair braided. the safari into four teams that would compete company took throughout the day. The students’ parents and us south to the Masai Mara National Park, where guardians were invited to attend and participate, as we saw some of the most striking beauty of God’s were many other members of the Nambale creation. Zebras, elephants, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, community. Our group led the students in their wildebeest, gazelles, buffalos, hippos and other warm‐up, and then joined each team in its grand wild creatures all moved through their natural habitat. entrance to the field of play. There were races, relays, and incessant cheering, all to the music of a The teens were unanimous in their agreement that local band. The NMS girls and boys each played a as incredible as the safari was, the more meaningful football match against a neighboring school, and experience was at the school. As missioner Joey there was a Staff‐Parent football match, during Moore says, “Kenya was a stunning experience for which Mike scored two goals (much to the surprise me. Interacting with the people and seeing their of everybody). The day ended with trophies to the day‐to‐day lives was very captivating. It gave me a winning team (“Simba,” meaning lion). Then most new outlook on poverty and the education of the students system in a developing country.” headed home for a three‐day break. Overall, the trip was among the most moving and transformative of St. Mary’s During that break, Youth Mission trips. “To see so many the 7th and 8th children so grateful for all that God has graders remained given them and so happy to live and love to continue their the Lord, gave me the opportunity to studies. Our reexamine my life and my relationship with group worshiped Duncan Walsh getting to know NMS God,” says Ginny Woodworth. “Iʹm so with them on students. thankful to have been able to witness such Sunday morning. unbounded joy; like the children singing Later, we wandered into the town of Nambale to Cow Hollow Church News
their hearts out and studying relentlessly every night even without power. I am forever changed by this spectacular and remarkable experience.ʺ
Interim Pastor Departs
In July, Interim Pastor Ted Thompson announced his departure from St. Mary’s. He noted that he was mindful of ongoing discussions about the parish’s needs, consulted with Bishop Marc, and determined that August 31 seemed the right time. He will turn his attention to completing his doctoral dissertation.
We all long to return to the school as soon as possible. Having had such an unusually transformative experience this year, our teens would love to work with St. Mary’s to continue the
The Rev. Edward E. “Ted” Thompson
Virginia Norris and Stella Smith painting Karibu House.
relationship with NMS, allowing us to return in the future. It would be impractical to make an annual Youth Group trip to Kenya, but we are committed to return as soon as possible. In addition, the youth felt that this experience should not be limited to teens, but should be expanded to include St. Mary’s adult parishioners. A group at the parish is forming to explore this continued relationship; anyone interested in exploring ways to further this mission should contact Mike Stafford at email@example.com. HTU
Through the generosity of the parish, we were able to send seven teens and two adults halfway around the world to serve and experience Christ at the Nambale Magnet School. The church was also able
Youth Mission Trippers on safari.
to donate over $8900 to the school for its continued mission to serve the children of western Kenya. As the kids at NMS regularly and joyfully shouted, “God is good all the time! All the time God is good, and that is nature; wow! God is great!”
Several people have asked me about the topic of my doctoral dissertation, which I will pick up again this fall with the help of a writing grant from the diocese. Some at St. Mary’s will know that I left parochial ministry to study how to help our Church, and religious communities in general, become better partners at peacemaking in response to sectarian violence. Although my initial focus was outward, after my studies I was called instead to help congregations with internal conflicts. I came to accept that working within congregations was part of preparing congregations to be effective at peacemaking beyond themselves.
So I altered the topic of my dissertation to focus on what I had been doing within congregations. More specifically, I am applying the Insight Approach to conflict resolution in a study of the cognitional awareness of the intervenor. The Insight Approach maps the range of questioning a subject is doing against the types of questioning involved as we make meaning of our world. In conflict situations in particular, people often get stuck in vary narrow bandwidths, closed off to whole territories of questions which could open up creative problem‐ solving. Without the self‐awareness to know when we are stuck in a cognitive cul‐de‐sac, we draw conclusions and make decisions which can be far from optimal.
I am interested to explore what this means in a religious community where we speak of such things as Spirit and grace. Conflict resolution as an area of study and set of interconnected disciplines
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has come to recognize that religious communities can be part of the solution in peacemaking endeavors. But researchers have struggled, in my view, to apprehend and explore adequately the function of religious experience in that work. Because the Insight Approach offers a bridge between philosophical and theological concerns, I am optimistic that the study will contribute something to the field (which is what the dissertation committee requires for approval). Your prayers would be appreciated!
St. Mary’s is replete with levels of spiritual strength and gifts one can only come to know over time, and I am grateful for having had time with you to experience some of that. I also appreciate the vulnerability the parish has shared with me in various ways. Trust is perhaps the most precious gift a congregation can give a priest. To whatever degree you have felt able to give that to me, thank you. I look forward to hearing of all the good works God continues to do in and through you. Don’t be surprised if you see me in the pews from time to time! Blessings.
Maternity Leave 3B
The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna and Natalie Hala
As announced last spring, our Associate Rector, the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, and her husband, Haamid, are expecting their second child this fall. Claire oversees much of our common liturgical and programmatic life, and the vestry and clergy have been thinking carefully in recent months about how to ensure continuity and creativity in the coming months.
provide some financial support to the parish during these 12 weeks to ensure others are fairly compensated for seeing us through this transition. Interim Rector the Very. Rev. Dr. Don Brown and Interim Pastor the Rev. Dr. Deb White will assume Claire’s clerical duties, and Natalie Hala, St. Mary’s Verger, will come on staff part‐time to assist with administrative and other responsibilities.
Natalie Hala has a long history of active ministry here at St. Mary’s and in the wider Church. Natalie and her spouse, David Crosson, have been members of St. Maryʹs since 2006. During this time Natalie has served as chalice bearer, thurifer, Lay Eucharistic Visitor (currently she coordinates this ministry), Co‐Chair of Adult Christian Formation, and on a discernment committee. She also currently serves on our Rector Search Committee. At the diocesan level, she serves as the co‐trainer for laity seeking certification as Lay Eucharistic Ministers and Lay Eucharistic Visitors. She serves as a ceremonial verger at Grace Cathedral. Natalie is also a Fellow of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church (the only verger in the Diocese of California who has achieved the designation of Fellow).
Natalie currently serves as the lay representative at St. Mary’s weekly liturgy team meetings, working directly with the clergy and the music staff in the planning and implementation of liturgy, sacraments, and worship. Natalie will be continuing her study of liturgy and worship through the Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific this fall.
Claire intends to visit St. Mary’s and occasionally celebrate while she is on leave, as she did when her daughter, Claire’s maternity leave will last 12 Safina, was born in 2014, but the weeks, beginning in mid‐October Verger Natalie and the Rev. Claire parish will be in very good hands and ending in early January. The while her energies are focused exact dates for this will be elsewhere. Claire and Haamid are grateful for your announced as soon as they are determined. prayers and support as they prepare to welcome Thankfully, the Church Pension Fund offers a their son in just a few weeks. generous benefit for new mothers and it will Cow Hollow Church News
Reflections from Deacon Tim 4B
The Rev. Tim Smith
I can’t believe that just one year ago on June 13 at Grace Cathedral I was ordained as a deacon by Bishop Marc Andrus. And what a year it has been! After 35 years as a parishioner at St. Mary’s and then three years of studies at the School for Deacons, I never imagined that I would experience in my first year as an ordained deacon the loss and sadness that I have felt in my heart for our parish.
my diaconal vows and encourage others to live out their baptismal vows in the following ways during the past quarter.
Stop Hunger Now On May 21 in Fowler Hall in partnership with Stop Hunger Now, a U.S.‐based non‐profit dedicated to eradicating global hunger, we packaged 10,158 meals in just two hours for an impoverished community somewhere in the world to be designated by SHN. Almost 150 parishioners, their friends, neighbors, and others from the community, including those learning about the event from the website Meetup helped to make our food packaging together an extraordinary event!
Yet it has also been for me a year of gratitude, humility, and joy. I feel very blessed and humbled to have heard God’s call in my heart to serve as The presence of the Holy Spirit parish deacon at St. Mary’s was felt both inside and outside and to be present with all of the walls of St. Mary’s. Of the 150 you in our faith community as participants (ranging in age from we heal, renew, and restore primary school children to ourselves together in retirees) about half were from the community from the sadness parish, and the others were from and loss experienced over the the community! past year. Thanks to the We have learned that our presence of the Holy Spirit in 150 volunteers packaged 10,158 meals for SHN. meals have recently been our lives and to a robust shipped to North Korea where partnership between laity and clergy, including our they will be made available through a SHN in‐ interim clergy who have performed heroically and country partner organization, Christian Friends in selflessly at a difficult time, I believe we’ve made Korea, to patients in hepatitis and tuberculosis much progress in healing and rebuilding our hospitals and sanatoriums in North Korea. community as we begin our search for a new rector. Our food packaging event on May 21 was so joyful and community‐building that we are planning to It has also been a joy for me personally to have the partner again with SHN for a food packaging event opportunity to honor my diaconal vows while before the end of the year. I invite everyone in the serving as parish deacon. These vows include community interested in helping to reduce global interpreting to the Church the needs, concerns, and hunger to help us at our next event! hopes of the world, as well as enabling and facilitating my sisters and brothers in Christ to live Food Bank out their baptismal vows of seeking and serving Our food delivery ministry in partnership with the Christ in all persons and respecting the dignity of San Francisco‐Marin Food Bank continues to every human being. prosper and grow. Every Thursday morning a group of parishioners and friends from the Thanks to an enthusiastic response and a deep community gather in the outer courtyard of St. reservoir of support from parishioners and others Mary’s to receive food from the Food Bank truck outside in the community I’ve been able to honor Page 10
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and then to allocate it to different teams for delivery to more than 25 Food Bank recipients in neighborhoods not far from the church. A total of about 20 volunteers and alternate volunteers graciously provide their services every Thursday morning.
and chants, and to learn how Muslims live out their faith during the holy month of Ramadan. About 300 people attended, and our evening together successfully integrated those representing different faiths into a single community honoring and respecting each other’s faith. It was a joy and a gift to be present at an interfaith convocation emphasizing the similarities of our faiths, not the differences.
I have observed that our food ministry volunteers and alternate volunteers feel as much joy and gratitude in serving in this ministry as the recipients feel when we bring food to them. In many respects our ministry is as much a gift for Food Bank team at work: Left to right: Marta the volunteers as it is Johnson, John Addeo, Barbara Addeo, Ilia for the recipients! It Smith, and Georgene Keeler. has also been a wonderful opportunity to observe first‐ hand how our food recipients are sustaining themselves through assistance from the Food Bank and the City.
Another group of parishioners from St. Mary’s led by the Rev. Don Brown, attended a presentation in the Financial District of San Francisco on American Muslims and how they live out their faith. The presentation was delivered by Maha Eiganaidi, founder and CEO of the Islamic Networks Group located in Silicon Valley. Its goal is to affirm religious pluralism and the common features that the Muslim faith shares with Christianity and Judaism. We’re hoping to invite her to come to St. Mary’s to share her reflections and hopes for interfaith The Food Bank continues to receive reconciliation and requests for food from a growing number joint initiatives in the of elderly and disabled individuals. We U.S. I hope that as a can grow our ministry if we can attract faith community we more volunteers. at St. Mary’s will have increasing Interfaith Dialogue opportunities in the On Wednesday, June 9th, a group of ten Learning about Muslims: (left to right) Eleanor future to be present from St. Mary’s attended a Ramadan Bissell, the Rev. Don Brown, Marlis Branaka, with others of interfaith Iftar dinner at Calvary Ursula Clark and Martha Daetwyler. different faiths and Presbyterian Church. An Iftar dinner to engage in interfaith dialogue. breaks the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Sponsored by the Pacifica Institute, the I hope and pray that in the coming weeks more and San Francisco Interfaith Council, and various faith more of you will join me in sustaining and growing communities including St. Mary’s, the event our ministry with others in Jesus’ name in the brought together Christians, Jews, Muslims, community outside the walls of St. Mary’s! If you Buddhists, and others to observe the tradition and feel called to serve as a volunteer, please contact me food of the Iftar dinner, to hear Muslim prayers at Tim@smvsf.org.
Cow Hollow Church News
For All the Saints: 5B
Phil Woodworth 6B
This is one in a series of articles on long‐time parishioners of St. Mary’s.
Nearly every Sunday after the Eucharist at the 9:00 a.m. service, there is an “exodus” from the pews – Sunday School! Mixed in with the children and youth leaving, are dedicated Sunday School teachers. Among them is my husband Phil who has been making the trip upstairs with a group of teenagers for the past 20 years.
Shortly after the birth of our first child, I participated in the Adult Inquirers Class to prepare for confirmation. During that process, Phil asked Associate Rector Jan Griffin about youth
confirmation. That conversation resulted in Phil joining Mother Jan and Ayliffe Mumford in September of 1995 to develop a philosophy and a program. As Phil puts it, they “just clicked.” The philosophy was that we were giving each confirmand a “package,” containing what they needed to move forward in their life with Jesus. They choose when to open it and use it, but they all receive one. After Ayliffe was transferred for work to Japan, and Mother Jan transferred to another parish, Phil kept the program moving forward as a mostly solo teacher – getting help along the way from fellow parishioners and the clergy.
Confirmation class has mostly been held in the same room, now known as the Study. This meeting room was historically the rector’s office. However, for a two‐year interlude during the renovations at St. Mary’s, the “Crow’s Nest” at the Presidio
Phil Woodworth with confirmands at Grace Cathedral on June 4, 2016. Class members: Sara Akel, Mirabelle Brettkelly, Helena Curry, Amanda Davis, Philip de Castro, Joannie Ericson, William Hibbard, Annie Hockin, Samuel (Mac) Hocking, Colby Matthes, Virginia Norris, William Jay Pendergast, John Perkins, Jeremy Pitzer, Alessandra Saraceni, Katherine Stovell, Charlotte Toney, Katherine Toto, Madeleine Tunnell, Charlotte Winn, and William Zanze. Photographer: Laura Akel. Page 12
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Officers’ Club served as meeting place. The Study is usually packed, with teenagers on the floor, as well as perched together on chairs and couches. Over the years, the class has been the largest in our diocese, usually around 15 to 20 students, mostly seventh graders.
devotion to St. Mary’s as our spiritual home. We have been making the trip into the City ever since 1995—about as long as Phil has been devoted to teaching confirmation class.
Listening to the Spirit in Community with Indaba 7B
Phil will tell you that the easiest part about teaching confirmation class is what others would find the hardest: “working with teenagers.” Meanwhile, the hardest part for him is saying goodbye each spring. Sunday School Director Nancy Clark told me that, “for many St. Mary’s kids, his class is the capstone of their life in Sunday School, a look at Bible stories and Church practices in a new way, one befitting their emergence to young adulthood. For kids who haven’t been a part of St. Mary’s, his class and his clear devotion to the faith and its practice in real life provide an inspiring and reassuring introduction to Judeo‐Christian teaching.”
Phil believes in creating a safe and confidential space, applying his old locker room adage of “what you see here, what you say here, what you hear here, when you leave here let it stay here,” so he doesn’t share much of what goes on specifically behind those closed doors. However, his favorite class each year centers on the story about Jesus staying behind in the Temple. When Mary and Joseph come back to find him, Phil says, “Jesus sasses her, and Mary, like most Moms, ‘grounds him,’ but she cherishes the moment in her heart.” Phil explains, “Telling the story this way allows the class to build a different relationship with Jesus – to see him as the teenager he was at that moment, just like them.”
Raised as an Episcopalian, Phil chose St. Mary’s as his San Francisco church when he moved to Green Street in 1980. At first, he mostly attended holiday services. Around 1991, Phil and I began attending regularly with his daughter, Alison. We were married at St. Mary’s in 1993 and after the birth of our first child in 1995, decided we wanted to live outside of San Francisco. We found a home in Alameda; however, the move didn’t change our Cow Hollow Church News
On September 19 David Crosson
Everyone is warmly invited to attend a lay‐led Ember Days’ evening of facilitated prayer, reflection, and community on Monday evening, September 19th. Using the African concept of Indaba, we will explore ways to deepen our desire and abilities to listen openly to ourselves and to each other as the Body of Christ in the world.
The Episcopal Church and other liturgical churches designate Ember Days at the beginning of each of God’s seasons as periods of fasting, prayer, and personal reflection. Over the next year, St. Mary’s will dedicate these quarterly Ember Days to continuing to nourish our Paula Nesbitt parish community.
Indaba is a Zulu term describing a traditional process for achieving mutual understanding in the midst of differences and disagreements. This is the core of the Biblical concept of reconciliation. Indaba was adopted by the 2008 Lambeth Conference as a way of addressing disagreements within the worldwide Anglican Communion. The focus is on a new way of listening to ourselves and to others. The Rev. Paula Nesbitt, Ph.D., who will facilitate the evening, introduced Indaba to St. Mary’s in a July Summer in the City formation program. We will begin with a light dinner at 6:00 p.m., followed by facilitated interactions and introspection, and concluding with a contemplative service of sacred meditation and prayer in the chapel. To reserve, email Carla@smvsf.org. For more information, contact program coordinators, Georgene Keeler, Jessica Metoyer, Marla Perkins, and David Crosson. HTU
Profile and Search Committee News T
Creighton Reed and Diana Sullivan, Co‐Chairs
Greetings from St. Mary’s Profile and Search Committee. After a busy time, we want to let the congregation know what we have been doing and where we are in our discernment process.
Town Hall Meetings & Parish Survey During our listening and information‐gathering phase, the Profile and Search Committee held a series of Town Hall meetings and conducted a Parish Survey to gather input from all parishioners about what is important to us about St. Mary’s and what qualities to seek in our new rector.
We held six parish‐wide Town Halls in May and June; these occurred after Sunday services and during the work week. In addition, we held focused “mini‐Town Halls” with specific groups that have a special relationship with the rector. Examples of these smaller groups include the Choirs, the Altar Guild, and Stephen Ministers.
of Transition Ministry (OTM) Ministry Profile. Both documents will be drafted by the Profile and Search Committee and approved by the vestry, and final versions will be shared with the congregation. Below are brief descriptions of each.
1) Parish Profile This document is our chance to share who we are, capturing the essence of our church as we see it. We have chosen to not “reinvent the wheel” by using the fantastic summary put together five years ago by the most recent Search Committee as a starting point. The document, prepared in 2011‐ 2012, includes sections on “Who We Are,” “Where We Came From,” “Why we Gather,” and “What we Seek in a Rector,” among others.
As we revise this document and make it our own, we will strive for it to truly reflect our community today. When completed, we will post the Parish Profile on our website and send it to rector candidates
2) OTM Ministry Profile The OTM profile is essentially the “job description” we submit for potential candidates through the Episcopal Church USAʹs Office of Transition Ministry. According to its website,
Overall, we had strong attendance at the Town Halls and a robust response rate for the Parish Survey. We certainly received enthusiastic, positive and constructive feedback from a range of parishioners. Although there were some differing opinions about discrete topics, we noted consistent themes across both the Survey responses and the Town Hall meetings.
Next Steps—Immediate (what weʹre working on now) The current phase of our work is taking what we heard from parishioners in the Town Halls and Survey and using that information to create an accurate picture of our parish. This is done via two documents: 1) the Parish Profile and, 2) the Office Page 14
The Office for Transition Ministry guides individuals (lay and ordained), congregations, and institutions through their times of discernment and calling. Bishops and transition ministers can list their open positions, search the database, receive training, and download helpful forms and publications. Clergy, seminarians, and lay leaders are matched by their skills with ministry opportunities in parishes, diocesan offices, and church‐related organizations. Congregations are supported throughout the entire search process, from the listing of the position to creating the parish portfolio while providing interim and search process resources.
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
The OTM is completed by every search committee across our dioceses and also throughout the national church. It provides several types of information, including:
Basic parish facts and figures, including congregation size, number of weekend worship services, average Sunday attendance, and church school size. Compensation and benefits information, including Profile and Search Committee members at work; left to right, standing: Anne annual salary, health care Kieve, Matt Bartlett, Lauren MacDonald, Creighton Reed, Diana Sullivan, plans, vacation policy, and Alan Pendergast, and David Gibson; sitting: Pleasant Thompson, Donna housing (in our case an Davidson, Mike Stafford, and Riley Haggin; absent: Natalie Hala. attractive rectory). publicly post the documents and begin accepting Parish history, including the most recent resumes from potential candidates. rectors and their tenures. Responses to some deeper, long‐form From the resumes, we will identify the strongest questions about liturgy, pastoral care, applicants and conduct phone interviews to outreach, and the community. Examples of winnow the list to five or six candidates. We will these questions include: then visit those candidates and perform onsite o “Describe your liturgical style and interviews and assessments in their home parishes. practice. If your community From that list we will choose three finalists to provides more than one type of recommend to the vestry. The vestry will evaluate worship service, please describe all.” the finalists and call our next rector. o “How do you engage in pastoral We will continue to work together to understand care for those beyond your where we are as a community and ensure that worshipping community?” when we publish our Profile and OTM, we can present a healthy and vibrant parish to potential The Episcopal Church USA is increasingly focused applicants, all with an eye to attracting a long‐term on using the OTM to standardize listings of clergy leader. St. Mary’s is an incredibly strong, resilient, openings. Accordingly, we are putting a great deal and wonderful community. Each of us on the of effort into this document to ensure that we Search Committee feels a powerful sense of duty to accurately and honestly depict ourselves and our this work and is blessed to be part of this effort. parish’s needs. More information on the Episcopal With God’s help and your support, we will find a Office of Transition Ministry can be found here: wonderful new rector. http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/transition‐ HTU
Next Steps—Down the Line Once we complete the Parish Profile and the OTM and both are approved by our vestry, we will
Cow Hollow Church News
We ask that you continue to pray for us, communicate with us, and stay involved in our parish. This is a time we must stick together and continue to love and support one another. Thank you so much for your involvement and trust. Fall 2016
Urban Spiritual Walks T
lunch at the nearby Lake Chalet brought our foray to Oakland to a convivial conclusion.
Sometimes a simple Saturday morning stroll can be a pilgrimage. So far during 2016, St. Mary’s hiking group has completed three such walks, all in dense urban centers. Our explorations have taken all of us to places we had never been, enabling us to see things we hadn’t seen before.
In Ishi’s Footsteps March 25, 2016 marked 100 years since the death of the man known to us only as Ishi. Over a period of 50 years, his Southern Yana people were systematically purged from their homeland in the foothills of Mt. Lassen, now in Tehama County. In 1911, Ishi was found foraging outside an Oroville slaughterhouse, and was brought to San Francisco in the care of the University of California.
Lake Merritt and the Cathedral of Christ the Light On a crisp and sunny January morning, St. Mary’s walkers traveled to Oakland to circumambulate Lake Merritt. You might remember Lake Merritt as best appreciated from a distance, particularly during hot days and low tides. Today, this tidal basin is an urban oasis, and walking its 3‐plus‐mile perimeter trail is practically a ritual for those who live and work nearby. Unlike Crissy Field or Marina Green, Cathedral of Christ the Light. the Lake Merritt walk encourages dawdling — a walking style that has become rare in San Francisco. The insistent demand “On your left!” is less frequent than the neighborly “Mornin’!” Baggy sweats outnumber aerodynamic running ensembles, and few people are in grim training for a critical half‐marathon.
If you wonder what describes an “American Hero,” you could not find one better than Ishi. He embodied natural grace — patience, goodwill, moderation, courage, humor, politeness, simplicity, integrity, gentleness, and reverence. Dislocated in environment, culture, and technology, Ishi regarded the white people around him as sophisticated children: “smart, but not wise.”
Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility. — Gary Snyder
Our counter‐clockwise route around Lake Merritt finished at 20th and Harrison and the Cathedral of Christ the Light, designed by renowned architect Craig Hartman, a parishioner of St. Mary’s. Externally, the Cathedral makes a bold statement among its predominantly 20th century neighbors. Inside, the sweeping curves, brushed concrete, and blond wood accents create a spacious envelope that is welcoming, warm, and humane. After exploring the cathedral and its remarkable columbarium,
In 1912, Ishi was invited to guide an outing for the San Francisco chapter of the Sierra Club, visiting some of his favorite locations in the City. In April, St. Mary’s’ hikers retraced Ishi’s 1912 walk, which he reputedly did in bare feet. From the east end of the Panhandle, we ascended through Buena Vista Park and Corona Heights, admired views from Ishi: hiker and hero. Mt. Olympus and Tank Hill, traversed Twin Peaks and Mt. Sutro, and descended through Sutro Forest to the site of Ishi’s last home at U.C. San Francisco.
Seep City – the Water Beneath our Feet A Saturday in June saw a group of 15 walkers gather to explore living sources of fresh water in our own neighborhood, some of which none of us had ever seen. With the gentle guidance of Joel Pomerantz, author of Seep City and leader of Thinkwalks, we wandered around the northern The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Presidio and Cow Hollow to see where fresh water emerges from the earth as it did centuries ago.
We learned a lot about our local geology, the history of each stream and spring, and the challenges of mapping and research in an urban natural environment.
This walk presented several surprises, Vestigial fresh water lagoon. including a vestigial fresh water lagoon impounded today behind buildings at the end of Crissy Field, and a recently‐ exposed stream flowing from beneath Paul Goode Field down to Tennessee Hollow. Joel used his excellent Seep City map to orient us in place and in time, and to share his rich understanding of our relationship to natural water sources.
There’s simply no telling where we’ll go next. Wherever it is, we hope that you’ll join us, and bring a friend!
What is “Safe Church?” T
The Revs. Deb White and Claire Dietrich Ranna
are several Safe Church policies, some having to do with the physical plant of the church and others with the standards of behavior expected of clergy and lay leaders.
The diocese asks parishes to self‐assess their compliance with these standards rather than investigating or monitoring them. Although these policies have been in effect in this diocese for about ten years, St. Mary’s did not begin to move toward compliance with them until about two years ago when work on re‐keying our doors began. The Cow Hollow Church News published an article about the re‐keying effort in the Winter 2015‐2016 issue. This project was recently completed, as well as the installation of windows in several office and Sunday School doors, so we are now in compliance with some of the buildings and grounds‐related requirements of Safe Church.
We are also adhering more closely to policies related to staff and volunteer training and behaviors. This includes investigating any complaints about inappropriate behavior by clergy or lay leaders. It is important to note that the Safe Church guidelines are for use in the Church and are not substitutes for legal, civil, or personnel codes. If someone is accused of a criminal act or violation of a Church canon, they are to be referred to the appropriate civilian or ecclesial authorities.
The term “Safe Church” describes “the Diocese of California’s official policy on standards and behaviors to ensure that our It is the policy of St. Mary’s to interpret the congregations are safe places for all Godʹs provisions of Safe Church seriously but people,” which is formally named “Called with compassion. The process that was to Right Relationship.” According to the developed at St. Mary’s to deal with Diocese of California website, “[Safe complaints related to violations of “Called Church] is a coherent, fair, transparent, to Right Relationship” reflects that policy. and usable set of policies that promote a Based on Matthew 18:15‐17: “If your healthy and safe environment for all in brother sins, go and show him his fault in our Church…These procedures have been private; if he listens to you, you have won developed in concert with policies your brother. But if he does not listen to adopted at the Episcopal Church‐wide you, take one or two more with you, so that level.” St. Mary’s adheres to these Safe Church window by the mouth of two or three witnesses policies for the protection of children installed in door. every fact may be confirmed,” it involves and youth, elders, and other vulnerable confidential exploration by unbiased people which were adopted in compliance with the laypersons of any alleged violation and a response 2003 General Convention Resolution B008. There based on their understanding of the event. HT
Cow Hollow Church News
Summer in the City Review
belief and action, reframing what is most central to Christian identity not around intellectual faith The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna claims but around the lived ethical instruction Our annual summer adult forum series, Summer in offered by Jesus himself. We then welcomed back the City, was again an overwhelming success the Rev. Dr. William Stafford, former Dean of thanks to our gifted presenters and committed Sewanee School of Theology, who has been a part participants. The series, which focused on the of our Summer in the City series now for three years. theme of “Growth in the Spirit,” got off to a An expert in the Reformation, he shared his riveting start with Interim Pastor the Rev. Dr. Deb thoughts on the passionate teachings and witness White’s talk on “The of Julian of Norwich. Neuropsychology of Spirituality.” Then guest speaker On the feast of our patron the Rev. Dr. Paula Nesbitt, a saint, St. Mary (August 14), visiting scholar with the our own parishioner Lauren Graduate Theological Union, MacDonald, a member of the shared information about the parish and the Search practice of Indaba, a kind of Committee, who serves as a spiritual listening that has Library and Art Historian at proved helpful in the relations the San Francisco Art between bishops in the Anglican Institute, offered an engaging Communion (see page 13). and educational presentation on the life of Mary as The Very Rev. Dr. Mark depicted in the magnificent Richardson, Dean and President mural in our courtyard. of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (the Episcopal On August 21, we welcomed Seminary located in Berkeley), the Rev. Evalyn Trained as a Forensic Neuropsychologist with a joined us to reflect on the Wakhusama, a priest in Specialty in Assessment, the Rev. Deb White has a relationship between our the Anglican Church of Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has worked in spiritual lives and our private practice for the CA and MA state hospital Kenya who founded and systems, and in federal and CA state prisons. She connection to the earth. Our serves as President of the brought both insightful expertise and a sense of Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Marc Nambale Magnet School humor to her Summer on the City talk on “The Andrus, followed; he drew in Kenya, where nine Neuropsychology of Spirituality.” from the themes of his recent members of our book, Stations of the Cosmic Christ, and invited us to community served for two weeks earlier this think of the significance of “Cosmic Christ” summer (see page 6). The Rev. Wakhusama talked moments through the lens of the Stations of the about the holistic mission of the school, founded Cross. Local researcher and natural history out of Christian ideals and a profound hope for the educator Joel Pomerantz spoke next. An expert on disadvantaged young people it serves. Finally, the the hidden underground waterways that form a series came to a close as our Interim Rector, the network below San Francisco, he used his Very Rev. Dr. Don Brown explored the spiritual knowledge of our local landscape to describe how lessons we discover in times of struggle and loss. the natural spring bubbles up in our courtyard. Audio recordings of these diverse and inspiring On July 31, Associate Rector the Rev. Claire and supportive talks can be found on our website Dietrich Ranna explored the relationship between at www.smvsf.org under “Spiritual Formation.” T
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
A Testament to Stephen Ministry
long as you need help, and leaves when the need for support is complete. They are being of service anonymously, voluntarily, and with nothing expected in return. They are not offering advice, but only being with you.
Anonymous Care Receiver
As someone who attends St. Maryʹs rather quietly without knowing many others, I have come to have feelings of deep gratitude for this place and my fellow parishioners. Not so long ago, several people at St. Maryʹs very kindly stepped forward to help me during a difficult period in which I was being treated for cancer and having to make decisions about further treatment. Among the people who were so generous in their kindness towards me was a Stephen Minister, anonymous to all except myself and the two people responsible for assigning the minister to me.
It seems like having a messenger from God come into your life in the form of an ordinary, good, fellow human, and which, I believe, is what we often need the most during our most difficult times. It is so basic and so essential, and feels like an infectious gift of the spirit that one can pass on to others during their times of need. It is so fundamentally Christian. I pray that all of us will have this kind of help when we need it.
Recruiting Stephen Ministers T
Each week, over a period of many weeks, we met and enjoyed pleasant conversation that helped to maintain my spirit. The conversation also included more serious moments in which I was able to speak openly about the treatments that I was receiving and about the hard decisions that I was having to make in the company of my doctors. During our time together, we also prayed for Godʹs presence and help. I donʹt know many people outside of church who are willing to sit with me and pray over my deepest concerns. This was so comforting and meant so much to me at a time when there was such a heap of difficulties being piled upon me. I needed all the help I could get, and, thanks to this church, I was getting it. Even when all the decisions had been made and the course of my treatments was clear, I continued to meet with my Stephen Minister until I was on my way to recovery.
A new Stephen Ministry training class will begin at St. Mary’s in October. Stephen Ministry is a lay ministry of Christian pastoral care. A Stephen Minister is a loving person who is equipped through 50 hours of training and continuing supervision to provide Christ‐centered pastoral care to hurting people in times of loss, crisis, confusion, and grief. Over the past two years, St. Mary’s Stephen Ministers have provided over 300 hours of pastoral care to 17 hurting souls. Seven Stephen Ministers cannot meet the need. We need you!
The person who was my minister was well chosen for me and well trained to know how to just be with someone in need. From the beginning, I felt that I was able to speak openly and comfortably about whatever was troubling me. Imagine needing help and having someone suddenly appear in your life who is even‐tempered, warm, cheerful, dependable, kind, and ready to help whenever possible. The person stays with you as Cow Hollow Church News
Does your baptismal covenant call you to care for the wounded, offer solace to the suffering, and uplift those in time of upheaval? Do you believe that God’s grace begins with you? Do you feel called to witness to God’s love in the most intimate, personal, and supportive ways? Do you have the skills of a dependable, non‐judgmental listener? Can you care without trying to fix? Then you may be called to be a Stephen Minister.
We will be interviewing prospective Stephen Ministers in September and start the new training class on October 3rd. If you are interested in exploring this ministry further, contact one of the clergy or David Crosson at firstname.lastname@example.org. HTU
The Smiling Man T
Roulhac Austin, Vestry Member
Most of us are aware of the smiling man who sets up our Sunday coffee hours at St. Mary the Virgin, putting up tables, bringing out name tags, rotating signage, refreshing coffee and treats, and clearing everything away as well. This is Manny Gabiana, St. Mary’s sexton and administrative assistant who has consistently and faithfully served our parish for 25 years.
St. Mary’s recognized his loyal and grace‐filled service this summer, with copious thanks and a monetary gift of free‐will offerings from a grateful congregation at the 10:00 a.m. service on June 12.
Father Richard Fowler interviewed Manny, and Father Fowler offered him the job, sweetening the stipend deal with a rent‐free apartment on the premises of the church. This allowed the church to have nighttime security, and simultaneously gave Manny a nice place to live in this expensive city.
The part‐time employment arrangement also afforded Manny the opportunity to play a game of his beloved golf at least once a week, and get together with his ex‐seminarian classmates to regularly raise funds for school supplies for under‐served and homeless children in the Philippines. In addition, the part‐time arrangement allowed Manny to attend all of his son Max’s soccer, baseball, basketball, and golf games and practices throughout his elementary, high school, Manny Gabiana, in the courtyard with son Max and even college years! and wife Lisa Cabahug‐Gabiana, receiving
Manny, who hails from the Philippines, spent six years in a Catholic seminary before leaving its hallowed halls to serve the living body of the copious thanks for 25 years of grace‐filled church as a community Over the years, Manny service to St. Mary’s. organizer among city slums consistently volunteered for and farm communities of his country in the early tasks in the church as the need arose, like working 1970s. As his assignments shifted from direct with Pat Lusse on managing the membership community mobilization to program funding, database, maintaining pledge rolls, and overseeing Manny got involved in such entrepreneurial facility contractors and suppliers. The value he activities as dairy farming carabao (water buffalo), added to the organization was recognized when basket weaving, negotiating the sale of costume Scott Richardson made Manny a full‐time jewelry, and promoting handicrafts. This is how he employee. found himself in New York, presenting the wares The years have gone by quickly. Reflecting on his of the communities he served to potential buyers, 25 years with St. Mary’s, Manny says that his and then how he moved to the Bay Area to help set entrepreneurial bent and his human concerns came up the U.S. office of the handicraft business he together at the parish. “With my training and represented. religion, I found a home at St. Mary’s,” he says. Manny landed at St. Mary’s by happenstance and Father Fowler was the first to point out that proximity. Max Cabahug, sexton of the parish in Manny’s work for the parish is a ministry for him. the 1990s, was retiring, leaving open this difficult‐ He wholeheartedly agrees. “St. Mary’s may be a to‐fill position. Max happened to be Manny’s small church,” he says. “But the people are so father‐in‐law. The part‐time nature of the position welcoming, and the congregation is very vibrant. It appealed to Manny, as it left weekday hours free to is a big church, with a big heart, and I truly feel I work on handicraft promotion. Pat Lusse and am serving God here.” Page 20
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
From the Associate Rector
faithful, hungry people seeking hope and meaning have gathered together in this place to break bread, The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna share wine, and remember God’s saving grace. I vividly remember serving Eucharist my first few Holy Food Sundays here. As a Transitional Deacon, I could not celebrate, but I was able to distribute the This past summer, July 1st fell on an ordinary consecrated bread at the altar rail. Holding up the Friday, marking my two‐year anniversary serving wafer, saying “the body of Christ; the bread of as the Associate Rector of St. Mary’s. I found heaven,” I frequently found myself fighting back myself reflecting that day on all that has happened tears. There was something so true, so profound, in those two years: my ordination to the Priesthood and so humble about sharing this holy food with in December, 2014; the many baptisms, weddings, each other. I couldn’t think of a more important and funerals I’ve had the opportunity to officiate thing I did all week, and that since; all the conversations and has proved true every Sunday collaborations I’ve been blessed to be a since. part of; the many staff and clergy transitions that have occurred here; and, As these two years have passed, of course, changes in my own family life and we have walked through (we welcomed a daughter in November times of great hope and deep 2014, and are awaiting the birth of a son loss together, the Eucharist has this coming October). These have been been a constant source of two years full of change and, in these connection, both to God and to changes, I have experienced both great one another. That’s part of Jesus’ sadness and profound joy. genius. We don’t eat together in the abstract. You can’t For the rest of the summer, though, I conference in to this sacred found myself constantly reminded of Serving Eucharist to faithful, hungry moment. And in sharing the all that hasn’t changed. St. Mary’s people who seek hope and meaning bread and wine, the glory of continues our decades‐long tradition through breaking bread and sharing Christ’s presence is held in of providing spiritual education and wine. equally glorious tension with nourishment for children and young the humble realities of life: your neighbor’s lipstick people, as evidenced by the 22 people we presented on the chalice; the blessed wafer that nevertheless for Confirmation at Grace Cathedral in June, and sticks to the roof of your mouth; the person you the service trip to Kenya our older youth aren’t particularly fond of at your side. Somehow, participated in later that month. We celebrated the in the ordinariness of this meal, God is creating 25‐year anniversary of Manny Gabiana’s service something miraculous—something new—both here as our beloved sexton in July. Our annual within us and between us. Summer in the City adult forum series, offered from June through August, was well led and well As we begin another program year together, and attended. Our many ministries are vibrant and journey through this season of ministry side by transformative. And we continue to welcome side, may our hearts be open to encountering God visitors and new members to St. Mary’s week after in the most ordinary of places, and may the week. invitation offered at the altar each Sunday—all are welcome here—apply to ever‐wider spheres of our Most of all, though, as I think of what hasn’t common life. changed, I think of the Eucharist. For 125 years, 8B
Cow Hollow Church News
Amazing Grace and Stewardship T
Stewardship Ministry Team: John Addeo, Don Brown, Allan Jergesen, Michael Perry, Joanne Squire, Rob Vanneman, Ex officio: Jim Griffith Tertullian, a theologian of the third century, was the first theologian to articulate what it means to speak of God’s grace. He defined grace, as, “Divine energy working within the human soul.” Grace is that inexplicable force, energy, or presence that transforms us gently or sometimes not so gently, enabling us to recognize that God is active within us and in the world around us. St. Mary’s and every community of Christians are comprised of folks who are always in the process of being saved and renewed by the action of God’s grace. Saving grace is what alerts us to embody God’s love when we encounter the problems and pleasures of daily life. Here at St. Mary’s we are blessed with a great group of people, lay and ordained, whose grace‐ filled lives make it possible for us to carry out Christ’s call to love and serve our broken and needy world. In doing so, lives are changed—the hurting are healed, people are assisted as they face personal challenges. God’s saving grace makes a huge difference. Most all of us need to open ourselves to recognize the beauty and presence of God’s saving grace with us in the here and now. God’s saving grace is manifested at St. Mary’s through a variety of means: our excellent children’s Sunday School program; the Stephen Ministry program that trains lay people to provide quality Christian care to others; the various adult programs for study and fellowship that enable us to grow; our office volunteers; the multi‐faceted music program; the hospitality ministry; our outreach ministry; the altar and flower guild; ushers and acolytes; our talented and dedicated staff; our outreach efforts made possible by Tidings of Comfort and Joy; the Creation Care team; and so many other avenues in which individuals and Page 22
groups at St. Mary’s accomplish God’s work in our world. Our annual stewardship focus this fall will culminate with an ingathering of gifts (pledges) offered to God on St. Mary’s altar on November 6th. One instrument of grace through which God works is the money we offer which in turn enables ministry to happen here, in the Bay Area and the world beyond. Money is not spiritual or grace‐ filled in and of itself; but how we use our money has immense spiritual implications for the life of grace in action at St. Mary’s. This season of stewardship is a time for us to collectively re‐establish the shape and mission of our parish for the coming year. It is a time for taking stock and examining what St. Mary’s means to us and then pledging a portion of the money we have at our disposal to the Lord’s work in and through our congregation. St. Mary’s needs to be strong financially and spiritually in 2017 if we are to attract a skilled and accomplished clergyperson as our next rector. Please pray about what you will pledge. Read the weekly Sunday bulletins and Highlights for more thoughts on the impact of our personal stewardship. We have been “Saved By Grace” and this coming November 6th as our pledges are offered, we will make a statement about some of the ways in which God’s “Amazing Grace” will be visible at St. Mary’s in 2017.
Regular Worship Schedule Resumes Sunday, September 11 Morning Services at 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Music News An Important Announcement
To the members and friends of St. Mary the Virgin,
We are writing [on August 18] to inform you that Chip Grant will no longer be serving as the Director of Music at St. Maryʹs. Chip has contributed several years of dedicated service in this position. His gifts as a conductor, his creative assistance in liturgy planning, and his pastoral care of many parishioners have been greatly appreciated. This decision was made unanimously by the vestry, which is collectively the administrative head of the church. The interim clergy were consulted and worked with the vestry Chip Grant throughout the process. We recognize that some people will disagree with this decision, and we urge them to speak to a vestry member or clergy person to express their concerns. We want you to know that your vestry and clergy are fully committed to continuing the long tradition of beautiful music at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin. St. Maryʹs is a vibrant, loving, and generous worship community which will continue to make a joyful noise unto the Lord for many years to come.
In hope and faith,
The Vestry of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin: Jim Griffith, Liz Paxton, Jane Cook, Creighton Reed, Donna Davidson, Jeff Landry, Rob Vanneman, Rick Darwin, Ron Clark, Martha Daetwyler, Ruth Tatum, Roulhac Austin.
Fall Music Program Eric Choate, Interim Director of Music
After a wonderful summer with St. Maryʹs Summer Choir, the Parish Choir will resume singing just after Labor Day. We will have our first rehearsal on Thursday, September 7th at 7:00 p.m., and our first Sunday on September 11th. Children and Youth Choirs will begin rehearsing on Wednesday, September, 6th at 4:00 p.m., and will sing on September 11th as well.
A search team including the Rev. Claire Ranna, Jane Cook (member of the Parish Choir and the vestry), Yaro and Chris Ralph, and Amy Cebrian (parents of childrenʹs choristers) is working diligently to hire a new Childrenʹs Choir Director. Temporary leadership will be put in place until we are able to permanently hire a new director. Eric Choate will continue to lead the Youth Choir.
We are very excited to host some outstanding musicians for our Candlelight Concert Series this year. Unlike previous years, this year, they will happen on Saturday evenings. Do stay tuned for the 2016‐2017 schedule.
Annual Halloween Party On Saturday, October 29, at 4:00 p.m.
One of my favorite holidays is Halloween, so I am delighted that St. Mary’s has a long‐standing tradition of celebrating this holiday—which I am very excited to celebrate with you this year. Our Halloween party is open to all—and members of the Children’s Choir, the Youth Choir, Youth Group, and Acolytes are especially welcome to come, bring friends, and dress up in costume. There will be spooky music, Halloween carols, and fun and games. I would be remiss if I didn’t supply copious amounts of candy. Come if you dare! Spooky costumes are part of the fun. Cow Hollow Church News
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2325 Union Street San Francisco, CA 94123‐3905 (415) 921‐3665 • www.smvsf.org
INSIDE… From the Rector ................ Cover Story Sr. Warden’s Letter............................ 2 Sunday School................................... 4 Creation Care Re-Boot ...................... 5 Youth Mission Trip ............................ 6 Maternity Leave.................................. 9 Reflections from Deacon Tim ........ 10 Saints: Phil Woodworth .................. 12 Listening to the Spirit...................... 13 Profile and Search Committee........ 14 Urban Spiritual Walks...................... 16 Safe Church...................................... 17 Summer in the City .......................... 18 Stephen Ministry.............................. 19 The Smiling Man .............................. 20 From the Associate Rector ............. 21 Amazing Grace & Stewardship....... 22 Music News ...................................... 23 P
HIGHLIGHTS—FALL- 2016 SUNDAY WORSHIP SCHEDULE U
Also visit www.smvsf.org
Sunday Morning Services – Regular worship schedule starts again on September 11, with services at 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
MEETINGS & MISCELLANY U
SPIRITUALITY & PASTORAL CARE
Holy Eucharist, Rite II – Wednesdays, in the chapel, at 7:00 a.m. Nursing Home Ministry – every 4th Sunday, Golden Gate Healthcare Center, 2707 Pine Street, at 1:30 p.m. Presidio Gate Ministry –2nd & 4th Mondays, 2770 Lombard Street, at 11:00 a.m. Pastoral Emergencies – A priest is always on call. To reach a member of the clergy, call 415-921-3665 or go to www.smvsf.org/pastoral-care. HTU
SAVE THESE DATES
Raphael House Ministry – First Monday of each month. Contact Alisa Quint Fisher at Talisaquint@mac.com.TH Larkin Street Dinners at Edward II –Second Sunday each month, at 4:00 p.m. Contact Marta Johnson at email@example.com.
Launch of Stewardship – Sunday, October 2. Deadline for the Winter Cow Hollow Church News – November 1. Please email articles to Inkyword@aol.com. HU
SF-Marin Food Bank – Every Thursday morning deliveries from church. Contact the Rev. Tim Smith at HTUtim@smvsf.org.UT
Listening to the Spirit – Monday, September 19, 6:00 p.m., in the Great Room. Blessing of Animals Creation Care Sunday – Feast of St. Francis, Sunday October 2, at the 9:00 a.m. service. Grief Retreat – Saturday, October 29, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in the Study. Halloween Party – Saturday, October 29, 4:00 p.m., in the church. Open Cathedral – Sunday, September 18, at Civic Center Plaza, at Leavenworth and McAllister Streets, at 2:00 p.m. For information, contact the Rev. Nancy Bryan at 415-608-8777. Thanksgiving Day Service – Thursday, November 24, at 10:00 a.m.