A Day of Prayer for the Life of the World: The smoke in the air is a call to prayer.

The West is burning. California is filled with smoke. I drove south on Hwy 395 and could not see the Sierras. I took a plane to Seattle—more smoke—and then to Oregon—the same— even Montana is afire.
This smoke is like incense burning on the altar— it’s a prayer and a call to prayer. A call to participate in the on-going creative, healing work of the Spirit, and a call to turn to the spiritual resources of our faith. If it isn’t smoke we’re breathing these days it’s toxic news, whether we get it in bytes or tweets, or newscasts of the more traditional kind. It’s hard to hold on to hope, hard to know what to do, how to be in these days. No matter the groups we belong to, no matter the commitments we have made to work for change, we often feel isolated in our grief and feelings of helplessness. Yet, we don’t often gather together to bring the gifts of spiritual practice to the truth of our time.
Come to a Day of Prayer for the Life of the World (November 3)—we will pray together, grieve together, speak truth together, in word, silence and chant—and look for strength and hope at the heart of our faith. There will be time for reflection, time for prayer, time for thanksgiving. The day will end with a celebration of John Philip Newell’s Celtic Earth Mass.

Led by the Rev. Pat Moore and Johna Peterson. Pat is The Bishop’s Ranch Chaplain, longtime student of the Bible, sometime preacher, retreat leader, spiritual director, and always a seeker. Johna is a singer-songwriter and hospice nurse. She has been writing music for 40 years.

-The Rev. Pat Moore, Chaplain

2018 Summer Camp Successes

General
• Paul Vasile from Music that Makes Community was on staff for the first half of the summer, teaching us the power of music—how we can make it more accessible to everyone (all skill levels) and how to use it to gather people. He taught the camp counselors that anyone can be a leader in music (not just the musically talented ones).

Weekend Camp for Families
• Fantastic inaugural year. Perfect opportunity for families to experience camp if they can’t commit to a whole week. Awesome way for the counselors to start the summer.

Generations Camp
• The summer art project—Botanical Prints—was a hit during Generations and throughout the rest of the summer. Families got to stitch their prints together and hang them in the chapel so we could appreciate them all week long. Campers each made their own (because they’re not as good at sharing) and also hung them in the chapel at the beginning of each week.

Family Camp
• First ever Family Camp picnic in Gina’s Orchard for dinner one evening. We got all participants out there—young and old—and had a happy hour, a short, reflective Eucharist, and dinner. On our way out there, we walked on part of the trails that some participants had worked on/restored as a service project earlier in the week.

BREAD: Explorers
• Campers enjoyed the new Discovery Group rotation entitled “Team Chill”, where they got an introduction to yoga and were treated to chilled lavender towels at the end.

READ Camp
• Read Camp was extended to a full day and had twice as many campers as previous years. With the help of Greta Mesics, librarian at Healdsburg Elementary School and neighbor of The Bishop’s Ranch, we created a reading-based activity rotation for the mornings. The rotation included the following activities:
• Nature and Nonfiction Walk: campers were led around the ranch, observing what plants grow where and looking for creatures (lots of lizard sightings!)
• Music: campers learned the lyrics and hand motions to fun camp songs, they also got to play around with hand drums
• Read Aloud: campers got to sit back and relax in the Ranch House living room while a counselor read a new chapter from a Magic Treehouse book each day
• Campfire: campers listened to scary stories and learned lots of loud, repeat after me campfire songs
• Readers’ Theater: each small group learned and rehearsed a short readers’ theater play, which they took turns performing for the whole group on Friday
• In the afternoons, campers got to play outside (soccer, volleyball, kickball, etc) or do arts and crafts (watercolors, friendship bracelets, shrinky dinks, etc) or take swim lessons. Also thanks to Greta, campers got to shop around the “book nook” we set up in the Pavilion and take home any books they wanted. The week ended with a much anticipated pool party on Friday afternoon.

BREAD: Adventurers
• During BREAD Camps, cabins competed to be the cleanest cabin of the week. They cleaned in the mornings and a counselor inspected their efforts meticulously, giving a detailed report at lunch. This year, at the end of Adventurers, two cabins were tied so we had a “car wash off” where the two finalist cabins each had to wash a car (both belonging to the “cabin inspectors” of course). They were judged on speed, cleanliness, and of course enthusiasm as “Working at the Car Wash” played in the background. They used sponges originally meant for sponge dodgeball—needless to say the cars ended up with a lot of soapy streaks but the enthusiasm was definitely there.

BREAD: Discoverers
• We had 29 campers—the most we’ve ever had for this camp! Tom and Krista Fergoso, our chaplains for the week, had us all pretend to be Martians traveling to Earth during morning program—so we had a lot of simulated rocket ship launches, which were quite silly.

By Marguerite Cauchois, Camp Director

Cicadas at Bishop’s Ranch

“Gosh, it seems like the trees are vibrating” said a 3rd grader. Their hiking buddy said the sound was like tiny chainsaws revving. The Bishop’s Ranch staff was leading groups of Westside Elementary Students on a hike through Gina’s Orchard in mid-May and were impressed by the calls of the male Cicadas.
These insects are diminutive in size but mighty in sound and it is Cicada season here at the ranch. Eggs are laid in niches in tree bark and when hatched, the tiny larvae feeds on tree fluids and then falls to the ground where it burrows into the soil and feeds on roots for a couple of years. The tiny nymphs emerge from the earth and make their way up into trees and shrubs and shed their outer skins. Free of their old skins the wings are unfurled and filled with fluid and their adult skin hardens.
The sounds they make are largely attributed to the males and they are saying, “Don’t eat me!” “Honey come see me” and “I found the love of my life!” The male cicada makes the noise using “timbals” located at the base of his abdomen (see picture). He uses strong muscles attached to the timbals to make them vibrate rapidly, which creates the slightly electrical sounding hum. Females flick their wings to make a clicking sound in response.

By, Julie Miller, Guest Services

Photo by Mark Aanonsen

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.

Rumi

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…]

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