From the Rector
Stepping into the Story
Christianity is an embodied belief. For a Christian matter matters. While there have been movements with the tradition that have been skeptical of the bodily experience, the main of the stream of Christian thought and practice has been that our bodies can be a medium for the Divine. What we see, smell, touch, taste and hear can all be conduits for our experience of God.
And there are few times in the year when this is made clearer than the week we are about to enter: Holy Week. Words on a page become steps taken and bread broken. Acts of intimacy aren’t only voiced aloud but enacted. Rather than simply hearing the story we become participants in it, and this visceral experience is one of the reasons why I find the Christian faith to be so compelling.
And it’s why I cherish our connection to the lives of practitioners of the faith from centuries and even millennia ago. We are not the first humans to have experienced confusion and sorrow, sacrifice and betrayal. We are not the only ones longing for ways to live into the Love Supreme. The prayers we pray, the structures we use, the hymns we sing in this next week, are all stepping-stones into the mystery of Life, set down by the followers of Christ of years and years ago.
Primary among them was a 4th century nun from Spain, Egeria. She made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Holy Week, having heard about the traditions that were kept there of the last week of Jesus’ life. And it’s her travel journal that became one of the primary resources for Christian communities around the Mediterranean and later the world. It’s why we process with palms and later the Cross, why we enter with our bodies into the Great Three Days of the Triduum.
The last couple of years have made it challenging to step into the story together. We found workarounds with Zoom and livestreaming, washing the feet of our family members and entering the stories as best we could. And now, as we emerge from pandemic, we have the opportunity to step into the story more fully once more.
So I invite you to set space aside for the week to come. Come to wave palms this Sunday. Share a meal on Thursday at 6pm, then at 7:30pm wash each other’s feet and gather around Table to feast. Pray with us, through the night and into Friday. Sing and pray at 12n on Friday, contemplating the last words of Christ for the three hours that Jesus was on the Cross. Enter into the story as a family at 4pm. Venerate the Cross and spend time in the story on Good Friday at 7:30pm. Sit in silence outside the tomb Holy Saturday morning at 9:30am.
And then, get ready. Because Saturday night at 8pm we walk deeply into the story with the Easter Vigil. Keeping a tradition that began last year out of necessity, we will be telling the stories of salvation around the fire, baptizing in Rolling Thunder, then singing the Litany of Saints before entering once more into Easter. Easter Sunday at 9am will be in the courtyard, where the blooms have already been preparing themselves and the 11:15am service will be inside with choir and trumpet, pulling out all the stops, literally and figuratively.
If you’ve never attended one of the services on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, choose one to walk this year. And if you have been part of one previously, find a service each of the days to immerse yourself in the story. And if you’ve never been to an Easter Vigil, friend, this is the year for you.
In all, I am grateful to be able to step into this story together as a Body this year. It’s just what this body has been waiting for.
From the Living Waters Prayer Team
Why I Keep Vigil
The room is quiet
It is peaceful
The stillness flows farther into my blood stream with each breath
The aromas wash over us as we sit together in this still small space
Together we keep watch, we hold silence and we pray
Our prayers rise up like the smoke from the candles; surrounding us with the heart of God
From dust we have come; to dust we shall return
O Holy One, we are wading through the water; following your mission
The currents of love drive us home.
We are in luck because this year, the annual Maundy Thursday prayer Vigil at All Souls has two bonuses!
We have a longer time (24-hours) to gather as a community in prayer. The time for the vigil has expanded! We will be praying for 24 hours! We will gather as a community in prayer in the Chapel beginning at 8:45 p.m. on Holy Thursday, and keep watch until the Good Friday Solemn Liturgy starts at 7:30 p.m. The vigil will pause briefly for the Reflective Good Friday service from noon to 3:00 on Friday afternoon.
Plus, we have prayer cards we can submit which our community is invited to pray over during the vigil. Our prayers are anonymous before God, whether written on paper or our hearts. We have a unique opportunity to the people of All Souls, reunited again after two years. What a joy it will be to spend time in the chapel again! Decades of prayers have been soaked up in the walls of our chapel. At long last, we can leave our prayers there again, for the past, present and future ministry as the people of God. For our lives, our prayers which have been gathering in the depths of our hearts in this long absence from the chapel. So now, we can let the rapids go from the buildup of the last years of those collected prayers from the troubles in our hearts, thanksgivings, needs around the world and the next century at All Souls Parish.
If you’re wondering what to do during a whole hour of prayer, a prayer resources booklet will be available in the chapel (and digitally) with ideas and Scriptural passages to guide you. Many people also like to read, knit, write, draw, or engage in any activity that feels centering and prayerful.
We look forward to spending some quality time in this sacred space with you!
Toni Martinez Borgfelt & Erin Horne
Campaign Prayer Directors
Introduction to Maundy Thursday Agape Meal
A New/Old Thing
At this meal, we remember Jesus’ final commandment to his disciples:
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” – John 13:34.
In this spirit, we will eat together for a Maundy Thursday Agape Meal––an ancient practice in the Christian church, recalling the meals Jesus shared with disciples during his ministry, and especially at the Last Supper before his crucifixion, and expressing the koinonia (community, sharing, fellowship) of the followers of Christ. The term agape comes from the Greek––a term for love in its broadest sense. The Agape Meal is another way of living out Jesus’ mandatum (Latin for “commandment,” as in Maundy Thursday) or commandment that we love one another with the same self-emptying love, mercy and forgiveness with which he has loved and still loves us.
As part of this service we will pray, sing a few songs, have some conversation, and we’ll eat a light meal together. We’ll also roll out loaves of our Eucharistic bread while we eat and discuss!
Our intention is for this to be a kid-friendly service, which you can attend as a stand-alone service on Maundy Thursday, or as preparation for the 7:30p Eucharistic service with foot washing. Because we’re serving food, we’d like to know about how many folks will attend, which you can let us know by filling out this form.
-Emily Hansen Curran, Associate for Ministry Development
From the Living Waters Campaign
Living Waters Newsletter Two Hot Off the Presses
The Living Water’s video “Renewal for our Second Century” is now showing in limited engagement at Soup + Story and Living Waters Small Gatherings. The 15-minute All Souls tour-de-force is drawing strong Initial reviews: “Inspiring,” “Underlines how much All Souls means to me,” “I know that person!” The video will be coming to a wider audience soon. 🙂 Or you can still sign-up to join a coffee group to learn more from a capital campaign representative. Sign-up here.
Don’t forget that you can find all the information about the Living Water Capital Campaign on our homepage (or click here).
Easter Egg Hunt
We need your help to make this year’s Easter Egg hunt one for the books!
There are a couple of ways you can help:
1.) Pick up some empty Easter Eggs this Sunday (4/10) in front of Maggie’s old office, take them home, fill them with candy, and bring them back on Easter Sunday by 10:00am.
2.)Purchase some new Easter Eggs, and bring them, filled, to the church on Easter Sunday by 10:00am.
3.) Help hide Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday (4/17) immediately following the 9:00am courtyard service.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Save the Dates
Holy Week Schedule (April 10-17):
April 10, Palm Sunday
- 9a Eucharist
- 11:15a Eucharist
April 14, Maundy Thursday:
- 5p Agape Meal (over dinner)
- 7:30p Holy Eucharist with Foot Washing
- 8:45p all-night Prayer Vigil in the Chapel
April 15, Good Friday:
- Prayer vigil in the Chapel until 7p
- 12-3 Reflective Good Friday service
- 7:30p Good Friday Solemn Liturgy
April 16, Holy Saturday:
- 9:30a in the Chapel (a simple liturgy)
April 16, Easter Vigil:
- 8:00p the Great Vigil of Easter
April 17, Easter Sunday:
- 9a Eucharist
- 11:15a Eucharist
Easter Vigil Reception!
It’s back! This year we’ll have our regular Easter Vigil reception following the Easter Vigil on Saturday night, April 16th. This also means that we’d love for you all to bring something to share––either a drink, snack, cake, cookies––whatever you love to make when you celebrate. We also need some folks to stick around at the end of the night and help clean up. Let Emily know if you might be able to do this.
Join us at 9am, in-person, outdoor service in the courtyard. This service will move indoors if the weather is below 40 degrees at 8:15a, if the AQI is over 150, or if there is rain.
Or (and!) join us indoors for the 11:15 service or on the live stream at 11:15a, which can be accessed through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Facebook page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning. At our 11:15 service, masks are optional.
Then join us outdoors at 5p Sunday Night Service for a Eucharistic Service.
If you miss a Sunday, you can always catch the sermon on our homepage or as a podcast, anywhere you listen to podcasts!
Wednesday 9am Service
Join the Zoom call here, or join us in person in the Nave at 9a. Password: 520218. Masks are required for this service as it is indoors.
Living Waters: Renewal for our Second Century Capital Campaign
The Living Waters team invites you to visit (and bookmark) the new module of the All Souls website to keep track of our campaign efforts, http://www.allsoulsparish.org/capital-campaign/. There you’ll find an overview, FAQs, campaign calendar, resources, and general announcements about our effort. We also invite you to read our first newsletter, if you didn’t already see it in your inbox. We look forward to communicating with you through the website, email, print, and social media in the weeks ahead.
Adult Formation Classes
We have one class being offered this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org to join that Zoom call.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:10a will not meet Palm Sunday (4/10) or Easter Sunday (4/17). We will resume on April 24th.
Coming Up in Adult Formation:
Explore the breadth of mystical experiences in Christian faith communities, and ponder some of the ways the Sacred breaks through into your own life. Co-taught by the Rev. Daniel Prechtel and the Rev. Marguerite Judson, this four week drop in class introduces a wide variety of ways we draw closer to the Holy. There will, of course, be a substantial bibliography provided! click here for the juicy bibliography 🙂
The classes will be held in the Parish Hall (internet permitting) or in the Common Room if the internet is not cooperating, and on our Zoom link [HERE] between 10:15 and 11:05 am.
- April 24 – How do we define mysticism? What are some of its Biblical expressions? What are the practices which can open us to a unitive experience with the divine?
- May 1 – Two medieval mystics who led very different lives conveyed their experiences through visual art, music, and human language. Join us for a quick introduction of Hildegard von Bingen and Dame Julian of Norwich. What are the parallels in our own lives?
- May 8 – Notions about prayer and encounter with the Divine are further stretched when we consider the Cloud of Unknowing, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila and her contemporary, John of the Cross.
- May 15 – Contemporary mystics speak from a wide variety of traditions, including Anglican Evelyn Underhill; Quaker Thomas Kelly; and civil rights activist the Rev. Howard Thurman. What might all the mystics discussed over the four weeks teach us about how the Holy Spirit is moving in our lives and in the world?
Children, Youth, and Family News
Join us this Sunday at 10:00am, for Sunday School! Children Pre-K-Grade 3 will meet out in the courtyard. Grades 4-5 will meet upstairs in the Sunday school classroom.
Youth Group and Office Hours continue this Sunday for youth in grades 6-12. Meet in Maggie’s old(!) office at 10:00am for a donut and check-in, then join us for a special youth group gathering to search for labyrinths in Sibley Volcanic Regional Park at 2:30pm. Email Maggie for more information about that, or refer to the messages in the Google Group.
Other News & Notes
The Capital Campaign is an opportunity to grow in faith and fellowship, and prayer is the backbone that will sustain our efforts. From now until Holy Week, we invite your ongoing prayers for the life and ministry of All Souls, and to write prayer petitions on the cards located in the Narthex, and place them in the box designated for it. These can be prayers that are personal to your life or to our communal life. You can also submit petitions to email@example.com.
Every year, one of the ways All Souls prepares to enter the mystery of Easter, is by holding vigil in the Garden of Repose in the Chapel. This year, as part of the Capital Campaign, we will hold a 24-hour vigil, starting on the evening of Maundy Thursday, until the evening of Good Friday. We hope that you consider dedicating one hour of prayer, individually, with a friend or other group you are a part of at All Souls. You can join the vigil in person or in your heart. You can sign up in the Narthex, online, or by contacting Nydia MacGregor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ways to help out this week!
- Come by on Wednesday, 4/13 at 10a up to the new Jordan Court offices to help us assemble the Triduum booklets! This will involve some stapling and folding.
- Saturday morning, 4/16 from 10-12p we’ll need some help moving the pews back into their original formation. This will involve some heavy lifting and moving around the space.
There is a super easy way to give to All Souls––for either a one-time donation or for your ongoing pledge––that is through an app called Vanco Mobile (what used to be called GivePlus). You can find this app through the app store on your phone. Once downloaded, search for All Souls Episcopal Parish and you’re in! If you’d prefer not to download the app, you can just as easily give online through our personalized online donation page by clicking here.
A Great Way You Can Help a Hurting Friend
Do you have a friend, neighbor, coworker, or relative who is going through a difficult time? Here’s a great way you can help them—tell them about our Stephen Ministry! Stephen Ministers are members of All Souls who have received special training to provide high-quality, confidential, one-to-one, Christian care to people who are grieving the loss of a loved one, coping with a cancer diagnosis, going through a divorce or separation, battling a chronic illness (or caring for a spouse or parent who is chronically ill), experiencing a great deal of stress, facing the loss of a job—or encountering any of countless other life challenges.
Stephen Ministers meet weekly with their care receivers to listen, care, encourage, and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts for as long as the person needs care. It’s free, and it’s a powerful way you can help a hurting friend.
To learn how to connect someone you know with a Stephen Minister, talk with Rev. Maggie Foote (email@example.com) or Stephen Ministry Leader Madeline Feeley (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our Stephen Ministers are there to care!
If you are able to help provide some meals for parishioners in need, please contact Cathy Goshorn to help out! We are in great need at this time to help care for each other––please consider helping other All Soulsians in need by providing meals or gift cards for meals. You can reach Cathy at email@example.com.
From Justice & Peace
- COME CELEBRATE EARTH DAY AND HELP CLEAN THE BERKELEY WATERFRONT!
The City of Berkeley is organizing a cleanup of trash and plastic pollution along the Berkeley shoreline at Shorebird Park on Saturday morning, April 23, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. A group of All Soulsians will be participating in honor of the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day. We will gather at the Shorebird Park Nature Center, 160 University Avenue, at 9:00 am. (If you can’t join us until a little later in the morning, that’s OK.) Bring gloves and a bucket if possible, but some will be available. Please email Lewis Maldonado at Lewiscm@mac.com if you are able to join us. Sponsored by the All Souls Justice and Peace Ministry Team. For map and details see
- Diocesan Earth Day Resources
There are some great resources available on our Diocesan website for Earth Day this year, from books to read to workshops to attend. Check it all out here (click here)!