Letter of Call for the Annual Synod

Delegates (Clergy and Laity) gather annually for the Diocesan Synod.

On January 6th (The Feast of the Epiphany), the Rev. Donald M. Ashman made the formal call for the thirty-third Synod of the Diocese of the Western States.

The Diocesan Synod will be held from April 16-20, 2024 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Walnut Creek (CA). The parishes of Saint Joseph of Arimathea in Berkeley and Saint Martin of Tours in Concord will support the planning and work of the Synod.

Fr. Rick’s weekly parish email and the Shepherd’s Staff provincial newsletter will report additional information as it becomes available. To subscribe to either publication, contact Fr. Rick at info@st-bartholomews.org.)

Read Bishop Ashman’s letter →

Stories from last year’s Synod →

Epiphany, the Feast of Lights

~ From an Epiphany sermon by the Most Rev. Robert S. Morse, Founding Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Christ the King

Today, the beginning of the Epiphany season, is often called the Feast of Lights. On this winter day when darkness comes early and night lingers late, Christians celebrate the Epiphany of Christ, when he revealed Himself in history as God Incarnate, God become man. St. John writes, That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not. He came into his own and his own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.

What a mysterious moment this Epiphany of Christ is, God come among us as one of us. St. Paul writes, Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. We must each experience our own epiphany.

I remember being a freshman in college, soon to be swept up into World War II, and rummaging through the library stacks of the university. It was one of my favorite sports. Raised to think that man would find his way through science, I came across a history book, a biography of a famous warrior and conqueror that agreed with the words of the Psalmist, “The Earth is the Lord’s and all that therein is.” I was struck for a moment with that truth. It was my first epiphany. It is perhaps why I stand here today, for “The Earth is the Lord’s and all that therein is.”The belief that God is the source of all is the beginning of faith and leads us to the Wise Men at the manger, where God became man, God Incarnate, God one of us, Epiphany.

[source: The Shepherd’s Staff, January 2022]

What is Twelfth Night?

Twelfth Night is a Christian festival that falls on January 5th, the last day of the 12 days of Christmas. In our Anglican liturgical calendar, Twelfth Night is also Epiphany Eve. Many of the customs surrounding Twelfth Night focus on the coming of the Three Kings and the transition from Christmastide to the Epiphany season.

Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, (illuminated manuscript), c. 1410

Popular Twelfth Night customs include eating king cake, singing Christmas carols, chalking the door, having one’s house blessed, merry-making, and attending church services (external links).

[Adapted from “Twelfth Night (holiday)” on Wikipedia.]

The Twelve Days of Christmas

What are the Twelve Days of Christmas?

The twelve days of Christmas, or Christmastide, begin at sunset on Christmas Eve and end on the Eve of The Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, on January 5th.

What about the Christmas Carol of the same name?

As the legend goes, religious wars in sixteenth century England made it dangerous to be a Catholic. Many people practiced their faith in secret. Catholic families developed unique ways to secretly pass the faith onto their children, like “The 12 Days of Christmas.” The well-known song was used to teach children about the Church.

The First Day of Christmas: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
A partridge in a pear tree symbolizes Jesus Christ, with the partridge representing Christ’s willingness to sacrifice himself and the pear tree symbolizing the cross.

The Second Day of Christmas: Two Turtle Doves
Two turtle doves represents the first and second testaments of the Bible.

The Third Day of Christmas: Three French Hens
Three French hens are the gifts of Faith, Hope, and Charity that define this day

The Fourth Day of Christmas: Four Calling Birds
The original song lyrics were “four colly birds.” Colly meant black.
So, it could be thought of as four blackbirds or ravens. When a raven
caws, you hear it, just as the Gospel calls out for each of us to hear it.

The Fifth Day of Christmas: Five Gold Rings
The five golden rings are the most valuable of gifts in the original
song. This is also where the song lyrics take a dramatic pause. On a
religious level, the rings represent the first five books of the Old
Testament, or the Pentateuch. These books are the history and law
given by God to Moses.

The Sixth Day of Christmas: Six Geese A-Laying
The geese laying represents creating a new life as God created all

The Seventh Day of Christmas: Seven Swans A-Swimming
Swans are graceful water creatures. The number seven represents the
seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are wisdom, understanding,
counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

The Eighth Day of Christmas: Eight Maids A-Milking
A milking cow is working. But the rewards of this work are sweet. Look to the beatitudes here as this is how God wants us to treat

The Ninth Day of Christmas: Nine Ladies Dancing
Nine ladies dancing represent the nine fruits of the spirit: love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When your life displays the fruits of the spirit, you become a wonderful expression of action and grace to others.

The Tenth Day of Christmas: Ten Lords A-Leaping
These Lords refer to the English Parliament’s House of Lords. They
were lawmakers so this loosely symbolizes the Ten Commandments.
As for why the Lords are leaping, one interpretation suggests that
maybe a higher law given by God could make them leap?!

The Ten Commandments

  1. I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have none other gods but me.
  2. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor worship them.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all that thou hast to do; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt do no murder.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  10. Thou shalt not covet.

The Eleventh Day of Christmas: January 04
Eleven Pipers Piping

Pipers were known for music that relaxed people. They also led
people in marches during the Middle Ages. These 11 pipers represent
the apostles of Jesus (minus Judas) who led the way for Jesus’
teaching around the world.

The Twelfth Day of Christmas: January 05
Twelve Drummers Drumming

Drummers keep people in line and stepping in unison, all with the
same rhythm. The Apostles’ Creed acts as a rhythmic reminder of
beliefs. With 12 main points in the creed, it is a powerful statement of

The Apostles’ Creed

  1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
  2. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;
  3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary:
  4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell.
  5. The third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
  6. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
  7. I believe in the Holy Ghost,
  8. The holy Catholic Church;
  9. the Communion of Saints,
  10. the Forgiveness of sins,
  11. the Resurrection of the body,
  12. and the Life everlasting. Amen.

Memorial Service for Linda Dowrey on Jan 6th

“May her soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them.”

Memorial Service for Linda Dowrey
Saturday, January 6th at noon

A Memorial Service and for longtime parishioner, Linda Dowrey, will be held at the church on Saturday, January 6, 2024 beginning at noon. A catered luncheon reception will follow. Please RSVP to jenniferpempeit@gmail.com if you plan to attend the luncheon.

Directions to the church

Obituary for Linda Dowrey

Linda Caroline (McNutt) Dowrey, passed away peacefully on November 17, 2023, at the age of 85 with her loving family by her side. She was born in Beaver County Pennsylvania on May 31st, 1938, and was the daughter of the late Genevieve Maxine (Turney) McNutt and Robert McNutt. She graduated from Aliquippa High School in 1956, studied at Macmurry college for women in Jacksonville, Illinois in 1957 and 1958. She then attended the University of Houston and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 1961. She moved to New York City in 1962 to work for Eastern Airlines as a reservation agent, which was a job she loved. She later transferred to Houston Texas, and then finally to Seattle Washington. She was a free spirit with an appetite for adventure and she loved to travel both nationally and internationally. On January 5th, 1974 she married Carl G. Dowrey and moved to Snohomish, Washington. She also spent time working for Boeing and later, became a legal assistant to her husband. She was an avid reader and poetry lover, she loved watching birds and wildlife. She was fun to be with, and known for her big smile, sunny personality, and solid work ethic.

She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, aunt and grandmother.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by many friends and loved ones, including her sister Vivian Jimenez, her cousin Leslie Swasta, and her husband Gordon Dowrey. She is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Pempeit, son, Ian Dowrey, Son, James Dowrey; her four stepchildren who all loved her dearly: Gordon Dowrey, Richard Dowrey, Heather Rizzo, and Robin Dowrey; her nieces Julie Jimenez and Linda McInerney; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren that she loved and adored.

A Memorial Service will be held in her honor at St. Bartholemew’s Anglican Church in Woodinville, Washington, where she and her husband were members for many years. The service will start at noon on January 6, 2024. Lunch reception to follow from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Condolences and personal memories/ stories may be sent to the family at jenniferpempeit@gmail.com.

December Shepherd’s Staff

The Shepherd’s Staff, our provincial newsletter, is filled with news and photos from parishes around the country. Here are a few of the articles in this month’s issue:

  • Seminary opens registration for spring on-line classes
  • An Advent homily from Bishop Ashman
  • New Deanery established in Arizona
  • Intercessory prayer at St. George’s NV
  • Good News Clubs underway in Las Vegas elementary schools
  • Diocesan ACW plans for 2024 Synod

Download the December 2023 issue.

Photos from Father Rick Gregory’s Ordination

By the grace of God, on 10 December, the Second Sunday in Advent, the Rev. Rick Gregory was ordained to the Priesthood of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Diocesan Bishop Donald Ashman was joined in the laying on of hands by Bishop Scott Mitchell (Suffragan).

A joyous and delicious luncheon reception followed the liturgy.

Congratulations, Father Gregory!

(Tap on any thumbnail to see the full size photo.)

[Thank you, Robin B., Nancy J., and Alexander C. for the lovely photos]

Deacon Rick’s Ordination Date Set

God willing, on Sunday, December 10 at 10am, The Rt. Rev. Donald Ashman will ordain Rick Gregory to the Priesthood of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We invite all friends and members of St. Bartholomew’s to join us for the joyous occasion.

A luncheon reception will follow the liturgy. If you plan to join us for the meal—and we hope you will—please RSVP to Kellie Robertson as soon as possible. Her contact information is listed in the invitation below.

The Advent Season

Advent is a season of waiting and expectation for Christmas – the birth of Christ, the Nativity of Our Lord. We prepare our homes and hearts for four weeks before Christmas. Advent is also the beginning of a new liturgical year – it concludes the long season of Trinity and leads us into the new church year with hope and patience in preparation for Christmas.

This season was likely first celebrated in the fifth century, originating from the tradition of fasting several times a week, beginning on St. Martin de Tours’ Feast Day (November 11) and concluding on Christmas Day.

In modern times, Advent begins on the Sunday closest to November 30 (the Feast Day of St. Andrew) and concludes on Christmas Eve. This year, Advent begins on December 3.

The Advent Wreath

The use of the wreath and candles during Advent is a longstanding Anglican tradition that was originally adopted by Christians in the Middle Ages as part of their spiritual preparation for Christmas. The practice of lighting the candles each evening can be a helpful spiritual practice. This Liturgy for Lighting The Advent Wreath comes to us from the Province of Christ the King.

Sarum Use

St. Bartholomew’s uses blue vestments and altar paraments during Advent. This is a recovery of an ancient English tradition stemming from Salisbury Cathedral, and so it is referred to as sarum blue. (Sarum being the ancient Latin name for Salisbury.) While the deep blue
conveys a feeling of solemnity, because of its association with the Blessed Virgin Mary, it also conveys the Advent themes of hope and expectation.