Category Archives: Home & Family

Happy 1st Anniversary, Stepping Stones!

Stepping Stones ministry, 27 Oct 2019

Happy First Anniversary, Stepping Stones!

Stepping Stone Gathering:
Supporting & Celebrating Reentry & Recovery!

Worship and Celebrate with us: Sundays, 8:15-9:15 am
at Grace Baptist Church, 484 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose.

Led by the Rev. Peggy Bryan and Jackie Fanning.

ALL WELCOME! No Exceptions. Please Spread the Word!

This is a joint ministry of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (Saratoga) and Grace Baptist Church (San Jose).

Contact: The Rev. Dr. Liliana Da Valle, Senior Pastor of Grace, and the Rev. Peggy Bryan, Associate Rector of Saint Andrew’s.
More: Stepping Stone Gathering on Facebook.

Thanks to Crystal for her lovely song!

Letters of Congratulation

From the Right Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real

Dear Friends,

Happy anniversary as a worshiping community! I am thankful for each of you and for the courage you have to make the journey of recovery in the world. Community is a powerful force indeed. We are always better together! I encourage you to continue to gather, to pray, to give thanks to God for each day and for the opportunities that grace offers you.

There are always more gifts than we can see or know, always an abundance of love and power around us that can build us up and give glory to God. May you continue to find ways to serve others as you care for yourselves for “it is in giving that we receive”. Abundance will build upon itself as we trust this truth.

May you know God’s peace in your hearts and respect and love between you. By your presence you will attract others to join you, sharing the good news and power of the grace of Jesus to heal and to strengthen us to live for the glory of God!

Bishop Mary

From the Rev. Channing Smith, Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Dear Stepping Stones worship service at Grace,

Congratulations on your one-year anniversary and your remarkable success in establishing a truly Christian community where all are welcome and all can lead. Those who join you each Sunday know that they will find a place of belonging and share in a discussion of Jesus’ teachings about how to live your life. It is clear that you are a family and that extends beyond your time together on Sunday. You are there for each other in remarkable and generous

I also give thanks for The Rev. Peggy Bryan and many other lay leaders who have lived into God’s call to be a church without boundaries. Her energy, humor, creativity and commitment are clearly evident in vitality of your worship together. No doubt your have found the goodness of coming into the awareness of God’s love together and giving thanks.

I celebrate with you the blessing of this community and give God thanks for you and for the actions of God’s spirit among you. Please know that you are very much a part of our identity as a parish. In many ways, you remind all of our ministries that God is with us, and that we reflect God’s love as we welcome one another as fellow human beings on life’s journey together.

May God continue to bless you personally and as a worship service. May you always thrive! I look forward to watching you continue to do this incredible ministry of Jesus together.

God’s peace, love, and blessing,

The Rev. Channing Smith

Stepping Stones ministry, 27 Oct 2019
Stepping Stones ministry, 27 Oct 2019
Stepping Stones ministry, 27 Oct 2019

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Images Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson. Thanks to Mary Ann Gee for the group picture!

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Mentor Accreditation, EfM, GTU

My second year of classes at at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley starts early next month. Before that, I need to finish registering six students for the Education for Ministry (EfM) seminar for which I am a Mentor on Mondays, September-June annually, hosted at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. I have been an Accredited Mentor for EfM since 2011, with about fifty students having taken the course with me. Accreditation is by University of the South – School of Theology, which sponsors the EfM extension program from Sewanee, Tennessee.

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a unique four-year distance learning certificate program in theological education based upon small-group study and practice. Since its founding in 1975, this international program has assisted more than 100,000 participants in discovering and nurturing their call to Christian service. EfM helps the faithful encounter the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition and bring it into conversation with their experiences of the world as they study, worship, and engage in theological reflection together. – From Education for Ministry (EfM)

A requirement of being an EfM Mentor is re-accreditation every 12 to 18 months. As the EfM Coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real since 2015, I am responsible for arranging mentor training, including my own. This month, six of us participated in the training, with an EfM Mentor Trainer coming from Boston and mentors from churches all over Central California: Los Osos, Salinas, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Mountain View. The Diocese hosts our training weekend at Sargent House, its elegant and historic headquarters in Salinas.

In addition to the Monday night EfM classes, I am also a Mentor for faith-based classes on Wednesday and Friday nights in two men’s dorms at Elmwood Jail. I used to present the EfM program at Elmwood but EfM’s nine-month cycle did not work well for the inmates, so in 2018 we shifted to the Transforming Literature of the Bible (TLB) materials that I revised to fit the jail setting. TLB can be offered in two three-month terms. My Co-Mentors are Karen LeBlanc, Joel Martinez, and Diane Lovelace, with my husband John Plocher as our backup.

Today, I registered at GTU. I was glad to sign up for classes that do not conflict with my own teaching / mentoring schedule. I am very much looking forward to taking:

  • Christian Theology & Natural Science
  • Archaeology of the Lands of the Bible
  • Research Methods

I forgot to take group pictures at this year’s EfM Mentor training, so these are of the 2018 mentor cohort.

Diocese El Camino Real Sargent House Salinas CA August 2018

EfM Mentor Training Salinas August 2018

Pictures Copyright 2018 by Katy Dickinson

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Art by Grandmother and Grandson

GTU Adams Gallery, BW_Postcard_Front, August 2019

I just passed my theological Spanish translation class at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley where I am a Master of Arts student. Our Spanish class was held in a room next to the Doug Adams Gallery at the GTU. As a result of a serendipitous conversation, the gallery will include two of my mother‘s art works in the exhibit that opens next month, “Beyond Words: Art Inspired by Sacred Texts.”

My mother, Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson (1931-2017), was interested in art and religion all of her life. An early exhibit was the 1967 Old Testament figures show at the Temple Gallery, Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. The figures were life size, free standing, line drawings on paper inspired by Bible stories. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden are two of the figures from the Temple show. Another famous series she created was called “Revival!” presenting fundamentalist Christian worship in the American South. “Revival!” was exhibited in a variety of locations from 1970 to 1981, has two books about it, and can be seen in part in the collections of the Oakland Museum, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and Tennessee State Museum. Eleanor Dickinson was a powerful artist, beloved Professor Emerita at California College of the Arts, feminist and art activist. She was involved in drawing the emotional expressions of people in all aspects of life, often in a religious context. My brothers Mark and Peter and I are Trustees for the Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson Charitable Art Trust, created in 2014 to provide donations of art works to charitable organizations or institutions.

I am also the Manager for my son Paul Dickinson Goodman‘s art business. Paul is a ceramicist, wood worker, and metal worker who was graduated from the San Jose State University – Spatial Art program in 2018. He is actively exhibiting his work at galleries and art sales in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am proud to have two accomplished artists in our family!

Eleanor Dickinson Adam and Eve line drawings, GTU Adams Gallery, July 2019
1974 Eleanor Dickinson Revival! exhibit

Paul D Goodman ceramic California Bowl, February 2019
Paul D Goodman 8 ceramic cups April 2019
Paul D Goodman The Elemental Altar Exhibit Oct-Nov 2018
Paul D Goodman senior exhibit at SJSU Sanders Gallery October 2018
Images Copyright 2018-2019 Katy Dickinson, Paul Dickinson Goodman, Adams Gallery GTU

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Visiting Cal

Katy Dickinson UC Berkeley July 2019

I visited the University of California at Berkeley campus today to buy a new Cal Alumni sticker for my flaming SmartCar. I am taking an intensive theological Spanish course this month at Graduate Theological Union next door. As I walked across campus, I remembered that last month was the 40th anniversary of my Cal graduation, so I visited some favorite spots, including Ludwig’s Fountain on Sproul Plaza. Is Cal the only major university with a fountain honoring a dog?

June 1979 Katy UC Berkeley Graduation Eleanor Wade Peter Mark Katy Dickinson
UC Berkeley July 2019
Ludwig's Fountain UC Berkeley July 2019
Cal sticker on Katy Dickinson flaming 2017 SmartCar
Katy Dickinson flaming 2017 SmartCar at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley

Photos Copyright Katy Dickinson 1979-2019

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New SmartCar with Flames

Katy Dickinson 2017 SmartCar with flame wrap

In 2010, I bought my first SmartCar and gave it a vinyl wrap with a multicolored ribbon design called Kite Strings. Since I have been commuting to Berkeley to earn my Masters at Graduate Theological Union and my car was growing noisy and bouncy, I decided to upgrade. I bought a used 2017 SmartCar and just had it wrapped in flames by Vinyl Ink Custom Wraps. 2017 is the last year that SmartCar made a gas-powered version – and my commute from San Jose is too long for an electric car. The eye-catching wrap makes my tiny car more visible in the Bay Area’s heavy traffic. My “new” car gets 37 miles per gallon of gas and is very easy to park, even in Berkeley!

John Plocher 2017 SmartCar with flame wrap
Katy Dickinson 2017 SmartCar with flame wrap
Katy Dickinson 2009 and 2017 SmartCars with wraps
2009 SmartCar with Kite Strings wrap in 2010

Pictures Copyright 2010-2019 by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher


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Nuclear Power Plant, Craters of the Moon, Burney Falls

Idaho road, July 2019

On Thursday and Friday last week on the final leg of our great road trip, Jessica and I toured the Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) near Arco, Idaho, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, and Burney Falls. My father, Wade Dickinson, was a nuclear physicist who researched large power reactors at the time EBR-I was active so he may have visited the site. While at Craters of the Moon, we walked the Devil’s Orchard Trail, climbed the Inferno cinder cone, and explored the Boy Scout and Beauty ice caves. (We did not see any bats.) Jessica had not seen McArthur–Burney Falls Memorial State Park before. With 100 million gallons of water daily falling 129 feet, the falls are impressive! On the last day, we kept getting stuck behind big trucks carrying stacked bales of alfalfa so we drove through a shower of grass much of the way home.

Jessica - EBR-I, first nuclear power plant, Idaho, July 2019
Katy and Jessica - EBR-I, first nuclear power plant, Idaho, July 2019
Jessica - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Katy on Inferno Cone - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Jessica - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Jessica, Beauty Cave - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Katy with ice at Beauty Cave, Jessica, Beauty Cave - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Jessica, Beauty Cave - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
Jessica and Katy - Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, July 2019
hay truck, Idaho, July 2019
McArthur Burney Falls State Park, July 2019
Katy and Jessica - McArthur Burney Falls State Park, July 2019
Photographs Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson- with thanks to Jessica Dickinson Goodman.

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Promontory Point, Lava Hot Springs, Hell’s Half Acre

Published on 3 July – still having troubles with the WordPress app…

Jessica and I are still meandering our way toward Yellowstone National Park. Today, we drove from Salt Lake City to Promontory Point, Utah, which recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike joining America’s eastern and western railways. The National Historic Site has a short track and a reproduction of the Jupiter steam locomotive. There is also a natural stone Chinese Arch dedicated to honoring the workers who built the railroad. We also walked around the Lava Hot Springs sunken garden, and Hell’s Half Acre Lava Field in the Snake River Plain in Idaho.

Photographs Copyright 2019 by Katy Dickinson- with thanks to Jessica Dickinson Goodman.

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