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Issue 4 – November 2010


  • In This Edition: What’s Here
  • About This Issue: Reflections by the Editor
  • Conversations: Beth Dieker
  • Speaking of Resources: Helps in Print, Sight, Sound, and Cyberspace
  • Mixed Bag: Practical Ideas from Around the Church
  • Reflections from Barb: A Word from our Missioner
  • EFM Update: New Coordinator Named
  • Gleanings from The Vineyard: An Alternative Christmas Pageant
  • Coming Up: Important Events To Note and Attend


by Mary Sicilia, New Wine Editor

And so we enter another cycle of Incarnational seasons.  Incarnation – literally, in the flesh.   In OUR flesh.   Living and dying as one of us.  The cycle of seasons in Jesus’ life are familiar to all of us because he lived them as we live them: the waiting in darkness, the births, the surprises, the desert places, the last suppers, the betrayals, the deaths, the resurrections.    We have known them all and so the Gospel says, did he.  The Good News we have to proclaim as those who work with formation in the Church is that God is most definitely with us in every one of life’s vicissitudes.  St. Paul wrote:  NOTHING, in life or death, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  At this beginning of the new liturgical year, let us use the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany seasons to proclaim that Presence among us still –  loudly, boldly and with renewed creativity and joy.


First, tell us about your own Christian formation?

I was raised as a Roman Catholic in Tigard, OR.  As the fifth of six children, I was the first of my siblings not to attend private Catholic school.  I did, however, attend Mass every Sunday and CCD (Confraternal Christian Doctrine) every Saturday morning.  My best memories of CCD are from 4th grade.  We had a wonderful young adult leader who taught us about things such as ignorance and prejudice.  She let us ask questions and listened to what we had to say.  She also took us on some great field trips and I actually had my first McDonald’s French Fries on one of those trips!

How did you first get involved with camping programs?

As a teen, I was confirmed in the Catholic Church and shortly thereafter, was allowed to decide if I wanted to attend church.  It was then that I learned there was another huge group of people called Protestants.  I became involved in Protestant youth groups and events and loved it!  As I grew into adulthood, I continued to be a part of a church family and learned much about being a community in Christ.  It was through this community that I discovered the world of camping.  I had always wanted to go to camp but it was not something that was of value to my parents.  When my children were old enough, I began to send them to camp.  I was always so envious of the wonderful times they had.  Then I found out that I could volunteer at camp!  I was so excited!  It took me weeks to just pick out a camp name!  I began volunteering as the Crafts person and learned how to lead and run a camp.  Within a couple years, I was running weeks of camp at Camp Magruder.  When the camping position came open at the diocese, it seemed like a perfect fit.

Beth Dieker

Tell us about your position at the Diocese of Oregon.  What exactly do you do?

My position at the diocesan office has changed since its inception in January, 2008.  I was originally hired half-time to introduce and implement a new camping program in our diocese.  As many of you know, a task force was developed to look at the viability of continuing to operate Triangle Lake Camp.  The task force came to the difficult decision to sell Triangle Lake Camp and go into a camping partnership with the Oregon/Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church.  By joining in this partnership, the diocese would have access to over 120 different camp and retreat events at five different locations!  In addition, people in the diocese would have the opportunity to volunteer as leaders and helpers at camp.  So, much of my position revolves around marketing our camp and retreat opportunities, training volunteer staff and developing meaningful programs for our campers.  I visit as many parishes as I can to get the news out about our great program.  I have also become more and more involved with our youth and volunteers around the diocese.  The more I get to know the people in our diocese, the more blessed I feel in my position.

How has your position changed over time?

What has evolved in the past three years is wonderful.  The first year in our new camping program, I had three adult volunteers.  This past year we had over 50!  We also have a Diocesan Week at Camp the first week in August at Suttle Lake Camp.  The week is for kids in grades 1-12.  There are three camps running simultaneously so that parents can bring all their kids to camp the same week.  The camp is staffed by volunteers from the diocese.  It takes me about eight months to recruit all of the volunteers but it is well worth it.  We have some great leaders in place for next summer.  One thing  I like about the week is that although the kids are divided into their own age groups, they are still together as one large group for meals, games, dress-up night and a hike to Scout Lake.  They really enjoy the large group times.  Of course, there are many, many other camps for our children and youth to choose from, from horse camps to drama camps to adventure camps.  It is all available to us – and I think that is incredible.

Another area of expansion has been our adult retreat events.  Sheltering Our Souls:  A Retreat for Womenwas introduced this year.  The retreat was full with a waiting list within a matter of weeks.  The leaders, Cammie Bella (Good Samaritan) and Pam Maben (Trinity Cathedral), led an inspiring and healing weekend.  Registration for the 2011 Sheltering Our Souls recently opened and can be accessed at I am really looking forward to Come to the Waters:  A Hawaiian Retreat.  This event will be held in February, 2011 at Camp Mokulei’a Episcopal Camp & Conference Center on the island of Oahu.  Retreat leaders include Rev. Scott Dolph (St. Aidan) and Rev. Roberto Arciniega (San Miguel/St Michael, Latino Missioner).  This event is also full but we plan to do it again in 2012.  Other adult retreats include Birding & Natural History, Handbell Camp, Choir Camp, Horse Camp, Shakespeare Camp and a multitude of fiber arts camps at all of our locations.

In September, 2010, Bishop Michael increased my hours to full-time and added additional program responsibility to my position.  My title has been changed to Missioner for Ministry Development, which includes Outdoor Ministries, Youth Ministries and the development of a Volunteer Ministries program for the diocese.  I am really excited to be working in these new areas.

Any further thoughts?

I believe we are all searching to deepen and expand our spiritual life in a caring community.  Our youth are seeking answers to difficult life questions.  We can respond to those needs through parish youth groups, diocesan youth events and our camping program.  By connecting leaders in the diocese, we can help the parishes with low numbers of youth to be able to provide a caring and growing community for those young people.  As adults, we also need each other.  As we recognize our gifts and give of those gifts to each other, we can build a sustaining, caring community.  One that will nourish our souls, minds and hearts.  We are so blessed!


by Paula Franck, Resource Room Coordinator


As publishers use the web to distribute new materials, Church Publishing has three new curriculum resources that are available to download from the internet. The advantage of purchasing downloadable materials is that you can print the exact number of copies that you need for each class – no more guessing about how many copies of any given resource you may or may not need to purchase. Below are three of the latest curriculum programs available online and available for preview at the Resource Room.

  • Faith and Nature: The Divine Nature of Life on Earth by Phyllis Strupp

This is an eight-session, downloadable, intergenerational, faith-formation resource focused on appreciating and living in harmony with God’s creation. This intergenerational spiritual formation program explores and embraces how God is at work in nature, using the Anglican approach of scripture, tradition, reason, experience – and fun! Learners will build awareness and appreciation of our spiritual connection to creation/nature in a traditional way that prepares participants to bring hope and faithful action to today’s ecological concerns.  The price of $49.00 includes the right to download the entire study and reproduce materials in quantities needed for your group.

  • To Serve and Guard the Earth:  God’s Creation Story and Our Environmental Concernby Beth Bojarski

This practical parish or small-group resource is suitable for high school groups and adults(its 6 sessions make it also suitable for Lenten use) that connects the growing Christian environmental concern with the theology of creation in Genesis. It not only provides the participants with a greater understanding of the scriptural accounts of creation and the environmental problems facing us today, but also encourages the participants to make practical applications to change their everyday lives and enhance important environmental values. The resource is divided into six sessions related to the 7 days of creation (session 2 combines Genesis days 2 and 4) and environmental concerns related to the days. Downloadable materials include a leader guide and participant hand-outs. The cost of $49.95 includes the right to download and reproduces materials in quantities needed for your group.

  • Weaving God’s Promises – New Children’s Curriculum

Weaving God’s Promises is a three-year Christian education program for children ages 3 (preschool) to 11-12 (5th-6th grade) developed and written exclusively for the Episcopal Church. It’s titled Weaving God’s Promisesafter the process of faith formation in which we learn how God’s promises of salvation are inextricably woven into our lives. The goal of the curriculum is to teach children the way of Christ, not only in the church but also in the world, and to give them a solid grounding for future youth formation programs, which in turn will prepare them for Christian adulthood. Year One of the program is now available in a downloadable format. The cost of an annual subscription is based upon average Sunday attendance.


For those who like to design their own curriculum, this web-based program allows you  to select arts and crafts activities, music, prayers, games, discussion guides, lesson plan templates, scripture,  etc. to create your own programs. You can build a single session or an entire year’s programming that can then be downloaded for use at any time. This is a new program that has just been developed by Church Publishing and is similar to other products like riteword for designing worship bulletins. The cost per year is based on average Sunday attendance of the congregation, or you may purchase individual  sessions. A free 30-day trial is currently available by going to for complete information.

For more information on the above materials, go to


This 5-session study featuring Marcus J. Borg, Canon Theologian at Trinity Cathedral in Portland, is designed for those seeking a richer understanding of issues in contemporary Christian practice and theology. Each video session features Borg speaking to a small group to stimulate further conversation on the topics of God, Jesus, Salvation, Practice and Community. A detailed study guide provides outlines and discussion questions for each session. This DVD series is available for loan from the Resource Room.


The following books with ideas for programs and projects are available for loan from the Resource Room. Check out the catalog on the website for more books and films.

  • Advent and Lent Activities for Children: Camels, Carols, Crosses and Crowns by Sheila Keilly and Sheila Geraghty.
  • Before and After Christmas: Activities and Ideas for Advent and Epiphany by Debbie Trafton O’Neil.
  • Christmas Make and Do:  Craft Ideas Inspired by the Story of the First Christmas by Gillian Chapman.
  • Countdown to Christmas: Devotions for Families by Laura Zimmerman.
  • Teach Us to Number Our Days:  A Liturgical Advent Calendar by Barbara Dee Baumgarten.

For more information on print and audio-visual materials available for loan from the Resource Room go to

For questions about resources contact Paula Franck, Volunteer Resource Room Coordinator by phone (971-204-4121) or email (


practical ideas from around the church

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Blessing of the Creches

Either the week prior to Advent I or the Sunday of Advent I have people bring their household creches to church to be blessed.   Allow them to set them up in the parish hall and perhaps do the blessing as a part of the coffee hour.  It is ALWAYS a joy to see a wide variety of creches from around the world and this will also encourage people to “build” their creche gradually throughout the Advent season until they add the baby Jesus on Christmas Eve.       Mary Sicilia, New Wine Editor

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Hold an Advent Fair

A few ideas for an Advent event:

  • Provide supplies for making Advent wreaths (candle forms, greens, wire) along with instructions and weekly prayers
  • Ÿ   Supply devotional resources to use in the home, or a list of websites for daily devotions and resources
  • Ÿ  Make an Advent calendar – lots of creative ideas on the web
  • Ÿ  Make some Christmas tree ornaments: beads and pipe cleaners are easy for all ages, or have plain glass balls to decorate or wooden shapes to paint
  • Ÿ  Make gift tags with card stock and stamps
  • Ÿ  Decorate candle holders: apply colored tissue paper to an clear votive holder with watered-down glue

Charissa Simmons, Trinity Cathedral

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Adopt A Country Advent-Christmas Project

Adopt a country as a parish and learn about it  for the whole of the Advent season.  Learn how to say and write “Merry Christmas” in the language of that country.   Learn to sing a Christmas carol or two common to that place.  Serve some of their Christmas treats and hear about their Christmas celebrations.  Learn a little bit about the church there and the challenges people face.  And then partner with an relief or development agency like ERD, Heifer Project, Bread for the World, or Mercy Corps and offer all or a part of your Christmas Eve offering as a gift to make a difference in the place you have explored during Advent.   Next year, adopt a different country.  And so you will go, around the world.  Mary Sicilia, New Wine Editor

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A Birthday Party for Jesus

During the years I was at St. Paul’s, Salem, I helped a group of young parents organize a simple event that had meaning for them and for their young children.  During late Advent, we had a birthday party for Jesus as part of our mid-week program.  People were invited to bring gifts for a baby (diapers, formula, baby clothes, blankets, etc) wrapped in white tissue.  The gifts were brought forward and blessed as part of the mid-week service and afterwards we celebrated with birthday cake and ice cream.  I can’t remember if we unwrapped the gifts at the party or not, but I know they were given to a local shelter for women with young children.  Barbara Ross, Prince of Peace, Salem

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Take the paper Advent chain to a new level.

Use colored or patterned double sided paper, like art or scrapbook paper, for the rings. A variety of patterns in a single color theme will create a beautiful chain even a teenager can love!  Charissa Simmons, Trinity Cathedral

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Three Kings Night

Don’t forget Epiphany.  Hold a Three Kings Night party with a festive meal perhaps from one of the many countries, primarily in the Mediterranean and Latin America, where Epiphany and the Three Kings are widely celebrated.  (Any excuse for Italian food, kids!)  Sometime during the meal, have the three kings show up. This can be done by having three king volunteers dress up and make the scene or by having a star under the plate or chair of three people who attend and are crowned on the spot.  In either case, make a large star and put it on a stick.   Have the three kings and everyone else process around the room/into the worship space (perhaps singing We Three Kings or some other Epiphany hymn) carrying the three kings from the parish creche set to the baby Jesus. Mary Sicilia, New Wine Editor

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By Barbara Ross, Missioner for Lifelong Formation

A hopeful thing happened in our diocese on Saturday, September 25.   75 people representing 22 of our congregations attended From Generation to Generation: A Conference on Lifelong Christian Formation and were treated to a day of generous hospitality, engaging speakers and workshops, creative worship, delicious food, and even some fun and laughter. All in all a very satisfying day and one that gives hope for the future of lifelong Christian Formation and especially for the importance of quality adult formation in our diocese.

I give thanks for the members of our Ministry of Lifelong Formation who planned and carried out the day, for the staff of Trinity Cathedral who gave so generously of their time and energy to make sure everything ran smoothly, for Sharon Pearson our inspiring keynote speaker, for +Michael who joined us for the afternoon, and for the many workshop presenters who gave so generously of their time and knowledge.  It was a very good day.   Resources from the event will be posted on our diocesan web page where they will be available to all.

From Generation to Generation was so well-received that we are going to do it again.  The 2011 version will be held Saturday, September 24, so mark your calendars now.  While we have made the decision to hold it at Trinity Cathedral again, we do want to be sensitive to the requests we received to hold a version of this event at a more southern location in our diocese. If there is a church interested in hosting it, please let me know!

And while we are thinking about our 2011 calendars, I also want to share with you the dates for our Children’s Day events.  Children’s Day at The Cathedral will be held on Saturday, February 26 and in response to a request from the Central Convocation, Children’s Day in the Valley will be held on Saturday, May 21.  We give thanks to St. Thomas, Eugene for their willingness to host.  Please mark the dates on your new calendars.  More information will be available after the first of the year.

Planning for all of these events is beginning.  If you or someone you know is interested in helping with them, please let me know.

Blessings to you all, Barb


We are pleased to announce that Jenny Landis-Steward of St. Paul’s, Oregon City,  has been named the new diocesan coordinator for Education for Ministry (EFM).  In her role as diocesan coordinator, Jenny will be responsible for promoting the EFM program in our local congregations, helping to select local mentors, and coordinating the training for local mentors.  A social worker by vocation, Jenny is a graduate of the EFM Program herself and is currently mentoring an EFM group at St. Paul’s.   As coordinator she will be creating a network of EFM mentors and groups around the diocese, helping people find groups in which to participate, and arranging for EFM mentor trainings.

Jenny Landis-Steward, New Diocesan EFM Coordinator

EFM is the mostly widely used and respected programs of theological education for lay people in the Episcopal Church.  Developed at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, EFM is a four-year study that includes Hebrew Scripture, Christian Testament, Church History, and Theology and Spirituality.  Through study, discussion and prayer, EFM provides Christians with that basic skill which is the foundation of all Christian ministry — theological reflection. In doing this, participants sharpen their skills of personal and cultural assessment and enhance abilities to be effective in a variety of ways living out their ministries in the world.

EFM seminar groups of 6-12 people and their trained mentor meet, usually in a parish setting, three hours per week over the course of nine months per year.  Participants are given weekly assignments to study with the help of resource guides and  are responsible for setting their own learning goals. In the seminars members have an opportunity to share their insights and discoveries as well as to discuss questions which the study materials raise for them. EFM Online provides people who cannot attend a weekly face-to-face group an opportunity to participate in this course of study. Because the  Diocese of Oregon is a sponsoring diocese, EFM students in Oregon pay a
reduced tuition fee.

For further information about the Education for Ministry program go to  To find out more about EFM in the  Diocese of Oregon, contact our new diocesan coordinator Jenny Landis Steward



Editor’s Note:  This article is adapted from an article by the Reverend  Sherman Hesselgrave which first appeared in the July, 1994 issue of The Vineyard.

More and more people are less enthusiastic about organizing and producing traditional Christmas pageants.  Getting people to make the necessary commitments at that time of year is a real difficulty.  There is a much simpler way — I call it “The Christmas Story in Tableau.”

A narrator or storyteller reads or tells Luke’s version of the Nativity.  As characters aer mentioned, there is a pause in the storytelling while characters are recruited from the congregation and costumed.  As they come forward and put on their costumes and take their places, an appropriate carol is sung by everyone.  Then the story continues until the next new character is introduced, when, again, additional people are recruited, come forward, dress and take their places as another carol is sung.

I have used this as the Liturgy of the Word at Christmas Eve Children’s and Family services and it works well because it allows everyone attending to participate.  Start with have four steady-handed kids (stabl-izers!) each hold a pole over which a fabric tent can be draped.   Cut a couple of stars from cardboard,  glue on sparkles, and mount them on a dowel which can be held out by recruit a “star” for the show.  Cut out silhouette animals heads, ears, horns  from carboard that  recruits can wear by attaching to their own heads.       Make certaintyou have enough shepherd outfits and angel wings and halos.  Fabric pieces draped creatively and strips of fabric can serve as headbands and cinctures.  Borrow an old steamer trunk or decorate a large box or tote in which to put all those costumes and props.  This can make a dramatic entrance during the Procession.  A couple of people will need to be recruited to vest, carry the trunk, and help dress and place the characters as the story unfolds.

There are two distinct benefits to this alternative pageant.  First, it reduces anxiety for both pageant planners and participant.  Secondly, it is more inclusive — anyone, of any age, can participate.  I would conclude with the observation that it has also gregularly provided a revelatory moment of mirth and grace.

Story divisions and carols we have used are:

  • Luke 2:1-5 – stable, star, Mary and Joseph, donkey – hymn: O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • Luke 2:6,6 – Jesus    – hymn: Away in a Manger
  • Luke 2:8-12 – shepherds  – hymn: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
  • Luke 2:13-14 – angels   – hymn: Angels We Have Heard on High
  • Luke 2:15 – 19  – three Kings  (optional – since it isn’t yet Epiphany!) – hymn: What Child Is This?
  • Luke 2:0 – Hymn – Joy to the World  (as participants take off their costumes and return to their places)


Saturday,  January 8 – SAFE Church at Grace, Astoria
Saturday, January 22- SAFE Church at Good Samaritan, Corvallis
Saturday, February 12 – SAFE Church at St. John’s, Toledo
Saturday, February 24 – Children’s Day at the Cathedral
Saturday, March 5 – SAFE Church at Grace, Astoria
March 18-23 – Episcopal Peace Fellowship Urban Pilgrimage
Saturday, March 19 – SAFE Church at St. Mark’s, Medford
April 8-10 – Bishop’s Ball at Trinity Cathedral
Saturday, May 14 – ECW Spirituality Day at St. Bartholomew’s, Beaverton
Saturday, May 21 – Children’s Day in the Valley at St. Thomas, Eugene
Saturday – September 24 – From Generation to Generation – Lifelong Christian Formation Conference at Trinity Cathedral

*Willamette professor to speak at St. Paul’s, Salem
Dr. Lane C. McGaughy, Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies Emeritus at Willamette University will be the featured speaker for St. Anne’s Guild 3rd annual lecture at St. Paul’s in Salem.  Dr. McGaughy’s lecture on “The New Paul” will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 13, 2011.  For further information contact Mary Helen Socolofsky at 503-363-7268 or

*Children’s Day 2011 – “Saints Alive!” to be held in Portland and Eugene
Saints Alive! is the theme for Children’s Day 2011.  Our sixth annual Children’s Day at the Cathedral will be held February 24, 2011 at Trinity Cathedral in Portland and we are pleased to announce that our first ever Children’s Day in the Valley is scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at St. Thomas, Eugene.  Put the dates on your calendars now.  Registration information will be available in early January. In preparation for these two events we encourage congregations to teach their children Hymn #293, “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”.   If you would like to help in the final planning for Children’s Day 2011, please contact Barbara Ross, Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation at 1-800-452-2562×111, 971-204-4111 or

*Godly Play Training Schedule for 2011
Once again we give thanks to Trinity Cathedral for hosting a complete series of official Godly Play training events.  For further information about these events please contact Charissa Simmons at
* Saturday, December 4 – Advent Reflection Day
* Saturday, January 22 – Winter Stories
* Saturday, March 12 – Lenten Reflection Day
* Saturday, April 2 – Introduction to Godly Play
* Saturday, May 7 – Parables
* July 14-16 – Core Training

Godly Play resources available to check-out through the Resource Room
Thanks to a generous member of our diocese, the following Godly Play presentations are available for check-out from our diocesan Resource Room:

From the Complete Guide to Godly Play: 14 Presentations for Fall (Volume 2)
Lesson 1 – The Circle of the Church Year
Lesson 3 – The Flood and the Ark
Lesson 6 – The Ten Best Ways
Lesson 7 – The Ark and the Tent
Lesson 8 – The Ark and the Temple

From the Complete Guide to Godly Play: 20 Presentations for Winter (Volume 3)
Lessons 1-4   (Advent I-IV)
Lesson 11 – Parable of the Leaven

From the Complete Guide to Godly Play: 20 Presentations for Spring (Volume 4)
Lesson 1 – The Mystery of Easter
Lesson 10 – The Good Shepherd and World Communion

Each may be checked out for one month with a limit of two checked out to a congregation at one time.  For further information, contact  Barbara Ross, Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation, at 1-800-452-2562×111, 971-204-4111, or .

*From Generation to Generation: Lifelong Christian Formation Day, September 24, 2011
Our second annual Lifelong Christian Formation Day, From Generation to Generation 2011 will be held Saturday, September 24 at Trinity Cathedral.  Keynote speaker will be Julia McCray Goldsmith, Ministry Development Officer for the Diocese of California.  Mark the date on your calendar now.  You won’t want to miss it!    We would love to do all or parts of this conference in the southern part of our diocese.  If you are interested in hosting, please contact Barbara Ross, Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation at 1-800-452-2562×111, 971-204-4111 or .

SAFE Church host sites sought for 2011
We are in process of setting the 2011 SAFE Church training calendar.  We currently offer three trainings:  Safeguarding God’s Children, Preventing Sexual Harassment of Church Workers, and Preventing Sexual Exploitation in Communities of Faith.  If you would like to host any of these trainings in 2011, please contact Barbara Ross, Missioner for Lifelong Christian Formation at 1-800-452-2562×111, 971-204-4111 or .

(A special thank you to Charissa Simmons and Maureen Hagen for photos in this edition of New Wine)

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