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The Flame

Each week we send out an e-newsletter, the Flame. It includes a reflection by Cameron, brief articles by parish leaders, community announcements, and the parish prayer list. On Saturdays we also send out "The Spark" with links to the Sunday Worship booklets and brief announcements. Past issues of both the Flame and Spark can be found here. If you would like to add someone to the prayer list for the Flame and the Sunday bulletins, please reach out to our parish administrator. To ask for prayers from the Prayer Chain, please reach out to Lois Roach here.  

Wondrous Mixture

The Flame for Friday, March 15, 2024

Lent is such a wondrous mixture. It is without a doubt the most penitential of the seasons of the Church Year. Yet it is not without joy, as we marked last Sunday with Laetare Sunday. At St. Aidan’s the mixture is more pronounced, particularly as we head this weekend toward Saturday’s Spring fundraiser. Coming into this weekend, I am carrying the mystery of it all, knowing that all of it is part of the new life into which God is moving and calling us.
 
The theme of this year’s fundraiser is Speakeasy Soirée. For the last several Fridays as groups of St. Aidanites have been gathering to work on the decorations, the Narthex and Wajnert room have been abuzz with energy. Two or three weeks ago I was amazed to see how Nicole Miller had rigged up a light box using plastic transparencies and the flashlight function on her phone to project jaunty, 1920s silhouettes onto butcher paper. The painted figures have been taped to shelves and walls, awaiting this Saturday night’s extravaganza. After church on several Sundays, I’ve observed groups folding intricate black and gold fans. Last Friday a group of folks led by Sarah Glover were painting wine bottles. I don’t want to spoil the surprise– suffice it to say, they are stunning. I am aware of so many people working on so many aspects of this event, spearheaded by Sarah and including Anne Benninger, Dave Frangquist, Nicole Miller, Kit Cameron, Barbara Stevenson, Anne Edwards, our auctioneer extraordinaire Ray Wong, and Janet Lohr and David Austin who will perform 1920s jazz numbers. A whole host of additional people are assisting with setup, raffle tickets, and cleanup. Even if you aren’t coming to the in-person event (which, amazingly, has sold out!) the silent auction is up and running on Auctria and has quite an array of items. “Buy it now” items will be available at the event and are listed under Live Auction.
 
All of this is meant to rally energy and support for our ministries here at 101 Gold Mine Drive. From the Friday Food Pantry to our monthly Diamond Diners meal, from our Christian Formation series to worship week to week – all of our ministries, all of what grounds and inspires us to help manifest God’s dream in this world – are uplifted and enlivened by this effort.
 
This Sunday the central image of the gospel on which I’ll be preaching is the seed, a single grain that falls to the earth and is enabled to grow, bearing much fruit, becoming so much more than it was (John 12:24). Lent brings us into and through this mysterious process—it reminds us of our call always to grow, to change, to become larger than we are individually. That process of growth can be deeply challenging. It is not always clear how the Paschal Mystery – Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again – is transforming us day to day. We can get weary and discouraged. But in fact we are that seed. We are becoming, growing beyond ourselves, turning outward toward the returning sun. 
 
We might think of Saturday’s gathering, festive and unabashedly fun in the midst of Lent, as a kind of extended Laetareas I wrote about last week—a call to rejoice in the midst of our becoming. So too will Sunday’s gospel, in its own way, urge us: remember that you are a seed, inextricably bound to who you will be, even as you do not, cannot entirely know the shape of your becoming. Yet we do know this: in our growth we will be like Christ, for we are Christ’s collective body, gloriously porous, infinitely larger than we can imagine, outward turning, upward growing for the sake of God’s dream. 
 
I look forward to seeing you soon in the midst of this mystery.

Peace,

Cameron

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

This Saturday Evening, March 16th at 6 PM Come to Speakeasy Soirée, our Spring Fundraiser!

  • Dinner and Dancing!

  • Entertainment by Janet Lohr and David Austin!

  • Live Auction!

  • Items to buy!

  • Silent Online Auction!

  • Online Bidding started this past Monday and will end on Sunday, March 17 at 6 pm.

Faith in Action Update
An overflow crowd (Mission Local reported its size as 350) attended the Faith in Action public action/community meeting on March 7 for the “No More Children Sleeping on the Streets” campaign led by recently arrived immigrant families. St. Aidan’s had a contingent of six present (eight if you count our new friends from St. John the Evangelist who are visiting us for a bit). Supervisors Dean Preston and Asha Safai attended. Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who was home sick, sent a statement of support. 
 
Supervisor Safai subsequently invited Faith in Action to a rally on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday, March 12, in advance of him introducing a resolution (co-sponsored by Supervisors Preston, Walton, and Chang) that essentially includes all of the demands from the immigrant families. For this action, St. Aidan’s had a three-person contingent.
 
These efforts have already produced results! The Mayor’s Office, which has been ignoring the leaders’ multiple requests to meet to discuss the service gaps they are experiencing, today announced that a new family shelter will soon be opening. Stay tuned for more developments…

Join Us for the Diamond Heights Blvd. Median Project Workday! Sat, March 16, 9 - 12 noon

Help install plants, pull weeds, and pick up trash
•    9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. March 16. Even an hour or two will help!
•    Meet at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church on Diamond Heights Blvd. at Gold Mine Drive next to Safeway. 
•    No gardening experience required. 
•    Tools and safety jackets will be provided.
•    Bathrooms are available.
•    Recommended for ages 12 and above because of the traffic on the boulevard.
•    Please contact Betsy Eddy at betsy.eddy@gmail.com to let us know if you plan to attend. 
The weeds are thriving with all the rain. We need your help!

Music on the Hill:  “Ava and Friends,” Sunday, March 24, 7:30 pm at St. Aidan’s 
An unusual ensemble plays rarely heard music with a jazz twist in a program of works for marimba, violin, and piano.  Their repertoire includes duets and trios by Gershwin, Milhaud, Piazzolla, Richards Zalupe, and Glenn Stallcop.  Performers are Daniel Hallett, marimba; Michèle Walthers, violin; Ava Soifer, piano.  Tickets sold online for $20 each at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/855659399297?aff=oddtdtcreator.  Comp tickets are available to members of St. Aidan’s; contact Dave Frangquist, frangquist@acm.org.

The Lent Christian Formation Book Series Continues
This year for our Lent Christian Formation series we are reading the latest book bypioneering Philadelphia Eleven priest and theologian Carter Heyward, The Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism: A Call to Action. “Hear the call to overcome today’s culture of hate and bring healing and hope into our life together.” Come to Evening Prayer via Zoom at 6:30 PM and join the conversation at the same link starting at 7 PM over five Wednesday evenings in Lent: Feb. 21, Feb. 28, Mar. 6, Mar. 13, and Mar. 20.   If you miss one, just come to the next one-- for Feb. 28th we'll be focusing on chapters 4-6. Please feel free to reach out to Cameron if you need any assistance accessing the book, and as always, if you need the Zoom link, please reach out to Cary (or Cameron) at office@staidansf.org

House Blessing for Gilbert and Joey!

As you may know, Gilbert and his cat Joey recently moved into a new apartment. To celebrate this momentous, joyous occasion we will bless his new home on the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17 at 12:30 PM. The address is 921 Howard Street. Public transportation is advised, and his apartment is nearest to the Powell Street Station stop. Come join us for prayer, celebration, and refreshments! 

Good News Gardens 
Our remaining 2024 dates are: April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9.  (We’ll take December off…)  Timing – 12:30-2 pm.  Please feel free to reach out to Deacon Margaret with any questions at mdyerc@stanford.edu.

St. Aidan's Gourmet Book Club
We will continue to meet via zoom with LeeAnn DeSalles serving as our zoom master. If you need the link or would like help with zoom, please contact LeeAnn at leeanndesalles@comcast.net.  If you would like to be on the Book Group’s mailing list, please contact elaine@mannon.com.

  • Monday, March 25, 2024 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

  • Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver – Pulitzer Prize Winner – reimagining of Dickens’ story in a modern-day rural America contending with poverty ad opioid addiction  (556 pages)

 

Ranch Dressing Video is now available! 
St. Aidan's presented a musical comedy, Ranch Dressing, in November as a fundraiser for the church.  If you missed the show or would like to see it again, a video link is available. The link is to a YouTube video that is 'unlisted', meaning anyone with the link can watch it, but it won't be visible in searches. Please contact Betsy, betsy.eddy@gmail.com for the link. A small donation for the video would be appreciated to help with fundraising for St. Aidan's. Write a check to St. Aidan's with Ranch Dressing in the memo line.

If you have not seen the show, you don't want to miss Robert Geesey as famous country western star, Tom Morrow; Dave Frangquist as Mother Mary who reminisces about her time as “Cookie” an old cowhand while raising funds for St. Dymphna’s Church; Anne Benninger as Angelique searching for love again for the 15th show; and Nancy Sabin explaining by video why Sadie is too busy to be in the show.
 

You are Invited: Protect Yourself, Your Family, Your Neighbors - Resilient Diamond Heights Presentation
Saturday, March 23rd, 3:00 pm at St. Aidan’s Church, 101 Gold Mine Drive

Learn about:
Preparing your home
Setting up St. Aidan’s as a Neighborhood Support Center
Starting a Strong Block Response Program

Please RSVP if you plan to attend to Betsy Eddy at betsy.eddy@gmail.com.

Resilient Diamond Heights (RDH), hosted by St. Aidan’s, has been gathering emergency supplies and training volunteers since 2008 to be ready for major events like earthquakes, gas line explosions, major weather events or chemical spills when the SFFD, EMS or the SFPD are temporarily not available due to critical emergency response. We invite you to a free presentation to learn more about helping yourself, your business, and your family.

Interfaith Gaza ceasefire pilgrimage

Consider joining a pilgrimage walk on Saturday, March 23, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the East Bay, sponsored by the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. This 22-mile walk symbolizes the distance from Gaza City to the Rafah Crossing refugee camp and is part of a global solidarity movement that spans 17 countries and 125 cities. Participants can join for some or all of the distance.  See more details.

 

The Good Friday Offering

An Iraqi priest asks this one thing of The Episcopal Church:  "Please don't forget us."

For 102 years, donations to the Good Friday Offering have directly supported ministries of the Anglican Communion Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

  • READ the presiding bishop's letter.

  • LEARN about the places impacted by your donations.

  • WATCH the Good Friday concert online.

  • GIVE generously to the Good Friday

  • Offering at www.episcopalchurch.org/good-friday-offering/.

Next Meeting of the New Jim Crow Anti-Racist Book Group
The group's next meeting will be Sunday, March 24 at 4 pm via Zoom. We’re reading Bad Indians by Deborah Miranda. Please feel free to reach out to Deacon Margaret with any questions at mdyerc@stanford.edu.  

 

Registration is now open for the May 4 ordination and consecration service
The Rev. Austin Keith Rios will be ordained and consecrated Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of California at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 4 at Grace Cathedral.  The service will be live streamed if you are interested in attending online.  If you wish to attend in-person, please register via this link: https://diocalbishopsearch.org/registration/.

Life Crisis/Emergency Form

Living in the Bay Area we're encouraged to have a disaster plan, food/supplies in the event of an earthquake. The End of Life Ministry (ELM) team is aware that an urgent illness, accident or other life altering situation can happen without notice or warning. While we’ve talked about advance care planning involving end-of-life care choices, there is even more practical helpful information that the clergy would like to have on hand in a crisis, such as:

  • Name of spouse/significant other/next of kin, close friends or caregivers and contact information

  • Relevant health care information, primary care provider, health insurance company;

  • Name/contact information of your health care agent, and

  • Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) 

 

This form will be kept in a confidential file and be available to clergy to aid them in supporting you and your loved ones in time of need. The form is available as a downloadable pdf on the pastoral care page of the parish website and hard copies are also available in the parish office.

Resources for Engaging in Anti-Racism, from Elena Wong
Thank you to Elena Wong for sharing this list of resources that were in turn shared with her through her membership in the Western Association for College Counseling:

READ
Resources on talking to young kids about race and racism
The 1619 Project (all the articles) | The New York Times Magazine
“Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)

LISTEN (Podcasts to subscribe to)
1619 (New York Times)
Code Switch (NPR)
Seeing White Series on Scene On Radio

WATCH
13th Film (2 hours)
When They See Us (Four episodes)

DONATE
Color of Change
Southern Poverty Law Center

FOLLOW
Groups and people doing anti-racist work, such as @colorofchange @weinspirejustice @showingupforracialjustice
 

Contemplative Prayer continues: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday from 9-10 AM via Zoom
We offer Contemplative prayer via Zoom. Contemplative Prayer is silent with the beginning and ending marked by a bell. You can practice meditation, silent prayer, journal, or otherwise enjoy the collective quiet. Thank you to Susan Spencer for offering to anchor this practice once again, especially the Saturday, during this time. Please feel free to reach out to the office for the Zoom access information: office@staidansf.org.

Morning Prayer continues: Mon, Wed, Fri at 7:30 AM in person and via Zoom
We offer Morning Prayer in hybrid mode (at church and via Zoom) on Mondays and Wednesday, and on Fridays via Zoom only. Please feel free to reach out to the office for the Zoom access information: office@staidansf.org.

Evening Prayer: Wednesdays at 6:30 PM via Zoom

Our seminarian Weston is back leading Evening Prayer on Wednesdays. The service usually lasts a half hour. Readings for the day are from the Episcopal Church's daily lectionary or calendar of saints, and the service includes a brief reflection time on the readings. Please feel free to reach out to the office for the Zoom access information: office@staidansf.org

Hybrid In-Person/Zoom Sunday Worship

Sunday worship is hybrid, with both in person and Zoom platforms available. We encourage you to connect with worship in whatever way is most accessible for you.

Mask Policy:  If you are comfortable removing your mask, you may do so during church services.  We will respect the preference of anyone who feels safer by remaining masked. We acknowledge that COVID is likely to be with us in some form for the foreseeable future, and we will be monitoring public health advisories.  Our mask policy may be modified again as is appropriate.  Please pray for the health and safety of all our members and friends as we continue to navigate this challenging time.


To add an announcement to the weekly bulletin of the Flame, please send your edited text no later than 11:00 am Wednesday to office@staidansf.org

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