Cow Hollow Church News
The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
During This Time of Transition
The Very Rev. Dr. Donald Brown, Interim Rector
Transitions are challenging. If you remember back to when you were in grade school and heading into junior high school, or moving on from high school, the anticipation of the new was tempered by a sense of sadness about the loss of what was comfortable and familiar.
When transition happens in the life of a congregation, a multitude of emotions arise that are about as varied as the people who make up the congregation. The issues around the abrupt and unexpected departure of the rector as well other issues unfolding in parish life have created confusion and speculation among some in our parish about both the present and the future of St. Mary’s.
Transitions are never easy. St. Mary’s staff and key volunteers are working to smooth the way for calling our next rector. Part of that effort means understanding and dealing with patterns of behavior and situations that need to change but were not previously addressed. In that regard, to ensure that St. Maryʹs is in compliance with diocesan and national Church policy regarding “Safe Church,” windows have been installed in doors that lead into staff offices and Sunday School classrooms. You can learn more about “Safe Church” and other policies and procedures that St. Maryʹs follows on our website: http://smvsf.org/policies‐procedures/.
A great deal of study has been devoted to how transitions normally progress. There is a natural cycle to the emotions and stages a congregation moves through as it leaves what has been in the past and moves forward into a bright future filled with new life and hope. You can picture transition as similar to being on a roller coaster ride where you move from the heights of what had been the “status quo,” accelerating as you roll down the tracks that pass through emotions such as shock, mourning, disorientation, recalling the good old days, turmoil, anxiety, guilt, feelings of loss, detachment, and distancing from others. Finally reaching the point where the tracks start to head back up, folks either decide to stick with the parish or they leave. Congregational studies tell us that most people decide to stay for the ride back up as the natural forces of transition begin moving the congregation toward a new future.
During the climb, we will participate in exploring options for the parish, problem‐solving, finding new structures for congregational life, and reattaching to groups and programs that fulfill spiritual, educational,
and social needs. As the roller coaster continues to move upward, new energy and excitement develop concerning the future of the congregation and the coming of the new rector. Wherever you find yourself and your emotions and spiritual life on “The Roller Coaster of Change,” know that God’s Holy Spirit is on this journey with us, both individually and as a community. Isaiah, bringing a message from the Spirit, promises: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland”(Isaiah 43:19).
In order to keep all of our members and friends as fully informed as possible we will have a new bulletin board in the courtyard with pictures and names of members of the vestry and the Profile and Search Committee. See the story about search committee activities and read mini‐bios of members on page 12. Please feel free to seek out members of the vestry and search committee to chat about your hopes for St. Mary’s. A summary of vestry minutes and financials will also be posted on the bulletin board.
Because not everyone makes it to services on Sunday, our weekly email of parish Highlights has been expanded to include most of the printed announcements available on Sunday.
We are going to have an active summer at St. Mary’s this year. On June 12th, the summer service schedule (8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.) commences with our Annual Parish BBQ in the courtyard following the 10:00 a.m. service. Our Summer in the City lecture series begins June 26; see the flyer for details. On Sundays, in addition to nursery care, we will offer programming for children in kindergarten through 5th grade; look for details in the Sunday Announcements and Highlights.
As in the recent past, we will worship using alternative liturgies adapted from Lutheran and Anglican sources. It’s going to be a good summer at St. Mary’s, so if you are not away on holiday, please join us. Page 2
News of Note from the Sr. Warden Jim Griffith
Who’s in Charge in the Interim?
Episcopal Church laws state that the Senior Warden is the ecclesiastical head of a parish during a time of transition. This means that the primary decision‐makers during St. Maryʹs interim period are the wardens and vestry, with support and counsel from the interim clergy team. New clergy, serving at the behest of the vestry, typically take up their duties in new ways. Even small change can be confusing to any institution, and when a three‐ person team arrives instead of an anticipated single interim rector, the reverberations of change can seem magnified. So our clergy have set down descriptions of primary responsibilities for each interim team member, and how the interims plan to share in the existing and ongoing work of our associate rector and deacons.
Clergy duties will shift in October, when Associate Rector Claire Ranna, who is expecting her second baby with her husband Haamid, goes on maternity leave. At that time we will not be adding any new clergy; however, Verger Natalie Hala will assist in some liturgical duties, as Kathleen Bean did while Claire was on maternity leave in 2014.
Please note that all of our clergy are available for pastoral care and that all of the priests will be participating in regular worship services, as well as officiating at weddings and funerals. Don and Claire will be at St. Mary’s every Sunday unless otherwise announced in advance. Deb and Ted will each be at services at least one Sunday per month. All of the clergy will also participate in planning and leading Adult Education/Formation opportunities.
To help you better understand clergy duties and responsibilities, as well as to determine whom you should contact for various questions, here is a brief (and necessarily incomplete) list of who is doing what. The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Don Brown Church administration in Don’s absence Primary Role: Interim Clergy liaison to music Rector ministries email@example.com (20 hours Clergy liaison to lay pastoral per week) committees Primarily responsible for: Clergy liaison to liturgical Personnel issues The Revs. Deb, Don, Claire, and Ted. staff and volunteers in Church administration Claire’s absence Buildings and Grounds (with vestry member Rick Darwin) Claire Dietrich Ranna Financial concerns Associate Rector Liturgical oversight (with other clergy) firstname.lastname@example.org (40 hours per week) Clergy liaison to Legacy and Endowment Board Primarily responsible for: Clergy liaison to vestry Liturgical scheduling (including Baptism and Deb White Confirmation) Liturgical oversight (with other clergy) Primary Role: Interim Pastor All Parish Retreats (Ranch retreat with Deb) email@example.com (10 hours per week) Clergy liaison to Newcomer’s Ministry Primarily responsible for: Clergy liaison to liturgical staff and volunteers Intentional interim ministry work (including Altar Guild, Flower Guild, Ushers, Parish Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch (with Claire) Lay Eucharist Ministers, Lectors, Director of Liturgical oversight (with other clergy) Church administration in Don’s absence Music, Associate Director of Music) Clergy liaison to Search Committee Clergy liaison to Youth Ministries and Affinity Clergy liaison to Climate Care Committee Groups Clergy liaison to Deanery (with Claire) Clergy liaison to Planned and Major Gifts Clergy Liaison to vestry in Don’s absence Committee and Legacy Society (with Don) Clergy liaison to Deanery (with Deb) Ted Thompson Clergy liaison to 125th Anniversary Committee Primary Role: Interim Pastor Communications firstname.lastname@example.org (10 hours per week) Nancy Bryan Primarily responsible for: Deacon Formal healing and reconciliation work email@example.com (volunteer) Liturgical oversight (with other clergy) Primarily responsible for: Pastoral Care THE VESTRY Clergy liaison to Pastoral Care Committee Liturgical oversight (with other clergy) Jim Griffith – Senior Warden Liz Paxton – Junior Warden
Roulhac Austin Ronald Clark Jane A. Cook Martha Daetwyler Rick Darwin
Donna Davidson Jeff Landry Creighton Reed Ruth Tatum Rob Vanneman
Cow Hollow Church News
Tim Smith Deacon firstname.lastname@example.org (volunteer) Primarily responsible for: Outreach Clergy liaison to Outreach Committee Clergy liaison to Cursillo Liturgical oversight (with other clergy) Summer 2016
Sunday School News Nancy Clark, Sunday School Co‐Director
At this writing, we are nearing the end of the 2015‐ 16 Sunday School year with June 5th slated to be the last teaching Sunday before the summer schedule kicks in. The spring was filled with Lent and Easter lessons and projects, most notably and traditionally the Sunday School’s full participation in Heifer Project activities. As always there was a bake sale organized by the 5th and 6th graders and in spite of a surprising downpour at the peak of courtyard commerce time, sales of cookies, brownies and lemon cakes netted over $200 or, in terms of Heifer animals, a goat or a sheep.
Meanwhile, the assorted coinage and contributions in the little Heifer “ark” boxes totaled almost $300. As it happens, this year’s pre‐school children—and of course that must include the guiding hands and generosity of their parents—returned the most boxes of any group. We are gratified that our youngest parishioners are learning at very early ages the pleasures and importance of philanthropy.
Mother’s Day wreath resting at the foot of our statue of St. Mary the Virgin.
On Mothers Day, as a tribute to St. Mary, special saint of our parish, and to mothers and fathers and role models, the Sunday School children presented Page 4
a special wreath and also the final tally of their Heifer outreach contributions. The wreath then rested at the foot of the courtyard statue of Mary. Following the last teaching day of Sunday School in early June, if you are looking for activities that are an extension of Sunday School and church endeavors, consider the following: Look for “good news”—random acts of kindness and generosity in the news or in the good deeds of people you know. Identify them; talk about them. Lay your hands on an age‐appropriate book of Bible stories and read about the adventures, challenges, triumphs of Old and New Testament heroes. Tomi di Paolo and Bishop Desmond Tutu are among many who have created compelling Bible storybooks for young children and readers—and beautifully illustrated, too. Talk about and practice what it means to be “good stewards of creation.” Put the 3 R’s— reduce, reuse, recycle—into every‐day use wherever you are, even on vacation. At home, work hard to fill the green compost and blue recycling bins and strive for ever smaller quantities in the black garbage can headed for the dump. A question to ponder: Why is environmental stewardship not only an essential social concern but also a religious value? Visit art and history museums. Look for art—there’s lots of it in Medieval and Renaissance galleries—with biblical themes and symbols. What’s going on? Who are the people? What symbols can you find? In history museums, talk about the qualities that make the historical people featured there heroic, enduring, great. What is courage? What makes a good leader? What is perseverance? And of course, say family prayers. If you’re shy about this, consider Anne Lamott’s three categories: “Wow,” “Help,” and “Thanks.” That will cover just about everything. The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Youth Group News Mike Stafford, Director of Youth Programs
Youth Mission Trip to Kenya
This summer, seven young people and two adults from St. Mary’s are heading all the way to Kenya to serve the Nambale Magnet School (NMS) for the Youth Mission Trip. The Nambale Magnet School was founded in 2009 by the Rev. Evalyn Wakhusama, a Kenyan Anglican priest who wanted to serve children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty in Western Kenya. The school now serves more than 300 children in Pre‐K through 8th grade. Some of the kids who attend could be considered the poorest of the poor on the planet.
The Youth Group was introduced to NMS by the Rev. Claire Ranna, who met Evalyn at Yale Divinity School, and who currently serves as the Social Media Liaison for the school. Claire and Mike’s hope is to establish a lasting relationship between the school and St. Mary’s, and this trip is just the event to get that relationship going. The itinerary is very exciting: two days of travel, ten days of service at NMS, two days of safari, and two days of travel home (over 21,000 miles round trip) from June 19 to July 4. The service to be done at the school remains to be determined, but Evalyn has many ideas. The school is working towards total self‐sustainability, and is committed to improving its environmental sustainability. The school has a fully‐functioning farm, including gardens, cows, chickens, pigs, and rabbits. Chores abound around the school, and there might well be some physical labor needed.
As Youth Group members have experienced on many previous trips, some of the best service will come as we connect with the students at the school, teaching them, reading with them, and playing with them. Missioners will be in residence at the school for the ten days of service, and time with NMS students will certainly be a highlight of the trip. The youth who signed up for this mission, comprising both Youth Group members and others Cow Hollow Church News
from the parish, will be accompanied by Mike Stafford and junior high teacher Riley Haggin.
Fundraising efforts to underwrite the trip have already proven very successful, and most of the trip has already been paid for. That being said, probably the best form of service to NMS by St. Mary’s would be to contribute financially to Mission Trip co‐leader Riley Haggin the school, so serving cake and raising funds. our young missioners have set a goal of raising $10,000 to benefit the school. To that end, they have identified two major fundraising activities: selling baked goods on Sundays until we depart, and selling advance tickets to see a documentary that we will film during the trip. The film will be presented sometime in the fall. Every online donor will be signed up for tickets automatically, as will those who buy tickets in the courtyard after church. Tickets are priced from $50 to $100 (or more) per ticket. It is exciting to see the continued outpouring of generosity from St. Mary’s reaching all the way to Africa. We are still looking for donations big and small to support our trip and NMS.
Youth Mission Trips have the opportunity to be transformative not only for the people we serve, but also for the youth who participate. This trip to the Nambale Magnet School has the potential to be transformative for St. Mary’s as a parish, as we make what might be a long‐term connection to our lovely brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the world. Summer 2016
Reflections from Deacon Tim The Rev. Tim Smith
ministries with which I have been directly involved.
San Francisco‐Marin Food Bank Our partnership with the San Francisco‐Marin Food Bank that began in January to deliver food every Thursday to those unable to procure it themselves continues to grow and flourish. Wonderful stories have emerged about the passion, compassion, commitment, and joy of our It has been a joy for me personally to see the volunteers as they serve elderly and disabled enthusiasm and commitment that parishioners program participants who are unable to procure display as they serve the community and live out food for themselves. One volunteer has dedicated their baptismal vows of seeking and serving Christ himself not only to providing food but also to in all persons, loving their neighbors as themselves, helping to locate resources from the city and family and respecting the dignity of every human being. for a participant whose health has deteriorated and Truly, they have heard and responded to the call of leaves him vulnerable and alone in his residence. the Holy Spirit in their lives and our world! Another team of volunteers has been able to provide food and compassion to a hard‐to‐please Following is an update of parish community elderly program participant with whom it had been difficult for Food Bank staff to communicate effectively. Another team related that a participant, who is a disabled former chef, prepared a meal for neighbors and friends consisting almost entirely of carrots from the Food Bank delivery that Members of our Food Bank ministry in front of the church unloading food from the Food Bank they had delivery truck; left to right: Marta Johnson, John Addeo, Stephanie Lehman, Alisa Quint Fisher, brought to him! Tom Austin, Lee Walsh, Anne Williams, and Laura Secour Lehman. Together with other parishioners and Deacon Nancy Bryan, I have been busy helping to sustain and grow our parish’s external ministries in the community. These ministries serve particularly those on the margins in our city.
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Next Door Shelter Deacon Nancy and I provide liturgical support for weekly Eucharists for residents of the Next Door shelter on Polk and Geary. It has been a joy and a gift to worship with residents of the shelter and to share prayers and homilies with them. We invite parishioners to join us. It promises to be a meaningful experience for anyone joining us, just as it is every week for Deacon Nancy and me. Audrey Prescott, a member of our parish Youth Group, recently visited Next Door. While there she invited residents in the shelter cafeteria to attend the Eucharist and then helped the presiding priest and me (in my role as deacon) prepare for and conduct the worship service. She wrote this account of her visit: Last Thursday I had the pleasure of accompanying Deacon Tim Smith to an evening Eucharist service at the Next Door Residential Shelter. About eight residents, mostly women, participated in this small, yet powerful service that took place in the shelter’s library. As a lifelong member of the Episcopal church, I am quite familiar with the progression of the typical service, so it was interesting to see how the Next Door Eucharist was both similar and different. The most notable distinction was the shared homily. Following the Gospel, everyone was invited to share their reactions, ideas, and experiences. I enjoyed hearing what the residents had to say and seeing how the discussion progressed. Overall it was a lovely service and a great experience. Stop Hunger Now Thorough and extensive preparations for the Stop Hunger Now event culminated on May 21 in the Great Room, drawing support from 50 parishioners and friends in the community. We aimed to package an astounding 10,000 (!) meals in just two hours for an impoverished community in the Philippines. All parishioners were invited to attend, help package, and thereby help to sustain and heal those suffering from hunger in the world! Cow Hollow Church News
To learn more about Stop Hunger Now, visit http://www.stophungernow.org/. Larkin Street at Edward II Our ministry led by Marta Johnson to prepare dinners twice a month on Sundays continues for residents at Edward II, a residential facility near the church. Sponsored by Larkin Street Youth Services, it’s where 18 to 24‐year‐old youth live while studying and working in preparation for meaningful careers. My wife Ilia and I recently prepared dinner with Jessica Metoyer on a St. Mary’s team ably led by Pat McGuire. We then joined eight young adults who reside there for an enriching dinner filled with stories, laughter, and camaraderie. We were deeply touched by the joy and the hope that the young people demonstrated. We were also struck by how much the residents with whom we were familiar had grown in maturity, self‐confidence, and presence between our last time there and this time.
St. Mary’s volunteer Vanessa Lane makes cookies with a resident at Edward II.
Our deep gratitude goes to all of the parishioners who are ministering with others in Jesus’ name in the above ministries! And we still need volunteers! Please prayerfully consider whether God is calling you to live out your baptismal vows by serving in one of these ministries. If so, please contact Deacon Tim or Deacon Nancy! Summer 2016
Deacon Nancy’s Corner
toiletries, and even a tent from the Burnam family. All of you show the generous heart of St. Mary’s outreach, and each item is appreciated more than
The Rev. Nancy Bryan Blankets Galore! Our 5th and 6th graders made seven fabulous “tie fringe” blankets for the homeless that were distributed by the San Francisco Night Ministry. This hands‐on project was a success in every way: They worked together to measure, cut and tie two blankets together and they learned more about how the Night Ministry serves those on the streets and counsels callers by telephone every Caiden León‐Duffey and Eva Toney stitching fleece blankets for distribution by night of the year, rain or shine. the San Francisco Night Ministry. A big thank you to this Sunday you can know. Because these items come from the School class, and to Todd and Lisa Reynolds, our parish, we all have a part in this outreach, touching dedicated and enthusiastic teachers! the heart of a friend or a stranger, reaching out to someone in need, and helping to make another I would like to thank all of you who have donated person’s day a little warmer and brighter. these blankets, plus sleeping bags, T‐shirts, scads of
Blanket makers and their creations, left to right: The Rev. Nancy Bryan, Bo Darwin, Thomas Woeber, John Hibbard, Oliver Hocking, Sophia Gnuse, Charlotte Wyman, and the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna. Page 8
The Presidio Gate At the Presidio Gate residence, located at Lombard and Lyon streets, we conduct an abbreviated communion service for several residents on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month. Anna Sylvester assists me. Our conversations mean a great deal to those who cannot always maneuver a bus to attend church elsewhere.
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Golden Gate Nursing/Rehab Facility Another communion service takes place on the 4th Sunday of every month at Pine and Divisadero. Jan Bolles assists me. St. Mary’s started an outreach at this facility in the 1980s and has continued to serve residents regularly ever since.
Deanery Meets at St. Mary’s David Crosson, Deanery Delegate
The San Francisco Deanery convened at St. Mary’s on March 12th.
Deanery? What is a deanery, and why should I care?
Deaneries are groups of people who help run Episcopal dioceses, carrying out policies and rules agreed on at the annual convention, vetting questions posed by the diocese, and pursuing matters of interest in their own areas. They meet four times a year. Deaneries also bring together people from different parishes to work with one another on common goals such as greater communication and education among congregations, diocesan staff, and local ministries and organizations. The Diocese of California has six deaneries, arranged by geography: San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, Southern Alameda, Contra Costa, and the Peninsula.
Sunday Schoolers making sandwiches for Open Cathedral.
Open Cathedral Open Cathedral is on our calendar for June 19. We will assemble lunch bags for 100 in our courtyard after the 10:00 a.m. service. You are most welcome to help us assemble lunches and to attend the outdoor service at 2:00 p.m. near Civic Center Plaza, at McAllister and Leavenworth streets.
Team Deacon This group of Episcopal deacons provided meals for the “Winter Shelter” program that feeds and sleeps approximately 110 men every night during the winter at St. Mary’s (Roman Catholic) Cathedral. Team Deacons and parishioners prepared two complete meals. It is quite an experience to cook for an “army” while making new friends as we stir the pots! The end result is an abundance of gratitude from the 110 or so men being served a delicious meal. I invite you to join me next year when Winter Shelter dinners are again on the calendar. Cow Hollow Church News
Deanery delegates also act as delegates to the annual diocesan convention. The convention approves the assessment formula, the diocesan budget, canonical changes, and, rarely, elects a new bishop.
Delegates are elected from the laity of every congregation or Episcopal organization in each deanery area. St. Mary’s has seven delegates and up to seven alternates, elected each year at our annual meeting. In January 2016, we elected the following people: Alisa Quint Fisher, Gretchen Lintner, Roulhac Austin (the Deanery Convener for St. Mary’s), Carl Zachrisson, David Crosson, Fred Martin, and Steven Currier.
When the San Francisco Deanery convened at St. Mary’s in March, Sarah Lawton of the Church of St. John the Evangelist presided. The meeting began, as always, with a worship service, this one led by the Revs. Claire Dietrich Ranna and Deb White. The most extensive and controversial discussion arose from a presentation by Bill Cullen, Chair of Summer 2016
the Diocesan Nominating Committee. The committee proposes to collect individual demographic information, including parish participation and ministry interest, through a diocese‐wide census in order to ensure that nominations for various diocesan ministries and functions represent the true demographics of the diocese. Mr. Cullen is meeting with all of the deaneries in order to receive feedback on the draft census tool.
For All the Saints: Marta Johnson Kim Regan
This is one in a series of articles on long‐time parishioners of St. Mary’s.
Impassioned discussion focused on the need for collecting information on self‐identified preference for gender and sexual identification – and how to word questions about these designations. The general sense of those expressing opinions was that collecting gender‐identification information, even as self‐defined, was fraught with difficulties of intent, definition, and perception. The delegates also firmly requested that the goals for, and use of, the census be clarified and specifically stated. This discussion provides a sterling example of the critical dialogue between parish and diocese that can only happen at the deanery level.
On Ash Wednesday, the Editor of the Cow Hollow Church News received an email from Marta Johnson. It read, “I was driving by Union Street after the 7:00 a.m. service, when I saw Natalie Hala standing on a corner. Thinking she was waiting for a bus, I backed up to see if I could offer her a ride, and then I saw the whole gang distributing ashes. I LOVE it. 50 people in an hour. That is huge.” So, she stopped in the middle of an errand (taking jambalaya left over from the previous night’s Mardi Gras dinner at St. Mary’s to the residents at Edward II), got her camera, and took pictures of our three clergy distributing ashes to 50 people. She then emailed them in, adding; “Now I’m running off to Larkin Street where I volunteer on Wednesdays. That’s an education in and of itself.”
Mike Chambers, who represents the San Francisco Deanery on the diocesan governing Executive Council, requested input into priorities for the 2017 diocesan budget. On behalf of the Commission on Ministry, David Crosson reaffirmed the call of all baptized Christians to faithful service and stressed the importance of Local Discernment Committees in helping all people discern how to best live their calls, whether or not to ordained orders.
Observing Marta Johnson in action is also an education in and of itself. Cheerleader, doer, and organizer par excellence, Marta puts every bit of her dynamic energy into everything she does. As Sandy Briggs puts it, “Marta is an amazing force at St. Mary’s. She takes on big jobs, especially in Outreach, but she is important in many small, quiet ways as well. She greets newcomers, helps them get involved, and continues to be there for them long after they are no longer newcomers.”
Chair Sarah Lawton introduced an exercise to allow attendees to learn more about each other and the wide variety of congregations and ministries that comprise the deanery. Networking and personalizing the face of the Church are two of the more important functions and bi‐products of deanery participation. We are not alone.
This is why deaneries matter and why you may want to share with clergy your interest in running for election as a delegate to the Deanery/Annual Convention next year. Page 10
On most Sundays, Marta can be found in the Courtyard after the 8:00 a.m. service, greeting folks at the Newcomers’ table, her four‐foot‐eleven‐inch frame standing tall. Often she is organizing a carpool or a dinner party to welcome friends. Marta is one of those unsung heroines who gives life to a community. Many parishioners share vestry member Donna Davidson’s view. “I am at St. Mary’s because of Marta,” says Donna. “When I first visited St. Mary’s, I happened to sit next to The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Marta and she invited me to a newcomer’s dinner at her home. Having come from the South, I thought this was the most hospitable gesture! I so enjoyed Marta and the other guests that I joined the church.” It is clear that many of her efforts over the years have grown the community that rewards her and the rest of us so richly.
A member of our parish for almost 44 years, Marta has been actively chairing events at St. Mary’s for the last 20 years. She served on the vestry from 2001 to 2003 acting as Junior Warden running the Parish Council, and then as Senior Warden. She has chaired the Outreach Committee, co‐chaired Foyer Groups and Home for Christmas, served on the Deanery and the Granting Team, and even planted nursery stock at the Presidio.
When we sat down to talk about Marta’s gifts to St. Mary’s, in typical fashion, she spoke about the gifts she receives. For her, the parish embodies community. Marta believes that seeing people frequently—at Sunday services, walking, working together on projects—builds the bonds that are so critical to our health and happiness. Her two children and four grandchildren are the center of her life, but they live far away in Ohio and France. St. Mary’s provides Marta with the feeling and support of family close to home. Through the many friends she has made in the parish, she has traveled abroad to exotic locales, subscribed to the theater, and joined two book groups.
Despite the “Stop me before I volunteer again” sign on her desk, Marta does seem to do it all. How? Sandy Currently, she holds two Stadtfeld tells a story significant parish jobs: revealing her extraordinary organizing the schedule of organizational skills. 60 St. Mary’s volunteers “During a spell of house‐ Marta Johnson: Cheerleader, doer, and organizer. who prepare meals and and cat‐sitting for her (she other activities for the residents at Larkin Street actually kept me off the streets when I had Youth Services’ Edward II housing, and running nowhere to live), I was looking for a rubber band,” the Legacy Society’s Campaign for St. Mary’s 125th he says. “I opened the drawer which in most Anniversary. She also participates in the weekly kitchens would contain a jumble of keys, tools, Food Bank delivery program and wouldn’t miss scraps of paper, hardware, small change, and her twice weekly walk on Crissy field with St. coupons. Martaʹs drawer has an obvious plan, Mary’s walking group. She takes Spiritual Hikes on including dedicated space for graduated sizes of local trails with other parishioners, and even finds rubber bands. The easiest dwelling I have ever times to proofread this newsletter before it goes to inhabited!” She just makes it look easy. press. As Georgene Keeler says, “When Marta says she is going to do something, it happens.” Like many of us parishioners, someday Marta will rest in the Columbarium in the inner courtyard. Marta says, “St. Mary’s rewards with a deeply Today she remains an energetic, living pillar of the satisfying sense of being held in a community, if church; one that we gratefully acknowledge makes you invest yourself in this community.” St. Mary’s a special place for us all.
Cow Hollow Church News
Profile and Search Committee News
service with two sons and four grandchildren; tax and estate planning attorney; former vestry member and Parish Warden; serves as a LEV; served on the Search Committee for Jason Parkin; married to former Senior Warden Betty Hood‐ Gibson. Riley Haggin Attending since 2005 and confirmed in 2012; attends 11:00 a.m. service; teaches 8th grade History in Los Altos; Young Adults Group member and Youth Group leader. Natalie Hala Member since 2006; attends 11:00 a.m. service; retired non‐profit executive; Verger for St. Mary’s and LEV; Former Co‐Chair of Adult Formation. Anne Kieve Member since 2000; attends 11:00 a.m. service; architect and designer; former Senior Warden and active with Buildings and Grounds and Outreach.
Creighton Reed and Diana Sullivan, Co‐Chairs Charged with finding a new rector for St. Mary’s, the Profile and Search Committee spent its first month together focusing on identifying the scope of our job, and team building. We’re a new group, chosen by the vestry, whose members represent a cross‐section of parishioners, varying in age, gender, and service time at St. Mary’s. We have had several in depth discussions on how we can best support each other and do this very important work for our community. Each of us understands the importance of the job we’ve been asked to do, and want to be sure we are aligned on how we communicate, discuss, and make decisions together. Here are mini‐bios for each of us, beginning with when we first came to St. Mary’s. Matt Bartlett Member since 2006; attends 11:00 a.m. service; works as an attorney at DLA Piper LLP; father of a one‐year‐ old girl and the son and grandson of Episcopal priests. Donna Davidson Member since 2000; attends 8:00 a.m. service; works as an executive search consultant; current member of the vestry and former Co‐chair of Adult Formation. Profile and Search Committee members at work; left to right, standing: Anne Kieve, Matt David Gibson Bartlett, Lauren MacDonald, Creighton Reed, Diana Sullivan, Alan Pendergast, and David Member since 1971; Gibson; sitting: Pleasant Thompson, Donna Davidson, Mike Stafford, and Riley Haggin; attends 9:00 a.m. absent: Natalie Hala. Page 12
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Lauren MacDonald Member since 2013; attends gathered information from the Transition Ministry Team at the Diocese, from our own Interim Pastor 11:00 a.m. service; professor and academic librarian Deb White; reviewed information left by the for the San Francisco Art Institute; member of the Young Adult Group and daughter and previous search committee; and reviewed external granddaughter of Episcopal priests. sources including websites and documents we’ve found from other parishes in transition. These great Alan Pendergast Member since 1994; attends 9:00 resources have provided us both overview and a.m. service; private equity tactical practices on how banker for Bank of we will be successful in Please come to one or more of these America‐Merrill Lynch; has our role. Town Hall Meetings two children in Sunday We are now entering our School; gives children’s Sunday, June 5 After each service; from 8:45 listening and data‐ homilies. a.m. to 9:45 a.m.; from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon; gathering phase where it is and from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Creighton Reed, Co‐Chair essential for us to hear Member since 2003; attends Sunday, June 12 At 9:00 a.m., between the 8:00 from all of you. We have 9:00 a.m. service with set dates in June for Town a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services children Will and Bebe; Hall meetings, where we consults for early stage will all have a chance to Wednesday, June 15 Immediately following the tech startups using his discuss what is important 7:00 a.m. service experience as an executive to us about St. Mary’s, for tech and finance firms; about our own spiritual current member of the vestry. growth, and about what qualities we seek in our new rector. Mike Stafford Member since 2008; attends 9:00 We have also been working on a survey that a.m. service with two young daughters; teaches provides another means for us to listen to you. The High School at Convent of the Sacred Heart; former survey will be available in early June for a period of Junior Warden and now is Director of Youth one month. Programs at St. Mary’s; son of an Episcopal priest. Diana Sullivan, Co‐Chair Member since 2000; With information from Town Hall meetings and the survey, we will then use our time during the attends 9:00 a.m. service; works at Price Waterhouse Coopers drawing from experience in summer and fall to collate our findings, and then to executive coaching, and management talent create the official parish profile. Distilling the development; former Junior Warden and currently feedback from the parish and creating this profile is on Newcomers committee. one of the most important facets of our work (along with preparing other necessary documents to post Pleasant Thompson Member since 2013; attends the position online). We want to make sure we capture the essential elements and spirit of St. 11:00 a.m. service; works as a buyer for Pottery Mary’s, and those qualities we seek in a rector. Barn Kids; member of the Young Adults Group Before we post this material, we will need approval and Co‐chair of Maundy Thursday dinner. from the vestry. Since we first met on March 31, we’ve been Then applications will come in. Once we have convening every week, in a discovery mode about collected applications, we will move into our our tasks, learning from various sources about how second important phase: screening candidates. This transitions are successfully accomplished. We’ve
Cow Hollow Church News
involves evaluating the candidates by reading their applications and having phone and/or video calls with them to identify those we want to meet for in‐ person interviews. The in‐person interviews will involve travel to meet the “semi‐final candidates” in their home parishes.
The screening phase leads into our last phase — discussing feedback amongst committee members to determine the top candidates. The final step involves building packages of information on our final candidates and presenting them to the vestry.
Welcome New Legacy Society Members
The timeline for the entire search is not yet fully fleshed out; but we will try to move along at a pace that makes sense and respects the quality of the important work we need to do. A reminder to all is that a typical search process takes from one year to 18 months, and sometimes the process lasts as long as 24 months. Throughout all our work, we have been listening, and will continue to listen, to the Holy Spirit for guidance in our discernment.
Please feel free to reach out at any time if you have information you wish to share or a candidate you wish to bring to our attention. Our email is: email@example.com.
Thank you for your support and continued care for, and attachment to, St. Mary’s. That care and love are what make our parish family so attractive to a new leader and so important to each of our lives.
Prepaying Your Pledge The summer months can be challenging for the church in regard to cash flow. If it is possible for you to do so, please try to pay 50% (or more) of your annual pledge by June 30. Your attention to this important detail will make it much easier to manage our bills and payroll this summer. For those of you who are new to St. Mary’s or who did not have a chance to make a pledge last winter, we would love to hear from you now. You can make a pledge and/or a donation online at www.smvsf.org/donation/.
This 125th Anniversary year of the founding of our church is an ideal time to honor and perpetuate the strength, beauty, and spiritual oasis that is St. Mary’s. We hope you will join with the newest members of the Legacy Society listed below to ensure that St. Mary’s continues to remain strong and moving forward for the next 125 years. No legacy gift is too small; whatever is comfortable for you and reflects what St. Mary’s means to you. Pam and Robert Bledsoe David and Janet Jeffrey Cynthia MacKay Josie and Bill McGann Alexandra Morgan Mary Roper Catherine and Michael Secour Jane Standing Robert Tuller Susan and Rob Vanneman Chase Young and Judith Branch Anonymous (1) Any questions? Please get in touch with Jane A. Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marta Johnson at email@example.com.
The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
125th Anniversary Spring Celebrations Fragrant with blossoms on an April evening, our courtyard formed the perfect backdrop to throw a party for our 125th anniversary. Members of St. Maryʹs gathered for fellowship and fun by enjoying a potluck picnic and a delicious birthday cake, arranged by Events Coordinator Nancy Svendsen. Then the church opened its doors to some lovely piano music, and a spectacular presentation on our courtyard mural offered by parishioner Lauren MacDonald. But not before Marta Johnson spoke on behalf of the Legacy Society, pointing out how lucky we are to have this “spiritual oasis” at the corner of Union and Steiner streets.
We observed a special worship service adapted from 1891, experiencing what worship might have been like at one of the earliest St. Maryʹs services. Verger Natalie Hala carried her special spiral verge, Interim Rector Don Brown donned a biretta, and Associate Rector Claire Dietrich Ranna wore a Canterbury cap for the occasion.
Cow Hollow Church News
The Rev. William Washington Bolton (1858-1946)
He was also a boxer, a footballer (both rugby and soccer), a long distance swimmer, and an ardent tennis player when that now universal sport was in its infancy. He was proud of being a Cambridge Blue, and a member of the Achilles Club of London, which is made of both Cambridge and Oxford Blues. **
More Than Our First Rector
In 2016, the 125th year of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, we celebrate a history of challenge, endurance, grace, and remarkable people. Let’s start with our founding rector. The Reverend William Washington Bolton came to San Francisco in 1890 to assist The Rev. William W. Davis, Rector of St. Luke’s, who promptly detailed Bolton to establish a mission in the unchurched boondocks of Cow Hollow. Bolton’s strident negotiations with Frank Morrison Pixley for the property at Union and Steiner streets, the apostate Pixley’s subsequent “conversion” and his posthumous interment within our foundation are parts of St. Mary’s creation legend. (Read the story in our Fall 2015 issue on our website smvsf.org/cow‐hollow‐church‐news/ or in the New Fillmore An Argonaut in Cow Hollow).
After ordination in the Diocese of Lichfield in 1882 and attaining a Master of Arts from Cambridge in 1884, Bolton served as a missionary at Moosomin, Northwest Territories (now southeast Saskatchewan) and chaplain to the Rt. Rev. Adelbert John Robert Anson, Bishop of Qu’Appelle. He returned briefly to England in 1886 to fulfill a curacy at Stoke‐ on‐Trent, but by 1887 he was back in Canada as Rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Esquimalt, British Columbia. He served in that capacity until 1889, when he became headmaster of St. Paul’s School, Esquimalt.
San Francisco Bolton’s move to San Francisco in 1890 was characteristic of his restlessness and curiosity. After Bolton’s own story is not so well known, The Rev. William Washington establishing the new mission in Bolton, recently ordained. but he could be a character out of Jack Cow Hollow, Bolton traveled London, E. M. Forster or W. Somerset frequently. He took absences from St. Mary the Maugham. Virgin in 1894 and 1896 to explore the interior vastness of Vancouver Island. These were serious Before St. Mary’s expeditions into uncharted country, and Bolton was the fourth of five children; his father a established Bolton as an ardent advocate for prominent Anglican churchman and his mother “a protection of the British Columbian wilderness. member of an ancient Bedford and Hertfordshire Bolton also traveled in search of a prominent family.” After schooling at Spencer House, parishioner’s young wife after she absconded to the Wimbledon, and private tuition, Bolton was East, and would write a colorful account of his admitted in 1877 to Caius College, Cambridge. He sleuthing in Salt Lake City, Denver and New York. was an outstanding scholar at Cambridge, but left his lasting mark as an athlete and outdoorsman.
In 1879, he won the British amateur championship for the half‐mile, and at the same period, set a record for the thousand‐yard race. Page 16
San Francisco newspapers were openly critical of the sumptuous liturgical practices at Bolton’s new church, St. Mary the Virgin. The incense, vessels, vestments and chanting of high Anglican worship The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
were suspiciously English, if not surreptitiously Roman to the mind of those adhering to the popular nativist strain prevailing at the turn of the 19th century. Bolton repeatedly defended the mode of worship he’d established at St. Mary’s, even against attacks by main‐stream American Episcopalians.
Through Asia and the Yukon In 1913, Reverend Bolton traveled to England to visit his ailing mother. As was his custom, he took the scenic route: from Seattle via Japan, Shanghai, Nanjing, Pusan, Changchun, Harbin, and Vladivostok, across Mongolia and Siberia to Moscow, then through Belarus, Warsaw, Berlin, Cologne, Brussels, and Calais, whence he took the ferry to Dover. After two months in England he completed his westerly circumnavigation and returned to Victoria, BC.
Back to B.C. By 1898, Reverend Bolton may have tired of defending “high church” practices in San Francisco. He returned to British Columbia, this time to St. Barnabas Church in Bolton is likely to have inherited part of Victoria, where he served for several his mother’s annuity upon her death in years as headmaster of a new church Official portrait of Rector January 1914, enabling him to begin school for boys. This seems to have Bolton at St. Mary the Virgin. adventuring in earnest. That year, been a speculation on Bolton’s part, enticed by tales of the 1897 Alaskan Gold Rush, Bolton and a companion drifted the but by 1906 he was a co‐founder and Warden of the Yukon River from Whitehorse to the Bering Sea on University School, which continues today as St. “a 12 ft. flat bottom boat, brand new, made of Michael’s University School. Victoria newspapers lauded Father Bolton’s interdisciplinary program: rough lumber and built in a day.”
South Pacific Mr. Bolton is an ardent athlete himself and firmly believes that the best way to bring boys out as manly In 1920, Bolton left Victoria and the University men is to encourage them to School for the South Pacific, live healthy lives out of with no planned itinerary doors, when not engaged in beyond Honolulu. He their school duties. He is landed in 1921 on the tiny therefore to be seen with island of Niue, 1,500 miles them at all times during north of New Zealand, where he taught and play hours, on the golf links inspected schools for the or on the shore, engaging in New Zealand government. their pursuits and teaching During three years on Niue, them how to play as well as Bolton with an assistant teacher outside his town how to work. ** Bolton consulted with house at Alofi, Niué Island; April 1924. resident elders to record While Warden of University School, Bolton their history and traditions. His research resulted in continued his wilderness exploration and a book entitled The Chronicles of Savage Island — advocacy. In 1910, he was a leader of the invoking the name bestowed on Niue in 1774 by Exploratory Survey Trip on Vancouver Island, a Captain James Cook. party which included his son Gerald. This expedition led to the establishment of Strathcona In 1924, Bolton returned to Victoria to become Provincial Park, the first such park in British Headmaster of the University School. After only three years, he was drawn back – permanently – to Columbia.
Cow Hollow Church News
the South Pacific. This time he relocated to Tahiti, ostensibly to compose a history for the government of France. Immediately upon his arrival at Papeete, Bolton began exploring the island on foot, surveying ancient sites, reading neglected manuscripts, learning dialects, and becoming familiar with village elders. In 1935, he published The Beginnings of Papeete and its Founding as the Capital of Tahiti.
Between 1939 and 1941, Bolton composed a series of 93 stories about his travels for his grandchildren in Victoria, and assembled them as Tales of a Roaming Grandfather. These are perhaps the most intimate and revealing of his copious writings. The Tales reveal that Bolton continued roaming through the last years of his life, including marathon “birthday walks” around Tahiti:
Fancy!! the other day I stood at Milestone 82 on
Life’s long happy journey. I hope you do not think of me as an old, old gentleman, bent nearly double with a 3rd leg (his stick) to help him along. That would be a great error. For my Birthday present I gave myself a special treat, not of good things to eat but a lovely walk of 5 and 20 miles and finished the Day till sundown at work in the garden and orchard. **
Small Groups Alexandra Morgan
One of the greatest pleasures in belonging to the St. Mary’s congregation is in getting to know the wonderful people who make up our church. However, with the busy lives we all lead, it is impossible to commit to attending as many of the abundant church events offered as we would like. It is exactly the demands of the world that create a strong need to feel connected to others at St. Mary’s for respite and renewal. Since I’d had such a beautiful experience with my foyer group when I first arrived at St. Mary’s six years ago, I wanted to figure out a way to create a similar program blessed by the clergy, so the Rev. Claire Ranna and I met early last fall to discuss a way to re‐imagine Foyer Groups, and came up with Small Groups.
We reached out to the congregation by email and in person (full disclosure: Claire did most of the work). Six groups resulted, blossoming into six little communities that create a new bridge of understanding between church life and daily life.
William Bolton celebrated life with long walks through 1946. He died on Tahiti, where he is buried in the Uranie Cemetery. His legacy includes seminal writings about Polynesian history and culture, the first provincial park in Western Canada, a vibrant academic community in Victoria B.C., the first church in Cow Hollow – and a lifetime of exuberance, service, inquiry, and joy in Creation.
** Quotes and citations are from Notes on the Life of
William Washington Bolton 1858–1946; Compiled by Timothy Adair Lawson March 2011; in “The Writings of William Washington Bolton” Fourth Edition, April 2015; Timothy Adair Lawson, ed.; http://www.mediafire.com/download/a4faerq59b7mhh2/ WWB_2016_03_10.pdf
Enjoying poulet au pot, apple crisp à la mode, Austrian Stroh rum, and each other’s company, left to right, are: Mike Stafford, Dave Anderson, Derek Weiss, John Balestreri, Kat Anderson, Margaret Stafford, and Morgan Sanders. Absent: Alexandra Morgan and Jessica Metoyer. Photographer: Katie Balestreri.
Groups were able to self‐select based on a specific theme such as parenting, life transitions, or Bible study. The group that formed around the theme of fellowship (my group) could not have been more The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
interesting. Over meals in our homes, we are getting to know one another beyond, “hello, how are you,” recounting our backgrounds, and telling what we do.
quickly followed another as people talked about what initially led them to St. Mary’s and the love and fellowship they have found here. According to
In a wide range of topics from church to children, from work to inspiration, we started to know one another in a deeper way that can provide the glue for life’s inevitable ups and downs. Perhaps the greatest part of the program is listening to new friends talk about what makes them feel dignified, and how we are A visual timeline of shared stories, linking us to our 125‐year history. all entitled to the majestic gifts of our faith. The exchange of experiences and many parishioners, seeing St. Mary’s history ideas around the dinner table with a faith‐based visually represented allowed them to “see” what group is nothing short of a blessing; as we grow makes St. Mary’s unique. Storytelling evolved into together in community and in spirit, we have a core evaluation as participants shared their insights group strengthening our worship together at St. about the spirit of St. Mary’s, and began to identify Mary’s. how our past will shape our future. You can listen
Telling Our Stories The Rev. Dr. Deb White, Interim Pastor
Arnold Toynbee said that history is a vision of God’s creation on the move – and St. Mary the Virgin has been on the move for 125 years! Christianity is a religion of relationship and each of us has a uniquely meaningful relationship with St. Mary the Virgin. Scripture tells us the importance of sharing our faith journeys and exploring the ways we are connected to one another and to God. Remembering what initially drew us to St. Mary’s and to one another is particularly important during this time of transition when we may feel unsettled and even a bit anxious about the future of the parish. One of the ways we can remind ourselves of the many and varied gifts that St. Mary’s has brought to our lives is by telling one another about them and documenting them in an accessible format. On April 3rd and May 22nd, lively groups of St. Mary’s parishioners gathered in the Great Room to share stories and help construct a visual timeline of the eventful 125‐year history of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin. One tale Cow Hollow Church News
to audio recordings of these talks on our website, at http://smvsf.org/st‐marys‐125th‐anniversary/.
The group started a list of core values they associate with St. Mary’s, including a sense of welcome, a history of inclusion, and the empowerment of the laity. They discussed the importance of knowing and communicating these values during the search process so that St. Mary’s can call a new rector who embraces these traits.
Parish leaders want you to know that if you did not have a chance to attend one of the gatherings you can still participate in the process by viewing the timeline on the wall of the Great Room and using the sticky note paper and pens that have been left out to write your family name and post it underneath the timeline on the date nearest when you arrived at St. Mary’s, as well as by noting any major parish historical events that have been left out. Please take a moment to be part of the important work of thinking about what makes St. Mary the Virgin our spiritual home and discerning how to keep the spirit of this place alive and growing as we move into the future. Summer 2016
weeded, trimmed trees, and built raised beds in the sunny garden. Mrs. Ross, who lives with her great granddaughter Jayla, is excited to grow her own vegetables in the refreshed garden—especially beans. It was a fun day of fellowship with old and new friends across communities, hard work, and the gratification of a job that will be truly appreciated by the recipients. Many thanks to our volunteers! Mark your calendars now for April 29, 2017, the next National Rebuilding Day. It’s a great way to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community.
David Sullivan, Event Chair On April 30th a hearty team from St. Mary’s joined forces with volunteers from St. James Episcopal Church and Wells Fargo Bank to help refresh and make safe the home of Mrs. Ernestine Ross in the San On the job: (l to r) Marissa Francisco Bayview district. Dean and Deborah Franklin; Volunteers from St. Mary’s Raphael House Award kneeling Nelson Heuy. included: (brand new Alisa Quint Fisher, Chair parishioner) Marissa Dean, Pam Sauer, Deacon Nancy Bryan, the Rev. Deb White, Marian Brischle, Volunteers from St. Mary’s faithfully show up on the first Monday of every month at Raphael House to prepare food, serve, and clean up for residents of this shelter for homeless families, the first family shelter in Northern California. In fact, volunteers from St. Mary’s have been showing up for over 30 years and the Raphael House staff expressed their gratitude for this sustained commitment by presenting its Volunteer Service Award to our group of 20 volunteers, led by Alisa Quint Fisher.
Refreshing a home, left to right: Grant Paul (St. James), Jeffrey Douglass (Well Fargo Bank), Mrs. Ernestine Ross (homeowner), David Sullivan, Pam Sauer, and Alexander Burnam. Photographer: Deborah Franklin.
Ned Mobley, Alexander Burnham, Deborah Franklin, Steve Hibbard, William Hibbard, and David Sullivan.
The volunteers painted many rooms and a stairway in the house, replaced an aging kitchen stove, reinforced and repaired the back stairway for safety, cleared clogged drains, cleaned out the garage, brought in a new washer and dryer, Page 20
In the kitchen at Raphael House: (left to right): Susan Barber, Anne Kieve, Alisa Quint Fisher (holding the award), Pam Sauer, Steve White, and Anna Sylvester. The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Fortunately, God is persistent. After struggling for several years with a faith I couldn’t shake I started looking for a church to call home. Having moved James Shepherd around the country after college and cobbled James Shepherd together whatever church experience I could find in each new city, I moved to Cow Hollow and tried From conversations I’ve had with members of St. again to find a new church home. Mary’s, I’ve found a variety of stories about how God has led people into this congregation. Some After several frustrating attempts at finding a are born into it and grow as members of the church in the city where I felt at home, I finally Church, while others are guided in by friends or turned to the best place to look for just about family. I found St. Mary’s on Yelp. anything – Google. What I found surprised me. Apparently people Growing up in small‐town have taken to rating churches on Georgia, church was a huge Yelp, and there at the top of the part of my life. From learning page was a church just a few the Apostles’ Creed in my blocks from my house with a fourth‐grade Sunday School traditional service in the class to going on youth choir Anglican tradition (with which I tours throughout high was not completely unfamiliar) – school, I was at the local the Church of St. Mary the Methodist church several Virgin. times a week for ten years. It was a second home, where a As soon as I walked into the community that deeply cared courtyard for the first time and for me helped to care for my saw children running around the spiritual, emotional, and legs of adults of all ages, I knew mental development. Yelp was right. Like my beloved church back home, I had found a But my generally loving and Christian community that served supportive church wasn’t the people throughout their spiritual only experience I had with lives. Newcomer James Shepherd enjoys a huge faith – for seven years, while blessing in finding an active community at going to that Methodist Since January of this year when I St. Mary’s, his new church home. church on Sundays, I first came to St. Mary’s, I’ve been attended a fundamentalist Baptist school up the attending regularly, whenever I’m not traveling for road from my house, where I was introduced to an work (as a management consultant for Accenture angry and punishing vision of God who seemed Strategy dealing with tech companies). I try to get obsessed with the shortcomings for which He involved wherever possible, including attending could condemn me to Hell. the Lenten Series and various parish meetings. Reconciling these two versions of faith was not just Finding an active church community has been a difficult, but impossible for me to do. So despite the huge blessing, and I’m excited to make this my strong and loving community that I held onto so church home in San Francisco. strongly in my church, I fell away from all religion when I went off to college. Cow Hollow Church News
From the Associate Rector The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna
When asked about his religious affiliation, Nobel Prize‐winning physicist Frank Wilczek frequently responds, “I’m a complementarian.”
The principal of complementarity was developed by Niels Bohr, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, and states that objects have complementary properties that cannot be observed or measured at the same time. These properties frequently appear to be contradictory. A classic example of this involves the properties of light; light is sometimes observed as a wave and sometimes as a particle. Until relatively recently, scientists believed that light could only behave as one or the other.
Frank Wilczek, a professor at M.I.T. and author of the recent book, A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design, is not only a successful scientist; but he is also a curious soul and a deep thinker. He is known for looking at the cosmos and human nature with equal intent, searching for similarities and patterns in the ways that the universe and consciousness are manifest here and now.
One way he invites a more robust embrace of complementarianism, not only as a scientific principle but also as a helpful philosophy, is by reflecting on the nature of truth. We often assume that the opposite of a truth is a falsehood, but in many cases the opposite of a deep truth is another deep truth. For example, from our own tradition, we might say that humans are created in the image of God and that we are capable of doing things that break God’s heart; or that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and that he is here among us, finding us when we are lost and leading us home; or that death is both an ending and the gateway to new life. Page 22
Deep spirituality calls for just this kind of flexible, curious, yet reasoned approach. In this sense, cultivating a complementarian imagination can help us to engage the Christian story more holistically.
As human beings, we tend to focus at any given time on one particular property or manifestation of God, but learning to seek God in the places we least expect to find God can be a powerful and transformative practice. May we all be willing to stretch our imaginations a little as we journey together through the season after Pentecost, empowered in our quest by God’s own surprising and sustaining Spirit.
Summer Worship Schedule Starts June 12 Morning Services at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
Parish BBQ Following the 10:00 a.m. service
Summer Choir at St. Mary's The summer choir at St. Maryʹs is a wonderful time for you to try your hand (or voice, rather) at some choral singing. The choir has a relaxed commitment during the summer months. We still sing every Sunday morning even though a single 10:00 a.m. service replaces the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. services. Thursday evening rehearsals for the Parish Choir and Wednesday rehearsals for the Youth and Children’s Choirs are suspended. If you would like to participate, simply show up at 9:00 a.m., an hour before the service for a quick rehearsal. It is a very fun way to get involved without making a commitment for the whole year. Come one and come all. We welcome participation from people who have much singing experience, and people who have none. It is a fun, friendly environment in which everybody participates fully in the music ministry at St. Mary the Virgin. The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin
Parish Retreat 2016 at The Bishop’s Ranch The Pentecost theme at annual parish retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg this year was, “Experiencing the Movements of the Spirit.” On Saturday morning, the Revs. Claire Ranna and Deb White led the adults in playing a church‐themed Jeopardy game, and discussing how we feel the Spirit moving us at St. Mary the Virgin. We expressed our sentiments as haikus. An example: Water welling up/ Refreshes our souls daily/ Water cleanses us. Meanwhile, Riley Haggin and Mike Stafford were helping the kids make Spirit‐related art projects, including kites and origami birds. We then all gathered together to build a new St. Mary’s. On Sunday, Deb and Claire led us through an instructed Eucharist, and invited us to participate by offering our own homilies. Bob Bledsoe remarked that it was nice to have a single small group where everyone could get to know everyone else in easy intergenerational exchanges. “I believe the Holy Spirit is a moving force,” he said. “And that’s St. Mary’s.” Relaxed, rejuvenated, and filled with the Holy Spirit, we said our farewells and made our way back to the city. My two children are already looking forward to next year’s retreat! ‐‐ Margaret Stafford
Building a new St. Mary’s: Adults wrote their vision for the church’s future on building blocks, and the children used them to construct a church. No sooner was it built, but it was torn down. And then rebuilt; and then, by the grace of the Holy Spirit (in the form of flame‐colored balloons), it held together.
Watching the cows come home. Gathering together, refreshed with the energy of the Holy Spirit. Cow Hollow Church News
First Class Mail
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 & Youth ................. 4-5 Reflections from Deacon Tim .......... 6 Deacon Nancy’s Corner .................... 8 Deanery Meets at St. Mary’s ............. 9 Saints: Marta Johnson .................... 10 Profile and Search Committee........ 12 Legacy &125th Anniversary....... 14-15 W. W. Bolton, Our First Rector ....... 16 Small Groups ................................... 18 Telling Our Stories........................... 19 Rebuilding Together & Raphael ..... 20 Newcomers’ Corner......................... 21 From the Associate Rector ............. 22 Parish Retreat 2016 ......................... 23
HIGHLIGHTS—SUMMER - 2016 SUMMER SCHEDULE STARTS JUNE 12
Summer Schedule for Sunday Morning Worship – Starting June 11, Service times are 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Regular worship times start again September 11, with services at 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.
SPIRITUALITY & PASTORAL CARE
Sunday morning services – at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. 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, go to www.smvsf.org/pastoral-care
Also visit www.smvsf.org MEETINGS & MISCELLANY
SAVE THESE DATES
Raphael House Ministry – First Monday of each month. Contact Alisa Quint Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org Larkin Street Dinners at Edward II –Sundays June 12, July 10, and August 14, at 4:00 p.m. Contact Marta Johnson at email@example.com SF- Marin Food Bank – Every Thursday morning deliveries from church. Contact the Rev. Tim Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for the Fall 2016 Cow Hollow Church News – August 1. Please email articles to Inkyword@aol.com
Confirmation of 20 St. Mary’s Confirmands – Saturday, June 4, at Grace Cathedral, at 10:00 a.m. Chefs SummerTini Gala – Episcopal Community Services Benefit – Friday, June 3, 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.summertini.org Night Ministry Open House – Sunday, June 12, at St. Mark’s Church, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.sfnightministry.org. Summer in the City Adult Forum Series – Sundays. June 26– August 21, in the Great Room, at 9:00 a.m. See flyer for details. Open Cathedral – Sunday, June 19, 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. N.E.R.T. Training Course – Monday evenings July 18 – August 22, at St. Mary’s. For details, contact email@example.com Night Ministry Annual Cabaret – Friday, August 12, at St. Aiden’s Episcopal Church, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.sfnightministry.org