Fr. Ron Culmer
The Reverend Ronald D. Culmer
As Rector of St. Clare’s Episcopal Church and Preschool since 2004, I invite you to come worship with us, knowing that you will enjoy the enriching spirit, loving welcome, and excellent fellowship that is the hallmark of our community.
Continuing the teachings and fellowship of Christ’s apostles, the breaking of the bread and the prayers—these are the main ways in which we feel that we can move nearer to God, and we encourage you to join in. I cannot guarantee that your participation will be trouble-free. That does not happen in this life. What we can commit to is that we will work together, make mistakes together, clean up our messes together, and finally, come face to face with the truth that the realm of God includes all of us, the ones we like and the ones we find hard to care for. The Lord truly loves us all.
As for myself, I am married to my beautiful wife, Diana. We have two children, two dogs, and one goldfish in a house small on size but big on love. Before my ordination, I served in the United States Air Force, and was stationed at Altus AFB in Oklahoma. I have an undergraduate degree from California Lutheran University, and a Master of Divinity from The Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Before coming to St. Clare’s, I served as Rector and Headmaster of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Winnetka, California.
In addition to serving as Rector at St. Clare’s, I am enrolled in the joint D.Min. program at Bexley-Seabury and CDSP in Congregational Development. I also am President of the Southern Alameda Deanery, and a member of the Alumni Council of The Church Divinity School of the Pacific. I formerly served as Vice President of the Standing Committee, Chair of the Eastmund Fund, and Chair of the Diocesan Nominating Committee.
A voracious reader of poetry, congregational growth and vitality, Science Fiction, and a fan of Firefly and Dr. Who, I also enjoy scuba diving, hiking, bird watching, and astronomy as time permits. My loves include camp ministry, advocacy and justice ministry, and singing. I have sung in choral groups that have toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, play guitar, and write both poetry and publicly performed music.
Yours for the reign of God,
E-mail Fr. Ron Culmer
Phone: (925) 462-4802
E-mail Diane Granlund
The Vestry is the governing board of the church. It consists of the Rector, the four officers (Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary, and Treasurer) and as many as 15 members of the parish elected by the church membership.
The Vestry is particularly responsible for the care of church finances and buildings. The lay members of the Vestry and the Rector work in tandem to create a vision and oversee the church's activity and welfare. The Wardens and other officers share in leading the parish and Vestry. Each Warden and Officer is responsible for taking care of their particular area of responsibility. The Senior Warden, for example, is often called the "Rector's Warden," and the Junior Warden, "the People's Warden." Other vestry members are responsible for chairing specific ministries, functions, or organizing.
The Rev. Carol Cook
My Mother’s mother was born and raised in Livermore, California, and she never had a good word to say about it. (“It’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and the wind blows all the time, grump grump grump.”) I, on the other hand, moved here in 1996 to be the Rector of St Bartholomew’s and I have loved it here in the Tri Valley ever since. I think it reminds me of my childhood and adolescence in the midwest. Whatever it is, I spent 14 very happy years at St. Bart’s before I retired and came to play with the people of St Clare’s.
I, myself, was born in Los Gatos, shortly before we moved to Hollywood. My dad was a writer, my mom was an artist, and we were happily bohemian. When I was nine, my dad and I moved back to Minnesota, where he had family. Skip forward to 1971, when I graduated from college, threw everything I owned into the back of my Toyota, and drove to Burlingame.
I poodled around for a few years finding 1) my feet, 2) a place to live, and 3) the man I ended up marrying. Wasn’t that a time. Skip forward to 1979, when I was singing in a madrigal group and was hired on at Apple Computer (a VERY small company at that point in time) through one of my connections there. My interview consisted of Jeff Raskin shooting ping-pong balls at me through an air-gun. We did have fun back in those early days. Oh, yes, there was Grad school in there too. MA in Psychology.
Throughout my life, as a child and again as an adult, I felt a passion for and a desire to serve God. I heard a very clear call from God one day as I was driving up the Bayshore. I thought God was nuts to want me for a priest, but you know God. He is infinitely patient and he always gets his way in the end. I fought back for 10 years, and then I surrendered and my life became easy and happy again. I was ordained as a Deacon in December 1990, and as a Priest in 1991. I’ve worked in churches as a curate or a pastor ever since. Happiest days of my life.
In the photo, you can see me communing with someone’s Bearded Dragon lizard on St Francis’ Day. I’ve never met an animal that I didn’t adore at first sight, and believe me, I’ve been peed on by the best of them. The animals of course. Never the parishioners !
Thank you and bless you for your warm welcome to me. I hope I can continue to serve you with joy and enthusiasm.
E-mail The Rev. Carol Cook
Stefano Flavoni is an Italian-American conductor, collaborative pianist, and arts entrepreneur hailing from Long Island, New York. The son of European immigrants, Stefano quickly took to the Italian tradition of music-making, beginning piano lessons at age three and horn at age six. In his youth, he served as organist and music directors of several churches on Long Island, and made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra at fourteen.
Flavoni received a full academic scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley as a Regents and Chancellor’s Scholar, entering originally as a physics and applied mathematics student before returning to his true love of music. In 2013, he served as assistant conductor of West Edge Opera at the age of nineteen. He has since worked with several of the world’s top orchestras and ensembles, including the Berkeley Symphony and Meitar Ensemble within the past year. Stefano has held music director positions worldwide, including for the China Welfare Institute National Youth Choir and the UC Berkeley Opera Ensemble. Stefano has participated in masterclasses and collaborations with several of the most prolific artists in classical music, including Sir Simon Rattle, Ian Bostridge, and Martin Katz.
E-mail Stefano Flavoni