Dear Beloved Community,
I write to you today with a heavy heart.
As many of you know, over the weekend we witnessed the outbreak of violence in Israel where a devastating attack by Hamas has caused immense suffering and loss. Our prayers go out to the people of Israel, especially to those grieving casualties, and to those who have been wounded or taken hostage by Hamas. In this time of crisis, we also extend our prayers to the innocent civilians, including children, who are caught in the midst of this conflict.
As we unite in prayer, I join our Bay Area civic and religious leaders such as San Francisco Mayor London Breed and House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi in calling for restraint on both sides and an end to further loss of civilian lives. It is our fervent hope that a path to peace can be found amidst the current turmoil.
During a gathering on Sunday at Temple Sherith Israel in San Francisco Mayor Breed said, “I know for many people here, our hearts are heavy,” […] “Here in San Francisco, we condemn these attacks and we stand with the people of Israel. The Jewish community of the entire Bay Area have gathered to send our energy to people and their suffering. This tragedy will hopefully bring us together.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
And House Speaker Pelosi also spoke saying, “As we gather, Catholics and Christians are also crying for Israel and for peace,” … [San Francisco Chronicle]
In this moment of sorrow and uncertainty, may our shared compassion and unity be a source of strength. And in the spirit of unity and hope, let us continue to pray for peace, comfort for the afflicted, and an end to violence in the land.
Join me in praying the following for peace among the nations from the Book of Common Prayer: “Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.” [BCP pg. 816]
Yours in faith,
The Right Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus Bishop of the Diocese of California
*Edited title on 10/12/23 to replace Palestine with Hamas
San Francisco, California, the United States, and the world have lost a true champion of compassion, justice, and courage with the death of Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Sheila and I arrived in California after many of the historic acts of Supervisor, Mayor, and Senator Feinstein, and those stands and actions, along with many others over the last seventeen years, have influenced and inspired me.
While serving as Bishop of the Diocese of California, I watched with gratitude and admiration as she shone a light on CIA-sponsored torture and called for the closure of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Her role in the impeachments of the former President, Donald Trump were also important contributions to the health of our democracy.
Senator Feinstein’s commitment to service has been monumental, matched only by such paragons as Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi. Let us pray for Senator Feinstein’s family and friends, among whom included my predecessor, Bishop Bill Swing. May we continue to be blessed by her trailblazing work and find further hope and inspiration in the public servants who succeed her.
+Marc Handley Andrus
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2023
Contact: Stephanie Martin Taylor
Canon for Communications
Diocese of California
(San Francisco, California) The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of California announces that, after receiving the recommendations of the Bishop Search & Transition Committee, it has approved a preliminary slate for the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of California.
- The Reverend Canon Augusta Anne Anderson
- The Reverend Austin K. Rios
- The Reverend Phil Brochard
More information about the finalists is available on the Bishop Search & Transition website, including photographs and video messages.
According to its President Warren Wong, “the Standing Committee was honored to accept the preliminary Slate of Nominees from the Bishop Search and Transition Committee. We commend the committee members for prayerfully screening, vetting, and developing an inclusive pool of finalists, all of whom we feel are called to this Episcopate. The Diocese now enters a time of discernment when the clergy, lay leaders, and diocesan community will call a new shepherd to be bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of California at the Electing Convention on December 2, 2023.”
A ten-day petition period has begun effective today, during which time anyone may submit the names of additional nominees according to the rules and materials posted on the Bishop & Transition website. The nomination by petition will conclude on October 2, 2023.
The publication of a preliminary slate is a major milestone in the Bishop Search and Transition process that began following the announcement that Bishop Marc Handley Andrus, who has served the Diocese of California since 2006, will retire in July of 2024. Formed in October 2022, the Bishop Search and Transition committee submitted the proposed preliminary slate to the Standing Committee for approval.
On October 27, the Standing Committee will announce the final slate. The people of the Diocese of California will then have an opportunity to meet the finalists at a series of Meet & Greet events November 2–5 at various locations in the diocese, to be announced publicly in October. A special electing convention is scheduled for December 2, 2023 to elect the bishop coadjutor who, subject to obtaining consent from the wider church, will become the 9th bishop of California when the Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus retires as bishop diocesan in July 2024. A service of ordination and consecration will take place at Grace Cathedral on May 4, 2024.
The people in the Diocese of California appreciate prayer for discernment and for support in the care of Bishop Andrus and Dr. Sheila Andrus for the remainder of the bishop search and transition process.
# # #
Dear Beloved Community,
The recent devastating fires in Lahaina and other parts of Maui and the Island of Hawai’i have left us all in shock and sorrow. These wildfires have been both fierce and unpredictable, leaving behind a trail of destruction. Our hearts go out to our siblings facing this calamity, a familiar sorrow to those of us in California.
In light of these tragic events, The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick, Bishop of the Diocese of Hawai’i reports on the fire in Lahaina:
“It included our church, Holy Innocents, with roots back to a land grant from King Kamehameha V (and responsibility for the ‘foreigner’s cemetery’). The Sanctuary, vicarage, preschool, and office are gone (as is the public elementary school next door).”
Reflecting on the previous outpouring of support and prayers, the diocese in California have received when fires have burned ferociously across the state, I believe that we have the blessing of being able to return in kind what we have received. This is in line with an inherent value of our diocese, to stand by those in need. We can do this collectively by supporting and pouring out our prayers and finance as able. Together, let us embrace the Diocese of Hawai’i just as we have been embraced by the wider Church community in our own times of need.
As we well know, recovery from such a calamity is a long journey that requires unwavering commitment and support. Let us come together now and in the days and weeks to come to embody a spirit of compassion and solidarity with our siblings in Maui and Hawai’i. Join me in praying for, with, and over the Diocese of Hawai’i with this Jesuit prayer, which you can find among others on the Episcopal Relief and Development page for prayers during disaster:
Holy One, you are our comfort and strength
in times of sudden disaster, crisis, or chaos.
Surround us now with your grace and peace
through storm or earthquake, fire or flood.
By your Spirit, lift up those who have fallen,
sustain those who work to rescue or rebuild,
and fill us with the hope of your new creation;
through you, our rock and redeemer
– Jesuit Prayer
Finally, I invite you to join me in prayerfully considering a contribution to the relief funds listed below. By supporting these funds, we can extend a helping hand to our siblings in Christ during this time of trial.
May our collective prayers and generosity bring comfort and hope to those affected by this tragedy.
In Christ’s abiding love,
The Right Rev. Dr. Marc Andrus
Bishop of the Diocese of California
Dear Friends in Christ,
It is with tremendous sadness, and with great gratitude for a beautiful, faithful life and ministry, that I announce the death of the Rev. Iain Stanford, Rector of St. Peter’s, Redwood City.
Iain+ came to the diocese early in his life as an ordained person, after an academic career, with doctoral study at Harvard Divinity, with his beloved and dear friend, the Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge. Iain’s first ordained ministry in the Diocese of California was at Grace Cathedral, where he was a colleague of our great team of liturgists there.
He left DioCal for a brief time, but during the Covid 19 lockdown, Iain+ was called to serve at St. Peter’s, Redwood City. Iain’s call to St. Peter’s was courageous in that it was a process carried out entirely by digital, remote means. Both Iain+ and the people of St. Peter’s leaned into the possibilities of the moment, uncharted as they were, and the result has been, I believe, a blessing for all. My sincerest condolences go to the good people of St. Peter’s who have lost more than a priest and rector.
Along with Cameron+ and our own Deacon Vickie Gray and Sarah Lawton, Iain+ was a pioneer for transgender rights in the Episcopal Church. The entire Church owes Iain+ thanks for his persistent work for equality and justice.
I understand that at his death, Iain’s sister was with him, and that for these months leading up to his death he was in a circle of loving clergy and lay friends, who prayed and sang him into the welcoming arms of God. My blessings to this close circle, who are themselves grieving now.
Very shortly after his diagnosis, Iain+ asked for a pastoral Zoom meeting with me, and we have stayed in communication throughout, even up to a telephone conversation as Sheila and I drove across the country, and texts on the night before his death. I am so grateful for those moments we shared.
Though we trust in God’s loving care and providence, yet the eyes of our faith are misted by tears of sorrow, sorrow only for our loss, for Iain+ truly lives with God now, unveiled. Please join me in praying for his family and closest friends.
My family in Christ in the Episcopal Church in the Bay Area,
In light of last week’s disheartening Supreme Court rulings against affirmative action, student loan forgiveness, and LGBTQ+ protections, I commend our Presiding Bishop’s two statements to The Episcopal Church, which are pasted below. I would also like to add the following personal reflection:
At the 2008 San Francisco Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast, I heard our then-mayor, Gavin Newsom, say that as a lifelong member of the Church, he believed that the then-freshly passed Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage was contrary to his understanding of Christianity. “I was taught,” he said, “that the Church works to expand rights, not constrict them.”
Immediately after Proposition 8’s passage, I and many within our diocese and the wider faith community partnered with LGBTQ+ advocates to overturn the proposition, along with the U.S. military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and the disastrous Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which banned federal recognition of same-sex marriage. I particularly remember the optimism of the advocates we invited for a gathering at Grace Cathedral; they were steadfast in their view that these policies would be overturned, and sooner than many thought.
Leveraging the far-reaching influence of our diocese, our own chancellor, Canon Christopher Hayes, asked me to join him in enrolling dioceses across The Episcopal Church to follow our lead and sign amicus briefs to the Supreme Court opposing Proposition 8. All of California’s six Episcopal dioceses joined us in that historic effort. We then rallied them to join Episcopal dioceses from nine other states and Washington, D.C., 23 in total, in signing a second brief challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
A short time later, in 2013, I found myself at San Francisco City Hall amidst a crowded, jubilant throng gathered to hear the official news that the Supreme Court had indeed rejected Proposition 8. It also deemed as unconstitutional the section of DOMA that barred federal recognition of married same-sex couples. By this time, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had also been repealed. Of course, these overturns were no accident but the result of patient, persistent advocacy.
I recount all of the above to illustrate that DioCal — through its solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, with young people disadvantaged by race and income, and with all who experience injustice — breathes life into the Beloved Community principles that are so central to our identity. St. Paul taught us that love will not fail; everything that is not love will pass away; this I believe.
Pastoral word from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to LGBTQ+ community
Courtesy of The Episcopal Church, Office of Public affairs
Read the transcript
Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry on Supreme Court decision on affirmative action in college admissions
Courtesy of The Episcopal Church, Office of Public affairs
“In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action in college admissions, I am saddened for all who will be negatively impacted, and I am mindful that we must continue to root out white supremacy and systemic racism.
Our mandate as followers of Jesus is clear: to create the Beloved Community by facing painful truths from our past, learning from them, and then turning and joining hands together to right wrongs and foster justice and healing. In so doing, we can be and build that community and world where there is truly liberty and justice for all. This is the work of love.
The Episcopal Church has long supported programs of affirmative action to address inequality wherever it exists. This work continues, and our faithful witness is more important now than ever before.”
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