November 3, 2011

From the Interim Rector

A Big Celebration This Sunday and a Promise to New Tithers

This coming Sunday at both services we will be celebrating All Saints/All Souls Sunday. This service remembers the official saints of the Church over the centuries. Also, since our parish is named after the Feast of All Souls, we honor both those who have been saints in our own lives and we remember the saints who for more than a century have worked and sacrificed so that Christ’s mission through All Souls continues to thrive.

Those of you who were present for the wonderful Stewardship Celebration dinner last Sunday that filled both the parish hall and all the available space in the Church with fine food and merriment, received your pledge materials at that time. This same material was mailed to members of the parish not able to be present last Sunday.

As you fill out your pledge card for 2012, there are a few facts about giving at All Souls I want you to know about. Every member of the vestry has already pledged for the coming year and they are giving 14.2% more than they did last year. The total of their giving represents 15.5% of the total anticipated budget for 2012. In asking you to increase your giving if at all possible in 2012, the vestry has led the way as a group. In other words, in their pledging they are affirming in action what they say with their lips about the importance of Christian stewardship. Some vestry members were not able to increase, but others increased their giving substantially. 

I hope you, like the members of the vestry, will give serious consideration and prayer to what you will give toward ministries through All Souls for 2012. The biblical standard for giving is a tithe and the Episcopal Church has officially affirmed that standard for decades. 

What any one of us gives toward the work of the Lord always has spiritual implications. I have found tithing to be a very liberating spiritual discipline in my own life. I hope you will make the effort to determine what percentage of your income you are currently giving to All Souls and to other works of the Lord in the world, and that you will increase that percentage in the coming year. You may not yet be a tither but you can begin the journey toward the tithe by increasing a percent or more in your giving this year.

The vestry and I feel so strongly about the spiritual blessing of tithing, that we make this promise to you: If you indicate on your pledge card that what you pledge for 2012 is a tithe, and if by April your practice of this spiritual discipline has not deepened and enriched your relationship with God, all that you have given through the month of March will be refunded to you. 

This Sunday all of us at All Souls will have the opportunity to personally place our pledges on the altar and in doing so to affirm that we have been blessed to be a blessing.

Two other important things to remember about this Sunday: At the 10 am service we will be saying goodbye to our artist in residence, James Tinsley, who is moving to Ohio.

Also, this Sunday our time zone returns to Pacific Standard Time so be sure to turn your clocks back one hour before heading to bed on Saturday.

May God’s blessing and love continue to uphold and uplift you,

Fr. Don+

From the Associate Rector

Making Ofrendas this Sunday!

Join us this Sunday, November 6th when we celebrate All Saints & All Souls! It is the tradition at All Souls for the kids in Sunday School to decorate sugar skulls and create little ofrendas. Making ofrendas is a beautiful practice that comes from Mexico and the celebration of the Day of the Dead (All Souls). Visit where you and your family can learn all about ofrendas and see lots of colorful pictures. In keeping with the purpose of ofrendas, children are invited to bring a picture or drawing of a loved one, or even pet, who has died to add to their ofrenda that they make. Everyone is invited to bring pictures to add to the large ofrenda which will be in the side chapel of the sanctuary now through Thanksgiving. I invite you to make this celebration of All Souls a spiritual counterpart to the sugar highs and costume competitions our children have just partaken in!

Yours in God’s peace,

Poem for the Month

Glorious God, how curious and what a confession that we should set aside one day a year and call it Thanksgiving. I smile at the presumption, and hope you smile, too. But the truth is, Holy Friend, that my words can’t carry all the praise I want them to, or that they should, no matter how many trips they make.

– first stanza from My Words Can’t Carry All the Praise by Ted Loder

Resources for the Month

Thank You GOD, For Everything by August Gold
While this book is not a book about Thanksgiving, the holiday, it is a beautiful story about a little girl who learns to see the world with eyes of thanksgiving and a wonderful way to invite your children into thankfulness as well.

November Family Take-Home Devotions & Activities
Themes for living are:
Taste and see the goodness of God is experienced through baskets of Thankfulness.
• The blessing cups are the Christ symbol of unity and thankfulness

Pick up a packet from the Narthex for your family and enjoy some God-talk at home!

November 6 – All Saints/All Souls –  Sunday School: Celebrating the Day of the Dead!
November 13 – Sunday School –  Spiritual Parenting
November 20 – Christ the King – Sunday School
November 27 – First Sunday of Advent – Sunday School – Advent wreath-making

Spiritual Parenting November 13th – Talking With Our Children About Death

Join us on Sunday, November 13th from Noon-1pm in the Common Room as we take time to discuss how we talk with our children about death. The death of a pet, of a loved one, or hearing on the news about a natural disaster or violence in our neighborhoods, death is something all children encounter and want to talk about from a very young age. Included in this session will be different resources to use when having conversations with children, including an annotated list of books about death, grief and loss from the Berkeley Public Library, a useful article on how to help children manage grief, and several titles from our own children’s library that deal with the topic at hand.

Childcare is provided on the playground; see Ed or Letina to sign your kids in, grab some coffee and join us for some parenting fellowship! The All Souls Spiritual Parenting group includes parents of tots to college age young adults and meets every second Sunday of the month. Newcomers are always welcome!

Parents in the Park (or the Parish Hall!) Every Monday

Join parents with children infant through elementary school age every Monday at 3:30 pm as our kids play and we find fellowship and support in each other. Our standard meeting place on days with nice weather is Terrace Park in Albany; on wet and cold days we meet in the Parish Hall. To find out where we will be on a given day or for more information contact Kristin Krantz (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / 510-292-8423).

First Sunday of ADVENT – November 27th Make Your Advent Wreath!

Join us after the 10am service on Sunday, November 27th for our annual Advent wreath-making party! The parish hall will be set up with all the material you need to make a beautiful Advent wreath for your family this holiday season. In addition, be sure to pick up the devotional booklets to use with your wreath as well as activities and materials for reflection for kids and adults.

From the Parish Archivist

WWI & the 1918 Flu

Next week is Veterans’ Day (which I still think of as Armistice Day and wear my Poppy) when I remember not only of those who died in World War I and other wars, but also of those who died in the great “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918. The accepted estimate is that between 20 and 40 million people died around the world during that pandemic. More people died from influenza in 1918 than from the Black (Bubonic) Plague in the four years from 1347 to 1351. Some 28% of Americans were infected and 675,000 died. More people died from the flu than died in World War I itself.

Many of the families at All Souls had British origins, and some of All Souls’ sons went off to fight before the United States declared war on Germany. The men and especially the women who remained behind were active working with the Red Cross or British Overseas Club. After war was declared on Good Friday in 1917, more men from All Souls went into military service and some went “over there.” When I think about World War I, I especially think of the plaque on the west wall of our Chapel, which reads: “In loving memory of Lt. Edward Herbert Pepper who fell on the field of honor at Givenchy, France. This tablet is erected by those who went with him from this church to the relief of the oppressed and in defense of human liberty. ‘He fought the good fight’”. Rather than recite his story in this Archivist’s Brief, I will save it for another time.

I also think of World War II and remember submariner Benjamin Franklin Rogers, who had been an active member of All Souls’ Scout Troop 4. Ben Roger’s mortal remains lie somewhere in the Pacific along with those of his shipmates on the USS Seawolf, which was lost with all hands on October 3, 1944, when it was mistakenly sunk by an American destroyer. Neither All Souls nor Berkeley were immune from the Spanish Flu. When Pestilence (identified by some as one of the that horseman of the apocalypse) struck in 1918, all were required to wear gauze masks covering their noses and mouths when in public. Public gatherings in general were discouraged. The Rev. Dr. Herbert H. Powell, a professor at (and later Dean of) Church Divinity School of the Pacific was locum tenens at All Souls while the vicar, the Rev. W. R. H. Hodgkin, served in the YMCA with the military. The Rev. Dr. Powell did not like to conduct services or preach through his mask, so let his mask hang from one ear. When health authorities banned indoor meetings and the weather became too severe for outdoor services, All Souls suspended Sunday services for three consecutive Sundays from October 20 to November 3, 1918.

On November 10, 1918, the entire congregation, all masked, was able to meet again in the vacant lot, now the courtyard, adjacent to the church. The Rev. Dr. Powell (see photo on left) preached, with the Rev. Mr. Hodgkin in his YMCA uniform present for the service. It was to be a Thanksgiving service in more ways than one. An Armistice was imminent. The Rev. Dr. Powell instructed the choir to sing the “Te Deum” immediately if the siren announcing the armistice should sound during the service. But it was not to be, for news of the armistice did not arrive until midnight.

All Souls resumed regular Sunday services in the church on November 17, 1918, “Victory Sunday”, with the congregation still wearing masks. Aisle candles were used for the first time at All Souls for this midnight service. Because the Rev. Mr. Hodgkin was ill, the officiants were the Rev. Dr. Powell and the Rev. Richard M. Trelease, later the vicar and the first rector of All Souls.

– Thomas Burcham

View from the Pew

Talk about a Blessing! The Celebration Dinner

Thank you All Souls community for being so profuse in your thanks at the Stewardship Celebration dinner. It is nice to feel that the effort put in is appreciated and, more importantly, that everyone enjoyed themselves & each other. I was serious about not doing it alone: the amazing festive decorations were the work of creative team Toni Borgfeldt and Alisa Hofmann – and, they had the setup very well organized! Working alongside Nancy Pryer is wonderful (I highly recommend it!), Don Brown & Kristin Krantz were great support all along the way. Henry Chang was very helpful during the pre set up (shout out to Henry, thank you for that) and then the additional volunteer help to set up AND clean up (Liz and Steve who just happened to be around during the pre set up pitched in with the unglamorous part!) – talk about a blessing! Frances Thomas for taking care of food for our young ones (awesome!) Add to that the very generous door prize donations; the behind the scenes help of Joy Ng (rock star!) I would have said all this at the dinner but found myself just a tad emotional to actually speak the words.

– Pat Jones, chair

Memorial for Sarah Lewis

Parishioner Sarah Lewis will be remembered at the Thursday Healing Eucharist on November 10th, 12 noon, in the Chapel presided by Br. Derek Ford. Sarah was a regular member of Lunch Bunch that meets regularly on Thursdays. After the service all are invited to come to the Parish Hall for a lunch reception and to share memories. Please bring lunch reception items to share if you are able. For more information please contact Margie Fay.

Support The Big Gain!

Cal vs. Stanford – Fundraising Showdown supporting Campus Ministries

The Diocese of California is blessed by fine institutions of higher learning with some of the brightest minds in the world streaming to the Bay Area to learn and grow. For years campus ministry has provided a home for seekers, skeptics and young pilgrims in search of a community and sanctuary. In order for us to continue to provide a safe and loving home for those who are seeking the love and compassion which we all share in the church – WE NEED YOUR HELP! 

In the same way the Big Game is used to show supremacy in football between Stanford and Cal, the Big Gain is a fund raising showdown supporting campus ministries at Cal and Stanford. An axe is awarded each year to the winner of the Big Game, while the Book of Acts will do the same for the Big Gain. Support the campus of your choice this year and know that regardless of the score on November 19th the entire church wins year round when campus ministry thrives. You may make out your check as indicated below and mail it or place it in the offering at All Souls no later than Sunday, November 13.

For Berkeley make checks out to (and mail to)  BERKELEY CANTERBURY FOUNDATION
, Berkeley Canterbury, c/o 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
For Stanford make checks out to (and mail to)  STANFORD CANTERBURY FOUNDATION, Stanford Canterbury, P.O. Box 18687, Stanford, CA 94309

All contributions must be received by November 17 in order to count towards the Big Gain.

Henry Chang Resigns

Henry Chang has made the decision to resign as Verger for All Souls, and the Wardens and Interim Rector accepted his resignation, effective immediately. Since 2004, Henry has served with great dedication to the Parish and to his position. Most of you know Henry through his role as Verger during Coffee Hour or Open Door Dinner, and others as parishioner in his active participation in Lunch Bunch and Kyakameena. We deeply appreciate the hours that Henry has offered over the years.

We are looking for a temporary replacement for the Verger position until Fr. Phil returns in December. Please contact the Joy in the Parish Office .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have any recommendations.


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