The Friday Reflection
July 10, 2020
Canon Anna Carmichael

My sisters and brothers across EDSJ and the wider Episcopal Church,
We have been in “COVID” time for almost four months now. Original plans for retreats, meetings, and church events have been put on hold. There is no definitive date of when we will return to “normal” life, and that can be unsettling for everyone…myself included. As a leader, and just as Anna in general, I like to have a schedule so I know how to plan projects, establish goals and achieve desired outcomes. And my friends, not being able to plan in the ways I would like, has really tested my leadership skills. I am constantly learning and relearning what it means to be a leader in this really challenging time…and it’s not always been easy. Perhaps this is true for you as well. Perhaps you are learning and relearning how to be who you are, in all your varied roles, as well.
This month as a diocese, we are engaging in conversations with our friends, Dain and Constance Perry, around the book “Waking Up White”. It is our hope that we will become more conscious, more aware, of our privilege, as well as feel empowered to speak loving truth in the dismantling of racism and white supremacy in our communities. This is not easy work and there is no instruction manual to tell us what to do. Having said that, I recently completed the chapter on intention versus impact, and I’m finding that it is not only useful as we have conversations about racism, but it has lessons for leadership as well.
Intentions get me into all sorts of predicaments. I say something or respond to someone from what I think is a place of love or concern, and instead they hear something else. That “hearing something else” is the impact my statement has on them. In “Waking Up White” author Debby Irving gives the example of asking her husband if he’s emptied the dishwasher. Her intention is to find out if she can put a dirty dish in the washer, but what he heard was his wife nagging him. That’s intention vs impact.
While we can’t control what people hear when we speak to them, if we discover that the impact was not what was intended, a skilled leader can clarify, apologize, and work with the hearer to move forward in a positive direction. But my friends, this is really hard work. It means that as leaders we have to set aside our ego and defensiveness and instead listen deeply to the other. It means possibly having to adjust our expectations or intentions so that folks can work together cooperatively and compassionately. And it means being willing, as a leader, to take the time clarify, apologize for any offense (even if it’s unintentional), and then work together to move forward. Ultimately what I’m learning about intention vs impact is that the relationship and working together is equally if not more important than the outcome. Whew! That’s a lot of work!
Our communities are struggling these days with COVID, with systems of domination and oppression, with racism, with white supremacy, and with all the uncertainty that we are faced with on a daily basis. As leaders, both lay and clergy, we are being called to deep listening and compassionate response. It means we’ll need to monitor our intention vs impact in order to navigate these challenging times as we walk alongside one another.
Be well, stay safe, and stay healthy my friends,
Cn Anna

The latest information will be posted HERE.
Please join us on July 18th at 10:00 am on Facebook and YouTube for the ordination of Dcn. Angela and Dcn. Nelson to the priesthood.
We will have a Zoom reception for them following the service at 11:15 am. You can sign in HERE

“We are living in a country that is focused on scarcity. We as a country are so afraid that if we let anyone into our country; to eat our food and take our jobs there will not be enough for us.
The Bible and Jesus does not want us living this way. I have a friend who continually talks about an amazing God who will do things beyond our imagination. Sometimes this annoys me, yet if we believed in this amazing God, in the wonderful and amazing things he will do for us, there is no reason to live in fear of scarcity.” – Dcn. Amy Larsen
You can continue reading her powerful article in the newsletter.

Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle
Cut down on plastic by carrying your own water bottle with you. Preferably a reusable one made of aluminum rather than plastic. You will find that you save money by bringing your own water instead of buying new bottles every time you are thirsty.

 Friday Reflection
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Events Warranting Your
Participation and Prayers

   Diocesan Events
Mary’s Face in Lament
July 12 | 6:30 PM
Diocesan Book Study with The Perrys
July 15 | 5:30 PM
COVID Clergy Conversations
July 16 | 12:30 PM
Diocesan Council Meeting
July 16 | 6:30 PM
Priesthood Ordination – Dcn. Nelson & Dcn. Angela
July 18 | 10:00 AM
11:15 AM | Zoom Reception for Rev. Nelson & Rev. Angela
Find all the information HERE
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
July 21 | 6:30 PM
Diocesan Book Study with The Perrys
July 22 | 5:30 PM
COVID Clergy Conversations
July 23 | 12:30 PM
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
Standing Committee Meeting
July 28 | 6:30 PM
Diocesan Book Study with The Perrys
July 29 | 5:30 PM
COVID Clergy Conversations
July 30 | 12:30 PM

Join us on Sunday, July 12 at 6:30 pm for Mary’s Face in Latin America.

You can still join!
We are thrilled to announce that Constance and Dain Perry will be hosting a conversation on racism and white privilege. Our conversation will be framed by the book, “Waking Up White” by Debby Irving. It is available on Apple Books, Kindle, and Audio Book.
Each Wednesday in July at 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm we will gather on Zoom.
The schedule of reading is as follows:
July 15th: Sections 4 & 5 [Chapters 17-28]
July 22nd: Sections 6 & 7 [Chapters 29-40]
July 29th: Sections 8 & 9 [Chapters 41-46]
Please RSVP to Canon Anna at to receive the Zoom link.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 4147 E Dakota AVE, Fresno, CA 93726
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