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. During this time of sheltering in place, we are also sharing a more frequent e-news, "the Spark," which features shorter reflections, reports, and resources. 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 don’t hesitate to be in touch with the office. To ask for prayers from the Prayer Chain, please reach out to Lois Roach here.  

Here, Soon, Awake:

Mystery of New Life: The Flame for Friday, April 29, 2022

From our rector

God of the new fire, and feasting at daybreak: come to us in the dullness of routine and the pain of betrayal; call to us in the way of the cross and the joy of resurrection; through Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Amen.
What a joy it was to welcome in Eastertide two Sundays ago. Our journey through Holy Week this year was especially intense and moving. This year, of course, that process was enhanced by our return to 101 Gold Mine Drive, together with our Zoom presence. On Maundy Thursday Amy preached a powerful sermon inviting us into the washing of our feet, and we truly jumped in. Midway through Good Friday, Doug and Leonor Barnett opened a beautiful space on Zoom for quiet prayer and reflection. Then in the evening our service of the Way of the Cross included twelve moving reflections on the various stations, some via Zoom and others shared in person, as well as a powerful anthem by the choir and various chants and hymns sung by all. At the Easter Vigil, our new fire was challenged by the wind (not exactly a unique occurrence here in Diamond Heights) but our Paschal Candle was indefatigable. We heard stories familiar and new, told by Doris Weyl Feyling, Elaina LeGault, and Janet Lohr. On Sunday morning Easter joy arrived fully in our space at the 8 and 10 AM as we welcomed people in person and via Zoom, followed by festive coffee hour / Welcome Café. It was such a gift to see people I have not seen in person in what feels like a lifetime, and to see our space filled with the largest number of people we’ve had since before the pandemic. I found myself choked with emotion at several points. This beloved community has been through so much, as has our world. Even through the tears, the joy flows.
Coming into this weekend, St. Aidan’s vestry (governing board) is headed into retreat at Bishop’s Ranch in person for the first time since before the pandemic (except for our August 2021 half-day conversation in the Wajnert Room with the fog blowing in through the open windows). We’ll be gathering to look forward to the year ahead, mindful of the journey we’ve been on and where we are as a community in this moment. For part of our time tomorrow we’ll be joined via Zoom by the Rev. Scot Sherman (who, as you may recall, was with our community for a year during the pandemic as he completed the process toward ordination in the Episcopal Church after thirty years of ministry in the Reformed tradition). He will be talking with us about the diocesan pilot program, Vital + Thriving Congregations, in which we’re in the early stages of participating. Sunday morning worship here at 101 Gold Mine Drive will again be Morning Prayer, with many thanks to David Mealy who will lead the 10 AM this week, and Amy Newell-Large and Lisa da Silva who led worship last week. If you missed it or would like to listen again, Lisa’s powerful sermon from last week is on our website here:
As the third Sunday of Easter approaches, I find myself drawn to the language of Steven Shakespeare’s collect, which we’ll be using this Sunday (and that I’ll be quoting in a pre-recorded sermon from afar). God is the God of new fire and feasting and daybreak. God is the God who comes to us in pain and routine, in cross and resurrection. Thanks be to God for the mystery of new life that comes to us and calls to us in all times and places. 




Hybrid In-Person/Zoom Worship Continues This Week
This week our worship will continue to be hybrid, with both in person and Zoom platforms available. We encourage you to connect to with worship in whatever way is comfortable and feels safest for you.

As mask mandates increasingly lift in the Bay Area, and as COVID-19 moves in an endemic direction, we look forward to making masks optional for gatherings here at St. Aidan’s. While we are not yet ready to take this step for everyone, we are moving in that direction by inviting worship leaders who are fully vaccinated and boosted, and who feel comfortable doing so, to remove their masks when exercising that leadership in order to be more clearly heard. One exception to this shift is that worship leaders will remain masked while consecrating the elements at the altar. This modest step beyond our practice of the last several months is in accordance with diocesan guidance, the latest version of which can be found at: 

Catechism Class – a Collaboration with St. Francis, Starting May 1 at 2 PM
Are you interested in joining a class to prepare for Confirmation, Reception into the Episcopal Church, or renewing your Baptismal vows? During the month of May, Cameron and Fr. Eric Metoyer of St. Francis in SF are coming together in a spirit of friendship to lead a series of conversations on key faith topics, using the The Discovery Series, a collection of brief faith formation videos from the wider Episcopal Church.
When: May 1, 2-3:30 PM - Our Spiritual Journeys (led by Fr. Eric)
May 8, 2-3:30 PM – The Great Commandment and the Great Commission (led by Cameron)
May 15, 2-3:30 PM – Faith, Questions, and Creeds (led by Cameron & Eric)
May 22, 2-3:30 PM – The Baptismal Covenant (led by Cameron & Eric)
[May 29, 2-3:30 PM –  Eucharist Unpacked (an ‘instructed Eucharist’)] (led by Cameron & Eric)
Where: St. Francis Episcopal Church, 399 San Fernando Way. Or if you cannot attend in person, via Zoom.
This series prepares for a Confirmation service led by Bishop Marc Andrus at Grace Catehdral on Saturday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. Please feel free to reach out to Cameron at or Fr. Eric at rector@stfrancisepiscopal.orgwith any questions, and we look forward to seeing you!


The Third Sunday in Easter - Morning Prayer
Both 8 and 10 AM worship services will be in the Morning Prayer format again this week. Cameron will be preaching via a pre-recorded sermon, since he will be at the vestry retreat.


Wrestling with the Scriptures, this Tuesday, May 3 at 10:30 AM
The next meeting of our monthly Bible study, Wrestling with the Scriptures, is coming up this Tuesday at 10:30 AM. This month our leader will be Betty Carmack, and we'll be focusing on the First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 15:35-38 & 42-50. She looks forward to hearing  others' perspectives on this scripture passage. We look forward to seeing you Tuesday, and if you need to Zoom link, please reach out to

Diamond Diners, this Wednesday, May 4 at 12 PM
Our monthly senior luncheon, Diamond Diners, is coming up this week from 12-1 PM in takeout form from our doorway. Many thanks to all, and we look forward to seeing you Wednesday!


Welcome Café for Easter Season?
St. Aidan's had a festive Welcome Café (aka Coffee Hour) following the 10:00 AM service on Easter Sunday—the first time we have done this since the start of the pandemic. This special event was held outdoors to ensure adequate air circulation and reasonable social distancing. 
The Regathering Committee is interested in determining if this Easter season is the right time for us to return to having Welcome Café on a regular basis. Please let one of us know if you are comfortable with the idea or if you have concerns or suggestions for appropriate safety precautions.  The members of the committee are Barbara Stevenson, Elena Wong, Dave Frangquist, Jim Oerther and Cameron Partridge.


Cards for Barbara Purcell 
With the support of her children, our beloved long-time St. Aidanite Barbara Purcell has recently moved to the Sacramento area. Let’s send our love to her and her family in the form of cards. They can be addressed to her
c/o Bill Purcell
4341 Galewood Way
Carmichael, CA 95608
Thank you in advance for your support!


Good News Gardens – next date: May 7
Many thanks to all who joined our Good News gardening day on April 2.  We enjoyed the daffodils and tulips in front of the church and also did a lot of weeding on the Diamond Heights side of the garden – have a look if you’re walking or driving by. Our next garden spruce-up Saturdays at the church will be on May 7 and June 4.  Out of an abundance of caution, we’ll mask and we’ll begin after lunch (12:30) so that we aren’t eating together.  (Although there will be snacks and drinks available!)  We’ll finish by 2 pm. Question?  Contact Deacon Margaret (


Women's Spirituality Group - next date: May 14
Our St. Aidan's Women's Spirituality Group will meet via zoom Saturday, May 14th, starting at 10:30. As before, we will have time for both checking in and personal sharing as well as time for spiritual growth.  We are certainly open to  formats and approaches such as reflections on a poem, scripture,  narrative passage or another focus for our growth. We want our group to meet the needs and desires of those who participate.   If you want to join us, and we hope you will, please contact Elaine Mannon at elaine@mannon. com to get the information for signing into our meeting.


New Jim Crow Anti-Racist Book Group - next date: May 15
New Jim Crow Anti-Racist Book group – our next meeting is Sunday, May 15, 4-5:30
We’re reading Barracoon by Zora Neal Hurston. All are welcome – please contact Deacon Margaret for the link…


St. Aidan’s Gourmet Book Group - Next Date:  May 23rd
We will continue to meet via zoom with LeeAnn DeSalles serving as our zoom master. She has set up a zoom link, listed below, 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, May 23, 2022 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. via zoom

    • Say Nothing by Patrick Keefe – A true story of murder and memory during the Northern Ireland Conflict

  • Monday June 27, 2022 7:00  - 9:00 p.m. via zoom

    • The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard – with a sharp ear for conversation and an eye for the defining political moment in a social interaction, Hazzard tells a story not merely about love but more deeply and subtly about power


Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Housing in Our Neighborhood, Sat., June 4th!
On Saturday, June 4th St. Aidan’s will be contributing a second volunteer team to Habitat for Humanity’s affordable housing effort on Amber Drive. We are signed up to bring ten people that day, the minimum age is 16, all volunteers must be fully vaccinated and masked, and no construction experience is necessary. We need to arrive at 8:30 AM, bring our own bag lunches, and the work day will end by 4:30 PM. Please let Deacon Margaret know if you’d like to be part of this team:

In addition to June 4th are also contributing three people to an additional workday on Saturday, May 21st.  We will have further opportunities as well, and you can also always sign up on your own to volunteer on other days, especially Thursdays and Fridays. To reach out to Habitat for Humanity directly, please contact The Volunteer Calendar, updated weekly, is also online: 

Please send in your recipes for the COVID Connect Cookbook!
As shared in previous weeks, Peter Fairfield and Linnea Sweet are putting together the COVID Connect Cookbook. He's received several recipes thus far but would very much like more. He writes:

We are living through a time that will change our world in ways that we cannot yet begin to understand. We can hope that our shared vulnerability to this virus worldwide will help us see that all humanity is connected and that we must all work together. As we shelter in place, many of us are concerned with food. If we are not working, how will we afford it? If we cannot go out, how will we get it?

In our community of Saint Aidan’s, many are able to feed themselves and to help others get fed. More than that, we appreciate the food that we get and are finding new ways of making the sharing of food as enjoyable as possible.

The soup recipes that Cameron has been sharing have made our diet much more enjoyable and have given Linnea and I the inspiration to collect recipes from all the congregation and share them. We ask that everyone with a favorite recipe email it to us at We will collect and edit them into a cookbook which will be a lasting reminder of this strange and special time in all our lives.

We hope to be able to publish this cookbook in printed form and sell it to raise funds in support of Saint Aidan’s food ministries. We know you have been sharing food. Now please share your recipes!


Contemplative Prayer continues: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday from 9-10 AM via Zoom
Contemplative prayer continues during this time of sheltering in place, 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 via Zoom
We also continue to have Morning Prayer to help sustain and ground us, online/over the phone!  Please feel free to reach out to the office for the Zoom access information:


Evening Prayer continues: Wednesdays at 6:30 PM via Zoom
Every Wednesday evening we hold Evening Prayer via Zoom. Evening Prayer usually lasts a half hour. Readings for the day often feature commemorations from the Episcopal Church’s 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:


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