Highlights inside

  • Guide to the new diocesan website
  • A message from Canon Brian
  • "Tuesdays in Lent" online prayers
  • Vestry & Treasurer trainings & more news

February 18, 2021

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New diocesan website premieres with fresh look, easy-to-find resources

RealEpiscopal, El Camino Real’s newest website, is live and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you! After years of refinements to previous designs, the website has been completely remade from scratch, simplifying its structure and making it more accessible to leaders, clergy, and parishioners. Based on feedback from across the diocese, the menus have been streamlined and consolidated; the Resources page was especially improved and now features five sub-menu options instead of ten. A "quick access" menu bar at left provides easy navigation.
Bishop Lucinda’s page includes her ongoing messages and links to the 2021 visitation schedule and her customary during COVID.

Calendar (formerly Events) can be viewed in either a list format or by a calendar grid. Events and meetings are still being added.
The News page sports a new look and will be updated frequently.
The Publications page includes links to current & previous issues of Real Episcopal (both the e-newsletter and the print magazine).
The Resources section has been consolidated and rethought for greater transparency and ease of use. A new section, Leadership Development, includes the debut of the Pilgrimage with Race series of video interviews, plus links to community advocacy, LGTBQ, and social justice resources.

An improved “Search” function is now available at the bottom of every page. Wondering who to call at the diocesan staff office? Visit the ECR staff page.

Feature stories and more content are planned later this year. Please visit the website often and share your feedback with Elrond Lawrence, communications director, at

Above: A sample image from the new "walking the way" home page (with video!), which includes quick links to COVID resources and the new Pilgrimage with Race curriculum. Below: A sample page header.

A message from Canon Brian Nordwick

Dear El Camino Real family,

I hope everyone is doing well during this unusual time of our pandemic. To say the least, this past year has been challenging for most all of us. 
Personally, 2020 was a year of many losses and life changes for me and my family. We lost my mom and then my father-in-law that January. Between those life events, El Camino Real transitioned joyfully to our new bishop and my new boss – Bishop Lucinda Ashby. In March, I had arthroscopic knee surgery at the start of COVID, followed by total knee replacement surgery in August.
Then, our biggest loss was that my wife Sheila shockingly passed away two weeks after my surgery on August 22. When you add the COVID restrictions that didn’t allow us to visit Sheila in the hospital until it was too late to help or talk to her, it was overwhelming to say the least.
In mid-October, I realized that I needed to take a break. I’d given last rites to my mom, my father-in-law and my wife, and had to be strong for everyone – ignoring my own wellness. I needed time away on personal leave to process my unresolved grief and trauma with professional help.
After 38 years of marriage, planning my life post-Sheila required taking a few steps back. I needed time away to heal and gain a new and different perspective on God’s plan for me in my next phase of life. That time away to heal was the best decision I made for myself and my family last year. It was time to take care of Brian, and get healthy so that I can be fully present for my family and all those in my village – including you!
During my time away, I reflected on my future vocation and life priorities with my family and within our Church. After much prayerful discernment and talks with many friends and family – including Bp. Lucinda – I’ve decided to move away from full time work to part time work. It’s time for me to slow down my fast-paced life and enjoy being a Dad to Sarah and a Papa to Willow, who live with me.
Starting March 1, I will transition to be a mentor for special new church projects – a passion of mine. The roles that I’ve played in finance, administration and transition ministry are being carried on by others selected by Bp. Lucinda – both staff and volunteers. Additionally, a new Canon to the Ordinary position has been posted with a new job description to fit the needs for our diocese.
For future diocesan contact, please direct transition ministry/search related questions to Bp. Lucinda. For financial/insurance questions, please contact Tiffany Martin. For general administration questions, please contact Kirstin Nielsen. 
Additional information on my new role in the diocese will be coming in the weeks ahead. Sarah, Willow and I want to personally thank you for all your well wishes, love and prayers. For the cards, flowers and plants. We appreciate and love each one of you!
May God continue to bless us and all we love today and always!
Brian, Sarah and Willow

Bishop Lucinda to lead "Tuesdays in Lent" online prayers

Join Bishop Lucinda and the diocesan staff during Lent for a weekly series of brief noonday prayers every Tuesday. Each prayer, which will include a reflection from Bishop Lucinda and/or the diocesan staff, will be streamed live at the diocesan YouTube page at 12 pm noon. Subscribe to our YouTube page to get alerts when the prayers begin.

Sign up for Vestry & Treasurer training workshops in March

Vestry members, treasurers, and church leaders across the Diocese of El Camino Real are invited to attend a free online workshop explaining the ins and outs of the diocese, who to call for support, and an overview of resources. Diocesan leaders will present on their areas of expertise, pose questions for break out room discussions, and allow time for participants to ask their own burning questions!

 here. The workshops will all be held via Zoom from 9:00 am to 12 noon on the following dates:

Saturday, March 6: San Luis Obispo Deanery
Saturday, March 13: Santa Clara Valley Deanery
Saturday, March 27: Monterey Deanery

Questions? Please contact Kirstin Nielsen at or 831.394.4465.

"Pilgrimage with Race" video series is here!

The first three stages of “A Storied Pilgrimage with Race” are now available to view. A unique curriculum and approach to exploring issues of race in our diocese, the Pilgrimage uses fascinating and personal video interviews, supported by education materials, action items and reflections to engage conversations and sharing. Eventually this new curriculum will feature twelve stages. Completion of this pilgrimage will fulfill the requirement for Anti-Racism training in the Diocese of El Camino Real. Visit the page.

New column: Join Episcopal government advocacy for COVID relief & more

The Office of Government Relations (OGR) represents the policy priorities of The Episcopal Church to the US government in Washington, D.C. and helps to shape the discussion of political issues throughout the Church. It aims to influence policy and legislation on critical issues, highlighting the voices and experiences of Episcopalians and Anglicans globally. All policy positions are based on General Convention and Executive Council resolutions, the legislative and governing bodies of the Church.
At decision points for policy and legislation, the OGR alerts Episcopalians to contact their representatives and let them know what they want. This ongoing column will highlight current issues you may want to advocate for, with links to take action.

On February 22, Congress will vote on COVID Relief. Urge Congress to Pass COVID Relief Now! Join OGR in advocating to Congress on this next stimulus package. Write your Congressperson today!
Support a Commission to Study Reparations for U.S. SlaveryThe Episcopal Church has been supportive of this proposal, and we ask you to take action with us now to urge Congress to finally pass this bill into law.

Healing Hearts grief support group

Healing Hearts is a virtual grief support group led by clergy and lay people from Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church and meets the second Wednesday of each month starting in March from 11:00am to 12:30pm. We want to provide a safe and compassionate place for you to feel supported, listened to and understood as you talk about your experience with loss, whether recently or years ago. For questions, contact or

Zoom link
Meeting ID: 847 2087 0971
Password: 425708


The Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real seeks a Canon to the Ordinary to work in the areas of Transition Ministry, Leadership Development, and Administration. The Canon must be a solid team player, creative and willing to adapt to many circumstances in a multi-cultural environment, with large and small church communities, urban and rural. The Canon must be able to travel, communicate well, and desire to be connected with people of the diocese. This is a full-time position; ordained and bilingual (Spanish/English) preferred. Read the detailed job description in English and in Espanol.

Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in San Jose is receiving applications for a part-time Priest-in-Charge. You may view their OTM Portfolio here and their Parish Profile here. For questions or to submit your resume and application for consideration, email or call the office at 831-394-4465.
Facebook Page
Facebook Page

Follow ECR on social media for photos, news, links & more

Please stay informed about COVID-19 news by visiting your local county public health website. The five county sites in our diocese are listed at right.

Santa Clara County
Santa Cruz County
San Benito County
SLO County
Monterey County

Submitting news to RealEpiscopal

Real Episcopal is published on the first and third Thursday of the month. News and event submissions must be received by 12 pm noon on the Friday before publication date. Please limit submissions to 150 words in text format (unless agreed to in advance) and include the "who-what-where-when-why" information in the first paragraph.

Photos are welcome. Please send jpeg files with a minimum size of 1100 pixels wide (for phone images, select "original size" when sending).

EVENTS: Announcements must be in text form, no more than 100 words, and must be accompanied by a link to a web page with full information (flyers may be included with submission).
All submissions will be edited for clarity and space needs. Church-specific event submissions will appear in no more than three issues per event.

News and/or story ideas should be emailed to Elrond Lawrence, diocesan communications director, at
Copyright © 2021 The Diocese of El Camino Real, All rights reserved.

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