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.

A word about the election

From Pastor Jim

“I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where is my help to come?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
—Psalm 121

Dear friends,

The election is now behind us, possibly the most bitterly divisive in our lifetime. The voters have spoken, and many are delighted at the outcome. Many others are deeply disappointed and fearful for the future. This would have been true no matter which presidential candidate won. We remain a divided and anxious nation. How do we respond as people of faith?

First, as people of faith, we need to pray for the president-elect, Donald Trump, and for those who found in him an outlet for their dreams for a better life — and their frustrations with what is amiss. Pray that he may be the president of all the people and that he will work to unite us, not divide us. Pray for Hillary Clinton, her family, and those who were inspired by her ground-breaking campaign as the first woman to be nominated for president by a major party. Pray for the nation and the world and all our leaders.

This election was more than about candidates or their campaigns. The election was about how we govern ourselves as a free people, and how we shape our nation and the world into a better place for our children and their children.

As people of faith, we need to be instruments of healing, binding the wounds of this land. More than ever, we must live out our baptismal covenant to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” We must protect the most vulnerable, listen for the cries of the voiceless and forgotten, and break down the barriers that divide us. The election is over, but our work of discipleship is not.

I’d ask that you join with me in the “Prayer For the Human Family,” found in our prayer book on page 815:

“O God, you made us in your image and redeemed us through Jesus Christ your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggles and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lights of Hope: Music & Prayers for the Long Nights

December 12, 2017 – 5:30 p.m.

This time of year is filled with joyful expectation, but it can also feel a little low for many reasons. On December 12 at 5:30 p.m., we will hold a simple service of prayers and music for the long nights. (Our yoga class will follow at 6:30 p.m.)

This service is especially for those who may find Christmas a difficult time of year. The tone will be contemplative and quietly hopeful. All are welcome to be part of this late Advent service of prayer, quiet music, and the spoken word. Come for yourself and feel free to bring others who will benefit from your prayers and presence as we anticipate the in-breaking of the Light of Hope into the World. The service will be led by Pastor Jim and musician Robin O’Brien.

Advent: Mary as Sacred Vessel

A Creative Retreat with Lisa Thorpe
December 10, 2016 – 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Adults and teens. $30 includes lunch and all the materials needed to make one bowl.


The angel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” And Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.

-Luke 1:28-29

Spend a creative day with artist and teacher Lisa Thorpe reflecting on the angel Gabriel’s words to young Mary and her response of faith, trust and openness. We will employ the Lectio Divina practice to read, meditate, pray, and contemplate the passage from Luke 1:28-38 that introduces us to Mary and her role as the sacred vessel, nurturer, protector, mother of Jesus. Our contemplation will be artistic and each participant will create a “sacred vessel” to take home. We will use images of Mary, bible passages, decorative papers and glass bowl. (more…)

The Next Chapter

A Special Message from Pastor Jim

Dear friends,

I’ve been with you now as your Priest-in-Charge for more than a year during a time of transition following the departure of your long-term rector under difficult circumstances.

Last evening, I informed the Vestry about discussions I’ve had with Bishop Barry Beisner, and with his Canon-to-the Ordinary (or chief assistant), Andrea McMillin, and with our consultant Caroline McCall. It is our belief that is time to begin the search for the next long-term rector. Getting to this stage is a testament to the strength of this parish, your leaders and staff, and you. (more…)

July 31, 2016 – Dr. Jill Joseph

Clothing Ourselves with the New Self

Behind us is the anticipation of Advent, the mid-winter light and song of Christmas and Epiphany. Behind us are the grit of ashes on our foreheads and the reminder that we are dust and to dust we return. Behind us are Lent and Holy Week and the horrifying cross. Behind us is the astounding story of resurrection and Pentecost.

Here we are for the long weeks after Pentecost, outside the narrative march from Bethlehem to the upstairs room. In this time, called ordinary time, our circumstances in many ways resemble those of the early disciples. We ponder the questions raised by these remarkable stories, wondering what all this might mean, really mean, if we were to call ourselves disciples. Challenging ourselves by asking how we might, “clothe ourselves with the new self,” as Paul says in his letter to the Colossians. (more…)

April 10, 2016 (11:15 a.m.) – The Rev. James Richardson

Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!

What comes next?

That must have been going through the minds of the disciples as Jesus kept showing up on roads and in closed rooms in the days after his death. What’s next?

The disciples have been through a lot already – and there will be more.

What’s next? (more…)

Sunday School Time Change, Adult Education

Beginning January 10, 2016

Beginning January 10, Sunday School and youth group will shift to the hour in between the 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. worship services. We will also offer adult education in that hour for those who would like that opportunity. Sunday School for children and youth will start at 10:15 a.m., and adult education at 10:30 a.m. in Short Hall.

This shift will allow us to offer a full 50 minutes for Godly Play, giving our children the full richness of this experience that they deserve. This will also allow our children to be fully a part of our worshipping community, rather than slipping in for Communion as we have done in the past.

We especially want to encourage families with children to worship together at either the 9:15 a.m. or the 11:15 a.m. service. We will be looking for ways to incorporate children in the 9:15 a.m. service. We also want to encourage families with small children to sit in the front pews so that they can see and hear our worship up close (and we will have rugs and toys in the front pews on both sides of the aisles).

We hope everyone in our parish will welcome our children. Our kids truly bring life and joy to our faith community that is special, and that we would not otherwise enjoy without them. Our children are not only our future, they are our present.

Childcare is offered at all three worship services for infants to kindergarten. For special needs or concerns please contact Daphne Vernon.

For adults, we will offer a series of educational programs beginning with a Bible study on the Sunday lectionary lessons. Other offerings will be available as we progress into the church year, e.g., in Lent. For those who would rather enjoy social time, we will still have coffee hour in Farlander Hall after each service.

We realize that this shift might require adjustments to Sunday routines. But we hope you will embrace this change in the spirit of bringing new life and growth to our community and our souls.