Tag Archives: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

20th Wedding Anniversary on 4 July


John and I are looking forward to our 20th wedding anniversary this weekend. Thinking back on some of our adventures and looking forward to many more. It is fun to be married to your best friend!

2020 virtual family dinner
2020 Mother’s Day
2018 family vacation
2018 Paul SJSU graduation
2018 St Andrew’s
2017 Katy Dickinson and John Plocher with UP1983 engine, Western Pacific Railroad Historical Convention, May 20172017 Reno
2016 Ashland
2016 Ashland
2016 Jessica Matthew John Paul Dunsmuir CA2016 Dunsmuir
2016 John Katy Klamath River CA2016 Klamath River
2015 Amtrak trip
2015 St Andrew’s
2014 John and Katy Lalibela, Ethiopia2014 Lalibela Ethiopia
2012 St Andrew’s
2012 Katy John Natural Bridges CA2012 Natural Bridges
2012 Jessica CMU graduation
2011 Jessica + Matthew
2011 Jessica Matthew wedding2011 Jessica + Matthew
2010 Lair Oski the bear, family camp2010 Lair of the Golden Bear camp
2010 Lair Oski the bear, family campLair of the Golden Bear camp 2010
2010 Teatro Zinzanni
2010 Teatro Zinzanni
2010 Teatro Zinzanni
2010 Aswan Egypt Katy John2010 Egypt
2010 Paul John Cairo Egypt2010 Cairo, Egypt
2008 John flying to Baja Mexico2008 Flying to Baja Mexico
2008 Katy flying to Baja Mexico2008 Baja
2007 Katy India2007 India
2007 John India2007 India
2007 Willow Glen Resident 25 May WP668 story2007 WP668 Caboose move
2007 Willow Glen Resident 25 May WP668 story2007 WP668 move
2006 John Dead Sea Israel2006 Dead Sea, Israel
2006 John Dead Sea Israel2006 Dead Sea, Israel
2006 John St Petersburg Russia2006 St. Peterburg, Russia
2006 John Katy St Petersburg Russia2006 Russia
2005 Katy John Beijing China2005 Beijing, China
2005 John Forbidden City Beijing China 2005 John Forbidden City Beijing China2005 China
2000 Katy John wedding mementoes 2000 Katy John wedding ketubah2000
2000 wedding
Paul Katy John Jessica wedding 4 July 20002000 wedding

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Images Copyright 2000-2020 by Katy Dickinson.

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Process for Online Video Services

Since 2014, my husband John Plocher has been running the Video Ministry for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Saratoga, CA. What started out needing a few hours a week using spare equipment has grown vastly since the Covid-19 pandemic took over our lives this year. John now routinely spends 12 or more hours a week creating and editing videos of music and worship services using sophisticated software and hardware. (Some of which were paid for by a 2018 St. Andrew’s Opportunity Fund grant.) John has been mentoring Youth Group members for over a year to develop their technical skills and extend the Video Ministry. In the hope that recruiting and training even more helpers will reduce his own load, John has written these process documents.

Online Worship Services and Music

John has developed a chat and video best practices exchange group – contact me if you want to join. He publishes stand-alone videos of the classical and folk service music on  Saint Andrew’s Sings. Go there to hear “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” the “Navy Hymn,” a folk Taizé “Jesus Remember Me,” “Rest in the Lord,” “Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise,” “We’ll Meet Again,” and other favorites. Or, hear the music as part of the weekly worship service videos. (More in my blog post New Music for Quarantine Times.)

I have been helping John by reviewing videos during development, finding memes for the end, and providing photos for preludes and postludes:

John Plocher, St Andrews Video Ministry January 2020

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New Music for Quarantine Times

My husband John Plocher is not musical but during the COVID-19 quarantine, he has been helping others to sing. John has been recording and broadcasting our regular church services from the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church choir loft for years (with backup from the talented teens of the Youth Group whom he has been mentoring). During the quarantine, John used the skills and equipment he had put together to help St. Andrew’s clergy shift into a weekly service online. Music has always been a huge part of our parish community life, so John has created online music with choir directors Leroy Kromm, and David Howard-Pitney, and the inspiring parish symphony and folk choirs, singers, and instrumentalists.

John recently published a new website: Saint Andrew’s Sings – where the classical and folk music videos are posted each week. Go there to hear “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” the “Navy Hymn,” a folk Taizé “Jesus Remember Me,” “Rest in the Lord,” “Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise,” “We’ll Meet Again,” and other favorites. (I am very proud of John – can you tell?)

“St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, in Saratoga, CA has a strong musical tradition that continues even as we isolate ourselves during these Inside Times. This is a collection of instrumental and choral works, folk music, meditations and solo performances – all recorded “solo” during the corona virus quarantine and produced virtually, for your enjoyment and the glory of God.”

Other choirs and singers around the world have also been creating new music for quarantine times. Some of those I have enjoyed:

John Plocher video January 2020

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Image Copyright 2020 by Katy Dickinson.

Updated with new link 30 May 2020

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Congratulations on EfM Graduation, Joel Martinez!

EfM Education for Ministry seminar online 30 March2020EfM Class Meeting Online, April 2020

Since we could not honor Joel Martinez in-person while under COVID-19 quarantine, we celebrated online. Congratulations to Joel Martinez for his graduation after four years of study from Education for Ministry – so proud of him! In addition to taking the regular EfM program, Joel was my Co-Mentor for three years at Elmwood Jail. To do this work, he became an accredited EfM Mentor and volunteer for the Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy. Joel took Year-1 at our home church (with me and my Co-Mentor, Karen LeBlanc), Year-2 and Year-3 in jail while serving as a volunteer chaplain with me as his Mentor, and Year-4 back at our home church (with Karen and me as Mentors).

2017 Bishop Mary, Peggy Bryan, Joel Martinez, Katy Dickinson at Elmwood Jail 2017 Elmwood Jail: Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, Rev. Peggy Bryan, Joel and Katy

As his EfM Administrative Mentor, I would usually make this presentation in front of the whole congregation of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church but thanks to technology and my geek husband, John Plocher, we were able to celebrate together in a video segment during the regular weekly service. John even created this stand-alone video.

Contact me if you want to learn more about the EfM class that starts in September. More about EfM in the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real. Our 2019-2020 EfM class held its closing session last night but we are taking signups for the seminar that starts in September 2020. We will meet in person or online as appropriate. More about EfM:

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a program of the University of the South – School of Theology, 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.

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Images Copyright 2017 – 2020 by Katy Dickinson.

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Shakespeare Sonnets – Virtual

2020 Shakespeare Sonnet Reading, 18 April during pandemic lockdown
Since 2012, Shakespeare reading group has been meeting every two months to read a play and enjoy a potluck meal. At Christmas, we usually have a special reading of the entire Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. There are 61 in the group; our youngest regular reader is 10 years old and our oldest is 96. We take turns hosting the event in various cities in the Silicon Valley.

Last month, because of the corona virus lockdown, we had our first virtual meeting, to read Shakespeare’s Sonnets. We spent a lovely two hours on 18 April reading sonnets 2, 5, 8, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33, 34, 43, 47, 51, 59, 65, 67, 73, 116, 121, 124, 130, 135, 138, 143, and 144. Fourteen of us  each picked and read two poems. It was delightful to see everyone, even if only online!

My husband John sweetly dedicated his reading of Sonnet #25 to me, and then made this video of his reading – followed by my reading of Shakespeare’s Chicken Sonnet (#143).

I am the group mentor and assign parts, Melita Thorpe manages this as a ministry of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and the Rev. Stephenie Cooper analyzes the roles in advance – to be sure we don’t speak over each other. John Plocher hosted our first online meeting to be sure the technology worked.

2012 Katy's Shakespeare books
2013 Dickens reading, Christmas Carol
2016 Shakespeare reading and 90th birthday party
2019 Dickens Christmas Carol reading

Shakespeare's 456th Birthday, April 2020

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Images Copyright 2012-2020 by Katy Dickinson.

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Moving Online with EfM

EfM Education for Ministry seminar online 20 April 2020

The weekly Education for Ministry (EfM) seminar I mentor with Karen LeBlanc shifted last month from in-person to online because of the coronavirus pandemic quarantine here in the Silicon Valley. I have been an accredited EfM mentor since 2011 and very much look forward to our weekly discussions and theological reflections. We usually meet at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga. This year, our class has two students in Year 1 (Hebrew Bible), two in Year 2 (New Testament), and one in Year 4 (Theology and Ethics). No one signed up to study Year 3 (Church History) this term. About EfM:

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a unique four-year distance learning certificate program in theological education based upon small-group study and practice. EfM is designed to prepare lay persons to live out by word and deed the promises made at baptism: to love God, to serve Christ, and to proclaim the Gospel. It is administered by The School of Theology Programs Center of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. More about EfM

Our annual movie night was yesterday, watching the remarkable film, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” It took some preparation but here was the process we used:

  • Make sure you have both Skype and Netflix working
  • Bring your own movie snacks!
  • Join the Skype call about 6:25 pm to be sure all is well
  • Have two devices available – one for Skype and the other for Netflix – logged in and plugged in
  • At about 6:30 pm, we will talk by Skype and then go on mute
  • Once everyone but me is on mute, I will count down so we start watching the film together on our second devices
  • Stay on mute but keep your Skype chat open so we can comment about the movie
  • After about an hour, I will announce on the chat that we will have a ten minute break and brief discussion
  • After the break, we will resume watching the movie
  • Discussion again after the movie

Other than at-home technical challenges – and remembering to stay on mute when watching (and to go off mute when talking) – movie night went well. Next week, we study the material for Week 31 of the 36 week curriculum:

Year 1:

  • Proverbs – Bible
  • Job – Bible
  • Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) – Bible
  • The Hebrew Bible – by John J. Collins, chapter 24 – Proverbs
  • Collins chapter 25 – Job and Qoheleth

Year 2:

  • James – Bible
  • The New Testament – by Mark Allan Powell, chapter 25 – James

Year 4:

  • My Neighbor’s Faith – by Peace, Rose, Mobley,  Foreword, Introduction, Chapter 1 – Encountering the Neighbor

EfM Education for Ministry seminar online 30 March2020
EfM Education for Ministry seminar online 23 March2020

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Images Copyright 2020 by Katy Dickinson.

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22 Bishops Celebrate Lucinda Ashby (not counting Bishop Barbie)

Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020
Bishop Lucinda Ashby was ordained and consecrated the fourth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real on 11 January 2020, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Saratoga, California. Twenty two bishops participated in the consecration, ten of them women. Bishop Lucinda is the sixth woman to be consecrated an Episcopal Bishop this year. She is the second Episcopal Bishop ever to succeed another woman bishop. Like Bishop Mary, Bishop Lucinda is bilingual in Spanish. The ordination and consecration was conducted in English, Spanish, and Tagalog. The sermon was by the Rev. Dr. John L. Kater, Professor Emeritus, Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

24 of the 127 active Episcopal bishops (diocesan, suffragan, assistant or assisting) are women. The Episcopal House of Bishops has nearly 300 active members and comprises half of the governing body of the Episcopal Church. All bishops of the Episcopal Church, active or retired, make up the House of Bishops.

My husband John Plocher lead the team that livestreamed the event. John created 41 pages of notes and directions and the team practiced for months. By the end of 11 January 2020, more people had watched the event online than had attended in person. During the service, I was grateful to be able to see the live online high view of some of the more intimate parts of the service, especially when the 22 bishops laid their hands on Bishop Lucinda in blessing. They prayed together:

Therefore, Father, make Lucinda a bishop in your Church.
Pour out upon her the power of your princely Spirit, whom you bestowed upon your beloved Son Jesus Christ. with whom he endowed the apostles, and by whom your Church is built up in every place,
to the glory and unceasing praise of your Name.

Full text – Service bulletin:
Episcopal diocese ECR, part one consecration 11 Jan 2020 (pages 1 to 26),
Episcopal diocese ECR, part two consecration 11 Jan 2020 (pages 27 to 52)

In addition to the traditional presentations of the stole, chasuble, cope, mitre, pectoral cross, episcopal ring, festal crozier, and Bible, Bishop Lucinda was given a special gift, her own Bishop Barbie. The first Bishop Barbie was presented to Bishop Mary at our 2010 women’s retreat. From my blog post about that event:

Leslie Butlar and the Rev. Maryellen Garnier worked with a team to create this event… We were honored to spend part of an afternoon with our own Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves in open conversation. Maryellen presented Bishop Mary with a token of our regard, the first Bishop Barbie doll. Maryellen had the doll’s custom robes created because of a story she had heard. Recently, a little girl who was much taken with Bishop Mary, asked her why there was no Bishop Barbie. Well, now there is one.

Here are the 22 bishops who participated in Bishop Lucinda’s ordination and consecration:

The Rt. Rev.
Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church
The Rt. Rev.
26th Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Navajoland
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Northern California
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Eastern Oregon
The Rt. Rev.
7th Bishop, Los Angeles, Suffragan
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Cuba
The Rt. Rev. Dr.
Bishop, Central New York
The Rt. Rev
Bishop, Hawaii
The Rt. Rev.
3rd Bishop, El Camino Real
The Rev.
Bishop, ELCA – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – Sierra Pacific Synod
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Rio Grande
The Rt. Rev.
6th Bishop, Northern California
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Alaska
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Colorado
The Rt. Rev. Dr.
Bishop, Spokane
The Rt Rev.
Bishop, San Joaquin
The Rt. Rev
7th Bishop, Eastern Oregon
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, San Diego
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Tewksbury, England (suffragan bishop, Diocese of Gloucester)
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Idaho
The Rt. Rev.
Bishop, Northern California

Thanks to Timothy Gee for this list!

Signed consecration certificate.
John Plocher and video crew, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020John Plocher and crew, 9:10 am.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Diocesan choir.
Interpreters, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Interpretation team.
Ed Jacklitch sound technician, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Ed Jacklitch, sound.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020St. Andrew’s altar.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Cantemus Filipinas Chorale.
Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Bishop-elect Lucinda greets her family.
Parish banners, Consecration of Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Procession of diocesan banners.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 11 Jan 2020Bishop Michael blessing congregation.
Consecration of Bishop Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Ordination and consecration of Bishop Lucinda.
Mary Ann Gee, Consecration of Bishop Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Mary Ann Gee and diocesan choir.
22 bishops at Consecration of Bishop Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 202022 bishops consecrate Bishop Lucinda, 12:25 pm.
Consecration of Bishop Lucinda Ashby, 11 Jan 2020Presentation of the bishop’s crozier.
Presentation of Bishop Barbie to Bishop Lucinda.
Bishop Lucinda’s husband Bob Ashby with Bishop Barbie, 2020.
Bishop Mary with the 1st Bishop Barbie, 2010.
1st and 2nd Bishop Barbie, 2012.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 11 Jan 2020Bishop Michael gives communion.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church video crew, 11 Jan 2020Reviewing the video, 1:45 pm.
Bishops Katharine, Mary, and Lucinda.
Bishop Lucinda Ashby, John Plocher, Katy Dickinson, 11 Jan 2020Bishop Lucinda Ashby, John Plocher, and Katy Dickinson.

If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right on Katysblog home). Thanks and acknowledgement of copyright to Mark LeBlank and Elrond Lawrence for their photos of the Bishop Barbie, consecration certificate, and Bishops Katharine, Mary, and Lucinda, all other Images Copyright 2010-2020 by Katy Dickinson. Continue reading

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