Update of Ranch status during local wildfires.

The Bishop’s Ranch, October 17, 2017

Dear Ranch Friends,

We are grateful for the outpouring of well wishes and support we have received from our community. It has allowed us to provide work and other help to our staff, neighbors and friends.

The Ranch was not directly effected by the fire, other than the loss of scheduled groups. In the week following the fires, the Ranch has been a shelter for staff, family members and friends who where evacuated from their homes. While no staff members lost their homes, some have family and friends who have.

During the peak of the fires we were conducting hourly patrols of the perimeter of the Ranch to make sure that no fires had started in our area. Thankfully we did not encounter any here. We are all resting easier now that the fires are being contained.

We were sorry to have to cancel quality time at the Ranch for five groups. Today we are welcoming De La Salle High School as our first group since the fire, and are looking forward to our weekend groups. The Fall Hike scheduled for Saturday, October 21 is happening and we expect good air quality.

Thank you for your concern about The Bishop’s Ranch and our mutual community,

Jack Dowling
Advancement Director


Ranch status during Sonoma County fires.

The Bishop’s Ranch, October 11, 2017

Dear Ranch Friends,

Many of you have asked how the Ranch is doing while the wildfires are burning in Sonoma and neighboring counties. We are grateful for your thoughts and prayers.

So far, the Ranch has been safe and out of the way of the fires. However, many of the Ranch staff, family and neighbors have been evacuated and in some cases have lost homes. Our hearts and prayers are with everyone who is impacted by this series of tragedies. Some staff families and neighbors are temporarily sheltering at the Ranch.

Many of you have also asked us how you can help the Ranch during this time. For the sake of everyone’s safety, we have asked scheduled groups not to come to the Ranch this week and weekend. This will have a financial impact on the Ranch staff, at a time when money is really needed. It of course will have a financial impact on the Ranch as well. One way you could help locally would be to make a donation to the Ranch Annual Fund. This money would be used to address immediate financial impacts that add so much to the stress of uncertainty and displacement.

Other ways that you could help more generally are via Bishop Beisner of the Diocese of Northern CA by donating to his Discretionary Fund, or directly to the Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa, which is currently receiving evacuees. “Please, no clothing, etc. until needs are more carefully assessed.  Episcopal Relief and Development is in close touch with the Diocese of Northern California and will be updating its plans shortly.
We intend to accept scheduled groups again as soon as more of the uncertainty of the fires has been reduced, hopefully this next week. Thank you for your concern about The Bishop’s Ranch and our mutual community,

Sean Swift
Executive Director

Remembering long time friend of the Ranch, Lloyd Aubry

Lloyd at the groundbreaking of the Swing Pavilion.

Lloyd at the groundbreaking of the Swing Pavilion.

Lloyd Aubry, who passed away on July 9th, 2016 at the age of 92, came onto the Ranch board at Bishop William Swing’s request in 1986. Bishop Swing famously recruited Lloyd during a round of Lloyd’s favorite game – golf. Lloyd continued on the board for over a quarter century, most of the time as President. He and his wife Margaret have supported the Ranch in many, many ways. We will miss him.

Below is Lloyd’s obituary.
Lloyd Walter Aubry
January 25, 1924 – July 9, 2016

Lloyd Walter Aubry, a 51-year resident of Hillsborough, California, died peacefully at home of natural causes on July 9, 2016. He was 92. A 3rd generation San Franciscan, Lloyd was born at St. Luke’s Hospital on January 25, 1924, and was the only child of Lloyd Wanton Aubry and Edna Woenne Aubry. Lloyd’s father had a long career with Standard Oil Company of California, and during his childhood the family relocated many times. Lloyd lived in the Bay Area, Sacramento, Seattle, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Phoenix as his father’s career advanced, attending 3 different high schools before graduating from North Phoenix High School in 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, sailed to Europe on the Queen Mary, and served as a Staff Sergeant in the Signal Corps with the Allied Expeditionary Force in England, France, Belgium, and Germany. He returned home to Burlingame after the war, enrolled at Stanford on the GI Bill, and joined Delta Chi Fraternity. In 1946, on a blind date on campus, he met his future wife and the love of his life, Margaret Anne Wade of Hillsborough. They were married in 1948, 3 days after he graduated from Stanford with an engineering degree. On June 19, 2016, Lloyd’s extended family gathered in Hillsborough to celebrate both Father’s Day and Margaret and Lloyd’s 68th wedding anniversary.
Lloyd and Margaret had 4 sons: Lloyd Jr. called Chip (Vanessa), an attorney; Wade (Suzanne), a physician; Keith (Sharon), a wildlife biologist; and Brian (Tristan), a geologist. He also had 12 grandchildren: Jessie, Hannah, Claire, Karen, Beth, Jennifer, Caroline, Joan, Gael, Kelly, Madeline, and Evan; and 6 great-grandchildren: Cole, Jax, Taylor, Noah, Grayson, and Kylie. Lloyd was devoted to his wife and family, and the family enjoyed frequent family vacations which always included golf. Lloyd and Margaret were inseparable, and they traveled all over the world together with the Stanford Travel/Study Program. A special highlight was a trip to Normandy in 1994 for the 50th Anniversary commemoration of D-Day. They also enjoyed frequent trips to Hawaii and annual trips to Carmel for the Crosby/AT&T golf tournament.
After working as a mechanical engineer for several companies in San Francisco and Modesto during the 1950s, Lloyd fulfilled a lifelong ambition in 1961 by starting his own engineering and construction business, the Lloyd W. Aubry Engineering Co., Inc. Based in Burlingame and operating around the country, Aubry Engineering specialized in the design and installation of conveyer handling systems, canning and bottling lines, food and timber processing machinery, and other mechanical systems. A natural salesman, Lloyd forged longstanding working relationships with his customers and, with many, lifelong friendships. Throughout his business career, Lloyd was recognized as someone who always met his obligations, kept his word, and treated his employees fairly. As the company grew, Lloyd developed a loyal team of sales managers and project supervisors. In 1990, he sold the company to two of his senior managers and retired. The Lloyd W. Aubry Co, Inc. continues to operate under his name to this day.
During retirement, Lloyd turned his attention to volunteer activities, especially through St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Burlingame, where he and Margaret were married, and the Bishop’s Ranch of the Episcopal Diocese of California in Healdsburg. He served continuously on the Ranch Board since 1986 and was President from 1994-2008, providing leadership for the planning, fundraising, and construction of 5 new buildings and the renovation of 9 existing buildings on the property. The Ranch grew in many dimensions under his leadership, enhancing its value as a very special retreat and conference center for all ages and all people. For the last 30 years, Lloyd and Margaret were an unbeatable team at the Ranch and enjoyed many happy times there together.
Lloyd was a member of the Olympic Club, where he served as Chairman of the Country Club Committee and President of the Seniors’ Golf Association, and the Menlo Country Club, where he served as Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee. He learned to play golf at an early age from his father, played on the golf team during high school, and loved to play with his many friends throughout his life, including a round with his sons on his 91st birthday. Lloyd was also a member of the Peninsula Roundtable, past president of the Peninsula Stanford Club, and a member of the Stanford Associates in recognition of his volunteer services to Stanford. He loved reading mysteries and thrillers and was often seen driving around town in his vintage Mercedes 280SL convertible with the top down and a twinkle in his eye. He loved life, loved people, and made the world a little bit better during his time with us.
Memorial donations in Lloyd’s name may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Burlingame, The Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg, or the Stanford Engineering Fund.

Shared Retreat Magic

This was offered in the latest issue of Pacific Church News. I thought it deserved a to be highlighted.

A reflection from the Rev. Dana Corsello

Matthew Burt and I became friends through our work on the Executive Council. When he discovered that St. Luke’s, San Francisco, and Christ Church, Portola Valley were sharing the same weekend for parish retreats at the Ranch, he contacted me and asked if I’d like to do some joint planning. Of course!


What unfolded was a new friendship and bond for Beth — the rector at Christ Church — and me and a retreat that was fully shared among our congregations — all programming, childcare, worship, and fun. It was a risk but we both agreed to go for it! As Paul wrote, there are many members of Christ’s body. What Christ Church brought to the weekend we were lacking and what they needed we could provide. Beth and I shared the movie theology and small group work and even yesterday’s sermon. New friendships were forged and old friendships reconnected. One of my parishioners went to Stanford with one of hers. They were shocked to see each other at the Ranch, of all places! Our senior wardens connected and vowed to stay in touch.

shared2It was really beautiful. We also shared the expenses of childcare, art, and the incredible honkey-tonk band we hired Saturday night. The pictures are of the wine tasting hosted by Christ Church on Saturday night (my folks loved it) and a selfie of Beth and me.

Friendships and the church are being strengthened all over the diocese. We’ve already committed to next year together!


A poetic offering

This poem was offered in the latest issue of Coming Home. I thought it deserved a to be highlighted.

There Is a Field

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.


That field is simply known as the “Ball Field”, but don’t let that simple name fool you. This is a magical place, a “thin place”, as the Celts would say. Early, on a clear morning from its center you can watch the world wake up, come alive, as the deep purple of night gives way to the golden glow of first light. Signs of life grow exponentially as the sun breaks the horizon.

As day comes into full being a few or more children of all ages and a ball transforms the field. It comes alive and vibrates with energy in all directions. Everything in motion. The sound of voices full of energy ring out. And the games are played.

As evening approaches a hush comes over the field. The telescope is readied as darkness descends. That which was hidden by our Sun’s glare all day begins to show itself. With full darkness the Cosmos in all its glory reveals itself. There, before us is our Home, the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. Rejoice and be glad in it, for this is what the Lord has made.

by Dickson Yeager, long time Ranch supporter and our guide to the night sky.

A Team Effort

Many mornings, I walk with our dog, Lucky, down to Westside Road to get the paper. On my trek I observe many of the great projects that our facilities and land team have accomplished along with the help of many volunteers and Americorps crews. [Read more…]

Welcome to the Ranch

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