From the Interim Sabbatical Rector
Once in a while a great learning opportunity lands in your lap.
Today I want to lift up one of those.
Three times a year, our diocesan community puts on a daylong formation and training event called Equipping the Beloved Community. It’s filled with workshops that offer something for just about everybody involved in a church ministry: liturgical training; outreach; adult, youth, and children’s Christian formation; organizational skills; and more. The location circulates all around the diocese, so it’s often on the Peninsula, in San Francisco, or in the inland valleys. But this time, on Saturday, August 29, it’s happening right around the corner: at St. Clement’s, Berkeley, just a hop, skip, and jump from us, over by the Claremont Hotel.
(Don’t want to read more, but just want to register? Go here!)
Here’s how it works: there’s a morning session and an afternoon session, with a keynote speaker over lunch in between. This time the keynote speaker will be Jennifer Gamber, a prominent Christian educator in the Episcopal Church and author of several great books on ministry with youth. Among the morning and afternoon workshops are the following:
• “It Takes Practice: Weaving Faith into Family Life”—on the rituals and rhythms of practicing faith as a family, with creative ways to take church home during the week
• “Who Is My Neighbor? Looking Outside the Parish Walls”—on developing a deeper embeddedness in our community
• “Effective Outreach”—on some of the nuts-and-bolts practices for multiplying a church’s impact for good
• “Drawing on the Taproots of Faith”—with Jenifer Gamber, exploring spiritual practices in youth ministry
Plus several more, including one I’m leading and two more led by our own Caroline McCall. Caroline is leading two workshops on organizational dynamics: one on group decision making and another on conflict. I’m leading an afternoon session on praying out loud—one of those spiritual practices Episcopalians sometimes feel a little itchy about!—which I had the pleasure of reflecting on with our Stephen Ministry team at their meeting last month. Last but not least, this is also by far the most convenient opportunity to be trained to become a Eucharistic Minister (serving communion during the liturgy) or a Eucharistic Visitor (bringing communion to those who can’t be present).
What does it all cost? Usually $25—but because it’s taking place in the Alameda Deanery (our region of the diocese), we get a reduced rate of $10/person for this one. And it includes lunch.
I’m excited about this day of learning and I hope you will be too. It would be great to bring a substantial crew of All Souls folks. Here’s the link again, where you can see the full lineup of workshops and their complete descriptions, and where you can register online: http://diocal.org/equipping-beloved-community
Blessings on your ministry this week, wherever you may be.
From Caroline McCall
Please join the All Souls community in the Parish Hall during formation hour (10:10AM – 11:00AM) on Sunday September 6th, 2015! We will be launching our fall pledge campaign with a catered celebration that includes a chance to reflect on God’s abundant blessings and ways that we as Christians and as a congregation put them to use in the service of Christ’s mission.
There will be a brief presentation from the stewardship team and a chance for conversation with your fellow parishioners. Most importantly, there will be the faithful and joyful presence of our parish community and the Spirit in our midst. All ages are invited to join in the celebratory campaign launch. Childcare will be available on the playground.
From Danielle Gabriel
Evangelism. What a scary word. For many of us, it conjures up the specter of colonialism, of the crusades, of hateful politics. If you google the definition of evangelism you will get some fascinating results, such as “potentially threatening for other faith communities” and “militant or crusading zeal” and my favorite “an example of evangelism is what Baptist minister Billy Graham does on television.”
But you will also find definitions such as to “bring good news” and to “preach.” And we know that, like the Apostles, we are sent out into the world to be this good news. What would it mean to reclaim evangelism? What would it mean for us to really live the gospel message and to share the good news that we ourselves have heard?
What does evangelism mean to me? I don’t know yet. I’m pretty sure it means taking risks, and putting myself out there even when it’s scary. I think it means sharing resources and time and I think it means trusting God to lead me. I think it means hospitality. And yes, I do think it means sharing the word of God, the message of Christ. In a respectful way, as an invitation not a demand.
We can take this on. Maybe we will throw a block party to get to know our neighbors. Maybe we will make church in the middle of this crazy city. Maybe we will talk to our friends and our families about who we know Jesus to be. Maybe we will do research, make t shirts, put bumper stickers on our cars and bikes. We will definitely keep having fantastic community events. Come on. Let’s do this!
Join us at the monthly ministry meeting on September 14 at 7pm, beginning in the sanctuary, to get the Evangelism ministry launched. Call or email Danielle Gabriel for more info: 510.332.0631, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Online Directory
Ever wished your All Souls parish directory had pictures in it so you could identify those folks you feel like you ought to know? Ever wished you could carry your directory with you wherever you may be? Well, your wishes are being answered. Our directory is now both pictorial and mobile!
You can access it on any Android or iDevice by downloading the app “Instant Church Directory,” or on the web at https://members.instantchurchdirectory.com/. All you have to do is sign up using your email address: as long as it’s in our database, the system will recognize it and allow you to create a login. Only parishioners whose information is already in the directory are able to access it, so your information is secure.
We already have pictures for a number of parishioners, but we’d love to have more. To update your directory information, contact Joy Shih Ng in the parish office or at email@example.com.
Family Park Playdate
Join us Saturday August 22, 10a-12p at Codornices Park. This will just be some laid-back, unscheduled fun as we head back into the school year, a chance to meet some kids who are new to All Souls, and time connect with other parents.
Phoenixes end-of-summer game night
Join the Phoenixes, All Souls’ 20s and 30s group, on Saturday Aug 22 from 7-9 on the first floor of the Parish House for some fun and games. Feel free to bring snacks, drinks (alcoholic or not), and any favorite games. Please RSVP to Emily Hertz (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan to come.
Welcoming our New Associate for Youth Ministries
We will be welcoming our Associate for Youth Ministries, Jess Powell, on Sunday, August 23rd. ALL middle school and high school youth are asked to welcome Jess by attending a gathering in the youth room during formation hour (10:10-11:00). Bagels, cream cheese, fruit and beverages will be provided. Come meet Jess in person and ask her to share some of her favorite jokes with you! Plus, adults: you too will have a chance to meet Jess. She’ll be in the courtyard after the 11:15 service, and you can sign up to help host welcome dinners for her at the youth table during this week’s Rotating Ministry Fair.
August 30, 10:10a. This is our big kickoff for the new school year! There will be Sundaes for Sunday school, fun and games, face paint and water balloons and giant bubbles, and time to learn about our formation hour for kids, youth and adults for the coming year.
Parish Retreat, September 18-20
More info coming soon, but save the date for our annual parish retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch!