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Cow Hollow Church News The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary the Virgin

Winter 2015-2016

Sacraments for a New Century The Rev. Scott E. Richardson, Rector Towards the end of a sermon preached in mid-September, on Homecoming Sunday, I suggested that it might be time to think about seven new sacraments for a still-new century. These practices would not replace the ancient sacraments and sacramental rites but amplify them. My list included the following practices: shared abundance, nonviolence, creation care, blessed intimacy, radical welcome, nurturing the most vulnerable, and prodigal forgiveness. The suggestion was rooted in the awareness that the church hasn’t finished her business once the sacraments have been offered. The opposite, in fact, is true – we are not at the finish line in that moment but at the starting line. At the very end of that sermon, I said that I would love to hear from others who named practices they find life-giving and central to their being in the world. Here is just one of the several responses I received (all of the responses and follow-up conversations were, by the way, compelling and helpful):     

 

Slow down. Listen deeply. Radical welcome of everyone and acknowledgement of everything, here and now. Energize, activate, and be present in our physical bodies. Support pursuit of passions; accessible education for all. Healing/creation care – heal ourselves, our communities, our planet, all relations (bring grief and forgiveness to forefront). Creative generosity and storytelling – what is our culture? What core stories and traditions do we share? How can we all learn them and own them and share them with passion and personal flair? Being more aware of and intentional about the stories we share/repeat. Mentoring/art of questioning – how do we take on the role of mentor? Support curiosity in one another, and live fresh and present in the moment. Living simply/appropriate action – knowing our part in much larger systems, taking nothing for advantage, transparency in full supply chains that provide basic human needs and making those shorter/more local.

I’m sharing this response with you as we enter the season of Advent, the season in which we prepare for the coming of the Lord. Would you consider adopting one or more of these practices over the next four weeks? Doing so may open your mind and heart in wonderful ways to the coming of the Light of the World.

News of Note from the Sr. Warden Jim Griffith Stewardship Angst and Joy Every year Stewardship time gives me angst. Yes, it is a difficult thing to admit, but every year our annual campaign gives me pause. I find it necessary to revisit why I give to the church and even more importantly, how much. Both are difficult decisions and necessarily related. I start with the “why.” There are the typical reasons why I should pledge: The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin provides a place for quiet, inward reflection. Having grown up in the Episcopal Church, I find the service comforting. I enjoy the congregation. The clergy are exemplary. I admire the outreach work that so many in the congregation do. Then, there are the reasons to make a pledge that, frankly, I would like to ignore, but are there: I would feel guilty if I did not pledge. I feel peer pressure. There is also the very rational reason for giving: this place would not exist year to year without annual pledges. Your annual gifts provide 79% of our operating budget. Zero pledges would mean no Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Having served on your vestry for nearly three years, I have been privy to the financial workings of the church, and now deeply realize the necessity of gifts from the congregation. Finally, there is the one reason why I pledge that brings me to the finish line: I want to give. For all the reasons mentioned above, I feel compelled to give. This reason may sound overly simplistic, but it has taken me years to understand the “why.” And, it is related to how much I choose to give. Page 2

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The amount of my pledge is equally difficult each year. But, this year, this decision has been easier because I have made two changes in how I think about the amount to give. One, I no longer think of the amount that I can give as a “give until it hurts” commitment. I took to heart what I heard our Padre Scott say during a sermon: “Your commitment to the church should come from joy. Give an amount that brings you pleasure!” This simple change in thinking has provided a welcome and refreshing way to think about giving. Two, I no longer think about my pledge like a “club dues” amount: the amount that one pays monthly to belong to a club or organization. This really isn’t a “member dues” type of situation. So, I have changed my thinking. I have come to realize that I should revisit the amount I give throughout the year, and base it on my total compensation. If I receive a work bonus, I should seriously consider giving a portion to my church. And, I have made a commitment to leave an amount to the church when I am no longer walking around Union Street, by joining the Legacy Society. It is the right thing to do! My 2016 pledge is an amount I want to give, and it is an amount that brings me joy. I invite you to join me in joyfully supporting your church, St. Mary the Virgin.

THE VESTRY Jim Griffith – Senior Warden Belle McBride – Junior Warden Jane A. Cook Rick Darwin Donna Davidson Stephen Koch

Jeff Landry Annie Morse Liz Paxton Creighton Reed Rob Vanneman

Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Youth Group News Mike Stafford, Director of Youth Programs The Youth Group has had two very eventful months. There has been an excellent showing at the Middle School Youth Group, with great conversations on individual gifts we contribute to God’s Kingdom, and what it means to be a Christian teenager in the Bay Area. The high schoolers took the Meyer-Briggs personality test, and had a great discussion on personality, personal strengths, and how our Christian community loves and supports all kinds of people. The October Adventure Night saw a huge group of 6th-12th

Annual Parish Meeting January 31, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. On Sunday morning, January 31, 2016, we will come together for our Annual Parish Meeting. Once again, this meeting will take place in the church, beginning at 10:30 a.m., following the 9:00 a.m. service. The 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services will be combined, taking place at 9:00 a.m. on this day. The Annual Parish Meeting is different from most of the obligations we experience elsewhere; for, in addition to taking care of some of the normal temporal actions we need to fulfill—such as the election of new members of the vestry and new delegates to represent all of us within the Diocese of California and the San Francisco Deanery, as well as reflection on the proposed budget for the coming year—we also take time to ponder our spiritual health and condition.

We receive reports and remarks about many of our ministries and programs, Youth Group scavengers show off their signed squash. and take time to raise questions about how we might better serve the graders eating sundaes at Ghirardelli Square, and community and the world. Parish leaders, lay and November’s Adventure Night had Youth Groupers ordained, offer their reflections on the State of the running around Cow Hollow on a scavenger hunt Parish. And, unlike in many other meetings, we asking people questions and having them sign a join together as one community: we sing, laugh, squash (pictured). remember our departed sisters and brothers, and, December is a short month for Youth Group, but in general, recall who we are, whose we are, and includes two of our favorite activities: on December why we gather, week in and week out, season after 6, we will be making PB&J sandwiches after church season, and year after year, in this holy place. Child and handing them out to hungry people in the care will be available, and we encourage teenagers Civic Center, and on December 13, all 6th to 12th to attend. graders are welcome to participate in our annual “ChristmAdvent” White Elephant Gift Exchange. Please take part in this year’s Annual Parish More information regarding these events is Meeting, and join your sisters and brothers in faith, forthcoming. If you would like to have your email discerning God’s presence in, and call to, this address added to the Youth Group email list, community of faith. please contact Mike Stafford ( Cow Hollow Church News

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Sunday School News Nancy Clark, Sunday School Co-Director Meet the Teachers The open house gatherings at schools, a back-toschool tradition, offer a time set aside to visit classrooms, look at books and materials, learn about the curriculum, and, most significantly, meet the teachers. Alas, no such thing happens for Sunday School. Short blurbs in the bulletin each week highlight the focus of each Sunday’s lessons and activities. A take-home activity page or project provides a speck of insight about how class time was spent. But, who are the teachers, the dedicated, creative, loyal volunteers who will teach the 25-plus weeks of Sunday School this year? Consider this your official “Meet the Teachers” forum.

Angela Latigona Heath moved with her husband from Manhattan to San Francisco in 2014, leaving behind her well-established career as a luxury real estate broker, and an impressive array of volunteer activities in New York. At present, she considers herself “on sabbatical” from work, devoting her time to her toddler-aged daughter, Catherine Elizabeth. In September, she began what we hope will be a long and happy career as a teacher in our preschool. She has gifts! Alice Allick is the Kindergarten teacher. She has attended St. Mary’s for 30 years, has four children, all alumni of St. Mary’s Sunday School, and all confirmed here. Alice has been a Sunday School teacher off and on for ten years. She hikes, travels, reads, arranges flowers, and has been involved in many volunteer projects in the community.

Preschool, for our three-to-five-year-olds Although she's taken a has three teachers this brief leave of absence year. Lisa Carey, this year, Scott Case mother of two St. plans to return to Mary’s Sunday Costumed Sunday School teachers encourage and assist hands-on teaching next School and Children’s learning at the Bible Times Market. Left to right: Alice Allick, Nancy semester – this Choir graduates, has Clark, Nancy Svendsen, Lisa Carey, and Mackenzie Berwick. time in led the preschool Kindergarten. Scott has covered the full gamut of program for 14 years. She is a true veteran teacher grades. Last year she worked with the 5th and 6th who has also served two terms on the vestry. Lisa graders, but prior to that, taught in all the earlier worked a long stretch for IBM but now is co-owner grades. Scott has a career in business, has served on of Brandon Natural Beef. She cooks, hikes, plays the vestry, and is active in the schools of her three tennis, walks her beloved dog, Bo, and spends as daughters. much time as possible outdoors. Donna Davidson and Gabby Taylor co-teach this Victoria Sutton has attended St. Mary’s since 1988. year’s combined first and second grade class. Her three high schoolers went through the Sunday Donna has been a St. Mary’s parishioner for 15 School program from start to finish and are now years and has taught Sunday School for five of active in Youth Group. Victoria worked at those years. In her work life she recruits leaders in SFMOMA, but now devotes much time to the non-profit sector. She is devoted to horseback volunteer work in schools and the community, riding, plays bridge, takes part in a Bible study without neglecting her tennis. This is Victoria’s group, and is a member of St. Mary’s vestry. Gabby second year working in preschool. Page 4

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has a full-time career in finance and is also the mother of two little girls. She quilts and sews in her spare time. She and her family have attended St. Mary’s for three years and Gabby has taught Sunday School for two of those years. A walk upstairs in Pixley House will lead you to the 3rd and 4th grade classroom of Nancy Svendsen and Rachel Davey who are frequently assisted by Mackenzie Berwick, a student at St. Ignatius High School. Mackenzie, who also races sailboats on the Bay, has been attending St. Mary’s with her family for four years.

in education. His bio is remarkable: he taught social science classes in independent high schools (in Florida for 36 years) and at various times was a resident camp director, an athletic director, an assistant headmaster and headmaster. He has been in San Francisco for five years, attending St. Mary’s for one year.

Capping this impressive array of teachers are Todd and Lisa Reynolds, also teaching 5th and 6th grades after a long stretch in 2nd grade. Todd and Lisa have attended St. Mary’s for 22 years and have been teaching Sunday School (hold your breath) for 21 years. Of course their two children, Sam and Nancy Svendsen is new Sophie, now in high this year to St. Mary’s school, attended St. Sunday School, but not Mary’s from start to new to teaching or to St. finish, served as Mary’s. She has an MA in acolytes, and assisted in Elementary Education and Sunday School. Lisa, has years of classroom surely one of the most experience here in San energetic people you’ll Francisco. Nancy was also meet, is a banker, has an actress, founded a small been a Girl Scout leader, theater company, wrote for and presently is team a TV game show, ran an parent for swimming, event planning and lacrosse, and soccer catering business, and now teams. Lisa knits and A perennial attraction, the Bible Times Market generates serves as our parish’s sews, and of late has commerce with clay coins for such goods and goodies as events coordinator. taken up trail prayer jars, beads, pinch pots, bread, dates, and figs. Imagine what fun it must running. Todd is a be in her Sunday School class! Nancy and her water treatment engineer and a Scoutmaster for family have attended St. Mary’s since 2000. Troop 11 in the Piedmont Scout Council. Rachel Davey is a third year law student at USF. Phil Woodworth, our Confirmation Class teacher, She has attended St. Mary’s for three years but has been on the job teaching an ever-increasing grew up in another St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, batch of seventh and eighth graders for over a that one in Edmond, Oklahoma. Rachel hopes to decade. Phil, his wife Linda, and five children, have practice in the Bay Area. Taking the California Bar been readers, teachers, assistants, organizers – or, exam is in her immediate future, but meanwhile, in other words, have taken part in the full spectrum when not studying, she hikes, golfs, and devotes of parish life. Phil is also a coach for the various Sunday mornings to our 3rd and 4th graders. athletic endeavors of his children. The fifth and sixth grade class, the “big kids,” meet We are blessed to have these accomplished, in the Great Room and have three teachers this impressive role models guiding and teaching our year. The new guy in this constellation is Bill children. Make an effort to meet and thank them. Rousseau, a first-year teacher at St. Mary’s, but a genuine pro, a veteran teacher with a 47-year career Cow Hollow Church News

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Happy Birthday to Us! Marta Johnson St. Mary’s is celebrating a significant birthday in 2016: we will be 125 years old! On May 9, 1891, the Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State. Did you know that the pews we are using today are the original pews? I’d say they have aged pretty well, as has the rest of the church. But the continued beauty, gentle aging, rich programs, beautiful music, strong Sunday School program, and above all, the caring and vibrant staff are still here not by accident. It is because of good shepherding, forward thinking, vision, community, and of course, the generosity of you, our parishioners for the past 125 years.

Helping to get the message out of the good works accomplished at St. Mary’s over the past 125 years will be Colin Hogan and Jory Sandusky. They will be communicating lots of fun and interesting stories and creating a pictorial history on our website, among other things. Keep your eye out for all of this. The third prong of this celebration is to ask parishioners to consider: what does St. Mary’s mean to you? What brings you back here Sunday mornings? Why do you keep returning to this little church at the corner of Union and Steiner streets? To keep the vibrancy and beauty of St. Mary’s going strong over the next 125 years, we need your generosity and vision – to continue the tradition of the early founders and the people who have gone before us who have made this church the very special place it is today.

As our Rector Scott Richardson has said, “we are founded on the idea of generosity and vision.”

As part of our 125th birthday celebration, we have a goal of expanding the Legacy Society – the group of people who have Original to St. Mary’s, our pews get an annual airing Throughout 2016, we will remembered St. Mary’s in and cleaning. Photographer: Anne Kieve. be celebrating this their estate plans. Under milestone birthday in the guidance of Jane Cook, Chair of Planned various ways. Giving, and Marta Johnson, head of the Legacy Society’s 125th Anniversary Campaign, we will Focusing on our rich history, Mary Morganti will initiate a campaign in early February asking you to be putting together photo displays throughout the become a part of the Legacy Society – in a way that campus, and writing articles about the physical is meaningful to you. We have so much to be transformation of the church, as well as the people thankful for, for the hard work and generosity of so who have made St. Mary’s what it is today. many caring people before us. We want to keep this history, generosity, and vision going forward. Page 6

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Becoming a member of the Legacy Society gives recognition of your feelings and faith and love for St. Mary’s after your passing. You will have made it possible with your bequest, along with the bequests of many others, to keep our church alive for the next 125 years, and beyond. You will have left your legacy here. Meaningful participation is the key, not amount. The Legacy Continues….

Marking Ten Years Catherine Secour, Secretary

We still miss the presence of our faithful member, Cynthia Soyster, who passed away this past January. She was with us from the beginning of our renaissance. On September 6, we were privileged to welcome Anna Sylvester into the order with a formal Admission Service during the 10:00 am service. Fr. Scott blessed Anna’s cross and Betty Hood-Gibson presented it to her as we received her into our order. As Anna was admitted, the rest of us also recommitted to our rule of life: prayer and service. Members of the congregation supported us with their own personal commitment. Anna completed her discernment process and study in record time and we have already benefitted from her organization and sense of humor. This past year, our chapter has volunteered to provide the cookies and snacks after the coffee hour at the 11:00 a.m. service on the fifth Sundays of the month. Under the leadership of Gloria Powell, we have been guided to make cookies and greet persons during the coffee hour as we spread spiritual hospitality.

Members of the Daughters of the King at St. Mary’s celebrated the Tenth Anniversary of the formation of their chapter this year. The first chapter of the Daughters was formed at St. Mary’s in 1927. Our current chapter was reinstated by the National Standing in back, left to right: Alisa Quint Fisher, Gloria Powell, Anna Order of the Sylvester, Catherine Secour, Malaney Johnides and Betty Hood-Gibson; in front: Once a year Daughters of Darlene Sandusky (seated) and Jan Bolles. Not pictured: Lisa Vance and the we provide a the King on Rev. Claire Ranna. parish-wide June 5, 2005, Quiet Day. Our next Quiet Day will be Saturday, retaining the same chapter number as the original. February 6, 2016. Save the date and watch for more details after the holidays. During the past ten years some members have moved away, but we have added new members. Cow Hollow Church News

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“Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” Alan Jones, Dean Emeritus, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco Most of us know this famous response by Francis Church to a letter from an eight-year-old, Virginia O’Hanlon, published in The New York Sun in 1897. Dear Editor, I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun it's so.” Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? The response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. . . . Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world . . . Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. The letter is as warm and fuzzy as it is unconvincing, but it does serve a useful function in that it’s a good idea, from time to time, to recover the weirdness of existence, its very oddness, the wonder of being alive at all. Even those among us who tend to be skeptical, let alone, to be generally cynical, would profit from being brought up short with the oddness of being here at all. This is a good time of year to think about how strange it is to be here.

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Jaron Lanier in his book, You Are Not a Gadget, points out that people reduce themselves because of information technologies. “Information systems need to have information in order to run, but information under-represents reality,” says the computer scientist and virtual reality pioneer. Information under-represents reality. Information can’t give us the full picture. No wonder many of us are disgruntled, disillusioned about politics, and worried about the future. The gathering of data isn’t enough, and more and more we find ourselves living in a data junkyard. We live now with a definite undertow of decadence. Historian Jacques Barzun wrote, “When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent.” In the light of this, “Yes, Virginia . . .” is a call to rebellion, albeit of an odd kind. Santa Claus may not exist, but the story tells us that Virginia and each one of us matters, and that a life fully lived is one full of expectation. How do we nurture the imagination to create an environment of possibility for ourselves and for others? Why have a generous construction of the world? For example, what comes to mind when you hear, “Twinkle, twinkle little star?” Philosopher Martha Nussbaum tells the story of one of her students who responded to the question in this way. He saw a sky beautifully blazing with stars and bands of bright color, and the sight made him look in a new way at his dog, a cocker spaniel. “I used to look into the dog’s eyes and wonder what the dog was really thinking and feeling. Was my dog ever sad? It pleased me to think about my dog and the way he experienced the world. I looked him in the eyes and knew that he loved me and was capable of feeling pleasure and pain. It then made me think tenderly about my mom and dad and other children I knew.” Why would “Twinkle, twinkle little star” make someone think that the starry sky was benevolent and not malevolent? Why think of your dog as loving and good rather than devilish and cruel? Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Who cares whether some dog is happy or sad? There are plenty of people who take pleasure in an animal’s pain. Martha Nussbaum assures us in her book, Poetic Justice, that something important is going on. She writes, “The strange fact is that the nursery rhyme itself, like other rhymes, nourished a tender humanity within us and stirs up in us the prospect of friendship. It doesn’t make us think paranoid thoughts of a hateful being in the sky, who’s out to get us. It tells the child to think of a star like a diamond rather than as a missile of destruction and also not like a machine good only for production and consumption. The nursery rhyme nourishes a generous construction of the seen.” Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! We’re not talking about the literal truth but what it takes to nourish a generous construction of the seen! Think of Irving Berlin’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Is it true? No, of course not! Is it true? Yes, of course it is! Imagine. It’s December 1941. Bing Crosby is singing it on his radio show on Christmas Eve – 17 days after Pearl Harbor. For many American troops fighting in WWII it was their first time away from home. Irving Berlin lived in a story made up of amazing choices. He faced serious limitations. He could play only in the key of C. Yet, he was the most successful songwriter of the 20th century. He embraced a generous construction of the seen. Life was Cow Hollow Church News

composed of a few basic elements: life and death, loneliness and love, hope and defeat. In our making our way through these givens, “affirmation is better than complaint, hope more viable than despair, kindness nobler than its opposite.” That was about it, writes Huston Smith in his book Why Religion Matters. “But because Berlin believed those platitudes implicitly, he helped people cut through the ambiguities and complexities of a confusing century.” Everyone knows the song “White Christmas,” but our ears are closed when we hear it because we're so used to it. In fact, if you step back and think about the dramatic situation in the song, the narrator is recalling something that is beyond his reach. He says, “I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.” Don’t knock it! This is a song from an immigrant Jewish outsider about a holiday that was never his. Irving Berlin was five when his parents brought him to America from Russia. The first Christmas he remembered was spent on Manhattan's Lower East Side at the home of Irish neighbors. The song was an immediate hit. It has no overt religion in it, no Baby Jesus, no manger, but it became a wartime anthem of love and longing. It opens us up to the possibility of a deeper story – a generous construction of the seen. Not a bad way to celebrate Christmas. Not a bad way to celebrate life. “Yes, Virginia! There is a Santa Claus!”

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Christmas Eve Pageant Thursday, December 24 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. John Patrick Moore, Pageant Director In Advent, we are called into a season of contemplation, waiting, and preparation leading toward our joyful celebration of the coming of Jesus into the world. And for the 16th year, we have begun preparations for St. Mary’s annual Christmas Eve Pageant. Our wonderful tradition reenacts portions of Matthew’s and Luke’s Nativity stories interspersed with Christmas carols, and includes live animals (a pony, a donkey, and goats), and a baby Jesus.

Angel, Joseph, Elizabeth, Innkeepers, Romans, King Herod, Chief Priests, the Star in the East, the Wise Men, and a Narrator. We also need a host of Angels, Shepherds, and Live Animal Handlers and of course a baby Jesus (or 2!). Petting Zoo A pony, a donkey, goats, rabbits, and chickens will be part of a petting zoo in the courtyard before the Pageant from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. The petting zoo will close at 3:00 p.m. when these live animals will join us in the church. Participation On Sunday, December 20, there will be a rehearsal from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., between the Lessons and

The pageant is a wonderful way to explore more deeply the mystery of Christmas as community, and everyone is invited to participate and/or attend. We are looking for people of all ages to fill the speaking roles of Isaiah, Gabriel, Mary, Joseph’s Page 10

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Carols services. For those with speaking roles and any others who wish to attend, we will have a rehearsal and introduction in the church with John Patrick Moore (director), Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, and Katrein Van Riel (student director). We will read through the text and discuss the mysteries of the story to be told, and the beautiful poetry and music of the carols. On Thursday, December 24, there will be a walk-through from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. for those with speaking parts. Dressing in costumes and a sing-through will happen from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Great Room. Children who wish to be in the Pageant as Shepherds or Angels must bring their parents with them and be at the church for costumes and rehearsal by 2:00 p.m. Costumes and scripts are provided. Parents, we need you to participate with your children and help manage them as they learn how to participate in a pageant.

want to be in the Pageant, we need your help! There are volunteer opportunities for costuming, live animal handlers, set up, cleanup, and crowd control. Volunteers for costumes, live animal management, and set-up need to be at the church at 1:00 p.m. Crowd control is needed from 2:00 p.m. on. Cleanup is from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Any assistance you can offer on Christmas Eve to make this service a more meaningful experience for others is greatly appreciated. To Get Involved Please contact John Patrick Moore at 415.613.2476 or before December 13.

A selection of photos from past Christmas Pageants.

Helping Hands Even if you don’t Cow Hollow Church News

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12th Annual Outreach Grant Program Fundraiser Greens and Pantry Sale, Sunday, December 6 Benefactor Reception, Friday, December 11 Adele Zachrisson, for the Outreach Grant Program Fundraiser Reaching in for Outreach

St. Mary’s Outreach Grant Program has been in place for more than a decade, helping our parish share its many blessings with local organizations that are improving the lives of people who are in need of all kinds of help. Funds are raised through donations of friends and benefactors, as well as through the purchasing of Christmas greens and volunteercontributed baked goods.

Community organizations apply for grants, and the funds are distributed through a process conducted by the parish’s volunteer Outreach Grant Team. I have served as a volunteer on the Grant Team for several years, an experience that confirmed for me the positive impact of St. Mary’s outreach grants in helping community organizations address very real concerns in the Bay Area. While our grants are modest, they are meaningful. The programs are often small and hands-on, and have arisen to meet needs that traditionally have not been supported by mainstream agencies. Many of the programs we support are

recommended by parishioners, some of whom have first-hand involvement with them. For example, one program funded by St. Mary’s is called “Brainstorm” at the Janet Pomeroy Center. It helps young adults who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, and are in need of a This year, as caring, safe part of the 12th environment, to Annual heal. This Outreach program has Grant Program helped many Fundraiser, a participants, festive Veteran volunteers from the six years that Carl and Adele Zachrisson have including my hosted the benefactor reception; left to right: Adele Zachrisson, Ava Eichler, reception own son, figure Diane Schatz, Alice Allick, and Shila Clement. thanking out who they benefactors will be held at a parishioner’s are and what they can do with their “new life,” home on Friday, December 11, and Christmas recovering as much as possible by engaging in greens and delicious baked goods will be group activities, sharing experiences, and available for purchase at church on Sunday learning from each other. I know firsthand that morning, December 6. there is no other program that does this on an extended basis. Page 12

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Part of the application process for outreach grants from St. Mary’s involves site visits where Grant Team members interact with those requesting funding, getting to know the programs well, seeing them in action, and feeling the impact that they have on those served. I wish that all of you could have this rewarding experience. When I served on the Grant Team, I found the site visits to be particularly moving – and they have inspired me to give as generously as I can to the outreach program every year. The impact of the grants, especially to smaller, often struggling, organizations cannot be underrated. A few thousand dollars can make a big difference. Because many of us at St. Mary’s donate to the program, we are able to make a more meaningful gift together than we could as individuals. The grants demonstrate in a tangible way the faith we have in our communal life outside the walls of the parish. They reflect our commitment to loving our neighbors. Supporting the missions of these organizations is testament to our belief that lives can be improved. Our grants can literally determine the success or failure of a program. What happens to people in our community matters! Being involved in the Outreach Grant Program also reminds me of just how privileged my life has been – even with life-changing personal tragedies along the way – and how fortunate I am to be able to help others (if only in a small way). I believe that it is the faith of St. Mary’s parishioners – their compassion, understanding, and love – that is ultimately the foundation of St. Mary’s Outreach Grant Program. For information on becoming involved, go to: Cow Hollow Church News

The Seamen's Church Institute David Gibson, Member Outreach Grant Team This is one in a series of articles on organizations that receive funds from our Outreach Grant program. The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) is the largest and most comprehensive mariners support agency in North America. Founded in 1834 in affiliation with the Episcopal Church, it is now nondenominational in its trustees, staff, and service to mariners, providing educational and advocacy services for mariners who work on open oceans and inland waterways. Its west coast center is located in the heart of the port of Oakland where its International Maritime Center offers these services to mariners during their stay in Port when they often have no place to stay on land after being at sea a month or more. Mariners can use the center to seek spiritual counsel, read, call home using low-cost phone cards, use the computer for visual and written contact, and speak to new friends including the center’s chaplains. The center serves as a station where chaplains hold services and from which they visit seafarers aboard their vessels. While located in the heart of Oakland’s waterfront area, the center provides these unique and continuing services to mariners not only in Oakland, but also in surrounding Bay Area ports. The center welcomes all seafarers, as well as port workers, including truckers and warehouse workers, to this friendly and safe environment for spiritual refreshment and relaxation. Historically, before its affiliation with SCI, the maritime center was located in San Francisco. Burned out in the 1906 earthquake, the organization occupied various locations on the San Francisco waterfront before moving to the Port of Winter 2015-2016

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Oakland in 1971, where its name was changed to Bay Area Seafarers Service (BASS). The center has been served by Episcopal priests and deacons over the years. Included among them was the Rev. Alvin Gomer, who in 1988 became chaplain for the center and who served part time at St. Mary’s. Father Gomer's vision was for the new center to have an ecumenical function with port chaplains from all denominations using the center’s facilities. In addition to the Episcopal and Roman Catholic ministries originally based there, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and American Baptist Churches have used the center since it was established. Now its staff of professional chaplains includes those with interfaith and cross-cultural backgrounds. The Bay Area center continues to provide service to mariners during their stay in the port. The SCI 2015 request from St. Mary’s is for funds for Bibles printed in various languages, to fulfill a continuing request of mariners.

Fast, Friendly Facts About St. Mary’s Handbell Choir Chip Grant, Director of Music These facts about members of the Handbell Choir of The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin illustrate the “type” of person who might ring English handbells.    

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Our handbell ringers come from the East Bay, San Francisco, and even the Presidio. A quarter of them attend Burning Man. They range in age from 4th grade to retiree. In addition to English handbells, members of the ensemble also play: cello, xylophone (two), timpani, bongos, trombone, piano (three), guitar, and tuba. Two composers are part of the ensemble. There are members of the Junior League. Two ringers “moonlight” with other handbell choirs: Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bell Ringers and Resound. Winter 2015-2016

Nolan Giovangoli (left) rings alongside her brother Rollie.

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They work as flight attendants, preservationists, teachers, chefs, or physical therapists. Five are students, one is a consultant, another is a former principal, and another works in the San Francisco County Jail. One-half of the ensemble can drive. They can knit, crochet, macramé, and do counted cross stitch. They are the products of both public and private education. Some ringers own cats; some are allergic to cats. They speak English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Tagalog (three dialects), and Gullah.

All are enthusiastic about rhythm and tone. If you feel you might fit in with these musicians, contact Chip Grant at

Ensemble members Jeff Johnson (left) and Daphne Ball. Photos by Cassandra Giovagnoli. Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Sister Helen Prejean’s Visit The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna On Sunday, October 11, we were thrilled to welcome Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., as our guest preacher at all three morning services. Sister Helen is the courageous nun whose tireless work against the death penalty was brought to the big screen in Dead Man Walking. A champion for the lost and the least, Sister Helen continues to serve as a spiritual advisor and companion to individuals on death row and has recently published her second book based on these experiences, The Death of Innocents. If you found yourself especially moved by her message and are wondering what you could do to get involved, there are a number of ways to support this important work:

you suffered execution at the hands of the state but you did not let hatred overcome you. Help us to reach out to victims of violence so that our enduring love may help them heal. Holy Spirit of God, You strengthen us in the struggle for justice. Help us to work tirelessly for the abolition of state-sanctioned death and to renew our society in its very heart so that violence will be no more. Amen. Education Learn more about the death penalty here in California and the U.S., as well as the history of capital punishment. Challenge yourself to think differently about who really benefits from this and what ethical questions and concerns might be involved. Explore the work of Death Penalty Focus online at ( to get started.

Prayer Our faith maintains that prayer is Advocacy effective and Advocacy takes many powerful. Pray forms: everything from for the victims supporting pieces of of violent crime legislation, writing and those who letters, and attending perpetrate it; protests, to ministering pray for those among those in prison. on death row The Episcopal Church and those Sister Helen Prejean (at right) signed copies of her book, Dead Man has maintained a advocating for Walking, and paused to pose with Bebe, Will, and Creighton Reed. position against the an end to the Photographer: Carla Ocfemia. death penalty since death penalty; 1958 and has a long history of faith-based advocacy pray for all those involved in our criminal justice on this issue. system. And pray this prayer for justice adapted from Sister Helen: Donate God of Compassion, You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust alike. Expand and deepen our hearts that we may love as you love, even those among us who have caused great pain. Jesus, our brother, Cow Hollow Church News

Organizations advocating against the death penalty, including Sister Helen's own Ministry Against the Death Penalty, need your support. Consider contributing to this courageous work at whatever level you are able.

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Solar Power Brings Credit to St. Mary’s

Solar panels installed on the roof

Our solar project, two years in the planning, and in operation since October, is showing bright results from the outset. These charts show our electric usage in the two periods just before and just after installation. Our kilowatt usage decreased by just about 65 percent, and we received a credit from PG&E for $68.00. Before installation of our solar panels, our average electric bill was about $900.00 a month. Solar project leader and vestry member Stephen Koch offered the panels for dedication in October, saying, “I present this array of solar panels for the blessing of God almighty, that they might energize this community, reflect our commitment to creation care, and stand as a witness of God’s abiding love and grace in this world.” Continued Rev. Claire: “Creator God, we thank you for these solar panels, for the people who designed and installed them, for those whose generosity made their purchase possible, for the power they provide, and for the households they serve. Bless us with vision and energy for change as we care for the earth and for each other.”

Chart showing electric usage before solar panels

Chart showing electric usage after solar panels Page 16

Winter 2015-2016

Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Year-End Finance Note

Pledge for 2016

Kevin D. Bulivant, Finance Manager At year end, your contribution to the parish can include more than one purpose: for instance, for your pledge and for altar flowers. So it is important to make your intentions clear. We can split contributions for two or more purposes as long as the amount for each purpose is clearly shown on your check. Unless otherwise noted, checks received at Christmas services will be assumed to be Christmas (special) offerings. If you intend such a check to be a pledge payment, please so indicate. All checks received in special Christmas envelopes will also be assumed to be part of the Christmas offering.

Jory Sandusky, Stewardship Co-Chair with Roulhac Austin For nearly 125 years the people of St. Mary the Virgin have faithfully supported the mission of our church through their generous contributions of

The books for December will be held open until January 12, 2016 so that checks dated in 2015 but received late can be posted as 2015 contributions. All checks received after January 12, regardless of date, and all checks dated 2016 will be recorded as 2016 contributions. As always, we accept stock gifts as payments for all pledges. Forms are available in the office and via links on our website,, under the Donate tab. Mt. Calvary Retreat Save the Dates February 16 to 19, 2016 We are already planning for a rich season of Lent, beginning with a retreat at Mt. Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara February 16 to 19. This beautiful facility offers retreat goers a glimpse of monastic life and an opportunity to get to know an order of brothers in our own Episcopal tradition. In addition to observing the Daily Office with the monks in a beautiful historic chapel, our clergy will lead a program exploring Lenten themes. For more information on the site, check out their website at The cost of $100/night ($300 total) includes all meals. Space is very limited so please contact Rev. Claire if you are interested at Cow Hollow Church News

time, talents and treasure. Whether it's the amazing programs for people of all ages, the impact of our outreach efforts in the community, keeping our facilities beautiful, or supporting our talented staff and clergy, each of us gives and in turn, each of us receives. Thank you for your continued support of St. Mary's! Did you know that our church receives no outside financial assistance? We are completely self-reliant which means your annual pledge of financial support is critical. Our pledging members make up the largest source of financial support, as you can see in the pie chart above. Thank you for helping St. Mary's to remain a place of strength and vitality in San Francisco! If you haven't pledged yet for 2016, it's not too late. Please visit and log your pledge for the new year! Winter 2015-2016

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Our Own Christmas Cards

The Rite Words

Erika Coughlan

The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna

This year St. Mary’s will once again offer our own Christmas cards for sale. Long-time parishioners will recall that the cards show a photo of our sumptuous altar oil painting Mystic Vision (originally Asunto Mystico). The back of the cards offers a short description of the painting and history of how it came to St. Mary’s. It reads:

Anglicanism is often described as a via media, or middle way: an expression of Christianity which manages to be both traditional and progressive, catholic and protestant, even orthodox and experimental, without sacrificing or minimizing any of these attributes. It’s a difficult and at times tenuous practice. We can look at many aspects of the Episcopal Church and see this at play, but one where it is especially obvious is our liturgy.

Bound by ship from Europe for a church in South America, Asunto Mystico landed in California instead. It came to the church in 1891 after arriving on one of hundreds of ships that were abandoned in San Francisco Bay when crews landed to seek their fortunes following the California Gold Rush of 1849. The original work, commissioned by Isabella Farnese (wife of King Philip V of Spain) and painted by Gianbettino Cignaroli (1706 -1770) now resides in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. Mystic Vision depicts St. Mary the Virgin and Child enthroned and surrounded by saints. St. Lawrence and St. Lucy stand to the left, with St. Anthony of Padua and St. Barbara to the right. A guardian angel cradles a child in the middle. You may choose between two greetings inside: NOEL or a verse. Or choose a blank one and compose your own message. The cards will be available for purchase at church on December 6th. For more information, contact Erika Coughlan at 415-563-8343 or or use the order form on our website,

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Winter 2015-2016

Taken as a whole, the services for Holy Eucharist appointed in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer have ancient roots. Much of the structure and many of the prayers were taken directly from the medieval Catholic Mass upon which the first English Book of Common Prayer, published in 1549, was based. And yet a protestant influence is prominent as well: many parts of the service which used to be led by priests are now led by lay people; prayers which were inaudible when said from a distant altar are now said in unison; and, of course, the service is in English instead of Latin. Liturgical change happens slowly. When the 1979 Book of Common Prayer was first published, the use of “contemporary” language in the four Rite II Eucharistic Prayers scandalized many Episcopalians. In the decades since, these have become the normative language for Sunday morning worship. For some, formal language reminds them of the precious holiness of worship. For Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin

others, it makes worship inaccessible. Which raises the inevitable question: how to walk a middle way? St. Mary’s, like many Episcopal Churches, has sought to honor both perspectives by offering Rite I and Rite II services at different times on Sunday mornings. Our 8:00 a.m. service is a spoken Rite I Eucharist, and more contemporary language is used at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Recently, however, the team responsible for liturgy development – your clergy and others trained in this area -- noticed that this division is not really quite so stark. During Lent, the penitential season that precedes Easter, the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services are also in Rite I. We also frequently use Rite I for special services. During the summer months, we use experimental liturgies at the 10:00 a.m. service. These rotations are intended to expose members of the church to many different styles of worship even as we remain rooted in the authorized rites of the Episcopal Church. And yet, throughout the year, our 8:00 a.m. service remains strictly Rite I. People attend the 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., or 11:00 a.m. services for a number of reasons: a particular style of music, a family-friendly environment, preferred language, or convenience. Attendees at 8:00 a.m. are not necessarily more fond of Rite I than those at other services, and it seems a disservice to never expose them to the breadth and depth of our liturgical tradition. As such, beginning at Christmas and going through Epiphany this coming year, we will use Rite II language at 8:00 a.m. as well. When we return to Lent, all 8:00 a.m. services will again go to Rite I, as usual, but all will Cow Hollow Church News

go back to Rite II for the season of Easter. While this change may be uncomfortable for some, who really do appreciate and honor the more traditional language of Rite I, it will be a relief for those who like worshipping at 8:00 a.m., but don’t care for “thee”s and “thou”s. We come to church, in part, to practice being who God calls us to be all the time. Saint Paul claims that the whole law found in Scripture can be summarized in one command, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14). If you are uncomfortable with this change, try to remember that some of your neighbors will be delighted by it. But more importantly, listen for God’s invitation and God’s abiding presence even in your discomfort. Surely God’s grace can overcome even that. The clergy welcome your feedback on this. Please feel free to contact Rev. Claire with questions or concerns.

Bach Church Returns Sunday, December 13 at 5:00 p.m. On November 1, Dr. Kayleen Asbo brought Bach Church to St. Mary's for the first time. We were so moved by the powerful blend of music, poetry, and meditation that we will welcome the ensemble back on Sunday, December 13 at 5:00 p.m. Kayleen Asbo (right) with violinist Julija Zibrat.

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Reflections from Deacon Tim Tim Smith, Deacon It’s hard to believe that it has been six months since I was ordained a deacon at Grace Cathedral and installed as a parish deacon at St. Mary the Virgin! My thanks to Scott, Claire, and all others in the parish for the warm welcome that I have received! During this period I have been filled with joy and gratitude for the opportunity to serve and minister with parishioners and those at the margins in the community.

violence, demonstrating for an inquiry by the District Attorney into the shooting death of a young immigrant by plainclothes police in the Mission District, and serving as a volunteer to speak with hotel management throughout the city about the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking. I hope that parishioners will join me in these and other ministries. By doing so, we form communities not only among fellow parishioners but also among those whom we serve.

We are looking for volunteers from the parish to help package and distribute food one morning a week in partnership with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank (SFMFB) to recipients who are unable to shop for food on their own, but able to prepare it. As former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori wrote recently, before we do anything else we must feed the hungry. Our partnership with the SFMFB is one way for us to help feed the hungry. Parishioners who have To satisfy these roles I have already joined our ministry been engaging in various with the Food Bank include community ministries Barbara and John Addeo, Tim demonstrated for an inquiry by the District including: (1) Attorney into the shooting death of a young Peter de Castro and family, implementing a once-aimmigrant by plainclothes police in the Mission David Crosson, Vicki week food distribution District. Haggin, Natalie Hala, Claire partnership with the San Johnston, Georgene Keeler, Laura Lehman, Francisco-Marin Food Bank; (2) serving in lateStephanie Lehman, Wendy Moseley, Ann McBride afternoon weekly worship services at the Next Norton, Gloria and Everett Powell, Ilia Smith, and Door and Episcopal Sanctuary shelters staffed by Anne Williams. Episcopal Community Services personnel; and (3) participating in social justice initiatives in San I will shortly be putting on the parish’s website a Francisco together with other Episcopal clergy, schedule of future worship services at the Next such as peaceful marches against gun violence in Door and Episcopal Sanctuary shelters, in which I’ll neighborhoods having a high incidence of gun be serving as deacon, and I invite parishioners to One of my roles as deacon is to assist, enable, and facilitate sisters and brothers in Christ in the parish to live out their baptismal vows of seeking and serving Christ in all persons, striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being. As deacon I also personally serve and minister in Jesus’ name with others at the margins of our community.

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Winter 2015-2016

Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin

join me at these inclusive services. These services will be an opportunity for those of us from the parish who are present to build community with shelter residents by sharing with them the liturgy as well as life narratives during the shared homily portion of the worship services. The services take place at the shelters late in the afternoon during the week. Next Door is located on the corner of Polk and Geary, and the Sanctuary is located on the corner of Howard and 8th Street. I’m hoping that volunteers from the parish will join me to discover the healing, hope, and renewal that both the shelter residents and those assisting in the worship services experience at these worship services. Also on the parish’s website I will list the diocesan social justice initiatives with which I’m currently involved. DioBytes, the weekly electronic newsletter of the Diocese of California, often describes the involvement of diocesan clergy in a variety of social justice initiatives to help find peace, healing, hope, and renewal in Jesus’ name in communities in the city that have experienced violence and injustices. Our participation in these initiatives shows our desire to be present with others who have experienced violence or injustice and to demonstrate our compassion and solidarity with them. You can subscribe to DioBytes by linking to: These community ministries are just a few of those that are currently being supported by parishioners. Some of the others include the nearby Edward II residence for young people where parishioners prepare and serve dinner for the residents; Open Cathedral, a program of the San Francisco Night Ministry where parishioners prepare bag lunches for congregants after Sunday afternoon Eucharists near City Hall; and Raphael House on Sutter Street, where parishioners prepare and serve dinner for the families who reside there. A list of parish community ministries is on our website at and contains contact information for joining them. I hope that you will reflect carefully on a possible Cow Hollow Church News

calling to you to serve in these or other community ministries! If you are involved in community ministries not on the list, please let me know. I'd like to be able to refer those ministries to other parishioners who might also feel called to them.

Keys to the Kingdom The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna Keys are both practically necessary and symbolically rich, representing privileged access to otherwise restricted or inaccessible places. Having a key to the church involves a special and powerful trust. I was recently reminded of this at a clergy training session, where I learned that anyone in possession of a key to a church in our diocese, even if only for one event or one day, is supposed to complete comprehensive Safe Church training and a background check. For years, keys to St. Mary’s have been distributed generously and very rarely tracked. In some sense this is quite beautiful: We are a community that wants to open our doors to our neighbors, to be a haven for its members, and to be accessible for local events and concerns. While these characteristics are commendable, they are also held in tension with the very real possibility that keys can be misplaced and misused. When I brought the expectations of the diocese to our vestry last June, pointing out that we are not currently tracking who has keys or requiring that they complete the recommended training, they voted to move in the direction of full compliance with diocesan expectations. In order to implement the vestry’s decision, we are planning to re-key the Church in early 2016. We’ve already received quotes for this work and are budgeting for it in the year ahead. We are also budgeting for the background checks that will be required of everyone who is entrusted with a new key and working with our Parish Administrator to get a system in place to track keys. More details about the distribution of new keys will be coming early next year. Winter 2015-2016

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From the Associate Rector

came to be commonly known as “the death room.”

The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna

In the early 20th century, the Ladies Home Journal, under the editorship of Edward Bok, began publishing architectural plans for middle class homes. As families sought to rebuild their lives following the First World War, domestic building boomed. Bok found the existence of a wellfurnished yet infrequently used room impractical for such families and insisted on calling it “the living room” in the designs his magazine published. The popularity of these plans coincided with the rise of Funeral Parlors, which were better equipped to receive bodies from overseas and quickly encouraged everyday families to make use of their services as well. Soon, death had a new address, and there was no room for it in the family home.

Living Rooms and Living Water One of the most exciting things for me about celebrating St. Mary’s 125th anniversary next year is learning so many stories about our history. One of my favorites involves the natural spring flowing in our courtyard. An underground river actually runs just below the church, one of the many invisible realities hidden just below the surface of this special place. Following the 1906 earthquake, with much of the city in ruins (including the other side of Union Street) St. Mary’s remained standing, and this spring provided water for the surrounding neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, I was reminded that what we We now use the phrase expect to encounter “living room” with little inevitably shapes how critical awareness, but we experience a place. there’s a rich history there. During a program this Intentionally fall about end of life care, remembering the history someone asked why of a place helps us think death became such a differently about it. St. taboo topic in our society. Mary’s is no exception. We panelists all had different perspectives, Once upon a time, St. Our natural spring, a fountain of life-giving water but in my response, I Mary’s provided water told the story of how the “living room” got its for the thirsty. We provided the very thing people name. For generations, the large room on the first most needed during a time of desperate want and floor of an English home that was used for serious hardship. We were a spring; a source; a receiving guests (and for visiting or speaking – fountain of life-giving water for a people with dry parlare in Latin) was known as the parlor. (In my lips and heavy hearts. What if we are still called to husband’s family home back in Pakistan, and most be just that? countries once colonized by England, it still is.) In Jeremiah 2:13, God is described as “the fountain This room was the buffer zone between the public of living water.” When we live as Christ in the world and the private home and was generally world, many members of his one mystical body, used for formal occasions. Following a death, we, too, are living water for a thirsty world. We are bodies were placed in the parlor, where guests called to quench the deep spiritual needs of our could gather to pay their last respects before the neighbors: to be a spring for the soul and a source burial. As a result, following World War I, when a of hope in a desperately dry landscape. global influenza epidemic claimed the lives of Once upon a time, St. Mary’s provided water for millions, these front rooms got a lot of use and the thirsty. And it turns out, we still do. Page 22

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Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin

ADVENT December 6

Second Sunday of Advent

9:00 a.m.

La Virgen de Guadalupe Celebration Children’s Choir

December 13 Third Sunday of Advent 9:00 a.m.

Sankta Lucia Celebration Children’s & Youth Choirs

December 19 A Festive Parish Tradition 1:00 p.m. Saturday

Caroling on Union Street All are welcome to participate

December 20 Fourth Sunday of Advent 8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. A Service of Lessons and Carols Children’s, Youth, Handbell, & Parish Choirs and Chamber Orchestra

CHRISTMAS EVE December 24 3:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m. 11:00 p.m.

Christmas Pageant Costumed players and live animals Christmas Eve Eucharist Children’s and Youth Choirs Candlelight Carol Sing Parish Choir and Chamber Orchestra Candlelight Eucharist Parish Choir and Chamber Orchestra

CHRISTMAS DAY December 25 10:00 a.m.

Holy Eucharist with Carols Parish Choir and Organ

December 27 First Sunday after Christmas 8:00, 9:00 & 11:00 a.m.

regular services at usual times

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY January 3 9:00 a.m.

Cow Hollow Church News

Visit of the Magi

Winter 2015-2016

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First Class Mail

2325 Union Street San Francisco, CA 94123-3905 (415) 921-3665 •

INSIDE… From the Assoc. Rector ... Cover Story Sr. Warden’s Letter ............................ 2 Youth Group ....................................... 3 Sunday School ................................... 4 Happy Birthday to Us ........................ 6 Daughters of the King ....................... 7 “Yes, Virginia…” ................................ 8 Christmas Eve Pageant ................... 10 Outreach Grant Fundraiser ............. 12 Seamen’s Church Institute ............. 13 Handbell Choir Fast Facts .............. 14 Sister Helen Prejean’s Visit ............ 15 Solar Power ..................................... 16 Pledge for 2016 ............................... 17 The Rite Words ................................ 18 Reflections from Deacon Tim ........ 20 From the Associate Rector ............ 22


See Inside Back Cover, page 23


Sunday morning services – at 8:00, 9:00, and 11:00 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. Holy Eucharist, Rite II – Wednesdays, in the chapel, at 7:00 a.m.

Also visit OUTREACH  

Raphael House Ministry – First Monday of each month. Contact Alisa Quint Fisher at Larkin Street Dinners at Edward II – 2nd and 4th Sundays each month. Contact Marta Johnson at


Bach Church – Sunday, December 13, in the church, at 5:00 p.m. Annual Parish Meeting – Sunday, January 31, at 10:30 a.m. Lenten Retreat at Mt. Calvary – in Santa Barbara, February 16 to 19, 2016. For info contact Rev. Claire:

Cow Hollow Church News - Winter 2015  

Quarterly Newsletter from The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin

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