869: Letter to St. Patrick's
Day 869: Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Letter to St. Patrick's
Dear Sisters and Brothers of Emmaus: Today's reflection is a letter thanking the community of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Kenwood for all the years they've allowed us to use their hall for our twice-monthly celebrations and to inform them of our impending move to Knox Presbyterian.
The Rev. Doyle Dietz Allen, Rector.
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church\
Dear Priest Doyle and Bobbiejo:
Your community has been the home for our Emmaus Eucharistic celebrations and delightful potlucks for nearly a decade and a half – ever since our founding.
We were welcomed in by Pastor Rev. Hugh Stevenson and the entire community of St. Patrick’s who made us feel very much at home. We joked with Hugh that we were the “disgruntled Catholics” needing a home – and we found it at St. Patrick’s. We have been such happy adoptees of your community with whom we have so much in common. We share our faith and our journeys – as individuals and as groups of people with high hopes for living out the promise of the Good News.
It is with some sadness then that I write to you on behalf of the Emmaus Community. After much discussion, head-scratching, prayer and deep listening we have made a decision to change our meeting location from St. Patrick’s to a more central location in Santa Rosa.
This decision was made based largely on the location of our members – the large majority of whom live along the Highway 101 corridor, in Sebastopol and West County. At the same time our membership numbers from Sonoma and Kenwood have declined due to death and the movement of elders who move to be closer to children and grandchildren.
Another factor is our age. It’s no secret that we’ve aged and as we’ve become older, we face the challenge of driving at night and during periods of inclement winter weather.
These factors taken together indicate it’s the right time for us to make a move.
We have celebrated with you, built bridges to your community and taken part in social actions such as “Pray Their Names” - the dramatic exhibit displayed in the “front yard” of St. Patrick’s which raised awareness about the number of Black citizens who have been killed in our country. Rich Randolph and a team from Emmaus, the Kenwood Community Church and the leadership of the First Congregational Church of Sonoma were instrumental in putting that together.
Throughout all the years we have tried our best to be good stewards of Stevenson Hall and to keep it clean and orderly. We have enjoyed your comfortable hall which lends itself to our liturgies in which we form a single large circle. We have invited guest speakers there, held profound retreats and even watched movies in that space The kitchen is at the heart of our potlucks and you have never restricted its use. You have been gracious in allowing us to use your sanctuary on occasion to celebrate the passing and life of our members.
We thank you for your trust and your willingness to share this wonderful resource.
Your generosity in terms of low rent has allowed us to disburse our tithing money in much greater quantity than we could have imagined.
We are heading to a community in a building shared with two faith communities: Knox Presbyterian and Thanksgiving Lutheran. Like St. Patrick’s they have a welcoming mission statement:
Knox Presbyterian and Thanksgiving Lutheran Churches welcome you to our combined congregation. We are an all-inclusive neighborhood church seeking to make a positive difference in the lives of all of creation locally and worldwide.
All of God’s children are celebrated here!
We welcome those of every race and culture, socioeconomic status, marital status, physical or mental ability, and theological perspective to worship with us.
We invite the LGBTQIA+ community to worship and to all aspects of church life. Come and see what an open, inclusive community church looks like!
Knox Presbyterian Church and Thanksgiving Lutheran Church joined forces in 2020. The two groups came together to share a worship space, a pastor, and a philosophy of God's full, unconditional love for all people.
Knox Presbyterian is a member of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.
Thanksgiving Lutheran is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
The two denominations are joined in an ecumenical agreement and share sacraments and clergy. They worship together as one congregation under the direction of Pastor Janet Blair.
I’m told there are many Ex-Catholics in the congregation so we should feel right at home. No longer disgruntled – just hopeful!
We will continue our twice monthly celebrations – every 2nd and 4th Sunday in the late afternoon followed by our potlucks.
We thank you for all you have done for us. Should you like, we would be delighted to attend one of your liturgies or another event and express our thanks in person. Count on us for refreshments!
We have a few items in the closet at Str. Patrick’s which I’ll remove at your convenience. Please let me know what date and time might be convenient and I’ll come over. I’ll also hand in my key to your hard-working and delightful Administrator at that time.
You have provided us many blessings over the years.
We wish you and your congregation that same wealth of blessing and grace now and in the future.
Member of the Board
For the Emmaus Community
Dear Ones: Here's the final letter in PDF format with a couple of changes to the pastor's name and the correct spelling of Bobbiejo
River Cleanup August 4th, 2022!
Steelhead Beach deemed environmental ‘hot spot’ by national sustainability organization, public cleanup set for August 4th.
Sonoma County Regional Parks is partnering with Leave No Trace for a week of training and cleanup at Steelhead Beach
By ELENA NEALE-SACKS of the Press Democrat
A national organization dedicated to sustainable outdoor exploration has designated Steelhead Beach Regional Park in Forestville a 2022 “hot spot,” a designation used for places that are “being loved to death.”
“People bring their inflatable floats and they just leave them on the beach,” said Sonoma County Regional Parks Marketing Specialist Sarah Phelps. “So, a lot of trash and traffic impacts is really what we see at Steelhead, and that’s primarily in the summer.”
The Russian River’s popularity is not new, but its use skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the summers of 2020 and 2021. And along with more people came more trash.
To bring attention to the litter and traffic problems, Regional Parks is partnering with the national Leave No Trace organization for a week of training and cleanups at Steelhead Beach Regional Park, from Aug. 3-8.
“A hot spot under the Leave No Trace definition is a place that’s being loved to death,” Phelps said, “and so Steelhead fit that bill pretty well.”
Members of the public are encouraged to help the effort on Aug. 4. Volunteers will meet at Steelhead Beach and Sunset Beach to pick up litter from 9 a.m. — 12 p.m.
For those who’d rather clean by kayak, they can launch at Steelhead Beach and float down to Sunset Beach, returning via shuttle. Reserve a kayak though Regional Parks or bring your own.
Although the partnership between Regional Parks and Leave No Trace is a one-week event, Phelps urges members of the public to visit parks responsibly. And she’d really like to see fewer floats decked out in glitter.
“When it’s these little, tiny pieces that are plastic-based, the volunteers will spend the whole time just like sitting there sifting through gravel to pick them up,” she said. “So it’s really hard to get all of that. And if you don’t take it out of the river, eventually it’s going to find its way somewhere else.”
Hattie Brown, Natural Resources Manager for Regional Parks, said another issue is food waste, which finds its way into the diets of foxes, raccoons, seagulls, ravens, and other wildlife.
“We definitely see routine evidence of that happening,” Brown said. “It’s detrimental to the wildlife themselves and also potentially increases human-wildlife conflict when wild animals become used to scavenging for food that’s not a regular part of their diet.”
Sonoma County Tourism, another partner in the river cleanup, is trying to use targeted messaging to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impacts of Russian River visitors.
“A responsible traveler is someone who protects nature and is interacting with locals, and they’re informed before they get here, and they’re concerned about their [carbon] footprint,” said Kelly Bass Seibel, Vice President of Community Engagement at Sonoma County Tourism. “[We’re] very focused on that responsible traveler and hope that is going to correlate to the type of visitor that these parks see.”
In the spirit of Leave No Trace, Seibel asks that visitors “leave it better than they found it.”
For more information on how to volunteer with Regional Parks, go to parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/learn/support.