You meet the most amazing people around the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, including the Rt. Rev. Naudal Alves Gomes, former primate of Brazil, now serving at two of our churches; St. Mark’s in Van Nuys and St. Simon’s in San Fernando; he and his spouse, Carmen, a retired educational consultant, who has just joined him from Brazil, met in a parish youth group … priests from the southeasterly portion of our diocese, aka deanery VI, at the annual bishop’s brunch, convened by the Very Rev. Keith Yamamoto, the dean, and hosted by the Rev. Jessie Smith at St. Ambrose’s Episcopal Church in Claremont … colleagues in the interfaith and ecumenical community, gathering in the name of humanity at City Hall to reflect on the war between Israel and Hamas, including city officials and organizers Capri Maddox and Joumana Silyan-Saba, The Guibord Center – Religion Inside Out president Lo Sprague, and USC assistant dean the Rev. Brandon Harris of the American Baptist Church, a former student of Bishop Rob Wright; singer-songwriter Quincy Coleman led us in singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” … and staff colleagues at our annual gift exchange, where Canon Serena Evans Beeks presided with steely grace; in a highlight of the action, the Rev. John Watson looks on as Claudia snatches the Rev. Canon Melissa McCarthy’s octopus.