From the Associate Rector
Looks Like We Made It
Well, friends, in the words of the incomparable Shania Twain, “Looks like we made it, look how far we’ve come…” Here we are at the end of the summer, and it’s less than a week until Phil returns from his sabbatical. While his return doesn’t mean that I’m leaving, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect a bit about the summer.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit anxious about what it would mean for me to take on this type of role after only about 9 months on the job, but I had confidence that the team that we put together would set me up for the best chance of success.
First, I want to say thanks to the Rev. Michael Lemaire for your willingness to step in and preach and preside regularly, as well as help out with some of the pastoral care responsibilities. Also, to our Senior Warden, Toni Martinez-Borgfeldt, for all your support and for being a great sounding board. Thanks to the assisting clergy who filled various liturgical roles, the vestry, and All Soulsians near and far for the trust and support.
Lastly, but certainly not least, to the staff: Annie, Jamie, Steve, and Emily. Wow, what a ride. It’s been so fun to work with you all this summer, and thanks so much for your hard work and dedication to getting it done even through a series of people being on vacation, Covid protocol changes, trying new things, a million little decisions, and getting ready for fall. I think Shania says it best: “Ain’t nothin’ better, we beat the odds together. I’m glad we didn’t listen, look at what we would be missin’. They said, ‘I bet they’ll never make it,’ but just look at us holding on, we’re still together, still going strong.”
Shania says it better than I ever could, but I hope that you know how much I love being a part of this team, and that I’m incredibly grateful for your hard work, humor and stick-to-it-iveness. I’m proud of the work we’ve done this summer, and I look forward to what’s to come.
At the beginning of the summer we set out to get people together, have fun, and try some new things, all while keeping the ship afloat. I think we did it! We had a hymn singalong (thanks Jamie!), a Parish Picnic, a Big Sur Campout, two young adult events, an outdoor movie night, and Rally Day complete with dreamy donuts.
We continued to worship together, Open Door Dinner was awarded a $6500 grant, and as of 8/25 Jordan Court is officially accepting applications for residents.
While the fall is still a bit uncertain in regard to Covid, and air quality, things at All Souls feel hopeful, which is a good thing, because ready or not, here it comes!
***New Pathfinder Design
Starting next week, we’re launching a new design for this newsletter! It’ll have the same sort of material, but things will be moved around a bit and the design will be upgraded. For you faithful Pathfinder readers, we’d love to hear what you think, so also look for a feedback form on next week’s Pathfinder so that we can hear from you.
From Adult Formation
Planting Churches: Why here? Why now?
Healthy churches plant churches because they understand the work of the church is not meant to sustain itself, but to give itself away to the world. Join us this Sunday as the Rev. Maggie Foote teaches her very first Adult Formation class along with Emily Hansen Curran. For those who don’t yet know, planting churches is one of Maggie’s many (she’s an Enneagram 7) passions. Come out to learn why!
In this class we’ll take a look at what it means to plant the seeds of what might become new churches and communities. We’ll talk about why we think churches still need to be planted in this 21st century world and how worship can work towards (in the words of our own Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers) serving the “common good.” We’ll talk specifically about All Souls in this context and the new Sunday Night Service which is set to launch on November 7th. Class starts on August 29th and will run through September 12th during the Adult Formation hour (10:10a-11:10a) in the Parish Hall or on Zoom (click here).
From The Junior Warden
Vestry Notes from the August Meeting
A Note from the Vestry Meeting in July:
The Vestry voted to affirm Emily Hansen Curran as a postulant for holy orders.
Vestry Notes from the August meeting:
We are in uncharted waters these days in which challenges and opportunities abound. Emily facilitated a discussion regarding how our parish will move ahead to meet this moment in the history of our church. One idea is to increase communication between the three elements of church leadership—staff, Vestry, and Team Ministries. Another is to reinvigorate the Ministry Teams. Another is for the Vestry to take more responsibility as we clarify our role and support the staff and the ministry teams.
Maggie reported that in this time of pandemic-induced reductions and losses, the new Sunday evening service is an encouraging sign of growth. Attendees are a diverse group who seem eager to worship and to be together. Also, the Open Door Dinner was awarded a $6,500 grant to continue its work.
Chaplain Tim Ereneta led us in a reflection on the imagery in Ephesians of battle, war and faith as a shield. We agreed that while life often seems like a daily battle, and our faith is certainly a shield for us, the imagery of war does not reflect the character of Jesus.
Emily Hansen Curran attended the meeting to discuss with the vestry some work she is doing. She indicated a desire to facilitate greater communication between the three arms of church leadership– staff, Vestry, ministry teams.
Given some new realities precipitated by the pandemic, staff is taking increased responsibility, so it seems time for the vestry to share more fully in these responsibilities. Emily and Irina are working together to lead us in a review of data gathered over time so we might develop a strategy for taking advantage of the opportunity for change offered by the pandemic.
Emily mentions areas to address:
- The attendance of the monthly team meetings is declining precipitously, so the ministry teams need to be reimagined, renewed and supported.
- The role of vestry needs to be clarified and renewed.
- The 3 elements of leadership—staff, Vestry, ministry teams— need to work with greater integration.
Prior to the next Vestry meeting, each Vestry member is to meet with the leader of the ministry team for which they serve as liaison, to review the team charter and to foster a closer relationship with the team leader. Vestry members will report their progress to the group at the September meeting.
Melissa Devereaux raised a concern about how we might support families with young children who might be stretched thin as a result additional child care responsibilities due to the pandemic. We did not have time at this meeting to pursue the question further, but it remains on our minds as an important issue to consider.
Associate Rector’s Report
Church Attendance has declined by about half compared to this time in the summer of 2019, from approximately 200 people to approximately 100 people.
Regarding the known drop in membership: Around thirty-two people have moved out of the parish.
Around eighteen new people have begun attending services.
Pat Jones and the rest of the ODD team, on short notice identified and wrote a grant requesting funds from the Episcopal Impact Fund to support the Open Door Dinner. Due to their efforts, a $6,500 grant was awarded.
The new Sunday night service had 38 attendees last Sunday (8/15), many of whom are not involved in other services or are new to the Episcopal Church. One aspect of the service that Kim Wong appreciated about the service was the annotations in the bulletin explaining the meaning behind the elements of the service.
Kaki Logan, Junior Warden
Save the Dates
(*see “Other News and Notes” for more info on events)
September 1, The Rev. Phil Brochard returns from sabbatical!
September 10, 6:30pm: All Souls outing to the Oakland A’s Game
September 17-19: Parish retreat at The Bishop’s Ranch (sign-up here!)
Join us at 9am in the courtyard, in-person. At this service masks are not required.
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 required.
Due to the new CDC mask mandate, masks are required for all indoor gatherings regardless of vaccination status.
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.
Adult Formation Class this Sunday
We have three class offerings this Sunday: (masks required at all groups if meeting indoors)
- Planting Churches: Why here? Why now? with Rev. Maggie Foote and Emily Hansen Curran – Class starts on August 29th and will run through September 12th during the Adult Formation hour (10:10a-11:10a) in the Parish Hall or on Zoom (click here).
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 7:30a. Contact Kate Murphy, email@example.com to join that Zoom call.
- Reading Between the Lines Bible Study @ 10:10a in the Chapel, or contact Daniel Prechtel, firstname.lastname@example.org, to join that Zoom call.
Children, Family & Youth News
Sunday School begins September 26! Read the Family Bulletin for more information!
If you’d like to receive updates about this, but do not subscribe to the Family Bulletin, please email Maggie Foote (email@example.com) for more information.
Youth Group begins September 8th! If you are (or have) a young person between 6-12 grade, and are not a part of the google group for youth group updates, please email Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and to get added to the list!
Other News & Notes
Soulcast: Our Weekly Video Announcements
If you’re interested in joining a small group, we’re hoping to launch a few this fall! One will be a general small group, for journeying together/alongside others. The other group will be more specific: for parents who are currently raising teenagers. Look to next week’s Pathfinder for more info, but for now, if you’re interested, reach out to Emily (email@example.com).
Stephen Ministry: Christ Caring for People through People
That’s the motto of Stephen Ministry. The Stephen Minister’s role is to bring God’s love into the lives of people who are going through a difficult time or experiencing a crisis. What do Stephen Ministers do? They listen, care, support, encourage, and pray with and for a person who is hurting. And in the midst of this confidential, one-to-one, caring relationship, God’s healing love comes pouring through.
If someone you know is facing a crisis—large or small—and could benefit from the caring presence of a Stephen Minister, talk to Rev. Maggie Foote (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Stephen Ministry Leader Madeline Feely (email@example.com). Our Stephen Ministers are ready to care for you!
Ongoing Canned Food Drive
In the before times, bringing a can of vegetables or a jar of peanut butter to church was the practice of many, and every few weeks all this would add up to three or four bags of groceries that I would deliver to the Berkeley Food Pantry. Obviously when in-person church services stopped, so did the influx of food. All Souls Parish made quick and creative adjustments; without missing a beat, folks had signed up to put a bag on their porch every other week for a driver to pick up and bring to the pantry. There were perhaps two dozen households contributing, and four or five drivers so that on any given Friday, between five and 10 bags of groceries were delivered to the pantry. More than a year later, we need wider participation. Drivers have had to make adjustments , and perhaps having the same folks providing the groceries every other week is not sustainable. Please consider offering a bag of groceries for pick up every other week, and/or sign up for any every other week driving shift to pick up from 5 or so households. Contact Cathy Goshorn, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
AA Groups Have Resumed
If you or someone you know is interested in AA Groups that meet here at the church, check out our calendar for the times.
Applications for Jordan Court are live now until September 1!
Here’s the latest from SAHA: “Applications will be due within one week of going live. If you know of specific seniors who have been interested in living at Jordan Court, please make sure they have subscribed to SAHA’s housing interest notification list so that they get an email when the application goes live (if they haven’t already.) This is the same process that has been posted in all the FAQs associated with the project since we started, so neighborhood stakeholders should already be subscribed. When the application goes live, all of those who have subscribed will get an email from SAHA with instructions on how to apply, including a link to the streamlined County portal. A lottery will be used to select eligible households with a preference to those who live or work in Alameda County.” Applications are live here.