Coming Home – News from The Bishop’s Ranch

Fall 2020


Guests dining outside

COVID-19 and the Ranch

by Aaron Wright, Acting Executive Director

Six months ago as COVID-19 began to interrupt life as we knew it, the Ranch got very quiet. As the impact of this novel coronavirus was beginning to appear worldwide, we preemptively closed to guests the week before the official Shelter-In-Place order came on March 17th–which happened to be the exact same day I stepped into the Acting Executive Director role. At that point our staff went home and there was almost no activity at the Ranch for two weeks.
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A Beautiful Parachute

by Jack Dowling, Advancement Director

On my last birthday my wife, Lisa, told me she had made reservations for me and our son, Ivan, to go skydiving. She wasn’t trying to get rid of me, she knew it was an item that had long been on my bucket list.
On a chilly Saturday in November we drove up to NorCal Skydiving in Cloverdale and after watching a cautionary video and signing a small booklet of release forms, we were ready to meet our instructors.
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Virtual Camp 2020

Camp-in-a-Box ready for delivery
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Annual Fund Matching Challenge

$50,000 fund created by our board to match new and increased gifts. Read More

Donate today and be part of the community that supports the mission of the Ranch.


Help Keep Us On The Move

We are still looking to upgrade our transportation fleet. If you have a vehicle that is in good condition that you are ready to part with, please think of us. A mini van would be especially useful, but a passenger car or truck would be great, too. Email Jack Dowling at to let him know.
Check out the rest of our wish list on our website with links to items the Ranch staff has chosen to best serve their departments: check it out here.

Cookie offering

A Time in the Kitchen

by Robin Miller, Retiring Kitchen Manager

This year represents one of the most dynamic changes to the Ranch and its kitchen in my time here (more than a quarter century).
I started cooking in the kitchen as a prep cook in 1991. I came to the Ranch by way of my step-daughter, who was friends with Ariel Ross. Ariel cooked in the kitchen along with her mother Liz (McClure) Schmidt, the former kitchen manager.
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The Cows

by Alliee DeArmond, Prayer Resident

During the weeks I was a Prayer Resident at the Ranch, I worked on my novel in the morning and explored in the afternoon. Thus I became acquainted with the cows at the neighboring dairy. I would speak with them from the other side of the fence, where they lined up when I approached.
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Mushroom Pecan Burger

Get this delicious recipe. here.

Cass Comes Home

Since retiring and leaving the beautiful Ranch in March, 2019, a lot of things have changed. We moved to the quasi-country in Penngrove and bought a property with two homes on it: a smaller one-bedroom home and a larger four-bedroom house where our oldest daughter and her family of five live. We have enough property to share it with goats and chickens and have an enviable vegetable garden to help sustain us. My life and days are much different now than when I Iived and worked at the Ranch.
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Legacy Circle Milestone

Marty Hits 100!

Ranch folks are joyfully joining Ranch board member, longtime neighbor, supporter, and Legacy Circle member Dr. Marty Griffin in celebrating his 100th birthday this year (in August). The founder of Hop Kiln Winery, Marty and his family created the Gina’s Orchard Preserve, one of the most beautiful areas of The Bishop’s Ranch, in memory of granddaughter Gina Monaco.
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We Kept Extending That Time

A poem by Laurie Glover

The divisions reveal that the suffering is everywhere.
Frankly, it’s a grim time,
not ideal, but a gift:
We get to decide what to stir up.

Frankly, it’s a grim time,
nothing of the usual swirling around.
Though we get to decide what to stir up,
I have no exact answer how it’s going to look.

Nothing of the usual swirling around:
we don’t know up from down, left from right,
have no exact answers how it’s going to look,
and yet and yet we persevere.

We don’t know up from down, left from right.
By the end of the year that number will be more than a million.
And yet and yet we persevere.
Show us what our work is to do.

By the end of the year the number will be more than a million:
Are you healthy? How can we help?
Show us what our work is to do.
I’m just grateful we can see each other.

Are you healthy and how can we help?
It was looking like things were beginning to flow;
now I’m just grateful we can see each other.
It will be different, it will be hard.

It was looking like things were beginning to flow,
but the divisions reveal that suffering is everywhere.
It will be different, it will be hard,
not ideal, yet still a gift.

A pantoum is a poem of any length, composed of four-line stanzas in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza serve as the first and third lines of the next stanza.

For this poem, Laurie used words from a Zoom gathering of the Acorn Society in early June, where members heard updates about the Ranch during COVID time.