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The Good News

June 2024

The Season of Pentecost

The Monthly Newsletter of St. Paul's Episcopal Church

+ To know Christ better and make Him better known +

Liturgical Year B


Message from the Rector

The Rev. Dr. Mauricio Wilson


I imagine that when you opened this newsletter and saw the title of my thoughts for this month you may have felt that I picked a gloomy topic for this very spring/summer life month. You may be right, but one of the most important things that we have to remember as Christians is that our faith and continued existence as a body of faithful people rests on the tombs of many who died in persecution and were unwilling to give up their faith in Jesus.

On June 3 we observe the feast of the Martyrs of Uganda, a group of 32 young men who were members of the court of King Nwamba of Buganda. He had this particular group publicly burned at the stake to send a message to everyone that he should be worshiped about all else. The threat backfired because the soon to be martyrs sang hymns and said prayers on their way to execution, serving as a sign of true loyalty and bravery that many who saw it wanted to emulate.

I invite you to serve for the history of the Martyrs of Uganda to learn more details, including the fact that they were not the only ones killed at the time but that some who were killed were simply political rivals of the ruling class.

Uganda has historically been a mostly Muslim country, and even to this day, many in leadership positions, who are Muslim, view Christianity as a threat to their power and authority. The 32 martyrs of 1886, were by no means the last. 

We live in a country where we hear the phrase Christian Nationalism used in the same way Muslim Nationalism is used in places such as Uganda. We also hear of Jewish Nationalism in Israel. Though it's probably a topic that needs a whole newsletter to itself, faith mixed in with nationalism doesn't seem to be a reflection of God's will and presence in the world, but rather appears to be the embodiment of human fear and prejudice. More on this another day.

The Martyrs of Uganda serve as a reminder that martyrdom is not something that one plans or searches for, but rather the possible result of a steadfast faith and commitment to God. They did not wake up that morning thinking ‘I really want to be a martyr today.’ Likewise, none of us should ever expect to be martyrs of the faith, but always be ready to face whatever the world places before us while standing firm in our resolve to proclaim the Good News of God in Jesus, even with our dying breath.

O God, by your providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before you the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience, even to death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Pantry of Hope Update

The Pantry of Hope will be on hiatus from July 1, 2024 – Aug. 31 and will reopen September 8. If you want to volunteer, we will resume operation on Saturday Sept. 7th to serve clients on Sunday Sept. 8th, and on Saturday Sept. 21st to serve clients on Sunday, Sept. 22nd. September is an odd month because it has five weeks. Please see Deacon Carolyn for more information.


Starting in September 2024, Acolyte practice will be held every first Saturday of

the month @ 10am. We’re in need of Acolytes young and old. Please come if

you feel called to serve on the Altar, please see Deacon Carolyn to discuss.

The Ven. Canon Carolyn Bolton

Message from the Senior Warden

By Indira Balkissoon

In June we celebrate Pride, Juneteenth and the Summer Solstice. We also wind down a bit. Before jumping into our Summer rhythm, I want to reflect on our Episcopal values of equity, inclusion and service by reminding us of how we as a community have lived into these values over the past year. 

We celebrated our 2023-2024 homecoming with a Parish potluck and Summer picnic and $1,200 was raised for Back-to-School Supplies for 110 young people. Cottage dinners returned after a long hiatus due to COVID. We read Voyage of the Dawn Treader for Advent and The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory” for Lent. Guns to Gardens collected 42 firearms which were hand forged into gardens tools. 

The youth calendar was brimming with activities like rock climbing, skating, golfing, Thanksgiving bag distribution, Martin Luther King Day of Service and a Pilgrimage to Grace Cathedral. Members of St. Paul’s Youth Group and our Diocesan Convention Delegates, along with the Union of Black Episcopalians submitted a resolution to the Diocesan convention to adopt Safe and Secure Gun Storage as a Means to Safeguard Children and Youth and Reduce Gun Violence. This was the first time Youth brought a resolution to Convention. We attended a documentary called A Case for Love.

The Pantry of Hope gave 80-100 bags of food twice a month through out the year (that is 2,000 bags of food). We supported 4 families from the Center for the Vulnerable Child with the Giving Tree.

Our amazing choir sang a requiem mass by Gabriel Faure. Friends of music hosted at least 9 musical groups. We heard about the history of our magnificent and world renown pipe organ from our esteemed Music Director Ben Bachmann.

There was a spaghetti feed, a Shrove Tuesday pancake feed, and Easter luncheon. We also, learned about worm composting. The Pollinator gardens are maturing and attracting pollinators as we hoped. A monarch butterfly was recently spotted. 

Is your head spinning yet. How did we do all of this? There are so many things going on at St. Paul’s it would take up the entire newsletter. Happy Summer!

Psalm 74:17 – Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

Episcopal Diocese of California

Juneteenth Feast Day Celebration

By Jeanette Dinwiddie-Moore

This year on Saturday, June 15th at 11:00 am, the Diocese of California will celebrate its third Juneteenth Feast Day at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oakland. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Andrus, Bishop, will be the Celebrant and The Rt. Rev. Austin Rios, Bishop Co-adjutor, will be the Preacher. The service is sponsored by the Afro-Anglican Commission of the Diocese and the Northern California Vivian Traylor Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians. All are welcomed to attend and a reception will follow. 

To read more, click HERE.


Let us Bless Bishop Marc with a Potluck on Sunday, June 16

Bishop Marc is making his last visit to a congregation in this diocese before his retirement on June 16, and he’s coming to St. Paul’s. So lets give him a festive send off with a potluck reception in the parish hall.

The parish will order a cake, but lets also have some finger food. I erred when I said the bishop was vegan. He is vegetarian, but dairy and eggs are okay. We won’t need much food because of the cake, but if you have a special recipe for appetizers, canapes, or the like please feel invited to bring it. And if you don’t, please come and eat, anyway. As usual, leave it with the ushers who will ferry it upstairs to the kitchen.

Thank you! Alice B.


Sunday, June 16, 4:00pm


San Francisco Choral Artists, Megan Soloman, Artistic Director



Celebrating nature and escaping out the door, if only as far as the back yard!

Join us outside for an exploration of the animals, plants and insects who live in gardens and beyond. We’ll rejoice in spring’s diverse and surprising flora and fauna with works by Britten, Delius, Ligeti, Mechem, Schumann, Stenhammer, Phillips, Susa, MacDowell, Hensel, and our Composers-in- and -Not-in-Residence.

Stay up to date on Music at St. Paul's @

Environmental Stewardship - Worm Composting at St. Paul’s

Amy Kessler, led a most informative and interesting workshop about how to compost using worms. Amy maintains the worm bin used by St. Paul’s School, located in our labyrinth pollinator garden. During her workshop, she demonstrated how to set up a worm bin, the types of worms to use, explained what to feed the worms, and finally how to harvest the valuable compost they produce. She explained that this type of compositing is usually done with common red wiggler worms (Eisenia fetida).

Click HERE for more photos.

Worm composting is different than conventional composting because it does not use heat to create the compost. Worms do not like heat. Instead worm composting relies on the specialized digestive system of the red wriggler worm to convert food waste into worm castings. The worm castings are compost. Like traditional composting, worm composting has the benefit of diverting food waste from landfills. But also has benefits over traditional composting because worm compost enhances soil fertility, improves soil structure, helps the soil retain moisture, and promotes healthy root growth. 

When you have a chance go check it out. Also, Amy can answer questions and can advise you on how to start your own worm compost. She also suggested reading the following books:

Job 21:26 - They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.


Guns to Gardens

St. Paul’s is again at work to make our next Guns to Gardens gun buyback a success. This is our 4th buyback; so far we have succeeded in getting about 280 guns off the streets, and have given away about 150 garden tools that have been forged from those guns. The next one is Saturday, July 20, and we need help! We will be, as in the past, raising money to help pay for the gift cards that we give (in addition to a garden tool) in exchange for the guns.

But also, we would like to ask for your help in reaching out to other churches & organizations to get them to join us in the Guns to Gardens movement. Please post the attached poster on your social media favorites and talk to your friends at other churches to ask them to join us in this work. We need to get these guns off our streets, we take our inspiration from Isaiah 2:4 “and they shall forge their swords into plowshares”. 

As always, the names of everyone who donates will be put in a box, and the person whose name is randomly chosen will win this gorgeous quilt, which was made by Paula Hawthorn.

We are so grateful for your support!

Counting Ministry Resumes

After a long hiatus due to COVID, we am seeking volunteers to work in teams of two, once a month, to count the offering plate each Sunday, and prepare the gifts for deposit at the bank. The task takes about 15-20 minutes, and is done in the church office.

A training for those interested will be held in late August, with counting teams resuming regular rotation beginning the first Sunday in Sept.

The counting of the offering is one of the most crucial ways we faithfully steward the financial gifts we offer to the work of the Church. It is a ministry of establishing trust, accountability and transparency with the congregation to enable a more generous community.

I hope that you will prayerfully consider participating in (or returning to) this important Ministry. To indicate your interest, please reach out to me at 510-904-8413 or via email at if you would like to serve our Parish in this capacity.

Many thanks for your consideration.

Pamela Kruse-Buckingham




Austin Keith Rios Consecrated as Bishop Coadjutor of California

The Rt. Rev. Austin Keith Rios was ordained and consecrated bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of California on May 4 at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. The consecration paves the way for Rios to succeed the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, who is retiring July 24 after 18 years as the diocese’s chief pastor.

Rios is the Diocese of California’s first Latino bishop. His heritage includes Mexican American ancestry from his father’s side and Scottish and English ancestry from his mother’s side. Although English was spoken at home, Rios began learning Spanish at an early age to embrace his Latino heritage. He is also fluent in Italian, which he honed during his 12-year tenure as the rector of St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, Italy.

Rios is married to Maleah Rios and has one child. He calls several places home, including Texas, where he was born; Rome, Italy; North Carolina; Wisconsin; Louisiana; and now, the San Francisco Bay Area. He will be installed as the ninth bishop of California on Aug. 11.

Click here for the St. Paul's Photo Album

Click here for Diocesan the Photo Album

Video of the consecration service is available on the Grace Cathedral YouTube channel.

Article excerpted from the Episcopal News Service -


Evensong: Upcoming Schedule Change

Join us on June 2 for the final Evensong service of this Season.

Evensong will return at 4pm on September 8, and the second Sunday of each month, September to June.


Are you interested in what happens at the Vestry Meetings? Anyone from the Parish is welcome to come and listen. We meet virtually on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7pm. The next meeting is Tuesday June 25 at 7pm.

Over the summer, The Executive Committee continues to meet monthly while Fr. Mauricio is away. In addition, Vestry members will participate in working groups with Stewardship, the Ministry Action Plan Committee and the Social Justice Ministry (Guns to Gardens/Diocesan Convention Resolution.)

Please reach out to Fr. Wilson or any Vestry member for the Zoom link. You are most welcome!


Altar Guild 2024

Prayers of the People 2024

Worship Volunteers July - Dec. 2024


Land Acknowledgment

We acknowledge that the CONFEDERATED VILLAGES OF LISJAN are the traditional stewards of the land on which our buildings stand and we pay our respect to their people and heritage. The Lisjan Ohlone people have lived in the territory of Huchiun since the beginning of time, and are still here fighting for their land, heritage, culture & spiritual traditions.

St. Paul's is a member of Integrity USAworking for the full equality of LGBTQIA+ persons ​in every part of The Episcopal Church.


The Rt. Rev. Marc H. Andrus, Bishop of California

Rev. Austin Rios, Bishop Coadjutor-Elect of California

The Rev. Dr. Mauricio Wilson, Rector

The Ven. Canon Carolyn Bolton, Archdeacon

The Rev. Christian Harding, Assisting Priest

The Rev. Gary England, Archdeacon


Benjamin Bachmann, MMusic, FAGO, Music Director

Philip Saunders Assistant Music Director

Jackie Kamakate, Parish Administrator

Joan Clerk, Bookkeeper

Danislav Nedevski, Sexton

Elena Nedevska, Housekeeper


Class of 2024

Indira Balkissoon-Sr. Warden

Irene Plunkett

Matthew Schooler

Class of 2025

Pamela Kruse-Buckingham— Treasurer

Richard Larson– Jr. Warden

Daniel (Digger) Lauter

Class of 2026

David Anderson - Clerk

Paula Hawthorn

Doug Jensen

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Pamela Kruse-Buckingham & Victoria Larson