The Friday Reflection
August 28, 2020
The Rev. Dondi

Impending doom, or celebrating of common purpose?
Image: Public Domain
09 April 2012
The COVID-19 crisis is the ultimate test of our calling to leadership as leaders. Sudden dramatic, life threatening upheaval, where all the aspects of our day to day lives remain uncertain. In this extraordinary stressful time, the value of our leadership calling is being demonstrated everyday.
Like the disciples depicted in this Rembrandt masterpiece, Christ in the Storm on Lake Galilee, those on the COVID-19 frontlines are today fighting towering waves. But just as the disciples can spot the “other side”, they do so because they have a strong sense of purpose. Theirs is a lesson in leadership for all.
It is Christ in the Storm on Lake Galilee by a Dutch painter Rembrant Van Rijn, I cannot imagine a better depiction of our current crisis. We are fighting rough waves at the moment. Everyday there are challenges. As a front line employee in healthcare it is an exhausting and an relenting battle.
That’s how I had originally understood the gospel, Christ and the disciples in the storm on Lake Galilee, the towering waves, the impending doom, the disciples caught in the chaos captured how I felt at those time of my read.
But that is not how I understand the gospel reading in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. In my reflection, I have come to believe the gospel and what this picture is about. I have come to believe that the current crisis is revealing more than simply the nature of a virus.
By the shore of Lake Galilee the “Other Side” is within a distance sight, the destination for the troubled disciples. As Dr. Martin Luther King once said , “We are caught in an inescapable net work of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” Like the disciples we are not fighting the waves in vain. They have a purpose …the other side and so are we.
In the recent months as a Spiritual care giver in Healthcare Institution, I have heard all the stories of profound braveries and commitment of Nurses, technicians, environmentalists, doctors and spiritual care givers. I am in awe at how they face their daily challenges with caring and selflessness. They support the medical team by providing essential services to keep the hospital clean, they care for patients, they are referred to as essential workers during this pandemic. Why do they do it?
When I listen closely to their stories and what drives them, I hear the same chorus. They feel a responsibility to care for others. they know their work is a crucial piece of a larger effort to save lives, comfort the suffering and help the vulnerable. They feel a deep purpose.
Like the “Other Side” o f Lake Galilee before them, they are offering a masterpiece in leadership. I am learning from them, how much purpose in our work matters and this is our calling…leadership with a purpose.
But there are storms gathering on the horizon. There always will be, as leaders, we must try to listen to our leadership team members to understand how to manage tomorrows’ waves. If we keenly listen we may hear: In order to summon the strength to fight the waves, leaders have to know there is a destination…”the other side” It cannot be wave after wave. There has to be a purpose. As leaders sometimes we think it is our job to define our leadership team’s purpose. Sometime that may be true. But COVID-19 era has convinced me that sometimes we need to have the humility to accept that our leadership teams may also see the destination before we do. What is important is not who saw it first, but how we can articulate it and embrace it – and how we can support each other in realizing it.
I will never look at the Christ in the Storm in Lake Galilee without thinking about we as leaders during this pandemic. In it I will see their courage and spirit. I will remember how they muscle every single circumstance because they knew what might be on the other side of lake Galilee.

Observe the Season of Creation at your congregation!
The Season of Creation is celebrated every year by Christians around the world from September 1st, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and runs through October 4th, St. Francis Day. This year’s theme has been chosen to be Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope. This is fitting given the major challenges of this Spring and Summer. Our hope is that every community in the diocese will celebrate the Season of Creation. More information including liturgical and formation resources as well as ways to register your events can be found here: https://seasonofcreation.org/
The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through repenting, repairing, and rejoicing together. During the Season of Creation, we join our siblings in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.
This year, amid crises that have shaken our world, we’re awakened to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and each other. During the season this year, we enter a time of restoration and hope, a jubilee for our Earth, that requires radically new ways of living with creation.
The Season of Creation unites the world’s 2.2 billion Christians around one shared purpose. With so much injustice all around us, now is the time for Christians everywhere to come together and show the world how to love each other and creation.
The Episcopal church has also developed some good resources. There are resources on both the Season of Creation and St. Francis day, and their hope is that Episcopalians will take these and plan worship services, and other ways to celebrate the Season. Find these resources here: https://episcopalchurch.org/season-creation-and-st-francis-day-resources
Any questions about the Season of Creation or any of the available resources, please reach out to The Rev. Terrance Goodpasture at deaconterrance@diosanjoaquin.org.

Honor the Season of Creation September 1-October 10
Beginning with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1 and ending with St. Francis Day on October 4, the Season of Creation is a time-set-apart to express gratitude for God’s good creation, care for creation, and call for justice. Learn more at www.seasonofcreation.org

“Those who live south of our border and who seek a better life in ‘the beautiful north’, those who patrol that same border, and those detained at the border are not stock players in a political drama. They aren’t one-dimensional characters in a newsreel, and while stereotyping and typecasting them may make it more comfortable or manageable for us to deal with the ‘problem’ as a whole, it distances us from their humanity, and consequently, I would argue, from our own.” – The Rev. Luis Rodriguez

The collection of artwork comes from the Tornillo Children’s Detention Camp where close to 3,000 unaccompanied minors from Central and South America were held. Art was a way to express their faith, the love of their family and friends, and pride in their homeland.
To learn more about the artwork, read this article from the New York Times

 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
DC/SC Joint Meeting
August 29 | 10 AM
ZOOM
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
SJRAISE – Virtual Bible Study

September 1 | 6:00 PM
ZOOM
COM Day of Discernment

September 5 | 9:30 AM
ZOOM
Diocesan/Cathedral Worship
Clergy Gathering
September 10 | 12:30 PM
ZOOM
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

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

A Day of Discernment Coming:
Saturday, September 5, 2020
The Commission on Ministry for the Diocese of San Joaquin invites you to a Day of Discernment on Saturday, September 5 from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. via Zoom. The day is designed to examine the four types of ministries in the Episcopal Church, to see how these
groups work together, and to find out where we are “Called to be…” in response to our baptismal vows. The day will include a Bible Study based on the Kaleidoscope Method, an exploration of how we are called to use our gifts and talents to further God’s kingdom, and a question and answer period about the ordination process, whether it is for the diaconate or the priesthood.
There is no cost for this event. There will be an opportunity for further study if you desire to learn more about ordination.
For more information, please contact Rev. Angela Lerena, Diocesan Administrator: dioadmin@diosanjoaquin.org.

REGISTER NOW!
St. James Sunday School launches digitally on Sunday, September 13th. 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.

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The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, 4147 E Dakota AVE, Fresno, CA 93726
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