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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.  

Liturgy of the Night

The Flame for Friday, September 8, 2023

Sometime not long after my friend Iain died this summer, several of us journeyed to his office to go through his books. As you may know, I have a book problem. (Sara Irwin even mentioned that in her sermon at our Celebration of New Ministry in 2017, as I recall.) I knew Iain had given away some portion of his books when he moved across the country in 2013, and I remember him talking about how he was using Kindle much more, for space-saving reasons. So I was totally unprepared for how many books awaited us in his office. They were on floor to ceiling shelves, double-lined. My goodness. I took some home-- I couldn't not. The vast majority are going to other homes.   
On this evening before Iain's service at St. Peter's tomorrow at 11AM (the Zoom link is in the first announcement below), I am drawn to the last section of one of those books. It is Padraig O Tuma's Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community (London: Canterbury Press Norwich, 2017). I drew from this book in the opening of a sermon a couple of weeks ago as well. Below is "A Liturgy of the Night" (pp. 67-68). 

On the first night God said, 'Let there be darkness.' And God separated light from dark; and in the dark, the land rested, the people slept, and the plants breathed, the world retreated. The first night,
And God said that it was Good.

On the second night God said: 'There will be conversations that happen in the dark that can't happen in the day.' The second night.
And God said that it was Good.

And on the third night, God said: 'Let there be things that can only be seen by night.' And God created stars and insects and luminescence. The third night.
And God said that it was Good.

And on the fourth night, God said: 'Some things that happen in the harsh light of day will be troubled. Let there be a time of rest to escape the raw light.' The fourth night.
And God said that it was Good.

And on the fifth night, God said: 'There will be people who will work by night, whose light will be silver, whose sleep will be by day and whose labor will be late.' God put a softness at the heart of the darkness. The fifth night.
And God said that it was Good.

And on the sixth night, God listened. And there were people working, and people crying, and people seeking shadow, and people telling secrets and people aching for company. There were people aching for space and people aching for solace. And God hoped that they'd survive. And God made twilight, and shafts of green to hang from the dark skies, small comforts to accompany the lonely, the joyous, the needy and the needed. The sixth night.
And God said that it was Good.

And on the last night, God rested. And the rest was good. The rest was very good.
And God said that it was Good.



Funeral of the Rev. Iain Stanford - Sat, September 9th at 11AM at St. Peter's in Redwood City
For several weeks we've been praying for St. Peter's in Redwood City in the wake of the loss of their rector, the Reverend Iain Stanford, who died of a rare and aggressive form of cancer on July 10th. Iain was known to us at St. Aidan's in part because he was a close friend of Cameron and Kateri going as far back as the late 1990s when he and Cameron studied in the same doctoral program. Cameron will be preaching at Iain's funeral, and Bishop Marc will be presiding. The service will be at St. Peter's at 11AM on Saturday, September 9th. We will be singing the Bobby McFerrin rendition of Psalm 23 and would love additional singers to join in. If you're able to do that, please come at 10 AM for a rehearsal. If you would like to attend the service via Zoom, the link is

Women’s Spirituality Meeting decided to cancel this month’s meeting and reconvene on Saturday, October 14th at 10:15 a.m., our new time. A great many of us want to attend Iain Stanford’s service on Saturday, September 9th.

New Jim Crow Anti-Racist Book Group - New Date - Sunday September 10 at 4:30 PM

The group’s next meeting has been rescheduled to Sunday, September 10 at 4:30.  We are reading Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty.  All are welcome – please contact Margaret for the zoom link (

Reparations:  The San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee is a 15-member body established to advise the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Mayor, Human Rights Commission and the public on a San Francisco-specific Reparations Plan that chronicles the legacy of American chattel slavery, post-Civil War government-sanctioned discrimination against African Americans in San Francisco, and ongoing institutional discrimination that has adversely impacted the lives of Black San Franciscans.  The committee has completed a comprehensive San Francisco Reparations Plan and will present it to the Board of Supervisors in September.

Read the plan here:  San Francisco Reparations Plan.
Members of the community are invited to endorse the plan and demand accountability for actions that subjugated Black people in San Francisco, the vestiges of which uphold the intent and legacy of chattel slavery and continue to have impacts today.
You can access the online endorsement form here:
San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee Endorsement Form (

Return of Common Cup
As has been shared in worship and other announcement settings, we have reintroduced the Common Cup, joining congregations across and beyond our diocese in renewing this central Eucharistic Practice. You are welcome to take a sip from the cup, but please do not intinct (dip the bread in the cup). On an experimental basis, we will continue to make the small paper cups available for those who would prefer to receive the wine in this way. As always, you are welcome to receive bread only -- in the Episcopal Church we believe that to receive the sacrament in one kind is to receive in both kinds. And additionally as always, if you would prefer to receive a blessing instead of Communion, simply join the line for Communion and cross your arms over your chest when you reach the front to let the presider know you would like one.

Good News Gardens - Schedule for the Fall.
Margaret has scheduling conflicts due to the bishop search process.  So instead of the first Saturdays of the month, the gardening days will be on the following dates:

  • Saturday September 23

  • Saturday, October 14

  • Saturday, November 11

All are 12:30-2 pm at the church. Questions? Contact Margaret at

Resilient Diamond Heights (RDH) Activation Training with Dinner - Sat, October 7, 4-6 pm
All are invited to join us for dinner, a speaker, and a training on activating St. Aidan's Church as a Support Center in an emergency. We are into our hottest months so that RDH may need to open St. Aidan's as a Heat Relief Center if the temperature is forecast for 85 degrees three days in a row or two days of 90 degrees and above. Someday, the church may activate to help neighborhood residents after a major earthquake or other emergency.

Greg Carey will lead us in setting up St. Aidan's as a Support Center using his Instant Incident Command System he developed a few years back. The system is an easy-to-use system with written cards indicating how to go through the set up. In addition, we have invited a guest speaker. Jill Borofka is planning one of her wonderful dinners. Please let us know if you plan to attend so that we will have plenty of food by emailing Betsy Eddy at


Volunteers Needed for Ranch Dressing

Creating our first St. Aidan’s musical comedy since 2019 requires lots of volunteers! 10 actors will volunteer to stage this fundraiser for St. Aidan’s. The production needs a whole host of support people. Our show, Ranch Dressing, needs a rehearsal pianist, photographer, graphic artist to create a show postcard, volunteers to work on costumes and props, run lights and stage manage and do publicity. Ranch Dressing will be performed on Nov. 10 and 11 at 7:30 pm and on Nov. 12 at 2 pm. If you can help with any of these important needs, please contact Betsy Eddy at

Welcome Café. The vestry has decided to continue having Welcome Café (coffee hour) on an occasional basis, usually on special days. We are planning on October 8 (Feast of St. Francis & Clare with Blessing of the Animals), and November 5 (All Saints). We will be asking for volunteers for those days either to set up coffee and tea or to provide snacks . You don't need to do both. Snacks should be simple: cookies or small pastries, fruit such as cherries or grapes, cheese and crackers. The idea is to provide a pleasant atmosphere for socializing and not a meal. If we have multiple volunteers for each day, no one will need to do too much. Please be looking for sign-up opportunities in the days leading up to each Welcome Café, and let's enjoy our time together as community.

St. Aidan’s Gourmet Book Group - Next Date:  Monday, June 26, 2023, 7pm

We will continue to meet via zoom with LeeAnn DeSalles serving as our zoom master.  She has set up a zoom link that will serve for all our meetings.   If you would like help with zoom, please contact LeeAnn at<>.  If you would like to join the Book Group, please contact<>​​

  • Monday, October 2, 2023 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

    • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks – The journey of a rare Jewish illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war. Inspired by a true story. 

  • Monday, October 30, 2023 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

    • Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden:  Two Sisters Separated by China’s Civil War by Zhuqing Li. -- Sisters separated by war forge new identities as they are forced to choose between family, nation, and their own independence.

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:

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

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

Color of Change
Southern Poverty Law Center

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:

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:

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:

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

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