Story & Photos by Canon Debbie Low-Skinner
After spending Saturday at the Vital+Thriving gathering (see story above) at Trinity+St. Peter’s, the Rev. Cn. Debbie Low-Skinner returned to the church to preach and preside at their Sunday Eucharist. Participants included the excellent choir and the exceptional Music Director/Organist Robert Gurney, Lector and Senior Warden Mike Chambers (former President of the SF Deanery), and Lay Eucharist Minister Steven De Gracia.
FYI. On March 3rd, Trinity St. Peter’s will hold two events: First, at 10 a.m., they will make 100 sandwich lunches for the Open Cathedral and Night Ministry; and then, at 5 p.m., they will offer an Evensong and Organ Recital featuring Benjamin Bachmann, Music Director of St. Paul’s, Oakland.
Also, this coming July, Bishop Marc Andrus and Bishop Coadjutor Austin Rios will help Trinity+St. Peter’s celebrate its 175th birthday. The church is the oldest, continually operating Episcopal church in the West. The impressive stone church is centrally located near the San Francisco Civic Center, on the corner of Gough and Bush Streets.
Story and Photos by Canon Debbie Low-Skinner+
On Saturday, February 24, the Rev. Cn. Debbie Low-Skinner, Canon to the Ordinary and head of the DioCal Congregational Ministries Working Group, attended the all-day Vital+Thriving (V+T) Winter Gathering held at Trinity+St. Peter’s, San Francisco.
This training and mutual-listening event was led by DioCal Canon for Formation, Canon Amy Cook, and Center for Church Innovation faculty—the Revs. Beth Horsch, Patrick Kiefert, and Janet Hunt (who came despite recently breaking her leg). In attendance were nearly 70 laity and 17 clergy, whose 22 churches are participating in our Vital+Thriving (V+T) Congregational Development Program.
Among the eight churches that joined the pilot/initial V+T cohort in December 2021, Trinity+St. Peter’s and the rest of the cohort have completed their data-gathering/discovery phase. They are now developing their missional innovation experiments to explore how to expand their ministries and build Beloved Communities in their neighborhood contexts.
The other two cohorts (of which Cohort 2 started in Dec 2022 and Cohort 3 started in Dec 2023) are also making great progress in their V+T work.
The event started with Morning Prayer, led by The Rev. Kira Austin-Young of St. Mary the Virgin Church in San Francisco. The Dwelling in the Word Bible reflection used Philippians 1:27, 2:5-11. Hymn accompaniment was provided by Trinity+St. Peter’s Music Director Robert Gurney.
The Diocese of California is honored to announce the appointment of the Very Rev. Eric Metoyer as our first-ever Canon for Racial, Social, and Environmental Justice.
Dean Eric brings to the historic new canon position more than a decade of experience in multi-cultural ministry. As Canon for Racial, Social, and Environmental Justice, he will advise the bishop, work directly with congregations, and develop meaningful racial/environmental justice partnerships between the diocese and Bay Area community and interfaith organizations, as well as the broader Episcopal Church.
Click here to learn more about the Canon for Racial Social and Environmental Justice position.
Dean Eric is looking forward to returning to diocesan offices full-time in September 2024. Beginning April 1, he will serve in the Canon for Racial, Social, and Environmental Justice position on a part-time basis, while he fulfills contracts to serve as part-time supply priest at Grace, Martinez and then in San Francisco through the summer.
More about Dean Eric
The Very Rev. Eric Metoyer is Regional Dean for the diocese’s San Francisco Deanery. In his former diocesan role as Associate for Congregational Ministries, he served the liaison to our various multicultural ministries: Afro Anglican, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latino, Women’s, and Oasis (LGBTQIA+). He has participated in various national convocations, including those of the Union of Black Episcopalians and Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries.
Dean Eric served as lead anti-racism trainer for DioCal for over ten years. During this time, the training materials evolved to reflect more of the Bay Area’s unique history: including the impact of the Doctrine of Discovery on the people of this region.
Dean Eric also has served the Diocese of California and the wider Episcopal Church as the Province VIII Convener of Multi-Cultural Ministries; a deputy to General Convention (Standing Committee on the State of the Church, Legislative Committee on Racial Reconciliation); convener of the California Public Policy Network (TEC), meeting on Climate Change and Environmental Racism; and he is a frequent speaker and panelist on congregational development and multi-cultural ministries in The Episcopal Church.
In addition to his work as Regional Dean of San Francisco Deanery, he has served DioCal congregations as a rector, an interim vicar, and a priest associate. His contributions to the broader Bay Area community include serving as a board member of several local non-profits and schools. He lives in San Francisco with his beloved spouse Jessica, their son lives nearby and is a reservist in the United States Marine Corps.
Recent article featuring the Very Rev. Eric Metoyer
Also, check out this recent article written by the Very Rev. Eric Metoyer and published by The Episcopal Church Office of Racial Reconciliation: “Our history teaches, not harms us: reflections on Black History Month.“
Celebration of Deacon Ken Parris’ New Call as Wing Chaplain
Story and photos by the Rev. Cn. Debbie Low-Skinner
Above are some photos from the Rev. Deacon Ken Parris’ special Evensong on Thursday, February 8 at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, “to celebrate and thank God for the recent honor and appointment of Rev. Ken as the California Wing Chaplain responsible for California’s Civil Air Patrol Chaplain Corps activities. This appointment reflects his valuable commitment to the Church and U.S. Air Force.”
In the homily, Bishop Marc referred to Isaiah 49:16 and said how deacons and chaplains, such as Rev. Ken, are especially remembered and inscribed on the palms of God’s hands. Their work is to be called outside of church to minister to those who are suffering, in prison, on the margins, and/or far from home in the military and hospitals.
Officiant: Dean, The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young
Readers: The Rev. Ken Parrish and his friend and fellow Oakland Police Dept. Chaplain Fr. Jayson Landeza, who is also a Roman Catholic parish priest
Prayers: The Ven. Nina Lynette Pickerrell
Homilist: The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Andrus
Story and photos by the Rev. Cn. Debbie Low-Skinner
Above are photos from the Saturday, Feb 10 Absalom Jones Holy Eucharist, held at St. Aidan’s in San Francisco. This service was sponsored by the Vivian Traylor/Northern California Chapter of the United Black Episcopalians (UBE) and our DioCal Afro Anglican Commission. Participants included UBE/AAC members the Rev. Dr. Mauricio Wilson (UBE Western Regional Director), the Very Rev. Eric Metoyer, Jeri Robinson, Brenda Paulin, and Bishop Marc Andrus as Celebrant and Preacher. Assisting him were the Ven. Nina Lynette Pickerrell and the Rev. Dcn. Margaret Dyer-Chamberlain.
Bishop Marc’s homily explored the importance of names, and, specifically, why was Absalom Jones named after Absalom, King David’s third son? The answer is complicated, as the Hebrew Scriptures story about Absalom has led most to consider him to be a traitor and murderer, who died as he led a failed rebellion against his father. And yet King David forgave and had compassion on his son, who had been initially motivated by the violence his sister Tamar experienced at the hands of King David’s first son. Ultimately, we remember the “sword” Jesus talked about as wielding was the spiritual weapons of truth, forgiveness, and compassion which together with love build up the Beloved Community.
After the service, Rev. Mauricio and Rev. Eric presented Bishop Marc with a special plaque and a kente cloth bishop’s shirt, in recognition of his 18 years of support of the goals of the UBE/AAC and building the Beloved Community in our Diocese. Bishop Marc was very moved and touched by the gifts and expressions of appreciation.
The Episcopal Chaplaincy to Cal held its annual celebration of Candlemas on the night of February 1, the Eve of the Feast of the Presentation, February 2. We were fortunate to have Bishop Marc join us as the officiant for this choral procession and blessing of candles.
The service began at the west end of St. Mark’s Berkeley with the African-American Christmas Carol “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow” as the introit. This piece set the tone of Candlemas as the conclusion of the journey beginning with the Christmas star.
After a series of collects calling us to recognize those who lived in the Berkeley long before European settlement and to recognize the shifting of seasons and the goodness of the earth, the procession moved to the chancel to hear the story of Jesus’s presentation in the temple as read by students from the campus ministry. Music that included Byzantine chant, Hildegard of Bingen, African harmony, Gustav Holst, and the medieval school of Notre Dame added aural dynamics to the story. The group of singers included the chaplains from Stanford and Cal, as well as a Berkeley staff member and an undergraduate at Cal.
The highlight of the service was the blessing of candles by Bishop Marc and the encouragement of those gathered to take a candle for themselves and another for those who might need a little extra light in their world.
After the service those in attendance took part in a reflection on the idea of the events told in St. Luke’s Gospel and their relevance for the current plight of non-violent action to bring about the Beloved Community in our own time. The conversation included a wide range of questions and reflections including equine therapy and what it means to be baptized into nonviolence. A particularly moving moment was when a first-year grad student reconnected with Bishop Marc having not seen him since a pilgrimage to Haiti when the student was in the eighth grade.
The campus ministry to Cal celebrates Candlemas as the only Feast of the Incarnation that occurs during the school year and in recognition of the motto of the University of California: Fiat Lux/Let There Be Light. Both the campus ministries to Cal and Stanford were represented in this event and both need your support to continue to bring that light. Please consider making a donation to them by clicking on this link. Please email calcanterbury@gmail to learn more about these ministries or this event.
Make sure you follow CalEpiscopal on Facebook to hear some upcoming sound files from the evening, soon to be posted.
You can support the DioCal’s chaplaincy ministries by donating.