From the Associate for Music
Every Singer Blest
Dear People of All Souls,
God is our Song, and every singer blest,
Who, singing praise, finds energy and rest.
All who praise God with unaffected joy
Give back to us the wisdom we destroy.
-Fred Pratt Green (alt.)
Poet and hymn-writer, Fred Pratt Green, penned these striking words that have remained in my heart throughout my ministry. I believe corporate singing is one of the most intimate and powerful things we humans can experience. Song has the power to unite us physically, emotionally, spiritually; and it can say so much more than words alone.
What an honor it is to be called as your Associate for Music! I had my first real taste of church music as a Chorister of Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, B.C. At age 11 I was captivated by the thundering organ, the amazing choral repertoire, and the liturgy itself. I’ve been blessed with wonderful mentors over the years; people who nurtured my budding love of church music and \ its practice. I’ve grown from a fairly tightly wound “traditional music” leader in my twenties to being more of an Animateur. One who encourages, enlivens, and equips the gathered body for vital song. I’m drawn to discover and use a wide variety of musical styles from various cultures. I believe all music has the power to speak to individuals and congregations; and I know I still have much to learn.
I look forward to many surprises, small and great, as we explore the breadths, heights, and depths our song will take us in service to one another, to our community, and to a God who loves us more than we can tell.
We’ve all come through very strange Covid-tide, and we’ve had to learn how to adapt our song in congregations across the Church. Even in the silence, God speaks deeply to our hearts, in a music all its own. To quote Green again in his same hymn:
God is our Silence when no songs are sung,
When ecstasy or sorrow [or Covid!] still the tongue.
Glorious the faith which silently obeys
Until we find again the voice of praise.
May that voice of praise inspire us, reveal us, and challenge us in all we do here at All
From the Parish Archives
The Archive of Memory
Read on to the end, my friends. My reflection on the importance of memory becomes, at the insistence of Phil, an unabashed call for volunteers to a unique form of ministry.
Augustine of Hippo observes somewhere in his Confessions (Book X is a good place to look) that memory is the foundation of the self. No memory, no self. Augustine compares this collection of memories, both conscious and suppressed, to a house which the individual mind inhabits. Teetering as he so often does between the light of self-examination and the darkness of self-absorption, the image of the house – or perhaps his monastic cell – is strikingly modern in its individualism and introspection. It seems never to have occurred to the pastor and bishop to compare that self, that ecology of memories, to a more corporate metaphor, such as a parish church.
If our memories constitute our very selves, then so do they forge our identities. And identities, it need hardly be said, begin at birth and rise and swell over time like bread dough until they achieve the form and taste and character of a particular loaf, a unique human being. While a loaf needs yeast for this miracle to occur, a person needs engagement in community. Relationships are the yeast of our identities, the experiences and memories that make us who we are. Without this living tradition, we will forget who we are – and Whom we serve.
So, where do the accumulated memories of any community sustained over time reside? Where may we go to refresh those memories and strengthen our identities? To the community’s archives.
As most of you already know, the undercroft at All Souls will soon be renovated as part of our Living Waters Project. As part of that remodeling plan, our parish archives have been moved to the old Copy Room. Financial records and vestry minutes sit side-by-side with photographs, service leaflets, and other printed ephemera, marking more than a century of history in our common life. Some of these materials must be maintained for legal reasons, but the retention or removal of most items is subject to periodic review by criteria established, presumably, by the authority of the Vestry. Needless to say, if the identity of All Soulsians is at stake, then great care should be taken in establishing these criteria.
For many, many years, Thomas Burcham has maintained our parish archive faithfully and conscientiously. He, largely by himself, has preserved our traditions and corporate memory. For that inestimable service, we owe Thomas a great debt. Let us honor Thomas by imitating his example of hard work and dedication to a very worthy enterprise.
Substantial materials now stored in the new Archive Room require review, assessment, organization, and tracking. The task is daunting, but imagine what one might find: a letter from a courageous parishioner about the disastrous Berkeley fire of September 1923, eye-witness accounts of World War I and II, or personal commentaries on the Bloody Thursday Riot in Peoples’ Park in May 1969. The possibilities are rich, but we won’t know what treasures lie hidden waiting to be discovered until we explore. Whatever we may find and then make public to the congregation will redound to our sense of a shared historical identity and to the vitality of All Souls going forward. Moreover, scholars in various disciplines from UCB and the GTU could access our primary materials to enrich the larger history of our diocese and of Northern California. We have a duty beyond ourselves.
This charge cannot be accomplished successfully by one person. The tasks are many and have yet to be fully identified. The work will be slow and painstaking, but it is crucial. All Souls invites anyone who feels called to volunteer for this adventure to contact Phil, and if there is an aspiring archivist among us to oversee this ministry, please come forward.
No archive, no memory; no memory, no self.
From the Associate for Ministry Development
Stories that Make Us: The 2022 Parish Retreat
It is that time of year, once again, when we load up our cars and head off for a weekend full of time together, great thoughts, fellowship, swimming, grass stains, and incredible views of hot air balloons floating over the Sonoma valley, up at the Bishop’s Ranch.
Whereas last year’s theme focused on our individual stories and the healing that can come from telling our stories, this year we’ll focus on our collective stories with the theme: The Stories That Make Us.
“People say in heaven we won’t remember any of the sorrow anymore. I hope they’re wrong. It would be a disingenuous eternity to exist without all that has made me. I hope when God brings heaven down, they bring with them the storytelling circles of old––that we would all gather around the fire listening to the ancestors, singing familiar songs. I don’t want to make it to the promised land if it means I forget the wilderness.” –Cole Arthur Riley from This Here Flesh
As Christians, part of what forms us is our collective memory and our collective stories, which we find in the Bible. In the retelling of these stories we both ignite our sense of community and know that we belong. It’s what we do every year at our Easter Vigil: we sit around a fire, outdoors, and tell the stories that have made us. We read stories from the Hebrew scriptures––from Genesis, Jonah, Exodus, Ruth––stories that tell about the way God has acted and about those who came before us. It is important to tell these stories again and again because when we do this we both remind ourselves of who and whose we are, and we offer opportunities to create more of ourselves.
And so this is what we will do this year on our retreat––we will remember the stories that make us by retracing the steps of our Easter Vigil over our weekend together, with hope that they continue to shape who we are and how we work towards God’s kingdom come. We’ll start Friday evening around our collection of retired Paschal candles. We’ll then rest and come back on Saturday morning together to retell the stories of God’s salvation. We’ll have some free time on Saturday to play and rest and re-create together, and then on Sunday morning we’ll gather for a Eucharist. And as always, we’ll have separate programming for the youth, the children, and the adults.
This is the biggest intergenerational event that we do as a parish each year, and it’s one you don’t want to miss. To register, go to this link and fill out the form. If you have questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. And if the cost is prohibitive for you and/or your family, please don’t hesitate to ask for a scholarship, there are many available! If you’ve never been to the Ranch, poke around on their website to get an idea of what it is, honestly, you don’t want to miss it.
Looking forward to this retreat with you all.
From Living Waters
Living Waters Input. So Far.
Congregational input is going to be crucial to making the Living Waters Project a success. There will be many opportunities for people to share their opinions, expectations, priorities and specific feedback over the course of this work. If we are a successful, this will be an on-going conversation between the committees doing the hands-on work and the congregation as a whole.
We began that conversation in early June by inviting the congregation’s feedback, by an online survey, about its expectations as the Living Waters Project moved into the planning and, eventually, construction phases. Many answers focused on a general sense of renewal and others on specific projects.
Starting on Sunday, August 14thwe will be sharing, on the back wall of the church, the results of that survey, and inviting more responses.
We are continuing to develop ways that the broad community can provide input, at times general and at other times detailed, for this process of renewing our church home We will have more to share about those avenues soon. But in the meantime, I hope you come by the back of the church and see what your fellow All Soulsians have had to say. So far.
Chair, Living Waters
Save the Dates
August 21, Rally Sunday & Blessing of the Backpacks
August 21, Safe Church Training for all keyholders and volunteers who work with children (1-4p)
September 16-18, All Parish Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch
October 2, Feast of St. Francis & Pet Blessing
Join us for worship this week:
- 9am, in-person, indoors
- 11:15am, in-person, indoors. This service will also be live streamed (click here to access the live stream)
You can access the live stream through our website or by tuning into our All Souls Episcopal Parish Facebook page. Click here to watch on Sunday morning.
Then join us in the Parish Hall 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.
Rally Sunday & Blessing of the Backpacks
Come back next Sunday, August 21st for Rally Sunday! There will be donuts, and time to hang out in the courtyard between the 9 & 11:15 services. We’ll also unveil the Adult Formation calendar for the year, and kick-off children’s formation and youth group for the year. At both the 9 & 11:15 services we’ll bless backpacks (or any other symbol you choose) to send us off into this academic year and ventures.
Photographer for Rally Sunday
Next Sunday, August 21st, we’ll also have a photographer joining us to take pictures of us in action for our new website. We’ll have photo release forms to sign next Sunday prior to the worship service so that folks can opt out if you would prefer your image not be used.
Adult Formation Classes
There are two class offering this Sunday:
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:45a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in the Common Room.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:10a. Click here to join by Zoom, or join them in-person in the Chapel (downstairs at church).
Coming Up in Adult Formation
Our first set of classes start-up on August 28th:
- Walking the Labyrinth (August 28th, September 4 & 11th)
Join Michael Drell for three sessions exploring Labyrinth walking. Michael will have just completed Labyrinth Facilitator Training with Veriditas and he is looking forward to sharing this learning with you and enriching our spiritual practice through this ancient tool.”
- The Lived Experience of People of Color – Vignettes from All Souls Parishioners (August 28th & September 11th)
People of Color (POC) have a ‘lived experience’ that can be markedly different from the white majority, even when they have very similar socio-economic and educational backgrounds. These differences in the lived experience permeate every aspect of daily life – at work, at the grocery store, at a restaurant, at a department store, at airport security, and yes, at church. Many of us (especially those who are committed to racial justice) may be aware of this in the general sense. But what does this actually feel like and look like for someone you know – your neighbor, your colleague, or your fellow parishioner sitting next to you on the pew? The purpose of this 2-session panel discussion is to illuminate the POC lived experience through vignettes shared by a panel of All Souls POC parishioners in a moderated Q&A format. The panel will explore these lived experiences through the lens of our faith and spirituality. We hope that participants will leave with a greater appreciation and understanding of the POC lived experience, toward better informing our collective efforts on racial justice.
Children, Youth, and Family News
Join us on Sunday, August 21st at 10:00am in the courtyard for Rally Sunday, to hear all about the offerings for children and youth beginning this fall!
Email Maggie for more information about Children, Youth and Family Ministries at All Souls.
Other News & Notes
Introducing our New Associate for Music!
How to access staff & clergy in the new Jordan Court Offices
Wondering how to reach us in the new offices? Here’s how:
- Enter on Cedar & Oxford and press “001” on the call box. This will take you to the church voicemail system. Select the number of the person you are trying to reach and it will call their office phone directly.
- For Annie: press 1
- For Phil: press 2
- For Maggie: press 3
- For Emily: press 4
- For Dent: press 5
- Once on the phone with the person you are trying to reach, but before they buzz the door open, they will give you a code that you need to either write down or remember as you will need it to enter the stairwell or the elevator.
- Once you have been buzzed into the lobby, head towards the stairs or elevator and use the code you were given to get to the 3rd floor.
- After exiting the elevator or stairwell, turn right and the All Souls offices are at the end of the hall! Voila!
- If you are entering from the church building, you can also access the offices through the gate at the courtyard. You can either text or phone a staff or clergy to get the gate code and then may enter the staff offices either by going up the outdoor stairwell or by entering the Jordan Court building and going up the elevator (the same gate code will get you in the Jordan Court building and the elevator).
Church Office Hours:
Staff & Clergy can be reached Sunday-Thursday by phone/text/or email. Tuesday-Thursday from 10-5p you can find staff & clergy in the office. You can reach an on-call clergy at any time by calling our church offices and pressing “8” for the on-call priest.
Whole & Healthy Church Training
It’s that time again when all keyholders of the church’s keys, and all volunteers who work with children are required to take the Diocesan Whole & Healthy Church training. To do this, diocesan staff member, Caren Miles, will join us after the 11:15 service on August 21st to do in-person training! Lunch will be provided, but please RSVP with Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Emily Hansen Curran (email@example.com). If you miss this in-person training, you will need to complete the training online. We’re also expanding the church keys to include the key fob code to Jordan Court so that keyholders can also access the staff offices.
This year’s all-parish retreat is September 16-18 up at the Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg. This year’s theme is The Stories That Make Us where, following the liturgy set in the Easter Vigil, we’ll retell the stories of our faith that have and continue to shape us. As Cole Arthur Riley says in her book This Here Flesh, “this habit of curating collective memory can not only preserve community but also, in the darkest of moments, resurrect it.”
There will be programming for children, youth, and adults, with free time to hike, swim, lounge, nap, explore the wine country, and enjoy each other’s company. You don’t want to miss this!
Sign-up here to register! And, if the cost is prohibitive, please let us know––there are scholarships available.