A Message from The Bishop’s Ranch Board

It is a transition time for The Bishop’s Ranch. We said a loving farewell to Sean Swift and his family this autumn after 31+ years of leadership. It’s also a time of great uncertainty for all of us as well as for the Ranch as we endeavor to calibrate risks in the time of a pandemic and our ongoing need to be with one another. The Bishop’s Ranch Board is taking steps, in consultation with Bishop Marc and Diocese of California staff, to assure ongoing leadership for the Ranch.

At this time, Aaron Wright continues as the Acting Executive Director and thanks to him and all the hardworking staff, the Ranch is open for visits in careful compliance with a big host of extra care measures for the safety and wellbeing of visitors. Many of us have made weekend and midweek visits and though it is different, yes, the food is still fabulous, the staff warm-hearted and welcoming, and the surroundings lovely and deeply calming.

Here is a summary of what’s going on about leadership at the Ranch:

In consultation with the Bishop and Episcopal Camp and Conference Center (“ECCC”), we have rewritten and recently finalized the position description for the Executive Director. Our plan going forward is to fill the Executive Director position with someone who can continue effective Ranch operations while engaging with us in an intensive period of visioning and strategic planning for the Ranch’s future, over the next few years. This work is essential for the ongoing financial sustainability of the Ranch which despite our generous donors and the hardworking staff, will almost certainly operate at a considerable loss this year.

We’re working through the holidays with the hope we can make a Board decision about the method for recruitment and appointment in December 2020 or January 2021. We will keep you informed. In the meantime, warmest wishes for good holidays and may we all navigate them with love given and received in whatever form is best.

Black Lives Matter

Last week we paused all social media and email communication in solidarity with #blackouttuesday and #amplifyblackvoices and in acknowledgement that our primarily white voices were not the voices that needed to be heard. 

The Bishop’s Ranch staff has been listening, learning, planning and actively engaging in local protests of the unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others. We stand with the #blacklivesmatters movement and commit ourselves and our organization to the work of anti-racism. 

The Ranch’s mission is to serve God by providing for people of all walks of life a place where lives are changed; a place of hospitality amidst the beauty of God’s creation where renewal of spirit, mind, and body is nourished, leading to spiritual growth and closer relationships with God and one another. Our board of directors reads this mission statement at the beginning of each meeting, and it guides and informs our decision making. 

As part of the Episcopal Church we take seriously our baptismal covenant “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being with God’s help.” 

We recognize that we have much work to do. We have taken steps and will take many more. 

We acknowledge that the Ranch itself exists on land once home to Southern Pomo people.

We acknowledge that the Ranch has too often been a predominantly “white space.”

We have committed to equality and justice in our hiring, staffing and compensation practices and have a diverse staff reflective of the racial demographics of Sonoma County where more often racism shows itself between white and Latinx communities. 

We acknowledge there is much more work to be done, and we commit to doing the work.