A Representative Democracy

by the Rev. Raymond Hess

As we celebrate Independence Day in our nation, it is helpful to remember that the Episcopal Church is organized in a very similar way to our country. This was no accident; many of the people who designed the structure of our new nation in the late 1700s were members of the new Episcopal Church, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin. Their desire was to form a church that was governed by its people. This is what happened!

The Episcopal Church is set up as a representative democracy, where people at the parish level elect leaders to represent them. Each parish has an Annual Meeting where members of the vestry (the church board) are elected by parishioners. The Annual Meeting also elects delegates to the Diocesan Convention, which makes decisions for the diocese. Our St. George’s delegates for 2018 are Sandra Crenshaw, Aaron Adkins, and Becky Freie. Alternates are Mel Rose and Deb Hess. The Diocesan Convention meets once a year, and this year will be at the Redding Civic Center in Redding on November 9-10.

The Diocesan Convention elects Deputies to General Convention, which meets every three years to make decisions for the whole Episcopal Church. Each diocese elects four clergy and four lay deputies. All diocesan bishops also are voting members of General Convention. General Convention moves around to different cities across the United States. General Convention meets this year in Austin, Texas from July 5 – 13. I was a deputy from our diocese at the General Convention in 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was an amazing experience to be part of this gathering of thousands of Episcopalians!

In the Episcopal Church, our bishops are elected by the people, not appointed from on high. Bishop Beisner will be retiring in June of 2019. A profile of our diocese has been created for prospective candidates, and a nominating committee has been formed. The nominating committee will present a slate of candidates to our diocese later this year. On February 9, 2019, there will be a special Electing Convention of our diocese at Trinity Cathedral. Those who are current diocesan delegates will vote to elect our new bishop. The new bishop will be consecrated at a service on June 29, 2019.
As you can see, our Episcopal Church is set up as a representative democracy, where power comes from people in local congregations. As with our nation, the whole structure depends on active, informed people who get involved in our church’s life. Please keep our representatives and our church governance in your prayers for God’s guidance.

Happy Independence Day!independence day

Lessons and Carols – 4th Day of Christmas

On Sunday, December 28th (the 4th Day of #Christmas), we will have only one Sunday service at St. George’s.  We will celebrate at 10:00 am with the service of Christmas Lessons and Carols.  We hope you will join us.

StAngel star. George’s Episcopal Church
5600 Winding Way
Carmichael, CA 95608
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(916) 487-5600
website www.stgeorgeca.org

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Epiphany Light

by the Rev. Ray Hess

Through February, we will be in the Epiphany Season. I really appreciate the major themes of this season: light and mission. In this season, we focus on the light of Christ which shines for all people – of3 kings all cultures, races, and backgrounds.  The theme of light connects directly with the theme of mission; since the light of Christ shines for all people, our mission is to be a part of sharing this light and love.

For us at St. George’s, this means being aware of the needs of the people of Carmichael and Sacramento.  Another way to state this is: what is God doing in our region, and how are we called to be a part of it?  One of the exciting actions of God is through the congregation of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Sacramento.  St. Matthew’s is now a Family Resource Center for the Sacramento area. This means that they receive funding from the state for their food, clothing, medical, and family ministries.  St. Matthew’s has also been approved as a Mission Enterprise Zone by the Episcopal Church. This is a grant of $20,000, matched by our diocese, for creative mission in the Sacramento area.  We support the ministry of St. Matthew’s through donations of food from our community garden, when crops are in season.  During the Epiphany Season, we are also gathering gloves, socks, and toiletries for people in need in our area, to be distributed through St. Matthew’s Food Bank.  Please bring these things on Sundays or during the week to the church office.

Epiphany is a good season to invite friends or family to come visit us at worship.  Think about people you know who do not have a church home, and who might find our community of St. George’s helpful, then invite them to come with you to worship on a Sunday morning.  The light of Christ shines for all! I hope that we can continue to find ways to let that light shine through us at St. George’s.

Gift to St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, Nablus for the kindergarten

ImageI presented the gifts from St. George’s and St. Francis today to Father Ibrahim Nairouz at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Nablus for the kindergarten. The total gift from the two parishes was about $800!

~ Father Ray