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The Good news from El Camino Real - September 5, 2014

In this issue:

  • United Thank Offering
  • Diocesan Youth Campout
  • Planned Giving Ministries Workshop
  • Godly Play Training

September 5, 2014

Please click here to view the entire newsletter.

Celebrate the Women of
El Camino Real October 11

“Honored Women’s Day” is coming to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salinas on Saturday, October 11. The annual event honors women from each congregation in the Diocese of El Camino Real who proclaim their faith through their lives and actions.
Nomination criteria includes:
- Serving with a grateful and joyful heart.
- Loving others as Christ loved us.
- Ministering to others, both within and outside the church.
- Being a member of a congregation in good standing.
Held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with coffee and refreshments at 9:30 a.m.), Honored Women’s Day will feature a screening of the film Girl Rising, where nine filmmakers profile young girls from different parts of the world: ordinary girls who confront tremendous challenges and overcome nearly impossible odds to pursue their dreams.
Also included is the Fall Diocesan Ingathering for the United Thank Offering (see story below), held twice a year to collect congregations’ monetary expressions of thankfulness and giving. Congregations are invited to bring their UTO offerings, which fund significant projects that make a difference in the work of the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion.
Who will be the 2014 Honored Woman from your congregation? Come and celebrate her! Cost is $25 and includes lunch; please register by September 26. To download a registration flyer, click here. An information flyer can be viewed and downloaded by clicking here.

United Thank Offering Changes Lives

Through the United Thank Offering, men, women, and children nurture the habit of giving daily thanks to God. These prayers of thanksgiving start when we recognize and name our many daily blessings.
Those who participate in the UTO have discovered that thankfulness leads to generosity. UTO combines these generous offerings to fund significant projects that make a real difference in the work of the Episcopal Church, in the Anglican Communion, and in people's lives.
The UTO has been an integral part of the Episcopal Church Women and the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church since 1889. “Ingatherings” are held twice a year in churches to collect the monetary expressions of thanks. Through prayer, stewardship and mission, UTO is the largest granting mechanism in the Church, providing grants for mission throughout the Anglican Communion.
UTO is neither a fundraiser nor a stewardship campaign but a discipline to be sensitive to giving thanks with small tokens of gratitude. Everyone can participate. As daily prayers of thanks are given and money can be placed in a Blue Box or envelope, the gift becomes an outward and visible sign of thanks to God.  It is an expression of living our Baptismal covenant: “…to serve Christ in all persons, love our neighbor as ourselves and strive for justice and peace among all people.”
So please put gifts into the blue box with thanksgiving, prayer and generosity. The fall diocesan Ingathering will be October 11 at St. Paul’s in Salinas (see story above). Recent grants include:
Diocese of the Dominican Republic: $105, 874 to build the first floor of a new church and shelter in Mendoza. The building will provide worship services and a shelter/school for children and youth from impoverished families.
Diocese of Northern California, Church of The Incarnation, Santa Rosa: $17,160 to develop a well-informed understanding of the problems of elderly homeless individuals. The hope is that this project can be adopted or adapted by other Episcopal churches.
Diocese of Florida: $46,000 to add a part-time dentist dedicated to increasing the access of low-income, uninsured individuals at the community Health Outreach in Jacksonville.
For a full list of 2014 UTO grants, click here. Visit UTO on Facebook by clicking here. 

Annual Diocesan Youth Campout in Big Sur on September 26-28 

The Diocesan Big Sur Camping Trip takes place September 26-28 and it’s time for youth groups to get organized!

What will we do?  This is one event that “makes itself” with the people who attend. The river is wonderful for swimming, relaxing and tubing. There are beautiful places to hike, to rest, to read, to dream and to play. We’ll have campfires and fun, we’ll eat good food, we’ll enjoy old friends and make new friends.
How much does it cost? It costs $20/person for the campsite for the weekend. Each youth group (we’ll combine small groups) will be bringing one meal for everyone. A check from your parish to ECR should be for $20/person; you should probably ask for an additional $15-20 from your campers to cover food costs and gas. Another alternative is to charge the campsite fee only and then divide up the food and gas costs exactly.
When’s the deadline to sign up?
In order to assign meal responsibilities equitably, and give people time to shop, e-mail Leann Brooks with a head count by September 14 at leannbrooks@hotmail.com. Please include these five details: church, number, names and ages of youth, number and names of adults, a contact person and their email address and phone number. Once I have your counts, I’ll assign meals.
Click here for details, permission slip forms, emergency contact forms and much more.

Enhance Your Congregation's Planned Giving Ministries at Nov. 1 Workshop

Take the mystery out of planned giving and endowments for your congregation.  Learn in easy-to-understand terms how planned giving differs from annual stewardship and capital campaigns, and how your congregation can build endowments through wills, life income and other planned gifts. It’s all happening at the Planned Giving Workshop on Saturday, November 1, at St. Paul’s in Salinas.
Whether your parish has a Planned Giving/Endowment ministry or not, it will benefit from this workshop; we will review best practices and empower you to take the best next steps for your congregation! In addition to reviewing instruments for planned giving, you’ll learn about the importance of a parish vision and protecting and growing your endowment – plus how to invite others to remember your parish through estate and financial planning and the creation of a Legacy Society. 
Attendees will examine important documents to use for structuring your endowment and for clarifying its purpose. The workshop will also teach how endowments can be used to enhance ministries and overall mission. You will leave the workshop with a plan of action! Speakers include:

James W.N. Murphy CFRE, Managing Program Director, Episcopal Church Foundation 
Jim oversees all of ECF’s financial development programs and resources, including annual stewardship/giving, development solutions, capital campaigns, planned giving and endowment management. He leads workshops and works with congregations, dioceses, and other Episcopal organizations to enhance and develop their programs and resources.
Suanne M. Ramar CFA, Managing partner, Nelson Capital Management 
Sue specializes in managing investment portfolios for foundations and endowments, high net worth individuals and clients with special needs, including women who are experiencing a life-changing financial event.
The November 1 workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., beginning with registration and coffee at 9:30 a.m. St. Paul’s Salinas is located at 1071 Pajaro St., Salinas, CA 93901. Cost is $25 for lunch and materials (pay at the door). To RSVP, e-mail sue@nelsoncapital.com.

St. Andrew’s to Begin Grief Recovery Workshop Series

St. Andrew’s in Saratoga will be holding a 10-week Grief Recovery Workshop series on Mondays, October 6 through December 15, at 7-8:30 p.m. This workshop will be geared towards those who have lost spouses or close loved ones. Participation is not limited to parish members. 
In addition to supplemental materials and handouts, the workshop will use the workbook How to Recover from Loss: Understanding and Recovering from Grief by Robyn Ledwith Mar, a widow who has led local grief support groups for over 20 years. A donation of $18 is asked to cover the cost of the book (or go online and buy the Amazon Kindle edition for $9.99). 
The workshop is designed to help participants progress and heal from grief and ultimately move to acceptance and spiritual growth. For further information, contact workshop leader, the Rev. Debbie Low-Skinner, at (408) 867-3493, ext. 244, or DebraL@st-andrews-saratoga.org. St. Andrew’s is located at 13601 Saratoga Avenue in Saratoga; take the Saratoga exit off Highway 85 and proceed south about a half-mile.

 De Anza Wifi Project Needs You!

Beginning September 22, St. Jude’s will be offering free wifi and coffee to De Anza College students in Cupertino, Monday-Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We're currently building our volunteer team of friendly faces and invite you to join in! You can take part as much or as little as your schedule permits (2 hours per week or more). For more information on this innovative outreach program, contact Beth Parab at beth@saintjudes.org.

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