Newsletter (June, 2019)

Thanks for the Memories!

Our Bloy House gala was a huge success thanks to the generosity of members of the Bloy House community. Good food, good friends, good memories all made for an evening worthy of a 60th anniversary celebration. Thank you to all who bought tickets, donated auction items, helped with gala expenses, purchased auction items, and made donations to Bloy House as a part of this event. We’re happy to report that in addition to the wonderful evening we all shared, the gala made a little more $15,000 after expenses. 

Gala Planning Committee

Thank you especially to the Gala planning committee (left to right) Jamie Barnett, Class of 2019, Jon Feuss, Class of 2019, Sylvia Sweeney, Laurel Coote, Class of 2018, and Carole Horton-Howe, Class of 2018.

And a huge thank you to CBS Studios and Joji Oliveros at Studio Event Catering.

Current students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, trustees, and family and friends who are a part of our Bloy House community gathered for music, dinner, testimonials about Bloy House, and a final toast offered by Bishop Taylor.
Saxophonist Ner de Leon made us all feel like we were in a movie when he climbed up on the fire escape to play a few tunes.
These four so belong on a tv/movie set!
Alumni Nate Biornstad and Neil Tadken enjoyed an evening out with their spouses.
Bishop John and Dr. Mike McGrath (pictured), along with Deacon Lisa Jacoby (see below) shared stories about their time at Bloy House and why Bloy House is such a blessing to so many lives
Current students Steve Ensberg, Cari Anderson, Liz Piraino (left to right) and Paula Walker (on the far right) taking in the auction table. Alums Canon Melissa and Father Jim Newman are also pictured supporting our efforts through their bids
When Lisa Jacoby began seminary at Bloy House, daughter Emma was only half as tall as her mother
Red carpet photographer Bob Howe takes a break from his duties to have his picture taken with Carole Horton-Howe (18). But who took Bob and Carole’s picture?
The Revs. George Daisa, Michael Bell, Bill Knuston and Celeste Stump had a chance to catch up with one another and remember old times at seminary together
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ni (far right) Director of the Li Tim-Oi Center enjoys some time with The Rev. Peter Huang, trustee and alum, and Canon Randy Kimmler.
It wouldn’t be a party without some of our Fresh Start for Lay Leaders alumni/ae. Janet Franklin and Irene Cowley of Holy Faith, Inglewood came to support the ministry of Bloy House
Former Board Treasurer Dan Valdez, Vice-Chair of the Board, Dr. Steve Nishibayashi, and Mary Dee Hacker enjoy some pre-dinner conversation.

Alumnus Francisco Garcia (2013) Named an Episcopal Church Foundation Fellow

The Episcopal Church Foundation has named Francisco Garcia as one of its four 2019 fellows. Each of these persons has been chosen as a fellow by ECF because they have demonstrated a capacity to support innovation and transformation in the church in the coming years and decades. After spending several years as Rector of Holy Faith, Inglewood, Francisco and his family will be moving to Vanderbilt University so that Francisco can pursue a Ph.D. His bio from the ECF website follows. Congratulations to Francisco!

“Francisco Garcia is an incoming PhD student in the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University. He will be focusing his PhD work on Theological Studies and Ethics. He brings nearly 20 years of justice-based work at the academic, professional and pastoral levels and intends to develop a theology of organizing around pressing social and economic justice issues rooted in the liberation tradition. Francisco was born and raised in Southern California in a working-class, Roman Catholic, Mexican immigrant household. He found his way to the Episcopal Church as a young adult, joining All Saints Church in Pasadena in 2004, where he was sponsored for ordination to the priesthood. Francisco completed his M.Div. from the joint program at the Claremont School of Theology and the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (Bloy House). Prior to ordination, Francisco worked in the labor movement for a decade in various organizing, negotiating, and leadership capacities with workers in both the public and private sectors. His work over the last ten years has centered around interfaith community organizing and advocacy around issues related to systemic poverty, racism, and immigration. His commitments in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles have included serving on the Commission on Ministry, the Program Group on Peace and Justice Ministries, and the Joint Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention (in partnership with the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church). In addition to his current role as Rector at Holy Faith Church, Francisco co-designed and is currently co-teaching a course in the Community Scholars Program at UCLA entitled “Sanctuary and Faith: Organizing Models and Best Practices of Sanctuary in Los Angeles,” a joint program of the UCLA Labor Center, the Institute for Research on Labor & Employment, and the Department of Chicana/o Studies.”

To learn more about the Episcopal Church Foundation visit

Trinity Seminary Toronto
Wycliffe Seminary Toronto

Bloy House Participates in Episcopal Tri-History Conference

Triennially the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Women’s History Project, and the National Episcopal Historians and Archivists gather for a four day conference on a topic related to Anglican history and what it can help us understand about our contemporary world. This year the conference was help in June in Toronto, Canada on the campuses of Trinity Seminary and Wycliffe Seminary which are across the street from one another. The Anglican Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Church Historical Society also participated in this year’s program. The topic of the conference was “Trauma and Survival in the Contemporary Church: Historical, Archival, and Missional Responses”.

Presentations covered a variety of topics including Indian School abuses in Canada, sexual abuse within the church, the Christchurch New Zealand 2011 earthquake and its aftermath, continuing violence in South Africa, and the impact of the American Civil War on the Episcopal Church to name just a few. Significant time was given to explaining issues related to the call for Indigenous and Native church autonomy within the Anglican Church of Canada, a topic that the ACC will be voting on in their upcoming national synod. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada was preacher and presider at the opening Eucharist and was also a presenter at the conference. Bishop Victoria Matthews, first woman bishop in the ACC and recently retired Bishop of Christchurch New Zealand shared stories about the traumas of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Tilly Flood a Christchurch resident who lost her home as a result of having her home red tagged also presented. Even today Tilly has not yet been able to return to her home as remediation continues. All of the presentations invited us to consider how the church might come to be more responsive and compassionate to those whose lives have been devastated by societal, social, and naturally produced pain and tragedy. The call for the church to not shrink back from advocacy and caring ministry rang resonantly throughout the proceedings.

At the awards banquet Dr. Kujawa-Holbrook received the 2019 Lauren D. Fish Parish History Award for her history “By Grace Came the Incarnation” the history of Church of the Incarnation, Murray Hill, New York. Sheryl served the Church of the Incarnation during her years living in New York while serving at the Episcopal Church Center.

Dean Sweeney was also thanked for her six years of service on the board of the Historical Society as she terms out of that board. As some of you may recall, grants from both the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and Episcopal Women’s History Project made it possible for Bloy House to offer our diocesan conference on the diaconate several years ago. Others seeking to apply for grants should visit their websites  and

In 2020 the location for the 2022 Tri-history Conference will be announced. Anyone interested in attending this event is welcome to register. For more information about the historical society visit

The Rev. Dr. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, Professor of Anglican Studies at Bloy House and Academic Dean and Vice President of Claremont School of Theology

Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada and Bishop Mark McDonald, first indigeous bishop of the ACC discuss the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The TRC seeks to understand past racism and abuse in Canadian history and to work to try and prevent future racism and abuse from occurring as efforts at reconciliation and reparation continue

Five Bloy House Alums Newly Ordained to the Transitional Diaconate

On June 6 Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce ordained ten new transitional deacons for the Diocese of Los Angeles. Congratulations to Jamie Barnett (2019), Brainerd Dharmaraj (2018), Jon Feuss (2019), Bill Knutson (2013), Carlos Ruvalcaba (2019) and all those ordained this month.

Time to Apply for the 2019-2020 Academic Year

Those who are interested in applying to Bloy House for the 2019-20 Academic Year should get in touch with the Bloy House office as soon as possible. The course schedule for next year is already set, and if we have incoming students in need of additional courses not on the schedule, we need to make those arrangements right away. If you are planning to attend you should have your admissions interview early in the summer.

If you are considering applying for a Bloy House program in the upcoming academic year, we need to hear from you now. This will allow us to line up courses that will allow you to complete your program in a timely manner. Please contact Dean Sweeney with specific questions about the Certificate of Anglican Studies program, the MDiv. program, or the Certificate of Diaconal Studies program. ssweeney@cst.eduTo learn more about how to apply visit the prospective student section of our website at

Board of Trustees Sets Goals for 2019-2020

At their annual board retreat the Trustees of Bloy House completed a mutual ministry review of our last year and set new and continuing goals for the coming year. Priorities on that list included raising the visibility of Bloy House across the diocese and especially among lay members of the diocese, finalizing a lease for a new location for the seminary, and planning for infrastructure changes that will inevitably come with the move. As it moves toward development of its next five year plan the board looks forward to working with the diocesan office in long term visioning for how Bloy House can more fully become a Center for Lifelong Learning for the diocese and the broader church.

The 2019-2020 trustees, going from bottom left in the picture: Dean Sylvia Sweeney, Chaplain David Kitch, St. Martin’s, Winnetka, The Rev. Dr. Greg Kimura,St. Andrew’s, Ojai, Canon Patsy Brierley, St. Cross, Hermosa Beach,The Rev. Kevin Gunn, All Saints, Highland Park and Treasurer, (top row) Bishop John Taylor, Chair of the Board, Mr. Paul Kassabian, Esq. of St.Mark’s, Van Nuys,The Rev. Melissa Campbell-Langdell, All Saints, Oxnard, The Rev. Carole Horton-Howe, St. Matthias, Whittier, Dr. Helen Cooksey, St. Matthew’s, Pacific Palisades, The Rev. Dr. Joanne Leslie, St. Mary’s, Mariposa, 

not pictured The Rev. Bruce Freeman, St. Matthew’s, Pacific Palisades, Dr. Steve Nishibayashi, St. Mary’s, Mariposa and Vice-chair of the board, the Rev. Bill Garrison, St Matthias, Whittier, The Rev. Peter Huang, St. Francis Palos Verdes Estates, Ms. Robin Darrow, St. Matthew’s, Pacific Palisades,The Rev. Christopher Montella of St. Stephens,Santa Clarita.

Alumna Susan Snook Ordained Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego

Congratulations to newly ordained Bishop Susan Snook, Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego. Bishop Snook served in the Diocese of Oklahoma and the Diocese of Arizona before her ordination as Bishop of San Diego. She attended Bloy House prior to finishing her M.Div. at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in 2003.

Bloy House Seminarians Attend Preaching Excellence Program 2019

Photo Courtesy of EPF

In late May two Bloy House 2019 graduates Dr. Nancy Wallis of St. Mary’s, Laguna Beach and St Luke’s, Long Beach and Mr. Steve Swartzell of Messiah, Santa Ana and St Wilfrid’s, Huntington Beach had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Preaching Excellence Program in Roslyn, Virginia. Below are their comments on their experiences.

Steve Swartzell writes: “Nestled in the sloping hills of Richmond Virginia, at the Roslyn Episcopal Retreat Center, seminarians from all over the United States came together to learn about the fine art of preaching. We were honored with the preaching styles of the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, the Rt. Rev. William Stokes, the Rev. Gary D. Jones, the Rev. Dr. Brent Norris, the Rev. Dr. Carolyn J. Sharp, the Rev. Nikki Mathis and the Rev. Canon Dr. Angela F. Shepherd just to name a few. 

It was an informative week wherein we shared ideas and listened to several keynote speakers that addressed such topics of “How Preaching has Changed Over Time” by Bishop Jefferts Schori, to a panel discussion of “The Worst Sermon I Ever Preached and What I Learned From It,” in which preachers shared their most embarrassing and entertaining stories of the worst homiletic mistakes and slip-ups. Especially meaningful was Jonathan Merritt‘s address entitled “Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing – and How We Can Revive Them.”   

But what resonated with me beyond what I learned at the conference, was the relationships that were created. Bonding over meals, chapel and our break-out preaching classes, these are memories I will treasure forever. If provided with an opportunity to attend I strongly suggest that you do so, the experience will have a profound effect on you.”

Nancy Wallis writes: “Imagine a week of workshops and worship experiences that explore ways to help others be attentive to the presence of God in their lives, God who listens deeply, communicates relentlessly, and loves abundantly.  Imagine using all of your senses to appreciate God’s beauty in nature and in each others’ presence as you did this. Imagine rolling and impromptu discussions exploring how do we help other people articulate God’s pull in their lives, and own it?  We discussed the paradox of the Gospel as both proclamation of the Good News of God’s singular act of reconciliation through Jesus Christ, and, confrontation with what it means to live our Baptismal covenant. And that preachers, each fractured human beings, and saved by grace, are called by the imperfect apostles before us to proclaim God’s love. Those called to a vocation of preaching are blessed to live at a place of intersection between God’s story and our story, thus forwarding the Kingdom in this unique time in the history of the Church. What does it mean to serve as both a conduit and a mirror? How can we help others develop their language of what it means to be a disciple of Christ? These questions give a flavor of the rich discussions we were so blessed to be a part of at the transformative PEP conference last month in Virginia.”Anyone interested in learning more about the Preaching Excellence Program visit

We offer our deep gratitude to EPF for supporting ministerial excellence through offering seminarian scholarships to attend PEP and all their efforts at encouraging dynamic preaching across the church. 

Roslyn Center Chapel. Photo by Nancy Wallis.

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Bloy House, ETSC
1325 N. College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
or donate online at

Amazon is now accepting pre-orders. Publication date November 17, 2019

A Lenten devotional written from an eco-feminist perspective -Deeply affirming of women and of our created world. Rather than classical penitence, this book emphasizes intercession, solidarity, and preparation. Its aim is to help readers learn to view the world incarnationally and sacramentally. In rejecting one’s own embodiment and the natural world, the earth is being irreparably harmed by our destructive actions. The book invites readers to move beyond sympathy for those in strife into action and advocacy on the behalf of the earth and its less powerful inhabitants. Photographs and poetry enhance the daily devotional readings.

Academic Calendar 2019-2020

August 17 orientation
August 23-24
September 6-7
September 20-21
September 27-28
October 11-12
October 25-26
November 8-9
November 22-23
December 6-7
December 13-14

January 17-18
January 31-Feb. 1
Feb. 7-8
Feb, 21-22
March 6-7-8
(Long Retreat Weekend)
March 20-21
April 3-4
April 17-18
May 1-2
May 15-16