A prayer on the anniversary of September 11th
O Almighty God, who brings good out of evil and turns even the wrath of your children towards your promised peace: Hear our prayers this day as we remember those of many nations and differing faiths whose lives were cut short by the fierce flames of anger and hatred. Hasten the time when the menace of war shall be removed. Cleanse both us and those perceived to be our enemies of all hatred and distrust. Pour out the spirit of peace on all the rulers of our world that we may be brought through strife to the lasting peace of the kingdom of your Son; Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
The Friday Reflection
September 11, 2020
Canon Anna Carmichael

This week I celebrate my fourth year here in EDSJ. Happy Anniversary friends!

If you remember when I first arrived, I started to ask folks “would your neighborhood/community notice if your church suddenly shut its doors”. I had asked this question of my own congregation in Eastern Oregon when I first started my walk with them, and it informed the way we did ministry both inside and outside our four walls, as well as our approach to stewardship, communications, and virtually everything else we did.
One of my first visitations in EDSJ, and one of the places I love to brag on, is St Andrew’s Taft. Many of you have heard me talk about the amazing work happening at Taft, but let’s refrain the story through the lens of leadership. What does it mean to be a leader in a congregation with no clergy person and very few Sunday worshippers, and a booming feeding ministry? What does it mean to be the church in that context? Would the neighborhood/community notice if the church suddenly shut its doors permanently?
On one of the virtual visitations that Bp David and I recently did, we had a chat with our friends at St Andrew’s and we saw, once again, the church being the church in the best ways possible. It’s messy, sometimes chaotic, sometimes exhausting, and totally life giving.
To be a leader in a congregation with no clergy person and few Sunday worshippers is in its own way, challenging. Many of you reading this article are in similar situations. It means that the laity have to all pull together to do the work…there are reports to complete, pastoral care issues to attend to, and just the day to day operation of a facility to manage. But throw a booming (and I do mean booming) feeding ministry on top of that in the midst of a global pandemic…WOW. So as I talked to my friends Carl and Shari about their 4 year feeding ministry anniversary, here’s what they had to share:
  1. Volunteers are key:   The volunteers required to make their operation work are part of what they’ve developed as the “Homeless Collective”. In other words, their volunteers are also recipients of the food ministry. They have their food handlers permits, they are mentored and trained by others, and now they freely and lovingly serve others.
  2. Start small and manageable but dream big: They started small with PB & J sandwiches in the church courtyard and continued dreaming big. Then they began gleaning from local markets and restaurants, which has evolved to receiving between 50-75,000 pounds of food per month. Now, they prepare daily meals and provide groceries to 2,271 families and 8,063 individuals per month (that number is as June).
  3. Patience and persistence are important: When they first opened their ministry, the local community was critical, believing that the ministry was enabling the homeless and making them dependent on “handouts”. However, over time (and especially since COVID started), St Andrews has helped to relieve some of the food insecurity in their community. They have also seen other positives such as a reduction in bug infestations, disease, violence and poor hygiene because people aren’t digging through dumpsters and trash for food. As Carl and Shari shared with the Bishop and I, “When people are deprived of basic needs like food, water, restrooms and shelter, they become like wild animals and do things we never thought possible. When people know there is plenty, there is no need of worry, and peace and calm becomes the new normal.” (I suspect we could all benefit from that lesson)
  4. LOVE is the answer: Their hope for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 is to continue to welcome people in LOVE without question or judgment. “The world is going through challenging times, however, here at St Andrews you can come in out of the storm and be comforted in the refuge of God.”
I know my friends, that the last six months have challenged all of us. We miss each other, we miss gathering in community, and we are missing our “normal” routines. But I hope you can find a ray of light and hope in the moments of darkness. For me, on this anniversary of my fourth year as your Canon, I can say with confidence that our neighborhoods and communities absolutely depend on us. We may not look like the church that we once were, we may be serving in different ways, but we are ESSENTIAL to the wellbeing of others. St Andrews in Taft is an example to us all.

God bless you, God be with you, and remember, YOU ARE LOVED.

Canon Anna

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS
Sunday, October 4th – Participate virtually!
The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi commemorates the life of the patron saint of animals and the environment. It is fitting that the month-long “Season of Creation” that started on September 1st ends on October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis.
In remembrance of St. Francis’ love for all creatures, you and your pet(s) are invited to a “Virtual Blessing of the Animals” on the feast day, October 4th at 10:00AM.
To facilitate the virtual blessings, we are asking you to register your animal(s) for their blessing by clicking on the “register button” below. Please fill out the form and if at all possible, please submit a photo.
Participants do not need to be a member of the Cathedral Congregation–everyone is welcome to participate. Share the virtual blessing with your family, friends, and neighbors.
The registration deadline is Wednesday, September 30th at 5:00PM.
For the youngest among us who might not have a pet, but a favorite stuffed animal, they are welcome to register their furry friend for a blessing too.

Check Cabinets for Expired Medicine and Properly Dispose of Them
Avoid flushing medicines and other dangerous chemicals in the toilet or washing them down the sink. Instead, find your local med disposal location and take them there. This will help keep water clean and drug-free for other people drink and animals and plants to live in and consume.

“All these years later, it’s those flowers – growing in pots, cans and left-over bottles of Coke or detergent – that has remained most vivid in my mind.  They capture for me the creativity, resilience and determination of migrants everywhere to find and fashion a better, more beautiful life for themselves and their family.” – The Rev. Tom Hampson, Deacon

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 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
Mary Devotional
September 12 | 6:30 PM
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
Resolutions Due
September 14
Bishop and Canon Visitation
September 16 | 7:00 PM
St. Anne’s, Stockton – ZOOM
Diocesan Council
September 17 | 6:30 PM
ZOOM
SJRAISE Planning Meeting
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
Bishop and Canon Visitation
September 23 | 7:00 PM
Oakhurst – ZOOM
Clergy Gathering
September 24 | 12:30 PM
ZOOM
Bishop and Canon Visitation
September 24 | 7:00 PM
St. John’s, Stockton – ZOOM
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
Nominations Due
September 28
Standing Committee
September 29 | 6:30 PM
ZOOM
Bishop and Canon Visitation
September 30 | 7:00 PM
Bakersfield – ZOOM

Creek Fire Update

All ECCO employees who live on site have evacuated to safer places, and ECCO has continued to provide and take care of them during this difficult time.
If you would like to make a donation for those affected by the Creek Fire you can do so online here:
Or you can mail checks to the Diocesan office:
EDSJ
4147 E Dakota AVE
Fresno, CA 93726
Memo: Creek Fire Disaster Assistance
Thank you for your continued prayers during this time.
To see the Diocesan news sent out about this on Sunday, September 6th, please click here.

Annual Diocesan Convention 2020

 the Church in all seasons
Call to Convention
Find all the annual convention information on our website!
Key Dates:
Resolutions | September 14, 2020
Nominations for Elected Offices | September 28, 2020
Reports to Convention | October 1, 2020
Audit Reports | October 1, 2020
Convention Registration | October 16, 2020

Event Information

The next Diocesan Mary devotional will be September 12th at 6:30 pm on Facebook Live.
A meditation on the experience of faith of Mary: an invitation to remain firm in faith, in moments of anguish, loneliness, or illness.

Close-Up:Representation of
LGBT People in Cinema
Beginning September 15 (and scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month) St. Paul’s, Bakersfield, is hosting a series – via Zoom – called Close-Up and exploring the representation of LGBT people in cinema. Each session will feature a film (or occasionally a documentary) as the focus of a presentation and conversation. The featured film will be advertised well before the meeting with links to where it can be bought, rented and/or streamed.
The first meeting will center on the documentary The Celluloid Closet. Released in 1995 and based on Vito Russo’s 1981 book of the same name. The documentary uses Russo’s work and expands it with lectures and clip presentations detailing how LGBT characters have been portrayed in Hollywood films over the years. You can rent to stream the documentary via Amazon here. Two other documentaries that might be of interest are The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender and LGBT Film History: The Early Years (1910s-1920s). The latter is free on YouTube, and focuses primarily on German cinema. Nevertheless, it is incredibly well-made and highlights how German representation of LGBT people in film before the Second World War informed and influenced Hollywood movie makers.
Again, the first session will be Tuesday, September 15, and begins at 6.30pm. You can access the Zoom meeting via this link.

REGISTER NOW!
St. James Sunday School launches THIS SUNDAY, September 13th digitally. During the digital church period, St. James Sunday School is open to all school-aged children in the Diocese. Registration is required to participate! The kick-off session will begin with student check-in at 9:00AM and the lesson will begin at 9:15AM. The first day of Sunday School is designed for the whole family to join-in. The morning will include the blessing of the teachers and the students. We invite you to check out the St. James Children’s Ministry web page for more about our ministry with children and our curriculum Weaving God’s Promises.
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS ARE NEEDED
Teacher recruitment period is now! If you feel called to the ministry of the spiritual formation of children, please send an email to teach@stjamesfresno.org. Teachers can be members of any Episcopal congregation in the Diocese.
Prior to the first session, Dean Ryan and the Sunday School Committee will host via ZOOM an Orientation and Training session for all interested teachers. No prior teaching or Sunday School experience is required-all that is required is a willing and committed heart to educating the next generation of the Church. In addition to the Orientation and Training session, teachers will be required to take an online training module called Safeguarding God’s Children–an in-depth educational and training program for preventing and responding to child sexual abuse in everyday life and in ministry.
BASIC INFORMATION
Classes are Sundays at 9:15AM on ZOOM. Registration for Sunday School opens August 1st. Please visit St. James website for link to registration. The first session is Sunday, September 13th and the whole family is invited to participate.
CURRICULUM
Weaving God’s Promises is a comprehensive, three-year Christian education curriculum for children developed and written exclusively for the Episcopal Church. Weaving God’s Promises’ 30-minute lesson plans are accessed online. There will be a “take-home” paper, Threads, that will be emailed to every family after each lesson. Threads allows families to continue the conversation and theme throughout the week.
BASIC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FORMAT
  1. Gathering and Greeting
  2. Sunday School Prayer
  3. Sunday School Song
  4. About the Scripture Story
  5. Telling the Story
  6. Activity Related to the Story
  7. Weaving Our Faith: Conversation about the story
  8. Closing Prayer
TEACHER COVENANT OF COMMITMENT
(Developed by Sunday School Committee)
With God’s Help I Covenant 
To practice the spiritual disciplines of scripture reading and prayer.
  • Worship on Sundays and be an active member of the St. James community or other church in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
  • Be prepared: Read the curriculum and plan my lessons.
  • Grow in my faith and understanding of my work through educational opportunities as offered.
  • Practice inclusive hospitality as Jesus teaches us the love of God is the love of neighbor.
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 4147 E Dakota AVE, Fresno, CA 93726
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