The Friday Reflection
May 29, 2020
The Rev. Deacon Tom Hampson

Thinking about adaptive leadership, my mind immediately goes to the now vintage TV series MacGyver. I loved that show and the amazing ways he would be able to fashion a solution to his problem – often a life-threatening one – out of various random items in the vicinity. Grace under pressure – and imagination under pressure, too.
In the press of rapid change and toppled plans, it takes a certain leap of imagination – and a certain freedom of imagination from the constraints of the moment to see the situation from another point of view, and sometimes discern a solution.
Chris Shaw is a friend of mine – a nurse who works in Boston specializing in HIV/AIDS care. Our friendship was forged back in the winter of 2002, when Chris agreed to volunteer to be medical officer for an HIV+ South African Choir tour that I was helping to lead. The tour would last two weeks and began in New York City. Their first concert was to be a World AIDS Day event (Dec. 1) at Riverside Church in Manhattan. The day before, we were giving them a tour of NYC. The one place they really wanted to visit was Ground Zero – the site of the former World Trade Center. Near the end of a long day, as the sun was setting, we drove to the site and walked to the edge to see the pit. It was a sad and sobering moment that prompted the choir to begin to sing – beautiful, plaintive songs from South Africa. A crowd gathered, their hearts lightened perhaps by their beautiful music. As we walked back to the van after this very moving interlude, I reached into my pocket for my van keys. Not there. Checked the other pockets. Nope. On this cold, late November day, darkness coming fast, I’d managed to lock us out of the van. Oh pshaw!
Calling AAA in Manhattan at any hour is a pretty frustrating experience – this was no exception. We were looking at hours. Locksmiths – “fuggetaboutit”. The choir was shivering. I was feeling awful and frustrated. Chris, good street-smart Bostonian that he was, tells me – “Hold it. I’ve got a thought.” He walks over to one of several street vendors who were hawking knockoff watches and handbags. After a brief conversation, the vendor strolls over to the van and casually reaches into his boot, removes a long piece of thin metal, and poof! The van is unlocked!
Not quite the drama of a MacGyver episode, but way more satisfying for me! And a lesson in recognizing that the resources you need to solve a problem may be right in front of you – but in a guise that requires some imagination, and experience, to recognize. During these COVID days, we’ve all been pushed to adapt in many ways – testing our patience and challenging our imagination – church via Zoom and Facebook Live, visitation of the sick via FaceTime, online choirs, clergy conferences and advocacy events. We’ve had to use the resources at hand, material – digital – human, in new ways to meet the challenge of this moment. And we’ve done it! Not always gracefully, but we’ve done it. That gives me hope as we approach Pentecost. As we celebrate that outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the first disciples, I see evidence all around us that the Spirit continues to inspire and guide us even in these difficult days. Thanks be to God!

       Latin@ Ministry Working Group
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is looking for people interested in joining the Latin@ Ministry Working Group.
This group will work alongside the Latino Missioner to imagine and explore how Latino Ministry might happen throughout EDSJ. They will also support the ministries that the Latino Missioner has recently implemented, such as Devotionals about Virgin Mary in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition on the 12th of each month, and newly planned Latino presence for social media.
You do NOT need to speak Spanish in order to participate.
Please sign-up HERE and Deacon Nelson will be in touch shortly. Applications are due by the end of day June 3rd.

A message from the Latino Missioner, The Rev. Nelson Serrano Poveda, and SJRAISE.
Migrant friends in the Central Valley of California,
Because of the many organizations that we work with, we have received information on how you can apply to DRAI (Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants) funds. Remember that these resources are intended for UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS, who meet the requirements. PLEASE apply for this aid. Your information will only be taken into account for this purpose by the Non-Profit Organization, and at no time will it be forwarded to immigration institutions.
  1. In the counties of Alpine and Calaveras, you may contact the California Human Development Corporation at (707) 228-1338; More information on the website:
  2. In Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Tulare and Mono counties, may contact the United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF) at (877) 527-6660; more information on the website:
  3. In Mariposa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter and Tuolumne counties, you may contact the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) at (877) 557-0521, For more information you can enter the website:
  4. In Inyo County, you can contact TODEC Legal Center Perris, at (888) 863-3291, or access the website:
To continue reading, download the full article HERE, also in Spanish.

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 Friday Reflection
All articles and special news can be submitted to the Diocesan Office at:
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Events Warranting Your
Participation and Prayers

   Diocesan Events
Clergy COVID Conference
June 4 | 12:30 PM
Wear Orange
June 5
Information below
Commission on Ministry – Discernment Conference
June 6 | 9:00 AM
Deacon Fresh Start
June 15 | 6:30 PM
June 16 | 6:30 PM
Clergy COVID Conference
June 18 | 12:30 PM
Clergy COVID Conference
June 25 | 12:30 PM
DC/SC Joint Meeting
June 27

Upcoming Event Information

Wear Orange is Friday, June 5. This 6th National Gun Violence Awareness Day, organized by Everytown and community partners across the country, honors both those killed by gun violence and those who have survived it. Everytown is holding virtual events across the country June 5-7 to raise awareness for gun violence prevention.
Visit the Wear Orange Weekend website for tools to promote the weekend on social media, to find a virtual event in your community and to learn more. You can also share #WearOrange social media posts online on June 5 or wear orange during online worship services on Sunday, June 7 to help promote this virtual event.

Spanish Immersion at ECCO
Mark your calendars for June 18-25, 2021!
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 4147 E Dakota AVE, Fresno, CA 93726
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