On Sunday, a group of family and friends gathered to remember Daniel Vega Martinez (1969-2021). Daniel or “Big O” was a beloved member of our Stepping Stones reentry community, and had been in my class at Elmwood county jail. The Rev. Peggy Bryan, who leads the Stepping Stones community with Jack Fanning, wrote this tribute and account of Daniel’s death.
“Sadly, we said goodbye yesterday to Daniel Martinez, one of the first men I met at Elmwood and who, in reentry, was my teacher about the authentic challenges faced by living on the streets. Daniel was handed a tough life and the demons of addiction and shame finally tracked him down. Sunday he was found in flames in the cab of the truck he was living in. He was transported to VMC’s Burn Unit but his injuries were deemed unsurvivable so yesterday I offered final prayers as his wife, children and sisters circled him with love…Expressions of condolences and love are pouring in from those incarcerated and those outside who knew, loved and respect Daniel, ‘Big O’, as a man of God and a real St. Paul when leading behind bars, in prison or jail. The cause of the fire is unknown—accident, suicide, homicide…Please keep everyone in your prayers, those who call him father, brother, husband, mentor, friend and teacher are spread far and wide. As plans for a service are known, I’ll let you know. My heart is broken, this has been beyond brutal, but it helps knowing Daniel finally rests In God’s perfect peace.”
Fifty of Daniel’s friends and family got together in the San Jose parking lot to honor his life and lay flowers at the burn site where he was fatally injured.
Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him
30 May 2021 Update: Daniel’s Memorial Service at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
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 2016-2021 by Peggy Bryan.
I have not yet posted the whole thesis – I think the GTU Library will be doing that eventually. I am still in the process of getting the final thesis signatures and the library is one of the last that needs to approve it.
22 April 2021 – This presentation has been given several times, most recently to the GTU Religion and Practice Department, and a Kairos volunteer group. Please contact me if you would me to speak.
8 March 2021 – updated text, added video link, and photo
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 2021 by Katy Dickinson.
Education for Ministry is holding an online training this week for its mentors, trainers, and other seminar leaders, many of whom are starting their annual terms this month. We have over 165 already signed up!
Cynthia C. Hargis, Diocesan Relations and EfM Online Coordinator, University of the South – School of Theology – Education for Ministry, asked Cheri Winter (EfM Coordinator and Mentor, Diocese of Colorado), and me (EfM Coordinator and Mentor, Diocese of El Camino Real) to give this session on how to use Zoom for EfM seminars. Our training materials are linked here, both for those who will attend the session and for others who may find them helpful:
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 Reno 2016 Ashland 2016 Ashland 2016 Dunsmuir 2016 Klamath River 2015 Amtrak trip 2015 St Andrew’s 2014 Lalibela Ethiopia 2012 St Andrew’s 2012 Natural Bridges 2012 Jessica CMU graduation 2011 Jessica + Matthew 2011 Jessica + Matthew 2010 Lair of the Golden Bear camp Lair of the Golden Bear camp 2010 2010 Teatro Zinzanni 2010 Teatro Zinzanni 2010 Teatro Zinzanni 2010 Egypt 2010 Cairo, Egypt 2008 Flying to Baja Mexico 2008 Baja 2007 India 2007 India 2007 WP668 Caboose move 2007 WP668 move 2006 Dead Sea, Israel 2006 Dead Sea, Israel 2006 St. Peterburg, Russia 2006 Russia 2005 Beijing, China 2005 China 2000 2000 wedding 2000 wedding
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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.
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:
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: