Bishop’s Address, Awards Highlight 2016 Convention

Nearly 300 Episcopalians from across the diocese gathered in Salinas for the 36th Annual Meeting of Convention, which took place November 4 & 5 at Sherwood Hall to conduct the business of the church, share ideas, worship, and inspire one another.

“Being a learning organization, or community, is very Biblical,” said Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves in her annual address, which examined the need for such communities and provided an update on the diocesan Strategic Plan Remix. “It is also a concept found in the corporate world … spreading the Kingdom of God would suggest we learn to be partners together so that justice and well-being for all can be a reality. People of faith are the link between the two.”

Bishop Mary’s 2016 Convention Address can be viewed and downloaded at this link. The 2016 Strategic Plan Remix can be found here.

Another highlight of the convention was the Friday Evening Prayer service. The special guest preacher was Bishop Richard Garcia of the Catholic Diocese of Monterey (seen above). Bishop Garcia’s homily focused on learning together and examined ideas for extending and expanding our shared ministries. “Look out and reach for new possibilities as God offers them,” he said, urging the audience to continue to collaborate with other church communities. He also shared his idea of setting up a shared satellite center at the Salinas Mall, to have a spiritual presence in an established community destination.

Awards were also given out: The annual Bishop’s Cross Award was given to both Archdeacon Jo Weber (below left) and The Rev. Mary Morrison (right), who could not attend but received the awards in advance. Bishop Mary snapped her annual convention selfie to send them. Scroll down to view the Simple Servant awardees.

The Simple Servant Awards were an epic affair, with nearly 30 recipients brought on stage for their life-changing volunteer work with prison and jail ministries such as Kairos Inside and other programs. In all, more than 50 volunteers from the Diocese of El Camino Real and other faiths received the award and a few shared powerful stories with the banquet crowd. Scroll down for a list of the awardees and more pictures.

Joan Anderson, Chaplain MTY CO Jail

Irma Mejia, St. Paul’s/San Pablo

Lloyd Lowery, St. Paul’s/San Pablo, Salinas

Brian Nordwick, ECR Staff, Kairos

Jeannie & Paul Aschenbrenner, First Methodist, Salinas

Haati Nai, First Methodist, Salinas

Steve Lundin, First Methodist, Salinas

Cynthia Montague, Chaplain MTY CO Jail

Nancy Duldulao, Holy Family, Milpitas

Mindi Wojdylak, Holy Family Milpitas

Jane & Robert Pomery, Holy Family Milpitas

Anne Pomeroy, Holy Family Milpitas

Rosie Limos, Holy Family Milpitas

Marina Laroya,  Holy Family Milpitas

Corazon Gallego, Holy Family Milpitas

Margaret Smith, Holy Family Milpitas

Angeles Dela Cruz, Holy Family Milpitas

Shonna Close, Holy Family Milpitas

Ruth Casipit-Paguio, Holy Family Milpitas

George Lew, Holy Family Milpitas

Jean Wyatt, Holy Family Milpitas

Armin Busse, Holy Family Milpitas

Ernest Boyer, Holy Family Milpitas

Paul Horn, Holy Family Milpitas

Katy Dickinson, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Barbara Anderson, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Julie Averill, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Peggy Bryan, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Ann-Marie Burger, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Joel Martinez, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Thierry Doyen, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Bruce Friesen, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Barbara Harriman, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Cathy Holley, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Betsy James, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Denise Khalid, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Diane Lovelace, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Patrick Ryan, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Barbara Silverstein, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Gerry Chartrand, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Dwight Buzick, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Patrick Accristo, Inmate-EFM Participant, Co-designer of logo used

Renee Lopez, Inmate-EFM Participant, Co-designer of logo used

Jack Fanning, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Patrick Ryan, St. Andrew’s, Saratoga

Phil West, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Phyllis Porter, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Marcia Bell, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Chris Finch, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Sharon Williams, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Jane Martin, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Stephanie Brazil, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Shirley Holgate, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Tony Garay, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Dan Hooper, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Carl Hunter, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Alicia Nowicki, St. Barnabas, Arroyo Grande

Craig Young, All Saints’/Cristo Rey, Watsonville

Angel Rivera, San Carlos l Cathedral, Monterey, Kairos

Gail & Gabe Paul, St. Stephen’s, Gilroy

Jesse Farias, St. Stephen’s, Gilroy

Terry Burley, St. Stephen’s, Gilroy

Did Symington, St. Peter’s, Morro Bay

Jim Arnold, St. Peter’s, Morro Bay

Robert Seifert, St. Luke’s, Jolon/Chaplain

Carolyn Bowker, St.Jude’s, Cupertino

Merritt Greenwood, St. John the Baptist, Aptos

Charles Greenleaf, St. John the Baptist, Aptos

Bill Kell, St. John the Baptist, Aptos

2015 Convention Coverage


Bishop’s Address Examines Values, Announces a Strategic Plan “Remix”

Unveiling the simple but powerful theme of “Values,” Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves’ annual address at the 35th Convention of El Camino Real set a new direction for the diocese and challenged congregations to consider their own values and how they embody them in their communities.

Her 30-minute address began with a story about digestive biscuits at the real St. Swithin’s church (located in our partner diocese in Gloucester) and examined the danger of treasuring traditional behavior over values, stressing the need for El Camino Real to become a values-driven organization.

“Examining our values can inspire us to change,” Gray-Reeves explained. “Such an examination can call us to deeper integrity, intention and spiritual practice. Such reflection keeps us close to the foundation of who God calls us to be as members of the Body of Christ. As we seek to live more deeply into the values we understand as Christian, we take on the likeness of Christ. We take on the mind of Christ. We embody the values of our faith in the world.”

“Our values are Christ-centeredness, Reconciliation, Passion, Innovation and Creativity, and Integrity,” she continued. “As I invite you to consider your congregational values, please know that we will continue to do the same on our diocesan boards, committees and commissions. We want to strengthen our understanding of what it means to live as a values-driven organization.”


The “remix” comes sooner than expected, she acknowledged, and was spurred on by the results of the diocesan feasibility study last June. She and diocesan staff will work with the Board of Trustees and the Standing Committee to complete further work on the revised plan before rolling out a new iteration at deanery meetings in 2016.

“The days of five- or ten-year plans have ended,” she pointed out. “We always knew that in our plan there were things that could be accomplished and finished, such as moving to Sargent House. There would be others that would be ongoing, such as multi-cultural and inter-generational growth. We have done very well accomplishing many of the goals of the plan, letting go of things that were not a good fit, and creatively thinking forward.”

The 2016 deanery meetings will provide an opportunity for the entire diocese to join the process once the plan has been prepared for consideration, with voting to come at next year’s convention. Diocesan leaders, including the Council of Advice who supports fundraising efforts such as the Bishop’s Appeal, will keep moving forward. She promised news of an ongoing Bishop’s Appeal, and a three-year narrative budget that can incorporate the future vision.

“This is a responsible way to create a sustainable, vibrant, values-driven future,” she concluded, “which we pray will glorify God in all we do.”

The complete address can be read and downloaded here.

Bishop’s Awards Presented


Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves presented several awards during the Nov. 6-7 convention, including the Bishop’s Cross to The Rev. Kathey Crowe (above) and to Joe Chouinard (below) for their leadership and contributions to the diocese.


Below, the “Walking Together Ministry” at St. Mary’s by-the-Sea in Pacific Grove was honored with the Simple Servant Award for its faithful commitment for community organizing.


Certificates of Appreciation


Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the following:

Above: Members of the Relocation Team for their work on relocating the diocesan offices from Mission House in Seaside to the Sargent House in Salinas. Steve Pearson at podium, Chair of the Relocation Committee. Left to right in front of table: Dave Mora, Diana Trapani, The Rev. David Breuer.
Lower Right: Ann Wright for her work with the Conference Education Resource Committee (CERC).
Lower Left: Kim & Julie Fudge and Becky Mikkelsen for their work with the Scholarship Fund for the Diocese of Western Tanganyika (pictured with Bishop Sadock Makaya).


Watch for more convention coverage coming soon.

See a full photo gallery at the bottom of this news post.

Read About Previous Diocesan Conventions

Diocesan Convention 2014 – November 14 & 15, 2014

Journal of Convention 2014

For information about older conventions, please contact the Diocesan Office.