Church in Action

The Church in action

The people of St. Augustine's serving the Community.

Join us in Prayer, in Work, Service, and Social Activities.

Sunday School 2018 
Blessing Team 
ECW Episcopal Church Women 
Book Club * New
Saint Monnica's Guild
SASS St. Augustine's Seniors with Spirit
Social Justice Committee  Join the Social Action Network
One Good Meal Food ministry, Started in November 2011
Pastoral Care
Prayer Request
Stewardship Invest in our future


St. Augustine's Episcopal, Oakland

Susan Ginsky, Head of Youth Education

Our church parish reflects the diverse, urban neighborhood where we are located.
Our youth education program is based on the lectionary, enhanced to re ect the richness of African American culture. (Historically, our church has been a place where African Americans worshipped and African American clergy were called to serve.)

This statement provides information about the Sunday School: who we are, what we learn and how we do it.

Susan Ginsky served as Sunday School Superintendent of St. John's Episcopal, Cumberland, RI, for several years. From there, having found her passion, she went to Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, for a Master of Divinity, with a concentration on teaching youth in a multiethnic urban setting.

We are a one room schoolhouse with a curriculum that accommodates to each child's learning style and learning skills. Currently, we serve ages 5-19. Expansion of staff is anticipated so that we can serve those under 5. Our classroom is in the midst of modernization, as are other areas of our church. We have adequate supplies for all types of projects and magni cent support from the parish for our needs.

Routinely, the lesson is based on the lectionary; there are also many exceptions for the purpose of enhancing our program to take account of who we are and the parish's goals. Examples are a focus on African American culture and lesson-based-working in our garden.

The lectionary for each week is at

The Lesson Plans That Work for each week are at

The Abundant Life Garden Project is at

Class begins with the lesson. Students read and discuss the lectionary passage. Often there is a video from one of the many organizations that produce children's Bible stories. To conclude, students write the answers to some fact and thought questions to show how they engaged with the Bible passage. An activity may follow, time permitting. The favorite activity for our current scholars is acting out what they have learned from the lesson. We have a rich storehouse of materials for all kinds of arts and crafts as well.

An important responsibility for the teacher is responding to the questions the lesson raises for the students. There are usually many questions. Given the wide range of faith and belief traditions within the Episcopal Church these discussions are structured carefully to honor the home traditions of the students. Further research is sometimes needed for a full response; in such event, scholarly sources are consulted. At times, a student's question can lead to a curriculum for the next week!

February 20, 2018

Our Church Book Club A New Adventure

We meet after church for one hour in Trinity.
Read the book (or not) and join us for a discussion. Contacts: Phyllis Culp or Susan Ginsky

There were 10 of us at our first meeting on March 18 to discuss Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin. Lively. Thoughtful. Different viewpoints. Free flow format. Next three sessions this spring. Start again in the fall.

April 15 -- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (about 300 pp)

May 20 -- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (about 350 pp)

June 17 -- Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (about 450 pp)

The next meeting of the Book Club is June 17 after Fellowship.  Please join us in Trinity Chapel for a discussion of Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver.  Another note:  we will be selecting books for our fall meetings.  Bring your recommendations.  Our fall session runs from September through November.

St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church

I would like to introduce to you our new music minister. His name is Ben Flint and he is an accomplished musician, schooled in gospel, jazz, and religious music. In addition to playing for churches and leading choirs, he also teaches at The Jazz School in Berkeley and the Diablo Valley College. Please give him a warm welcome to the St. Augustine's Family.  ~ Father Thornell


Episcopal Church Women 

The St Augustine's Chapter of ECW is part of a national organization made up of parish and diocesan groups. ECW was chartered over one hundred years ago to provide opportunities for all women in the Church. Nowadays parish chapters are carrying on that tradition. Our chapter is vital to the life of our parish. Here is some of what we have done this year to provide meaningful opportunities for our members, and to experience the joy of being part of a team. Our goal is to serve our parish and our neighborhood of Oakland and reach out to a world in need.

  • Financial support to a breakfast program at Laney College which serves students who come to school in need of nourishment.

  • Carry food to the homeless living nearby.

  • A speaker series which has most recently hosted a well-known nutrition and

    health expert.

  • Opportunities for exercise.

  • Annual parish spaghetti dinner

  • Bread baking demonstration

  • Teaming up for coffee hour:

    Setting up, providing a selection of food and beverages, and cleaning up.
    Once a month this effort provides us the opportunity to strengthen the bonds

    among us as we work together.
    One recent Sunday we made soup together.

  • Assisting when asked, e.g., making spaghetti for a Brotherhood crab feed.

  • Making dresses for girls in Haiti in support of a diocesan project.

  • Annualluncheonjustforfun.

    Annual dues are $25.
    No other expenses are necessary in order to be a fully participating member. JOIN US.


















The Brotherhood of St. Augustine’s welcomes all men of the parish to gather for fellowship, fun, and service to the greater church community. We meet monthly on every first Sunday at 9:00am in the church social hall where coffee, fruit, and light pastries are served.
The Brotherhood plays an active role in serving St. Augustine’s through leadership of many of its social and outreach activities such as funding youth scholarships, sponsoring the annual parish picnic, and supporting the “One Good Meal” program. We also engage in an annual men’s spiritual retreat, occasionally attend Warriors and A’s games together, and participate in a semi-annual men’s cook-off.


St. Monnica’s Guild is a service organization of women who meet bi-monthly. They plan, organize, fundraise (Their major fundraiser is the “Men‘s Cook Off.”), and offer financial support to enhance the Christian life of St. Augustine’s within the church community, and provide in-reach and outreach to the community.

Saint Monnica's the Mother of St. Augustine of Hippo

We know about Monnica almost entirely from the autobiography (the Confessions) of her son Augustine, a major Christian writer, theologian and philosopher (see 28 August). Monnica was born in North Africa, near Carthage, in what is now Tunisia, perhaps around 331, of Christian parents, and was a Christian throughout her life. Her name has usually been spelled “Monica,” but recently her tomb in Ostia was discovered, and the burial inscription says “Monnica,” a spelling which all AC (Archaeologically Correct) persons have hastened to adopt. (On the other hand, it may simply be that the artisan who carved the inscription was a bad speller.) As a girl, she was fond of wine, but on one occasion was taunted by a slave girl for drunkenness, and resolved not to drink thereafter. She was married to a pagan husband, Patricius, a man of hot temper, who was often unfaithful to her, but never insulted or struck her. It was her happiness to see both him and his mother ultimately receive the Gospel.

Monnica soon recognized that her son was a man of extraordinary intellectual gifts, a brilliant thinker and a natural leader of men (as a youngster he was head of a local gang of juvenile delinquents), and she had strong ambitions and high hopes for his success in a secular career. Indeed, though we do not know all the circumstances, most Christians today would say that her efforts to steer him into a socially advantageous marriage were in every way a disaster. However, she grew in spiritual maturity through a life of prayer, and her ambitions for his worldly success were transformed into a desire for his conversion. He, as a youth, rejected her religion with scorn, and looked to various pagan philosophies for clues to the meaning of life. He undertook a career as an orator and teacher of the art of oratory (rhetoric), and moved from Africa to Rome and thence to Milan, at that time the seat of government in Italy. His mother followed him there a few years later. In Milan, Augustine met Bishop Ambrose, from whom he learned that Christianity could be intellectually respectable, and under whose preaching he was eventually converted and baptized on Easter Eve in 387, to the great joy of Monnica.

After his baptism, Augustine and a younger brother Navigius and Monnica planned to return to Africa together, but in Ostia, the port city of Rome, Monnica fell ill and said, “You will bury your mother here. All I ask of you is that, wherever you may be, you should remember me at the altar of the Lord. Do not fret because I am buried far from our home in Africa. Nothing is far from God, and I have no fear that he will not know where to find me, when he comes to raise me to life at the end of the world.”

For more information please contact Alice

St. Augustine's Seniors with Spirit

Bringing together those over 50 for fellowship and discussion on particularly relevant topics to seniors.  The group takes occasional field trips to events of interest around the Bay Area.


Social Justice Committee Update

Join the Social Action Network.

St. Augustine's Seniors with Spirit: If you are interested in joining the Social Action Network give us your email address and phone number. We will be sending monthly emails and rapid response text messages for you to stay engaged with the new administration. If you would like to sign up, please see Sushil Jacob


Pastoral Care Committee identifies, organizes, coordinates and maintains contact between the sick and shut-in of the parish and our church family. They ensure regular visits to those in hospitals, nursing homes, or at home. With the rector, they take communion, organize holiday card signings and bring gifts of fruit or cookies to the sick and shut-ins.

Contact:  Joan Moreno   510-653-4461

Prayers of the People 

The Leader and People pray responsively

Let us pray for the Church and for the world. Grant, Almighty God, that all who confess your Name may be united in your truth, live together in your love, and reveal your glory in the world.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Guide the people of this land, and of all the nations, in the ways of justice and peace; that we may honor one another and serve the common good.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Give us all a reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Bless all whose lives are closely linked with ours, and grant that we may serve Christ in them, and love one another as he loves us.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Comfort and heal all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; give them courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of your salvation.


Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Have compassion on those who suffer from any grief or trouble and those named now:

Ithon , Eleanor, Gary , Bill , , Suzanne , Dann , Joyce , Elizabeth and Aiden , Barbara, Nellie , Rodessa , Kenneth , Dorothy, Katy , Faye , Raphael, Marian, Carol , Peter, Tupac, Trevon, Regina , Lois , LaVergne , Lamar , Odis , Edward , Nan , Kathy , Tiffany, Amy Jo , Belinda, Canon Stefani, Monica , Jacqui , Elmer, Bishop Desmond, Alice , Rev. Katherine , Lisa , Anita , Guy Willia

The congregation may call out the names of those sick

 Hear us, Lord;

For your mercy is great.


We commend to your mercy all who have died, that your will for them may be fulfilled; and we pray that we may share with all your saints in your eternal kingdom.


 Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.

Prayer Request

Renew your Stewardship Pledge!

Investing in our future.
Give what you can of your time, your talents and your treasures, and give it cheerfully – the point isn’t the amount of your annual pledge to St. Augustine’s, but the attitude with which it is made. Responsible and disciplined financial stewardship – giving back to God a portion of what God has given us

– is critical to spiritual health. Give freely, bountifully to God’s work through the work of our parish, and we will all reap bountifully – internally, in running the parish, and externally in our many important outreach ministries.

As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied Grace.
~ ~ 1 Peter 4:10
Stewardship is about more than just donating money.

It is a commitment of your time, talent and treasure. It is about the wise handling of all that God has given. It is a word that combines compassion, generosity, and responsibility. At St. Augustine’s, we encourage our members to put their time and talents to good use. We believe that being good stewards helps ourselves, our community, and, of course, our planet.

What does stewardship have to do with membership? Everything. Stewardship and commitment is vital to the growth of our church and each members’ lives. Stewardship is caring for the environment, assisting others, volunteerism, and giving back for all that God has granted to you.

While a “tenth” (or “tithe”) is a usual guideline at other churches, we promote a deep individual soul search to guide your pledge. For your convenience, the “Proportionate Giving” chart can assist in making your decision. We then challenge you to build upon your giving each year.

5th Sunday Stewardship Offering

The Blessings Team wishes to thank all who generously supported, Our People. Our City. Our Mission. Stewardship Offering and Approach. We received twice the amount of donations that that we anticipated. Members were generous some giving substantial amounts. In another case, one member found $5.00 on the way to church that morning and offered it toward our efforts. All donations support our outreach efforts. This year marks a new stewardship approach. We want St. Augustine’s to connect the life and work of our parish to the pressing concerns within our city including sexual exploitation of minors, gun violence and the plight of foster children and the poor and homeless. When we consider the blessings that we experience on a daily basis like food, friends, shelter and safety, we are hoping that you will reflect on how we as a parish can nurture this same abundance within our city. Your generous gifts will allow St. Augustine’s to broaden its outreach efforts and devote new funds to new ministries

Click Here and Make a Donation...

For more information please contact Joseph

Blessings on Your Stewardship Journey!
St. Augustine's Blessings Team


The Blessings Team is St. Augustine's stewardship committee.
We seek to raise awareness of God's gifts, encourage the congregation to give thanks for them, and help discern how we are called to use them in God's world. These gifts include time, vocation, and the spirituality of money, all of which lend themselves to the ministry of St. Augustine's.

Our main projects for 2012 were the Equipping the Saints Campaign, the annual pledge drive, and the annual stewardship brunch. In early 2012, an anonymous donor pledged $7,000 to St. Augustine's if the congregation matched it. We began the campaign in March, and in September we announced that the congregation had matched the $7,000. The pledge drive, begun in October, has thus far resulted in 76 pledges, up from 62 in 2012. Other efforts of the Blessings Team have included identifying a young man, not associated with the church, to give the Father's Day sermon, sending thinking-of-you notes to parishioners who are or have experienced distress, follow up cards to visitors, and get well cards to the sick and shut-in. We also distribute gift bags to visitors and greet visitors after church.

Being A Steward:

Being a good steward implies more than the giving of money. God wants most of all, not our money, but ourselves. In writing to the church in Corinth, Paul used the Macedonians as an example of generous giving. Even as an impoverished people, the Macedonians gave so freely because, as Paul wrote, "...they gave themselves first to the Lord" (2 Corinthians 8:5). Only when we have given ourselves, through faith, to the Lord are our possessions acceptable to him. We are to be stewards of our lives, time, and talents. No amount of giving of money will substitute for the faithful giving of ourselves.

Blessings Committee

Deacon Frank Sterling is the contact.  510-604-3200

Looking at ways to help the congregation realize their blessings through sharing of time, talent and finances. They help organize the Stewardship Campaign and the Stewardship Brunch.



Saint Augustine’s Episcopal Church began its food ministry, One Good Meal, in November 2011 to provide basic food items to individuals, elders and families in our neighborhood who were hungry. We began by stocking a “pantry” in our administration office with canned and packaged food items that were donated by our congregation.

Our response soon evolved into also preparing and serving a hot lunch and/or sandwiches and a shopping experience for our neighbors in need; some of whom are homeless and/or have no cooking facilities. The lunch has been a hearty soup, chili or spaghetti, sandwiches and a salad that is prepared by volunteers and members of our congregation. For Thanksgiving we serve a traditional thanksgiving dinner (turkey, dressing and all the trimmings).

One Good Meal currently serves approximately 50 to 60 neighbors on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Our parish hall is opened to our neighbors-in-need, to select food items from what has been purchased and to sit and enjoy lunch.


Gave Many Thanks!

St. Augustine’s One Good Meal food pantry held an abundant Thanksgiving food distribution and meal on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Father Thornell personally greeted all of our guests and even latecomers did not go without.  Over a two day period more than twenty-two devoted volunteers shopped, assembled and stuffed 100 grocery bags with Thanksgiving fixings including a turkey or turkey breast, festively decorated the hall, harvested and prepared salad greens from the garden, served beverages, cooked and served a delicious hot Turkey meal with pumpkin pie, and then cleaned up. Many thanks to those who continue to volunteer and donate to the pantry throughout the year.  Gods’ abundance was manifest on this day.

All Praise to God – Give Thanks! Click for Photos...

By Victoria

Margaret, of Trinity Episcopal church in Montana, donated $20 to One Good Meal when she saw us buying over 50 jars of gravy for the thanksgiving distribution.  Margaret was in town with her mother who was undergoing chemotherapy.  God bless Margaret for her giving spirit.

 St. Augustine’s Food Pantry is GROWING!

For over a year St. Augustine’s Food Ministry, One Good Meal, has been distributing food and serving meals to hungry neighbors each month. Between 20 and 50 people have come to Bakewell Hall between 11 am and 1 pm on the 4th Saturday of each month to receive a bag of groceries and share a meal on site. We have developed a regular group of clients who depend on us each month. Some of our clients have joined us for Sunday worship, others come early to help set up the distribution line. Many have become our friends, and new people arrive each month.

We are taking a major step forward in our work this month by joining the Alameda County Food Bank (ACFB). As a member agency of the ACFB, we will be able to purchase more food, including fresh produce, at a lower cost, allowing us serve more people. ACFB will also provide resources to enhance our ministry: assistance to obtain grant funding and training on food safety and nutrition. In the coming months we will add a second monthly food distribution and also hope to provide gently used clothing, toiletries, and access to social service agency representatives to our clients during our food distributions.

We have been able to do this only because of the generosity of St. Augustine’s parishioners who have brought nonperishable food to services on Sunday; donated money; and donated their time, energy, and care to plan, prepare for, serve, and clean up after our monthly food distributions. A large and faithful crew of parishioners and volunteers from other parishes contribute to this ministry and, in the process, develop community among themselves and with clients. We who work in this ministry feel so blessed by it and so grateful to everyone who participates.


  • And don’t stop! We always need the following items, and only more so as we grow:
  • Clean paper or plastic grocery bags 
  • Nonperishable food items (e.g., canned soup, fruit, vegetables, tuna, chicken; pasta; rice; beans; breakfast cereal; powdered milk) 
  • Dollars to purchase food and supplies 
  • Toiletry items (e.g., small bottles of shampoo or lotion and small soaps from hotels, toothbrushes, razors, shaving cream)
  • Access to a truck or van for transporting food Plastic tablecloths 
  • For more information, please contact Deborah Moses or Robin Henke

  Making a Donation to St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church

Using the Categories below, you can make a donation to St. Augustine's Episcopal Church Projects using a credit card, debit card, or Bank account with PayPal account.  

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For Donations (monthly scheduled donations) which require you to provide information such as Names & Dates, the information is required on the page where you confirm the donation. You may call us at (510) 338-4620 after you donate online.

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 Donate to St. Augustine’s 

St. Augustine's Episcopal Church General Fund


St. Augustine's Capital Projects and Building Fund


St. Augustine's Stewardship Fund

Food program, Youth and Education, Foster Care, School Supplies 




St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church

“If you desire to praise him, then live what you express. Live good lives, and you yourselves will be his praise.”


To grow God’s church and serve God’s people in our worship, which reflects the richness of the African American culture, and through educational and outreach programs to the community. We welcome all who wish to join us in witness to God’s love, empowerment and mercy.


525 29th Street
Oakland CA 94609
Fax: 510-832-6464

Copyright 2016 - St Augustine Episcopal Church