Diocese of San
Joaquin
The Episcopal Church

The Friday Reflection Title
January 31, 2020
Canon Anna Carmichael
Dear friends,
Last week (Jan 20-24), I had the privilege of flying with Pat Fehling, a leading lay woman from St John’s Lodi to Atlanta, Georgia for the Rooted in Jesus conference. I was doubly privileged to have Dean Ryan of the Cathedral meet us there. San Joaquin was in the house!
Let me say from the outset that I love conferences because I get to learn new stuff, I get to network and see old friends, and I get to tell our story as the people of San Joaquin. So yes, I was super stoked to go to Atlanta! This was the first year that this conference was held, and it was the combination of about seven smaller conferences that occur with some regularity. As I overheard one person say (while standing in line for the bathroom), “this is the best of General Convention without all the legislative work”. In other words, it was an opportunity to focus on our formation as leaders of the Jesus Movement.
After the pre-conference workshops on Tuesday, we were shuttled to Clark Atlanta University on Wednesday for the keynote address offered by The Rev. Dr. William Barber. Friends, if you have not heard Dr. Barber preach, you are missing out!! Dr. Barber has gotten a reputation as quite the prophetic voice and public witness in Washington DC, leading the “Moral Monday” movement as well as the Poor People’s Campaign.
During his keynote address, which, let’s be honest it was actually a sermon, Dr. Barber continually returned to the refrain “You can’t worship God without a conscious and concern for the poor”. I knew I was in good company when 1500 Episcopalians erupted in applause. He also went so far as to say “worshiping God without a conscious is a heresy”. Wow! He was on fire with the Holy Spirit and I was feeling it deep in my bones. Dr. Barber, like all good prophets of our holy scriptures, stands at the city gate and reminds us of our responsibility as Christians…that we aren’t meant to be boxed in, but rather in our neighborhoods and communities, sharing the love of God and taking care of each other.
Following Dr. Barber’s sermon, there was a panel discussion with The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglass (Dean of EDS at Union Theological Seminary), The Rt. Rev. Rob Wright (bishop of Atlanta), and The Rev. Nancy Frausto (whom we love). These three folks are without a doubt, prophets. Dean Douglass reminded us that being Church in the 21st Century means being aspirational…we are supposed to dream big dreams, because that’s what God has called us to do. Rev. Nancy called us to attention by asking how we, as the Church, can better respond to the separation of families at the border and the putting of children in cages. And then, in his prophetic way, Bp Rob woke us up when he said that the Church, by losing it’s prophetic voice, has become complacent and has in fact abdicated it’s consciousness, in exchange for keeping people (and pledge dollars) in the seats. He went so far as to say (and granted I’m paraphrasing) that we are invited to partner with God, and that if we don’t accept that invitation, we (as the church) will be a “clique with a cracker on Sunday”. Holy smokes friends! The room went silent while I applauded. I don’t want to be a part of that clique! I don’t want my church to be that clique! And I’m not willing to turn down the invitation to partner with God! Wow! The discussion then opened up into the Atlanta Revival and the Presiding Bishop preached about the Way of Love, the Jesus Movement, and reminded all of us that “If it’s not about love, then it’s not about God”.
After a few days of back to back workshops on leadership, stewardship, formation, and mission, we concluded our conference with a rousing Eucharist at the nearby All Saints Episcopal Church. And friends, we were indeed “taken to church”. The jazz musicians, the bilingual liturgy, and the preaching offered by The Rev. Dr. Mark Jefferson blew the roof off the place! And, like the preachers before him, Rev. Jefferson asked the congregation this provocative and prophetic question: What happens when we go back to the places that Jesus thought were important-to where people are marginalized and disenfranchised-to do our ministry? Like Dr. Barber, PB Curry, and Bp Rob had asked, what happens when we step out into our neighborhoods as disciples of Jesus? What happens when we respond to the world in love, with a consciousness, and with an eye for justice? What happens when we stop being afraid of being prophetic and instead start living into the ministry that Jesus has called ALL of us, lay and ordained?
I think I have an answer…
It means we’ll be the Church at its best.
And not a clique on Sunday with a cracker.
The church is indeed aspirational, Dean Douglass.
God’s Blessing be with you all,
Cn. Anna

Free Food in Taft!
Laborers of the Harvest is giving away 70 pounds of food per household in the city of Taft! If you, or someone you know is in need of food in the area, feel free to share this flyer!

Calling all NEWLY ELECTED/APPOINTED Wardens/Treasurers!
Join Bishop David, Canon Anna, Chancellor Michael, and Diocesan Treasurer Cathy Peck
February 7 beginning at 4pm and concluding the afternoon of February 8 at ECCO
(Episcopal Conference Center at Oakhurst)
For a conference on Episcopal polity, leadership skills, and financial best practices.
This will be an opportunity to learn why we do what we do, how to work with the canons, and how to be transparent about our church finances.
ALL VESTRY/BISHOP’S COMMITTEE/CHAPTER MEMBERS are invited for February 8 beginning at 9am.
Registration [Due by January 17]: diosanjoaquin.org [click, Register Building Church Leaders]
Private rooms: FILLED
Double rooms: $66.50
Quad rooms: $56.50
Registration fee: $10
Registration is for lodging, meals and materials.
It is the expectation that all Wardens/Treasurers will attend.
Contact Canon Anna with questions

Companions in Franciscan Spirituality for 2020:  Ten-Day Residential Immersion Programs in Franciscan Spirituality offered three times a year for free by The Community of St. Francis at St. Francis House in San Francisco for women over 18.  The program includes studying Franciscan spirituality and living out of that spirituality by sharing in our community life, worship and ministry in the church and wider community.
April 3-13; July 3-13; Oct. 2-12.
For more information, contact Sr. Pamela Clare at pamelaclarecsf@aol.com.

 Friday Reflection
All articles and special news can be submitted to the Diocesan Office at:
All submissions are due MONDAY for the following Friday Reflection.
 Submission requirements:

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Canon Anna and Rev. Nancy Frausto
Canon Anthony Guillen, Rev. Samuel Borbon, and Canon Anna

  Rev. Melanie Mullen and Canon Anna

The Rev. William Barber II

Events Warranting Your
Participation and Prayers

   Diocesan Events
Spring Clergy Conference
February 4-6
ECCO
Building Church Leaders Conference
February 7-8
ECCO
Register HERE
Joint Diocesan Council & Standing Committee Meeting
February 28-29
ECCO
Diocesan Recharge/Renew Youth Retreat
May 1-3
ECCO
Learn more HERE
Spanish Immersion Week
July 12-19
ECCO
Learn More HERE

   Events Around the Diocese
Public House Night
St. Anne’s, Stockton
February 21-22 | 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Recharge/Renew Youth Retreat at ECCO
Youth ages 13-18 are invited May 1-3 to the Episcopal Conference Center in Oakhurst for a weekend of fun activities, great food, and a chance to learn more about the Episcopal Church and what it means to be a Christian. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to talk to your friends about church, are interested in Social Justice, or just want to know why we do the things we do on Sunday mornings, this is the retreat to attend! You’ll have a choice of classes taught by both clergy and lay people ranging from Church History, to Music, to Creation Care and Social Justice. Bishop David Rice, Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, will lead Evening prayer one night and Sunday morning Eucharist.
Registration will open in February.

BUY A PLANT FOR YOUR HOUSE
It may not be the season to plant a tree or garden outside but you can purchase a plant for the indoors. The plant will produce oxygen improve your indoor air quality. You can choose a flower, herb, or a plant that bears fruit such as a tomato, pepper, or strawberries.

Did you know that SJRAISE, Our Immigration Commission, has a new monthly newsletter? You can check it out HERE and subscribe at the bottom, or email Deacon Angela at dioadmin@diosanjoaquin.org to be added!

Concert series at St. James, Sonora. February 2nd at 2 pm (Time change for Super Bowl!). Come hear pianist Anyssa Neumann live.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 4147 E Dakota AVE, Fresno, CA 93726
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