Category Archives: Church

I Choose to be Incarcerated

CIC stickers and bracelets, Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy, 10 Sep 2022 training
CIC stickers and bracelets, Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy, 10 Sep 2022 training

Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy‘s training was held last weekend: Going In, Staying In jail ministry training is for new and returning volunteers and focuses on orientation to chaplaincy and facility updates as well as context specific skill building such as trauma informed ministry and cultural humility. The training is free and open to all over the age of 21. The opening meditation titled “Choosing to Incarcerate Yourself” was presented by CIC Associate Director & Facility Chaplain, Angel Hernandez. Green bracelets saying “I Choose to be Incarcerated – CIC Ministries Jail Chaplains” were distributed.

I was inspired by Chaplain Angel’s talk, especially when he said: “We have these ministry trainings so that as Chaplains, you need to choose incarceration as well. Not like those that are incarcerated, and not like those who have families inside. You choose the surroundings of incarceration in order to be with those inside. We have these ministry trainings so that you can understand what it is like to be inside… We are a ministry that seeks out people that choose incarceration. That know that their rights are left, like their phones, like their smart watches, their rights are left in the car. We look for people that allow the direction of the law inside to have the authority, regardless of the title you have worked so hard to attain on the outside. We look for people who are willing to humble themselves…. As you consider being a chaplain, or if you have been a chaplain for some time, we ask that you understand that you choose incarceration to then be inspiration to those inside. Hebrews 13:3: “Remember those in prison as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.”

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Images Copyright 2022 by Katy Dickinson.

Leave a comment

Filed under Chaplain, Church, News & Reviews

Day 4, GC-80, General Convention

El Camino Real sign decorations, General Convention, 11 July 2022
El Camino Real sign decorations, General Convention, 11 July 2022

This is the fourth and final legislative day for the deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real (ECR) at the General Convention (“GC-80”) in Baltimore, Maryland. Today, after morning worship and an inspiring sermon by the newly-elected President of the House of Deputies, Julia Ayala Harris, we discussed changes to the Book of Common Prayer, heard a health report by Dr. Rodney Coldren (only 26 COVID cases reported during GC-80) who thanked us for protecting our fellow deputies, celebrated many House of Deputies awards by outgoing President, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, thanked many remarkable people who have worked for years to make this event happen, planned for GC-81 in Louisville in two years, and filled a variety of positions by election. We particularly celebrated the ten years of the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings as HofD President and gave her many standing ovations.

The historic change of leadership was symbolized by a hand off of the President’s gavel from the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings to Julia Ayala Harris. Both are inspiring and remarkable women who make the world change for the better. In her concluding remarks, Rev. Gay Clark Jennings said it was not enough to appoint and elect change makers, we must also actively encourage and support them to stop the racism and misogyny endemic in our church. People of color and women face real gritty situations and structural barriers, not theoretical problems. We must commit ourselves to this work, seize the opportunity, and not assume others will take care of it.

Check out the Diocese of El Camino Real’s daily GC-80 “Updates from the Floor.”

Handoff of gavel between House of Deputies Presidents, General Convention, 11 July 2022
Handoff of gavel between House of Deputies Presidents, General Convention, 11 July 2022

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Images Copyright 2022 by Katy Dickinson, and Jeff Diehl.

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, News & Reviews, Politics

Day 3, GC-80, General Convention

Rev. Ruth Casipit Paguio, General Convention, 10 July 2022
Rev. Ruth Casipit-Paguio of the Diocese of El Camino Real, Episcopal General Convention, 10 July 2022

This is the third legislative day for the deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real (ECR) at the General Convention (“GC-80”) in Baltimore, Maryland. Today, despite persistent technical challenges, the House of Deputies (HOD) passed a variety of resolutions and amendments, including the church’s budget, the election of Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton as Vice President of the HOD (the first ordained woman to be so elected), and the celebration of the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, the first woman to serve as President of HOD as her term nears its end. There are so many remarkable faith and community leaders here – it is inspiring!

I have mostly stayed in the hotel and convention center but from time to time we go out to eat. Tomorrow night, we celebrate Maryland Night, so I will see more of Baltimore. Check out the Diocese of El Camino Real’s daily GC-80 “Updates from the Floor.”

El Camino Real Diocese, General Convention, 10 July 2022
El Camino Real Diocese, General Convention, 10 July 2022
Episcopal Bishops Mary Gray-Reeves, and Lucinda Ashby, General Convention, 10 July 2022
Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, and Bishop Lucinda Ashby, General Convention, 10 July 2022
Chaplain Rev. Lester Mackenzie, General Convention, 10 July 2022
Chaplain Rev. Lester Mackenzie, General Convention, 10 July 2022

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Images Copyright 2022 by Katy Dickinson.

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, News & Reviews, Politics

Day 2, GC-80, General Convention

El Camino Real, Episcopal General Convention 80, 9 July 2022
El Camino Real, Episcopal General Convention 80, 9 July 2022

This is the second legislative day for the deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real (ECR) at the General Convention (“GC-80”) in Baltimore, Maryland. The big excitement so far was this morning’s election of Julia Ayala Harris as the next President of the House of Deputies (PHoD). She is the first Latina lay person to hold that role, was endorsed by the LGBTQ+ Caucus, and is from the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. After the HoD ballot count was announced, Ayala Harris thanked the other candidates who ran, thanked her predecessor the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, and said her election was “for justice, for inclusion, and for Jesus.” A good start!

Today’s House of Deputies session opened with worship and a sermon by the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings. There are about 800 deputies from 107 Episcopal dioceses present. We get a health and safety update from Dr. Rodney Coldren daily. As of this morning, only eight people had reported having COVID-19, which is about 1% of the House of Deputies. Dr. Coldren urged us to follow the guidelines not only to protect the immunocompromised but to respect and protect other people’s choice not to get your COVID. In these pandemic times, assume that symptoms of “just a cold” means COVID, even if you test negative. In more general news, it is raining in Baltimore. Our deputation enjoyed pizza dinner together between the afternoon and evening sessions.

If you want to follow General Convention in real time and detail, check out the Virtual Binder: “The Virtual Binder contains all of the legislative information for the meeting of General Convention. The website is vbinder.net and accessible to the public.” Also, read the Diocese of El Camino Real daily GC-80 “Updates from the Floor.”

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Images Copyright 2022 by Katy Dickinson, and Jeff Diehl.

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, News & Reviews, Politics

GC-80, Episcopal General Convention

Episcopal General Convention 80, 8 July 2022
Episcopal General Convention 80 in Baltimore, 8 July 2022

I am part of the deputation of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real (ECR) to the General Convention (“GC-80”) in Baltimore, Maryland, this week. This is the eightieth General Convention since the House of Deputies was formed in 1785. (The House of Bishops was formed in 1789.) This is the third time I have been part of an ECR deputation: you can read about my adventures at GC-79-Austin and GC-78-Salt-Lake-City on this blog. Many of us arrived in Baltimore from California and registered yesterday. Today is the first day of business. The Episcopal Church has taken many measures to try to minimize the potential danger of the pandemic to GC participants. For example, GC-80 was postponed for a year, the event was shortened from two weeks to four days, all participants must prove that they are vaccinated or exempted, and we all must mask and test every day. This morning’s sessions opened with worship, including an inspiring sermon by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

Baltimore is different than where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in terms of water. It is hot and humid here and rain is frequent, unlike our drought-plagued west. Attending a convention in a big city presents dangers beyond the pandemic. As we were arriving at our hotel, a man was killed on the street nearby. Tonight, Bishops Against Gun Violence is holding a prayer service for him.

Episcopal General Convention 80, 8 July 2022
Episcopal General Convention 80, 8 July 2022

Additional photos after the legislative session:

9 July 2022 update: check out the Diocese of El Camino Real daily GC-80 “Updates from the Floor

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Images Copyright 2022 by Katy Dickinson, Ruth Casipit Paguio, and Jeff Diehl.

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, News & Reviews, Politics

In Memory of Susan Broaddus

Susan Broaddus and the Rev. Bisoke Balikenga

Susan Broaddus and I worked together for many years on the Congo Network, a project of the worldwide Anglican and Episcopal churches to support the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She passed away on 3 December 2021 after a lifetime of faithful activism, including twelve years as an Episcopalian missionary in the Congo. This is to honor and remember her. May Susan rest in peace and rise in glory.

Susan’s church home was Christ & St. Luke’s Church in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia which published this memorial resolution in her honor. The resolution was presented to and approved by the diocese’s Annual Council on 26 February 2022 and will be part of the journal for the year.

Update: On 26 July 2022, the Congo Network’s Chair, and Africa Partnership Officer for the Episcopal Office of Global Partnerships, Rev. Daniel N. Karanja, Ph.D., presented the linked Brief to the Congo Network honoring Susan Broaddus and her inspiring life of advocacy and lay leadership. The Rev. Daniel reviewed over 400 pages of Susan’s letters and documents to create the Brief. He spoke of Susan’s outstanding and inspiring contributions developing the role of women leaders and educational programs, especially at the Université Anglicane du Congo.

Susan Broaddus memorial gathering, Congo, Dec 2021
Susan Broaddus memorial gathering at the Université Anglicane du Congo parish church in Bunia, December 2021

Susan’s obituary was published by The Virginian-Pilot from 8 December – 10 December 2021. A longer version was published on Facebook by Women to Women for Congo on 8 December 2021:

It is with great sadness that we are sharing the news of the death  of Susan Broaddus, founder of the Women to Women for Congo and primary moderator of this page.

Susan Broaddus

Susan Broaddus succumbed to cancer on December 3, 2021, in Norfolk, Va., where she was born in 1946.

Her life’s greatest passion centered on The Democratic Republic of Congo, where she served as an Episcopalian missionary for over 12 years, dedicated to improving the lives of the people in that lawless and war-torn region.

She was especially concerned for the women and children there, because many militias continually attacked the towns and villages. The militias often kidnapped or killed the men, sexually attacked the women, and left the children orphaned.

About a decade ago, Susan revisited the Congo and was inspired to do more by raising awareness and money in the United States to help her beloved Congolese people. She founded a group called Women-to-Women for Congo, which joined her mission to pray for and financially assist the people there. She also supported the Anglican seminary in the Congo, both through individual scholarships and by supporting the seminary’s capital projects.

She was at the forefront locally of assisting with the immigration of the Sudanese “Lost Boys,” personally assisting many of them with tutoring, housing, bureaucracy, and more. 

Susan was a lifelong Francophile. Before retiring, she taught high school French in several school systems throughout the greater Hampton Roads area.

Her fluency in French enabled her to stay in touch with her friends and contacts in the Congo. When Susan’s health was declining rapidly from her second battle with cancer, the Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, who was the Archbishop of the Congo while she served there and is now retired, e-mailed a letter to Susan, which captured Susan’s spirit. It reads, in part (roughly translated): “I have no other words but to congratulate you for having led a life consecrated to the holy ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am convinced that you do not fear anything because, together, we have worked in the direction of ensuring the continuity of his mission to proclaim the Eternal Kingdom of God. Knowing that our human capacities have time limits, we had trained others among us and for subsequent generations. The mission continues.”

In addition to her work with the Congo, Susan was an avid reader and member of a book club. Shelves and stacks of books on many subjects filled her home. She also was active in her church, Christ & St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Susan was preceded in death by her parents, John and Margaret Broaddus, and her sisters, Margaret (Midge) Hutchison, and Ann Broaddus. She is survived by her nephew, Jason Nowell, and extended family and hometown friends….

If you would like to remember Susan in a meaningful way, please contribute to Episcopal Church Women, designating “Broaddus/Congo” in the memo line (mail to: ECW, Christ & St. Luke’s Church, P.O. Box 11499, Norfolk, VA 23517)

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Images Copyright by the Rev. Bisoke Balikenga, Bunia, Congo.

2 Comments

Filed under Church, News & Reviews, Politics

Graduations

GTU Commencement 7 May 2022
GTU Commencement 7 May 2022

Spring is graduation season and this year, I joyfully walked the stage in-person for my Graduate Theological Union – Master’sTheology degree, as well as graduating three of my own student-mentees from the University of the South – School of Theology – Education for Ministry (EfM) extension program.

My GTU – MA and Master’s hood were officially presented online last year* but GTU offered the 2020 and 2021 pandemic-years graduates an opportunity to walk in-person this year. I was hooded by Associate Dean of Students, Dr. Wendy Arce in a ceremony at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. I was also awarded the Interreligious Chaplaincy Certificate, as only the second person to complete the new GTU – ICP program. Part of ICP is completing a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), which for me meant working part-time as a Chaplain Intern for five months at Stanford Hospital during a pandemic surge. Several of us from Stanford Hospital – Spiritual Care Services graduated from GTU together this year. I was happy that my family which lovingly supported me during my long educational journey was present for my graduation.

Co-Mentor Karen LeBlanc, with whom I have led EfM seminars together for over twelve years, celebrated with me the graduations of Joel Martinez (graduated 2020, diploma presented 2022) and Beth Hopf at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (Saratoga, CA), and Mark LeBlanc (Karen’s husband) at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church (Cupertino, CA). Joel, Beth, and Mark faithfully completed four years of EfM study and theological reflection on the Bible, church history, theology, and ethics.

*Read my thesis here: “Range of Chaplain Engagement with Prisoners”

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Images Copyright 2022 by Katy Dickinson, Jessica Dickinson Goodman, and Paul D. Goodman.

2 Comments

Filed under Chaplain, Church, Home & Family, Mentoring & Other Business, News & Reviews