FROM THE RECTOR
Order in Chaos
Centuries ago, roughly 18 centuries ago, faithful Jews living in and around Jerusalem faced an enormous challenge: how are we to continue our communal practice around the Passover without the temple?
I was reminded of this critical question this morning in a podcast called “Together Apart.” Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie was interviewed about the origins of the Passover Seder and he talked about the communal Jewish response to the desecration and destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Roman Empire at the end of the 1st century.
Without the central site for this essential ritual, how would the people of God remember their fundamental story? In Rabbi Lau-Levie’s words, “The sages invented a technology, which is a home ritual, they wrote a text, they came up with a procedure, that’s what seder means…it was a radical invention, and it took centuries for it to really land.”
He explained further, “It (seder) means procedure, it also means order. As in, there’s so much chaos, how do you bring some order into chaos. And the way you bring order into chaos is with ritual.”
And this is what stopped me in my kitchen as I was preparing breakfast. The way that you bring order into chaos is with ritual. By necessity the home ritual of the Passover Seder, which our sisters and brothers celebrate this evening, was a response to crisis and chaos.
And for Christians, tomorrow begins one of our primary responses to crisis and chaos, the rituals surrounding the three great days of the Triduum: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil on Saturday night.
This year, of course, we will mark these days and live into these rituals in ways that Christians haven’t done in at least 600 years. We are re-forming these procedures, by using technologies ancient and contemporary. The ancient technology of the Gospel, the rituals of foot-washing and vigil, and contemplation and veneration alongside the contemporary technology of streaming audio and video.
As we face our own chaos of virus and isolation, I invite you to participate in our ancient response to crisis. If you haven’t already, take the time to create a sacred space in your home. Look to last week’s Pathfinder or to our All Soulsian group on Facebook for ideas. Download the Triduum booklet from our website. Prepare the items you’ll need to take part. Set the time aside for our worship on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
And immerse yourself in technologies ancient and new. Lean into the story, and perhaps even into order in the midst of chaos.
New Online & Mobile Giving Platform!
There will be more to come on this in the coming weeks, but for now, we wanted to let you know that we have finally signed up for a way to give through your phone and more easily online. Given that we can not longer pass a plate around on Sunday mornings, we thought it necessary to find new ways that we all can give to the work of our church. We have chosen a company called Vanco, which makes giving from your phone (via an app) or through our website much more simple.
Here is the instructions for giving through your phone via an app:
- Go to your app store
- Search for Give Plus & download the app**
- Once open, search for All Souls (which you will find by our address from the churches that appear under this search term)
- Create an account
- Sign in
- Then click the “+” at the top of the screen to make a donation! (please note that at this time everything collected through the app goes to the “General Fund” in the future there will be more options)
- You will need to add a credit card/debit card or a bank account to finalize the transaction, but all of this only needs to be done the first time you give via this method.
- Also, please note that this is a certified Level 1 PCI 3.2 Service Provider, so your account information is secure.
Instructions to give via our webpage are coming soon!
For any problems accessing the app or giving online generally (or any tech problems at all), fill out this Google form.
**When searching in your app store, look for this logo
A Blessing for the Coronavirus
This is for those whose hearts ache
For those forgoing their safe, communal spaces and sanctuaries
For those whose brains and hearts fight against them even on good days
And scream when chaos and panic threaten
As the steadiness of routine dissolves and shifts
For those missing community
For those feeling a profound sense of loneliness caused by social distancing
For those who long for what’s now forbidden
For those whose hearts and minds need physical touch
Though their bodies must abstain in sacrifice
May we find and feel peace
May community be found in messages and phone calls
In Zoom conferences and FaceTimes
In smaller, more intimate gatherings
Community that isn’t missing — just changing shape
May we feel loved without physical touch
May we learn and grow as we are stretched
May we bend and not break
And if we break, may we know that we are still worthy
May we remember that this is a season
And seasons are temporary
May we seek and find hope and strength
And may that be enough
Caring for Creation: Hope & Action for Climate Justice
In the fall of 2019, the Vestry passed a resolution “that the parish embrace climate justice as a priority in our education, action, worship, and prayer life.” Accordingly, the parish launched a church-wide, intergenerational initiative to address climate change, “Caring for Creation: Hope and Action for Climate Justice.”
The series, led by Bishop Marc Andrus speaking on “Building Beloved Community for Climate Justice,” was designed to educate, inspire, and activate. It continues this spring on three Sunday mornings, in a different format—this time as a virtual program via Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic. It features:
- April 19: “Greening Both Church and Home = Climate Action.” Liore Milgrom-Gartner of California Interfaith Power & Light and Elena Engel of Electrify Everything.
- April 26: “Youth Speak Out for Climate Action.” Kyle Lemle and Tianna Arredondo of GreenFaith, 350.org, and The Sunrise Movement.
- May 3: “Embracing Our Eco-spiritual Roots for Climate Action.” Kayleen Asbo, Ph.D, of Mythicamuse.
We are now living in a dramatically changed world. In countless ways, the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is waking us up to our interconnectedness with the Earth. Even in the face of this devastating shelter-in-place health crisis, we are finding ways to maintain safe physical distance and yet come together and affirm our sense of, and need for, community—with each other and with all life. We are one global system and what affects one affects us all. Our interdependence and mutual vulnerability are requiring us to learn new ways to cooperate and care for each other.
In the symbol chosen for the series, the circle reminds us of our spiritual unity in the Beloved Community. The tree is both a Christian symbol and a universal ecological symbol of the Earth’s greening power. The hands depict our responsibility and commitment to care for creation in our diverse cultures—only by linking hands and arms can we make the transformative difference that will be required to create a regenerative future for all.
Wednesday, April 22, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and this year’s theme is climate action. Plan something you can do to mark the day. Climate change presents us with enormous challenges, but also with great opportunities.
The series speakers will present from their homes electronically. To access the program online, go to www.allsoulsparish.org and click on Virtual Formation Classes & Materials. Access information may be updated as it develops. For more information, contact Lewis Maldonado (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Paloma Pavel, Ph.D (email@example.com). Also see www.eco-spirit.net.
––Cynthia Clifford for the Climate Justice planning team of the Justice and Peace Ministry: Lewis Maldonado, Paloma Pavel, Janet Chisholm, and Cynthia.
Foundations for Financial Wholeness
Tuesday April 28 & Wednesday April 29th, 7-8:15 PM both nights on Zoom
What can we be doing now to set ourselves up for fully living, generous giving, and financial stability in the future? Come join us for a presentation and discussion with All Soulsian Anna Gustafson. Anna first became interested in personal finance a few years ago. She had worked hard at her full-time high school teaching job but realized she had little to show for it in the way of savings and financial progress. Since then, Anna has become a volunteer financial coach in her spare time and has worked with over 2 dozen people (for free) to help them assess their personal finances and set realistic goals for getting out of debt and saving for the future. Having received a top-tier post-graduate level education, Anna finds it amazing that these financial topics which are so core to our lifelong well-being are almost never taught in school! She is rectifying that now in a small way and spends 2-3 class days a year doing a high-school level version of this workshop with her students. She believes that the best financial advice takes math as well as human behavior into account- that the people who succeed in personal finance set up easy systems to make good choices automatic. As a Christian and lifelong church member, Anna also believes that having a solid personal financial situation lays the foundation for the radical generosity that we are called to. Generosity comes in many forms, but financially giving something of ourselves is one of the most important. No matter what that giving number or percentage looks like for each of us, getting our financial feet under us and acting from a place of abundance frees us to give back and be more generous than we could have imagined we would be when we first felt trapped or unsure of our situation.
Personal finance topics are feeling especially relevant given current events, as many of us may be worried about economic and personal finance issues with the virus crisis. Over the course of two evenings, we will discuss: areas to focus on during a crisis, budgeting, getting out of debt, saving, investing, and giving. Please bring questions and your own personal experience to share! This session (presentation, discussion, and Q&A) is for all teen/adult ages and all levels of financial knowledge. Even if you feel like you have a handle on your own finances, this workshop can give you language and visuals to help explain these concepts to others in your life. All slides and free resources will be shared to participants.
Since this is a 2-part workshop, we will be roughly splitting up our topics as follows: Tuesday, April 28- steps to take in a crisis, getting out of debt, and budgeting; Wednesday, April 29- getting covered and protected, saving, investing, and giving. Please attend one or both sessions as you are available! Each session will start at 7 PM and last a little over 1 hour. Anyone is welcome to come late or leave early as needed. Please feel free to include teenagers and family in the discussion, or share the link with others. To join, just click the Zoom link at the meeting time. You will need to download the free Zoom app ahead of time, which the link will prompt you to do. We are looking forward to learning and discussing with you!
If you cannot make these workshop sessions but want Anna to present to you or your family at another time, please email her at Anna.firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to repeat the presentation as many times as you would like! Anna’s mission is to help more people feel financially knowledgable, self-aware, and confident in their plans moving forward.
— Anna Gustafson
Sunday Live Streaming News
The live stream of Sunday services can now be accessed through our website (rather than simply on Facebook)! Click here to watch on Sunday morning. Please note that it will read “Coming Soon” on the page until about 10:25a (PST) on Sunday morning, when the live stream will begin.
Children & Family News
We will be doing a children’s chapel program this Sunday at 9:30am (and every Sunday afterwards, as needed) via Zoom. It should last about 30 minutes. Please email Whitney Wilson for a link so your family can participate. If you have not used Zoom before––it is pretty user friendly in that I send you an invitation that you can log-in to at the appointed time. You can log-in with video so we can see each other’s faces or on your phone so we can hear each other. We are hoping that this will give the kids a time together for their own “church” and a time to see their friends as well. Please email Whitney Wilson at email@example.com if you want a Zoom invite or have any questions.
Morning and Evening Prayer via Zoom
Here is the link for Tuesday/Thursday Morning Prayer, to take place every Tuesday/Thursday at 8:30 am PST: https://zoom.us/j/283425127
Here is the link for Monday night BCP Compline, to take place each Monday at 8:30pm PST: https://schoolmint.zoom.us/j/7124066649
Here is the link for Wednesday night NZP Night Prayer, to take place each Wednesday at 8pm PST: https://schoolmint.zoom.us/j/7124066649
All Souls Geek Squad
If you’re having any trouble with technology during this time of tech-only contact with others, we want to help! On the homepage of our website is a box with the words “Technical Help”. Click on that box and you will be taken to a form that you can fill out. Once you fill that out, we’ll have someone get in touch with you to help with your tech problems. You can also click here to access the form directly.
Easter Sunday Coffee Hour
Friends! We’re going to try something fun for Easter Sunday following the service. We’re going to attempt a pre-recorded coffee hour! So, what we want you to do is take a video of you/your family (no longer that 20 seconds!) and send it to Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday. The video can be something your kids have made during our SIP, or of your sacred home space [see Phil’s lead article in this Pathfinder], or of your home office, or of the stuff you’ve been up to for the last couple of weeks since we’ve seen each other last. The point is to say hello to your fellow parishioners and give us a glimpse of your life. If your video is longer than 20 seconds it will get edited down 🙂 Send by Friday to be included!
Palm Sunday Images
Many of you were wondering about the artists for the Palm Sunday images. Below are the image titles and their author in order as they appeared in the Passion reading on Sunday (for images themselves, please see the bulletin from Sunday, which is still up on our homepage.
Soichi Watanabe, We Are One in Jesus Our Lord
Julia Stankova, Portrait of Judas
Carl Bloch, Peter’s Denial
Nikolai Nikolayevich Ge, What is Truth? Christ and Pilate
Eric Gill, Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry the Cross
Daniel Bonnell, The Color of Red
Oswaldo Guayasamín, Fusilamiento