Inspiration & Affirmation Collage Cards – with Lisa Thorpe

Saturday, January 27, 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration! Come to this day of creativity and make a stack of inspirational collage cards. You decide if you want to make cards to keep, share with friends, or maybe to leave as little random acts of kindness out in the world!

Join The Bishop’s Ranch Resident Artist Lisa Thorpe for a day of art and spirit. She will bring lots of art papers and images to make multiple 4×6-inch collage cards that you will laminate with an inspirational quote on the back. Don’t worry if you are shy about your art abilities. Lisa will teach you all the techniques you need to feel successful and delighted in your work!

What to bring:

You don’t have to bring anything, everything will be provided to make a stack of inspirational cards, including poems, quotes and a list of affirmation words. However, if you would like to bring some favorite poems or inspirational quotes to put on the back of your cards that would be great. The cards we are making are 4×6 inches so consider the size when considering what you might bring. You can bring interesting magazine pictures, or art papers you’ve saved or even old family photos can be fun to use.

Adults and teens welcome
Bring a sack lunch
$35 includes materials
Click here to register

Find out more about Lisa at her website and her blog:



New Rector

Dear friends of the Church of the Incarnation,

The Wardens and Vestry of the Church of the Incarnation, Santa Rosa, are pleased to announce the appointment of The Rev. Dr. Stephen Shaver, as rector. This appointment is the successful culmination of the prayerful, engaging, spirit-filled work of many in the parish who served on the Profile Committee, Applicant Review Committee and Vestry. This was a yearlong process which attracted many excellent applicants from across the country.

In our profile we wrote that we were looking for a rector who was spiritually alive and grounded in prayer; open-minded and pastoral; theologically intelligent, with a deep appreciation for Episcopal tradition, liturgy, ritual, and the important role music plays in our worship.

We sought a thoughtful preacher whose inspirational sermons touch hearts, connect with our lives and challenge us; a gentle teacher of insightful theology who is well read and curious, with a sense of humor.

Stephen certainly embodies these attributes and we are very excited about the bright future of Incarnation.

We thank each of you for your prayers and support during this process: we are grateful for your voices in the profile process, your commitment to this church and your faithful presence each week as we worship and serve together.


Stephen’s biography

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Shaver comes to us from Berkeley, where he currently teaches liturgical leadership at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Stephen has served parishes in California, Washington State, and Texas and also spent time as a hospital and hospice chaplain. In 2012 he came to Berkeley to work on a Ph.D. in liturgy, which he completed last fall. He received his M.Div. from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in 2007.

Stephen is no stranger to the Diocese of Northern California, having served for several years as a trainer for our diocesan College for Congregational Development and as co-director of a joint version of the program with the Diocese of California in 2015-16. Along with liturgy, Stephen is passionate about congregational health and vitality. He has led Christian formation programs for children, youth, and adults, and loves helping people learn more about where God’s story intersects with their stories. Many of his sermons, and occasional blog posts, can be found on his website at www.prayerbookcatholic.org.

Stephen’s family roots are largely in the Reno-Tahoe area, and he thinks of himself as a West Coaster at heart. He spent much of his childhood as a “third culture kid,” living with his family in Korea, Pakistan, and Russia. Stephen loves traveling, hiking, running, and cooking and is an avid choral singer (he and his wife Julia met in their college choir). Julia is originally from Palo Alto and is a family physician. They have a two-year-old daughter, Abigail, who loves playgrounds, fire trucks, and cheese.

Stephen, Julia, and Abby will be joining us early in the summer after Stephen completes his teaching obligations at CDSP. They are thrilled to be coming to Santa Rosa and to Incarnation.

Steve Layton
Sr. Warden


A letter from Stephen

Dear friends,

Grace and peace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ!

I am delighted and humbled to be called as your next rector. My heart is full of joy and anticipation, and I can’t wait to join you in ministry. I’m deeply grateful to the profile and review committees and to the vestry for their dedication and hospitality during the call process. Their devoted work on your behalf is a testament to the kind of community you are.

Incarnation is a special place. Your jewel of a building stands at the heart of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, and your beautiful, transcendent worship stands at the heart of your life together. That worship doesn’t stay inside the building, though: it spills over outside the walls to bless the entire community around you. Your heart for outreach is obvious in ministries like the Open Table and the Incarnation 100-and, profoundly, in the way you have come together to care for those who have lost so much in the fires this past fall. There is an incredible spirit of vitality and resilience at Incarnation, one that has carried you through flourishing and challenging times alike. You have done wonderful work in these years of transition, and I’m looking forward to the adventures God will send us as we start this new chapter together.

It will be a few months before I’m able to be with you in person, but I am praying for you all, every day, by name (and by picture, thanks to Steve Layton, who gave me a copy of your most recent photo directory!). Please pray for me too, and for Julia and Abigail, as we prepare to move to Santa Rosa to come share life with you.

God bless you all. See you soon.
In Christ’s love,

Free therapy at Incarnation this Saturday, October 21

Saturday, October 21, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

The Redwood Empire Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists is hosting free drop-in counseling at the Church of the Incarnation from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone who needs to talk about the recent fires. Licensed therapists will be on site to lend their ear and expertise to all. Therapeutic arts & crafts, games for children, and refreshments will be available.

Catastrophic events such as fires can have devastating and lasting mental health effects on individuals. Counseling can make a difference. For more information on the effects of trauma on children or adults, please see RECAMFT’s resource page: http://recamft.org/local-resources.

Honduras Youth Group Mission Trip

July 26 – August 5, 2018

There are many different ideas of summer service projects. I’m excited that this Summer my service project is with my Church. On July 26th, I’ll be on a plane with my youth group on our way to Honduras to meet students from the ages of 6-18 and learn more about their life, community, and hear what their greatest needs are and how we can help. Throughout the year my school gives me opportunities to serve locally and this experience will help me see how I can serve globally.

Follow our blog during the trip at https://2018hondurasmissiontrip.wordpress.com/


Come join us in welcoming our new Rector!

Sunday, June 24

Two services: 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Shaver will be here for his first Sunday on June 24. There will be two services that day: 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We will have a welcome lunch in Farlander Hall after the 10:00 a.m. service. You are encouraged to come and help us extend a warm welcome to Pastor Stephen and his family, wife Julia and daughter Abby. Please remember to wear your name tags to help Pastor Stephen get to know you.

Why do we face the Gospel book?

The Rev. Jim Richardson, Priest-in-Charge

The gospel is a Greek word meaning “good news” and that is the title given to the first four books of the New Testament–Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the biographies of the life of Jesus. These are traditionally considered the most important books for Christians in the Bible, hence they are arranged first in the New Testament. (more…)

Three Sunday Services to return (with choirs!)

September 10 – 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m.

Our summer schedule ends on September 10 and we will be back to our regular worship schedule of 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. And as an added bonus, our wonderful choirs return at the two later services. Please mark your calendars!

Blessing of the Backpacks

Sunday, September 3, 2017

How can you help? Purchase a backpack at any store–you can put school supplies inside if you choose–and bring the back pack to church on September 3 for a blessing. The backpacks will be donated to Burbank Elementary School and Santa Rosa Middle School. Don’t know what to buy? You can donate money and a backpack will be purchased in your honor. You can donate online or by check made out to Church of the Incarnation. Please write “Backpack Drive” in the memo line of your check or envelope.

Donate here

Prayers of the Heart: A SoulCollage® Workshop

August 19, 2017, 1-5 p.m.

“When the Soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it.” Meister Eckhart

SoulCollage® is a creative and transformative process developed by psychotherapist Seena Frost. SoulCollage® cards are created by cutting and pasting images on 5×8 cards. Through a simple process, the images speak through the intuition and imagination of the card maker. Each card has wisdom to share with its creator and in so doing, participants can experience a deeper sense of self and a connection to the sacred. SoulCollage® is fun! Come experience the synchronicity, sacredness and surprise of SoulCollage® in this afternoon workshop.

All materials are supplied. No artistic experience is necessary.

Saturday afternoon, August 19 1-5 p.m.
Church of the Incarnation

Pay here

Connie Beall, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, has been working with SoulCollage® since 2011 and trained as a SoulCollage® facilitator in 2012. She delights in sharing SoulCollage® in workshops, retreats, and in private sessions. Her personal collection of SoulCollage® cards numbers over 200 and continues to grow. A Veriditascertified Labyrinth Facilitator, Connie loves to integrate the process of SoulCollage® with labyrinth walks.

For more information: Connie Beall

Organ Recital

June 25, 2017, 4:00 p.m.

Our organist, Robert Young, will present a program of music by North German composers on Sunday, June 25, at 4:00 p.m. Mr. Young’s programs are always entertaining and informative, so please put the date in your calendar. This is a good opportunity to invite a friend or neighbor to come to our church. All are welcome and admission is free.

4th Friday Taizé Prayer

June 23, 2017, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Join us in the church on Friday, June 23, 7:00-8:00 p.m. at Incarnation for Taizé Prayer. In the spirit of the prayer community in Taizé, France, we gather for an hour of simple chant and silent prayer. Newcomers and seasoned Taizé enthusiasts alike are welcome! A free will offering is gratefully accepted. Feel free to email Robin with any questions at robinannobrien@nullcomcast.net.

May 28, 2017 – The Rev. James Richardson

Seventh Sunday of Easter

What makes your soul dance?

Does your soul dance when you listen to music, or the birds singing on an early morning walk?

Does your soul dance when you gaze at the the sky on a clear summer night, or feel the sand between your toes on a walk on a beach?

What makes your soul dance? (more…)


April 12, 2018

Dear Friends in Christ,

Our time together is drawing to a close, and so I am writing to thank you for your love, prayers and support, and to update you on what happens next.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the privilege of being your priest for nearly three years. We have been through much together, including the fires last October. The Church of the Incarnation has stood faithfully in the winds of many challenges and done so with courage and commitment. You inspire me every single day.

My last Sunday with you will be May 6, and on that Sunday we will have our regular 8 a.m. worship, and then we will combine the two later services into a single 10 a.m. service. At this last service together, we will have a special liturgy for “The Ending of a Pastoral Relationship.” I will stand before the wardens, hand over my keys, and ask whether you “recognize and accept the conclusion of this pastoral relationship?” We will have special prayers of thanks for what we’ve done together. And then we will have a party with a Cinco de Mayo theme!

Soon you will welcome The Rev. Dr. Stephen Shaver and his family. His first Sunday with you as Rector will be June 24. I pray you will show Stephen, Julia and their daughter, Abby, all the love and support they deserve and need. Theirs is a large undertaking, and they will especially need your prayers. Stephen is a gifted leader, teacher and pastor, and I pray you will be open to all he brings to this parish.

After I leave, please understand that our relationship will have changed. I will not be available to preside at weddings, baptisms, funerals or other sacramental rites of the Church, nor will I be available to provide pastoral care. I will not return to the Church of the Incarnation except by the invitation of the rector. I will be returning to my Sacramento home. I will still be in the same diocese with you, and I will update you about my plans as they unfold.

In the meantime, until Pastor Stephen arrives, the Rev. Rod McAulay will lead your worship with Deacon Pamela Moore. Steve Layton, senior warden, will have the canonical responsibility of guiding the parish until the arrival of the new rector. All of the staff will still be in place and doing their jobs. They and the Vestry need your support – and patience – in this transition. I will be available to answer questions from Pastor Stephen in this transition as we complete a healthy “hand off” of responsibility. Indeed, he and I are already meeting regularly. I will not, however, offer opinions or engage in conversations with others about parish administration after my departure.

As with any transition, some things will change at the Church of the Incarnation. What will not change is Christ’s call to us to bring the Good News of hope, healing and salvation to a very hurting and hungry world. You are in very good hands in the days and years ahead, and the Risen Christ will be with you always.

Finally, joining with Lori, we both thank you for allowing us to be among you these past few years.

Faithfully yours,
Pastor Jim+

4th Friday Taizé at Incarnation

Friday, May 26, 2017 – 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Join Robin O’Brien in the church on Friday May 26, 7:00-8:00p.m. In the spirit of the prayer community in Taizé, France, we gather for an hour of simple chant and silent prayer. Newcomers and seasoned Taizé enthusiasts alike are welcome! A free-will offering is gratefully accepted. Feel free to email Robin with any questions at robinannobrien@nullcomcast.net.

Pancake Breakfast

April 2 – after 8 and 9:15 a.m. services

It’s Pancake Breakfast time again on April 2 after the 8 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. services. All are welcome. The breakfast is a Youth fundraiser for our EYF/Mission trips. Breakfast consists of pancakes, eggs, bacon and juice. Plenty of food for those who don’t want pancakes. Please note: Due to the increase in food prices, we have raised our suggested donation to $7.

Everyone is welcome in Farlander for coffee hour. The coffee and tea are still free. All tables are open, so feel free to sit anywhere and enjoy the company. Sharing a meal together is one of the best ways to spark conversation and new friendships! We you hope you will come and join us.

Living Compass Lenten Series

Listening With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind
March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11
Tuesdays 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Lent is a time for introspection and self-reflection, a time to become intentional about listening more deeply to God, ourselves, and others. As we make this turn inward and commit to listening with more intention, we typically become intentional about changing the routine and rhythm of our daily lives. We may choose to take on a certain practice or habit. We may also choose to give something up. Join us for the journey.

To reserve a spot, contact Daphne dvernon@nullincarnationsantarosa.org.

Fourth Friday Taizé at Incarnation

Beginning Friday, January 27, 2017 – 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Taizé at Incarnation is moving to every fourth Friday of the month. Please gather with us for an hour of simple chant and silent prayer. Newcomers and seasoned Taizé enthusiasts are welcome. Please email Robin O’Brien with any questions or comments: robinannobrien@nullcomcast.net.

Please note: There will not be a Taizé service on January 6.

Something New: Lenten Table Discussions

Sundays during Lent – beginning March 5

We thought we’d try something new for Lent during the social time between the services. Starting on Sunday March 5 (the First Sunday of Lent), we will put slips of paper on the tables in Farlander Hall with discussion questions about that Sunday’s biblical lessons. Bring a service program from church with the lessons, and have a conversation using the questions at one of the tables.

This could be a good way to get to know people in a deeper way and share meaningful perspectives about your faith. And you might even ask how you would write the sermon for the day! We hope you will avail yourself of this opportunity.

Photo Directory

Sign–ups – Every Sunday in February in Farlander Hall, after each service
Photo Appointments – March 3, 12:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and March 4, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Volunteers needed for help with photo sign-ups!*

Do you ever see people and wonder what their names are? Are you a new member and wish you had something to help you put names with faces? Help is on the way! We are producing a new pictorial directory!

There is no cost for the directory. Each participating family will receive a complimentary 8×10 portrait, a directory and have the opportunity to purchase additional portraits to share with family and friends. Sign-up after services on Sundays, or by visiting this link, to schedule your photography appointment online.

*Volunteers are needed to help make our directory a success. If you are willing to help with our photography sign-ups, or serve as a host or hostess during the photography sessions, contact Nancy Wegge at photodirectory@nullincarnationsantarosa.org, or call the church office. This will be a fun project, a great way to meet more people in our parish, and does not require a long-term commitment.