April 15, 2020
At the time of writing this correspondence, there have been over 2,000,000 cases of COVID-19 reported worldwide and over 130,000 deaths.  In the US, there have been well over 600,000 cases reported and over 26,000 deaths.  These are staggering, shocking and sobering numbers.  I know you are aware of these same numbers as we are perpetually confronted by them through our 24 hour news cycles.  Due to the fact that we are aware of these mounting numbers, each day, each moment, it is perhaps far too easy not to look beyond the numbers into the deeper reality they represent.  Family members, loved ones, mothers, fathers, grandparents, young and old alike, are no longer with us due to this insidious pandemic.  And the numbers of those struggling with the virus and who will struggle, is incomprehensible.  Again, in our worldwide human community, these are our family members and our loved ones about whom I write and for whom we continue to pray…
As a result of our experience over the last month and our continued responsibility for one another, again, after consultation with diocesan leaders, we will further our suspension of public worship and public gatherings until May 24.
The Friday Reflection
April 17, 2020
Rev. Peter Ackerman

God is in Our Adapting
The imagery offered through the Creation Story reminds us that God breathed out, and from that exhale the world, and all that is in it, came into being. The breath of creativity continues to bless us who remain faithfully in the flow of the Spirit. In His resurrection Jesus reminds us that God’s realm created an eternal continuation of that which used to conclude. All things are possible for us, in and through God.
John composes the Epistle used in our Daily Office this Sunday. Like any author, John has his own style. He lays out his thoughts differently than Paul, and does so without adding flowery introductions. This week he gets right to the point in his epistle by writing “we walk in the light when we have fellowship with one another.” God did not create us as solo acts, to live and serve as members of a larger body; the church. We are “church” when we gather in the light together, search together, praise and pray together, and yes, worship together.
This reminder may come at an awkward time; the idea of fellowship as how we have defined it; in church gatherings coffee hours, in person meetings, and more, are temporarily removed from us. This may lead some people astray, away from worship, prayer life, and community. This is what the Apostle might define as darkness. It is important for us to remember that we are never the sole owners and creators of our spiritual lives.
Orson Wellesonce commented about the work ethic ofthe artist Pablo Picasso. Welles mentioned that though someone might buy Picasso’s painting and hang it on his wall, in his private home, the artist still had the creative license to walk right into that dwelling and continue to work on it, perfect it, even alter it. We are in darkness if we leave out the creative breath offered to us each and every day, and in every situation, from God who enters into our realm always.
Magnificent is the work that our Diocese, Cathedral and individual parishes, along with their clergy and lay leaders are doing in these Covid-19 days to create, in this space of separation in which we temporarily reside. From streaming services, virtual meetings, digitally hosted coffee hours, and by using telephones again as means of two-way communication, we are entering into a time of adaptation for holy purposes. When creation, adaptation, and holiness come together, there is God.
John reminds us to walk in the light in fellowship with one another. May we continue to do so this season, and embrace the opportunities before us, the “alleluias,” and the fellowship anew. God is here, life is altered for a moment, and we still bask in the light. Yes, my friends, “alleluia,” and happy Easter to all who live into the flow of God’s creation Spirit!

Earth Day Service
Earth Day is next Wednesday, April 22nd! Please join us for a special liturgy at 1 pm. This Diocesan wide liturgy features special prayers of the people, readings, and a homily that calls us to better serve our precious Earth.
Pleae join us via YouTube or Facebook at 1 pm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 5:00pm
The Reverend Canon Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation, hosts a panel discussion on healing the earth in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. Reverend Traci Blackmon, Reverend Margaret Bullitt-Jonas and Bishop David Rice join Canon Spellers to remind us of the urgency of collective, inspired, and loving action to end the climate crisis.
Find out more HERE!

Prayers of the People for use in Lent for immigration reform:
Risen Lord as we rejoice in your rising let us be mindful of those who have little to rejoice about. Let us pray for those who have little joy in their lives, those persecuted and alone.

OBSERVE EARTH DAY ON APRIL 22
Earth Day 2020 will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 22! This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this day. On Earth Day, enjoy the lovely scent of fresh air, clean up some litter, plant a tree, or simply enjoy companionship with nature! Walk through the woods in search of emerging wildflowers and green moss.

 Friday Reflection
All articles and special news can be submitted to the Diocesan Office at: dioadmin@diosanjoaquin.org
All submissions are due MONDAY for the following Friday Reflection.
Submission requirements:
pictures -JPEG format
articles- word document
document to link- PDF
Please edit pictures for best brightness, contrast, and lighting before sending.

Events Warranting Your
Participation and Prayers

   Diocesan Events
Commission on Ministry
April 18 | 10 am
ZOOM
SJRAISE
April 21 | 6:30 pm
ZOOM
Earth Day Diocesan Service
April 22 | 1:00 pm
ZOOM
National Cathedral Discussion Panel
April 22 | 5:00 pm
Clergy COVID Conference
April 23 | 12:30 pm
ZOOM
Diocesan Council
April 25 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
ZOOM
Standing Committee
April 25 | 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
ZOOM
Deacon’s Fresh Start
April 27 | 6:30 pm
ZOOM
Clergy COVID Conference
April 30 | 12:30 pm
ZOOM
Spanish Immersion Week
July 12-19
ECCO
Learn More HERE

Upcoming Event Information

Spanish Immersion at ECCO
Come join us for a week of Spanish learning!
Join us for a week of learning to speak Spanish! You will have time to learn, bring home materials to keep learning, and enjoy many activities among colleagues and friends.
Prices include take home materials, week long materials, lodging, all meals, and activities!
Registration is due by June 10th. We need 25 people minimum to join us! Register blow.
If the program is canceled due to lack of participant registrations, all costs will be refunded.
However, if a participant cancels after the registration cut off date, costs cannot be refunded.
Registrations are due – June 10th
Register HERE
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 4147 E Dakota AVE, Fresno, CA 93726
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