Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is great power to redeem.
It is he who will redeem Israel
from all its iniquities.
In times of difficulty and confusion there are always the Psalms. This Psalm, 130, is honest and it helps me when things seem dark. We might want to avoid difficult feelings at a time like this, but the Psalmist likes to name them. The poet feels stuck in the dark, and calls out to God for help. It takes a while as the writer works through their feelings, but eventually they find the light of God’s love, even in the darkness. As we face a change to our daily lives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I ask you to call me, and each other, name your fears, and look for the light of God’s love even in these moments.
Last night the Bishop of California wrote to all churches in the diocese and asked us to cancel public worship and reduce meetings for the rest of the month of March. He took this action prayerfully and with a sense of compassion. He asked that we put together livestream services, which we will do. I will be asking for a small group of clergy, readers and musicians to come together at Transfig each Sunday for a single service at 10:30am. We will live stream worship and share it with you all. We also hope to create video resources for families with small children in the absence of our 9:15am service. I hope you will gather with us on the live stream, and look for family resources on our website.
Our Bishop’s request is a manifestation of the idea of ‘social distancing.’ Social distancing is a phrase that has entered into common usage in the last few weeks as we do what we can to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing gives us a chance to lessen the spread of this virus, and make sure our health services don’t get overwhelmed. It is a sensible and prudent approach that we are adopting at Transfiguration as requested by our Bishop. But whilst its primary intention is to keep us safe, its secondary impact could be to make members of our community feel isolated. So as the rest of March proceeds I am going to work with our staff and volunteers to make sure we are mutually supporting each other and staying connected:
Our souls wait for the Lord,
as the nightwatch waits for the morning,
as the nightwatch waits for the morning.
With the Lord there is steadfast love.
And with this community there is steadfast love.
Even if we are staying at home, let us not be alone.
I love you very much Transfigurines, and I am praying for us all.
Much progress has been made! Have a look at some of the latest photos, with the kitchen cabinets here! Yay.
Watercolor cut outs dance together, full of fun and wonder, they reach for something. I’m reaching for something also. I hope you might reach with me, and perhaps, reach past me and grasp it first.
Transfiguration is on a Journey this year, and so the name of our parish magazine never seemed more appropriate. We are doing something bigger than we have done since the founding of our church. We are preparing our space for the future of ministry here, a ministry that will outlast our current leadership, and provide a foundation for decades to come. We are also building ministries to fit into that new accessible space. There are many things we want to do with our new space, we want it to be a place for fun, healing and education, for music and fellowship, there is one ministry that we are pouring a lot of energy into right now in particular though: an Early Learning Center that will provide a place of wonder and play for local families.
As we have been creating a mission statement for our ELC, we realized that we wanted to make sure people understood what we were about just by looking at the name of our new center. So we got some help from Jennifer Sanders, a colleague of Sarah Del Rosso, and asked her to design a logo for our new endeavour. The logo we have chosen is printed above for you to enjoy, wonder about and begin to imagine us using in our new work.
Betty Strombom, Michele Maia, Sarah Del Rosso and Amanda Duquete helped us get to this final logo, and we are so excited about what it means for the future journey of our parish. It is playful, it takes inspiration from craft activities, it is full of energy and life, it makes us wonder what those children are so excited about. It is entirely in keeping with our vision for the new Early Learning Center. Please read our current draft of that vision on the following page. Currently we are receiving applicants for a new Director, and we invite you to circulate the advert on our web site to anyone who you think might be a good fit, with the experience necessary to lead this new adventure in parish life.
Another thing happened as we developed this logo for our ELC. We recognized that we wanted to look at our parish logo again. So I talked to Bill and Michelle, our Wardens, and they gave me the go ahead to discuss a parish logo redesign project with Jennifer. I discussed this with the Vestry at our retreat yesterday, and we are moving forward with this project.
We love the spiritual journey that our current logo suggests, climbing a hill together towards transformation. We want to make sure we capture the essence of what Transfiguration is in our new logo, so I am inviting you to go to do something for me. Take a photograph of something on the site, or in parish life that really sums up what Transfiguration is for you. It might be a piece of liturgical art, it might be the choir singing, it might be one of the stained glass windows, it might be a feature in our landscaping, it might be a group of children playing.
Take the photo and email it to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with a single word summing up why you think it speaks about the identity of Transfiguration. I will take these photos and post them to instagram/facebook with your name and your word for everyone to see. If you take a photo with people in it I will have to get their permission first before posting, but let me do that bit of admin work. I would love to build up a bank of images and words we can share with our designer to help us create this new logo. We hope to have it finished and in use by the launch of the program year this fall.
Finally, thank you to Mike Robinson for your work on developing our current logo, and thank you for talking through your hopes and dreams for our new logo with me!
We are on quite a journey this year at Transfiguration, get your hiking boots on and come and join us, reach for the future we are building as a parish with me. Maybe you will get there first!
Introducing Transfiguration Early Learning Center
We are super excited to give you all a heads up about our plans to reopen our preschool under a new name. It will be called the “Transfiguration Early Learning Center,” to reflect a broader vision for the future, taking in children from the age of two, developing a core morning program based on child centered emergent curriculum ideas, and offering an extended day for dual working families.
With our Early Learning Center we want to serve the needs of local parents as the economics of the bay area change. We also want to support the ministry of our whole parish with the Early Learning Center becoming foundational to our ongoing financial stability. Many families loved our enrichment programs and heritage of early childhood education in the past, but some needed extended care, and now we can offer both.
As you know, we are in the middle of renovating our hall, and the timeline suggests that this will be finished in early September, at that point we will have a series of inspections between then and October, and so we are planning to launch the Early Learning Center in January 2021. In the fall of this year we are planning to have a period of limited enrollment as we work towards our January Launch.
At the moment we are working on finding a Director for the Center, so please say a prayer as we put the job description out and see who we can find to fill this important position in the life of our parish.
Just wanting to keep you up to date with progress. The frames are up and we can see the new shape of our hall beginning to come together.
I am occasionally sneaking a peek at what is going on in the hall. I hope to update you here. Come and have a look from time to time. Demolition has started!
Back in October we held a groundbreaking event on our site. We are making Transfig more accessible, and renovating our hall. We are so excited about this, and took a few photos of the event for you to enjoy. We also found some old photos in the archive. I thought I would throw them up here by way of contrast.
By Bill Peters, Senior Warden
Transfiguration faces an exiting year. Our property is undergoing an amazing upgrade that will benefit the community.
While our ski slope will be gone, and our popular Snow Day will have to be modified, the rest of the year we won’t have to rest on the church steps after the climb up from the parking lot, benefiting so many with physical challenges. Instead, we will have a beautiful outdoor area to compliment our fabulous, remodeled church. The inside of the Parish Hall will receive a long overdue face lift that will accommodate community events. And most importantly, our school will be reconfigured to better meet the needs of today's families.
Of course, we will face challenges as we go through this transformation, but our church community has a history of meeting more difficult transitions and thriving. However, we all must be aware that transitions can create stress, so caring for each other will be even more important. We will be dealing with the inconvenience of on going construction, disruption in our regular routine, and potential disappointments. Our spiritual community will carry us through.
We will meet these challenges as a caring community, helping each other through the stresses and listening to everyone's concerns. The end result will be a beautiful place to celebrate and grow our wonderful community.
If you have issues or concerns as we go through this transition, please reach out to me or other members of the vestry by emailing the parish office at email@example.com
God Bless You,
This Friday (March 8th) is International Women’s Day, and we will be focusing on the ministry of women on Sunday at Transfiguration.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was once asked, “when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?”
Her answer was priceless, “when there are 9!”
We have seen 9 men on the Supreme Court for generations, and no one batted an eyelid, why shouldn’t the court be filled with experienced, wise, capable women judges. The notorious RBG had a point!
It reminded me of a moment in my previous parish, at St Saviour in Pimlico, when we were debating having women serve as acolytes, and then eventually opening the ministry of the church up to women priests. It was a difficult conversation in parish life. One issue that arose was very similar to the one Ruth Bader Ginsberg addressed.
“We should work hard to make sure there is always a balance of men and women on the altar party.”
I thought about it for a second, nodded, but wondered why we should make sure such a balance existed. I also knew, having put many a parish rota together, that it isn’t quite as easy as it looks to make sure that there are balances of any kind in the Altar Party. It all depends on peoples availability, calendars, and lots of moving parts that are beyond your control. So I was pretty sure that by a miracle of scheduling an entirely female altar party would just happen one day. Then I was interested to see what took place.
Well it took a few years, but it did happen one Sunday. The priest, preacher, thurifer, crucifer, eucharistic ministers and acolytes were all female. I wondered if those who asked for balance would notice… no one said a thing. We had moved into a new reality.
This Sunday we are celebrating the first Sunday of Lent. The service will open with the Great Litany, and we will look at the theme of temptation. I am so glad that we will be joined by two of my colleagues for whom I have immense respect. Amber, who often presides at our 9:15am service, the chaplain of St Matthew’s Day School will preside. Canon Abbot Bailey, our Bishop's 'Canon to the Ordinary' will preach. I haven’t looked at the rest of the rota yet, so I don’t know if everyone else is female, but I am going to enjoy these colleagues leading me in prayer and opening the scriptures for me.
Won’t you join me in celebrating with them?
From the UK, Matthew loved US culture from the first time he picked up a Fantastic Four Comic when he was 12.